Mikonos is world-famous.
It is no coincidence that this, the most cosmopolitan
of all Greek Islands, attracts so many visitors
from all over the globe, including large numbers
of artists and intellevtuals.
Here, the steep mountains to be encountered in
most of the Cyclades give way to low, rocky hills
which combine with superb beaches to make up the
landscape of the island.
The capital, Hora,
with its colourful harbour in which little fishingboats
nestle happily side by side with luxury yachts,
presents quite a different picture from the majority
of Aegean island tonws. While it is usual for
island villages to be built on naturally amphitheatrical
sites, Mikonos is spread out over a flat area
and conveys an impression of solid aesthetic cohesion.
Along the whitewashed
streets stand brilliant white box-shaped houses
with stepped walls for sitting on, wooden doors
and windows and brightly-coloured balconies. These
are interspersed with small but impressive churces,
pretty little tavernas and shops selling souvenirs
and othe rgoods, and the overall sense is of being
inside a film set.
On the low Kastro
hill is the complex of churches know collectively
as Our Lady 'Paraportiani', a superb arrangement
of whitewashed masses created over the centuries
and now recognised as a national cultural monument.
Of particular historical
and aesthetic interest are the medieval houses
in this district of the town, which stand like
a wall above the sea protecting the west side
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