Last Updated on September 15, 2023
A trademark of Mykonos: the windmills are an iconic part of the island’s landscape.
On an island where the breeze never stops blowing, it makes perfect sense why locals have chosen to harness the power of the very strong winds.
(So as the name of the island would suggest, please forgive all photos with our hair blowing in every direction since the wind literally never stopped.)
The Northern winds, also known as “meltemia,” blow constantly in all the Cyclades.
The windmills were used for crushing agricultural yields. In total, the island had 16 windmills in operation.
HOW THE WINDMILLS LOOKED
Traditionally, windmills from the Cycladic islands tend to be a three-story building, circular in shape, and made of stone. Many have a small window and pointed roof made from wood. The top of the windmill traditionally has 12 wooden fan blades.
Each would possess a triangular shaped fabric usually made from the same cotton canvas that is used on sailboats.
HOW THE WINDMILLS WORKED
Greek Reporter explains that as the wind would blow, the windmill would catch the wind and turn the central axis inside the building, forcing grindstones stored inside into a rotational movement.
This mechanism used to happen on the top floor while the flour was gathered on the second floor. The ground floor stored raw grain and processed flour.
Geronymos Mill and Bonis Mill are two of the remaining windmills that can still be visited today. They allow visitors a much closer look into an artifact that played a huge role in Mykonos’s history. Historically, the windmills were an important source of income for local populations.
Bonis Mill has been fully restored to preserve its original features.
The famous Mykonos windmills can be seen from every part of the island’s capital. The capital is locally known as Chora.
Since the windmills are positioned just south of Chora, if you travel to Little Venice in Mykonos’s Old Town, you should have no problem finding them.
The Mykonos windmills are a magnificent landmark that characterizes the island. They also are one of the most photographed places on the island!
If you visit Mykonos, stopping to see the windmills before you go is a must.