Comments Peter Sommer, “Our aim, with all our tours (these new ones included), is for guests not just to feel that they have been given an introduction to an area, but to really have a sense of intimate knowledge, to have explored an area in depth, seeing the main highlights as well as the hidden secrets, gaining a profound sense of the region’s landscape, history and culture. Apart from our three in-house tour experts, no less than 19 further specialists are involved in giving our guests the best possible insight into the areas we travel, their culture, history and archaeology.”
What’s new for 2014?
Exploring Macedonia: the Homelands of Alexander the Great
Discover the glories of northern Greece on this comprehensive tour which delves into the ancient lands of Macedon – a territory deeply linked with Alexander the Great’s formative years. Travelling for two weeks, there’s time to uncover the area, taking in three UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites as well as many lesser-known (but equally fascinating)
Departing 14 June, ‘Exploring Macedonia: the Homelands of Alexander the Great’ costs from £3,295 pp (two sharing) and includes 13 nights’ B&B accommodation, most other meals, transfers, all entrance fees and expert guiding. Flights extra.
Exploring Athens: Archaeology, Culture and Food
As the name of the tour suggests, this week-long trip explores the cultural, historical and gastronomic sides of Athens in great depth. Many pass through Athens, but few give the city the attention that it deserves. Discover the city, tracing it from the present day back to the Bronze Age. You’ll be in the safe hands of two archaeologists, both residents of Athens, who will take you on guided walks through the city to their favourite haunts, restaurants and undiscovered sights. Based centrally at a five-star hotel, visit Marathon – with its great mound for the heroic dead – as well as the Acropolis, the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf and Athens’ old town, Plaka, with its Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine remains. Museum highlights include the New Acropolis Museum, the fascinating Benaki Museum and the National Archaeology Museum, complete with live tortoises!
Departing 1 June, ‘Exploring Athens: Archaeology, Culture and Food’ costs from £2,345 pp (two sharing) and includes seven nights’ full-board accommodation, transfers, all entrance fees and expert guiding. Flights extra.
Walking and Exploring Cappadocia and the Land of the Hittites
Combining the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cappadocia with walks along the recently-opened Hittite Way, this new trip is led by expert archaeologist and historian Nota Karamaouna, who has excavated and surveyed at a number of sites in Cappadocia. One of Turkey’s new cultural routes – and a sister route to the famous Lycian Way – the Hittite Trail is a 385km route which takes in many key ancient Hittite sites. Walking around 3-4 hours per day through the landscapes of Anatolia, learn about the ancient Hittites and take in sites such as the Yazilkaya Sanctuary, where you can still see the Hittites’ chief gods and goddesses carved into the rock. Elsewhere, admire underground cities, wander around a rock-cut monastery, soak up the sights in the pretty Pigeon Valley and enjoy delicious regional foods and wines.
Departing 5 October, ‘Walking and Exploring Cappadocia and the Land of the Hittites’ costs from £2,450 pp (two sharing) and includes nine nights’ half-board accommodation, two other meals, transfers, all entrance fees and expert guiding. Flights extra.
It takes a full two weeks to see Sicily properly and to uncover its rich history and diverse traditions, left as a legacy by its many invaders. Travelling around the island with an Italian-speaking expert in tow – Dr Michael Metcalfe, editor of the Blue Guide to Sicily – you’ll stay in hand-picked accommodation, eating and drinking in local restaurants along the way. Starting and ending in Catania, the tour travels around the island in a clockwise fashion with all of the island’s must-see sights (think Siracusa, Agrigento and Taormina) included. These are interspersed with visits to the more hidden sites, such as the island of Motya, which was a major Phoenician city (destroyed in 398BC) and a hike up Mount Etna’s slopes with a vulcanologist before a tasting at a local winery.
Departing 6 April, ‘Exploring Sicily’ costs from £3,295 pp (two sharing) and includes 12 nights’ half-board accommodation, most other meals, transfers, all entrance fees and expert guiding. Flights extra.
Other pre-existing ‘Exploring…’
And another new tour for 2014:
Cruising the Dodecanese, Greece
Starting in Samos and journeying south through the entire Dodecanese chain, this new itinerary cruises through Greek waters exploring 11 of the Dodecanese islands, including visits to the tiny, volcanic island of Nisyros and stops at Rhodes and Kos. Visit the paleontology museum of Tilos – dedicated to the island’s extinct pygmy elephant – and explore the harbour town of Symi with its colourful neo-classical buildings and traditional taverna. Cruising aboard the elegant wooden vessel, there will be plenty of opportunities to swim each day, enjoy local gourmet food and moor in secluded coves.
Departing 20 September, ‘Cruising the Dodecanese’ costs from £3,695 pp (two sharing) and includes 14 nights’ full-board on a high-end gulet, all entrance fees, excursions and the services of two expert guides. Flights extra.
For further information about Peter Sommer Travels, call 01600 888 220 (http://www.petersommer.com).
ENDS – 10 December 2013
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