One of the most popular of Greece’s Cyclades islands, Mykonos has a reputation as a luxury escape for those seeking beach-by-day, party-by-night vacations. But scratch the glitzy surface of this Greek isle and you’ll find a rich array of historical sights. See below for some of the must-see historical sights in Mykonos.
Ancient Delos is not actually on the island of Mykonos, but rather on its uninhabited sister isle of Delos just a 30-minute boat ride away. In ancient times, it served as the religious center of the Aegean, and according to Greek mythology, was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Now an archaeological site, the island is scattered with ruins of temples, markets, amphitheaters, and other structures.
Mykonos Town, known by locals as Chora, is a whitewashed tangle of pedestrian lanes lined with historical houses, tavernas, and churches. Among the standout sights is the oft-photographed church of Panagia Paraportiani, near the Old Port and the charming Little Venice neighborhood. The oldest parts of the church date back to the late 14th century.
This tiny inland village is Mykonos’ second-most populated town. In addition to traditional whitewashed buildings and a handful of tavernas, it’s also home to the 16th-century Panagia Tourliani monastery. The abbey features a vast baroque altar screen and a small museum exhibiting carvings and liturgical garments.
This series of sun-bleached windmills, known as the Windmills of Kato Milli, stand just south of Mykonos Town’s Old Port, facing out to the Aegean Sea. They were built in the 16th century by the Venetians to harness the power of the strong sea winds and are topped with cone-shaped straw roofs.