Discovering Mykonos’ cultural (and other) treasures
With its amazing coastline that features dozens of beautiful sandy beaches and breathtaking landscape, Mykonos is listed among the world’s top destinations for unforgettable holiday memories.
Usually, visitors to the island mention its plethora of great choices for eating and having fun. Hundreds of restaurants, bars and nightclubs guarantee a stunning for every taste. But, besides the above, Mykonos is also a place with a long history and a rich legacy and calls travelers to discover cultural treasures that they might not even know existed.
Following is a short list of some of the legendary spots that you should not miss visiting while being there:
Churches and Monasteries
Regardless of personal religious beliefs, the churches, and monasteries of Mykonos create an atmosphere of mysticism that contrasts with the explosive energy of the island. Everywhere on the island there are small, white-washed churches and chapels that add a special tone to the landscape.
As for the monasteries, some of them are very old and have a special historical and cultural value, making them an important attraction on the island. One of the most beautiful monasteries is Panagia Tourliani in Ano Mera. Built in the 16th century and restored in 1767 it is a most popular landmark full of impressive craftsmanship. Ano Mera, the second largest and very traditional village of Mykonos, is a must-go, to get the authentic taste of the island and enjoy the genuine hospitality of its people.
Following the “religious path”, don’t miss a visit to the 18th century Monastery of Paleokastro; one of the island’s most famous landmarks with beautiful Cycladic architecture. Also, Panagia Paraportiani church is one of the island’s most photographed monuments. Built in the 15th century, it consists of five small chapels which were serving as “guardians” of a medieval fortress. Watching the sunset from up there is one of the most magical views in the world.
The Aegean Maritime Museum located in Mykonos Town hosts an collection that goes back to the Minoan period. Dedicated to the history of building ships and boats through the centuries, the museum also includes model ships and nautical instruments.
The Archaeological Museum, also located in the center of the main Town, showcases a precious collection of ancient treasures originating from ancient times and traveling all the way to the late Hellenistic period. Most of the findings were found during the excavations on the nearby Rhenia islet.
The list of treasures also includes the iconic Windmills that stand on a hill overlooking the Town and Harbor of Mykonos. Most of them were built in the 16th century and were primarily used to mill wheat. Today, one of them is transformed into a museum.
Last —but not least— is the Armenistis lighthouse, a beautiful, still functioning historic lighthouse, situated 7 km. away from Mykonos Town, with a stunning view of the Aegean Sea. It was built in 1887 after the wrecking of a British steamship, to prevent nautical accidents and keep ships safe.