One of the biggest aspects of Greece that attracts tourists from all over the world is its captivating ancient history and breathtaking scenery. From the turquoise blue waters to the white sands, Greece truly is a gift from the Greek Gods. Now, if you know anything about Greece, then you know that Greece is a land that became the mythological oasis that we all know and love, due to the myths that the Greeks abided by, the Gods that they worshipped, and the monsters they feared. If you ever want to take a trip back into ancient times, then Greece is the travel destination for you.
If you are planning a trip to Greece, you definitely want to set up tours to see all the ancient sites and artefacts that tell stories of the earlier times. Not only that, but you will also want to make sure you’re set up in one of the best vacation rentals the country has to offer. Once you have your vacation rental arrangements in place and you arrive in the beautiful country, you can then start to vacation like the Greek Gods and learn a little bit about the legends of the cities as well.
Greek mythology destination: Cyprus
Legend has it…
Cyprus is the very location where the Greeks believe the Greek Goddess Aphrodite was born. Aphrodite is the Goddess of love and beauty and because she was born in Cyprus, many people would come here to worship her…that’s how the city became such a popular location.
What to see
While in Cyprus, you will be able to see some of the city’s most beautiful ruins and exquisite mosaics. Because people worshipped Aphrodite (which her worshippers were soon called the cult of Aphrodite), there are actually landmarks in Cyprus associated with Aphrodite:
- Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Kouklia Village
- Aphrodite Rocks (rocky area at the site at the shore where she emerged from the waters) *very “instagrammable” photo opportunity*
- Baths of Aphrodite at Polis
Greek mythology destination: Crete
Legend has it…
The king of Crete, King Minos, had a minotaur in a labyrinth that was half-man and half-bull. King Minos was attacking the city of Athens and terrorizing the people there but decided to make a deal with the king of Athens stating that if he would send over seven boys and seven girls every nine years to feed his minotaur, he would leave the city alone and stop the attacks. It was agreed upon.
Well, nine years had passed and the prince of Athens, Theseus, offered himself as the seventh boy to be the feast for the minotaur. The princess of Crete, Ariadne, even offered to help him by giving him a sword and ball of string ONLY if he promised to bring her to Athens with him if he survived the slaying… Long story short, Theseus killed the minotaur but left Ariadne in Naxos… men and their broken promises…
What to See
Contrary to Prince Theseus’ broken promise to Princess Ariadne, Crete is actually one of the most romantic islands in Greece. If you and your significant other visits Crete, you’ll definitely want to hold hands on Balos Beach. To put yourself in the legend, you can visit the Palace of Knossos, which is the palace that sat right on top of the labyrinth that housed the minotaur.
Greek mythology destination: Corfu
Legend has it…
If you are loving all the legends and myths of Greece, Corfu is another destination who’s myth you’ll love. Corfu is an island that was named after a beautiful nymph named Korkyra, who fell in love with Poseidon; you can say that she was “swept away” by him!
In addition to that, Corfu is also the destination of the Achillion Palace, which is an ode to the story of Achilles. The story of Achilles is that to protect him from any bodily or physical harm, his mother dipped him in the enchanted waters of the River Styx. Oddly enough, all of his body was touched by the water except for the heel of one of his feet.
As an adult, Achilles was offered two options on how he could live out his life. He had the option to live a long life with no honour or a short life full of glory, honour, and fame… he, of course, chose the shorter life of glory and fame. He then goes on to fight in the Trojan War and killed his opponent Hector but his glory was, as promised, short-lived because he was later killed by an arrow to his ankle.
*Fun Fact: According to history.com, the phrase “Achilles heel” is used to describe a person of power’s greatest weakness. So a person’s Achilles heel can be a person, food, alcohol… etc.*
What to See
After Achilles’ story, you have to go visit Achillion Palace and learn more about the story… there’s so much to his story than an unfortunate ankle! Also, did you know there are four million olive trees in Corfu? You can actually go on an olive oil tasting tour in Corfu.