Island Hopping – Delos & Mykonos

We really, really wanted to visit Delos, a super important archealogical island close to Mykonos. What we really, really didn’t want to do was stay on Mykonos for two nights on account of it being obnoxiously expensive. The kind of expensive whereby you can only sob as you hand over anything north of €120 for a single night’s accommodation for the absolute cheapest bed you could find which was probably in a room the size of a Vauxhall Corsa which you’d have to share with three different kinds of ants. It was actually cheaper to book a tour from Naxos than it was to stay on Mykonos and take the ferries from there so that’s what we did.

Naxos morning views.

Delos, according to myth, is the birthplace of the twins, Apollo and Artemis. Zeus went and knocked up another woman who wasn’t his wife which was pretty standard practice for him. Leto, the woman in question, was persecuted by Hera, the wife of Zeus, who quite frankly would do better just to chop his cheating dick off rather than keep going after the women he shags. Hera cursed Leto so she couldn’t find anywhere to give birth to her twins so Zeus produced Delos for her where she gave birth at the Sacred Lake. The lake has since been drained to discourage mosquitoes which is fair enough. The bitey little cunts have chewed chunks out of me. Eradicating the risk of malaria far outweighs sacred spawning grounds of mythological gods.

There are two shady spots on Delos; the area by the ticket office and outside the currently closed museum. We sat down at the latter to have our sandwiches and a gang of cats immediately tried to relieve us of them.

We were hoping to get a guide for this but most of the other people on the boat seemed to be in pre-made groups complete with tour leader brandishing a custom placard. To be fair it was so fucking hot I think anything a guide would have told us would have melted out through my ears along with a substantial quantity of my brain. I’m just going to stick a load of photos here with descriptions underneath because I’m too lazy to form that many coherent sentences.

The first area you come to on Delos would have been columned stoas and temples.
These misshapen lumps are all that’s left of a huge statue of Apollo. Various part of it have been looted over the centuries. The head was taken by the British and no trace of it remains. This is the torso and pelvis, looters got it several metres away from their original position then fucked off the whole endeavour as they were too heavy. They abandoned them here.
The Naxian Lions, dedicated to the Sanctuary of Apollo at the end of the 7th century BC. These are replicas, the originals are in the museum. Except one which was taken by the Venetians when they found it, headless, and today it’s still in Venice with “an exceptionally ugly head added”.
I’m not sure what this was, I just like the picture.
The original mosaic is in the museum, this is a replica.
The Sanctuary of Dionysius. There is zero information on this giant marble dick and the podium it stands on which appears to depict a giant headless rubber chicken. This, I feel, is one of the biggest travesties of our time.
To the right is the House of Cleopatra. No, not that Cleopatra. This one was a wealthy women who moved to Delos with her husband from Athens. There were all manner of houses in the theatre Quarter, both average and wealthy, and the richer folks would often knock two houses together. This is what Cleopatra did, then added the marble peristyle despite the fact the courtyard was too small for it. But she figured that because they were rich and her neighbours had one then she sure as fuck was going to have one too. There are also the remains of statues of her and her husband which you can’t see in this photo. Flash bastards.

We had just under three hours on Delos and we all piled onto the boat for departure at 1.30pm. They made it abundantly clear as we were leaving the boat what time we had to be back too. One bloke held a clock with the hands pointing to 1.30 and several crew members yelled out, “ONE THIRTY!!!” over and over as people disembarked. These were men that were very used to dealing with hordes of tourists.

Can we just take a minute to put this in our eyeholes?

Y’know I could quite happily have done without Mykonos but it was part of the day so here we were, sizzling in the hot, narrow streets, hemmed in by wall to wall humans. I usually love a good, aimless wander through these alleyways but Mykonos somehow manages to make it really fucking stressful.

We headed to the windmills just to tick that box then decided to get a beer. We rapidly undecided that when we realised they wanted €12 for a small draught. You can get to absolute fuck, sunshine. We found a kiosk, Tarrant got a beer and I stuck with a Red Bull, we found a shady step to sit on and continued sweating profusely. Fuck me, was this the hottest place on earth?

5.10pm was when we were due to depart from Mykonos and the boat left bang on time. It had been a long, hot day and my brain was packed full of new information. We were bollocksed. It’s a long old way back to Naxos via Paros so when we got back we just scooted straight back to Maragas Beach and had dinner at Manoli Tavern which is right next to the campsite because hooray for convenience and food that isn’t noodles with carrots mixed in in an attempt at avoiding malnutrition.

Mykonos Town.

I kind of feel like Greece isn’t hugely au fait with the fourteen major allergens. Tarrant isn’t allergic to lactose thank fuck or I don’t think we’d ever be able to leave the UK unless she wanted to live off rice and chips. She’s intolerant to it though. She asked if the lamb kleftiko had any dairy in it. The waiter looked confused. “Like, butter or yoghurt?” she clarified. “It’s lamb!” he confidently told us, an incredulous look on his face. She asked what it came with. “Potatoes!” he replied, as if it was the most obvious thing in the whole entire world. Yeah so it came plonked on a bed of feta. Thanks, mate. I’m the one who’s got to share a tent with her.

Jump to “Useful shit to know…”

Delos & Mykonos, South Aegean, Greece / Δήλος & Μύκονος, Νότιο Αιγαίο, Ελλάδα

Stayed at: Maragas Beach Naxos, Naxos

Maragas Beach Camping. It was really quiet so we spread out quite a lot but they were more than happy for us to put our hammocks up. This back area goes dark at night, they have this whole section where they turn the lights off which is amazing as the other two sites we’ve been on like to light the whole place up like the fucking sun! This complex has pretty much everything you’ll need. Accommodation for all budgets, a bar, shop, taverna, plenty of spotless facilities, a decent kitchen with loads of fridge space. We absolutely loved it here and would 100% stay here again.

Useful shit to know…

  • You can do this day trip from Paros which will save you two hours of boat travel. We were originally going to do this but it was cancelled due to high winds. It leaves from Naoussa and you’re given the option of a hotel pick up.
  • Hotel pickup isn’t an option when booking from Naxos and the buses wouldn’t have gotten us into Naxos port early enough so we hung onto the scooter. You meet at the small port at 8.45am, which is right next to the main port.
  • We booked through Get Your Guide. I’ve found them to be quick at answering any questions and you can contact them a number of ways including WhatsApp.
  • The tour cost £51.74 each and we were charged in British Pounds. At the time of writing that equated to under €60.
  • We weren’t offered a guided tour, it seemed that the majority of people on the boat were already with their own tour group. There are plenty of information boards around the place though and you’re given a map on entry.
  • It was €8 to enter the site. I believe it’s usually €12. I’m not sure if the reduced price was because the museum was closed for 2022 or if that’s autumn price.

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