If you’re looking for a vacation that’s full of history and ancient ruins, look no further than Delos. This is a small but interesting island near Mykonos. It was considered a sacred place in ancient times because of its strong connection to various important mythological figures. The most famous one is Apollo, the god of light and truth, from whom the island got its name. Besides this, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
In this post, I will highlight the 8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do on Delos for an unforgettable travel experience. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
1. Delos Archaeological Museum
One place you simply cannot miss when doing the top tourist attractions in Delos is the Archaeological Museum. This museum contains amazing artifacts from the sites of Delos and will give you a better understanding of the island’s long history.
Inside, you will find ancient statues, ceramics, bronzes, and other objects. Even though the collection is not large, it’s very impressive. I was amazed by how many precious artifacts they managed to fit into the space. And this goes for all nine rooms of the museum, which are packed with amazing things.
You can easily spend an hour or two here, marveling at the fabulous exhibits they hold. The museum is small and not too crowded either, so getting up-close and personal with the artifacts is easy. It’s by far my favorite museum in Greece and one I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Delos and its culture.
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2. Terrace of the Lions
Located near the Sacred Lake, this is another one of Delos’ most impressive sites. It’s was actually not called “Terrace of Lions” in ancient texts, but we use this name today because of the impressive lion statues that line it.
Currently, there are five lions made of white marble in the Crouching position. But this could have been a real sight because there were nine lions initially. However, note that the lions you see today are all replicas. The original lions were removed in the 19th century, and you can now see them at Delos’ Archaeological Museum.
Overall, visiting this attraction is definitely one of the best things to do in Delos, especially if you love historical sites. It’s such an iconic sight and so peaceful. You won’t be able to resist coming back multiple times.
3. Sacred Precinct
Another place you can’t miss when exploring the top attractions in Delos is the Sacred Precinct. It’s probably the most iconic place on the island and definitely the most important.
The entire place is dedicated to Apollo’s worship and dates back thousands of years. From the main gateway, you can explore the three temples of Apollo at your own pace and see everything that is here. You will find the Keraton temple at the center, which was the most important of all Delian temples in ancient times.
The entire area is beautiful and unique in its own way, with many different buildings and columns. It’s a place that definitely takes your breath away, as you appreciate how old it is and what it must have been like for the ancient people to worship here.
Overall, visiting the Sacred Precinct is definitely one of the top things to do in Delos and something you shouldn’t miss if you are coming here. It’s so peaceful and serene, with a magical atmosphere. It’s one of the most beautiful areas in all of Greece, and it’s where I felt closest to the gods.
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4. Hiking up Mount Kynthos
Mount Kynthos is the highest point of Delos, and therefore, offers a magnificent view over the entire island. This has made it an extremely popular attraction on the island, especially for hikers. Even if you’re not, you probably should come and hike it anyway to get the most out of your visit)
Mount Kynthos is not very high, only about 110 meters above sea level. And despite its height, it is a relatively easy hike, which only takes around 20-30 minutes to reach the top.
It’s a very rewarding experience walking up Mount Kynthos, not only because you get to enjoy the spectacular views at the top but also because it allows you to get a feel for Delos’ long history. By the way, you can see so many ancient ruins.
There are plenty of guides that will take you up Mount Kynthos, but I recommend hiking it on your own because it’s such an easy trail. Just make sure you’re properly equipped. Alternatively, there are also a few travel agencies on Delos that offer guided tours.
5. The House of the Trident and Theatre Quarter
The next place you must see is the House of the Trident, located between Mt. Kynthos and the commercial harbor. This house was once a luxurious villa that belonged to a wealthy merchant.
Today, this house has one of the most impressive Doric mosaics and stunning columns that date back to the Hellenistic period. The mosaics on the floor of this house are particularly impressive, with some very intricate designs that were created by skilled craftsmen. The mosaics are in perfect condition, and it’s fascinating to imagine what life was like all those years ago.
Another place I recommend visiting is the Theatre Quarter, which is a few minutes away. This is a a Greek-style auditorium where events were performed during ancient times. It has 26 rows of seats and can accommodate about 5000 visitors. You can still see some sections of the stage wall and get a feel for what it would have been like to attend a show here. It’s also a relaxing place to enjoy some of the island’s beauty.
Visiting these two places together is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to explore the top tourist attractions in Delos. And don’t forget that if you go to the Theatre Quarter first, you can then explore the House of the Trident afterward, since they are only a 10-minute walk apart.
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6. House of Dionysus
One of the best things to do in Delos is definitely exploring this house, which is one of the most important houses excavated on the island. It dates from the second century BC and is one of the best examples of an upper-class family’s home in ancient Greece.
This two-story house now remains in ruins, but the pieces that are still standing show you how luxurious it must have been. The highlight here is the central courtyard, which is surrounded by marble columns with mosaic flooring. There are also many beautiful ornaments on the walls and floor of this house, and it is easy to imagine the wealthy people who once lived here.
I could easily spend hours marveling at the House of Dionysus. It’s incredible to think that a building from ancient Greece still stands, and I love exploring the ruins. When you do visit, make sure to go inside as well because the walls and floor of the central courtyard are fascinating to look at.
7. The Sacred Way
The Sacred Way is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of Delos. The story behind it makes it even more interesting, but even without that knowledge, this place would still be one of the top tourist attractions in Delos.
The road was called the Sacred Way because it’s where processions were held during festivals. However, this was also the main commercial area of Delos, lined with ruins of shops and stalls that belonged to merchants and artisans.
Although much of it is in ruins today, it’s still worth visiting because you can get a real feel for ancient Greece here. There’s something really special about walking on this road and imagining the various people that once did the same. It gives you a feeling of connection with these ancient merchants and artisans.
In addition to being one of the most historically significant places on Delos, the Sacred Way is also beautiful and very relaxing. I enjoyed strolling here and enjoying the views. So if you’re looking for some peace and quiet time on Delos, then I would highly recommend this walk.
8. Temple of Isis
Another of the best things to do in Delos is visiting the Temple of Isis, built to honor the Egyptian goddess (The goddess of fertility). That’s why the temple was set up and viewed as a symbol of fertility.
The temple dates back to the 2nd-century BC, and it’s one of the oldest Egyptian temples ever found on Greek soil. It looks quite different from most other ancient Greek temples, mainly because of its Egyptian influences. The temple itself isn’t very big. It’s mainly what you see is the base, with some columns still standing. But this makes it easier to imagine what it would have looked like in its heyday.
Although there’s not much left of it, the Temple of Isis is unique and interesting to visit. Plus, it’s close to other attractions in Delos, which makes it easy to combine both sites in one trip. I would definitely recommend coming here on your visit, just for this temple alone.
All of these places are simply must-sees for anyone wanting to explore the top tourist attractions in Delos. They are all beautiful, interesting and will give you a better understanding of how beautiful this island is. So if you’re looking for something different, I would definitely recommend visiting these attractions. They will leave a lasting impression on you.