I didn’t know about the Island of Delos prior to my Greek vacation. Greek history has always entranced me, so a visit to the Island was a must, in my book. Once I arrived I wish I would have known about these things BEFORE I went, instead of learning about them after I arrived back home. So here are my 12 things I wish I would have known before visiting the Island of Delos, complete with Traveler tips.
12 Tips on Visiting the Island of Delos
1- The famous Lions of Delos, they were placed here around 600 BC. The lions were used to honor the God Apollo along the path to his temple. There were as many as 12 (possibly up to 16) of these imposing lions, to guide and inspire the worshipers of Apollo. It is believed that this was the birthplace of the Gods Apollo and Artemis.
2- This small protected Island is only a short Ferry ride away from Mykonos Greece. These Ferry’s are readily available during the summer months, and in the winter months run on a tight and limited schedule. The ride to the Island only takes about 30 minutes & cost about 10 euros. Check out ferry times here
4- Ferry rides can be purchased either on the Island of Mykonos, or here
4- First it was a refuge for Pirates who were expelled from Crete (note the stone huts there). Then in the 6th century BCE all dead bodies were removed from the Island of Delos & people were forbidden from dying or giving birth here to keep its sacred nature for the Gods Apollo and Artemis. In the 4th century BCE it became the natural meeting place of the Delian League who helped protect and defend Greece from invaders and carved a niche in history for themselves as heros.
5- There are minimal facilities on the island, so ‘go before you row’, and bring water and something to shade yourself with as it can get quite hot on the island itself. Tours can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on how detailed you want the tour to be, and if you have an archeological guide or not.
6- There is also a great little Island of Delos Museum, you should definitely take a look at when you get there. It houses several important pieces I remember studying in my Art History class in Highschool, so it was really neat to actually see them in person, especially on an remote island like this.
7- Because of the financial crisis of Greece in recent years, there excavations are still ongoing by the French, but the excavations are slow and many of the ruins are still in disrepair. So make sure to bring a detailed map of Delos to help aid your imagination in what once was the birthplace of the Hero’s of Greece.
8- There are signs to tell you about the different sites on the Island of Delosthat are in English & give a brief and limited explanation of this island and its inhabitants.
9- Make sure to visit the House of Dolphins and house of masks, there are some impressive mosaics there.
10- The cost of touring the Island of Delos on your own is seperate from the cost of the Ferry ride, around 12 Euros & you will tour the island yourself unless you had previously arranged for a guide.
11- There are multiple charters to the different islands that can range from 50 euros to 1000 euros, depending on what Islands you would like to visit, how much time you would like to spend, how big your group is, and the type of guide you have.
12- For private archaeological tours on the Island of Delos, it can cost anywhere from 230 euros to 300 euros for private tourings, but if there is a group of 20 or more, then the cost is around 9 euros per person (easy to arrange if you are going on a cruise with a group).
Happy Travels friends, and be sure to take the Unique adventure to Delos Island. It is definitely a place to visit if you are fascinated by Greek History and Mythology.