Greek Islands. The crown jewel of the Mediterranean, where some of history’s greatest myths and mysteries abound among beachgoers and night owls, diners, and backpackers. Turn any corner on arguably the world’s most historically significant country – from Athens to Thessaloniki, Rhodes to Santorini – and you are bound to find a story behind every archaeological ruin.
Better yet, chances are you’re walking the same paths, trekking the same mountains, and sailing the same shores that some of the most famous mythological legends have done before you.
The Greek Islands are steeped in folklore dating back thousands of years, to which the country is much more than just beautiful beaches and delicious food. History buffs are in for an extra special treat as they find sunshine, beautiful beaches, traditional cuisine, sailing adventures, and world-renowned nightlife based on the same mythological grounds as most of history’s fictional legends! Island life is about to get a lot more interesting…
Syros is beautiful, with its boutique stores, vibrant pink and purple flower-lined streets, and laid-back atmosphere that will make you wish the days never ended. Legend has it that the island’s first king, Koiranos, was aboard his ship when it sank somewhere between Naxos and Paros, leaving him spilling water in the open ocean before a dolphin came along and rescued him, the one he is today. The cave was taken as it is known today Koiranion Andro.
Syros’ capital, Ermoupoli, is also rumored – albeit in a controversial fashion (should love these historians, right?) – to be the birthplace of Hermes, while other scholars claim it to be Arcadia. Regardless, historians agree that the god of wealth, fortune, and travel must have been of particular importance to the island, as the capital translates to ‘city of Hermes’.
No visit to Syros is complete without a visit to Ano Syros, located on top of a hill built around 1200 CE, for spectacular ocean views. Make sure you bring a bottle of water, or a frappe if you prefer, in the warmer months, before taking a stroll through the iconic pillars that tower up the Town Hall.
Rugged Amorgos is famous for three things: yoga pilgrims, hiking enthusiasts, and the ancient story of Ulysses, who left his wife Penelope for the goddess Kirki. Today, the island is just as romantic (assuming you approach this myth with a silver lining), and attracts people from all over the world in search of traditional Greek beauty, without the huge crowds elsewhere.
Experience the ancient vibes for yourself with visits to the Pyrgos (ruins of the ancient Arquezini are some 2400 years old) and the mythical city of Minoa, located just above the modern port of Catapola. Top it off with a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Amorgos, which displays a plethora of artifacts from the ancient city and Minoan civilization.
Amorgos is stunning, peaceful, romantic, and just the kind of place you might find yourself living in—after all, if that was enough of Ulysses and a mesmerizing Greek goddess, it’s a stop on your next Aegean -Off is over adventure!
Apollo’s birthplace always had to be terrifying, right? Although small in size (3 km sq), Delos has historically been considered the center of the Cyclades islands, which include the mega-destination Santorini, Ios, and Mykonos. Excavations have found temples dedicated to Apollo – the son of Zeus and the titan Leto – in one of which was an eight-meter-high statue of him made of wood and completely covered in gold.
A revered god of the sun, light, music, poetry, and truth, his mythological power can still be experienced today with a visit to the Temple of Apollo and the Archaeological Museum of Delos, which houses a large collection of UNESCO world-discovered artifacts. Heritage Site Island.
Paros is a treasure trove of archaeological sites, including the much-reputed ancient marble quarries – the finest marble in the world is the Pirian which was used in the crafting of many famous marble sculptures, including Aphrodite of Milos which is now the Louvre (Paris). resides in. France) and Hermes of Praxiteles – the sanctuary of Asclepius, dedicated to the god of medicine, the sanctuary of Delion, containing the remaining fragments of the temple dedicated to Apollo and Artemis, as well as the Archaeological Museum of Paros and the Hellenistic. Mosaics.
Paros certainly packs a punch when it comes to things to do: when you’re up to speed with its many ancient wonders and sites, head to the blue beach of Parikia for a few cocktails before hitting up the local nightlife. The perfect place to chill with or have nausea.
Santorini, for all its fame and foot traffic, probably has the greatest mythological background anywhere on Earth, not just Greece. Plato’s The Lost City of Atlantis is rumored to be modern-day Santorini (more specifically, Thira), while the rest of it sits on the ocean floor due to massive volcanic eruptions that caused earthquakes and flooding.
It is one of the world’s best-known myths, and a closer analysis of the alleged location of Atlantis and the various writings and rumors surrounding it, as well as the fact that a 5000-year-old lost city off the coast of Greece has recently been (Here’s looking at you, Pavlopetri!) – it’s certainly possible that Santorini is the place the world has been searching for so long.
Today, you can visit the Akrotiri Archaeological Excavation in southern Santorini to see what life used to be like on this mysterious island before a volcanic eruption covered the ancient city in ash. And besides, well… Santorini is simply amazing, especially the barren dirt roads behind Perissa beach.
Immerse yourself in the magic of the Greek islands, from the super-famous to the lesser-known Aegean gems. Whether it’s ancient history, lost civilizations, Greek mythology, or just to splurge on technology for a while, arm yourself with an ice-cold frappe and hike the beautiful barren mountains against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Be it traveling, the perfect experience is just around the corner.
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