Meet Mykonos, the Ultimate International Jet Set Destination

Nowadays, it is indeed quite problematic to find people completely unaware of Mykonos’s global fame as the Greek paradise for party animals from all around the world. However, this was not always the case. Back in the day, few locals, let alone foreigners, knew about the existence of a tiny fishermen’s village on the forgotten island in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Then something happened, and the world’s rich and powerful started flooding into this piece of Mediterranean land in a never-ending torrent. Why has Mykonos become such a magnet for the international jet set? Let’s have a look at its history together.
The island was first discovered by curious tourists in the ‘20s. However, those were very specific types of travelers – mostly archaeologists and lovers of antiquity with Delos Island being their main destination. Then, in 1925, the first crowds of Greek and foreign holidaymakers start pouring onto the island in search of spending great time with their Athenian-Mykonian friends. This gives the official start to the golden era of never-dimming lights and loud laughs that was destined to grow into something even bigger in next decade.
Nevertheless, it was not until ‘60s that Mykonos became truly famous and received the celebrity status thanks primarily to Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping tycoon that starts showing up on his luxurious yacht with the opera diva Maria Callas and later with “Jackie O”. Meanwhile, the movie icons of the time also start paying attention to the destination, and Mykonos become a lucky host of such stars as Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren.
The tourist Babel of Mykonos is completed by the late ’60s. Now multiple languages are heard from all the corners of the island and Mykonian youth is coming back to hometown inspired by its unexpected renaissance. Locals now feel cosmopolitan, foreigners are baffled, and slowly but steadily they become one – eating the same food, watching the same sunsets, entertaining themselves at the same establishments. In 60s and 70s Mykonos becomes an island full of artists, jetsetters, and modern bohemia. Entrepreneurs, creative types, homosexuals, antiquity collectors, the international glitterati – everyone is living their own paradise.
The “Rooms to Let” now dispose of all the fruits of civilization – from running water to air conditioning – and major hotel investments are made. Vehicles and machinery arrive to the island on ferry boats. Thus begins the transformation of the island; with electricity, running water, and telephones restaurants and other venues now pop up like mushrooms, while the infrastructure is being developed rapidly to take advantage of the island’s newly discovered fame.
Everyone who is anyone now wants themselves a piece of Mykonos. Powerful political figures, wealthy magnates, moody artists discover the island’s alluring Mediterranean climate, gorgeous beaches, enviable carelessness, and entertaining zest. They buy houses or build their own, while the mansions in Chora and Ano Mera are revived. Locals start to realize the potential of their previously undesired and unused small rooms and quickly start renting them out to the vacationers from all over the world.
And then something very important happens. Pierro’s, the island’s first gay bar, opens its doors in 1973, making Mykonos the international mecca of lgbtq+ community, drag shows, and nudist beaches. It has been a symbol of the island’s open-mindedness and welcoming nature ever since.
Pierro’s is a world-renowned gay bar famous for hosting out-of-this-world parties with guests leaving the premises well past the sunrise throughout the summer. It was founded by an Italian American painter Pierro Aversa and a Mykonian local fisherman Andreas Koutsoukos in the 1970s. A few years later, yachts from all over the world started lining up in the port and the world’s rich and fabulous started paying attention once again.
The bar soon becomes the trademark of Mykonos’ lifestyle and crazy nightlife, closely competing with that of New York’s Studio 54. The shining Hollywood celebrities, fashion designers, gay jet set, breathtaking models, and gorgeous young heirs pour in every night to become a part of the local party scene, of Pierro’s temple of gay worship, making Mykonos one of the most famous gay resorts in the world.
In the mid-00s, Pierro’s closed for a few years but opened up again in 2010, as the Rock ‘n’ Roll. More delirious energy and trendy music, crowds of all ages and sexual preferences are once again ready to have fun, dancing non-stop until dawn and beyond. It seems that the party indeed never ends in Mykonos!