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 Scott Shafer 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 classics grad pursing a career in musuem studies, Scott will facilitate an engaging and memorable 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.
Image credits: The Acropolis as viewed from the Mouseion Hill, Christophe Meneboeuf/Wikipedia