Every autumn, Apollo was leaving his home in Delphi to spent his winter at the mythical Land of the Hyperboreans.
The Land of the Hyperboreans was the land where Apollo's mother Leto was born and the priests of Apollo descended. It was a luminous, colorful and warm island that was very hard to find, because it lied beyond the point where the north wind blows. The people of the island lived in harmony with each other and with nature. They never ate meat, only the fruits of the trees, and were immune to aging and diseases.
Up on his a winged chariot which was pulled by two pure white swans, Apollo was traveling above the clouds, slowly leaving behind Greece. During his journey, he could see the dense snow of the mountains from his chariot. But while he was approaching his destination, the snow slowly began to dwindle away. The golden rays of the sun were strong enough to pass through the clouds, illuminating a magical land. Upon arrival, Apollo got off his chariot and stepped on the green, fertile grass. Immediately, festivals started taking place, with birds flying between the trees and singing divine melodies.
But at the same time in Greece, black clouds darkened the sun because the god of light was missing. The people in Greece felt cold and gathered around the fireplace, patiently awaiting the return of Apollo. As soon as the god of light returned, he removed the the darkness with his golden rays and the lovely spring season arrived. Happily, people glorified their benefactor with festivals and sang joyful songs about the sun and the light.
According to the Greek geographer Pausanias, Heracles also visited the Land of the Hyperboreans and brought the olive tree to the Greek people. He planted the first branch in the sacred place of Olympia.