fbpx

MYHTOLOGY OF ATHENS

Athens_Small

Athens is the capital city of Greece and has been continuously inhabited for over 7000 years. It provided the backdrop for various myths and legends for ancient Greeks.

Its name derives from the goddess of wisdom, Athena, who became the city’s patron goddess after a contest with Poseidon. The two gods competed for who would get the honour of becoming the patron god of the city, and offered gifts to the Athenians. Poseidon hit the ground with his trident and created a spring, showing that he would offer significant naval power. Athena, on the other hand, offered the olive tree, a symbol of prosperity and peace. The Athenians, led by King Cecrops I, decided to take Athena’s gift, thus making her the patron goddess.

The city was also the starting point for the story of Aegeus and Theseus. Aegeus was the king of Athens; during some games that were organised in the city, the son of King Minos of Crete was killed, and Minos waged war against Athens, emerging victorious. As punishment, Athens was forced to send young men and young women to Crete annually, in order to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, who dwelt in the labyrinth under the palace of Minos. At some point, though, Theseus, son of Aegeus, decided to go as part of the sacrifice, planning to kill the Minotaur. He was successful in his quest, but upon returning to Athens, he forgot to change his ship’s sails to white; when Aegeus saw the black sails, meaning that Theseus had died in the labyrinth, he fell into the sea, and drowned, giving his name to what now is called the Aegean Sea.

For more info on joining one of Sojourn Travel’s Greek Tours click here >>>>>>>

SANTORINI & MYKONOS

article-2740819-2056A8F500000578-121_964x640

Did you know that the whole complex of Santorini islands is still an active volcano and probably the only volcano in the world whose crater is in the sea? The islands that form Santorini came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity; twelve huge eruptions occurred, one every 20,000 years approximately, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the volcano’s central part creating a large crater. The volcano, however, managed to recreate itself over and over again.

Santorini is considered to be the most sought after place for a romantic getaway in Greece, since there are not many places in the world where you can enjoy exquisitely clear waters while perched on the rim of a massive active volcano in the middle of the sea! A trip to Santorini with your other half is a dream for anyone who has seen at least one photo of the island’s famous Caldera.

A visit to Santorini is the ultimate gastronomic experience, as the island is a true culinary paradise!

mykonos-greece-1

Mykonos is Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. According to mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. And did you know that the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”?

Soak up the atmosphere along the lively waterfront and admire a fleet of fishing boats casting colourful reflections in the azure waters. This is where you will find the Kazárma building, which served as accommodation for the soldiers of Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek Revolution.

On the island you can find many well-organized diving centers (some of them also offer snorkeling lessons) and stores specializing in diving equipment. Explore the island on a caicque or a boat and discover secluded beaches, or take a boat tour around the nearby islets, which are also ideal fishing spots!

In Mykonos, take the opportunity to explore the tiny archaeological gem of Delos, just a short boat trip away. Delos was a sacred island in ancient times, and according to mythology was the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis.

For more info on joining one of Sojourn Travel’s Greek Tours click here >>>>>>>

GREEK CUISINE

Mediterranean Greek Cuisine
Mediterranean Greek Cuisine

The Greek diet is the perfect example of traditional Mediterranean eating. It’s based around a variety of colourful and flavourful foods that are high in nutrients and low in animal fats.

Wheat is a staple part of Greek cuisine. It’s used to make a variety of breads including pita bread and crusty whole grain peasant bread. Bulgur, which is made from cracked whole wheat, is eaten as an accompaniment to hearty stews or added to soups and salads. Pasta, which was introduced to the Greeks by the Italians, is also a popular wheat-based food. Another important grain food in the Greek diet is rice, which is used in pilafs and bakes, served with stews or wrapped in grape leaves to make dolmades.

Like wheat, olives have been cultivated in Greece since ancient times. The golden green oil extracted from the first cold pressing of olives is called extra virgin olive oil, and it is used in some form in most traditional Greek dishes. Crusty bread dipped in a little extra virgin olive oil is also a popular accompaniment to food.

Greece is almost surrounded by sea, so it’s no surprise that fish and shellfish are eaten regularly.

Meat doesn’t play a prominent role in traditional Greek cuisine. It’s usually reserved for festivals and special occasions or used in small amounts as a flavor enhancer.

The warm climate of Greece makes it ideal for growing vegetables and fruits, and these are eaten in abundant amounts. These include tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach, artichokes, fennel, lettuce, cabbage, horta (wild greens), zucchini, eggplant and peppers.

Fruits are eaten either fresh, or preserved by drying. Popular varieties include apricots, grapes, dates, cherries, apples, pears, plums and figs.

Many types of nuts are used in cooking or eaten as snacks—particularly pine nuts, almonds, walnuts and pistachios.

Wine is consumed regularly in Greece, but mainly with food, and in moderation. Ouzo (an aniseed flavored spirit) and beer are also popular alcoholic beverages. Strong black coffee is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages.

For more info on joining one of Sojourn Travel’s Greek Tours click here >>>>>>>

Contact Us

Let us know what interests you and our staff will respond accordingly
Design Your Tour Now! Receive a Customized Itinerary in Hours.

[contact-form-7 id="3020" title="Quick Form"]