We love hearing about ancient myths and legends, and the Greek culture has some of the most colourful and imaginative myths and legends ever recorded. From the adventures of the mighty Heracles to the tragedy of the gods and the mortals who worshipped them, it’s no surprise that, when we’re looking for a little adventure and romantic history, we turn to our ancestors’ stories to keep us entertained and in wonder.
Many of our majestic Crete villas with pools are situated on or near sites of mythical importance. Surrounded by wild, magical lands, each location holds its very own story for you to discover on your holiday. Read on to learn more about the sirens behind our Sirens’ House villa…
What Sirens Look Like
In the earlier myths, Sirens were said to be winged women of both the land and the ocean. They attained their wings from Demeter when they were called upon to assist in the search and rescue of Persephone, Demeter’s daughter. Demeter hoped the wings would aid the Sirens in finding her missing daughter, but sadly, the Sirens failed in their task.
Sirens, throughout the centuries, have been depicted as wicked sea-like maidens whose sweet songs lure unsuspecting sailors overboard. One of the most famous records of sirens occurs in the Odyssey:
Upon leaving Queen Circe’s island, Odysseus was warned of the sirens which would bewitch his crew. Their aim is to drive all those who hear them into madness until, finally, they resort to drowning. On the other hand, it was said that the sirens’ songs were of the utmost beauty. Curious, Odysseus concocted a brilliant plan, which relied on his crew stuffing their ears with beeswax and tying him to the mast of the ship. This would allow him to hear the sirens’ song without being able to throw himself to his doom, no matter how much he might wish it.
Some later depictions of this tale tell that the sirens would die if they sang their songs without tempting a listener to his doom. Beautiful yet dangerous creatures with a high sense of pride, Sirens have continued to influence literature ever since. Where else do you think Hans Christian Anderson drew his inspiration for The Little Mermaid?
Another famous depiction occurs in Jason and the Argonauts, as Jason treads the same ground as Odysseus. In this tale, the siren song is drowned out by crew member Orpheus who distracts the crew with his beautiful lyre playing. Only one crew member, tragically blessed with acute hearing, heard the sirens over the lute and fell overboard.
A Contest of Music
Hera, the Queen of the Gods, persuaded the Sirens to enter into a music competition with the Muses – the elegant Gods of artistic inspiration.
After the Sirens lost the competition, the Muses plucked the feathers from the Sirens’ wings and, in anguish, the Sirens threw themselves into the Souda Bay, turning into the Leukai islands which can be seen from our titular villa.
Today, the Leukai islands are known as Nisi and Leon, and the view certainly wouldn’t be the same without them.
The Sirens’ House
Sitting as a lone figure, high above the Souda Bay, Sirens’ House is a perfect example of traditional Cretan architecture. Romantic and secluded, this house is truly off the beaten track with stunning, sweeping views of the Kalami beach and its own gardens below.
If, however, you wish to experience the other side of the myth, you should consider some of our villas in Crete, such as Muse’s – another of our beautifully remote villas, also situated in Souda Bay. The classic structure is a warm and inviting place for your family and, with mesmerising views across the Bay, you’ll be inspired by what you see.
Crete is rich in history and the whispers of myths and legends; discover its ancient, inspiring stories today. If you’re in search of some luxury villas in Crete, such as the ones we have mentioned in this blog article, then we recommend that you check out our other properties and blogs. We’ve written plenty on the mythology behind Psychro cave and tragedies that occurred at Knossos.