Search
Log-in

The Renaissance of Mykonos and Delos

Jill Weinlein

Mykonos is known for its stunning whitewashed Cycladic architecture, historic windmills, narrow cobblestone passageways, and lively nightlife. In 1930 this Greek island became a destination for the intellectual elite. When Aristotle Onassis arrived on the island in the 70s, soon other aristocracy arrived onboard Olympic Airways. It became a safe destination for all to vacation, party and dance until sunrise. Mykonos is one of the most expensive Greek Islands to stay, shop, drink and dine.

Jill Weinlein

One of the best day tips is taking a thirty-minute boat ride from Mykonos to the uninhabited island of Delos. This island is believed to be the birthplace of the god Apollo and his sibling Artemis. It's one of the largest UNESCO archeological sites in Europe and is open for the public to explore on guided tours. 

Jill Weinlein

Excavation started in the late 1800s by the French School at Athens, in collaboration with the Greek government, to recreate one of the most important areas in the Cyclades. While digging, they discovered this was an important religious center in the Archaic and Classical periods. It also was a major commercial and trading center in the 2nd and 1st centuries. 

Jill Weinlein

Trained guides welcome visitors at the boat dock and lead groups on tours of ancient Greek life on Delos. The 90 minute walk includes where athletic games, theatre performances and festivals took place. Learn about the importance of the political system and religious rituals. Greeks made wine on the island, yet mortal childbirth was forbidden. When the plague spread in Athens, pregnant women living on Delos had to cross the water to a neighboring island before giving birth.

Elizabeth Weinlein

Earlier this year, British sculptor and artist Anthony Gormley repopulated the island with his SIGHT exhibition. It's a collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades to restore a 'human' presence to one of the most important centers in Greece. There are 29 iron, metal and wood sculptures, that were made by Gormley over the last 20 years. 

Jill Weinlein

Two of his “body forms' are inside the onsite museum, while 27 are displayed in the bay near the boat dock, along the ancient promenade, near a brilliantly engineered water system, grand amphitheater and Terrace of the Lions. 

Jill Weinlein

When the Terrace of Lions was discovered, Greek scholars believed Apollo was born near the Sacred Lake of Delos. The lions may have been placed to inspire divine powers or to guard this site. Many were stolen or damaged due to the elements, so marble replicas stand outside, while the actual lion statues are being preserved inside the nearby archaeology museum.

Jill Weinlein

Near the Temple of Apollo and Sancturary of Artemis are Aegean cats. They are one of the oldest domestic cat breeds and can be found everywhere in Greece, even on Delos. They likely made their way to Greece and the Cyclades islands on trading and fishing ships. Some believe they were brought to the island to take care of the snake population.

Jill Weinlein

Walls, columns and mosaic floors have been discovered and recreated to show visitors what life was like on Delos thousands of years ago.

Jill Weinlein

Delos is a day trip destination from Mykonos. There are no accomodation facilities for staying overnight at this sacred archaeological site.  

Jill Weinlein

Los Angeles based Jill Weinlein covers travel, food and lifestyle destinations for multiple newspapers, magazines and websites. Her areas of expertise include, luxury travel, culinary reviews, cruising and family travel destinations. Born in Los Angeles, Jill studied Communications and Theatre Arts at UCLA. She has a a Dine and Travel blog - www.dineandtravel.me and she writes a weekly restaur...(Read More)

Around the web