Mykonos, Greece, The Pelican Island
By Luciano Travassos
The first time I visited Mykonos, I remember two pelicans wondering freely in the old fishing port, just where the tender dropped off guests. It was a odd and unexpected view, and it made me happy just to be there.
I know that one of pelicans, Petros, is famous, and all the locals are used to seeing him around. Petros is a quite big bird! Sometimes Petros walks along the little streets of the Old Town, just like the tourists.
As part of the Cyclades Island, Mykonos has an international atmosphere. The charming downtown, Chora, has a world-renowned nightlife and is known as the Greek Ibiza, with a gay-friendly reputation.
During the day, be sure to visit the area called Little Venice and the Windmills. Both are a 10-minute walk from the village center.
Walking Around Mykonos, Like Petros
Many cruise ships dock 15 minutes by bus to Mykonos. Check to see if your ship offers a shuttle bus service. Taxis are limited, and walking from the docks to the town is not a highlight. There’s no sidewalk and not much of a view.
If the weather is good, which it often is, it’s preferable to be anchored just outside the downtown, where you’ll tender and explore the pedestrian-only streets with shops, cafes and restaurants that can be crowded with tourists but are great for photos.
If you want to go to a beach, the best way is by taxi. Tip: It’s easier to find a cab just at the entrance of the downtown. Or you can rent your transportation. Cars, quad bikes and scooters are offered, and you can get a good deal for a day.
From the shuttle bus or tender landing, head south. Walking the town of Mykonos, you will be impressed by the architecture, characterized by quaint white painted houses along cobbled-stone streets.
The Panagia Paraportiani church complex has a unique asymmetrical shape, representing Mykonos architecture well. Although the streets forms a labyrinth, every place in town is just s step away from another.
While Mykonos is not famous for its museums, there is the Island of Delos if you are interested in Greek Culture.
Grabbing A Bite To Eat
There are many restaurants on the island. One of the most famous is Nikos Taverna, located just in the heart of town. I have a Greek friend who once told me: “If you want to eat good food in Greece follow the cats.” I am not a 100 percent sure if he is right, but every good restaurant I visited in Greece, including Mykonos, there was always at least one cat around. Coincidence? Maybe not.
The Little Venice area has some good restaurants with a view. Little Venice is also where the nightlife happens.
The windmills have been restored and overlook the downtown like guardians. You can walk from the port to the windmills in about 10 minutes if you don’t give in to temptation and stop for shopping or eating.
The windmills area is also accessible by car, and if you plan to go to the beach during your stay, there are a few rental car facilities near the windmills.
Getting To The Beaches
The most famous beach of Mykonos is Paradise Beach, located 4 miles southeast of the town. Paradise Beach is popular among the young crowd during the day — and during the night as well.
The beach has facilities, and you can rent chairs and umbrellas. Most of the time, the sea is tranquil, but the beach can be crowded during the summer.
Super Paradise is not as famous but can also be crowded. It’s a popular beach for the gay crowd. You can reach Super Paradise by water-taxi.
Eila Beach, located farther south, offers water-sports facilities, bars and restaurants. Elia has a more relaxing atmosphere than the other beaches mentioned, and nudists often come here to tan — everything.
Other beaches: Paraga, scenic and with good facilities; Agia Anna, within a walking distance from Paraga and more secluded; Psarrou, which attracts Greek celebrities; and Lia Mykonos, famous for snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Island Of Delos
According to mythology, the island of Delos is Apollo’s birthplace. To reach the island, you must take a boat from Mykonos, most cruise ships offer shore excursions to Delos.
The shore excursion is easier, but the boats used are not exclusive for the ship, so I recommend that you leave the ship as soon as possible to find a seat on the boat.
It’s 40 minutes by boat to Delos, and occasionally it can be a little rough depending on the weather. Be sure to take along a wind breaker, a hat, and of course, don’t forget your camera.
Once you are in Delos, be prepared to walk. Note that toilets are located only at the snacks bar where you will have some free time at the end of the tour.
The ruins here are impressive. The lion’s statues and the amphitheater are still in good condition, and the guides are extremely informative.
Combining The Best of Both
You could visit Delos in the morning and Mykonos in the afternoon — or perhaps go to a beach after lunch.
Whatever you decide to see and do in Mykonos, you will be impressed, I’m sure. And be sure to snap a photograph of Petros the Pelican. With any luck, he’ll be waiting for you.
Avid Cruiser Posts Featuring Mykonos:
- Crystal Cruises’ New Itineraries, An Early World Cruise Announcement & A Recap Of Our Cruise On Crystal Serenity – So Far
- Postcard From Greece: Magnificent Mykonos
- Avid Cruiser & Son Cruising Crystal Serenity, Fit For A Teen?
- Port Profiles: Mykonos, Greece