Captured and preserved by authors and poets in odes, odysseys, epics and tragedies, Greek mythology has captivated and intrigued for centuries. Visit the treasures of ancient Greece on our guided holidays for the opportunity to discover where several legends of romance, tragedy, violence and heroism originated.
Greece’s highest peak and headquarters of the gods, the almighty throne of Zeus sat atop Mount Olympus.
Zeus came to power after overthrowing the Titans, a race of gods who founded the Earth. He claimed Mount Olympus as his home and built a grand palace for his family to reside in. He and his fellow gods were to be known as the Olympians and would rule the Earth with divine power.
Built to honour Apollo, the temple at Delphi is most famously associated with its mystic residents. The Oracle at Delphi and Princess Pythia were known throughout the ancient world for their gifts in divining the future and were sought out by heroes and mortals for wise consultation.
On their advice, Cadmus built the great city of Thebes, Sisyphus infamously outwitted death and Alexander the Great launched his conquest of the Persian empire.
The name Delphi is thought to have derived from the Greek word Adelphi, meaning ‘siblings’. This is in honour of the god Apollo and his twin Artemis, the children of Zeus. According to legend, Apollo killed the mighty Python – a dragon that previously guarded and terrorised the ravines of Delphi.
The Diktean Cave
Cronus, King of the Titans, sired many children with his wife and sister Rhea. However, he was terrified of a prophecy that his own children would overthrow him and so he swallowed his newborns whole.
Rhea, fed up with her husband’s relentless child-eating habit, snuck off to Crete, hiding in the Diktean Cave to give birth to her son Zeus. The baby was safely hidden here, and as prophecy foreshadowed, Zeus would grow up to rob his father of the throne of the gods.
One of the best-known Greek myths, King Minos was forced by the gods to raise a son who was half-human, half-bull. The king built an elaborate labyrinth to detain the beast but was still required to feed it. He enticed young men and women into the labyrinth to be devoured, appeasing its appetite.
After some time, Theseus, prince of Athens, volunteered to enter the labyrinth and killed the beast once and for all using a ball of thread to retrace his footsteps. You can still visit the ruins at Knossos, believed by archaeologists to be the site of King Minos’ throne.
Learn more about the Greek myths and legends on a guided excursion with Ramblers Walking Holidays. Take a look at the holidays in Greece we have on offer and book your getaway today.