The architecture in Mykonos is mainly influenced by the Cyclades region. Known for having a Mediterranean climate, the island’s architecture were made to adapt with the intense and extended sun exposure, strong winds, high humidity levels, and long period without rain. Thus, the traditional Cycladic houses mostly have cubic shapes and flat roofs for protection from the strong winds of the Cycladic region. The northern sides of the houses all have small openings to eliminate humidity and thermal loads. Its stone walls help achieve cooling, while its white-washed walls reduce the absorption of heat from its walls.
If you are explore the alleys and streets in Mykonos, you will also notice how the number of houses are distributed according to the direction and exposure of the winds – and this isn’t coincidental at all! The houses’ different heights, ledges, interior yards, recesses, and the various types of semi-open spaces and entrances are not for mere aesthetics only.
Mykonos architecture possesses the typical characteristics of Cycladic architecture. Its houses stand like “a cluster of white grapes” with tiny strokes of color. These cube-like houses feature smooth asymmetrical shape on the corners of the structure.
Aside from the houses, Mykonos’ votive chapels also make up the island’s interesting architecture. Some of these chapels are even declared historical monuments. On the other hand, the wind mills, which once were a strong component of the island’s economic prosperity, have also become an important landmark of Mykonos.
The Paraportiani, which was also declared an important monument in the island, is also a distinctive architectural structure in Mykonos. Its name comes from its location – next to the small northwest gate called the ‘paraporti‘.
As you go and travel to Mykonos, you will learn that these structures are all better in sight than in words.