Delos, in ancient Greek, means clear, brought to light. According to the myth, Delos appeared from the waves when Lito took refuge there and gave birth to Apollon (god of light) and Artemis (goddess of hunting).
If you combine a visit of the open-air site of Delos, with one of the indoor Archeological Museum and a climb to the top of Delos’ lone mountain, three days won’t be enough to see it all!
Located just a few nautical miles from Mykonos, Delos has always been a religious (since 1000 BC) and commercial center (since 478 BC). The island is tiny (only 4 square km) but is home to the oldest and largest open-air archeological site in Europe. Modern excavations began in 1873 being continued even now by Greek and French archeologists.
The site has many houses, temples and sanctuaries as well as an indoor Archeological Museum. The museum was built in 1904 and originally had 5 rooms. Today the exhibitions are held in 9 rooms. Six of them house the statues and other findings from Delos. Two rooms are filled with pottery (from prehistory to the Hellenistic period), while the last one contains an exhibition of daily objects found in private houses. Still, the exhibition is not yet complete. Within the exhibition there are: funerary statues (7th -1st century BC), pottery (25th -1st century BC), clay figurines (2nd-1st century BC), jewelry (2nd -1st BC) and other small objects, as well as mosaics (2nd- 1st century BC). Among the important items of the exhibition we can find: ivory plaque (figure of a Mycenaean warrior), Torso of the kouros (from the sanctuary of Apollo), marble statue of Boreas, marble statue of Apollo and many more.
The site of Delos is opened daily (except Mondays and Easter Sunday) until at most 3 pm (15:00). The ticket for entering the indoor museum costs 5€ but persons under 18 can enter for free. Also there are some days when entrance is free for all: Sundays (from 1st of November to 31st of March), the first Sunday of every month (except July, August and September), 6th March, 18th April , 18th May 5th June, the last weekend of September (all representing important days), as well as the national holidays.
You can combine a trip to site and the museum with a climb to the top of Delos’ lone mountain but it would take you at least 3 days and still won’t be able to say “I’ve seen it all!” It’s advisable to visit Delos with a guide to make the most of it even in a short period of time.
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