MYKONOS - VILLAGES
Mykonos has two villages, Chora and Ano Mera. Chora is the most popular spot on the island and the center of all activities in summer. It stands out for its picturesque architecture. Ano Mera is, however, a small and quiet village that is not as visited as Chora.
Mykonos Town (Chora)
In contrast to other Cycladic capitals, the capital town (Chora) of the island is not built in the shape of an amphitheatre, but instead spreads out over a wide area. It is one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture and a spellbinding attraction for visitors with its narrow marble streets and whitewashed houses with colorful doors and window frames, bougainvillea trees in purple bloom, hidden churches and a lively waterfront with fleets of fishing boats casting colorful reflections in the azure waters.
It has whitewashed cubic houses with wooden colored doors, windows and balconies, narrow streets forming a labyrinth, beautiful churches, lovely chapels and purple bougainvilleas contrasting with the bright white of the buildings walls. The heart of the city is closed to traffic during most of the day, which makes the walk among the labyrinth streets particularly agreeable, especially during early morning when the city is calmer for most of the people are at the beaches or still sleeping after a long night of clubbing. The main town can be traveled all on foot and beware that it is simply not practical to enter the main part of town on scooters/cars because of the narrowness of the lanes. During evening hours the main roads into town are blocked off. The town is filled with numerous cafes, chic boutiques, souvenir shops and fine jewelry stores. Its colorful harbor, in which little fishing-boats nestle happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from the majority of Aegean island towns.
The town Chora begs to be explored. Walk around, go to the windmills, feed the pelicans Petros ('Rock') and Irini ('Peace'), have a drink in the little harbor and visit the Parapotiani church. And of course, go shopping. There are also five museums: an archaeological, a folk museum, a maritime, a cultural and a private one with old rooms and furniture.
Little Venice (Alefkantra)
One of the most scenic corners of the island is Alefkántra or 'Little Venice', an 18th century district, dominated by grand captains' mansions with colorful balconies and stylish windows. During pirate raids, very popular at the time, Little Venice was used for sailors to quickly load and unload goods onto the boats, and the narrow streets were made with a maze-logic in order to confuse the pirates that managed to set foot on the island! Its original name Alefkandra derives from its original use as a laundry and it was here that the women of Mykonos washed their clothes.
Little Venice is located on a peak of land, like a small peninsula. This peak of land consists of two-story Venetian houses of extremely bright colors, built very close one to another, with colored wooden porches and balconies, lining the seafront, almost falling into the sea with the waves coming to break under them.
With a very characteristic architecture, wooden balconies that hang over the waves, colorful walls and a very privileged view of the sun setting on the sea, Little Venice has inspired over the years countless romances and works of art, as no soul can resist the beauty of this scenery. Quite amazing are the sunset views from Little Venice. Its whitewashed edifices against the backdrop of the azure blue Aegean Sea is simply marvelous. Some of the old houses are now bars, tavernas and clubs, where visitors can enjoy the sunset, sipping on their favorite cocktail, and a few remain as private residences. Many trendy cafes and bars are located in Little Venice, which becomes a very noisy and lively area during night time.
The ethereal beauty of Little Venice is suchthat it has, and still is, a favorite haunt of highly acclaimed artistswho have made this charming neighborhood of Mykonos their home. In factmany an artist have portrayed the magnetic beauty of Little Venice intheir priceless artworks, etchings and paintings thereby promoting thereputation of this esteemed neighborhood of Mykonos to the outsideworld. There are plenty of entertainment options ranging from pulsatingdiscotheques to well-stocked bars where party animals are known to jivewell past midnight. Art galleries abound here and exhibitions ofrenowned artists are a regular feature.
The second traditional settlement of Mykonos is Ano Mera, situated around the historic monastery of Panayia Tourliani (a 16th century church with a brilliant carved wooden iconostasis). The church has a collection of valuable ecclesiastical vessels, vestments and embroideries. The courtyard contains an interesting bell-tower and a marble fountain.
To the north, in Fteliá, lies an important Neolithic settlement, and a 14th-13th century BC Mycenaean tomb. Located 5 miles east of Chora, it is the only inland settlement. Its famous for the monastery and the calm beaches that are found in a small distance. It is one of the oldest villages of Mykonos. It is a quiet village where locals continue their everyday life without being interrupted by a crowd of tourists.
Glastros is not actually a village, but a suburb of Mykonos Town. Located about 1 miles south of Mykonos Town, Glastros is very close to the airport. It has lots of summer houses and many hotels. Its location is very suitable because it is found on the way to the southern side of Mykonos Island, where all the popular beaches are, and also in a walking distance from Mykonos Town. Bus connection is very frequent.