The Ancient Ruins of Delos, GreeceOne thing we liked about the famed party island of Mykonos is its proximity to the sacred island of Delos, which according to Greek mythology was the birthplace of Apollo – the god of light, music and art -and his twin sister Artemis. Just a half-hour boat ride from Mykonos took us to this tiny Cyladic island which is one of the most important archeological sites in Greece. Delos bears traces of Aegean civilization from 3rd millennium BC.  It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Come explore the island with us!


Ruins of Establishment of Poseidoniasts, Delos, GreeceDelos was first inhabited in 3rd millennium  BC, became the shrine for Apollo in 8th century B.C., and was controlled by the powerful Athenians by 5th century B.C. During Hellenistic period (323 – 30 BC), it became one of the most important center for commerce and religion in Greece. Its inhabitants were wealthy merchants, seafarers and bankers who came from as far as the Middle East. The Romans made it a free port in 167 BC, which brought even greater prosperity to the island. The shift in trade route and the waning interest in ancient religion in the following centuries brought the decline of Delos.


The Temple of Apollo,  Delos, Greece A temple in the Sactuary of Apollo.


Terrace of Lions, Delos, Greece Terrace of the Lions in the Sancturary for Apollo. These marble sculptures were given by the people of Naxos to Delos in the 7th century BC to guard the sacred area.


The Ruins of Establishment of Poseidoniasts, Delos, Greece

The ruins of the Establishment of Poseidoniasts, a large religious and commercial complex for the association of Syrian merchants. Syrians associated Poseidon with their god Baal.


Delos, Greece Situated close to the Sacred Harbor is the Agora of Competialists, one of the several ancient marketplaces in Delos.


Doric Columns in House of Dionysos, Delos, Greece The doric columns in the House of Dionysus, one of the most lavish dwellings in the residential quarter.


Mosaic in House of Dionysos, Delos, Greece The House of Dionysos has taken its name from a preserved mosaic in the house flooring depicting a winged Dionysos riding a panther.


House of Cleopatra, Delos, Greece The remains of the House of Cleopatra (138 BC), a dwelling of a wealthy merchant family.  It was named after the wife of the owner.


Statues in the House of Cleopatra, Delos, GreeceHeadless statues of the owner of the House of Cleopatra, Dioscourides and his wife, Cleopatra.


The Theater, Delos, Greece The remains of the ancient theater (317 BC) of Delos. It was completely built out of marbles and had a capacity of up to 6,500. A planned restoration of the theater was announced in March 2012.


Cistern in Delos, Greece

Located near the theater is a cistern that demonstrates the advance water system developed by the ancient dwellers to overcome the shortage of fresh water supply in the island.


Mount Kythnos, Delos, Greece Mount Kythnos, the highest point in Delos at 113 meter. The climb to the top affords a spectacular view of the ruins and surrounding islands.


Ruins in Delos, Greece View of the ruins and the sea from the hill.


View of the ruins and surrounding island from a hill in Delos, Greece. View of the the ruins and surrounding islands from the hill.


Temple of Isis, Delos, Greece The Temple of Isis (3rd century BC) on the foothill of Mt. Kythnos.


Temple of Isis, Delos, Greece

The Temple of Isis contains the cult statue of the goddess. Isis was said to provide good health and fortune as well as protection for sailors.

Temple of Hermes, Delos, Greece The Temple of Hermes


Santuaries of Foreign Gods, Delos, Greece Ruins on the hill.


Ruins on the Hills, Delos, Greece Ruins on the hill.


Delos Greece

 A modern statue on an ancient pedestal.


Boat in Delos, Greece Leaving on the last boat out of the island at 3:00 p.m.

Delos Travel Tips:
  • Boats leave for Delos from the Old Port of Mykonos in Hora daily except Monday when the site is closed for visitors. First boat leaves for Delos at 9:00 am and the last one leaves at 12:50 pm. The first boat out of Delos leaves at 11:00 am and the last one leaves at 3:00 pm. We suggest that you take the earlier boat from Mykonos to give you more time to explore.
  • Overnight stay in Delos is forbidden.
  • Bring sunscreen. Hats are recommended as there is little shelter on the island from the harsh sun.
  • Bring water and snack. There is a small cafe in the island but is very expensive and the choices are limited.
Feel free to leave your comments below.

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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

12 responses to “The Sacred Island of Delos: The Birthplace of Apollo

  1. Kira

    I know about Apollo and Artemis, but have not heard of the island of Delos before. Isn’t that sad?:( But thanks for letting me know about it. Interesting island and history, As usual, your photos are amazing. Thanks for the tour!

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Kira, we didn’t know about Delos either until we started researching about the Greece trip. The island itself and its history is interesting indeed. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  2. Carrie Sieber

    Don’t know much about Greek mythology but I do know about Apollo. Interesting to learn about his so called birthplace. Your photos are transporting and your narratives are informative. Thanks for the beautiful post.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Carrie, our pleasure. We’re pleased that you enjoyed the post.

  3. Danica Moran

    Hey guys, I love antiquities and ancient history. So love this article. And of course, I love the photographs.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hey Dani, if you love antiquities and ancient history then Greece is a perfect destination for you! Hope you get to go there soon.

  4. It’s so amazing that they are really preserving their heritage. If it were located in our country, the ruins would have been razed already to make way for malls. Sigh. So Delos I suppose is not inhabited? Seems like a small island.
    Aleah | recently posted..5 Tips to Travel Cheap (But Well)My Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Aleah, yes they have a strong sense of cultural preservation which sadly we lack:( Yes it’s a tiny island and not inhabited, staying overnight is even prohibited.

  5. Bama

    I’ve never heard of this island before, and judging from your photos I bet I would love being on this island – well, I would love to visit Greece.

  6. Traveling Solemates

    Hi Bama, If you love antiquities and ancient history then you would enjoy being on this island. And I bet you will love Greece. I hope you get to visit it soon.

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