At an ultimate peak of 1,004 metres or 3000 feet, Mt. Zas, 18 km outside of Naxos Town, is the Cyclades’ tallest mountain. It’s no wonder that Zeus, father of the mythical Greek Gods, would be raised here, while his son, Dionysus God of wine and merriment, would be raised here too, more specifically at a cave in the mountain known as Zas Cave.
Several interesting tales and legends surround Mt.Zas including the story of local worshipers climbing the mountain during the hot summer months sporting heavy winter fleece garb asking the God to send a cool breeze. Of course, leading the legends is the myth Zeus was brought to Mt.Zas as a child from Crete in order to be saved from the fury of his father Kronos.
The ornithologial significance of the mountain also has a place in ancient mythology as it is an eagle that is said to have given Zeus the thunderbolt giving him the power and title of Father of the Gods.
Today, several bird species native to the island and natural lovers alike flock to its rocky terrain and mountain peaks; the former seeking refuge to nest, the latter an inspiring hiking trek that offers a bird’s eye view of the isles and vastblue seas of the Aegean that surround.
Proof of Mt.Zas mythical and historical significance to Naxos is documented by an ancient inscription carved on a rock that reads: «Mount of Zeus, Protector of Sheep.»
Trekkers seek out numbered trail #2 for a chance to traverse and witness special points of interest from the ancient stomping grounds of the mythical Gods and Naxians.