Passengers who are traveling by ferry to Delos, arrive in an important mythological and archaeological site of Greece, a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Delos island is situated in the center of the Cyclades Archipelago, right at the heart of the Aegean Sea. It is believed that Delos had a position as a holy sanctuary even a millennium before the mythology of the Olympian gods was spread in the country, even before the island was made the birthplace of the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis.
Based on archaeological excavations and scientific research, it is believed that the island had been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, probably by the Carians. Beginning in the 9th century, the island developed into a major cult center where the god Dionysus and Titaness Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis, were worshiped.
Furthermore, The League’s common treasury was kept there as well until 454 BC, when Pericles removed it to Athens. During this time, the island functioned as an administrative center, since it had no productive capacity for food, fiber, or timber, which were all imported.
After its conquest by the Romans and the destruction of Corinth in 146 BC, the Roman Republic allowed Delos to partially assume Corinth’s role as the most important trading center in Greece. An estimated 750,000 tons of merchandise passed through the port each year during the first century BC.
However, the island’s significance waned after the war between Rome and Mithridates of Pontus, during 88-69 BC. Despite its slow decline, Delos maintained some population in the early Roman Imperial period, until it was completely abandoned around the 8th century AD.
Getting to Delos by ferry
Delos is not connected to mainland Greece by direct ferry services. Access is usually from Mykonos, which is the nearest island. During the summer you can go on a day trip to Delos and from other nearby islands of the Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Tinos, Syros). These excursions are organized by local companies. You can buy tickets for the boat on the island from which you depart.
Ferry Mykonos to Delos
The ferry connection from Mykonos to Delos is served by local boats, which depart from the old port of Mykonos in Chora. During the summer months there are daily itineraries to Delos and the journey takes 30 minutes. Ferry tickets can be purchased from the ticket office in Mykonos Town. Just remember, there is no accommodation on the island.
Holidays in Delos
Although Delos is one of the smallest islands in the Aegean and does not provide any kind of accommodation, it has a rich and unique history. It is not only one of the holiest sites of antiquity, but also one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. In fact, Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to the exceptional importance of the finds discovered on the island.
Arriving in Delos you will really feel like you are in an open-air museum. The excavations brought to light a large settlement of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, which is preserved in very good condition, giving visitors a unique picture of everyday life and private life in the ancient city. A walk on the cobbled streets will take you to other times, as you will walk between the houses, the temples, the statues and the shops. Visiting the sacred island of Apollo is a magical and imposing experience that you should not miss.
Sightseeing & Things to Do in Delos
The whole of Delos is an attraction. During your visit you will have the opportunity to explore one of the most important sanctuaries of antiquity and to get to know life up close in a large cosmopolitan Greco-Roman city. Take a trip to the past and learn more about the island and ancient Greek history.
Some of the most important sights you will see in Delos are:
- The Lion Tower: Probably the most famous monument in Delos. This is an impressive road with marble lions, which was built in the 7th century. e.g. from the Naxians. The lions you will see here are copies, as the originals are kept in the museum of the island
- The temple of Isis: One of the most important sights of Delos, built in the 2nd c. e.g. and is located at the foot of Kynthos hill. The cult statue of the goddess, protector of sailors, is still preserved inside
- The Ancient Theater: The original wooden construction was replaced by the current stone one during the 3rd c. e.g. The theater could serve more than 5,000 spectators and offered impressive views of the Aegean
- The Theater District: The oldest district of the settlement. The house of Cleopatra and Dioscouridis stands out, in which the statues of the owners are preserved.
- The House of Dionysus: Here you will find the famous mosaic floor depicting the god Dionysus on a tiger. Exquisite mosaic floors are also preserved in the houses of the Masks, the Dolphins and the Tritons
- The Archaeological Museum of Delos: One of the most important museums for the history of ancient Greek sculpture and unique in terms of private life in the Hellenistic era. Admire the wonderful sculptures and rich finds (vases, figurines, mosaics, murals, objects of everyday life, etc.) and discover the history of the island
Day trips to Delos
You can only get to Delos on a day trip by ferry from another island. Most commonly the point of departure is Mykonos, but there are also day trips from the islands of Naxos and Paros. There are no hotels or other accommodation providers on the island, the only inhabitants are the caretakers and archaeologists.
Ferry route from Naxos to Delos
From the port in Naxos town there are daily ferry crossings and sets sail for Delos. You will have three hours to explore the island before heading to Mykonos where you have three hours to explore the old town of Mykonos.
Ferry route from Paros to Delos
Get a transfer from the main port in Paros, Parikia Delos. Here you will have three hours to explore the archaeological site and museum before setting sail for Mykonos. Again you get three hours at your leisure in the old town of Mykonos.
Ferry route from Mykonos to Delos
The island is accessible on a daily basis by boat from Mykonos. The ferry to Delos from Mykonos leaves from Mykonos Old Port