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See Mykonos before its peak season

Apollo landing

According to mythology, Mykonos was formed when Hercules fought and slew some troublesome giants and threw them into the sea, where their bodies petrifed to become the island. Today, however, it’s Mykonos’s cosmopolitan spirit that’s the stuff of legend. Now is an ideal time to experience its culture and charm before the peak season crowds arrive. Begin by exploring the capital of Hora, a maze of cobbled lanes and white-painted houses dotted with hidden chapels, museums and galleries. A particular highlight is Little Venice, with its bougainvilleadraped streets, grand mansions and cafés – great spots to sip wine and watch the sun set over the town and the famous windmills that overlook it. Beyond Hora, it’s possible to soak up the simpler pleasures of rural island life – whether trundling along backroads to remote villages and monasteries, or catching a caïque (a traditional fishing boat) to secluded beaches. From Mykonos, visitors can also sail to the sacred island of Delos. Once revered as a birthplace of gods, the Unesco-listed island was first a shrine and then a trading hub; today, its sprawling ruins – preserving ancient temples, sculptures and mosaics – form one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.

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