Crete, once the center of the powerful Minoan civilization and home of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, is an essential stop on the Percy Jackson trail. Steeped in myth and history, beautiful and authentic, here’s what there is to see and do on the Greek island of Crete for Percy Jackson fans.
Mythology Tours in Crete
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and one that offers a mix of touristic but also authentic experiences. Many people visit Crete to see the Palace of Knossos, but go away having fallen in love with the food, culture, and way of life. For fans of Greek Mythology and the Percy Jackson books, it is a must-visit place during a vacation in Greece. Not only does the island have locations and characters connected with the Rick Riordan books, but there is also the opportunity to visit the cave where Zeus himself is said to have once lived!
Highlights of Crete for Percy Jackson Fans
Anyone who has read the Percy Jackson books will be aware that the Labyrinth features in several of them, with entrances to this underground maze being found in different locations throughout the world. Rick Riordan took his inspiration from the Greek myth of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur which was based in Crete. Where was the Labyrinth though?
The Palace of Knossos
Some scholars believe that the myth of the Labyrinth came from the complex design of the Palace of Knossos. Only discovered in 1878, excavations revealed a huge complex, with interlinking buildings, dead ends, and roadways. Wall frescoes discovered at the site also revealed that the people who lived here seemed to either worship bulls or at least hold them in high regard. Could this palace have actually been the Labyrinth itself?
Percy Jackson fans should definitely include a trip to Knossos so they can see it for themselves and make up their own minds! Greek Mythology Tours can provide guides who will take you deeper into the myths and legends surrounding the site, as well as explaining its history and significance. Visiting Knossos with Greek Mythology Tours is available as both a tour and as part of a family vacation package to Greece.
How Zeus Became King Of The Gods
Zeus was not always the King of the Gods. Before him, was his father Cronus who was the God of Time and one of the Titans. Deciding that he wanted to rule for all eternity, he ate all of his children including Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. When Rhea, his wife, realized what was happening, she fled with the newborn baby Zeus to Crete and hid him in a cave. Here, he grew up in safety before helping his siblings escape and then vanquishing the Titans. The cave that Zeus grew up is known as the Dikteon Cave, or the Cave of Zeus.
The Cave of Zeus is located in an area called the Lassithi Plateau. This large, flat area set high in the mountains of Crete can be visited on a day trip from Heraklion, or as part of a larger Greek Mythology tour of Crete. In addition to the cave, the area also has an eco-farm the kids might love, some cute little villages, and a selection of tasty local food specialities to try.
The Cave of Zeus
It’s a short but steep hike to reach the cave, and before going inside, make sure to enjoy the views all around! Then, get ready to enter the cave which is a lot cooler than the hot weather outside. There are stalactites and stalagmites to be seen, and strange shapes and shadows all around. It is easy to see why the ancient Greeks thought that this cave must be connected with something mysterious, and certainly a fitting place for Zeus to have grown up! With a Greek Mythology Tours guide, you will hear all about the myths and legends attached to the cave and Zeus, and gain a deeper insight into just how they influenced Rick Riordan as he wrote his books.
Explore more of Crete
Whether you want to visit Crete to see just the places connected with Percy Jackson, or would like to stay longer in order to see some of the magnificent beaches and other places of interest, Greek Mythology Tours can help put a tailor-made package together. We specialize in making family travel to Greece easy, and are able to create personalized itineraries and packages based on your interests. Contact our team today, or sign up to our newsletter to keep updated with more great ideas on vacations in Greece!