Mykonos, the inspirational island
Glamorous Mykonos has it all: beautiful beaches, dazzling seas, a vibrant town and nearby mythological sites. Greek goldsmith Minas believes it has something else too – the power to inspire creativity
‘What Mykonos has taught me is the importance of finding somewhere that fits you perfectly, just like you need jewellery that fits you perfectly,’ says world-renowned Greek goldsmith Minas. His work, whether in jewellery, furniture design or even architecture, is influenced by this island in the sun he calls home. Minas has lived on Mykonos on and off since 1986. For him, what he finds so inspirational is the light, the people and the energy of the island, which are all unique. ‘Mykonos has also taught me to be free,’ says Minas. ‘It is blessed by the gods.’
Creating from inspiration
Born in 1938 in Athens, Minas knew from the age of 15 that he wanted to work in jewellery design. He began his career in 1953 when he joined the Royal Court jeweller, and then at 30 he went to New York, where he lived and worked for 11 years as a freelancer and established his presence as a designer, creating pieces in gold and silver.
It’s no doubt that the Greek island hugely influences Minas’s work. ‘Jewellery is about the simple curves and simple shapes. Like Mykonos,’ he says. ‘The traditional architecture on the island is so simple and so sensual. This Cycladic simplicity is reflected in my work. There’s also movement in my designs, matching the island’s dynamism, its forms, the freedom of its bohemianism, its beauty, its light.’
When it comes to picking his favourite things about the island and what you can do there, the beaches come high up for Minas. ‘There are so many wide sandy beaches, every corner seems to hide one. Mersini on the north of the island is my favourite, but there are just so many.’ Taking a boat to the islands of Delos or Rineia that sit close to Mykonos also feature on his list. Both are beautiful areas to explore, and you can find cultural treasures too. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Delos is also the mythological birthplace of Apollo, for example.
And for other must-sees on the island? ‘The Panagia Tourliani Monastery in Ano Mera,’ says Minas. ‘It gets few visitors and it’s a wonderful surprise: Baroque, not Greek Orthodox. Also, go to the Mykonos archaeological museum. They have a famous vase that depicts the Trojan Horse during the Trojan war. The shape is simple and effortless and the lines are continuous and minimal. I feel an affinity with that ancient artist. We’ve both been influenced by the island in the same way.’
Minas’s creative work extends beyond jewellery, delving into furniture, drawings and even architecture – he designed his own home. ‘My own house is my private sanctuary. I wanted to design and build a house on this blessed island. The sense of freedom you get here, far from prying eyes, just can’t be explained.’
Find out more about Minas’s work at minastudio.com
If you’re feeling inspired by Minas, you can make the most of your time on the island with a shore experience:
Birthplace of gods
According to mythology, the small island of Delos, the Greek work for ‘revealed’, appeared amid the waves so that Leto, the mistress to Zeus, would have a place to give birth to her twins, Apollo and Artemis. From the Terrace of the Lions and the Temple of the Delians, to the Sacred Lake and the House of Dionysos, the island of Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. On the Delos Birthplace of Apollo shore experience you can marvel at the mythology and history of this ancient site.
Really get into the holiday mode and make the most of the famed and beautiful Mykonos beaches with the Mykonos Beach Break shore experience. Dig your toes into the golden sands of Platis Yialos, one of Mykonos’s most famous beaches, while pondering what delicious Greek mezze to sample while gazing out over the dazzling blue sea…