he jewel of the Aegean, Mykonos (MEE-koh-nohs) is one of the island group called the Cyclades, so called because these islands form a circle (cyclo) around the sacred island of Delos. Rising out of the bluegreen waters of the Aegean Sea, there are thirty-nine islands in this group, twenty-four of them inhabited. These are probably the most famous Greek islands in the world, the ones people think of when they imagine Greece. Blue water meeting blue sky, whitewashed houses and churches, strong sunshine, snug harbors with fishing boats bobbing at anchor.
Mykonos was named after a Hero who was the grandson of Apollo. Myth has it that the island was formed from the fossilised bodies of giants defeated by Hercules. (Some say that it is the rock with which Poseidon slew the giants.) However it was actually formed, it is considered the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea– and it is also the the most fashionable and cosmopolitan of the group, although it still has all of its traditional values firmly in place.
Though it is small and rocky with a fairly arid landscape, with many lovely golden beaches, Mykonos has an international reputation as one of the best holiday spots in the world, and it is regularly visited by members of the international jet-set as well as cruise ships and, of course, timeshare owners. This is “the crossroads of the hip universe”, as one Web site claims. “Everybody goes there, from Keith Richards laying on his back floating in the sea with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, to your favorite TV or movie star and their entourage, moving from club to club in search of action. Famous politicians, designers, newscasters, basketball players and coaches, kings, queens and commoners all make Mykonos their first choice in holiday destination.”
The capital is Hora, but the largest and most visited town is also named Mykonos, with its colorful harbour and its famous line of windmills on a hill overlooking the town.
The first thing to strike you when you arrive on Mykonos is the architecture. The style is known as the Mykonos or Cycladic Cube and it it just that, a cube with rounded corners. By law, all construction must follow this pattern. Yet the variety of buildings created with these cubes is amazing, and individuality is created by the use of bright primary colors on doors, window frames and balcony railings. The town of Mykonos is spotlessly clean and dazzling white, a perfect backdrop for the colorful bougainvillea and geraniums cascading down the walls in paeans of gold, purple, rose and scarlet.
It is such a maze of narrow, curving streets and alleys that you never know where you will end up when you turn a corner (the streets were originally curved to confuse pirates). But along the way you will see things that may surprise you, from famous name-boutiques to expensive french restaurants, traditional churches, gold shops, tavernas, and stores selling items of folk art and other goods— even an internet cafe— that are all clustered in these narrow whitewashed alleyways. So close are the walls to you throughout town that often you will get the impression of actually being indoors even with that blue blue sky always overhead.
Mykonos at night is like a theatre. The curtain goes up, the lights go on, and the stage is set for the evening show. A large choice of restaurants from the most sophisticated to the simple await you, and there are many bars and night clubs to ensure that you don’t get home until the wee hours — unless you absolutely have to! People watching in Mykonos at night can be as exciting as joining in the revelry, because you never know who you’ll spot making merry at any given place.
There are always many tourists in Mykonos, but get up early enough in the morning and you’ll have the city almost to yourself. Take a walk a down to the old harbour, where perhaps the market will be open and the island mascot, Petro the Pelican, will be begging for breakfast. An old celebrity of the town”s waterfront, “Petro” has been the official mascot of Mykonos for many years. Found after a storm in 1954 the pelican gave up its migrating to become a local resident. After more than thirty years of making the island his home, Petro died in 1986. The loss of such a personality was so deeply felt by both Myconians and tourists alike that a replacement was soon found and a tradition established. Nowadays three new pelicans live around the main town of Mykonos. One of them is also named Petros.
This is an island with a lot of life and one of the places in the world that no one should miss visiting.
For those of you who are interested in history, archaelogy and such, you must not miss a trip to the sacred island of Delos, just 6 nautical miles offshore. In the myths this island was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Today the island is uninhabited: it is a vast archaeological site whose superb monuments draw thousands of visitors in pilgrimage to what was, for a thousand years or so after the ninth century BC, the political and religious center of the Aegean. It is magnificent and awe-inspiring, and you should really really see it.
Just a couple of miles outside of Mykonos town, situated on the protected Bay of Ornos, is a small fishing village that has managed to maintain its quiet pace. This is where you will find the pick of beaches on this little island, with gently sloping, golden sand – and a few tavernas that serve excellent Greek meals and vitally important cold beers. The village of Ornos lies in the inner most part of the bay just southwest of Mykonos town. Families and couples looking for a quiter Greek holiday tend to come here. Nightlife is fairly quiet and tends to center around a meal in a taverna or a few drinks in one of the local bars.
Nestling in a cove with its own private beach just outside this village is a timeshare resort that offers exclusivity and privacy without being so isolated that you will ever feel lonely. This is an Interval International-affiliated resort with two separate names: Club Delta at Club Mykonos II and Club Mykonos II. It is not a “5-Star” resort, but just a very local, comfortable, friendly and altogether lovely place where you can either relax or play just as hard as you want to.
Here you can chill out on the beach (it is the only resort on Mykonos with the beach at its doorstep), swim in the quiet waters of the bay, scuba and snorkel, enjoy many other watersports, meet new friends, have the pleasure of a cool drink at the bar or an excellent meal at the restaurant, or doze in the shade on your own balcony.
The 40 rooms and suites combine minimalism with typical Cycladic decor and have great views to the sea. The accommodation is simple and elegant with everything you need to make your holiday experience a comfortable one. Each unit is equipped with an air condition, TV, refrigerator, kitchenette and phone.
It offers all the facilities of a first class hotel including air-conditioning, satelitte TV and mini-bars. All the rooms have verandas or balconies. But most important, it offers clean, comfortable rooms with plenty of storage space.
In the evening you can have the pleasure of sipping an ouzo while watching the setting sun turn the sea to gold, and the night sky is so clear and the stars so bright and close that you will remember at last why the ancients were so in awe of them.
Within walking distance from the resort you can find grocery stores, restaurants, bars and car rentals. In the town of Mykonos you can choose your favorite style of night life and enjoy it to the fullest and then you can always return to serenity that the town of Ornos has to offer.
There may be fancier places to stay, more luxurious resorts to pamper you, but if you want a Greek experience, to be comfortable, surrounded with friendly generous people, and to just take some time off from the world, you cannot do better than Club Mykonos.
After all, lively Mykonos town is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Some Web sites you may want to visit for more information:
- http://www.clubmykonos.com/ –The Resort’s website
- http://www.greeka.com/cyclades/mykonos/ –A very complete site on Mykonos (and the Greek Islands in general)
- http://www.travel-to-mykonos.com/ –Very good, with lovely photos
- http://www.mykonostour.com/ –Another excellent website
- http://www.mykonosgreece.com/ –A lovely site, lots of info
- http://www.mykonos-web.com/ –A travel guide to Mykonos
- http://www.vacation-cyclades.com/ –A guide to the Cyclade Islands
"On the Road" is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of "On the Road" is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. 5-Star quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out--- enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
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