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Greece in the Off-Season: Exploring the Peloponnese

Program No. 23192RJ
Study with local experts to uncover the fascinating history of ancient Greece as you learn about Greek mythology and cultural landmarks during the quieter winter months.

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At a Glance

During its height in the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in all of Europe, with a strong focus in science, art, music and literature. Along with top-notch instructors, trace the history of Byzantium around the Peloponnese as you explore ancient ruins and incredible artifacts just like a local. Study the roots of Greek mythology at the Temple of Hera and explore one of the most important natural wonders in all of Greece—the Caves of Diros—while the tourists have all gone home. As you cruise around the peninsula, learn about the framework laid by ancient Greeks to create the mighty Byzantine Empire and the modern-day nation of Greece we know today.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore ancient Epidaurus and learn about this healing sanctuary known throughout Greece and the rumored birthplace of Apollo’s son, Asclepius.
  • Learn the story behind the early Olympic Games as you discover Ancient Olympia and the ruins of the gymnasium where the first athletes trained.
  • Enjoy two nights in Athens with our local experts before you board the ship and explore ancient Greek ruins including the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Artemis Leontis (Editor)
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
by Richard Buxton
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.
Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands
by Eyewitness Guides
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.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This lyrical novel captures the humanity, quirks and loves of village life in the Greek islands. A satire of war, this charming and richly-colored novel is set on Cephalonia during the Italian occupation in the 1940s.
The King Must Die
by Mary Renault
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 Most Beautiful Villages of Greece
by Mark Ottaway
Organized geographically, this handsome oversize picture book is an illustrated portrait of Greece with hundreds of color photographs accompanying lively essays
It's All Greek to Me
by Charlotte Higgins
With timelines, a who's who, charts and maps, this handy little primer is a thoroughly entertaining introduction to everything Greek, from poetry and drama to philosophy, history and culture.
Greece, Land of Light
by Nicholas Gage, Barry Brukoff
Brukoff's dramatic color photographs are paired with incisive commentary by award-winning author Nicholas Gage for this striking portrait of the people, land and history of Greece and the islands
Corelli's Mandolin
by Louis De Bernieres
This lyrical novel captures the humanity, quirks and loves of village life in the Greek islands. A satire of war, this charming and richly-colored novel is set on Cephalonia during the Italian occupation in the 1940s.
10 Reviews
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4.9 Average
(5) Review left 11/20/2022

AAA: absolutely amazing adventure, super host/ guide, great group of attendees. All the sites visited were spectacular. Highly recommend.

(5) Review left 11/24/2019

My wife and I enjoyed this trip immensely. Our group leader, Athena was amazing. Her knowledge of ancient and modern Greece was thorough . And she was careful to keep track of our group of 31. She kept us focused, safe and informed. Every day was a new experience. Both the hotel and the ship were elegant and comfortable. Meals were wonderful. The experience was luxurious, delicious and enlightening. Fellow guests were so interesting.

(5) Review left 11/17/2019

This is a great time to visit Greece. The weather was delightful with temperatures in the low 70's, and we experienced few large crowds. We only experienced a few hours when the seas were rough enough to cause discomfort to a few of the passengers. The only downside to the trip is that the ship holds 31 passengers, and this is a larger group than I prefer.

(4) Review left 11/15/2019

Our guide Athina was actually a substitute, and she was sensational! We learned a lot, not only about history and mythology, but also about religion, culture, architecture, plants, and more. Due to weather conditions, our boat had to reverse the direction of travel around the Peloponnese, and therefore numerous details had to be changed along the way. There were never any screw-ups, and we got to experience everything that had been promised, just in a different order. The food and crew on the boat were terrific, but the furnishings are in need of refurbishing. If you want to learn everything about Greece, take this trip! Oh, and take hiking poles too. We had them along, and others were jealous, since many surfaces can be slippery and uneven, even when the sun is shining. We traveled Nov. 5 - 15, and the temps were perfect. For more details, our blog is http://www.mytripjournal.com/Lois_and_John_Croatia_and_Greece

(5) Review left 4/08/2019

This is an excellent program. The educational content is outstanding. The Group Leader is excellent. The experience on the Callisto was delightful. We felt very, very pampered in every way. Greece is a beautiful country and this trip has inspired me to return again.

(5) Review left 4/02/2019

The whole is changing rapidly, see how that is happening right before your eyes!

(5) Review left 4/02/2019

If you want to learn a totally different culture- food, family life, religion, socially and economically, this is the trip to take!

(5) Review left 3/31/2019

This is a trip not to be missed. Traveling this time of year allowed us to visit everything without the huge crowds. The food on the ship was very good and the staff was very friendly and accommodating. Our Guide Roula is an amazing Historical scholar. Greece is an amazing country and we learned everything going back 5,000 years!

(5) Review left 3/31/2019

An amazing trip on a delightful boat seeing sites that are so old, one can't comprehend how it all was built. Very informative and quite beautiful. Lots of steps with no hand rails, some well worn slippery rocks in places but all worth the effort. So glad we did this Roadscholar tour.

(5) Review left 3/22/2019

This was the best Road Scholar program I have been on. Roula is the VERY best. Greece is wonderful!

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