Greek legend says that Delos Island is the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.

Delos Island is a tiny island that is only 5 km x 1.3 km and is no longer inhabited by residents. It is located just a short 20 minute boat ride from Mykonos, Greece. Because of its mythological significance, the ancient Ionians (Greek Islands) declared Delos to be their religious capital. Today, the island is one of the most important archeological and historical sites in Greece and is a World Heritage Site.

Views of Delos Island

The archeological ruins of Delos is easily seen when approaching the island by boat form Mykonos. The town begins along the shore of the island and ascends up towards the high point of the island. From the sea or along the hillside it is easy to see the remains of the walls that once formed the buildings of the town.

Remains of the ancient site

Similar to many of the other archeological sites that I have visited in Greece, most of the site at Delos is only partially remaining. There are many partial walls, some broken columns and some interesting carved stones but the remains of the site does reveal the layout of the town and they provide enough details to help understand how the town once appeared.

Terrace of the Lions

The most famous portion of the current site are the five remaining statues of the lions that once guarded the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Sacred Lake. It is believed that there were originally nineteen lions.

Other significant Remains

The other significant remains at Delos are a set of three columns that are connected at the top by large stones that reminded me of how the Acropolis of Athens was built. A few partial columns that outlined another building, some statues and an entrance to another building further up the hillside.

The Dust on My Shoes

Delos Island is relatively unknown to many tourists. It is not overwhelmed with visitors trying to take photos of themselves in front of a famous place. There is very little left of the site and it does take some imagination to understand how the site once looked which is probably why many tourist opt to spend their time in Mykonos. However, it is the most important mythological, historical and archeological site in Greek Islands so if these are interesting to you then the site is a must visit when visiting the Greek Islands.

I always enjoy exploring historical sites. Wandering through places that were once important places in history is something that I enjoy doing because there are relatively very few of these places that still remain. Most of the historical relics can only be seen in Museums and I feel that seeing a relic behind glass in an air conditioned building really loses the context of the historical site.

My favorite part of visiting Delos Island was seeing the Terrace of the Lions. I am sure that the original row of lions were impressive to see.

Our culture has come to expect everything to look perfect. I enjoy walking through history because it means more to me when I get home and see “the dust on my shoes”. I know that I have been somewhere!

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