Exploring Homer’s World in Greece

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Part tour, part retreat, our trip is a unique opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the world of Homer by reading his epic Odyssey and visiting sites connected to his myths and stories. We set the context by exploring the architectural masterpieces of Athens, including the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Classical Pursuits leader Mark Cwik and our local guides will bring Homeric legends and ancient Greek drama to life on excursions to sites such as Thebes and Aulis. And we’ll see written in stone the multicultural heritage of Greece in towns such as Nafplion, with its Roman, Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish architecture.

For the second half of our journey, enjoy a relaxing yet stimulating week at the Kapsaliana resort in beautiful, mountainous Crete. The quiet setting among olive groves is the ideal place to dig deeper into the Odyssey. Homer’s epic poem tells the story of the journey of the Ithacan king Odysseus as he tries to return home after the Trojan War. A skilled discussion leader of innumerable Odyssey groups over the years, Mark will provide a fun and engaging experience whether you are coming to the epic for the first time or have read it many times before.

The guiding principle of our trip is a concept sacred to ancient Greeks and still a fundamental value in Greece today: philoxenia, which can be translated as “friend to the stranger.” The Odyssey is a story of xenia (guest-friendship), whether it is practiced well or poorly, treated with reverence or parodied. Outside the pages of the book, enjoy Greece’s famous hospitality with a group of travellers who might start out as strangers but will end up as friends.

Please contact us at info@classicalpursuits.com for a detailed itinerary.

Image credits: The Acropolis as viewed from the Mouseion Hill, Christophe Meneboeuf/Wikipedia


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Athens and Crete, Greece

May 1–May 14, 2023

The Odyssey by Homer; selected Greek dramas and myths; optional pre-trip online reading of the Iliad

Mark Cwik
is the education manager for Classical Pursuits. He is a longtime Toronto Pursuits and trip leader and has been an organizer of adult great books discussion groups for 25 years. Mark is an expert on the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer who has led hundreds of discussions on the epics, dramas and myths of ancient Greece and the Mediterranean world. He lives in London, England.

Hotel Perivoli, Nafplion; Kapsaliana Village Hotel, Crete; Athens accommodation coming soon

12 to 16 participants

Coming soon!

Cost includes guides, readings, accommodation in double occupancy, two meals a day, discussions, ground transportation, walking tours, talks, excursions, admissions, and taxes and gratuities.

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