Tag Archives: Greek Islands

Greek Mythology

Around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod’s Theogony offered the first written cosmogony, or origin story, of Greek mythology. The Theogony tells the story of the universe’s journey from nothingness (Chaos, a primeval void) to being, and details an elaborate family tree of elements, gods and goddesses who evolved from Chaos and descended from Gaia (Earth), Ouranos (Sky), Pontos (Sea) and Tartaros (the Underworld).

Pantheon

Greek Mythology: The Olympians

At the center of Greek mythology is the pantheon of deities who were said to live on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. From their perch, they ruled every aspect of human life. Olympian gods and goddesses looked like men and women (though they could change themselves into animals and other things) and were–as many myths recounted–vulnerable to human foibles and passions.

The twelve main Olympians are:

  • Zeus (Jupiter, in Roman mythology): the king of all the gods (and father to many) and god of weather, law and fate
  • Hera (Juno): the queen of the gods and goddess of women and marriage
  • Aphrodite (Venus): goddess of beauty and love
  • Apollo (Apollo): god of prophesy, music and poetry and knowledge
  • Ares (Mars): god of war
  • Artemis (Diana): goddess of hunting, animals and childbirth
  • Athena (Minerva): goddess of wisdom and defense
  • Demeter (Ceres): goddess of agriculture and grain
  • Dionysos (Bacchus): god of wine, pleasure and festivity
  • Hephaistos (Vulcan): god of fire, metalworking and sculpture
  • Hermes (Mercury): god of travel, hospitality and trade and Zeus’s personal messenger
  • Poseidon (Neptune): god of the sea

Other gods and goddesses sometimes included in the roster of Olympians are:

  • Hades (Pluto): god of the underworld
  • Hestia (Vesta): goddess of home and family
  • Eros (Cupid): god of sex and minion to Aphrodite
Temple of Zeus the Olympian

Greek Mythology: Heroes and Monsters

Greek mythology does not just tell the stories of gods and goddesses, however.

Human heroes–such as Heracles, the adventurer who performed 12 impossible labors for King Eurystheus (and was subsequently worshipped as a god for his accomplishment); Pandora, the first woman, whose curiosity brought evil to mankind; Pygmalion, the king who fell in love with an ivory statue; Arachne, the weaver who was turned into a spider for her arrogance; handsome Trojan prince Ganymede who became the cupbearer for the gods; Midas, the king with the golden touch; and Narcissus, the young man who fell in love with his own reflection–are just as significant. Monsters and “hybrids” (human-animal forms) also feature prominently in the tales: the winged horse Pegasus, the horse-man Centaur, the lion-woman Sphinx and the bird-woman Harpies, the one-eyed giant Cyclops, automatons (metal creatures given life by Hephaistos), manticores and unicorns, Gorgons, pygmies, minotaurs, satyrs and dragons of all sorts. Many of these creatures have become almost as well known as the gods, goddesses and heroes who share their stories.

Temple of Apollos in Naxos

Reference: https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/greek-mythology

Room at the Top of the Inn

I wanted to visit some Greek islands before my trip back to Papua New Guinea early February. My online search recommended Mykonos and Santorini as the place to go. However, when I told my travel agent ‘Makis’ that I wanted to go Mykonos……he was like……’there is nobody there’! Mykonos only comes to life during summer but now is winter and everyone has left.

He then recommended that I do Naxos instead. I was reluctant as I didn’t read up Naxos and I didn’t think it was fun to visit as well. He told there is a new place ‘Grotta Hotel’ that he can put me up for a few nights before I go Santorini.

I reluctantly agreed…….so he book me on a on a trip to the Greek island of Naxos. Naxos is located in the South Aegean and is the largest of the Cycladic islands filled with white-washed, cube-shaped houses and vibrant small town life.

Arrival in Hotel Grotta

As soon as I arrived at ‘Grotta Hotel’ I was blown away on how beautiful the view is. . It was a small but luxurious place to stay and had a stunning view of the sea both from the windows and patio and also from the restaurant.

Lucky for me, it was located right on a hill ner the beach. It was incredible to wake up each morning with the Aegean in our front yards, and I would highly recommend renting a villa or room here if you are planning to visit Naxos.

As since, it just opened. I was the only ‘Lonely Guest’ in the most beautiful, scenic hotel one could ever imagine to stay. I stayed there for two nights and were taken aback by the beauty of the island and architecture, as well as the local culture and food.

To make the most of your trip to Naxos, I recommend that you rent a car, so you have the autonomy to explore the island yourself. There are so many incredible sites to visit and renting a car opposed to relying on public transformation or hiring a driver gives you a lot more freedom.

Naxos is somewhere I would recommend visiting if you find your way to Greece, and offers so many ways to experience the culture, cuisine, and history. I would most definitely recommend taking the trek to this island for the experience of a lifetime.