Roman theatre of Philippopolis, Plovdiv
Roman theatre of Philippopolis, Plovdiv

European Archaeological Adventures From Just £1,195pp

Discover the stories that shaped history on holiday with us this year. We have a range of phenomenal archaeological adventures on offer, which can take you from Orkney to Sweden, and from Bulgaria to Romania. Tick the incomparable site of Pompeii off your bucket list, wander the ruins of the ancient Palace of Knossos in Crete or stand before the mighty Vasa warship. 

Starting from just £1,195pp, the ancient world is closer than you think... So, where can we take you?

Pompeii & the Classical Wonders of Campania - 6 days from £1,395pp

Perhaps the ultimate bucket-list destination for anyone fascinated by archaeology and history, Pompeii awaits. In AD 79, the nearby volcano Vesuvius erupted with cataclysmic force and snuffed out all life in the town. Since its rediscovery in 1748, Pompeii has been a major tourist destination, offering as it does a unique insight into the lives and times of ordinary people from two thousand years ago, with many of the streets and buildings uncovered and excavated to reveal an astonishingly well-preserved example of a Roman town. Elsewhere, on this holiday, you'll explore the remains at neighbouring Stabiae and Herculaneum, the fascinating site of Paestum, and there will be a chance to peer into the volcanic crater of Vesuvius itself. 

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Portuguese Archaeology - 9 days from £1,895pp

Join this nine-day archaeological exploration of Portugal in 2020 and discover the stories and history of this beautiful country. Departing in both April and October (and starting from £1,895pp), this holiday will take you from the brightly coloured palaces of Sintra and the archaeological sites of Conimbriga and Citania de Briteiros, to the historic forest of Buçaco. Elsewhere, you'll get a taste of Portugal's finest at one of the port lodges in Porto and there will be time for an optional river cruise on the Douro. You'll also enjoy a host of UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the city of Evora, where its monuments and defensive walls stretch back over twenty centuries, and Guimarães, an immaculately preserved medieval town that was the birthplace of Portugal’s first king, Alfonso Henriques.

Click here to view the tour's full itinerary. 

The Archaeology of Denmark and Sweden - 8 days from £1,895pp

How about a twin-centre archaeological tour of Denmark and Sweden? We begin in Uppsala in Sweden, with visits to the archaeological sites at Gamla Uppsala and Anundshög and the baroque Skokloster Castle. In Stockholm we tour the Historical Museum and visit the Vasa Museum, which houses the royal warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. A relaxing high-speed rail journey follows as we travel from Stockholm to Malmö in the south of Sweden. Here we tour the Osterlen region, with visits to the megalithic monuments known as Ales Stenar before crossing the Öresund Bridge to Copenhagen. We have a day touring the Danish capital, including the renaissance castle of Rosenborg Slot, then transfer to Aarhus in mainland Denmark. From here we visit the Moesgård Viking Museum and the Viking Castle at Fyrkat, and we also come face to face with some former inhabitants of the region as we visit Silkeborg Museum, home to the ‘bog bodies’.

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Bulgarian Archaeology - 9 days from £1,595pp

For decades after the Second World War, Bulgaria lay firmly behind the Iron Curtain and had little contact with the outside world, but in classical times it prospered through trade with the Near East and was richly endowed with fine cities and monuments. Now this fascinating and hospitable country is opening up once again and we are delighted to be able to visit a wide range of well-preserved archaeological sites, four of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are the famous Rila Monastery, set high in the mountains; Boyana Church with its outstanding frescoes; the Horseman rock relief at Madara; and the historic town of Nessebar, beautifully preserved with over 80 churches. Further highlights include the Kazanluk Thracian Tomb, Nicopolis ad Istrum, the Neolithic dwelling houses at Stara Zagora and finally Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria with a stunning location above the Yantra river.

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Crete Archaeology - 8 days from £1,595pp

The Greek island of Crete presents a rich tapestry of archaeological treasures, sleepy villages and lively towns, all set in a Homeric landscape of mountains, gorges and flower-strewn pastures. Crete was home to one of the earliest European civilizations, the Minoans, who roamed these hills some 4000 years ago. Their legacy can be seen all over the island, in particular at the legendary Palace of Knossos. Other archaeological visits on this memorable holiday include the friendly old town of Rethymnon with its Venetian and Turkish architecture, the atmospheric island of Spinalonga (a former leper colony), and Phaistos, which was one of the most important centres of Minoan civilisation.

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Malta's Archaeological Heritage - 7 days from £1,345pp

Malta’s diminutive archipelago is by no means any indication of the vast riches it holds — from the Neolithic to now, they are many and varied, and all out there to be discovered on this very special tour. From your comfortable base at the Dolmen Hotel, which is built around an authentic Neolithic temple, you will venture inside the walled citadel of Mdina, explore the warren of narrow tomb-lined passages of St. Paul’s Catacombs, and take to the waves for a boat trip around the spectacular cliffs and caverns of the famed Blue Grotto. But most startling of all, perhaps, are the mysterious sites left by civilisations with whom we are just starting to get acquainted — the millennia-old Mnajdra Temples, the megaliths of Ħaġar Qim: these make for a truly unforgettable archaeological expedition.

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Romanian Archaeology - 9 days from £1,895pp

Throughout history Romania has stood at the frontier of empires, having been part of the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire and more recently the Communist empire that spread west from Soviet Russia after the Second World War. Now fully open to the west and developing fast, Romania offers a rich and varied archaeological and historical heritage, from relics of the ancient kingdom of Dacia (82BC-106AD) to Roman ruins, former Saxon-German colonies and dramatic castles. On this nine-day tour, you will explore the National Museum of History with its many local treasures, there will be a chance to experience 2,000 years of history in one place at Alba Iulia, you'll explore the remarkable sanctuaries of Sarmisegetuza Regia, and there will be a visit to the ruins of Ulpia Traiana, the former capital of Roman Dacia

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An Archaeologist's View of Orkney & Shetland - 6 days from £1,195pp

The islands of Orkney and Shetland are littered with archaeological remains. People first came here over 5,000 years ago and many of their remains survive. New archaeological sites are discovered every year. Visit the uninhabited island of Mousa with its 2000-year-old full size broch, the prehistoric and Norse settlement of Jarlshof, St Ninian’s Isle with its 6th century church, and also the ruined castle of Scalloway. We then travel to Orkney where we visit the Italian Chapel; the Tomb of the Eagles, which offers a unique ‘hands-on’ experience - an opportunity to handle 5000-year-old artefacts excavated from an extensive cliff-top site; Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe; and Skara Brae as well as Skaill House. En route to Aberdeen, we will also see the Loanhead of Daviot Stone Circle and the Maiden Stone.

Click here to view the tour's full itinerary.