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Island of Mykonos
 
     
The small, barren island of the Cyclades, which history has willed always to be overshadowed by sacred Delos, and the ancients have considered a synonym for "poverty", has developed in the '70s into one of the most popular travel destinations in the Mediterranean. Mykonos is visited by over a million tourists every year, many of whom are international VIPs. A great, cosmopolitan place, with great opportunities for night-life throughout the City's and the Port's picturesque alleyways, is probably still under the protection of the wine-god Dionysus...While this colorful river of people floods into the island every year, Mykonos is always charming, extra-white, blue and flooded with light; it is still the traditional island of the Cyclades, where one can enjoy the local spicy cheese, tasty kopanisti, and listen to the elder people of Mykonos speak their special idiom, wearing stubbornly their black seaman's cap.

 

 
     
 
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  In Greek mythology Delos was originally a...wandering island, freely roaming at the sea. Seamen chancing it called it Ortygia, while gods named it Asteria [=Starlet], because it gleaned in the sunshine. It is on this island that a confined and panting Leto arrived, persecuted by Hera (who was seething with anger, because Leto's expected child was also the child of that good-for nothing Zeus!). On this barren island, next to a palm tree, poor Leto was finally able to give birth, and so the sun-god Apollo saw the light of day for the first time. Thereupon, the island rooted in the depths of the sea, and so, as its position was now known and obvious (Gk. delos), it was given the name of Delos.  
     
 
 
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  One of the main reasons why Mykonos has become so popular is its splendid beaches. Its more cosmopolitan beaches are to be found at its southern part, which is protected from strong yearly winds. These are the world-renowned beaches of Psarou, of Platis Gialos, of Paranga, of Kalamopodi (Paradise), of Elia, of Agrari, of Super Paradise, of Omos, of Kalafatis, of Kapari, and of Al Yiannis. Equally beautiful beaches can also be found at the northern part of Chora, at Tourlos and at Houlakia, while even further up north one singles out the beaches of Ftelia, of Panormos, and of Aghios Sostis. Strange though it may sound for an island that is flooded with people every year, there are still some little bays with all-but-forgotten idyllic beaches, embellished by some desert chapel. These hidden gems of Mykonos are located at the northern and eastern part of the island, and can be almost always reached through dirt roads. Some of those 'altrnative' beaches are Mersini, Fokos, Merchias, the two beaches of Tigania, while to the south one can enjoy the sandy beaches of Frangia and Tsangari; moreover, sea-farers will no-doubt 'rediscover' the small sandy bays between the Armenisti and Limbounia Capes.
The landscape of Mykonos, with its granite rocks, its mercilless sunlight, its deep-blue sea, its pictureesque windmills and whitewashed houses is interspersed with a great many chapels. Cleanly whitewashed, with domes, or roof-tops, and with well-wrought bell-towers, they are to be seen at every turn of the City and the Port of Mykonos, as well as on every barren slope, or desert bay. Mykonos boasts over 350 chapels, some of which treasure rare monuments of ecclesiastic architecture and Byzantine art; such chapels are the Aghia Eleni of the Castle, the Panachrantos, the Aghia Kyriaki, the Panayla of Rakintzis, the St. Nicholas of Rachi, the Panayla Koumarou of Marathi, the Panayla of Kouzis, and the Aghia Hipakol in the Hora. In the city of Mykonos one can also visit one of the most beautiful churches in all of Cyclades, namely the famous Panayla Paraportiani (='Our Lady of the Gate-side', named after its position next to the castle's gate), a splendid building with arches and arcades - a true monument of Cycladic architecture.
 
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
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