The historic island of Delos, situated just a 20 minute boat-ride from Mykonos, is one of Greece’s most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island has been extensively excavated to reveal its archaeological treasures and is well worth a visit to gain some insight into ancient Greek history and mythology.
Delos is considered to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, the twins born to Leto, fathered by Zeus, and the island has many tributes to Greek mythology. Archaeological excavations indicate that Delos was inhabited as far back as the 3rd millennium BC and there are an abundance of fascinating ruins and statues to see when touring the island.
The first site visitors will come across when arriving on the west coast of Delos, where the harbour is situated, is the market square known as the Agora of the Competaliasts which dates back to the last quarter of the 2nd century BC. Among the features of this market square are marble monuments dedicated to Hermes, surrounded by the remains of many other monuments. There are also the remains of a temple and shops indicating the religious and commercial importance of the market in the past.
The Sacred Way, a paved road lined with marble bases that had statues on them in the past, leads to the Sanctuary of Apollo. This area once had three large temples dedicated to Apollo, along with many smaller temples, monuments and altars, the ruins of which can be seen.
Other interesting features of Delos island include the Sanctuary of Dionysus, the Temple of Artemis, the Terrace of the Lions, the Sacred Lake, the Grotto of Hercules, the Maritime Quarter, with the ruins of many mansions and villas, and the Theater Quarter with the theater of Delos which had the capacity to seat 5500 people. There is a museum on the island displaying a wide range of items which were discovered during the various excavations that have been carried out over the years.
Mykonos Transportation can take you from your accommodation to the harbour to depart to Delos and arrange to collect you when you return. Contact us for all your transportation needs while visiting Mykonos.
Pictures courtesy of Bernard Gagnon at Wikimedia Commons