The Greek gods live in a cloud palace on Mount Olympus, however, they are often found traveling somewhere around Greece. These gods have special qualities, and each has control over a different aspect of life. They usually behave like soap-opera personas who lack morals and are slaves to lust, jealousy and greed. The Greek Gods represent humanity at its best and worst. The peculiar adventures of the gods have inspired painters, sculptures, writers, musicians and psychoanalysts for centuries.
It may not be exactly like trying to spot a celebrity on a Hollywood tour, however, recognizing a Greek god or goddess can be just as exciting. So, if searching for the gods tickles your fancy, here are the top 12 places to spot the Greek Gods, the “stars” of Greek mythology.
1. When in Greece, the Greek god you must definitely befriend first is Hermes, the traveler god. Once Hermes is on your side, you can concentrate on the other ancient deities whose legends live on in Greece. Hermes might be a hard person to find as he is always on the run. However, when he’s not delivering messages for the gods, you might spot the patron of athletics around Olympia in joggers and winged sport shoes.
2. Seek the guidance of Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, at her patron city, Athens. Walking the streets of Plaka in casual clothes, the "gray-eyed" goddess often stands to admire images of herself in full body armor in the souvenir shop windows. Recognizing her is easy as she is always accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl.
3. Poseidon is said to walk the coast of Sounion in a Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, flip flops and a three-pronged trident in hand. Occasionally, he stops to chat with fishermen or take insta photos with the tourists. If he’s in a bad mood, however, it’s best to keep your distance as he may stir up a hurricane.
4. Visit the volcano of Santorini to see the forge of Hephaestus, the god of fire. Hephaestus, the ugliest of the gods, has difficulty walking due to malformed feet and has the hunched-over appearance of a mine worker. The Olympians obliged Aphrodite to marry him, thinking that it would settle her down, but that didn’t work out too well. Being an awfully jealous husband, he is always on the lookout for that scoundrel Ares and anyone else, even you mortals, who might try to flirt with his wife. So beware!
5. Partying on Mykonos will allow you to bond with the wine god, Dionysus. He usually makes his grand appearance during grape-harvest season by opening a new wine. His orgiastic cult is widely celebrated, and literature and theatrical plays are written and performed in his honour. Dancing up a storm in a flamboyant leopard-skin Gucci shirt, leather trousers, purple socks and sandals, he always has that pale look of someone who has been up partying much too late.
6. You may run into Apollo while he is visiting his birthplace, Delos, or driving to his oracle at Delphi in his shinny golden Ferrari. The sun god always looks hot in his Ray Ban sunglasses and trendy clothes. With his laid-back attitude, good looks, curly golden hair and a brilliant smile, he is always the center of attention and all the rage with the young ladies at parties.
7. A visit to Corinth might help you find the love goddess, Aphrodite, or at least a beautiful mortal equivalent. Corinth is the center of Aphrodite’s worship since it was the city with the most beautiful and desired women in antiquity. The goddess of beauty can often be found shopping in the high-end shops of the city or trying on Chanel clothes in the quaint boutiques of the nearby town of Nafplio. She’s really, really pretty so don’t be surprised if you can’t help but stop and admire her dazzling beauty as she walks by.
8. As long as the crops are growing and the farmers are happy, Demeter is content. You can often find her around Katakolon, or the wider region of the Peloponnese, working the earth in her in green or gold gardening clothes. Demeter is one of the quieter goddesses, however, her importance is "not to be sneezed at." If you want to taste the gifts of the gods, you had to make sure to keep on Demeter’s good side. Eons ago, when Hades kidnapped her poor little daughter Persephone, Demeter stopped all plants from growing.
9. Despite being one of the most famous Greek gods today, mainly among gamers, Ares was never really a popular guy. As if that's not bad enough, he was often characterized as a coward despite his connection to war since he responded to even the slightest conflict with outrage. It is said that he’s been spotted riding his Harley Davidson around Sparta in leather and dark shades and picking a fight any chance he gets. According to Homer, his parents, Zeus and Hera, hated him because of his nasty attitude and constant bickering. It’s no wonder he is never invited to their Games in Olympia.
10. Artemis often appears as a young mortal of about twelve or thirteen, but don’t let her trick you. Artemis is deadly with her bow, and has no patience for fools, particularly male fools. Her eyes are silver like the moon and she tends to wear a short white costume that leaves her legs free. She was born under a palm tree, along with her twin brother Apollo, on the island of Delos. However, she doesn't care for city life and now roams the Greek countryside with her female hunter companions. Careful not to get in their way, and whatever you do, do NOT flirt with them or you’ll regret it.
11. On most days, Zeus is found sulking in his throne on Mount Olympus or trying to rule over his unruly family of Olympians as they bicker and fight. However, when he’s in for some light entertainment, he joins the others in Olympia, the playground of the gods. His main cult centres are Olympia and Nemea where Games are celebrated in his honour. The statue of Zeus at Olympia was even one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The king of the gods usually makes his appearance dressed in a pinstriped suit, neatly trimmed mustache and beard and holding a very large, dangerous lightning bolt.
12. Zeus always has an eye for beautiful women. His flirtatious manner often gets him into trouble with his wife, Hera, who is never too far away. At Olympia she is honoured beside Zeus. She usually prefers classic Greek dresses and a simple silver crown, and she can blend into any crowd if needed. She typically appears as a beautiful older woman but can turn into a bird when she needs to spy on her husband, especially when he’s vacationing on the Greek Islands.