The magnificent Mount Ziria in Greece, the birthplace of Hermes

Mount Ziria, where the Greek god Hermes was born. Credit: ulrichstill / WIkimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

According to legend, the Pleiades known as Maia gave birth to the son of Zeus Hermes in a cave near Lake Dasios, on Mount Ziria, near the village of Trikala.

Also known as Mount Kyllini or Mount Cyllene, this mountain is famous for its association with the god Hermes. It rises to 2,376 meters (7,795 feet) above the sea, making it the second highest point in the Peloponnese.

Mount Ziria

Grecian Delight supports Greece

Mount Ziria is located to the west of the Flabouritsa Valley in the Peloponnese and is home to a beautiful landscape.

The largest village in the region is Trikala, an emerging tourist destination located on the western side of Mount Ziria.

Its dry climate and convenient location, just 143 kilometers from Athens (88 miles), make it a favorite all-season destination not only for Greeks but also for international visitors.

On the northern slope of Mount Ziria there is an important ski center with a 100-meter-long babylift and a 400-meter cable car. The valleys and mountains of Trikala allow relaxing hikes around Lake Dasios, which has a small island.

Trails hidden in the mountains are teeming with impressive pine forests that call for leisurely walks and explorations, just as Hermes would.

Hermes, son of Zeus

According to Greek mythology, Hermes was the second youngest of the Olympian gods.

In the mythology of ancient Greece, Hermes is known as the herald of the gods; he is responsible for protecting travelers – as well as thieves and liars – and also guides souls to the underworld or Hades. For his great cunning and insight, he is considered the God of all thieves.

In the very first hours of his life, he sort of escaped his cradle, crossing the countryside and stealing oxen from Apollo. In Homer’s works The Iliad and The Odyssey, although this tradition is not mentioned, Hermes is characterized as a cunning thief.

At first, Hermes was a god associated with the underworld. In ancient Greece he was revered as “the god of the path between the lower and upper world”; this position gradually expanded to include roads in general, and from there frontiers, travelers, sailors and commerce as well.

Usually, Hermes is described as moving freely from the mortal world to the realm of the divine.

He was also the conductor of souls in the afterlife, therefore considered the protector of roads and travelers. Its symbol is the greek kerykeion, two snakes wrapped around a winged staff with engravings of the other gods.

In the Roman adaptation of the Greek religion, Hermes was identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, although inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as that of a patron of commerce. In the Greek interpretation of the Egyptian gods, he compares him to Thoth.