ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Greece Odyssey: Mykonos Island

Updated on January 14, 2015

A Popular Beach Resort Island in the Cyclades

The next leg of Ancient Greece Odyssey was not ancient at all: we drove back to Athens and flew to Mykonos, an island in the Cyclades famed for its beaches, resort hotels and nightlife. Mykonos is also a popular honeymoon destination for mainland Greeks.

What? Are these mythology lovers and classics geeks going to forget about antiquity long enough to be modern tourists? Well, maybe. However, we were mostly interested in the next island over: Delos, birthplace of the ancient Greek gods Apollo and Artemis. I'll cover Delos next. But first, here are my photos and memories of Mykonos Island.

Cat on Kouros Hotel balcony, Mykonos Island, Greece
Cat on Kouros Hotel balcony, Mykonos Island, Greece

Memories of Mykonos Island

Travel Diary Excerpts, 8th May 2005, Kouros Hotel

Inland Mykonos is a dry, rugged island whose houses remind me of old pueblos: rundown and a little shabby, but inviting in their curving walls of white plaster or unpainted, aged stone. Sheepfolds and solemn dogs watch over an old world which the tourists don't often notice.

The bustling shore is bracing for development: bulldozers and piles of rubble will probably be more hotels in a few years. For now, the island reaches out gray, empty arms to the sea.

One fine three-masted yacht dominates the view. The guidebooks say pirates once prowled these waters.

The Kouros hotel is Rivenesque, a warren of many levels hugging a cliff, with curving stone staircases and terraces and many alcoves filled with modern kouroi statues. We have our own balcony blessed by cats. The room is light and airy with pale blue walls and fine marble floors and glass doors facing the sea. A pink Aegean sunset promises a beautiful stay.

Mykonos Harbor from Kouros Hotel. This was in 2005; the bulldozed area down below has since been filled with beaches and shiny new hotels. The town of Mykonos, once a fishing port, now a mix of shops, cafes, mini museums and nightclubs, is off to the left in the distance. The row of beehive-like structures behind the town are windmills, no longer in service except as fun backdrops for photos and paintings.

Wandering the Streets of Mykonos Island

A Labyrinth of White Walls and Brightly Painted Doors

I confess that the attractions of Mykonos were somewhat lost on me: bars and nightclubs are not my style, the beaches of Mykonos Town itself were dirty when I visited (I am spoiled by living near a good beach back home), and I get burned out shopping in little clothing boutiques and art shops. Most people would love it!

I probably should have hired a taxi; looking at Google Maps (see below), the island is larger than I realized, and I see more harbors and better beaches on the south side of the island.

The main street of Mykonos Town runs along the inner harbor.

What I did enjoy was simply wandering the tiny, winding streets of the town. Many were so narrow that one could sometimes touch the houses on both sides with outstretched hands-- yes, those really are the streets! It was fun getting completely turned around and then popping out onto an oceanfront cafe. (Don't forget to sample the iced chocolate drinks.) Then I would walk back along the seaside to make sure I could find my way back to the hotel.

The locals say the maze of streets helped to bewilder and keep out pirates. I suspect also it helps keep out the wind whipping across the Aegean Sea.

My Mykonos Isle Photo Gallery - Click Thumbnails Below to Browse Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mykonos' harbor is full of huge ferries and small cruise ships touring the Aegean Isles. Many Greek honeymooners or wedding parties come to Mykonos by boat or jet.The streets of Mykonos Isle, most of them freshly whitewashed for Orthodox Easter. Tiny shops, cafes, and houses mix in this winding maze.The (nonfunctional) old windmills behind the "Little Venice" area, which ironically is one of the few areas with streets wide enough for cars.Left: a pharmacy. Note the mandrake symbol on the sign. Right: a lovely old church with a garlic cart someone had just parked in front of it.Left: Panagia Paraportiani, an iconic Byzantine church favored by Greek painters for the play of light. Right: Petros (Peter) the Pelican. Mykonos' mascot.Another view of Mykonos' many winding streets. The grape trellis at left shades the entrance to a tiny art museum.Cats of the Greek Isles: I didn't get many photos of them, but yes, they're everywhere. The right-hand cat is Broccoli, the Kouros hotel cat.Upper level of Kouros Hotel, washed by sunlight and birdsong (note swallow). Also a glimpse of the Greek sky which is usually too bright for my camera.Two views of our hotel, the Kouros Hotel. My room was the blue doors with the stone balcony halfway up on the right. Lots of steps!Returning to Mykonos on the ferry from Delos (the next part of this travel diary). The Aegean is such a lovely color near land.
Mykonos' harbor is full of huge ferries and small cruise ships touring the Aegean Isles. Many Greek honeymooners or wedding parties come to Mykonos by boat or jet.
Mykonos' harbor is full of huge ferries and small cruise ships touring the Aegean Isles. Many Greek honeymooners or wedding parties come to Mykonos by boat or jet.
The streets of Mykonos Isle, most of them freshly whitewashed for Orthodox Easter. Tiny shops, cafes, and houses mix in this winding maze.
The streets of Mykonos Isle, most of them freshly whitewashed for Orthodox Easter. Tiny shops, cafes, and houses mix in this winding maze.
The (nonfunctional) old windmills behind the "Little Venice" area, which ironically is one of the few areas with streets wide enough for cars.
The (nonfunctional) old windmills behind the "Little Venice" area, which ironically is one of the few areas with streets wide enough for cars.
Left: a pharmacy. Note the mandrake symbol on the sign. Right: a lovely old church with a garlic cart someone had just parked in front of it.
Left: a pharmacy. Note the mandrake symbol on the sign. Right: a lovely old church with a garlic cart someone had just parked in front of it.
Left: Panagia Paraportiani, an iconic Byzantine church favored by Greek painters for the play of light. Right: Petros (Peter) the Pelican. Mykonos' mascot.
Left: Panagia Paraportiani, an iconic Byzantine church favored by Greek painters for the play of light. Right: Petros (Peter) the Pelican. Mykonos' mascot.
Another view of Mykonos' many winding streets. The grape trellis at left shades the entrance to a tiny art museum.
Another view of Mykonos' many winding streets. The grape trellis at left shades the entrance to a tiny art museum.
Cats of the Greek Isles: I didn't get many photos of them, but yes, they're everywhere. The right-hand cat is Broccoli, the Kouros hotel cat.
Cats of the Greek Isles: I didn't get many photos of them, but yes, they're everywhere. The right-hand cat is Broccoli, the Kouros hotel cat.
Upper level of Kouros Hotel, washed by sunlight and birdsong (note swallow). Also a glimpse of the Greek sky which is usually too bright for my camera.
Upper level of Kouros Hotel, washed by sunlight and birdsong (note swallow). Also a glimpse of the Greek sky which is usually too bright for my camera.
Two views of our hotel, the Kouros Hotel. My room was the blue doors with the stone balcony halfway up on the right. Lots of steps!
Two views of our hotel, the Kouros Hotel. My room was the blue doors with the stone balcony halfway up on the right. Lots of steps!
Returning to Mykonos on the ferry from Delos (the next part of this travel diary). The Aegean is such a lovely color near land.
Returning to Mykonos on the ferry from Delos (the next part of this travel diary). The Aegean is such a lovely color near land.

Why Theseus Really Abandoned Ariadne

In Greek myth, the Athenian hero Theseus visits the island of Crete to free his people from an annual tribute of youths and maidens, sacrificed to the fearsome half-man, half-bull, the Minotaur. While being wined and dined in the palace of King Minos, Theseus seduces the king's daughter Ariadne. Fearing for his life, Ariadne gives him a sword and an spool of thread so that he can navigate the labyrinth where the Minotaur is caged. After slaying the monster, Theseus takes Ariadne with him, promising to marry her in Athens. However, he abandons her on the island of Naxos halfway home.

I have always held a grudge against Theseus on Ariadne's behalf. However, after getting completely lost in Mykonos for the third straight day, I realized that I needed to cut Theseus some slack. From my diary:

If Naxos is like Mykonos, Theseus could have gone to an ATM and never found his way back to her.

Google Maps: Mykonos Island - Zoom In to View Town

Wow. Mykonos has built a ton of new posh hotels and renovated the beaches (with imported white sand, apparently) since I visited.

A markerHeart of Mykonos Town -
Aghias Kyriakis Square, Mykonos 84600, Greece
get directions

Mykonos Island Tourist Information - Useful Links and Websites

Kouros Hotel, Mykonos Island. Yep, that's a bar behind the pool. Arched windows overlook the harbor and town. The pool was unheated in 2005; it may be upgraded by now.

The Journey Continues...

Up Next in Ancient Greece Odyssey...

Up next: The birthplace of the god Apollo and the ruins of an ancient city on Delos Island!

© 2011 Ellen Brundige

Guestbook for Fellow Travellers - Eucharisto!

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    othellos 4 years ago

    Nice lens. Mykonos though is so expensive nowadays that its clientele is mostly stars and celebrities. Good to be there just once of a lifetime! For sure there are other Greek islands with culture and ancient spirit... Thanks for sharing:)

  • malena10 profile image

    malena10 5 years ago

    I've been to Corfu, I would love to visited Mykonos some day

  • SusanDeppner profile image

    Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

    Such a beautiful, beautiful page! Can't get enough of the pictures from Greece!

  • JeremiahStanghini profile image

    JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

    A fantastic journey (through the diary)! I think it's even more spectacular that all of these lenses are "at least" in Tier 2. It just goes to show that you've zero'ed in on a niche that still seems to be drawing traffic from all over the web.

    I rather enjoyed accompanying you on this journey through Greece. Thanks for sharing!

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Oh! I want one of those grape arbor trellises! What a beautiful way to incorporate nature into modern building. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Mykonos with you. The photos are gorgeous and your commentary very helpful. Congratulations on the Purple Star!

  • profile image

    franksms 6 years ago

    My dad was born in Crete, I visit regularly, it too, is a recommended site to visit. Remember --if visiting the ancient ruins, you will be extensively searched on leaving Greece, they want no antiquities leaving the country.

  • SusanDeppner profile image

    Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

    Beautiful! Congratulations on the purple star!

  • JeremiahStanghini profile image

    JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

    Ahhhh.... the Mediterranean. :-)

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  • justholidays profile image

    justholidays 6 years ago

    What a lovely Island! I've never been to Mykonos neither to Greece and this collection of Ancient Greece pages give me the need to discover this country and its numerous islands!

  • devilsworkshopc profile image

    devilsworkshopc 6 years ago

    Beautiful photos! Reminds me of the time we spent in Mykonos on our honeymoon. Love this series of lenses!

  • profile image

    PrettyWorld 6 years ago

    I can't believe the color of those skies. Beautiful!