If you ever visit Mykonos, Greece then a trip to Delos is certainly in your future. A quick boat ride from the party capital of the Aegean, Delos is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a unique look into Greece of antiquity.
A holy sanctuary for millennia, Delos is the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis which made this an important pilgrimage site for ancient Greeks. Not only a sacred religious destination, Delos was also an equally important financial and political center. The Delian League, whose name is derived from the island, was an alliance of city-states formed to guard against Persian attacks. This loose alliance became an economic powerhouse and quickly turned into an empire.
What to See
Today Delos, as it was in antiquity, is little more than a barren rock with scrub vegetation. However the island is now home to one of the most remarkable archeological excavations in Greece.
[stextbox id="custom" caption="LandLopers Tip" float="true" align="right" big="true"]Make sure to bring your own water and snacks. The Delos cafe is overpriced and often very crowded.[/stextbox]
Your boat will arrive at the main dock, where you then proceed to purchase tickets to the site. There is little in the form of direction, so be sure to grab a tourist map or get one in advance.
There are two main walking loops. The first is 2-3 hours and includes some of the highlights of the island, ending at the archeological museum. The second walking tour is much longer and will take most of the day, but you will get to see everything the island has to offer. However, there are no trees and little shelter from the harsh sun so if you do take the longer tour, make sure to bring along water, hat and sunscreen.
How to Get There
Boats leave from Mykonos several times a day for about 12 Euro. If you want a more in depth tour of Delos, any of the numerous travel agencies on Mykonos provide day trips to the ancient isle.