Mykonos was our third stop — Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, a gorgeous paradise in the heart of the Cyclades, a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity, and whose name was taken from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”. According to mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules!
We got up really early on this day — a bright crescent-shaped moon and a generous sprinkle of stars in the sky — sometime around 4.15am, to catch our 5.10am ‘radio taxi’ to Piraeus port where our ferry to Mykonos would depart from. 17°C. We were told to look out for the sunrise as our ferry’s engine roared, and wow, was it spectacular (I think You can probably tell how obsessed I was with this sunrise from the number of selfies I tried taking with it). I’ve never seen a sunrise quite this fiery red, this majestic, and definitely this breathtaking. The whole lot of us had gotten out of our seats and scrambled to the deck, capturing shots of the incredible show nature was putting up… no one spoke a word. Everyone was savouring the persimmon sky and the rays that radiated from the golden orb as pretty as any fresco — all that such a phenomenon deserved.
To find: Nikos — tall, thin, with a blue backpack, and he will wear ‘very red shoes’
Upon arrival at Mykonos, we had agreed with our airbnb host that he would pick up us from the port and drop us off at Mykonos Town before he would deposit our luggage at our accommodation — he would then pick us up later that evening to bring us to the room.
Upon being dropped off by Nikos, we spent a couple of moments soaking up the atmosphere along the lively waterfront and admiring a fleet of fishing boats casting colourful reflections in the azure waters. The seascape was such a dream with bobbing sponge boats and fishermen coming in with their catch of the day. The bright Mediterranean colours seemed to just explode against the pristine ivory backdrop.
We stopped for lunch (brunch, actually) at a café just nearby and FaceTimed our parents as we did so — fresh orange juice and a quinoa salad YASSSSS.
While finding an entrance into the heart of Mykonos Town from the harbour, we passed by the beautiful Church of Saint Nikolaos (Agios Nikolakis), a blue-domed church, whose namesake is Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, we learned, lived during the 4th-century and is the patron saint of fishermen and sailors.
Moving on, entering Mykonos Town (aka. Chora), we fell in love with the quintessential Greek isle scenery. Every little winding cobbled street had something to impress us, whitewashed charming houses and churches, blue doors and windows, flowered balconies, and stunning glimpses of the sea. Thanks to the island’s strict building regulations, the traditional Cycladic architectural style and character has remained firmly intact. There are no cars in the town and the streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants. Aren’t these the cutest outfits ever?!
A bag we spotted read: “Good guys to heaven, bad guys to Mykonos.”
We dropped by a little jewellery shop chock full of handmade accessories and I bought a choker (my first one!) that was incredibly simple yet absolutely stunning — alternating purple beads and golden rings, strung on a thin golden chain. The lady shopkeeper offered to put it on for me, and as I was taking off the necklace I already had one, she exclaims, “No! Why! Don’t take it off! Don’t listen to what people have to say about fashion. We make our own fashion.” This lady then shares with me about The Evil Eye, which I’ve noticed on almost every piece of jewellery in Greece and on every keychain, too.
“It’s the eye of the God…”
“The eyes of the… cat?!”
(her strong accent really made ‘God’ sound like cat!)
“No, God… glass blue eye charms are used to ward against the evil eye and before a baby is baptised, it uses a blue eye necklace, aka. mataki. Then once the baby is baptised, the mataki will be replaced with a cross. Other than that, we just love to have the blue eye charm on everything. It’s good luck!”
Funny fact: The Greeks pronounce ‘magnet’ as ‘magginet’!
Perched on a hill that offers stunning views of Little Venice, Mykonos Town, and the sea, this area where the Mykonos Windmills stand was the final destination on our walking exploration through Mykonos Town. Although they are not functioning today, the windmills harken back to a day in the 16th-century when they were used to mill wheat. Five of the island’s remaining sixteen windmills are located here.
It was insanely windy as we got here — we could barely hear each other speak, which was why it was difficult for my sister to direct me to get a shot of me ‘blowing’ the windmill (featured above), and which was also why I looked as though I was going to burst out laughing at any moment (above).
From where we were, we had the perfect view of one of the most scenic corners of the island: Alefkántra or “Little Venice”. It is an 18th-century district dominated by grand medieval captains’ mansions with colourful balconies and stylish windows. With balconies perched over the sea, pictures of the famous Italian city spring to mind.
Snooping around online travel guides made one thing become apparent to us: we had to catch a glimpse of Petros (Peter) the Pelican in the area. Petros is the island’s adopted mascot and the pelican’s story goes back to the 1950s when the wounded bird was rescued by a local fisherman. Even after it was cured, it didn’t leave, and instead made Mykonos his home. The original Petros died in 1986 but the island has continued to embrace the legend with three new pelicans that call the paved paths of Chora in Mykonos home and are treated like local stars — an essential part of the locals’ everyday life. So, whatever you do, don’t forget to take a picture with the successor of the famous pelican Pétros!
GUESS WHAT, as we were just leaving, we spotted a little commotion down the lane between us and Little Venice… and lo and behold, a funny-looking creature confidently waddling its way up the slope in our direction! My sister rushed towards it, and I, with my camera, fervently took pictures of my sister and the successor of the famous pelican Pétros!
We retired to our room pretty early*, which, to our utmost surprise, was only 5 minutes from the centre of town! I’ve never had such an amazing location for an airbnb in my life. It was small (which translated to ultimate cosiness for us), clean and absolutely perfect for a pair of sisters. If ever heading to Mykonos, we highly recommend Urban Studio A1. Tell Nikos we said hello! 🙂
*You might be wondering why we retired to our room before it got dark. For one, we were exhausted, and second, this island is known for 4 things: relaxing (full on 100% chilling), a short boat trip to the tiny archaeological gem, Delos*, the insane nightlife (check out: Super Paradise, aka. the ‘most sinful paradise’), and water sports — it is only natural that the Island of the Winds should attract surfers and sailors from all over the world! By this point, we had done enough relaxing, had no time (energy) for Delos or any water sports, and absolutely have no interest in partying… so, solution: call it an early day and listen to ‘Slow Down Time’ by Us The Duo as we drift off to the words of e-books… Bliss.
*Delos was a sacred island in ancient times, and according to mythology was the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis.
Just breathing can be such a luxury sometimes.