Delos has been sacred for years and has been entitled to be recognized as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. The sacred island, following the birth of the god and goddess, ruled that no one is to give birth or die on the island.
Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and there are no accommodations on the island.
After a wavy transfer from Naxos and an unexpected stop in Paros, we were happy to touch land in Delos. Unfortunately, the tour we booked with Viator was supposed to include a guide in Delos (confirmed over the phone prior to booking) but we were left to ourselves. No further comments on this element for now.
I do not know if it was a coincidence but both ferries arrived relatively at the same time. By the time we decided to forget about finding our guide and lined-up at the ticket booth, we were, of course, at the end of a long line thus making us the last ones to get on the site.
Nonetheless, we were here to visit a unique site and this situation was not going to stop us. Since there were the 4 of us, and since we already had paid for a guide in our tour, an additional 50Euro per person was a bit too much for our wallet. We went on our own.
Where to go without a guide? Well, go around at your rhythm. So, I know we missed some elements, but overall, it was still nice. The names of the buildings are sometimes engraved on a stone on the ground and boards presenting a little information are disposed here and there on the site.
The island is actually very small in size but not in history. The archeological site actually covers the entire island. Impressive. The only way to visit it is on foot.
When walking around, it’s like going around what is left of a cemetery. You will see the foundation of houses, statues, a theater, ruins of temples, a dry lake and the Terrace of the Lions statues. When visiting, look at the mosaic floors. They are actually one of my favorite elements on our stop.
To protect them from the outdoor conditions and secure the site, some artifacts and major original iconic elements were brought into the museum and replaced by replicas outside. The visit to the museum was worth it.
Although the island could go unnoticed by its size, it is far from the case. In fact, thousands of years ago, Delos was an important religious, cultural and commercial center. The active life on the island has been gone for years now but its sacred character has protected the site from invaders for years. From what I understand, this site is in its “original” version thus making it incomparable.
You will notice in the photo, that even though it is surrounded by water, the island is relatively bare and treeless presenting an arid climate with probably little rain. So bring a hat, water and sunscreen. Note: Cats are present and are walking around. I saw more cats than staff on the island.