Mykonos, one of the most popular destinations for tourists worldwide, maintains its genuine Cycladic profile intact in spite of its massive tourism development, and enchants visitors with its crystal blue waters and its golden sandy beaches. The tranquil image of the shining white housing in the azure background above and below blends with remarkable harmony with the vivacious clubs with loud music. The famous traditional windmills also coexist with the modern restaurants, the unique region of 'Mikri Venetia' with the 'bouzoukia', the expensive market stores with the breathtaking beauty of the beaches and the four hundred churches which decorate and sanctify almost every corner of the island. Its population is about 6300 residents, while its extent covers 90 sq.km.
History and culture
Mykonos has been inhabited since the Prehistoric era. According to tradition, the island was named after Mykonos, the son of Anias, legendary king of the neighboring Delos Island. Mykonos is also connected with many legendary traditions, one of which claims that this island is the place where Hercules buried the Giants after defeating them. Mykonos thrived particularly in the Historical Years, and two major cities of the time were Mykonos and Panormos. It was a member of the Athenian Alliance until 376 BC. Following the Persian Wars, Mykonos fell into decline, while it came under Macedonian, Egyptian and Rhodian control. When Byzantines gave way to Franks, the island was granted to the Venetian family of the Gyzi until 1390. Then it was annexed to the Venetian territory until 1537. Turkish domination followed the small period of Russian rule. Yet, Mykonos turned into a significant naval power, and the inhabitants took an active part in the Greek War of Independence with the native heroine Manto Mavrogenous being a leading figure of the struggle for liberty. The islanders contributed with everything at their disposal; their ships, their weapons, their fortunes, and their lives. They finally won their freedom, and rejoined Greece after long centuries of foreign rule.
The beauteous island of Mykonos is an ornament to the entire Greek territory. It immediately casts its spell on everyone who sets foot on the island, as he is captivated by the picturesque main town, the traditional windmills, and the beaches of unparalleled beauty, while the superb tourist infrastructure is beyond any comparison. Fortunately, aggressive development has not touched the image of Mykonos. The whole island can be considered as an open-air museum of traditional architecture, representative of the Aegean style, with the church of Panagia Paraportiani -situated in Chora- being a true credit to local Cycladic tradition. There is the renowned area of Alefkantra, also know as Small Venice, along with hundreds of small charming churches and chapels. Then, one should visit the well, close to the settlement and beach of Platy Gialos, with the underground cistern. It can be reached by going down some narrow stairs. There are numerous magnificent beaches, such as the Paradise and the Super Paradise beach, where visitors can rest after nightlong parties, often in the company of many international celebrities. A visit to the nearby islet of Delos, which has been declared as an archaeological site of major importance, is considered to be essential. Being the sacred island of Apollo, god of light, Delos is an evocative place, which bears witness to the splendor of the Greek spirit. Situated only 1 nautical mile off the western end of Mykonos, this islet is a pilgrimage for travelers from all over the world, who admire the 5000 year-old monuments, reminiscent of its glorious past. This was the center of the mighty Athenian Alliance, and the base of its treasury.
Few places offer services and facilities comparable to those offered in Mykonos. A wide range of top quality facilities and establishments such as clubs, bars, coffee shops, taverns, luxurious restaurants and shops, are all at the disposal of visitors that swarm in from all over the world. Thus, there are different kinds of cuisine available apart from traditional Greek (International, Italian, French, Chinese etc) as well as taverns, fast food and "souvlaki" places. There is a profusion of goods displayed in the exquisite shopping centre of Mykonos with jewelry, clothing, footwear, works of art being available. Speaking of shopping, traditional hand-made textiles, jewelry and leather goods are considered best buys. Apart from the numerous coffee and pastry shops, there are internationally acclaimed clubs in Mykonos that offer incomparable entertainment, frequently with the presence of star DJ?s. As for sports, all kind of water sports equipment is available on most of the beaches, while there are also yachting clubs and a water park. Bunjee jumping activities take place, and visitors can be engaged in tennis, pool, basketball and volleyball. Furthermore, local specialties and "soumada", a local drink, should be tasted. Visitors also have the opportunity of mingling with the locals during the traditional local festivities held on the island. Yet, nor the island nor its inhabitants have changed during all these years of continuous stream of tourists. All things considered, Mykonos is a gifted island that can never experience a fall in its value, and has thus remained a favorite international destination for more then five decades.
Platys Gialos Beach
This is an extensive beach side community with places to lay a towel or sun beds and umbrellas available for rent. Protection from the wind is provided by the surrounding hill. You will find plenty of hotels, rooms for rent, apartments, villas (private and rental), mini markets, tavernas, restaurants, souvenir shops and beach bars. This is a convenient, family-friendly beach including several playgrounds. To arrive at Platys Gialos Beach you can take frequent public transportation, rental car – motorbike (though parking is somewhat limited). You can easily access most southern beaches via boat/caique that originate from or return to the cement dock on the right side of the beach. Platy Gialos Beach is an easy walk to the beaches of Agia Anna and Paraga, just follow the gentle footpath to the left. Next to the footpath is an outcropping of rocks to climb on or discover sealife.