Famous Greek Islands You’ll Know From Mythology
Everywhere you go in Greece there are stories to be told. The magic of mythology incites a curiousity that fuses both the present and the past. The islands in Greek mythology have inspired people to visit from all over the world and they will for years to come.
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Santorini And The Legend Of Atlantis
There is one myth that is known worldwide. A story of intrigue and mystery that still captures people’s attention even now, thousands of years later! That is the legend of Atlantis. This island in Greek mythology was first mentioned by the Greek philosopher Plato in two of his writings. The location or possible existence of Atlantis has always been disputed. But many believe that this island was Santorini, having disappeared after the volcanic eruption. The similarities between the lost village of Akrotiri in Santorini and Atlantis might have you convinced!
Delos Is Just Like Ancient Times
This island in Greek mythology was known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis. Leto, a mistress of the god Zeus was cursed by his wife, Hera. Hera made it impossible for her to give birth anywhere on land. This was until Poseidon came to her rescue. Being the god of the sea, he offered her a haven on the island of Delos. It was here that she was able to safely give birth to her twins, Apollo and Artemis.
If you would like to visit Delos today, all you need to do is take a short boat ride from Mykonos. But bear in mind that it has a strict no visitors after dark policy and, it is forbidden to give birth or die on the island, just like in ancient times. Delos gives you the chance to explore a place left completely undisturbed since the early centuries AD.
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Crete – The Birthplace Of Zeus
You may know this island in Greek mythology from the story of the Minotaur. A fearsome monster that was kept in a labyrinth beneath the Palace of Knossos. A palace you can still visit today! But more likely you knew this island because of Zeus, the Greek god.
In Greek mythology, the island of Crete is known to be the birthplace of Zeus. Because his father was one of the worst Greek gods, his mother Rhea hid him from his father to ensure his safety. Raised in caves deep within the mountains, Zeus was cared for by nymphs and the goat Amalthea that provided him with milk and honey. The exact location of the cave is still disputed with two possible options being the Dicteon and Ideon caves.
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Lemnos – Where Hephaestus Landed
Lemnos is the island in Greek mythology that people associate with the god Hephaestus. When he was born, he was so disfigured and unsightly that his mother, Hera, threw him from the top of Mount Olympus. Lemnos was where he landed.
Many figures in Greek mythology are associated with this island, including Dionysus, Jason and the Argonauts and, Philoctetes. Near the archaeological site of Kavira you can visit the cave where, according to legend, the Argonauts abandoned a mortally wounded Philoctetes. For modern day visitors, this island’s charm enchants all those who visit. It is a quiet island with substantial history, in both the first world war and beyond.
Ithaka From Homers Odyssey
Ithaka is most famous for being home to the Greek hero Odysseus. Homer immortalised this island in Greek mythology in his epic poem Odyssey. More recently, the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote: “Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years” in his poem Ithaka. A reminder that it is not the destination, but the journey that matters.
But what a destination it is! Beautiful crystal-clear waters, and lush green surroundings. When eventually your journey takes you to Ithaka you will see why this island inspired some of the most famous pieces of writing in history.
Ikaria Is Home To Dionysus
The Greek island of Ikaria in mythology is often regarded as the birthplace of Dionysus, the God of wine and grape harvest. When you visit you will notice that people in Ikaria know how to focus on what matters. They are unperturbed with trivial modern issues and at the end the day, they know how to slow down and relax with a wine or two!
The festivals of Ikaria taking place from May till August are a chance for visitors to experience the ideal of celebration, unity and connection. No stranger escapes the pull of the dance, whether they know the steps or not. And time is nothing but a concept when the music starts to play at daylight and continues until there is no one standing.
Kythira And The Goddess Of Love
From the foaming Aegean sea sprung the first of the Greek gods. Aphrodite, mistress of the sea and patroness of love, desire and fertility. This occurred on the shores of Kythira. This island in Greek mythology has retained and aura of love. Kythira is full of history and when you visit you will feel a sense of peace, relaxation and an unmistakable aura of love.