Nikos Zouganelis has created an authentic Mykonos home open to all.
What visitors see is our life, lived as close as possible to my memories of older generations”, says Nikos Zouganelis, who grew up in a traditional Mykonos farmstead. His father, Giannis, kept sheep and cultivated the land while his mother tended to the household and made cheese. Nikos felt an urge to honor this authentic way of life by creating a fully functional farmstead that taps into the “rizes” [roots] of the land and traditional folk life. Rizes Folklore Farmstead was the result.
We are no business. We are a home – expanded to welcome visitors, but still a home.
Visiting Rizes, you start to understand this way of life, with the wood oven, cheese dairy, cows, chicken coop, wine press, vegetable patches, donkeys… Nothing is “frozen in time” because nothing is for show and everything is tended to following traditional methods. This is actually a hidden gem of Mykonos. You can also see folklore artists working the loom, painting icons, creating traditional “tsampouna” bagpipes… When you visit, you are a guest. “We want to show visitors they are loved and tended to; to treat them, make friends with them – then, if they want, they can participate in this life, and understand how things were before technology”, explains Nikos. And indeed, you can join him at the grape harvest, the traditional threshing, the olive harvest, or the traditional festivals… More than anything, though, this family want you to join them at the table, breaking bread and living a purer life for a few hours.