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Voyages to Antiquity: Timeless Lands of the Mediterranean and Red Sea

Program Number: 19081RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/27/2014 - 11/12/2014; 4/4/2015 - 4/22/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Greece/Turkey/Cyprus/Jordan
Price starting at: $5,390.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 44; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Learn about the meaning — historic, political or spiritual — of great ancient sites in four countries: Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel. Walk on the Acropolis of Athens, go ashore on dramatically beautiful Greek isles, and explore antiquity in Kusadasi.

Activity Particulars

Walking up and downhill, up to two miles per day. Standing up to four hours per day, with breaks; uneven terrain and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.

Please note: In 2014, the ship visits Israel and not Jordan. Please see Program Details for complete Daily Schedule.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Athens (Greece), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 11 nights, Jerusalem (Israel), 2 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-4: Arrival Athens (Greece) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Discover the magnificent Acropolis of Athens and explore Plaka - the picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens with its labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
Lodging: Five-star hotel.

Day 5: Delos / Mykonos:

Find the temples, building and famous lions of Delos, then continue to Mykonos for evening drinks and dinner.

Day 6: Kusadasi (Turkey):

Discover the well-preserved ruins of Ephesus, one of the greatest sites of the classical world.

Day 7: Santorini:

On this dramatically beautiful volcanic island, venture to Oia, a village of whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and tavernas carved into the cliffs.

Day 8: Rhodes:

Explore Rhodes Old Town and the Citadel of the Knights of St. John.

Day 9: Fethiye:

Visit this seaside village along Turkey’s southern Aegean coast, whose harbor is dominated by the Castle of Saint Peter, a well-preserved example of late Crusader architecture.

Day 10: Antalya:

Journey through this historically rich area of Turkey, walking the colonnaded streets of Perge and the palm-lined boulevards of Antalya.

Day 11: Tasucu:

Venture to the Mamure Castle, controlled at various times by the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans.

Day 12: Iskenderun:

Go ashore in this city that was founded by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. and conquered and fortified by the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century.

Day 13: Limassol (Cyprus):

Explore the ancient Greco-Roman city of Kourion which thrived until the Middle Ages and boasts well-preserved mosaics.

Day 14: Haifa (Israel) / Acra:

Venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Acra, a fortified port city whose walls protect a largely intact Crusader town from the 11th century.

Days 15-17: disembark / coach to Nazareth and Jerusalem / departure:

Journey inland from the port of Haifa to Nazareth, enjoying panoramic views from atop Mount Carmel. In Jerusalem, visit Zion Gate, the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall. Lodging: Four-star hotel with breathtaking views.

Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship especially rebuilt to allow for a unique combination of ocean and river cruising, whether amongst the islands of the Mediterranean or on the great rivers of Asia. These journeys take you from uncrowded Mediterranean harbors to the African savannah, the Mughal monuments of India to the jungle temples of Southeast Asia. Public areas include Mediterranean-influenced restaurants, a library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Eleni Petroutsou

Born in Athens, Eleni Petroutsou has always been intrigued by the wider world — in school, she learned English, Italian, German and some Spanish. After studying archaeology and history at university, she graduated from the State School of Tour Guides. Her 36 years of experience as a group leader have taken her to Asia, the Middle East and beyond. She says leading Road Scholar programs gives her “the opportunity to share my knowledge with well-traveled, educated, polite and interesting people!”
Meals and Lodgings
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  At sea, At Sea 11 nights
   Dan Jerusalem
  Jerusalem, Israel 2 nights
 Metropolitan Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Metropolitan Hotel, with its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, combines traditional hospitality and luxury in central Athens. With a view to both the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea, the fully renovated Metropolitan Hotel is ideally situated in front of the Faleron Olympic Coastal Park. It is only 10 minutes away from Syntagma square, the center of Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  Contact info: Leoforos Syngrou 385
Athens,  175-64 Greece
phone: +30 210 947 1000
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, high speed Internet connection, radio, mini bar, hair dryer, safe box, and laptop and fax machine outlets.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, bar, gift shop, fitness center, marble steam bath, outdoor heated swimming pool, business center, free wireless Internet access in lobby, and a hairdresser.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Dan Jerusalem
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Dan Jerusalem Hotel offers a premium hospitality experience that combines an idyllic environment with breathtaking vistas. Superbly designed around a series of beautiful patios, the Dan Jerusalem Hotel sits on the historic slopes of Mount Scopus, overlooking the romantic skyline of Jerusalem and surrounded by the rolling hills of Judea. It enjoys a tranquil setting away from the city's bustle. The complimentary shuttle service offered by the Dan Jerusalem Hotel makes it easy for guests to get to all of Jerusalem's prime attractions.
  Contact info: 32 Lehi Street
Jerusalem,  97856 Israel
phone: +972-3-7408966
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes and lotions, telephone, radio, LCD cable television, safe box, 24-hour room service, WIFI Internet (for a fee) and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a selection of restaurants and a bar, an outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool and fully equipped spa (there is a charge for entry to the spa and indoor pool), room service, concierge service, laundry services, a gift shop and WIFI Internet for a fee.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Athens, Greece. The program will begin at 6:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Jerusalem, Israel. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Dan Jerusalem the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from exit 3 of the arrivals level at the airport. Cost is approximately 35-40 Euros, after midnight the cost increases to 60 Euros. Alternatively, take the airport bus X95 which departs from between Exits 4 and 5 at the arrivals level. The bus costs 5 Euro and leaves every 10 to 15 minutes for Syntagma Square – from here it is a short taxi ride to the hotel (approx. 8 Euro).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Jerusalem
  Transportation from site: A taxi transfer to the airport takes approx. 45 minutes and can be arranged at hotel reception and costs $120 for up to three people.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Monday, October 27)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Tuesday, October 28)
 Morning: Arrival in Athens Airport (ATH). Meet group outside of customs. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Settle in at the hotel. We gather in the hotel lobby at 6:00 PM for a welcome orientation to the program.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Athens, Greece
(Wednesday, October 29)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We will explore the long anticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum. In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Plaka.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through the ancient citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. Built during Athens' Golden Age between 447-438BC under the orders of the great statesman Pericles, the Acropolis represents the magnificent achievements of Athenian culture during this remarkable era.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Athens, Greece / Piraeus / Embarkation
(Thursday, October 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy neo-classical architecture while meandering the labyrinthine streets of Plaka -- a picturesque neighborhood of Athens -- during this morning's guided walk.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We transfer to Piraeus where we will embark the Aegean Odyssey. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Delos / Mykonos, Greece
(Friday, October 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Delos is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Greece and was the paramount religious sanctuary of the ancient Greek world. This morning's excursion explores the island's temples, buildings and of course, its famous lions.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A lunchtime departure to the nearby cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Enjoy a guided walk with your Road Scholar Group Leader followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Late departure for Kusadasi. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Kusadasi, Turkey / Ephesus
(Saturday, November 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Upon arrival in Kusadasi, we will transfer to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities in the world. The cosmopolitan city of Ephesus was, in its heyday, on par with Athens and Rome. We will also visit the newly excavated Terrace Houses in Ephesus, where the rich and the ruling class once lived in comfortable homes decorated with wonderful works of art and complete with running water.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: From Ephesus, journey to Didyma to see the impressive Temple of Apollo which is larger than a football field and has 128 finely decorated columns. This temple was once connected to his twin’s in Miletus via a Sacred Way lined with lions, sphinxes and statues.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Santorini, Greece
(Sunday, November 2)

Note: Some walking is required between the cable car station and motorcoach – approximately 15 minutes. During summer there can be a wait for cable cars. Sequence of places visited may vary.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: One of the Aegean’s most spectacular sights, the cliffs of Santorini rise from a great half-moon caldera -- all that is left of the formerly circular island once called Strongyle. Visit the exquisite village of Oia with its whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and tavernas carved into the cliffs. Wealthy sea captains built the pastel-colored mansions that now are home to cafés, boutiques and art galleries. From every direction the views are breathtaking. From Oia, travel to the southern end of the island to explore the excavations of Akrotiri. Here, in 1600BC, this Minoan settlement prospered -- an affluent society that farmed, built two-story homes and decorated them with frescoes.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local taverna in Pyrgos.
 Afternoon: After lunch, wander the colorful streets of Firá. Enjoy a panoramic ride to port via cable car.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Early evening departure for Rhodes.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Rhodes, Greece
(Monday, November 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The morning will be spent exploring Rhodes Old Town and the Citadel of the Knights of St. John. Visit the Archaeological Museum housed in the 15th century Knights' Hospital.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon for independent exploration in Rhodes.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Late evening departure for Fethiye. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Fethiye, Turkey
(Tuesday, November 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning's field trip takes you from Fethiye to the ruins of the ancient city of Patara including the impressive agora. You will also see the great sites of the Lycia: Xantos and Letoon.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time in Fethiye, a charming seaside town with an international atmosphere and probably the only city in the world where you'll find stone sarcophagii in the streets.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Antalya. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Antalya, Turkey
(Wednesday, November 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From Antalya, set off for the Hellenistic city of Perge and then visit the ancient Roman trading town of Aspendos with its magnificent aqueduct and beautifully preserved 2nd century AD Roman theater.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time among the palm-lined boulevards, beautiful Old Town and excellent shops of Antalya. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the superb Antalya Archaeological Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Tasucu. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Tasucu, Turkey
(Thursday, November 6)

Note: The excursion to Mamure Castle and Anemurium involves strenuous walking.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A fabulous full-day excursion lies ahead. Visit the spectacular Mamure Castle, one of the best-preserved Crusader strongholds in the southern Mediterranean with its crenellated walls and 39 watchtowers. The castle was built on the foundations of a 4th century Roman citadel. Designed to protect against pirates, it was repaired during the Byzantine era and during the Crusades.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Anamar.
 Afternoon: From Anamur, it is a short drive to the Roman ghost town of Anemurium, located at the southernmost tip of Turkey.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship departs for Iskenderun after dinner. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Iskenderun, Turkey
(Friday, November 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The historic town of Antioch was founded by the Seleucids in 300BC and went on to become the third largest city of the Roman Empire and an important center of Christianity. This afternoon's excursion includes St. Peter's Grotto, where the saint preached to early Christians, as well as the Bazaar and the Archaeological Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon onboard to enjoy the ship's wonderful amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Limassol, Cyprus
(Saturday, November 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the morning you will take a field trip to the Graeco-Roman city of Kourion, perched atop a hill just outside the modern city of Limassol. A highlight is the fully restored Roman theater, built in the 2nd century BC; once two thousand spectators watched gladiators in this arena, now its wonderful acoustics and stunning sea views make it ideal for musical performances. En route to Kourion, enjoy a short photo stop at the 13th-century Colossi Castle, a fine example of Crusader architecture. After visiting Kourion, return to Limassol and head to the center of Old Town and the city's medieval castle. This is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 before going on to conquer Cyprus.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Limassol on your own before the ship sails in the early evening.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Haifa, Israel / Acra
(Sunday, November 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From the port of Haifa, coach to Acra, the oldest continuously inhabited site in the world and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Founded over 4,000 years ago, Acra played a pivotal role during the 11th century rule of the Crusaders. You start by exploring the underground headquarters of the Knights of St. John, including the vaulted Crusader Halls and refectory. Return to the surface to explore the city's Ottoman heritage and travel to the top of Mount Carmel for the breathtaking view of Haifa Bay.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Haifa or to prepare your belongings for disembarkation.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Disembark / Jerusalem, Israel / Nazareth
(Monday, November 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After disembarking the ship, enjoy a captivating full-day excursion; experience the historic locations and stunning scenery of the places where it is believed Jesus lived, preached and performed miracles. Coach from the port of Haifa to the top of Mount Carmel to enjoy panoramic views of Haifa and its glistening bay. Next, on to Nazareth where Jesus spent his early years. Upon arrival in this fascinating town filled with rich historical significance, visit the amazing Basilica of the Annunciation, one of Christendom's most revered shrines and the largest church in the Middle East. Next, coach through Cana en route to Tabgha, both the sites of Jesus' miracles. And, on to Capernaum, considered to be the center of Jesus' ministry while he was living in the area. View ruins of an ancient synagogue where a lovely mosaic floor was recently discovered.
 Lunch: Leisurely lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, coach along the panoramic seashore to the Yardenit baptismal sight where the River Jordan separates from the Sea of Galilee. In this naturally scenic and symbolic setting, pilgrims from around the world come to perform baptismal ceremonies. From here, head south along the Jordan Valley highway to make a brief stop at Jericho, considered to be the oldest city in the world. Enjoy the view of Mount Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the Devil for 40 days and nights. Coach to hotel for early evening check-in.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Dan Jerusalem
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Jerusalem, Israel
(Tuesday, November 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Begin your visit to the "Golden City" from atop the Mount of Olives. Then follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you walk through Gethsemane, a garden of olive trees in which Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Then on to the Zion Gate, to the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall. Walk through the Old City to Via Dolorosa passing the stations of the cross and arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. From here, meander through the colorful bazaars to the Jaffa Gate.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the Old City.
 Afternoon: See the Dead Sea scrolls at the Israel Museum. Drive to Bethlehem to visit the Nativity site and Manger Square.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Dan Jerusalem
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Departures
(Wednesday, November 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfers to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport for morning departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Rhodes Medieval Old City
A short walk from the port, the old city of Rhodes is a beautifully well-preserved medieval city with meandering cobblestone alleyways. There is a large variety of shops featuring local wares.
  Rhodes Aquarium
The Aquarium in Rhodes is a research institution which provides natural living conditions for a wide range of interesting specimens of Mediterranean organisms such as reefs, sea flowers, octopuses, clams, decapods, turtles and numerous fishes. Located just over a mile from the port, it is a 30 minute walk, or a short taxi ride (fare approx. 7-10 euro).
  Antalya Antalya Archaeological Museum
The Antalya Archaeological Museum is an award-winning museum with extensive exhibits of artifacts from the 8th century BC to present day. Covering over 7 acres, including a garden and open-air galleries, its comprehensive collection creates a journey through the history of Anatolia from the first flint stone tool to a recently woven carpet. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

1453, The Holy War For Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West

Author: Roger Crowley

Description: In this well-paced history, Crowley recounts the dramatic events leading up to and surrounding the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

A Traveller's History of Turkey

Author: Richard Stoneman

Description: An accessible, well-written overview of Turkish history from the Paleolithic to the present.

Birds Without Wings

Author: Louis De Bernieres

Description: De Bernieres offers sweeping historical scope, memorable characters, drama and many new vocabulary words in this stupendous novel set in Anatolia during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you. Includes a chapter on Athens.

Eyewitness Guide Jerusalem: Israel, Petra & Sinai

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This compact, illustrated guide provides a thorough overview of Israel and western Jordan, including Petra, Wadi Rum and Amman.

Eyewitness Guide Turkey

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book provides a thorough overview of history, traditions and sights.

Helen of Troy, The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Author: Bettany Hughes

Description: In her investigation into the life of Helen of Troy, one of the most enigmatic and notorious figures of all time, Hughes reconstructs life in Bronze Age Greece through Homer’s accounts, ancient literature and art. A well-researched and engaging portrait about one of the world's most famous women.

Jerusalem, City of Longing

Author: Simon Goldhill

Description: Goldhill shows the layered, multi-religious history of the city through its architecture, organizing his exhilarating guide into a series of seven walking tours (each with map).

Lords of the Horizons

Author: Jason Goodwin

Description: Goodwin artfully combines his modern travels with scholarship, history and reflection, capturing the outrageous personalities, events and vagaries of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire.

Mediterranean Cruises Map

Author: Freytag & Berndt

Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter

Author: Thomas Cahill

Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.

Silent House

Author: Orhan Pamuk

Description: Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk returns with this gripping read, spinning history, religion, and politics and touching upon the uneasy modernization of Turkey in the 1980s. Masterfully told through the tale of three adult grandchildren visiting their grandmother Fatma in her remote, rapidly-changing fishing village home.

The Ancient Mediterranean

Author: Michael Grant

Description: Grant, a well-known classical scholar, provides this comprehensive history of the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Israel, Crete, Greece, the Roman states and many others. A very well-researched account of Western history's roots.

The Colossus of Maroussi

Author: Henry Miller

Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.

The Crusades and the Holy Land

Author: Georges Tate

Description: This lavish, shirt pocket primer features maps, color illustrations and copies of original documents.

The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Author: Bettany Hughes

Description: An illuminating portrait of Socrates and the Golden Age of Athens. The award-winning scholar re-creates the streets, red-light district, gymnasia, religious festivals and the teeming marketplace in the heart of ancient Athens where Socrates engaged in philosophical dialogue and where he would be condemned to death.

The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece

Author: Robert Morkot

Description: This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.

The Towers of Trebizond

Author: Rose MacAulay, Jan Morris (Introduction)

Description: Mixing high farce, archaeology, history and lively travel writing, Rose MacAulay's impossibly witty short novel is back in a new edition. Originally published in 1956, MacAulay follows the adventures of English missionaries traipsing across Turkey from Istanbul to Trabzon.

The World of the Ancient Greeks

Author: John Camp, Elizabeth Fisher

Description: Featuring hundreds of illustrations and invitingly short chapters on topics from the first Greeks to the Heroic Age and classical Athens. With modern color photographs of great Greek cities from Athens and Delphi to Knossos, Ephesus, Pergamum and Priene.

Travels With Epicurus

Author: Daniel Klein

Description: Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean.

Turkish Reflections, A Biography of a Place

Author: Mary Lee Settle

Description: Settle's captivating travelogue is a richly detailed portrait of contemporary Turkey, its people, monasteries, myths, archaeological treasures and living traditions. Exemplary.

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