Road Scholar : Home
The Ancient Power and Iconic Beauty of Turkey and Greece

Program Number: 21646RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2015 - 9/27/2015; 6/7/2016 - 6/19/2016; 9/13/2016 - 9/25/2016; 9/27/2016 - 10/9/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Greece/Turkey
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 29; 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience magnificent cities of the ancient world and islands long famed for their beauty on this voyage from Istanbul to Athens. Venture to timeless palaces, temples, theaters and even libraries and learn the stories they hold from Road Scholar’s outstanding experts. Walk among the well-preserved ruins of Ephesus and compare the cultures and environments of Greek isles like Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain, hills and stairs without railings. You’ll be on your feet for up to four hours per day, with breaks.

This program features the educational experience and camaraderie typical of a Road Scholar program on board a Greek cruise ship that is proud to showcase its Hellenic identity. While you’ll spend much of your time with the Road Scholar group, please consider that you’ll be on a large ocean liner with passengers of all ages when deciding if this program is right for you.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Istanbul (Turkey), 3 nights; aboard Celestyal Crystal, 6 nights; Athens (Greece), 2 nights.

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

Days 2-5: Arrival Istanbul (Turkey) / embark Celestyal Crystal:

Enjoy three days to learn about this fascinating city. Delve into the history of Constantinople at the Hippodrome and the Hagia Sophia. Step inside the walls of Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years. Examine exquisite Byzantine mosaics and walk through bustling bazaars. Lodging: Four-star, centrally located hotel.

Day 6: Kusadasi:

Journey to one of the most impressive cities of the classical world: Ephesus. Find temples, the library and the newly excavated terrace houses.

Day 7: Santorini (Greece):

On this spectacular volcanic island discover the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri and see its colorful frescoes. Continue to the lovely cliff-top town of Firá.

Day 8: Crete:

Learn about the powerful Minoan civilization that flourished on Crete for a dozen centuries. Examine the ruins of Knossos and delve into the legend of King Minos and his Labyrinth.

Day 9: Rhodes & Symi:

Pass picturesque villages en route to Lindos, a town whose natural citadel was fortified by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. Walk the Avenue of the Knights in Rhodes Old Town. Enjoy a guided walk on the charming island of Symi.

Day 10: Chios & Mykonos:

On the island of Chios visit the beautiful Nea Moni Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos.

Days 11-13: Lavrio / disembark / coach to Athens / departure:

Walk in the footsteps of Aristotle and Socrates on the Acropolis, marvel at the Parthenon and examine artifacts of Athens’ Golden Age at the outstanding Acropolis Museum. Explore the labyrinthine Plaka neighborhood and enjoy lunch at a local taverna. Lodging: Stylish four-star hotel.

Celestyal Crystal

This 521-foot ship offers a yacht-like experience for up to 1,200 passengers. Its elegant public spaces include three restaurants, several lounges, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym and spa. Passengers will enjoy Mediterranean breezes on the sun deck and open promenades. All cabins have private baths, air conditioning, TV and radio.

Meals and Lodgings
   Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City
  Istanbul, Turkey 3 nights
   M/V Celestyal Crystal
  M/V Celestyal Crystal, At Sea 6 nights
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
 Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The 4-star Dosso Dossi Hotel is centrally located in the historic peninsula of Istanbul, walking distance to many historical sites including the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Newly opened in December 2013, this hotel is well appointed, offering modern comfort and convenience as well as luxury spa services.
  Contact info: Alemdar Mah. Alayköskü
Cad. No: 12
PK: 34110 Sultanahmet, Fatih,  Istanbul Turkey
phone: +90 212 526 40 90
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, coffee and tea maker, hair dryer, telephone, LCD television, safe box, free wireless Internet, 24 hour room service and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, as well as a bar and lounge, fitness room, sauna, turkish bath, meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers, currency exchange, free WIFI Internet access throughout the hotel, laundry service and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights: 1-800-241-1404.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 M/V Celestyal Crystal
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The M/V Celestyal Crystal is an ultra-modern cruise ship that specialises in cruises in the southeastern Mediterranean. It is proud of its Hellenic identity and is committed to giving its passengers an authentic and high quality Greek cruise experience.
  Ship Information: Tonnage: 25,611 Length: 162 m Breadth: 25.6 m Draught: 6.10 m Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 9 Total Outside Staterooms 313 Total Inside Staterooms 163 Elevators: 4 Stabilizers: YES Electric Current: 110 - 220V ÁC Classification Society: DNV
  Contact info: 25, Akti Miaouli str,
18535, Piraeus,   Greece
phone: +30 21045 83499
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature 110v and 200v outlets. 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: The M/V Celestyal Crystal offers several dining options. The Olympus Restaurant (Deck 5) and the Amalthia Restaurant (Deck 8) serve ŕ lá carte meals in a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere. The Leda and Aura casual dining areas are located adjacent to the swimming pool on Deck 9 and offer buffet-style meals where passengers have the choice of eating inside or out. Additionally, the ship boasts 3 lounges and 2 bars. *Meals are served with complimentary tap water and coffee/tea. Drinks can be purchased individually or as part of a "drinks package" which can be purchased at the beginning of the cruise. Special Diets: Please advise 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; jacuzzi, gym, massage and beauty treatment rooms, duty-free shops, casino, night club, elevators, photo and video services; Internet center (open 24 hours per day) and WiFi throughout Deck 8 (with the exception of the Dining Room) -- charge of 15 Euro/hour applies; medical center; laundry and pressing services.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 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 after: 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 out time: 1:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Istanbul, Turkey. Meet at 7:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City that night.
  End of Program:
Athens, Greece. Program ends after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Istanbul
  Nearest city or town:  In town
  Nearest airport:  Atatürk International Airport
  Transportation to site: The Dosso Dossi Hotel is located about 10 miles from the airport. Taxi ride to the hotel from the airport costs approximately 45 Turkish Liras (approx. $30) and takes approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, to book a private transfer (approx. $65), please contact
  From End of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation from site: You may take a taxi from the hotel to the airport; this will cost approximately $62-68 per car. Alternatively, take a shuttle bus from the hotel to Syntagma Square. From there take Bus X95 to the airport (5 Euro).
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: In Transit to Program
(Tuesday, September 15)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Wednesday, September 16)
 Afternoon: Arrival at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport (IST). Meet group outside of customs. Transfer to the Dosso Dossi Hotel. Welcome Orientation at 7:00 PM in hotel lobby.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Istanbul, Turkey
(Thursday, September 17)

Note: The excursions in Istanbul involve significant walking. As we will be visiting religious sites, please no shorts or sleeveless shirts. Ladies may be asked to cover their heads.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Start the day on foot by visiting the amazing church of Hagia Sophia, possibly the most important architectural monument in the city, standing gracefully since 537 AD. Field trip to the Hippodrome, the civic center of ancient Constantinople, where chariot races were run between the four teams of Blues, Greens, Whites and Reds. Then visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, world renowned for its exquisite Iznik tiles surrounding the interior of this wonderful mosque.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore the beautiful Underground Cisterns, built by the illustrious Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 532 AD to store water underground. Following this visit, you are free to explore independently or return to the hotel with the group.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Istanbul, Turkey
(Friday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore the opulent Topkapi Palace including the Imperial Harem. The Topkapi Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years and a great testimony to the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon visit the Chora Church/Kariye Museum to behold its exquisite mosaics and frescoes dating from the 14th century, a period of Byzantine reawakening in the arts.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Dosso Dossi Hotel - Old City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Istanbul-Turkey, Embark the M/V Celestyal Crystal
(Saturday, September 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: An exciting and full day ahead. Spend the morning visiting the Grand Bazaar with its maze-like streets and alleys and 4,000 shops! Next visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque, built by the famous architect Sinan, a small but gem-like mosque demonstrating the most stunning examples of 16th century Iznik tiles. In time for lunch, we'll head to the Spice Bazaar, where exotic aromas capture visitors upon entering.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own around the Spice Bazaar.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we embark on a private cruise on the Bosphorus to explore the stunning palaces, mansions, and fortresses dotted along the Asian and European shores of this marvelous strait. Embark the M/V Celestyal Crystal in the late afternoon. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Kusadasi, Turkey
(Sunday, September 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Attend a talk by your Group Leader. Relax poolside as the ship sails towards Kusadasi.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Santorini. Enjoy onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Santorini, Greece
(Monday, September 21)

Note: A windbreaker or light jacket is especially recommended in Santorini, due to the use of tenders and the likelihood of wind. Some walking is required between the cable car station and motorcoach – approximately 15 minutes. Sequence of places visited may vary. This evening is 'Greek night' on board the Celestyal Crystal. Please plan to wear light blue and white, the colors of the Greek flag.

 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. In 1600BC, the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri prospered; an affluent society that farmed, built two-story homes and painted frescoes. This morning’s excursion includes a visit to Akrotiri followed by a visit to the town of Firá where you can choose to spend free time or take a cable car down to the port.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Firá.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board -- if possible, please wear light blue and white to celebrate 'Greek night' onboard.
 Evening: Early evening departure for the island of Crete. Enjoy onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Agios Nikolaos, Crete
(Tuesday, September 22)

Note: Please plan to 'dress up' in finer attire this evening for the Captain's Cocktail -- nice trousers and a shirt for men and a skirt or dress for women would be suitable for these evenings. Suits or gowns are overly formal.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The morning is dedicated to the Minoan site of Knossos. The heyday of Minoan civilization (2000-1600BC) was marked by the construction of great palaces, the best known of which is Knossos. Excavations were begun in 1899 by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who controversially “restored” the palace with his own eccentric ideas of Minoan interior design. From here, it is short coach ride to Heraklion, a busy metropolitan port and the capital of Crete.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the port town of Agios Nikolaos before the ship sails in the early evening. Attend the Captain's Cocktail -- please plan to 'dress-up' for this event.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Rhodes. Enjoy onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Rhodes, Greece / Symi, Greece
(Wednesday, September 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a 30-mile drive passing picturesque villages and splendid landscapes to arrive at the Acropolis at Lindos. This Doric town rose in power reaching its heyday in the 6th century BC. It continued to thrive into the middle ages. We’ll walk to the Acropolis, surrounded by the contrasting 12th-century crusader fortifications, clinging to the rocks above the village. From Lindos, coach to the old city of Rhodes to walk along the Street of the Knights.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon to join your Group Leader on a walking excursion of Symi.
 Dinner: Dinner at a taverna with your group.
 Evening: Enjoy the onboard entertainment as the ship sails towards Chios.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Chios, Greece / Mykonos, Greece
(Thursday, September 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Leaving the port of Chios, enjoy the views as your coach climbs the foothills of Mount Provatas to the center of the island to explore Nea Moni Monastery, an important example of Byzantine architecture in the Aegean. From here, explore the ghost town of Anavantos, formerly a village of Chians, most of whom lost their lives during the Greek War for Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1822.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the late afternoon, the ship will arrive in the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Enjoy a guided walk with your Road Scholar Group Leader followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Free time to prepare your belongings for disembarkation.
Accommodations: M/V Celestyal Crystal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Disembark - Lavrio / Cape Sounion
(Friday, September 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After disembarkation, enjoy an excursion to Cape Sounion famous for its 5th-century BC temple dedicated to Poseidon, the god of the sea. The temple stands at a rocky promontory guarding the maritime route from Athens to the Aegean Islands. The spot is superb! It offers magnificent views of the blue Aegean Sea and the hundreds of islands that emerge from its waters. When British poet Lord Byron visited Sounion, he immortalized his visit by inscribing his name on one of the ancient pillars of the temple.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Athens.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Athens.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Athens, Greece
(Saturday, September 26)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain with multiple uphill segments and stairs without railings.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: 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. Next, 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.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Athens.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Program Concludes
(Sunday, September 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Athens International Airport (ATH) for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Athens Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum is made up of many buildings, which offer an in-depth look into Greek history and culture. An array of artwork and artifacts illustrate the character of the Greek world from ancient times to the 20th century. For additional information, visit
  Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art illustrates the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. The three major subjects on display are Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art, and Ancient Cypriot Art. 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 Short History of Byzantium

Author: John Julius Norwich

Description: A richly detailed and evocative history of the span of the great empire from the fourth to the 15th century, brimming with intrigue, palace revolution and treachery.

A Traveller's History of Turkey

Author: Richard Stoneman

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

Aegean Art and Architecture

Author: Donald Preziosi, Louise Hitchcock

Description: An illustrated survey of Minoan and Mycenean art from the Neolithic to the extraordinary Bronze Age palaces of Knossos, Gournia and Phaistos. Great for any archaeology-minded traveler.

Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History

Author: Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin

Description: This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.

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.

Blue Guide Istanbul

Author: John Freely

Description: Freely's erudite, indispensable guide to the monuments, art and history of Istanbul.

Byzantium, The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire

Author: Judith Herrin

Description: Herrin captures the glory, accomplishments, personalities, cruelty and import of Byzantium from the foundation of Constantinople to its capture by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.


Author: Edmondo De Amicis, Stephen Parkin (Translator)

Description: Originally published in 1877, Edmondo De Amicis' entertaining sketches of the people, architecture, daily life and customs of the city show all the freshness of a young writer's first impressions of a great city.

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.

Greek, A Language Map

Author: Kristine K. Kershul

Description: This durable, foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly-needed words and phrases.

Introducing the Ancient Greeks, From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind

Author: Edith Hall

Description: Classicist Edith Hall visits ten Greek communities at different moments during the twenty centuries of ancient Greek history, brilliantly assembling a unified vision of the Greek spirit.

Istanbul, Memories and the City

Author: Orhan Pamuk

Description: Nobel Prize-winner Pamuk writes with dazzling grace of the city of his birth, a magical place of crumbling mansions and Ottoman riches.

The Classical World

Author: Robin Lane Fox

Description: From Homer to Hadrian, Fox conjures tyrants, conquerors and enthralling personalities in this marvelously written history of ancient Greece and Rome.

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 Golden Step, A Walk through the Heart of Crete

Author: Christopher Somerville

Description: Sommerville's account of a heroic 300-mile, mountainous trek west across Crete from Heraklion to the Monastery of the Golden Step.

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 King Must Die

Author: Mary Renault

Description: The first in Mary Renault's trilogy of well-researched page-turners features the tale of Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur and the king of Athens. Known for her exhaustive research, Renault is an acknowledged master of historical fiction.

The Parthenon

Author: Mary Beard

Description: A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.

The Spirit of Mediterranean Places

Author: Michel Butor

Description: In this remarkable short book, the celebrated French novelist chronicles his travels to Cairo, Luxor, Crete, Istanbul and other Mediterranean sites in absorbing, appreciative painterly detail.

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.

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.

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