Ancient Macedonia - Kingdom of Alexander
£1,575 excl. flight
- Ancient Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great
- Vergina, Macedon’s ceremonial capital and royal burial ground
- The treasures of Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum
Rich in manpower and natural resources, ancient Macedonia provided the foundations for the outstanding successes of Kings Philip II and Alexander the Great and grew from a backwater of Greece to become a wealthy kingdom with well-planned cities. Innovations in art, architecture and other crafts were made under the sponsorship of the royal Macedonian court and today’s archaeological excavations continue to bring to light the immense wealth and importance of this region.
Day 1 London/ Thessaloniki – Arrive in cosmopolitan Thessaloniki, Greece’s cultural capital.
Day 2 Olynthos, Polygyros, Stageira - Travel to the hill top site of Olynthos, a well-laid out classical city with some of the earliest mosaics discovered. Visit the museum at Polygyros before visiting Stageira, birthplace of Aristotle, the famous philosopher and tutor of Alexander.
Day 3 Amphipolis, Philippi - Take a scenic drive across the Halkidiki peninsula and through the Rendina Gorge. Visit Amphipolis, a city of great strategic importance during the Peloponnesian War, with its fine fortifications and preserved bridge. Explore the extensive remains at Philippi, the site of the battle between the Republicans and Antony and Octavian in 44 BC.
Day 4 Pella, Naoussa - Discover the vast, ancient Macedonian city of Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great. Famous for its detailed mosaics, recent excavations have yielded Hellenistic bath houses and a huge Forum. On to Naoussa, famed in antiquity for its excellent wines, to visit a winery and sample the local produce. Travel to the picturesque town of Edessa, with its lovely waterfall and visit the ancient city of Longos, currently under excavation. Finally, a visit to the Grotto of the Nymphs, where legend has it that Aristotle taught the young Alexander.
Day 5 Aiani - A full day trip to the recently excavated site of Aiani, dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. Visit the Archaeological Museum with its impressive finds from the excavation.
Day 6 Dion – Pass by Pydna, site of the battle in which the Romans defeated the Macedonians, before reaching the extensive site of Dion where excavations have uncovered a large city with a fascinating sanctuary complex. Visit the museum at Dion, which houses finds from the ongoing excavations.
Day 7 Mieza, Vergina - Visit the tombs at Mieza and then head to Vergina, the first ancient capital of Macedon and site of the theatre in which Philip II was murdered. Visit the famous tombs which house an exquisite collection of paintings and sumptuous treasures.
Day 8 Dion/ Thessaloniki/ London - Return to Thessaloniki to visit the Archaeological Museum, which features a spectacular exhibition of gold from burials and excavations in the region. Return flight to London.
George Hart was for over thirty years a staff lecturer in the Education Department of the British Museum, specialising in ancient Egypt, the Bronze Age and Classical civilisations of the Mediterranean.
A frequent visitor to the Nile Valley, he has written books on Egyptian myths and religion, the Pyramid Age and, most recently, on the Pharaohs. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society.
"George gave us a couple of pre-dinner lectures and some good briefings in the bus prior to picking up the local guide. He ensured a pleasant, harmonious trip without requiring us to do too much homework." Traveller Tour participant, December 2013
"George's knowledge of Ancient History and the Classical sites is excellent. He is genial, very approachable, generous with his knowledge and ensured that he spent time with all of the participants. This further enhanced the trip and the very friendly atmosphere." Traveller Tour participant, December 2013
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