Greece offers visitors with a number of exciting opportunities to explore its islands. One of the most popular island destinations is Mykonos, which is known for its gorgeous beaches and rich nightlife. The island is one of the best places to shop in Greece with a number of popular international brands represented. However, Mykonos has much more to offer visitors. Following are some of the top things to do in Mykonos.
1. Visit the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani
Fans of unique architecture should be sure to visit this monastery, which is located close to Ano Mera. The monastery has a colorful dome that provides a striking contrast to the whitewashed walls, as well as intricately carved wooden altar screens and a breathtaking marble fountain. Since the monastery is only open to the public by appointment, visitors should call ahead to ensure that they are allowed to explore the interior. Ano Mera itself is worth a visit due to its fresh produce market and wonderful restaurants.
2. Hang with the Pelicans
In 1958, a fisherman found a wounded pelican that was later nursed back to health and named Petros from the Greek word for stone, the predominant architectural element on Mykonos. For three decades, the pelican served as a symbol of the island until it was killed by a car in 1985. The mummified Petros now resides in Thessaloniki. Three more pelicans have made the island their home, one of which is named after the original bird inhabitant. Tourists frequently seek out the pelicans for photo opportunities.
3. Learn at the Aegean Maritime Museum
Located in Tria Pigadia, the Aegean Maritime Museum provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about maritime history and tradition throughout Greece. For 35 years, the museum has adopted various replicas of rowing and sailing ships used in the Aegean Sea from the Classical era until today. In addition, tourists will find an array of maps, sculptures, and ancient coins that speak to maritime life in the country.
4. Visit Lena’s House
Lena’s House, another attraction in Tria Pigadia, provides visitors with an authentic look at a middle-class family home from the 19th century. The house features a large collection of European and local furniture from the same time period and other decorative elements. While there, individuals can learn about what it meant to live on Mykonos a couple of hundred years ago while checking out some beautiful household art objects, such as embroidery.
5. Spend Time in Little Venice
One of the most recognizable neighborhoods on Mykonos, Little Venice offers a lot of charm. The area, which was founded in the 18th century by sea captains and wealthy merchants, reminds some tourists of a small Italian town. The homes, which hang out over the sea, feature beautifully colored windows. Many visitors choose to enjoy cocktails in the neighborhood while watching the sun set over the water.
6. Wander around Gyzi Castle
Close to Mykonos Town lies the ruins of Gyzi Castle, a structure with a lot of history that provides visitors with a glimpse into the island’s past. The castle was first built in the 13th century as a fortress to protect Ano Mera. However, locals abandoned it once the Ottoman Empire rose to power and then pirates used it as home base for centuries. Several parts of the castle remain for visitors to explore. Visitors can also view the ruins of the ancient Mykonos city, including a cemetery, market, and wall fortifications. In addition, the hilltop on which the castle was built provides a great view of the northern parts of the island.
7. Watch a Movie at Cine Manto
In the center of Mykonos Town is Cine Manto, an open-air theater surrounded by palm trees, cacti, and pines. After a long day, visitors can unwind by watching a movie under the stars and enjoying food from the nearby café. The cinema shows foreign films with Greek subtitles. Offering films for both children and adults, the theater is open from early June to the end of September.
8. See the Panagia Paraportiani
Mykonos features more than 360 different churches, the most iconic of which is Panagia Paraportiani. Located in Chora, the picturesque church features whitewashed walls and a large central door that opens up to a sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. The space is ideal for undertaking personal reflection on spirituality before taking some inspiring photos of the structure and the blue waters beyond it.
9. Photograph the Windmills
The windmills on Mykonos have become one of the most recognizable symbols on the island. Visitors will find the windmills between Little Venice and Niochori. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Mykonos had more than 20 windmills that were used to produce wheat. However, only seven of them have been well maintained. Still, they are an impressive sight and provide an interesting glimpse into the agriculture history of the island.