One of the more popular day trips from Naxos, this tour brings you to the interesting archaeological site of Delos, followed by another stop at the island of Mykonos. Delos was an attraction that I did not want to miss. However, the nearest island to it would be Mykonos. I had heard about Mykonos being touristy and expensive, and thus opted not to stay on it.
Getting to Delos / Mykonos
Most tourists get to Delos via Mykonos, as it is the closest inhabited island.
You can book a day trip to Delos & Mykonos from Naxos’s port (where I left from), where most of the tour operators were. It costs approximately €50 for the trip (including transport from Naxos to Delos, Delos to Mykonos, and Mykonos back to Naxos).
Most of the Cyclades Islands (Santorini, Ios, Milos, Sifnos etc.) offer day trips to Delos as well. However, the price will differ based on the distance of the islands to Delos. I suggest that you ask your local tour operator in the island that you are residing in.
You will meet around 8.30am at the port, where your high speed ferry/speed boat will be waiting at. The ferry will leave at approximately 9am, reaching Delos in around an hour. After exploring Delos for around 3 hours, the boat will leave for Mykonos, which is a short 10 minutes boat ride away. You will get the chance to eat lunch at Mykonos, and explore a little bit of the island, before you’re whisked back to Naxos at around 5pm.
The boat had basic features, and an outdoors seating area. However, it was really excruciatingly hot that day thus I chose to seat indoors (where there was air-conditioning).
Entrance fee: €12 (regular), €6 (reduced)
Opening hours: 01 Apr – 31 Oct Mon-Sun, 0800-2000, 01 Nov – 31 Mar Tue-Sun, 0800-1500 (you cannot stay overnight on the island)
Delos is one of the more genuine and interesting archaeological sites that I had visited during my trip to Greece. This was because most of the ruins were left as they were, not being reconstructed or rebuilt in any way.
As the ferry arrives at Delos, you can already see the vast expanse of land, in which no modern buildings have ever been built on. Delos was one of the most sacred places of Ancient Greece. It is claimed that Delos was Greek god Apollo’s birthplace. It was a great cosmopolitan centre where traders and merchants from all around the world congregated to do business.
Tip: I only found out at the end that you are not actually supposed to climb upon the ruins. I wandered over some walls in search of a better view before I realised that . Beware of the spiky plants! They hurt!
Tip: There is one sole shop selling food and beverages halfway during your exploration of Delos. I would recommend buying enough water beforehand (preferably 1.5L mineral water bottles) because the prices at that shop are just crazily exorbitant. One small bottle of water costs €3, and orange juice costs €5.
The view that you get after getting off the ferry is simply breathtaking. Clear waters, a non-commercialised feel and a great landscape to behold. Most tourists jump off the boat and head towards the ticket kiosk immediately in their desire to see the ruins. There is actually a perfect photo spot at the path from the dock to the ticket kiosk. They even have stacks of rocks for you to take pictures with. I made my own stack of rocks and proudly used my tripod to get some great photos.
The Lion Terrace
Temple of Apollo
House of Dionysus
Aqueducts of Ancient Delos
I did not expect to visit Mykonos, honestly. It just seemed very typical, and was crossed out of my list. Thus, when the day trip package came together with a visit to Mykonos, I was pleasantly surprised to at least get a glimpse of this famed touristy island.
I was expecting Mykonos to be a really overcrowded place. True, this island was one of the rare ones in which I could find other Asians in. It was definitely overpopulated among certain areas including the main town as well as the nearest beaches to the Port. However, I felt that there were still a few quiet spots that I found among the hustle and bustle.
I fell in love with the colourful pastel hues in Mykonos Old Town. The walls were all painted different shades of blue, I couldn’t help snapping away. This was one of the quieter portions of Mykonos, where I actually saw more locals than tourists.
An iconic landmark in Mykonos, these windmills were certainly a beautiful sight , made even better coupled with the turquoise waters of the Aegean. It was really windy when I visited, which made it hard to capture great photos when your singlet keeps flying sideways.
They have a really good photo spot near this area, it is on a small cliff that overlooks Mykonos Town. Just place your tripod a few metres away from you and snap away. The background of pastel hues, the turquoise Aegean Sea and the mountainous scenery is a sight to behold.
Tip: If you’re visiting Mykonos, do grab your groceries (especially alcohol) from the cheaper island that you came from (Eg: Naxos, Paros etc.) before boarding the ferry. The savings are definitely going to be worth it. The prices on Mykonos are killers.
Tip: Most tourists will walk up to the windmills, capture some photos and walk back down where they came from. I suggest walking a little further till you see a slope. It is quite steep, but when you climb down the slope you will reach an isolated small stretch of beach. Most people don’t ever climb down this slope, thus you will have the little beach all to yourself.
Food in Mykonos
Pasta Freca Barkia
Price: €13 (Pesto Penne)
I ended up on Mykonos around lunchtime, thus I decided to eat out in Mykonos, just to get a feel of how the prices are in this notoriously expensive island. I chose Pasta Freca Barkia as it had a cosy ambience, together with decent prices compared to the rest of the restaurants. The service was really good, with your waiter asking multiple times whether you are comfortable, and enquiring about the quality of the food. I had the Pesto Penne which was absolutely one of the better pesto pastas I’ve ever eaten, the best being in Ios. The pesto was well-infused into the penne, making every bite a really satisfying one.