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Most agree that, if you have the time, a day trip to the nearby island of Delos is a must. This little island was once the religious and political center of the Cyclades; Greek legend has it that this was the birthplace of Apollo (the god of music and light) and Artemis (the goddess of the wilderness, animals and the hunt). Because of its mythological significance, the ancient Ionians declared Delos their religious capital while a few centuries later, the Athenians set up a treasury here.
However, after a Roman attack in 88 B.C. and numerous pirate attacks in the decades following, Delos was eventually abandoned. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century — when the French School of Archaeology began to excavate — that Delos' rich history was finally uncovered. Today, you can wander about the ancient ruins of once-monumental structures like the Propylaea (formerly a grand marble archway) and the Sanctuary of Apollo. Travel experts say you should make some time to hike up the rocky Mount Kythnos (just southwest of the harbor) for excellent views of the surrounding islands. You can also find many of the artifacts recovered from Delos at the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos.
Delos is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, and hours vary depending on the season. Ferries to the island leave Chora regularly starting around 10 a.m. There is no entry fee, but you will need to pay for the ferry ride there and back.
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