Ah, Delos. The home of the Gods, the center of the cyclades, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Uninhabited, well preserved, an entire island masquerading as an archaeological site. Well, honestly, no masquerade here. Delos fulfilled all the archaeological wishes that I felt weren’t met in Athens (too neat, too tidy, too touristy). We wandered the paths on the map, and we meandered through the museum, and then we hiked up the mountain (not a mountain by any means) and yes, I traipsed up a small hill/mountain in sandals and a dress.
Delos is fascinating. It’s like walking through a ghost town, the place was abandoned in stages, and there are areas where the architecture is very old, and other areas where it’s just old. Homes where the walls are built with stacked rocks, and – from what I can tell – no visible mortar or adhesive atop of dirt floors. These homes are over 1,000 years old, some possibly more than 2,000 years old. They are single rooms with a fire pit in the center for cooking. Other areas have intricate tile floors, beautiful designs, and tell you about Delos’ rich past. What fascinated me most is that Delos is unapologetic. Delos just…is. It hasn’t been cleaned up, it hasn’t been commercialized, there is no tidy, Disney tour here. Transportation (and tour options) is provided by Delos Tours from Mykonos, but otherwise, you’re given a map and asked to stay on the paths. There are shards of broken pottery everywhere, the evidence of lives once lived in abundance here. A small cafe – we didn’t stop in – the museum, and the remnants of what was once the center of Greek culture and commerce. And yet…everything is gone.
My advice: go early, wear sunscreen, bring lots of water and some snacks, and be prepared to walk a decent amount in no shade (I think it’s about 2-2.5 miles for the longest route, which we took) over a couple hours.
All photos taken on my Nikon FG-20 film camera with Kodak Portra 160 film by me (I am a rockstar at film camera selfies). Many of the photos from Delos can be purchased as prints, like my other travel images.