Mykonos is a South Aegean island, part of the Cyclades island formation. Chora, located in the western side, is the glamorous capital of the island with the mills and the Little Venice as its trademark. Mykonos has a population of 10.134 inhabitants based on the 2011 census. The island spans an area of 86,125 square kilometers and has a coast line of 89 kilometers.
Mykonos, Delos, Rineia & several uninhabited islets form an island cluster. Mykonos has been inhabited since the 5th millennium BC (Neolithic settlement of Ftelia) and it is characterized by a long and rich history. Since the 50’s Mykonos has been a symbol of cosmopolitan and luxurious vacations and it is one of the most world-renowned Greek travel destinations.
At the very first sight visitors are impressed and captured by Chora’s (means the Town in Greek) stunning position and wonderful architecture. The Aegean sunlight, the austerity of the Cycladic landscape and the playful frolic between shades of white and cyan still enchant the visitors. Even though there has been a great tourism development in the area, Chora still maintains its Cycladic characteristics and its traditional features.
White, cubic settlements are shining under Apollo’s light, perfectly located in the numerous, whitewashed & cobbled alleys. A little further, the wind mills perched on the hill, stand still for centuries creating a fantastic scenery combined with the Greek Church belfries. At the port a colorful group of wooden sailing boats accentuate to this unique atmosphere of the island.
Hundreds of celebrities, members of the international jet set, artists, intellectuals, ship owners and politicians have all strolled through the alleys of Chora partying till the break of dawn or they have moored their yachts in the island’s bays with the exquisite crystal clear waters, experiencing unforgettable moments. The island’s visitors can have fun and dance at its beach bars and clubs, shop at its luxury stores and art venues and experience unforgettable moments by enjoying the unique sunlight of Mykonos that was praised by many poets. Its wonderful beaches, which are considered to be among the most beautiful ones of the Aegean, make the island stand out from the rest.
In Chora of Mykonos one can find exquisite hotels, branded stores, jewelry shops, galleries and some of the most well-known restaurants and bars in Greece. You can drink your coffee, ouzo & taste local specialties while watching visitors strolling around in the white alleys of the town. One can say that international fashion trends are firstly presented in Mykonos. Also in Chora one can find all kinds of information concerning bus schedules, travel agencies and generally all the means to help you visit every corner of the island and make your stay in Mykonos unforgettable.
Moreover nothing can compare to the emotions felt as one approaches the ruins of ancient Delos. This small island, scattered with antiquities, is bathed in the magnificent Aegean light. Delos is accredited worldwide as one of the most important and impressive archaeological sites of Greece. The entire island is an archaeological site and has been included on the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO since 1990. Although it is one of the smallest islands of the Aegean, it used to be the most famous and the most sacred one during the ancient (classical) times because, according to the legend, it was there that Apollo-Sun, god of the daylight, and Artemis-Moon, goddess of the nightlight, were born. So the light that has always been the most precious good for the Greeks was born in Delos.
Mykonos is located in the central Aegean Sea and belongs to the prefecture of Cyclades.
Its total surface is 26.370 acres, while the length of its shores reaches 81 kilometers.
The resident population of the island adds up in 9.320 people according to the census of 2001.
The island has a maximum length approximately 14 kilometers across and width of about 10 km.
The shores forms gulfs that penetrate deeply into the land.
The most important gulfs are the one of Panormou and of Ornou.
The two interesting ecosystems are coastal water habitats in the bay of Panormou, of Ftelia and northern of Panormou that fill periodically, forming in that way little lagoons.
In the seaside of Panormou, as well as in other places around the island of Myconos seals have been found. In the area of Panormou Bay the refuge of the Moroergou quarry is located (1050 acres).
Louza* of Mykonos
Louza of Mykonos is a very characteristic and delicious snack which competes in terms of preference, for those who have tried the Greek delicacies, with the –also famous– sausages of Mykonos.
This is a traditional type of cooked pork meat which is produced by homegrown veal and includes the whole of the fillet from the back of the animal with the bit of the fat that covers it. This dries up and is “broiled” by the north wind of the beginning of winter and the sun, prepared with a lot of salt, pepper and other spices (thribi). After it has well seasoned that way, louza can be preserved for as much time as we want in the freezer, so that it won’t lose its freshness after it has dried. It is served as a delicacy, cut in thin slices which take the colour of dark rosy red and leave all its tastiness and rich aroma to the mouth. This is the ‘delicatessen’ of Mykonian gastronomy.
The small louza, which is made from the other back muscle of the hog – “porterhouse” –, is even softer and is called “bouboulo”.
* Lonza, in the Italian South. In Cyprus, it is known as “lountza”.
Kopanisti of Mykonos
Kopanisti of Mykonos is a characteristic, very spicy cheese, which the tasters appreciate for its special peppery tastiness.
It excellently accompanies ouzo and any other strong Greek aperitif, on bread or –in the Mykonian way– on sop barley rusk, together with tomatoes or cucumber. It can also be mixed with butter or some other white cheese to produce a lighter taste, but then the mixture cannot be preserved.
Kopanisti is the result of a controlled and repeated fermentation which is done through the care of the traditional cheesemaker on a base of a homemade mixed cheese (from goat and sheep milk), which is easily preserved after maturing in an earthen or glass jar.
Its making is also known to other Cyclades islands, but it is far different than the kopanisti of Mykonos which is largely considered as a very strong and aromatic one.
The total resident population of the island according to the last national-wide census in 2011 adds up to 10.134. The population evolution of the island from 1971 to 2011 is described in the following:
- Regional Unity Mykonou:10.134
- Municipality of Mykonos:10.134
- Municipal Community of Ano Mera: 1.737
- Ano Mera: 1.459
- Ktapodia: 0
- Municipal Community of Mynonians:8.397
- Agios Ioannis Diakoftis:259
- Agios Stefanos:178
- Platis Gialos:833
- Faros Armenistis:109
Flora and Fauna
The general view of the Cyclades landscape and especially that of Myconos is mainly composed by the brushwood, the makkia and the bare rocks. Between the brushwoods various kinds of annual and bulboid plants find a shelter. The water habitats of Myconos present a ornithological interest and they are a part of the course of migrating species under extinction.
The maximum length of Myconos is approximately 14 kilometers and width 10. The coasts form gulfs that penetrate deeply into the land.The most important gulfs are those of the Panormou and of Ornou.
The Panormou Gulf and the hills in the south of it, divide Myconos in two areas, which present though common geological characteristics. The island is mainly hilly, while near the coasts there are no large flat surfaces.
The highest elevations in the island are Profitis Helias of Ano Mera (341 m.) and two neighboring tops, that of Bardies (372 m.) and Profitis Helias (386 m.) at the north of the town of Myconos.
The total size of the island is 26.370 acres, out of which the 3.950 are cultivating lands or lands that cultivation has stopped for a small period, the 10.250 acres are used as grazing areas, 500 acres are covered by water, 630.000 acres are seized by the settlements and the rest 5.350 acres are other areas mostly rocky.
The Marathia Dam
The Marathia Dam in Myconos was build in the northwestern side of the island, approximately 4 kilometers in a straight line from the town of Myconos, on the torrent Marathias about 500 meters from the sea.
The purpose of the dam is to exploit the surface flow in order to confront the need of water in both supply and irrigation due to the rising needs during summer.
The Ano Mera Dam
The dam can be found in the northeastern side of the island, approximately 10 kilometers in a straight line from the town of Myconos, on the torrent Maou Lagada about 600 m. from the sea. The aim of this work is to exploit the surface flow in order to confront the need of water in both supply and irrigation. The reservoir of the dam has a capacity of 1.000.000 m3.
The main winds in the area are north with a percentage that reaches 38.2%, followed by the northeast winds with a percentage of 16.3%.
The percentage of calm is small and reaches almost 11.3%. The intensity of the winds is medium and varies from 2 to 6 Beaufort. The scheme that follows presents the wind graph as it results for the period of 1989-1996.
The climatic conditions of the area of the South Cyclades and Mykonos in specific, is favorable for agricultural production. The free of frost period of the year, very important for many plants, is exceptionally large and it lasts from March the 1st till November the 15th, i.e. for 260 days per year. A limiting factor of the production and generally of the agricultural evolution of the island is the extended dry period with low annual average height of rain that ascends to 371,7 mm (for the period 1989-1996).