Cyclades: Ancient Islands of the Aegean
20 May — 30 May 2020 | Tour Director: Andrew Wilson
• Sail to six of the ancient Cycladic islands on this tour through the Aegean: Tinos, Paros, Naxos, Delos, Mykonos and Santorini
• Tread the paths of ancient towns made famous in Greek mythology and discover their wealth of Mycenaean, classical and Byzantine archaeological remains
• Highlights include Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting exceptionally extensive archaeological remains, and the ruined Bronze Age city of Akrotiri, preserved under volcanic ash
BA, BD, FSAScot
specialist in archaeology and ancient history
Depart Gatwick 0800 on Easyjet, arriving Mykonos 1350. Depart by boat for two nights on Tinos. Welcome and introduction.
Whole day in Tinos: 4th century BC Temple of Poseidon at Kionia, Archaeological Museum and marble Church of Panagia Evangelistria (miraculous icon), Pyrgos (marble workshops) and Volax (basket weavers). Evening talk: Greek Religion.
Sail to Paros for afternoon visits to typical Aegean villages of Prodromos and Lefkés. Evening talk: Cycladic Art. Two nights on Paros.
Visits by boat to small islands of Antiparos and Despotiko.
Morning in Parikia: Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, Archaeological Museum (Parian Chronicle, artefacts from Saliagos, the Aegean’s oldest settlement) and Venetian Fortress. Depart by boat to Naxos (home to Mount Zeus) for four nights on Naxos. Visits to Temple of Apollo and Grotta archaeological site. Evening talk: Delos.
Whole day cruise to Delos (birthplace of Apollo and Artemis): Sacred Harbour, Agora of the Competialists, Sacred Way, House of the Naxians, Avenue of the Lions; followed by Mykonos: handsome Cycladic architecture, chapels and churches.
Whole day in Naxos: 7th century Kouros statue at Melanes, Halki (picturesque village), tasting session at Kitro (citrus liqueur) distillery, Panagia Drossiani monastery (6th century Greek Orthodox).
Further visits in Naxos: Venetian Quarter, museums and Catholic Cathedral. Some free time.
Morning: Sanctuary of Dionysus at Yria, followed by Sanctuary of Demeter at Giroula. Afternoon: transfer by ferry to Santorini (spectacular geological setting with beautiful whitewashed buildings) for two nights. Some free time to explore Fira, Santorini’s dramatic cliff-top capital. Evening talk: Atlantis.
Akrotiri (important Bronze Age settlement), Panagia Episkopi and Museum of Prehistoric Thera (frescoes and artefacts from Akrotiri). Afternoon in Oia (19th century sea captains’ houses).
Depart Santorini 1500, arriving Gatwick 1650.
20 May — 30 May 2020
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As much of the travel on this tour involves ferries, participants should be comfortable wheeling luggage up boarding ramps. Some of the archaeological visits will require a good level of fitness as we will be walking over uneven ground. At Delos, there will be an optional short ascent up a steep and poorly maintained pathway to visit the upper part of the island’s impressive remains.
Cost of £2995 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, dinner with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £495.
Flight reduction: £175