Culture explorers, this one if for you! While on sailing holidays in the Aegean Sea, embark on a fascinating journey to Delos island, and enlighten a spiritual path at the mythical womb of light, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
A wind’s blow away from world renowned Mykonos island, lies, out of the spotlight, Delos, a tiny islet yet one of the most important archaeological, mythological and historical and sites in Greece. Let’s follow the ancient traces and indulge into history through the mythological path!
Delos, the birthplace of Gods
Legend has it that, despite being married to Hera, Zeus, the ancient Greek Father of Gods, enjoyed many extra-marital adventures that bore him numerous offspring. One of these was the lovely Titaness Leto.
When Leto got pregnant by Zeus, jealous Hera chased her relentlessly to get rid of her and her twin babies, Apollo and Artemis. Leto had to search desperately for a place to give birth to her babies. However, for fear of Hera’s wrath and spite, various cities and islands refused to shelter helpless Leto.
When it seemed that her persecution would have no end, she found herself carried by the south wind to Delos island, in the middle of the Aegean. Leto begged the island to accept her and promised that her son Apollo would found his temple there, making the island wealthy and famous.
Delos island gave her shelter and Leto found a sanctuary to give birth to the god babies: Apollo, the god of light and music and Artemis (also known as Diana), the goddess of hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth and virginity. Artemis was born first, and, as soon as she was born, she helped her mother give birth to her twin brother, thereby is considered as the protector of childbirth.
Soon, Delos would prosper greatness, first as a religious center and later as a busy commercial port. In turn it was glorified, lauded, destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed once again; a rich history which lasted hundreds of years.
A local tip: Escape the crowds at the Arcaeologoical Site and climb Kynthos Mountain. From the top of the mountain you will enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding islands.
This is the first part of our mythical exlporation among the Greek islands. Stay tuned, there is more to come!