Ano Mera Mykonos; The island of Mykonos is not just fun and social life; for those who want to discover the true essence of the island, away from the chaos of mass tourism, we recommend visiting the village of Ano Mera. It is a pretty village located 8 kilometers from the city of Mykonos.
The peaceful village of Ano Mera is built in the typical Cycladic style and is the second largest and most important after the city of Mykonos. It is positioned in the center of the island in a strategic position for those wishing to explore this beautiful island.
Ano Mera is located almost in the heart of the island, just 8 km from the capital of Mykonos, Chora. With a population of 1459 inhabitants, Ano Mera is the picturesque village one comes across along the northeast shores of the island. It not only stands out for its classical Cycladic beauty, but also for its scenic streets and traditional taverns.
In Ano Mera one may visit the historic monastery of Panagia Tourliani, one of the main attractions of the whole island, built in the 15th century. The all-white monastery is located right in front of the main square of the village. The whole village of Ano Mera has been developed mainly around this monastery.
The square, which became pedestrianised in 2001, is surrounded by traditional cafes and taverns, renowned for their excellent Mykonian meats done on the spit and barbecue. Apart from the exceptional meat, Mykonos is also known for the spicy cheese accompanying the local delicacies. Also, in the village, one finds the “Kopanisti” workshop, where all the secrets of preparation of that spicy cheese are concealed.
So if you find yourself in this village do not hesitate to astray into the quaint alleys and ensure that you try homemade local recipes. It will be like a temporary visit to “another” Mykonos ..!
What to do in Ano Mera
With a pleasant walk through the cobbled streets and whitewashed houses you can look around and discover the hidden treasures of Ano Mera. The main activities of the village are concentrated around the large central square, opposite the monastery of Panaghia Tourliani. The village of Ano Mera is topped by two windmills, a constant of the island that we have already encountered in the city of Mykonos.
The Panaghia Tourliani monastery was built in 1542 on the main plateau of the island, in perfect Cycladic style, and it was around this sacred building that the first settlement of Ano Mera developed. The building initially built by two priests was dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The monastery was restored in 1767 and took its current name after an icon of the Virgin found in the nearby area of Tourlos. Since then, Panagia Tourliani has become the patroness of the island and her feast is celebrated on August 15th.
The architecture of the monastery is quite striking, with a whitewashed exterior, as in the classic Cycladic style and a colored dome. To complete the landscape we find the beautiful marble fountain located in the courtyard outside the church. Inside the church, we can see an imposing wooden iconostasis (altarpiece) made in 1775 by Florentine artists. On the iconostasis there are icons of apostles and saints and scenes from the New Testament. The wooden altarpiece is decorated with green, red and golden flowers. The hanging incense holders are decorated with silver dragons with red eggs in the mouth and demonstrate oriental influence. The monastery also has a small museum which houses wooden sculptures, embroidery, vestments, sacred icons and the first bells of the monastery.
The monastery of Panaghia Tourliani is open every day from 09.00 to 13.00 and from 15.30 to 19.00. To the southeast of the Panagia Tourliani Monastery, about 1 km away, is the Paleokastro Monastery, built in the 12th century and the remains of a Byzantine castle, as well as some tombs from the geometric period.