How Mykonos became the most cosmopolitan island in the Mediterranean?

Everybody knows Mykonos for its vibrant night scene and the cosmopolitan lifestyle. But, how did it all came into being? What has contributed to making Mykonos, a once barren and relatively insignificant island (from a touristy point of view), into a party mecca and VIPs’ most preferred summer destination? 

Let’s share some interesting facts about why Mykonos always has a unique way to cause super-intense emotions. You will either absolutely adore it or hate it. There are no in-between options! Here is how it all started!

Photo by nikos sgouros on Unsplash

Everything began in 1873…

Archaeologists of the French Archaeological School start excavations in Delos island, the birthplace of god Apollo and goddess Artemis, according to Greek mythology. Their long hours of work forced them to seek shelter and a bed to rest within the closest range possible. This is how they ended up in neighbouring Mykonos. Although somewhat ugly back then, Mykonos did manage to enchant these men! 

After World War II, the young Athenians had already discovered Mykonos and started visiting it in large crowds. Although there was barely any electricity, a local resident found a generator and took it to Mykonos Town, where it operated every evening from 7 pm to 9 pm! 

Some years later, in the 1950s, more and more rich and famous hear about Mykonos that had already created a cosmopolitan profile. Things skyrocketed for the Island of the Winds after Aristotle Onasis, Maria Kallas, Stavros Niarchos, and Tina drop anchor at the Mykonos crystalline waters in 1954 while King Paul and his wife Frederick organised a cruise to the Greek islands, Mykonos included, for the blue-blooded. As expected, Mykonos thrilled the royals who spread the news about the magical (almost primitive) dot in the Mediterranean to the international press. 

windmills-mykonos

Photo by Tamara Budai on Unsplash

Of course, you can imagine what happened to the island’s allure and popularity when a fisherman found a half-dead pelican ashore in 1955. The local community instantly jumped into the pelican’s rescue, turning Peter (that is how they named the resurrected pelican!) the Pelican the island mascot! 

By the 1960s, jet setters and VIPS had already found their earthy heaven in Mykonos. However, the island still resists mass tourism, and visitors are able to step foot on the island with boats as there are no boats and cruisers available. But, this difficulty in reaching the island heightened their desire to visit Mykonos! 

Mykonos Stairs

Photo by Courtney Mignot on Unsplash

Almost all the avant-garde of the time would choose Mykonos for their summer vacations, including famous artists and Hollywood stars, including Marlon Brando, Melina Merkouri, Grace Kelly, and Richard Burton, who become the best advocates and promoters of the vibrant Mykonos lifestyle. This is when Jackie Kennedy shows up as well while the owner of the Olympic Airways, Onasis, constructs the first airport on the island. 

Then came the prime ministers, princes, businesspeople, world-famous athletes, international stars, renowned artists, leading publishers, and elites like Madonna, Valentino, Barbara Streisand, Gianfranco Ferre, and more. History was made. And, Pierro’s Bar was the place that was meant to become legendary as it was the meeting point for homosexuals, drag queens, and heterosexuals, who all had a great time together during an era when homosexuality was considered a  “contagious disease”.

Mykonos House Chapel

You know the rest! Mykonos continues to spark the interest of celebs, A-lists, and important personalities of the modern world, one way or another! 

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