Monday, June 20, 2011

The Greek Island of Mykonos: A Traveler's Delight

The Greek island of Mykonos is a picturesque Cycladic island and one of the most popular international tourist destinations.

Windy Mykonos is located in the Cycladic complex of islands and is perhaps one of the most enchanting islands in the Aegean, and the world.

Mykonos became popular in the late fifties and early sixties as an overnight stopover when heading and returning from the sacred island of Delos. Delos means, “that which is shown” in contrast with Adelos which means, “that which is hidden”.

The name Delos refers the fact that almighty Zeus, after indulging in an illicit affair with Leto and impregnating Leto (Zeus, the father of gods and men was frequently unfaithful to his wife the goddess Hera), lead Leto to this newly created island in order to ensure that Leto avoided the wrath of Zeus’ wife Hera.

Mykonos, a Stopover to Delos

In Delos, Leto gave birth to twins, the mighty god Apollo and the chaste Artemis, goddess of the hunt.

Delos, the birthplace of the god Apollo, was and still remains one of the favorite tourist destinations since it is an island rich in archeological heritage with numerous shrines, statues and structures in honor of the god of light and the fine arts.

Due to the fact that Delos is a shrine, and has no basic life sustainability mechanisms and infrastructure (such as water), and also because as a shrine it forbids overnight staying as well as any lascivious activity, Mykonos became the obvious stopover choice, due to its proximity to Delos.

Eventually, Mykonos because of its awesome beaches and beautiful Cycladic setting became popular amongst affluent foreign tourists, and lead to the migration of a number of such tourists to the island, eventually setting up numerous local businesses catering chiefly to rich foreigners.

With the foreigners came the latest trends, the jetsetters and more affluence with its advantages and peculiarities, and Mykonos was eventually transformed into an international destination for the rich, the influential, the trendy, the jetsetters and the fashion moguls.

The Number One Tourist Destination

Mykonos is the favorite destination of many tourists, and is considered the number one European tourist attraction. The island boasted in 2010 over one million unique visitors indicating that the world financial crisis may have had devastating effects on the working class, but has had a minimal effect on the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Mykonos has a well established and maintained international airport catering to local traffic as well as chartered routes and is also accessible within six hours from the Attica port of Rafina which is located close to Athens. The common ferry route to Mykonos includes the islands of Andros and Naxos.

Mykonos has traditionally been the theme island of numerous Hollywood films including The Bourne Identity. Mykonos is featured in the final scenes of The Bourne identity along with Paros.

The Bourne Identity

The mentioned footage occurs when Bourne finally meets his beloved Marie (who according to the original book is a graduate of McGill University) in Marie’s restaurant. The restaurant scene is the port of the island of Paros famous for its fresh fish including a peculiar type of fish called Gouna.

The film ends with the theme song (Moby – Extreme Ways) as a background to a quickly departing helicopter scene from a windy Aegean island where the waves come crushing into the beach rocks below a ridge supporting a number of windmills.

The Aegean island is Mykonos and the windmills as well as the wind and breezy ocean spray is a characteristic of Cycladic islands in general, and Mykonos in particular.

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