Delos Island is one of the most important historical sites in Europe – if not the world – and makes a fascinating and enlightening day trip from the nearby island of Mykonos. Located in the Cyclades chain of islands, this tiny and uninhabited islet is only a few miles off the west coast of its larger neighbour. Although it has very limited facilities and no hotels, the amount of culturally significant ruins found here is quite mind-blowing.

    You can take a 30-minute ferry ride to Delos from the Old Port in Mykonos Town, with several scheduled boats operating the route from early morning to early evening (in high season, the last ferry to leave Delos is 7.30pm). If you’re staying in Mykonos and fancy a day of culture and history, a visit to the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis is a must-do. There’s a small entry fee to get onto the island, which gives you access to all sites on Delos.

    What are the best things to do on Delos Island?

    1

    Delos Archaeological Museum

    Add some cultural context to the incredible ruins of Delos

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    A visit to Delos Archaeological Museum adds some vital relevance to the sites you will go on to see during your day of exploration on the island. Most of the artefacts inside were unearthed from archaeological digs surrounding the museum, which makes the statues, mosaics and pottery on display feel more culturally significant.

    The 9 rooms can be viewed within an hour, although avid archaeologists could spend the entire morning here. The museum is not air-conditioned so it can get very hot inside. Visit early in the morning for cooler temperatures.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

    Buka: Daily from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm

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    foto dari Joanbanjo (CC BY-SA 3.0) dimodifikasi

    2

    The Sacred Way

    Walk down the high street of ancient Delos

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    The Sacred Way (also known as The Sacred Precinct) is a paved area that was once lined with shops and stalls, like a modern-day marketplace. The grand avenue is 13 metres wide. You enter the Sacred Way through collonaded porticos, which lead to a series of ruined temples dedicated to the god Apollo.

    Many of the grand statues that once stood here have been destroyed or removed, but you can still see several inscribed plinths that date from the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC. You'll find carved lion heads all along the Sacred Way that once spouted water and still survive in their faded glory.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    3

    Terrace of the Lions

    The 7th-century-BC avenue is the most iconic site on Delos

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    Of all the sites and ruins on Delos, the Terrace of the Lions gives you the most evocative feeling of what it would have been like to be here in its heyday thousands of years ago. Not all of the lions are original – many of them have been placed in museums for safekeeping – but the reproductions have been made of the same white marble you'll find all over the island.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    4

    Temple of Isis

    Take a photo standing under the colonnades

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    The Temple of Isis is one of the best sites on Delos because its collonaded façade has been rebuilt to its former glory. It was once a hugely important temple for the ancient Athenians. The temple sits on a small hill above Delos Museum. The view from the top of the hill is impressive and is a popular photo spot. A headless statue of a Greek goddess stands in front of the temple ruins.

    Many tour guides won't take you to the Temple of Isis but it's worth spending the extra time to make it up the hill. An information board explains historical information in English and Greek.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    5

    The House of the Trident

    Explore an ancient merchant's house

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    The House of the Trident was once a luxurious villa on Delos. It remains one of the most impressive sights on the island thanks to many intact Doric mosaics, including one of a trident – which is how the site was named – and another of a dolphin that is remarkably well preserved.

    The entire site is in good condition. It’s easy to imagine how the ancient people of Delos lived when exploring this ruin. Due to some ornamental bull and lion heads in the porticos of this house, it’s believed that this house once belonged to a Syrian merchant.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    6

    Hike up Mount Kynthos

    Walk in the footsteps of Apollo

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    Mount Kynthos (also spelt Cynthus) stands at 120 metres, making it the highest point on Delos. The hike to its summit needs some preparation but is achievable as long as you’re wearing closed footwear and bring enough water. The view from the top is impressive because the island is only 3 sq km – you can also see the surrounding islands of Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros, and Rhenia.

    The mountain is the mythological birthplace of the Greek god Apollo – god of medicine, music and poetry – and his twin, Artemis.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    7

    House of Dionysus

    Visit an ancient mansion dedicated to the god of wine

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    The ancient ruins known as the House of Dionysus are easy to spot, thanks to the towering columns that extend above the walls of the house. The ruin was so named due to a large mosaic of Dionysus – god of wine – riding a tiger with wings outstretched, carrying a wreath of ivy and a vine of grapes around his neck.

    The excavated ruin would have been a mansion back when it was built and you can read more about it on an information board written in English and Greek.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    foto dari Zde (CC BY-SA 4.0) dimodifikasi

    8

    Sanctuaries of the Foreign Gods

    See where Syrian and Egyptian gods were revered

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    The Sanctuaries of the Foreign Gods is split into 2 sections and is dedicated to Egyptian and Syrian gods that were revered during the times of the ancient Greeks. Among the treasures excavated here was a statue of Poseidon, god of the sea. Located south-east of many of the ruins on Delos, on the slope heading up to Mount Kynthos, you'll likely visit this site if you book a tour with a guide.

    Lokasi: Delos - Mikonos, Delos 846 00, Greece

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    foto dari Bernard Gagnon (CC BY-SA 3.0) dimodifikasi

    Paul Smith | Traveler Kompulsif

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