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The tiny Cycladic island of Mykonos sprung to blossom as a tourist destination in the 60s and 70s, when it was first discovered by global glitterati and often featured in magazines as the new hot place to be for the "it" crowd. The island today has kept little of its past exclusivity (although celebrities do make appearances at some of its fashion boutiques every now and then), and welcomes diverse crowds every summer season. July and August are the busiest, with late spring and early fall allowing visitors to discover a quieter, more tranquil side to the island. During high season, avoid the narrow streets of Mykonos Town (also referred to as "Hora", or "Chora") during daytime to escape cruise ship crowds and venture out to one of the island's many beaches, or try scuba diving under careful supervision of professionals from the island's many dive centers. The island, along with its tiny neighbor of Delos, featured prominently in Greek mythology and was first settled in 11th century BC. Excursus into the past may be made via the island's several tiny museums and the well-maintained Archaeological Site of Delos.

The entire island of Mykonos is only 15 km at its widest point, which makes a thorough exploration of everything it has to offer a task not too daunting. Start off by strolling through Little Venice - the waterfront bar and restaurant strip of Mykonos Town, and make your way up into the maze of narrow streets dotted with shops and eateries. Take a photo against the backdrop of the island's iconic windmills, and make the most of its many splendid beaches. Diving opportunities abound for those willing to descend underwater.

The sheer number of eateries for an island as small as Mykonos is dazzling, with the majority of restaurants and tavernas concentrated in Mykonos Town and along the waterfront of Little Venice. Mykonian cuisine is defined by its pork and fried fish dishes (red mullet and skate are most common), octopus meze (small tapa-style plate), and the use of goat's milk and onions in cooking. The Greek "classics" (such as moussaka, for example) are readily available to order throughout.

The party never dies in Mykonos, where day-time beach entertainment often precedes the "classic" nightclubbing experience. Some of the loudest, rowdiest beach venues are to be found at Psarrou Beach (popular with Greeks), and the Paradise/Super Paradise Beaches. In Mykonos Town, pre-sunset pastimes are much more tame, with relaxing waterfront bars of Little Venice getting packed with patrons savoring slightly overpriced cocktails in the evenings. At night, the island's many clubs open their doors to those still ready to paint the town red.

Shopping in Mykonos is (perhaps, a bit surprisingly) a high-end affair, with multiple upscale boutiques selling all manner of items from brand-name clothing to jewelry to Swarowsky-encrusted shoes dotting the historic town. Art-lovers will surely enjoy the galleries and design stores displaying (and often selling) works by Greek artists. Local crafts to shop for include hand-woven items such as rugs, scarves and tablecloths. Not to be missed are Mykonian treats (almond cookies), organic produce and natural cosmetics.

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