Rhenia island

The Cycladic Sisters, Mykonos, Delos and Rhenia, each with her own personality, are among Greece’s most precious treasures.

Rhenia called alternatively “Great Delos” and “Big Delos”, is four times the size of its sister island and separated from it by a small strait. Rhenia is really two sections connected by a narrow isthmus. It is the ancient burial ground for warriors who died on Delos and whose bones were then transferred to its land, many years ago. One can see grave markers and burial stones on its rocky terrain. It is a popular belief that the island is “haunted” by the ghosts of the warriors buried there. Uninhabited, the island has no plumbing, electricity, or telephones and by Greek law, no one is allowed to live on Rhenia or build a permanent home there.

On the island one can find four solitary, sandy beaches named Glyfada, Stena, Lia and Ambelia, which are protected by two coves. The sea has a very beautiful blue/green colour that changes as you approach the shore.

Some tourists come to the island during the day for the experience of being almost alone on an uninhabited island, but there are only a few who seek this experience. At times, parties will be held on the island and notices will appear in Mykonos announcing the event; all the available boats will be chartered and people will descend on the island with sleeping bags, party all night, and hope that the winds, (the Meltemi), will permit them to return the next day. But these parties have been discouraged by the officials in Mykonos because of the obvious danger.

Mykonians come to Rhenia to fish and enjoy the total calmness. They also bring their sheep and goats here to graze and concrete huts are scattered around the island to provide temporary shelter in the event of storms.

It would be almost impossible for the ordinary tourist to go to this island alone at night, and it is most likely forbidden, but the island can be visited during the day. Very few tourists know about the island or have an interest in going there on a day’s excursion, so, if you plan it correctly, it is possible to be the only person on one of its four pristine, sandy beaches.