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Sacred to Apollo and Artemis

Delos 11

Many are your temples and shaded groves

Every peak, cliff and mountain high

Are loved by you, and the rivers that flow to the sea

But Phoebus, Délos is your heart’s delight. 8th-century BC Homeric hymn to Apollo

Mykonos could have no greater contrast than its neighbour Délos: the holy island of the ancient Greeks, centre of the great maritime alliance of the Athenian golden age, and a World Heritage Site since 1990.

A major port in Hellenistic and Roman times that once controlled much of the east–west trade in the Mediterranean, today it is now a vast open-air museum, deserted except for the lonely guardian of the ruins and boatloads of day-trippers. It’s an island haunted by 2,000 years of memories; the Delians themselves seem to have been reincarnated as lizards, darting among the poppies and broken marble.

The Nursery of the Gods

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Ben Ramirez, Bernard Gagnon, Cadogan Greek Islands, Carl Rottmann , Luigi Rosa, Mark Ordonez, Marmontel, michael clarke stuff, Olaf Tausch