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Classical Greece in the Footsteps of Gustave Flaubert – Somewhere We Know
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Classical Greece in the Footsteps of Gustave Flaubert

Peloponnese & Central Greece

Classical Greece in the Footsteps of Gustave Flaubert


per person

See Greece through the eyes of the famous French writer!

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert visits Greece in December 1850 at the age of 29. Fascinated by the Orient and the exoticism of the East he starts a long journey through Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, before reaching Greece. This trip finds him in a decisive moment in his life, a moment of aesthetic quest and transformation that will eventually lead to the creation of Madame Bovary, his famous novel.

Wandering through Greece with the writings of Pausanias on his mind he explores historic archaelogical sites, cities and villages and writes his memoirs in small leather notebooks, the «Carnets de Voyages». Reading these notes and getting acquainted with his rather “photographic” way of writing , we see the country through Flaubert’s eyes. Following his footsteps in Athens, Corinth, Mycenae, Sparta, Messene, Olympia and Delphi, we see what he saw and experience his enthusiasm for ancient Greek culture.

“And the ruins! The ruins! What ruins! What men those Greeks! What artists!
We are reading, we are taking notes… The Parthenon moved me as deeply as anything I’ve ever seen.”
Gustave Flaubert, December 26, 1850

Key highlights of this journey:

– Ancient Corinth and Mycenae
– Ancient Sparta and byzantine Mystras
– Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in Sparta
– Ancient Messene and Temple of Apollo Epicurius of Bassae
– Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games
– Sanctuary of Delphi

Available upon request!

To enquire about prices and to book this tour, you can send us an email and our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

  • Departure
    6 Filellinon Street, Syntagma Square
  • Departure Time
    Please arrive by 8:15 AM for a prompt departure at 8:30 AM.
  • Dress Code
    Casual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat, sun screen.

Day 1: From Athens to Ancient Corinth, Mycenae and Tripoli

We leave Athens and head towards Corinth. Our first stop today is the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth, which is at the crossroads between Central Greece and the Peloponnese, and between the Corinthian and the Saronic gulfs. Corinth used to be one of the places that almost every traveller would cross on his way to Istanbul or to the Holy Land. The continuation of our quest brings us to the archaeological site of Mycenae, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon and the richest palatial centre of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Palatial complexes, Cyclopean walls, the famous “Tomb of Agamemnon” (also known as the “Treasury of Atreus”), huge arches, fountains and ramparts comprise one of the greatest architectural complexes known to the ancient world. Mycenae have been rediscovered in the 17th and 18th century by European travellers who explored Greece, its monuments and its treasures. In 1876 Heinrich Schliemann brought to light the royal vaulted tombs, the Treasury of Atreus. Leaving behind the cyclopean fortifications and the vaulted tombs of Mycenae, we set off to visit Arcadia, the homeland of the ancient Greek god, Pan. In the city of Tripolis we have some free time for lunch, before we continue to the Kaltezes Monastery, one of the most impressive orthodox Christian monasteries where we learn about Greek herbs and their traditional uses. Leaving Kaltezes monastery in its calm isolation, we move south towards the city of Kalamata, where we have dinner and overnight.

Day 2: In Sparta, Mystras and Kalamata

Today we visit the city of Sparta and get to know about ancient Spartans and their laconic philosophy through a tour to the archaeological site of Ancient Sparta. We continue the day with a short walk through the byzantine ruins of the medieval fortified city of Mystras, that used to be the capital of the byzantine Despotate of Morea and the Paleologos dynasty. Built in a beautiful landscape on the slopes of mount Taygetos, this tower city is full of old medieval buildings and byzantine churches with impressive frescoes. Wandering through its cobbled pathways we explore it’s unique architecture and natural beauty. The view to the Laconian plain and mount Parnon from the castle of Mystras is unique. We have a short break for lunch in a traditional taverna and after lunch we take a tour to the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil and learn how the cultivation of olives and production of olive oil is connected to Greek everyday life throughout the centuries. We return to Kalamata for a stroll in the old part of the city.

Day 3: In Ancient Messene and the Temple of Apollo Epicurius

We leave Kalamata in the morning and visit the archaeological site of Ancient Messene, a city built in 370 BC by the Theban Epameinontas. This city developed into an important cultural center of Messinia until 395 AD, when it was destroyed by the Goths. The Ancient Theatre, the Ekklesiasterion, the Asclepieio, the Temple of Artemis, the fountain of Arsinoe, the imposing Stadium and the Gymnasium, the Odeon and many other monuments testify to the wealth and size of Ancient Messene. Our next stop is up in the mountains to visit the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, where we enjoy a picnic next to the ruins. Our mythical journey continues as we drive to Ancient Olympia, where we have dinner and spend the night.

Day 4: In Ancient Olympia and wine tasting in a vineyard

We spend our morning in Ancient Olympia, the place where the Olympic Games were held between 776 BC and 394 AD. This archaeological site is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is situated in an idyllic natural location. Later we visit one of the oldest vineyards of Greece and we taste Greek wines accompanied by a light meal. We depart from the vineyard and after a short stop we head to Delphi where we have dinner and stay for the night.

Day 5: In Delphi and Arachova and return to Athens

The elite ancient Greeks would come to the sanctuary of Delphi to get the prophecies of the famous oracle of Pythia. Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world and was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre of ancient Greece. Visiting the archaeological site, exploring the sanctuary of Apollo, the tholos of Athena Pronaia, the stadium, the gymnasium and the theatre of Delphi, we immerse ourselves in the magical world of this ancient site. From Delphi we head back to Arachova, where we stroll through the picturesque alleys and traditional cafés of the village. In the afternoon we return to Athens for a farewell dinner.

Tour Location

Here is a map with the places we visit during this half day tour

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Value For Money

What's included

Accommodation in hotels or characterful local guesthouses with breakfast

Private vehicle throughout the tour

Experienced tour leader

A wine tasting experience and a picnic

Information material

Liability Insurance

All applicable taxes

What's not included

Personal expenses

Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites

Tour guides for the archaeological sites (available upon request with extra charge)

Food, drinks and beverages if not mentioned above


Anything not specified in the “what’s included” section