Depending on the season, the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos can be an island of partygoers, of sophisticated travelers, of students, and yet very much an island of “Greece for the Greeks”. What you experience depends largely on when you go. The most remarkable thing about Mykonos island is that through all the transformations and responses to changing fashions, it has somehow managed to hold on to much of its charm and self-respect. Mykonos remains active year-round, and in winter hosts numerous cultural events, including a small film festival. Many find a different, tranquil island of Mykonos during this off-season, drawn by the long established reputation of Hora (town center) as one of the most beautiful Hora’s in the Cyclades.
In the wealth of ancient Greek mythology there are two references to Mykonos. The first tells us that the island took its name from the hero Mykonos and the other is that it was on Mykonos that Hercules slew the Giants and that the large rocks which lie scattered about the island are their petrified corpses in antiquity. The greatest growth of this island was noted in the historical years during which there were two important cities, Mykonos and Panormos.
During the period between World War I and World War II, tourism made its first appearance. From the mid-50s on the island has been gradually transformed into an important tourist, cosmopolitan and artistic centre. The Venetians conquered Mykonos in 1207 and by Turks in 1537 Mykono’s fleet energetically took part in the 1821 Revolution in which the figure of Manto Mavrogenous stood out. In October 1822, the Turks undertook a landing on the island, but the Mykonians, under their heroic woman leader Manto Mavroyenous, successfully repulsed it.
After liberation in 1830, Mykonos managed to re-establish its commercial fleet but the coming dominance of the steamship resulted in the gradual constriction of their shipping activities by the end of the 18th century.