What can you further do on Mykonos besides sunbathing and hang out on the beaches? M
an 18th-century mansion housing over 8,000 volumes and a vast collection of 18th- and 19th-century photographs, documents and Cycladic coins and old seals as well as sketches and books from the personal library of American artist John Ratekin. The Municipal Library is located on Ayia Kyriaki Square in the main town of Chora.
Petros the Pelican
an old celebrity of the town’s waterfront, “Petros” has been the official mascot of Mykonos for over 50 years. He took up permanent residence on the island after a storm in 1954 and after his death, the Islanders elected a successor to carry on his legacy until today.
The windmills are a defining feature of the Mykonian landscape. There are many dotted around the island, but most are concentrated in the main town of Chora. The famous “Kato Mili” in Chora (Greek for lower mills) stand in a row on a hill overlooking the sea to harness the strong northern winds. Capped with wood and straw, the windmills were built by the Venetians in the 16th century to mill flour and remained in use until the early 20th century. Many have been refurbished and restored to serve as homes to locals and vaults to numerous Mykonian heritage documents.
Little Venice (Mikri Venetia)
– rows of fishing houses line the waterfront with their balconies hanging over the sea. The first of these was constructed in the mid-18th century. They originally belonged to rich merchants or captains and the little basement doors that provided direct access to the sea and underground storage areas led people to believe that the owners were secretly pirates. Some of the houses have now been converted into bars and cafes and little shops and galleries. Little Venice is considered one of the most romantic spots on the island and many people gather there to watch the sunset. The area attracts many artists who come to paint the picturesque coastline.
is a testimony to Mykonos’ maritime history, as well as a fully functioning lighthouse. It is located in Fanari, which means lantern in Greek, 6.5 km (4.0 miles) from Chora.
are three identical wells standing in a row in the middle of the main town, Chora. They were built in 1722 to provide the town with water. Unlike most modern wells which are over 30 metres deep, the Tria Pigadia are only 5–6 metres deep as they were dug into the sand where water was more easily accessible.
Archaeological Museum of Mykonos
By Zde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commonswas built in 1905 to house the findings from the Putrefaction Pit of 425/426 BC, discovered in 1898 on the islet of Rheneia by D. Stavropoulos. It is one of the oldest museums in Greece and was designed by Alexandros Lykakis and funded by the Ministry of Education and the Archaeological Society of Athens. The land as donated by the Municipality of Mykonos.
By Zde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsThe original Neoclassical building underwent refurbishments and expansions in the 1930s and 1960s and the large eastern room was added in 1972. The museum contains artefacts from the neighbouring island Rhenia, including 9th- to 8th-century BC ceramic pottery from the Cyclades and 7th- to 6th-century BC works from other areas in the Aegean. Its most famous item is the large vase produced in Tinos, showing scenes from the fall of Troy.
Aegean Maritime Museum exhibit
Aegean Maritime Museum
By Zde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commonswas founded in 1983 by the Mykonian George M. Drakopoulos and it opened in 1985 with the goal of preserving and promoting the study of Greek maritime history and tradition, in particular, the evolution and activities of the merchant ship in the Aegean Sea. Drakopoulos has been awarded the Athens Academy Award and with the World Ship Trust’s award for Individual Achievement for his work with the museum. The museum was the first in Greece that rescued and restored living historical exhibits to operate as they were originally designed and built. In addition to original pieces, there are also replicas of famous historical ships and collections of coins with nautical scenes from the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD and a variety of elaborate shipping instruments.
the oldest house on the island houses a collection of 19th-century furniture, jewellery, ceramics embroideries, marble sculptures, tombstones and a variety of other trinkets. The museum also pays tribute to Mykonos’ traditional nautical roots with models of 19th-century Mykonian ships, maps and an anchor and canons used during the Greek War of Independence.
this 19th-century traditional Mykonian residence belonged to a wealthy shipping family and the original furniture is still preserved. The house now operates as a museum.
Agricultural Museum (also known as the Bonis Mill)
(the Church of Our Lady) one of the most famous architectural structures in Greece. The church received its name Paraportiani, which means “standing next to the entrance/door” because it was located next to the entrance of the ancient castle, or Castro doors. The neighborhood of Kastro, where it is situated, used to be the site of a medieval castle – in those days a castle was a strong fortification surrounding a settlement – constructed in 1207 by the Gisi family, who controlled the island at the time. The castle was destroyed in the 16th century and its remnants covered up by new buildings when Chora began to expand in the 18th century. It took around 200 years to build the church. Construction began in the 15th century and was not completed until the 17th century. Its architectural quirkiness makes it one of the most photographed places in the world.
the only Catholic church on the island was constructed in 1668 and renovated in 1677 by Bishop Leandros Cantharis. The icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus between Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena was transported to Mykonos from Venice in 1715. A fire on 1 May 1991 damaged part of the church. By October 1997 the church was restored and re-opened to the public.