Mykonos is not just a wonderful Greek island which forms part of the Cyclades, which are the islands local to Delos. Many holiday goers look for beaches, boat rides, bars and the Mykonos nightlife. However it also offers memorable sights such as beautiful white windmills and a quaint Little Venice.
How to get to Little Venice and the White Windmills in Mykonos
On our recent trip to the Greek island we followed the advice of a local and took the bus from our base at Platis Gialos to Mykonos Town. The fare was only €1.60 one way so it was an affordable way to get around. It was a short bus ride of around 10 minutes.
The bus terminal, or should I say parking area was only a short walk (about 5 minutes) away from the windmills and Little Venice.
As we arrived in the Mykonos Town bus terminal we immediately identified what we’d been told. Mykonos Town was a beautiful blend of white, narrow streets. With the rare exception all the streets were pedestrianised with no vehicles allowed. With all these narrow, white streets Mykonos reminded us of the beautiful Lindos town which we’d visited 4 years before in Rhodes.
Many people travel around Mykonos on bikes, scooters or quad bikes (ATVs) so these were parked up along the streets before the pedestrianised area.
The White Windmills of Mykonos Town in Greece
We’d noticed a single windmill on the bus ride in but it was barely a taster for what we were to discover.
Five wonderfully aligned, fairly low height, bright white windmills stood in a line leading to the sea. There are in fact 16 windmills in total on the island, of which 7 are positioned in Chora (name often used for Mykonos Town, “Chora” in Greek literally means “Country” but is effectively meaning “Town”). You can also find some at Ano Mera.
These bright, snow white coloured structures are located by the Alefkandra harbour and close to the quarter of Niohori. They are a beautiful, picturesque landmark so it is little wonder many other tourists had come for the same reason as us since it was a clear photo opportunity.
The sails were bare so the mills were not operational. The windmills stopped being operational in the mid-20th century. However their striking beauty and acting as a wonderful backdrop provided the perfect photo opportunity. It felt like the striking view was a compliment to the beauty of the rest of the island.
Thankfully the wind was not too strong on the evening of our visit. These 5 windmills are north facing since that is where they used to get the most benefit from the wind on the island.
Mykonos used to be part of a vibrant sea trade route on the way to Asia and these mills were set up by the Venetians from the 16th century who were active on the route. They were used to mill wheat and may be known locally as “Kato Mili”.
Whilst they are no longer being used many of the windmills on Mykonos are now homes, although Bonis Windmill at the harbour is now a museum.
This part of Mykonos town was also a tourist attraction for another reason, Little Venice!
Little Venice in Mykonos
This is a collection of buildings, primarily bars and restaurants built at the water’s edge, looking similar to Venice in Italy, hence the name.
The Venetian connection can be traced back to the roots of Mykonos. Whilst Greece and Mykonos can be connected with the Roman Empire, the island was under direct rule of the Venetians from 1390. The final Venetians left the area in 1718 once it was conquered by the Ottomans.
Little Venice (Alefkandra) is a collection of two and three storey medieval houses built right on the waterfront at the most westerly point of Chora.
Bright colours on wooden balconies decorate these former fishing houses and once the preserve of rich sea merchants and captains. Now many are converted into bars, cafés and even galleries. In fact the area is famous as a base and the subject for many artists over the years.
It is claimed to be the most romantic spots in Mykonos and like the windmills is a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Our accommodation host advised us that it was popular to sit at one of the cocktail bars and watch the sunset. Typically prices are €12 a cocktail (in 2014) but I suppose you have a unique experience.
We decided to give it a try since it seemed such a romantic idea. At first we sat at the wrong spot and were advised that the particular table we were at was only for people ordering a meal. We quickly moved on a few tables and pitched up outside a cocktail bar.
My bride ordered a pina colada (yes it was €12) and since I’m not into cocktails I stayed with a more reasonably priced local beer.
As we sat we noticed the walkway in front of us was particularly narrow.
People squeezed past each other as they tried to walk by. There was no protective wall between the path and the water (which thankfully was shallow).
We then noticed an Australian dressed as a clown whilst wearing stilts. I felt he was very brave to walk along such a narrow and crowded path but he seemed to know what he was doing.
We enjoyed our drinks as we tried to sneak peeks of the sun setting through the passing people on the walkway. It was actually turning into quite a stunning, golden sunset but it never quite fulfilled its promise. Clouds seemed to bar our vision of the sun for the last 5 minutes of the sunset. Even still it was a wonderful setting to savour the moment.
With darkness upon us we began to wander the narrow, bright white streets of Mykonos town.
There’s little doubt that Little Venice and the white windmills of Mykonos are beautiful tourist attractions.