B.C. Archaeology

Study Tours of the Ancient World


Portrait of Alexander the Great

It is said that Philip died
when Pythodelus was archon at Athens,
and that his son Alexander,
being then about twenty years of age,
marched into Peloponnesus
as soon as he had secured the regal power.

There he assembled all the Greeks
who were within the limits of Peloponnesus,
and asked from them the supreme command
of the expedition against the Persians,
an office which they had already conferred upon Philip.

He received the honour
which he asked from all except the Lacedaemonians,
who replied that it was an hereditary custom of theirs,
not to follow others but to lead them.
The Athenians also attempted to bring about some political change;

but they were so alarmed at the very approach of Alexander,
that they conceded to him even more ample public honours
than those which had been bestowed upon Philip.
He then returned into Macedonia
and busied himself in preparing for the expedition into Asia.

Arrian, the Anabasis of Alexander, Book 1a


This 3-week study tour of Greece and Turkey follows in the footsteps of Alexander the Great from his home in northern Greece to the coast of southern Turkey. We fly to Athens and then connect to Thessaloniki in northern Greece. This is our base for a few days as we explore ancient Macedonia. We start by touring the late Roman remains of Thessaloniki. The following day we explore the fascinating Macedonian Royal Tombs at Vergina which includes a display of golden artefacts from the tomb of Alexander's father Philip II. We also see the site of Pella, ancient capital of Macedonia where Alexander was born and raised. In Thessaloniki see the wonderful collection of ancient Macedonian artefacts in the Archaeological Museum.

The following morning we head east in the footsteps of Alexander's army, stopping to see the newly excavated tomb at Amphipolis and the impressive Greek and Roman ruins at Philippi. We continue to Alexandropouli near the Turkish border and the following day we cross into Turkey. We cross the Dardanelles where Alexander's army entered Asia. We head to Troy where Alexander visited the tombs of Achilles and Patroclus.

The following day we visit the stunning Hellenistic site of Pergamon, founded as a fortress by Lysimachus, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. We continue down the coast where we stop to explore the remarkable site of Ephesus, capital of the Roman province of Asia. From here we continue to the beautiful site of Priene where Alexander founded the Temple of Athena. The Macedonian King stayed here while besieging Miletus which we visit next. We also see the beautiful Temple of Zeus at Euromos.

We next visit the town of Bodrum, the ancient city of Halicarnassus, which was besieged by Alexander. We visit the ruins of the tomb of the Persian Satrap Mausolus (the famed 'Mausoleum') and explore the fascinating Museum of Underwater Archaeology which preserves artefacts from shipwrecks along the southern coast of Turkey.

We take a high speed ferry over the Greek island of Rhodes for two days. Here we explore the fascinating walled Crusader city which was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller. We also visit the classical Greek site of Lindos, famed for its stunningly situated Temple of Athena. A high speed ferry then takes us to the Turkish port of Fethiye where we tour the wonderful Hellenistic and Roman ruins of Telmussus.

We then join a gulet sailing boat (we will have 2 or 3 depending on group size), for a 3 night, 4 day full board cruise along the southern Turkish coast to Kas. We start by exploring the picturesque islands of Fehiye Bay and then cruise along the coast, stopping to see the ruins of the letoon and the magnificent site of Xanthos. This has many ancient tombs and an impressive theatre. We continue to the beautiful ancient site of Patara and eventually make our way to kas where we explore the ruins of Antiphellos with a well preserved temple and theatre. Kas is where we say farewell to our gulet sailboat.

Our program then takes us by bus to Demre where we explore the ancient site of Myra with its many impressive rock cut tombs. We also visit the complex of churches dedicated to St Nicholas, the local patron saint, with stunning frescoes and mosaics. The following day we head along the Lycian coast to the ancient site of Olympos, mythical home of the fantastic beast known as the Chimaera. Here we explore tombs, churches and a beautiful harbour. In the afternoon we head to the wooded ruins of Phaselis where we explore the theatre, Roman baths and agora.

We next head to the picturesque port city of Antalya which will be our base for exploring the local area. From here we visit the very impressive ruins of Perge where recent finds include some stunning new statues. We also visit the ancient city of Aspendos and visit the remarkably well preserved Roman theatre. The following day we climb to the spectacular ancient site of Termessos. Situated in a commanding position overlooking the main route through the mountains, Alexander decided it was too difficult to besiege and simply kept going! We also explore the historic quarter of Antalya and see the remarkable collection of statues in the Antalya Archaeological Museum. The tour concludes in Istanbul where we visit the Archaeological Museum.

The stunning theatre of Termessos


Day 1: Depart Australia
Our flight on Singapore Airlines leaves Australia with a short stopover in Singapore.

Day 2: Arrive Athens - fly to Thessaloniki
In the morning we arrive into Athens and connect for our flight to Thessaloniki in northern Greece. We check into our hotel and freshen up. In the afternoon we take a walk through the antiquities of Thessaloniki which includes the remains of a Late Roman Arch, Rotunda Tomb and Palace remains of the Emperor Galerius. Overnight Thessaloniki.

Day 3: Vergina - Pella
Today we head to Vergina where we see the Macedonian royal tombs including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. There is an excellent display of objects from the tombs including crowns and weapons. After lunch we visit the ruins of Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia and birthplace of Alexander the Great. Overnight Thessaloniki.

Day 4: Thessaloniki Museum - free time
In the morning we visit the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum which has a stunning collection of ancient Macedonian artefacts. This fascinating collection includes precious metal treasures, statues and ceramics. In the afternoon there is some free time to relax or go for a walk in Thessaloniki. Overnight Thessaloniki.

Day 5: Amphipolis - Philippi
In the morning we head east, stopping at the site of Amphipolis where Alexander set out on his conquest of Persia. We see the newly discovered royal Macedonian tomb at Amphipolis with sphinxes and mosaics. After lunch we continue on to Philippi, site of the famous Battle of Philippi which saw the defeat of Caesar's murderers. We explore the ruins of the Roman forum, theatre and acropolis of Philippi. We then continue on our way to the Aegean port town of Alexandroupoli. Overnight Alexandroupoli.

The Macedonia royal tomb at Vergina
The ruins of ancient Pella

Day 6: Troy
In the morning we cross the border into Turkey following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. We take the ferry across the Dardanelle Straits where Alexander entered Asia with his army in 334 BC. We then head to Troy where Alexander visited the tomb of his hero Achilles. We explore the ruins of this picturesque archaeological site famously excavated by German entrepreneur Heinrich Schliemann. In the afternoon, we travel south to Bergama. Overnight Bergama.

Day 7: Pergamon
Today we explore the ancient city of Pergamon. This Hellenistic city, founded by Lysimachus, one of Alexander's generals, was perched on the summit of a precipitous mountain and developed as a major centre of art and culture. Highlights of the day include the acropolis area with its royal palace, theatre, library and temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Trajan. In the afternoon we also visit the Roman Temple of Serapis (the 'Red Basilica'). Overnight Bergama.

Day 8: Ephesus - Artemis Temple
In the morning we drive south to the magnificent site of Ephesus and explore the ancient Hellenistic and Roman city. We see the small theatre, the marble monuments of Curetes Street, the temple of Hadrian, the library of Celsus and the awe inspiring theatre. In the afternoon we stop briefly to look at the remains of the Artemis Temple, said to have been destroyed on the day of Alexander's birth. Overnight Selcuk.

Day 9: Priene - Miletus - Euromos
In the morning we travel south by bus to the ruins of the ancient Hellenistic city of Priene which is located on a dramatic hill overlooking the Meander River valley. This superb site includes a picturesque agora, town council hall, theatre, and Temple of Athena built by Alexander the Great. After lunch we visit the ruins of Miletus a highlight being the monumental Hellenistic and Roman theatre. Alexander was forced to besiege the town when they refused to open the gates. Heading south we stop to see the spectacular temple of Zeus at Euromos. Overnight Bodrum.

The acropolis at Pergamon
Bodrum harbour

Day 10: Bodrum
We spend the day in Bodrum (ancient Halikarnassos) which Alexander was also forced to 'liberate' during his campaigns. In the morning we visit the ruins of the Persian Tomb of the Satrap Mausolus (the Mausoleum) and see the well preserved theatre. In the afternoon we explore the Knights Hospitaller Castle of St Peter and see the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Overnight Bodrum.

Day 11: Rhodes
In the morning we drive to Marmaris where we take a high speed ferry to the Greek island of Rhodes. In the afternoon we explore the medieval city of Rhodes and see the Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller. Overnight Rhodes.

Day 12: Lindos - Fethiye
In the morning we visit the ancient site of Lindos with its stunning Temple of Athena. We then take the high speed ferry to the beautiful port of Fethiye on the Turkish coast. We explore the ruins of Fethiye (the ancient city of Telmessus) which include magnificent rock-cut tombs, the ancient theatre and ruins on the acropolis. Overnight Fethiye.

Rhodes old city
Gulet sailing boats on the south Turkish coast

Day 13: Fethiye Museum - Gulet Cruise from Fethiye to Kas
In the morning we visit the impressive Museum of Fethiye. This contains a good collection of artefacts including sculpture, mosaics and pottery. In the afternoon we join our gullet for a luxury 4 day sailing adventure to Kas. We take a cruise around the picturesque islands of Fethiye Bay and head along the coast. Overnight gulet.

Day 14: Gulet Cruise - Letoon and Xanthos
We continue our cruise on our luxury gulet sailboat. We visit the ancient sacred city of Letoon which was named after the goddess Leto. We explore the temples and wonderful theatre. In the afternoon we see the ruins of the city of Xanthos. We see the wonderful tombs and the impressive ancient theatre. Overnight gulet.

Day 15: Gulet Cruise - Patara
We continue our journey on our gulet along the Lycian coast. We stop to see the ruins of the ancient city of Patara which include a triple triumphal gate, necropolis, theatre, baths and basilica. Overnight gulet.

Lycian rock cut tombs at Dalyan
The ruins of Phaselis

Day 16: Gulet cruise - Kas (Antiphellos)
In the morning our gulet arrives at its final destination in Kas, a beautiful port town with whitewashed houses. In the afternoon we explore the stunning classical ruins of the ancient city of Antiphellos including sarcophagi, a well preserved theatre and temple. Overnight Kas.

Day 17: Myra - St Nicholas Church
In the morning we head east by bus to the ancient site of Myra where we explore the stunning rock cut tombs and the very well preserved theatre. After lunch we see the complex of churches dedicated to St Nicholas. These preserve a stunning collection of Byzantine mosaics and mosaic floors. Overnight Demre.

Day 18: Olympos - Phaselis
After breakfast we head to the spectacular ruins of Olympos an important Lycian town where the god Hephastos was worshipped. We see the tombs, churches and harbour. We then continue on to the picturesque ancient site of Phaselis which is located on a wooded peninsula. Sights include a theatre, Roman baths and agora. In the afternoon we continue to Antakya. Overnight Antalya.

Day 19: Perge - Aspendos
Today we explore two wonderful ancient sites located to the east of Antalya. Perge is an ancient Roman city which includes a magnificent theatre, stadium, walls, agora and bath complex. The colonnaded streets are particularly well preserved. In the afternoon we visit the theatre of Aspendos, one of the best preserved theatre from antiquity. Overnight Antalya.

The ruins of Perge
The Roman theatre at Aspendos

Day 20: Termessos - Antalya Museum
We head into the rugged mountains behind Antalya to visit the stunning Hellenistic and Roman city of Termessos. This mountain top city has remains of many temples, gymnasium, council chambers and a spectacularly located theatre with views over the local valley. The necropolis contains numerous sarcophagi which emerge from a woodland setting. In the afternoon we visit Antalya Museum which has a stunning collection of sculpture. In the evening we fly to Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 21: Istanbul Archaeological Museum - Grand Bazaar
Today we head to the newly revamped Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. This contains a remarkable collection of artefacts from the period of Alexander the Great and his successors, including a famous head from Pergamon. After lunch we visit the Grand Bazaar for last minute shopping. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 22: Depart Istanbul
There is some free time in the morning. We board our plane for the flight back to Australia.

Day 23: Arrive in Australia
We arrive back into Australia in the early evening.

* Please note that the Company reserves the right to make alterations to the itinerary in the period up to 60 days prior to a tour departure. The itinerary may also be subject to minor re-arrangement due to the scheduling of the operators and availability of access. If this occurs, the Company will endeavour to provide a comparable alternative.


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