5 Minutes 1 City : Mykonos
The picture-perfect island of Mykonos, located within the South Aegean Sea, has been a bohemian nirvana since 1930s. Today the ‘island of the winds’ has around 300 days of sunshine and such a popular tourist trade that its inhabitant numbers swell to almost triple during the peak season. Its chameleon history, balanced location and hidden secrets make it the perfect location to experience the Mediterranean spirit it embodies. Since we are always #obsessedwithdesign, we wanted to take a look at its style and what makes it stand out for those of us who love to embrace the true artistry of life.
Conflicting Cultural Confidences
The evidence of Mykonos’ turbulent history is immediately evident in the assault of cultural aspects erected throughout the decades of uncertain rule and invasion. Each claimant to the island left their mark in buildings or themes that have remained at the heart of its unique landscape. From the Ottoman inspired Kalderimas (narrow cobbled streets) to the alluring Little Venice, the island has absorbed the influence of those who fought over it and sculpted an environment that remains at the top of every travel bucket list. Little Venice itself is one of the islands must-see spots. Crafted, unsurprisingly, courtesy of the Venetians, it picturesque vista with water view balconies and direct sea access remains the stuff of legends involving crafty pirates, secret trades and buried treasure. Don’t miss out on sunset drinks at Katerina’s Bar and Restaurant – book early for one of their three outside tables and enjoy a view that includes the other infamous Venetian contribution, the iconic windmills dating back to the 16th Century.
Following In Fabulous Footsteps
There can be no greater stamp of design approval than the tourist checklist of Mykonos. Everyone from famous artists to celebrities and royalty have dipped their toes in its sandy beaches, including a prestigious list of discerning visitors during the 1950s who were drawn by the unique architecture, vibrant culture and unquestioning beauty. Today’s guests will be following the example of artful fashion leaders such as Jackie O, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor whilst also walking the streets first traversed by cultural icons such as couture designer Pierre Cardin and the irreplaceable choreographer Nureyev. For design junkies, this crowd speaks volumes about the wonders Mykonos has to offer.
Abundant Symmetrical Architecture
Mykonos is, quite literally, a whitewash of traditional Cycladic architecture and minimal geometric lines; just one of the reasons why it remains a haven for design lovers and instagram obsessives. The distinctive style with its cubic scheme, intense colours and smooth asymmetrical shapes evokes a harmony of balance across the island and is a testament to the artistry of the self-taught builders who constructed it piece by piece over time. The almost therapeutic nature is best viewed by visitors at the stunning San Giorgio boutique hotel. Designed to accentuate the Grecian paradise in which it dwells, the San Giorgio pairs crisp, white architecture with breath-taking views of the deep, blue Aegean and successfully contrasts traditional cultural touches with modern-day luxury.
Seductive Seaside Sustenance
It is hardly surprising that an island that historically enjoyed success as sailors and merchants would be so influenced by its watery surroundings as regards its edible culture, but Mykonos continues to be lauded for its fresh fare and unique menus that not only pay homage to Greek tastes but have also embraced the opportunity for international influence. The resulting evolution offers guests a wide variety of choices for each meal in the day and a chance to experiment with unforgettable local flavours and daring food fusions. It has long been surmised that the Greek’s have a hidden secret to long-lasting energy and even old age, so ardent art seekers may not only find themselves satisfied by a beautiful plate but also a brief taste of the possible elixir of life. For an authentically splendid experience, follow your nose to Kikis Tavern on Agios Sostis Beach; it might be lacking in electricity, but this is a barbeque you will never forget.
Whichever way you look at it, from the food to the culture, the architecture to the landscapes, Mykonos is a trip worth making, particularly for those who know the value of simple beauty and share a love of wonderful design, whether man-made or crafted by mother nature herself. The island might be steeped in history and legend, perhaps it was even build on the bones of the Olympus Gods, but for us, it is a Mediterranean marvel and a destination not to be missed.
- Danielle Baileigh