Delve into Greek Mythology
Travel to any of the Greek islands and there’s a good chance that, at some point, you will hear about the mythology that envelops this stunning Mediterranean archipelago. There are a total of 12 Greek gods and many more Olympians followed in their footsteps. Having prior knowledge of Greek mythology will certainly impress any charming locals you may encounter in the Eastern Mediterranean. This week, Pullmantur delves into the mythology behind some of the stunning islands you will visit during a Greek island cruise.
One of most southerly located of the Greek islands is the Crete, renowned for supposedly being the birthplace of Zeus, father of the gods. Prior to this, Cronos (Zeus’ father) had swallowed his children out of fear they would usurp his power. His wife, Rhea, escaped to Crete with the help of Gaia and Uranus, where she gave birth to Zeus in a cave. After being raised on the island by nymphs, Zeus fought the evil Cronos and was victorious – granting him with the throne over the heavens.
It was also on the island of Crete that Zeus’ wife, Princess Europa, gave birth to three sons. The most honoured of the three was Minos, who later reigned over the island and turned it into a cultural and artistic hub of prosperity.
Ruled by Mykonos, believed to be son or grandson of Apollo, the island holds its place in mythology for being a battleground. It is believed to be the location where Zeus fought the Titans, as well as being the location where Hercules killed the Giants. The Giants were believed to be invincible, so long as they remained in the protected area of Mount Olympus. Hercules successfully lured them to Mykonos and, today, it is believed the large rocks are actually the Giants’ petrified corpses.
Santorini’s links in mythology are not too dissimilar to reality. Greek legend tells the story of Euphemus, who dreamt that he made love to the sea god Triton. She became pregnant in his dream and he needed to protect her from her father, who would become angry if he found out. Triton told Euphemus that if he threw a clod of earth into the sea, a safe haven would emerge. Euphemus woke up and followed the advice given in his dream. He took a clod of earth from the island of Anaphe and, upon throwing it into the sea, a mysterious island appeared.
This island became known as Thera and was later given its present name, Santorini. There is a logical explanation behind the myth, in that it is believed Santorini was formed after a volcanic eruption in the sea. It is believed that nearly every myth provides a fun explanation to a more scientific occurrence.
The Greek mainland and surrounding islands are home to some of the most stunning beach destinations in the Mediterranean. However, these are not the only Mediterranean locations you will visit during an all-inclusive cruise with Pullmantur. Sailing out of Marseille on selected cruises will also take you to the Italian island of Sicily and the French island of Corsica. With all meals, drinks, transfers, gratuities and flights included in the price of your package, all that’s left to do is sit back and relax.