January 29, 2020 | Peter Sommer Travels
Firstly, currently showing at the British Museum (until 8 March), Troy: Myth and Reality tells the legend of the great city through a collection of artwork, ancient sculptures and archaeological evidence, which offer tantalising hints at the truth behind the mythical stories. Inspired by the exhibition, cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels has launched a new specially crafted tailormade itinerary, allowing travellers to explore the fabled city and the surrounding region for themselves.
Available throughout the year, subject to availability
After arriving in Istanbul, travel by chauffeur-driven vehicle with a private guide through the Gallipoli Peninsula which, just over a century ago, saw a First World War campaign descend into tragedy for Churchill, before crossing the narrow waters to Troy. The unrivalled depth of archaeology here sets the scene for an entire region, offering fascinating encounters with the beginnings of European literature and history. Explore the site and Troy’s acclaimed new museum, as well as the burial mounds scattered around it, including the Tumulus of Achilles.
The final days of the trip will be spent at the site of the Hellenistic and Roman city of Alexandreia Troas and also at Assos, an ancient Greek city which stands upon the Bay of Edremit and was once home to Aristotle.
The new tailormade itinerary enables clients to create a holiday of any duration that suits their individual preferences and interests.
The cost is from £1,700 pp (two sharing; minimum four guests), including five nights’ B&B accommodation, four lunches, five dinners, use of a chauffeur-driven vehicle, and excursions led by both an academic and a local guide. Flights extra.
Departs 11 August 2020; Led by Paul Beston
Secondly, also new for 2020, is an eight-day escorted walking tour of Hadrian’s Wall, following its route and visiting forts, turrets and milecastles to discover intriguing history and archaeology along the way. Locations include the medieval ruins of Lanercost Priory, Thirlwall Castle, Alston Valley, the remote outpost fort at Bewcastle, and Vindolanda, where incredible preservation provides insight into the lives of soldiers and their families at the fort and in the surrounding town.
The cost is from £2,875 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B in a four-star hotel, five lunches and dinners, transfers, entrance fees, tips and expert-led excursions.
Departs 9 June 2020; Led by Heinrich Hall and Dr. Maria Girtzi
The third new tour for 2020 is an exploration of the Greek region of Macedonia, unearthing the captivating history of Alexander the Great from his birthplace in the city of Pella to the ancient city of Amphipolis, where troops were assembled en route to his epic campaign in Asia. Visits to the royal tombs at Vergina, the embattled imperial city of Thessaloniki and the great sanctuary of Zeus at Dion will uncover the history of the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine empires, while visits to lesser-known sites and the island of Thasos will provide a deeper understanding of ancient Greek life.
The cost is from £3,995 pp (two sharing), including 11 nights’ B&B accommodation in characterful four and five-star hotels, transfers, ten lunches, eight dinners, entrance fees, tips and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Departs 19 April & 17 May 2020; Led by Prof. Tony Spawforth or Dr. Olivier Henry, and Lucia Iacono
Having attracted merchants, seafarers and settlers from around the globe, Sicily offers a diverse wealth of archaeological sites to explore. Spend two weeks traversing the island, visiting the Greek, Roman and Phoenician sites that stud its coasts, the Baroque towns that hug its steep hills and the great modern metropolis of Palermo, with fascinating visits to the tombs of Pantalica, the famed Ear of Dionysius and the Doric temple of Segesta.
Feed not only your brain but also your body, discovering some of Sicily’s richest gastronomic traditions with evenings spent dining in specially chosen restaurants and trattoria, plus visits to local wineries.
The cost is from £4,795 pp (two sharing), including 13 nights’ B&B accommodation, transfers, most other meals, entrance fees, tips and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Departs 27 April 2020; Led by Peter Sommer or Dr. Olivier Henry
Explore Turkey’s historic Asia Minor region, travelling from Istanbul to the coastal city of Bodrum, in order to retrace the first leg of Alexander the Great’s extraordinary 22,000-mile journey. Discover a selection of ancient and cultural sites along the way, including the tomb of Achilles, Troy and the temples of Artemis at Ephesus and Apollo at Didyma.
This journey back in time delves into Alexander’s personality and the lives of the people who inhabited his tumultuous world, savouring the highlights of Turkish cuisine and staying in charming small hotels along the way.
The cost is from £3,820 pp (two sharing), including 11 nights’ B&B accommodation, most other meals, transfers, entrance fees, tips and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Departs 30 May & 29 August 2020; Led by Prof. Ivana Jevtic or Mislav Files
Venture to the fascinating historical sites and charming seaside villages that line Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast while staying on board a traditional Turkish gulet. Expert guides lead visits to the islands of Korčula, Hvar, Vis (for its remote vineyards) and Brač, with its grand views of the surrounding islands, each boasting captivating historical sites, delicious food and stunning landscapes.
At the start and end points of the cruise, highlights include the well-preserved Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian at Split and the grandeur of Dubrovnik, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The cost is from £3,575 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ full-board accommodation, transfers, all crew services, entrance fees, tips on land and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Departs 25 July 2020; Led by Heinrich Hall and Dr. Maria Girtzi
Take the family on an Aegean Sea adventure, cruising around Greece’s Dodecanese Islands in a traditional gulet to discover their lively history. Walk through a smoking volcano on the island of Nisyros, explore the medieval Castle of Panteli on Leros and admire the intricate craftmanship of sculptures at the archaeological museum of Kalymnos, all while sailing the azure waters that traders and conquerors criss-crossed for thousands of years.
There is also plenty of time to relax, swim, snorkel, kayak and enjoy freshly prepared food on board as well as meals at local tavernas.
The trip costs from £2,995 per adult/ £2,865 per child aged 12 and under (two sharing), including seven nights’ full-board accommodation, transfers, all crew services, entrance fees, tips on land and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Departs 3 July 2020; Led by Henrich Hall and Caitlin White
Designed to present a rich and insightful panorama of Ireland’s heritage, tradition and culture, this 12-day tour of the “Emerald Isle” includes must-see destinations such as the Megalithic tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, the cliffside fort at Dun Aonghasa in the Aran Islands and the pristine Norman castle at Trim, alongside lesser-visited sites including stone-carved crosses, wind-swept tower houses and mysterious sites of Gaelic mythology.
Staying in a selection of renovated castles, manors and town houses, enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful scenery and some of its finest gastronomy.
The trip costs from £4,815 pp (two sharing), including 11 nights’ B&B accommodation, six lunches, seven dinners, transfers, entrance fees, tips and expert-led excursions. Flights extra.
Note to editors: Peter Sommer Travels is a member of AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, and recently celebrated its 500th AITO review. These consist of 499 Excellent reviews and one Good, suggesting an overwhelmingly positive experience enjoyed by consumers.
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