If you look in any dictionary or translation app for the actual meaning of the Greek word “Chora”, the answer will be “country”. Nevertheless, for the islanders across the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, Chora means an island’s capital.
While most “Choras” are built on top of hills —a long tradition that origins from the times when pirates were a permanent threat to the otherwise quite archipelagos’ gems — Mykonos is one of the few exceptions. Mykonos town, its beautiful, most picturesque capital, is located by the sea and climbs up the hill either through narrow streets or with the help of stairs and has two harbors: the old one, usually full of dozens colorful fishermen boats and the new one that, during the high season accommodates hundreds of tourists daily.
The first thing that catches the eye in Mykonos Town is the fascinating sight of the four windmills — the island’s trademark— that overlook the old harbor like proud guardian angels with their wings dancing to the wind. Once entering the small streets of the town, the whistling sound of the wind seems to be hushed behind the walls of the small, whitewashed houses with their blue, green or red shutters, that are built one next to the other, as if glued together. As for the super narrow streets and alleys, they form a true labyrinth, designed to confuse any “invader”!
Contemporary most welcome “invaders” are the many thousands of tourists who fly in every summer to see (and to be seen at) this fascinating corner of the Aegean archipelago, also known as one of the world’s top luxury destinations. Among them, many celebrities whom you can spot in the exquisite cafés, bars, and restaurants of Chora.
Celebrity or not, guests in Mykonos are always treated as kings, since the locals are experts in the art of hospitality! Either in Chora or in the outskirts, they run exquisite restaurants or small fish taverns, 5-star resorts or busy guesthouses, smart little shops, or fashionable boutiques with the knowhow of satisfying every wish of their guests and always with a friendly smile on their face.
Among the not-to-miss beauties of Chora are the renowned Panagia Paraportiani —probably the most photographed church of the Aegean—, the Little Venice neighborhood with its colorful houses perched over the sea, the Archeological and Maritime Museums and many other.
Last but not least, when at the waterfront don’t forget to greet one of the pet-pelicans strolling around the cafés and bars!