We have barely started autumn and we already have a summer mood, right? A perfect summer destination, both for its beaches, its landscapes, its gastronomy and its nightlife, are the Greek islands. However, today we are not talking about its well-known tourist attractions, if not something older and fabulous, we are talking about the mythology of the Greek islands.
First of all, we think of Greek islands and come to mind Mykonos, Santorini or it may be Crete ... but, do we know that around 6000 islands belonging to Greece are cataloged, of which a hundred are permanently inhabited?

Geographically they are grouped in the Ionian Islands in the north-west of continental Greece (including Corfu and Ithaca), the Saronic Islands very close to the mainland in the gulf of the same name (including Salamis), the Sporadic Islands "scattered" in the Aegean Sea, the Aegean Islands Northern (including Lesbos, Chios and Samos), Cyclades Islands in the center of the Aegean Sea, Dodecanese Islands also in the Aegean Sea but on the south-western coast of Turkey (including Rhodes) and Crete the largest with its smaller islands peripheral, the most southern.
Each island has its history and mythology. We will focus on talking about the ones we have visited, which are the Cyclades, including Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos.

Legend has it that Mykonos was the scene of the battle between Hercules and the giants, Hercules conquered and the giants were petrified becoming what is now the island. According to another version, it was Poseidon who killed the giants. Furthermore, he says that the island was named after the hero "Mykono". According to Greek mythology, he was the son of Apollo and means "island of light" in honor of his luminous father.

Pequeña Venecia, MíkonosMíkonos

Very close to Mykonos, less than half an hour away, is the sacred island of Delos. This small islet of 3.5 km² was for centuries a place of pilgrimage, since it is said that it was there that Letos gave birth to the twins Artemis, goddess of the Moon and Apollo, god of the Sun. A sanctuary dedicated to Apollo was built with numerous temples and buildings. Delos is currently one of the most outstanding archaeological sites in Greece. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990. The island is not inhabited and it is not allowed to sleep on it, so the visit must be made on the same day.

A must-see is the spectacular Santorini, whimsically shaped to the whim of strong volcanic explosions, the result is an island of incredible beauty. They say it was created when Eufemo, one of the Argonauts, threw overboard a piece of land that Tritón had given him. According to mythology, Cadmos, son of a Phoenician king, while traveling in search of his sister Europa kidnapped by Zeus, established and founded a Phoenician colony on the island. His descendants lived for eight generations in what was then called Kallisté ("the most beautiful"). The hero, the descendant of Cadmos, later renamed the island with his name. Following an oracle, the inhabitants of Santorini left and later founded the city of Cyrene in present-day Libya.


We pass to Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades. According to Greek mythology, Zeus, father of the gods and men, grew up in Naxos, on Mount Zas, hidden from the ferocity of his father, Kronos. Naxos is also said to be the place where Theseus made a stopover back to Athens after killing the Minotaur. There he abandoned Princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, sister of the Minotaur, who in love with Theseus had helped him kill him. The reason for this abandonment is controversial: some versions indicate that Theseus abandoned her of his own free will, others say that it was by order of the gods so that she could marry Dionysus. It is also said that Dionysus, god of wine and son of Zeus, was born and raised in Naxos with the nymphs. He loved this island so much that he distributed fertility throughout his land, filling it with vineyards and other plantations.

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