Interesting Facts about Mykonos

Before dipping your toes in the Mykonos allure, make sure you read these fun facts about the celebrated island!

Mykonos is a Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea, particularly famous for its summer party vibe and extravagant lifestyle. It covers an area of around 105km and lies between the islands of Naxos, Paros, Syros, and Tinos.

There are slightly over 10,000 permanent residents on the island (2011 census). However, during the summer months, you may see just as many visitors on cruise ships docking at the port in a day. Overall, more than two million tourists decide to get a taste of Mykonos every year.
Mykonos’ nickname is The Island of the Winds due to the strong Meltemi winds that blow often but it may also be referred to as the Queen of the Cyclades.

The majority of the population lives in the Chora or Mykonos Town, the largest town of the island, which is also considered the island capital.
Despite its small area, there are more than 600 churches and small chapels at Mykonos, most of them dating back to the Byzantine times. It is estimated that there is one church per local family! Mykonos Town alone hosts 60 of them, with Panagia Paraportiani being the most famous and most photographed one. The iconic landmark is located in the Kastro neighbourhood and was built in 1475 (was eventually completed in the 17th century, though).

According to Greek mythology, the island got its name from Mykonos, its first ruler, who, many believe, was a descendant of the Greek God of Light and Music, Apollo. It is also said that Mykonos hosted the legendary fight between the Titans and the highest of the gods of Olympus, Zeus. When the father of all gods defeated the Titans, he imprisoned them under the island’s rocky terrain in a region called Houlakia or Choulakia, where they (allegedly) still remain.

The 19-metre-tall Armenistis Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful sights in Mykonos. It dates back to 1891 (some people say, 1894) and is home to pristine views and seascapes. Armenistis Lighthouse occupies a space in the Fanari region, 7km from Mykonos Town and its focal height exceeds 180 meters.
Little Venice is one of the most romantic and idyllic spots in Mykonos. Its original name is Alefkandra but slipped into a more touristy version due to the resemblance the local authorities believed this place has with the Italian city of Venice. With Venetian influences evident all around – Mykonos was under Venetian ruling from the 14th century and until the 18th century – Little Venice impresses with the colourful houses whose balconies literally hang above the sea (once residences of sea captains and wealthy merchants). Besides the gorgeous sunset views, this quaint neighbourhood also offers a plethora of entertainment options, from cafes and bistros to bars, tavernas, and restaurants. It should also be noted that during the 1950s and 1960s, Little Venice used to host a school where fishing was part of the curriculum!
Mykonos was once a popular pirate hub. In the 1900s, when pirates used to own the seas the way we all know, Mykonos was the place where pirates would gather, sing, drink, and had fun until they dropped.

According to strict colour code, the windows and doors in Mykonos should be painted blue, green, or red as a means to maintain the authenticity of the island – sailors back in the day used blue to paint their windows and doors, farmers painted them green, and red was used from everyone else. The walls are usually whitewashed, which makes a beautiful contrast with the colourful doors and windows.

Mykonos-owned Delos island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. In the Hellenistic years (during the Peloponnese war to be precise), though, the Athenians decided to purify Delos. No woman was allowed to have children and no person could be buried or have their funeral there.