It’s not hard to understand why anyone would feel a deep infatuation towards Mykonos the very moment they lay eyes on the beautiful Greek island. Natural allures, a sandy coastline featuring crystal-clear waters, charming isolated coves away from prying eyes, party-ready beach clubs, night-long fun, Cycladic charm, and all the glam and appeal one would expect from a cosmopolitan island are all gathered in a single place.
The sun-kissed Mediterranean island is gently embraced by the eternal blue of the Aegean Sea, while the cloudless sky makes it even more appealing for the thousands of visitors that come to Mykonos every summer. Combine all that with the explosive energy and the extravaganza of luxury and spoiling exuded from every inch of this popular destination and you get a dynamic and magnetic, almost hypnotising, mix.
Clearly, there is something in the air much different than in any other island (Greek or not), which instantly puts you in a vibrant, light-hearted, and joyous mood, wanting to eagerly live every moment to the extreme and celebrate life. Truth be told, Mykonos has a unique way to keep surprising you, even if you have visited it a hundred times or have read every single exclusive travel guide out there.
But, how did Mykonos jump from being poor, fishermen’s island into a party mecca and the golden destination for celebs and elites that parade around the cobbled streets of Mykonos Town in their thousand-pound sandals and Hermes Birkin handbags?
The Start of an Era
The first one swearing eternal love to the Queen of the Cyclades were the members of the Athenian elite class, including Aristotle Onassis, who would visit Mykonos with his millionaire besties and Maria Callas in the 1950s. Other prominent Greek ship owners followed, such as Niarchos and many other a-lists of the time, who were discovering small heaven just a few hours away from the mainland amidst the Mediterranean one by one. Imagine how spellbound they must have been when they came face to face with the pristine, untouched-by-human-presence shores of Mykonos and the heart-stopping sunsets!
The blue-blooded soon found out about this interesting elite destination that attracts the rich and famous and is royal enough for them to visit. So, Queen Frederique of Greece organised a cruise around the Cyclades with other royalties from all across Europe. Their stop at Mykonos island was a milestone moment in their lives (and Mykonos’ growing reputation as a celebrity island). The news about this recently discovered paradise spread like wildfire. And, that’s how a legend was born, more or less.
The list with the personalities from the international jet-set kept growing in the 1960s and included names like Jacqueline Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, Princess Soraya of Persia, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Valentino, Rita Hayworth, Marlon Brando, Richard Barton, Gianfranco Ferre, and so many more.
Then came the 1970s, which solidified Mykonos’ reputation as an elites’ homeland for staying loyal to its hospitality roots while embracing the gay community and nudism to its shores. Offering a cosy and discreet place to enjoy freedom at a time when things like being gay and favouring nudism were quite frowned upon, Mykonos soon became a synonym to open-mindedness.
Gay couples would fly from the corners of the earth to spend time on an island that wholeheartedly welcomed them. During that time, there was a shift in Mykonos’ energy as it started exuding strong party vibes and attracting trendsetters like bees to honey. Steadily, the island tripled the number of its luxury hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, offering all sorts of entertainment and, of course, endless parties till the early wee hours that soon became legendary. A sense of hedonism was swirling in the air, and nobody could deny it (or resist it). At the same time, the leisure industry skyrocketed worldwide, with Mykonos setting the trends and leading by example.
List of celebrities that have visited Mykonos once and have been declaring their deep pull to it ever since:
- Mick Jagger
- Alessandra Ambrosio
- Sharon Stone
- Mel Gibson
- Linda Evangelista
- Paris Hilton
- Mariah Carey
- Lindsay Lohan
- Jack Peter Shepherd
- Leonardo Di Caprio
- Gerard Butler
- Billy Zane
- Princess Talita von Furstenberg
- Ariana Grande
- Dwight Howard
- Bella Hadid
- Perrie Edwards
- The Kardashians
Guess we have to thank those French archaeologists that were called to work at Delos excavation site in the 1800s for making Mykonos known to the rest of the world. Exhausted every night after a tiring day on the excavation site, they would return to Mykonos to enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night. This is how they got introduced to the unparalleled beauties of the island, which left an indelible mark on them, way after they returned home.
Today, Mykonos is the land of glam, lux, VIP lifestyle, high-energy music, patios overlooking the shimmering Aegean Sea, mouth-watering cocktails, traditional Cycladic architecture, and experiences that could give an entirely new definition to the word “memorable”.