Mykonos is one of the most, if not the most, famous Cycladic Islands of the Aegean.
Lying in the heart of the Aegean Sea, yet very close to Athens, Mykonos offers a variety of activities aimed to satisfy your heart's every desire. The most vibrant part of the island is the Chora. Stroll through the winding alleys and discover why this Greek Island became the "Jet Set" destination of Europe.
The First Tourists
The first tourists set foot on Mykonos Island in the ‘20s. And those are only the occasional archaeologists and lovers of antiquity with Delos Island being their designated destination. Then, in 1925, the first masses of Greek and foreign holidaymakers are recorded, organized mainly by Athenian-Mykonians and their friends.
When the first lights go off, the party lights continue through the labyrinthine alleys with delirious youths, marking their way towards the golden generation of the ‘30s.
The Swinging '60s
Mykonos's celebrity status sets off with the swinging '60s, when the Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis, shows up on his yacht with the opera diva, Maria Callas, and later with “Jackie O”, while movie stars, such as Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren are part of the international jet-setters to grace its shores.
The tourist Babel of Mykonos is completed by the late '60s. All languages are then heard. The island calls back its migrated children. The Athenians now feel cosmopolitan, the foreigners are baffled, the hippies wear talismans and sandals and roll cigarettes on the sand. Locals and visitors now become one. They eat the same bread, share the same figs, and live under one roof. Mykonos, in the 60s-70s, becomes an island, full of artists, Jetsetters and bohemian types. Workers, entrepreneurs, artists, homosexuals, antique enthusiasts, the international glitterati; everyone is living their own paradise.
Rooms to Let
The “Rooms to Let” now have running water, major hotel investments are made; some converted and others newly erected. Ferry boats carry vehicles and machinery, which open up roads. And so begins the transformation of the island; with electricity, running water, and telephones; with restaurants and entertainment venues; with buses and taxis.
Everyone Who is Anyone
“Everyone who is anyone” is now coming to Mykonos; powerful political figures, wealthy magnates, artistic cosmos. New spots on the island are created, new people, new roads, yet, the same carefree and entertaining zest. They buy houses or build their own. The mansions in Chora and Ano Mera are revived. The houses of the locals open up, courtyards are whitewashed. Housewives clean up their small rooms and homes and rent them to vacationers from all over the world.
And then, Pierro’s, the island's first gay bar, opens in 1973, making Mykonos the international mecca of gay-friendly bars, drag shows and nudist beaches. It has been a symbol of the island’s extravagance ever since.
Pierro's is one of the most renowned gay bars in the world which hosts farfetched parties that continue until the wee hours of the morning throughout the summer. It is founded by Italian-American painter Pierro Aversa and Mykonian local fisherman Andreas Koutsoukos in the 1970s. A few years later, yachts from all over the world line up in the port and the jet set make their way to Pierro’s.
The bar soon becomes the trademark of the Mykonos’ lifestyle and crazy nightlife, closely competing to that of New York’s Studio 54. The dazzling crowds of blue-blooded heirs, Hollywood celebrities, fashion designers, gay moguls, six-packed playboys and gorgeous young starlets swarm in every night to catch the risqué drag shows, which make Pierro’s a temple of worship for the gay crowds and Mykonos one of the most famous gay resorts in the world.
In the mid-00s, Pierro’s closes for a few years but opens up again in 2010, as the Rock ‘n’ Roll. More positive energy and powerful music, crowds of all ages and sexual preferences are once again ready to party and have fun, dancing non-stop until dawn.
The party never seems to end in Mykonos!