Mykonos Chora, the island's port town and capital, is still considered by
many as the Greek Saint-Tropez and it never fails to allure the crowds that
flood it every year, thanks to its unique character that locals have managed to
preserve almost intact to this day.
Around narrow, whitewashed streets there
are white cubicle houses clustered, with their tiny balconies, colored windows
and liliput yards lined by bougainvillea and pots of basilicum. Numerous little
churches and chapels, hidden minuscule piazzas and water wells, as well as the
multitude of colorful shops are there to further accent this chaotic picturesque
setting, where a simple stroll can turn into the most exhilarating
Perpendicular to the harbour is the main street, called
Matoyanni, and that, along with its neighboring or continuing streets, consists
the town's commercial core, full of shops, cafes and bars for every budget and
every taste. Walking down these settings is a must, but make sure you also
wander around the more quiet labyrinth of the little streets behind, where you
can feel the aura of times past.
The central harbor is another
multi-photographed attraction, with a lot of traffic going on along the
esplanade, lined with numerous cafes, bars and shops. At the western end of the
harbour stands one of Chora's landmarks, the Church of Paraportiani, a
whitewashed group of four chapels in vernacular architectural style.
Little Venice is a picturesque neighborhood at the southwest end of the
port and owes its name to the fact that many of the island's wealthy early
captains built their houses directly on the sea here. It is the town's most
idyllic spot, especially in the late afternoon, where one can enjoy a wonderful
sunset on one of the stylish bars overlooking the water.
On the high windswept hill that rises nearby you can see another of
the island's famous landmarks, the Mykonos windmills. If you wish to see the
authentic interior of such a windmill, dating to the 16th century, visit the
Mykonos Agricultural Museum, on the road connecting Chora and Platis Yalos (open
16:00-20.30, June to October).