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Cruising Article – 2011-06-30

Relax on the sun-kissed beaches of Mykonos

European cruise destinations

Famous for its azure waters and whitewashed buildings, the Greek island of Mykonos has been a major tourist destination for decades. Whether you're interested in soaking up the scenery or exploring its rich cultural heritage, you won't want to miss a trip to this stunning destination during a Mediterranean cruise.

Despite being a hub for modern cosmopolitan travelers, Mykonos has a history that stretches back thousands of years. When you visit the archaeological site at Delos, you will begin to understand the island's role in ancient Greek mythology. This spot is fabled to be the birthplace of Apollo, the god of light, and his twin sister Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Here, you can see marble ruins, sacred temples, hidden sanctuaries and more.

A pair of other attractions shed light on Mykonos' more modern religious traditions. The most famous church on the island is Paraportiani, which derives its name from the fact that it is located outside the city walls. This soaring structure is considered to be a prime example of Cycladic architecture, making it a major draw for people enamored with the white and blue hues of the Greek isles. Meanwhile, the Panagia Tourliani Monastery, which dates back to 1542, is famed for its unique architecture, white walls, hand-carved altar screens and museum of holy icons.

Mykonos is a great destination for more than its religious heritage, however, as it provides opportunities for fun to travelers of all varieties. In the town of Hora, you can discover something new around every corner as you amble down narrow, winding streets and marvel at the blue-domed buildings. In Little Venice, you can take in amazing views of the Aegean Sea as you check out Mykonos' iconic windmills overlooking the water.

Considering its status as a major hub of island trade, it should come as no surprise that Mykonos is home to the Aegean Maritime Museum. This attraction, which is housed in a traditional 19th-century building, will teach you about the fleet of merchant ships that once plied the waters of the nearby cerulean sea.

The perfect way to cap off your time in Mykonos is to lie out on one of the island's beaches. These golden stretches of sand are inextricably linked with the image of this destination, and you'll love sitting in the sun or splashing in the surf while surrounded by amazing views.