Being the most visited island of the Cyclades, Mykonos has introduced the unique Cycladic architecture to the world and made it famous. Mykonian architecture could be generally described as a mixture of Greek traditional and Venetian styles, with a cubic and minimal trend.
The factors that led to the final form of buildings in Mykonian architecture were the strong winds, the shortage of building materials, the hot sun and the rocky surface of the ground. The result was a small, cubic form, with tiny openings, painted in white. The back wall of the houses is always to the north, to protect the inside from the strong northern winds. The roof is flat and small gardens in front of the house offer space for the outdoor activities and host some beautiful flowers.
Traditional part of the island
Some centuries ago, castles were built all over the island, creating a very good defense system to protect the inhabitants from pirate attacks. You can still see the remains of these castles at Portes, Lino, Ano Mera and other places in Mykonos.
Although the small, cubic shaped buildings are found in both Chora and the rural areas of the island, there are some small differences on how they are developed.
Traditional country houses in Mykonos consist of small rooms put next to each other around a shaded patio. This patio usually has a well, a corral for the animals, a water tank and sometimes a wine press or a chapel.
Old town – history (how was built through decades)
The Old Town in Chora was built according to different needs. The small cubic houses were built one over the other and the streets were very narrow, allowing only two people to pass. This way, the houses were more protected against the pirate attacks and the inhabitants could defend their families and fortunes more effectively. Sometimes the houses were connected with corridors over the streets, creating the beautiful arches we see in Old Town.
A special neighborhood in Chora is Little Venice, inspired by the many Venetians that visited and lived on the island through the centuries. The houses are right next to the sea with their wooden balconies literally hanging over the water. Little Venice is maybe the most picturesque neighborhood in Mykonos and the perfect spot to watch an idyllic sunset. Most of its houses have been transformed to famous bars and restaurants and became a meeting point for international celebrities.
Evolution from traditional to minimal
The evolution of Mykonian architecture was driven by specific needs of the inhabitants. One of them was their protection from the special weather of the island: northern winds that blow almost every day and hot summer sun. The simple but clever solution for the winds was to build the house facing to the south. The white color reflects the sun light so the inside of the house remains cool.
Due to shortage of building materials on the island, the houses had to be small and minimal. The cubic shape is the most effective way to spare the so much needed materials. Poverty and inventiveness of the Mykonians created through the ages the unique architecture we admire today.
Villas with extraordinary architecture which mix traditional with modern
A new example of successful combination of old and modern characteristics are Mykonos Luxury Villas. Luxury accommodation had to respect the island’s architecture as well as the natural landscapes. But they also had to offer a lot of amenities, space and privacy to their guests.
It is a challenging task for an architect to build a Mykonos Villas, as his creativity is limited by the local factors and building laws but also by the high demand for luxury and sea views. The outcome is a fascinating mixture of tradition, elegance and modern way of living.
Today Mykonos Villas for sale and for rent can be found anywhere on the island. You will find villas with a classic style, a Mykonian style, a boho chic style. But they have one thing in common. They all blend traditional and modern elements together rather successfully. You can only choose the dominating style and let yourself get impressed by the way today’s architects can create small miracles for your holiday accommodation.