Mykonos Windmills : How to Visit & History of the iconic Greek landmarks
The Mykonos Windmills are a defining landmark of this precious Greek island. Countless postcards and photos of Mykonos are immediately recognizable by the iconic windmills on the hill.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Mykonos not once, but twice! If you visit Mykonos I’m sure the windmills will be on top your must see list and for good reason! In this post I will explain how to visit these landmarks, give a brief history, photo ideas and where to stay nearby.
About Mykonos Greece
According to mythology and Visit Greece, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. And did you know that the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”?
Mykonos is part of the Cyclades and lies 100 miles north of the famous honeymoon island, Santorini. It has much more of a reputation as a young, party island than Santorini but, that doesn’t mean that Mykonos isn’t without a diverse group of almost 200,000 visitors each year.
Mykonos is known for being quite a windy island, hence windmills being an essential part of it’s livelihood throughout history.
The Mykonos “Vibe”
The vibe in Mykonos is laid back bohemian and their style and class contests greatly to that. To me, Mykonos just feels luxurious. It helps that the quality of food on the island is incredible, the people present themselves beautifully and almost every hotel, cafe and restaurant exudes beach chic. In my experience, even the 3 euro gyros tasted insanely fresh and of a certain caliber. Mykonos is simply, the best place to spoil yourself.
Where to view Mykonos’s Landmarks
The windmills can be found in a couple areas in Mykonos. However, one half of them are in Little Venice and are the more popular ones to visit. Many of the ones remaining have actually been renovated into residences and therefore can not be visited.
In terms of “seeing” the structures, there are other vantage points on the island to do so.
One set of windmills is facing out towards the Harbor of Alefkandrain near Little Venice. You can actually see them in the distance while you dine on the Little Venice seafront!
These windmills near Mykonos Town (Chora) are called the Kato Miloi. These five are probably the most popular ones to visit due to it’s proximity to town as well as their front row seat to the sun setting over the Aegean Sea. Parking is conveniently located next to Little Venice in case you are driving from somewhere else on the island.
Another frequently visited windmill is the Bonis Windmill which stands alone on a hilltop and is open as a museum through out the summer season. The trek up from the Old Port to Bonis Windmill is quite enjoyable and ends with a lovely view.
Lastly there is the Geronymos Mill, the oldest in Mykonos still standing.
Best Mykonos Viewpoint
If you want to see another stunning viewpoint in Mykonos where you not only see the windmills, but the entire town of Mykonos, put “Stelios View” into your GPS or Google Maps. This will get you going in the right direction.
Once you reach the top you’ll have a view of the bay and the windmills on the other side of the port. You might want to note that the 180 sunset bar is close to this viewpoint location which you can go to instead if you’d prefer a similar scene but food or drinks!
Travel and photography tips for visiting the landmarks of Mykonos
Even at sunrise there were people “milling” about to get their windmill photos. Since the structures were so close to where I was staying in Little Venice, I decided to take some photos at both sunrise and sunset. Although, sunrise is definitely less busy than sunset each has it’s own unique colors and conveniences.
Vary Your Angles
Since chances are, you will face crowds whenever you visit the windmills, try varying your angles. I got a cool solo photo by walking to the back of one of the windmills while most people stood in front of them. Wander around the site to scope out your best photo ideas.
Visit in Shoulder Season
As always, visiting somewhere in the off or shoulder season will greatly reduce the crowds. These photos were all taken on my trip there in October and luckily the weather on Greek islands was still mild.
History of the iconic Greek Landmarks
The windmills itself seem to be a sign of the history and the times even though they no longer perform their original duties. As you may have guessed, the original use of the windmills was to mill wheat, but this stopped in the 20th century. The Venetians who built them intended to take advantage of the windy island and us it as a source of energy from the 16th century.
Five of the 16 Mykonos Windmills are positioned on the landmark hill by Little Venice and Harbor of Alefkandrain and all have the same circular structure with a pointy thatched top.
Little Venice in Mykonos
Little Venice or Alefkantra was named for it’s resemblance to the Italian city and is one of the most picturesque locations in Greece. It was settled in the 18th century by rich merchants and captains which reflect in it’s atmosphere today. The houses hang over the water so gracefully and is another example of the class and elegance of Mykonos. You feel the romance as you sit in one of it’s cafes, feel the sun on your face and maybe even get a splash of the sea! Little Venice is a known location for socializing, living the Mediterranean lifestyle, and of course, enjoying the unforgettable sunsets.
Where to Stay
Mykonos is only 40 square miles so anywhere you stay won’t be too far away. However, if you stay in Little Venice, it’s just a few meters to the site, but really anywhere in the main town will do.
The accommodation options throughout the island mainly consist of Airbnbs or serviced apartments with a beach chic feel. There are a select few larger hotels if that’s what you prefer. Little Venice is where most of the bars are so it can be a little loud. If you prefer a quieter stay, I suggest opting for accommodation more on the outskirts, or closest to the windmills.
If you want to be as close to the windmills as possible have a look at Mykonos windmill villa, Villa Aria by the Pearl’s collection, Silvernoses Little Venice and Marietta’s. I stayed at Silvernoses for two nights which ideally had a kitchen and a small sun deck on the top floor.
If you want to stay in a windmill hotel check out Mykonos Gold Real Estate.
Looking for more photos spots in Mykonos? Check out my guide to photo spots in Mykonos and Santorini!