Mykonos born and bred, Evi Santorinaiou works to showcase the unique nature and culture of her native island and preserve its traditions and heritage for future generations.
“The island might seem small, but there is so much to discover and so many places to explore,” says Mykonos native Evi Santorinaiou, her eyes sparkling with delight as she describes the island’s windswept hills, picture-perfect landscapes and rich cultural heritage.
“The traditional dry-stone boundaries between fields often form paths that connect into wonderful hiking trails, perfect for exploring the island’s charm and natural beauty,” she explains. Her top picks include the trail to Merhia waterfall in the northeast and those around Ano Mera, in the island’s heartland, that offer a glimpse into traditional life on the island, while her favourite spot for taking a moment to breathe and recentre herself is at the top of Profitis Ilias. “Every time I climb up there, I am rewarded with sweeping views, and I feel so very lucky to be here in this blessed place that has so much to give,” Evi says, describing the joy she feels when roaming the island.
Of course, as the saying goes, happiness shared is happiness doubled, so in 2020, she founded Hiking Mykonos and started organising group hikes to give others the opportunity to experience Mykonos’s beauty and heritage.
The traditional dry-stone boundaries between fields often form paths that connect into wonderful hiking trails, perfect for exploring the island’s charm and natural beauty.
Not surprisingly, Evi also does her part in keeping that heritage alive. Over the years, she has made a name for herself as one of the island’s most active makers, combining needlework skills passed down from her grandmother with a playful 21st century aesthetic to create wonderful accessories, souvenirs and home décor items for her Hand Make Me Happy brand. “The older local women are happy to see me practise these skills. They’re moved by it, and that’s such an honour,” Evi says. “This tradition resonates with me. I love it and I don’t want it to be forgotten, so preserving it has become something of a mission.”
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