• Explore the untamed landscape, classical history and fascinating architecture of northern Greece in the company of archaeologist and specialist in the Greco-Roman world, Andrew Wilson
• Learn about the region and its history through visits to Byzantine churches, sanctuaries and monasteries, taking in mosaics and early Christian art
• Uncover the ancient treasures of Vergina, Macedonia’s first capital, and journey to Alexander the Great’s birthplace of Pella
BA, BD, FSAScot
specialist in archaeology and ancient history
Depart London Gatwick 0645 on British Airways, arriving Thessaloniki 1200. Transfer to Hotel Royal for three nights. Introductory talk.
Thessaloniki (major Greek Orthodox centre): Byzantine walls, Heptapyrgion tower, churches of Agios Acheiropoietos and Agios Dimitrios (6th century pilgrimage centre), Archaeological Museum. Evening talk: Byzantine Church.
Whole day cruise along western shore of Mt Athos peninsula (spiritual home of Orthodox Church since 1054). Evening talk: Pebble Mosaics.
Along Via Egnatia to Pella (capital of Philip of Macedon’s empire): peristyle houses, huge palace complex, museum (superb mosaics), ancient site of Loggos, then Edessa (picturesque town famous for waterfalls and old bridges). Continue to Veria for two nights at the Hotel Villa Elia.
Dion at the foot of Mt Olympus, with visits to sanctuaries of Isis and Demeter. Vergina (former capital of Macedonian empire).
Veria (Byzantine Museum) and Kastoria. Two nights in Kastoria at Hotel Chloe. Evening talk: Neolithic Greece.
Kastoria: churches, Folk Museum and Mavriotissa Church (13th century frescoes). Evening talk: Oracle at Dodona.
Visits in Dodoni (ancient oracles of Zeus), including sanctuary and theatre, followed by Ioannina (major Ottoman centre). Transfer to Hotel du Lac, Ioannina, for three nights. Evening talk: Byron in Epirus.
Monodendri (Byzantine monastery), majestic Vikos Gorge then by boat to Nisaki (island monasteries).
Whole day excursion to Nekromanteion (sanctuary of Persephone and Hades), Kassopi (4th century BC Hippodamian town) and Nikopolis (founded by Augustus after battle of Actium).
Transfer to Kalambaka for Meteora (‘monasteries in the air’, 16th century frescoes) and overnight at Hotel Amalia.
Return to Thessaloniki: Roman Forum, Rotunda (Galerius’ mausoleum), Galerius’s Palace, 8th century Agia Sofia (splendid mosaics) and White Tower (part of Turkish ramparts). Overnight at City Hotel, Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki: Museum of Byzantine Culture. Depart Thessaloniki 1315, arriving Gatwick 1445.
15 Jun — 27 Jun 2020
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Extraordinarily knowledgeable, and with great intellectual breadth. A good communicator, unfailingly open to debate.
This tour is designed to make the most of our stay in northern Greece with a wide variety of visits. The itinerary therefore contains some long days and a significant amount of walking, and participants should have a good overall level of mobility.
Cost of £2795 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, dinner with wine & water, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £475.
Own flight reduction: £220.