Agios Ioannis beach and bay basked in brilliant sunshine on May 20 …
… just two days after a massive thunderstorm system moved across the Aegean, soaking Mykonos with heavy morning downpours
Sunshine & storms, wind & waves: I arrived on Mykonos in warm, brilliant sunshine on May 14 … and that’s exactly what the weather was like when I left the island eight days later. But during the days in between, there was an incredible variety of weather conditions unlike anything I’ve experienced on Mykonos before.
On my seven previous visits to Mykonos, the weather had been predominantly sunny and warm. Some days were windy, some mornings and evenings were downright chilly, the sky was hazy on a few afternoons, and there were two brief rainshowers between dawn and breakfast time on two separate mornings back in May 2006. Overall, there was excellent weather for sightseeing, hiking and beach activities during each of my holidays. This year, Mother Nature made sure I experienced Mykonos in just about every kind of spring weather condition imaginable.
Shutter-shaking gusts of wind
Late in the afternoon on my arrival day, high hazy clouds turned the sky milky white and obscured views of the evening sunset. I woke up the next morning to the sound of strong winds shaking the shutters outside my hotel room window. The wind continued to gust throughout the morning while the sun and clouds fought for control of the sky. Few tourists were in sight at scenic Little Venice, where big waves smashed against the seaside, splashing tables and chairs on the vacant cocktail bar terraces. Sunshine started to prevail in early afternoon and, once the winds let up, the rest of the day was beautiful.
May 16 was a gorgeous sunny day, with only a few clouds, and May 17 started off looking much the same. It was a perfect beach day until around 3 in the afternoon, when clouds pulled over the island and parked above Mykonos for a couple of hours before clearing away during the evening. Around sunset, the wind began picking up strength again, and weather reports warned that a major thunderstorm system would move across Mykonos overnight, bringing heavy rainfalls. It did in fact rain while I was asleep, but Mother Nature saved the biggest deluge for just past breakfast on May 18. The sky filled with jet-black, angry clouds that unleashed their fury for nearly two hours, pelting the island and passengers tendering to shore from the Celebrity Equinox anchored near the Old Port. Luckily, the storm let up at at lunchtime, but the clouds hung around the rest of the day, breaking up briefly to reveal a brilliant rainbow arc followed by a golden sunset.
Two sunny beach days in a row
May 19 brought mainly sunshine and warm temperatures plus a few big fluffy clouds that didn’t bother sunbathers at the beaches. May 20 was another wonderful beach day; the skies were mainly clear until evening, when clouds pushed in to provide a dramatic backdrop for a spectacular fiery sunset. But on May 21 — my last full day on Mykonos — the sun made only brief appearances, and the cloudy sky threatened rain most of the day. It sprinkled lightly a few times, but nobody needed to take out their umbrellas. And, of course, it was sunny and hot on May 22 when I had to pack my bags and catch a ferry to Paros.
The wacky weather didn’t interfere with my holiday whatsoever. Although some beach buffs were upset that the thunderstorm interrupted their suntanning plans, most people took the bad weather in stride, seizing the opportunity to catch up on sleep or curl up with a good book. At breakfast on May 18, a female college student looked ready to cry while she watched thunderclouds filling the sky. “What’s there to do on Mykonos when it’s raining?” she wondered. “Read. Sleep. Visit some of the museums and galleries. Or check out all the stores — there’s hundreds of them,” I replied. Her eyes lit up and her lips broke into a broad smile as she turned to her friends and exclaimed: “We’re going shopping!”
There’s always something to do on Mykonos, whatever the weather!
Below are photos showing some of the dramatic skies above Mykonos on the days it wasn’t clear and sunny during my visit.
Massive stormclouds above nearby Tinos island advance toward Mykonos
It’s still sunny on Syros island in the distance, but it’s a completely different story at Mykonos, where stormclouds pass above the Celebrity Equinox, anchored near the Old Port.
I watched the entire morning thunderstorm from the shelter of the bar terrace beside the Hotel Tagoo’s seaview swimming pool
The evening looks more promising as blue sky begins breaking through the stormclouds
The Hotel Tagoo swimming pool reflects the slowly-dispersing stormclouds
Intriguing colours and textures appear in the sea and sky as sunset approaches
A giant rainbow arcs high in the sky above Hotel Tagoo shortly before sunset
The sunset casts a fiery orange glow on the thick cloudcover above the sea
The stormclouds add high drama to the sky at sunset
Giaros island is visible in the distance during sunset on May 19
A tender boat approaches a cruise ship anchored near the Mykonos Old Port as the island enjoys a brilliant sunset on May 15 2012