The Cretan Literary Experiences

An unforgettable exploration of Crete’s novelists, poetry, Renaissance literature and mythology awaits you.


  • Professors from the University of Crete
  • Classics professors from around the world

Cretan Novelists

  • Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) became known globally after the 1964 film release of Zorba the Greek. He gained renewed fame with the 1988 Martin Scorsese adaptation of his book The Last Temptation of Christ.
  • George Psychoundakis(1920 – 2006), Greek Resistance fighter during World War II, was a shepherd, war hero and author. He served as dispatch runner behind German lines for the Cretan Resistance and was the inspiration for, The Cretan Runner. He translated Homer's Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greek to the Cretan dialect. Given his two or three years of occasional village education, it was a remarkable achievement.

Cretan Mythology, Literature and Poetry

  • Vitsentzos Kornaros(1553-1613), of Sitia, Crete, wrote the epic romance Erotokritos. This masterpiece of Cretan literature is 10,012 lines of rhyming, fifteen-syllable verse. Dramatic readings and live productions of this poem have inspired Cretans for over four hundred years.
  • Crete is the birthplace of Zeus, the Nine Muses of the Arts, the Kourites of Mt. Psiloritis and countless others.

Excursion Opportunities

  • Visit the homes of Kazantzakis, Psychoundakis, and the many temples and caves of Cretan mythology.