Half-day trips to Delos from Mykonos are the most popular trips for visitors. Jump at the chance of a trip to Delos. Mykonos and Delos are very different! And a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a peaceful pause amidst the hedonism of Mykonos Town.
- Best things to do in Mykonos
- Get Around Mykonos Easily: Travel the Famous Island
- Getting from Athens to Mykonos
- 7 Best Santorini Boat Tours for an Unforgettable Experience
- Top Places to See the Fantastic Santorini Sunset
It’s a fabulous choice if you’re visiting the island between April and October.
In this post, I’ll answer your questions about visiting Delos, the sacred island. Things like how to get there and what to do.
Why is Delos So Famous?
In terms of history, myth and archaeology, Delos is one of the most important sites in Greece.
At the heart of the circle made by the Cyclades group of islands, it was a really vibrant commercial centre, port and religious centre in Ancient Greece and the Classical period.
It’s also known as the birthplace of the mythological gods Apollo and Artemis. In ancient times Delos became a cult centre for Apollo and later it became a pilgrimage site.
The sacred island of Delos is still revered and giving birth or dying on the island is forbidden. In the past, pregnant women and people close to death were shipped next door to Rhenia.
Excavations continue on the 1.3 square mile archaeological site to this day. Original items can be seen in the onsite museum. (Closed for building works in 2022. Hopefully the Museum of Delos will reopen in 2023.)
Is Delos Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! The entire island is an open-air museum and you really get a feel for the history.
The island and universe were said to be bathed in Apollo’s light. Many people also come for this good energy since it’s a sacred site.
Is There a Ferry from Mykonos to Delos?
Yes, boats go across to Delos multiple times a day in the peak season. At the start of the season, there is just one arrival and departure so check availability for the month you’re going. (See below.)
How Long is the Ferry from Mykonos to Delos?
The boat takes around 30 – 40 minutes depending on the season and the weather.
Mykonos to Delos Tour – How Does it Work?
There are a few different combinations you can choose for your Mykonos to Delos tour.
- The simplest thing and I think the best thing if it’s your first visit, is to go all-inclusive.
- For 60 euro you get a return boat ticket, entry to Delos (skipping the queue) and a 90-minute guided option with a wireless headset so you can actually hear it.
- This ticket is 30 euro for children aged 6 – 12 and children under 6 go free.
You can buy Delos tickets online here (make sure you tick the box to say you want the guided tour). Or you can get them at the ticket booth at the harbour in Mykonos Town.
Either way, you still need to collect the ticket at the booth.
- Guided tours in English run daily at 10:00 from the 15th April with a few sporadic dates before that (see the Delos Tours site it the signs outside the ticket office.)
- From 2nd May until 31st October there’s also an English tour at 17:00 each day.
Alternatively, you can pick a Mykonos sail cruise to Delos and Rhenia. On this type of boat trip, you get to swim and snorkel at Rhenia and enjoy a BBQ and drinks on the boat.
Although guided tours don’t take you around every single part of the island it takes you to the most prominent places and it’s the best way of understanding what you’re looking at.
There should be time left at the end if you want to do some more exploring before you head back.
If you’d prefer to do a self-guided tour then you’ll have to get your tickets separately. You’ll need to pay for:
- a return boat ticket
- the entrance fee when you arrive at Delos
The boat ticket costs 22 euros for a return ticket to Delos through the Delos Tours website or from the ticket booth. (At the harbour in Mykonos Town, near Little Venice, it’s marked on Google Maps.)
If you pay online you still need to go to the ticket booth at the latest 30 minutes before the trip to get a paper ticket. This price is solely for the return journey.
Delos Island Entrance Fee
Once you arrive at Delos you need to pay an entrance fee. In April it was 8 euro although in summer it will be higher, around 12 euro. (Unless the fee is reduced because the museum’s closed.)
- You need to queue up to pay this at the ticket booth when you get off the boat. In peak times it can be busy if several boats from various islands turn up at once.
- Get ready to be first off the boat so that you can head to the front of the line.
One of the benefits of paying the all-inclusive fee is that you can head straight through the entrance to meet your tour guide, no need to wait.
How Much Time Do You Need in Delos?
Most people spend about 3 hours on Delos but if boats allow (depending on the time of year you visit) you can be there for less or more time. The guided tour is 90-minutes.
When you pay your entrance fee you get a map with three different routes in it. They take 90 minutes to 5 hours so it’s up to you how long you’d like to be there.
Your ticket permits you to return on any of the Delos Tours boats running that day.
On my second trip it took me 2 hours to walk around the main areas as well as up Cynthus hill and round the various sanctuaries on the way up and down. We were a bit late arriving as we had a last minute change of boat so that worked out well.
I sat with the cats for about 15 minutes at the end and then got back on the boat.
If you do a tour, and then want to explore on your own you might like a bit longer than three hours. That way you don’t need to rush round and you have time to catch your breath after all those steps!
I wouldn’t recommend doing a huge amount of walking if you visit in July or August because of the heat. The island’s really exposed so please be sensible.
Delos Mykonos Ferry Timetable
- The timetable changes based on the season and the sunset
- At the beginning of the season, the timetable is normally one departure from Mykonos at 10:00 with one return from Delos at 13:30
- From May and into the peak season there are usually 4 departures per day
- The best thing to do is keep an eye on the itineraries page here
Pay attention to the various dates on the table to make sure you’re looking at the right times. Having said that, use the booking form to double-check the info there is what’s actually happening.
I noticed in April that the Tues – Sun times available to book were not the same as those advertised. Probably they’ll update the system from month to month.
I don’t want to write out all the times here and then they change so double check when you know your dates.
Delos Evening Tour
The boat schedule does include an evening tour that leaves between 15:30 and 17:00 and returns between 18:30 and 20:00. Again it’s dependent on the season and sunset times.
My first Delos tour was in the evening. It was beautiful seeing the island at golden hour and it was lovely watching the sunset as we left.
Delos Private Tour
The group guided tours are run for a minimum of eight people. If you’d prefer to have a smaller group or a tour exclusively for your own travel group then book a private Delos tour.
You’ll need to book a certified tour guide as per Greek law. Try Antonis at Delos Guide for the dates you want.
Can You Swim on Delos Island?
No, swimming is not permitted in the sea at Delos.
Can You Buy Refreshments on Delos?
Unfortunately, the canteen on Delos island has been closed for a while. That means there is nowhere on the island to buy food or drinks.
I did notice that the boat we came on had a bar facility. It wasn’t open in April, with it being at the beginning of the season. But the bars may run if you visit in the summer.
- However, to be on the safe side, bring plenty of water with you as well as a snack to sustain your walking.
Are There Toilets on Delos?
No. As the toilets were part of the canteen they’re all closed at the moment. You may be able to use the toilet on the boat though as they tend to stay docked while you visit.
Can You Stay on Delos Island?
No, there is no tourist accommodation available on Delos.
Does Anyone Live on Delos?
The only people who live on Delos are the archaeologists who reside there temporarily.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Delos?
There is no real shade on Delos so it’s really important that you take a hat/cover-up/suncream, whatever you need to keep the sun off you. It gets pretty hot in the summer so come prepared.
Want to Visit Delos From Another Island?
Obviously, the easiest trip to Delos is from Mykonos. But it’s still fun and feasible as a full-day trip from some of the neighbouring islands.
Can You Visit Delos from Naxos or Paros?
Yes. Delos tours from Naxos and Paros usually involve a three-hour stop on Delos and a three-hour stop at Mykonos.
- From Paros, this tour takes you to Mykonos and Delos.
Can You Visit Delos from Santorini?
It’s not really feasible to visit Delos from Santorini in a day. You’d need to go via Mykonos and stay overnight.
The only way you could make it work is by private boat transfer or take a helicopter from Santorini to Mykonos on your own schedule.
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