On our mini Greek adventure, we stopped on the island of Mykonos. It’s pretty famous for the beaches and being quite the gay boy haven. Even the beaches are very well known … Super Paradise, Platis Gialos and Elia are very popular with tourists. The music is pumping all day long and there are tons and tons of bars on the main strip. Case in point, just walking in and around Chora during the day, you will see tons of bars – all closed resting for the night.
(Chora) is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets and whitewashed steps lanes, houses and churches, gathered around its harbour in the middle of a wide bay. One thing that I did feel – even though the streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants, it still feels somewhat relaxed and authentic – which is indeed an achievement (See Bali or Cancun – for how shit can go wrong in this idea). Having strict regulations have really helped to keep the traditional Cycladic architectural style and character firmly intact.
Of course, with all the bars and lovely photography around, we did what any normal person would do and took off on a ferry to see the ruins of Delos. Delos is one of the most important historical sites in Greece, and is known as the birth place of Apollo and Artemis – check your Greek Mythology reference to find out who they were … there is a lone palm tree marks the spot of their birth.
Getting to Delos is definitely the simplest of tasks. Once you’re in Chora (Mykonos Town) … simply ask anyone and I mean anyone how to get to Delos. They’ll direct you to the ferry building, you pay your set fee of 16 euros per person (there is no entry fee for the island but you will have to pay to get into the ruins) and you’re on your way. Delos is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, and hours vary depending on the season. Ferries bound leave Chora regularly starting around 10 a.m.
In case you were wondering when it gets back … there is never any doubt …
The island is small, only 5 km long by 1.3 km wide. It has been inhabited for at least five thousand years. It was always held as sacred, and is home to many temples. At one time, they think as many as 25,000 people lived there. Today it is quiet, with the 2001 census recording only 14 inhabitants. That is part of the charm of the place, having space to breathe and be quiet.
Oh yeah and here is a picture of a broken penis
Archaeologists have been digging and restoring the ancient site for over a hundred years. They have rebuilt walls, uncovered mosaic floors, and cleared ancient streets. A small museum houses statues and art uncovered over the years. Our tour was short with plenty of time to wander the paths, and to interact with history in whatever way we wanted.
How to get from Mykonos to Delos (completely copied from MyGreecetravelblog.com)
Getting there from Mykonos: It’s relatively easy to reach Delos from Mykonos, which just happens to be the closest populated island.
Every day except Monday, when Delos is closed to the public, excursion boats depart the Mykonos Town harbour in the morning, and return in the early to mid-afternoon. Three different boats — the Delos Express, the Margarita and the Orca — offer round trips that typically depart at 9, 10 and 11 a.m., and return from Delos at 12:15, 2 and 3 p.m. I say “typically,” because the service depends upon both the season and demand. In May 2011, for instance, boats departed Mykonos only at 9 and 10, and returned at 12:15 and 2. In extremely windy or stormy weather, the boats might be cancelled altogether. You don’t have to return on the same boat that took you to Delos; you’re free to select whichever returning boat you prefer.
Return ticket price in 2011 was €17 per person
Tickets can be purchased from a booth on the same pier from which the excursion boats depart. Last year, the price for a return ticket was €17 per person; this year it probably will be slightly higher. A separate admission fee must be paid on arrival at Delos to enter the archaeological site; in past years that fee has been €5 per person. [Guided tours cost significantly more, and tickets for those can be purchased from vendors at the pier. I haven’t taken a guided tour since 2006, so I can’t tell you what they cost now. Some of the travel agencies in Mykonos Town sell tickets for guided tours, so you can inquire there for pricing. I discussed guided tours versus doing-it-yourself in my post Visiting Delos, the sacred cradle of Greek gods.]
The boat ride from Mykonos to Delos can take as little as 20 minutes, or as long as 40, depending upon the sea and weather conditions. The seas in the channel between the islands often can be rough, so if you’re prone to seasickness, be sure to take anti-nausea pills either before or during the trip. Or, if you’re spending several days on Mykonos, keep an eye on the sea conditions and do your Delos excursion on a day the water is smooth and the winds calm.