As Jason Dundas continues the arduous task of checking out the Greek Islands, he found that Mykonos has it all. It's the most cosmopolitan, popular and one of the smallest of the islands. It attracts around a million people every year who lap up the lifestyle and hectic nightlife. Some even go to enjoy its architecture.
Mykonos is quite barren with a rocky granite landscape rising to two mountain points. A string of sheltered beaches along the south coast make it a most desirable destination. It attracts the rich, famous and beautiful some take the 40-minute flight from Athens while others cruise in on their million-dollar floating palaces. It also attracts hungry paparazzi.
One permanent star of the island is Petros the Pelican. Mykonos has been his home since 1954 and he's the island's official mascot. You will spot him leisurely wandering through the narrow streets or at Alevkantra Harbour. Petros could be the world's most-photographed pelican.
Mykonos Town, also known as Chora, is the capital and hub of activity. Most traffic is banned from the waterfront and new building is confined to the outskirts, so the only way to explore is on foot. Rent a scooter if you want to explore further away.
Chora has international shopping Armani, Ralph Lauren, Dior and Donna Karan are some of the labels you might be surprised to see alongside jewellery, accessories, souvenirs and inexpensive casual clothing. There are also good restaurants, cafes, tavernas and jumping nightspots.
Apart from Petros the Pelican, Mykonos' 16 windmills are a trademark of the island. The snow-white spherical structures with pointed wooden roofs once took advantage of gusty winds that blow almost every day to grind agricultural products for transport.
They were built by the Venetians in the 16th century and used until the mid-20th century as an important source of income. The historical heritage of the windmills is very important and most have been restored as dwellings and one is a museum. Their silhouettes can be seen from many places on the island and sunset is the best time to visit.
There is plenty of accommodation on Mykonos. Petasos Beach Resort on a private peninsula is hard to beat. The luxurious, newly renovated hotel offers good value for money. It's 100m from Plat Yialos Beach but has two outdoor pools and an indoor Thalasso pool if you don't fancy crowded beaches. Some rooms have a pool of their own.
There are two restaurants and bars, spa, fitness, steam and sauna rooms and views galore.
Psarou Beach near the pretty town of Ornos is where Jason met up with Australian filmmaker Nick Giannopoulos. His hit film The Kings of Mykonos made him so popular on the island he was given a front-row seat on the beach for the whole summer season. That may not sound like a big deal but when you think that a second row costs around $30 a day, it means a lot. Other beaches are cheaper and some are free the more popular they are, the more expensive it is to enjoy them.
Ithaki Restaurant on Ornos Beach is known for its great food and location, but is so popular, get there early for a good spot. There are eating spots all over the island. Another popular eating place is Little Venice where buildings are on the sea's edge with balconies overhanging the water.
Related: untouched Greek islands
The Greek island of Mykonos.
Greece & Mediterranean Travel Centre has seven-day Highlights of Greece tours. They include two nights at Petasos Beach Hotel in Mykonos, stays in Athens and Santorini and all transfers. They start at $1099 per person twin share.
Emirates has flights to Athens.
- Melbourne and Perth $1830
- Adelaide $1883
- Sydney $1902
- Brisbane $1905
Sales, validity dates and conditions apply.
Connections to Mykonos are available.
Prices correct at August 19, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre
Suite 2, 644 Botany Road
Ph: (02) 9313 4633 or 1300 661 666
Fax: (02) 9313 4475
Petasos Beach Resort
Ph: +30 22890 23437
Fax: +30 22890 24101
Ph: +30 22890 024546
Visas: Australian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Greece.
Electricity: 220V at 50Hz. Two- and three-point plugs are used.
Time zone: GMT +3.
Currency: The euro.
International dialling code: +30.
Travellers should be "in date" for the standard Australia and New Zealand immunisation schedules. Depending on the time of year of travel and exact destination, other health precautions and preventions may be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au