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Greece/Turkey

Grand Odyssey: Ancient History & Modern Culture on the Aegean Sea

Join us for a grand voyage on the Aegean Odyssey as we sail from Istanbul across the Aegean Sea, with stops at ancient cities and iconic Greek islands.
Program No. 24219RJ
Length
22 days
Starts at
6,999
Greece/Turkey

Grand Odyssey: Ancient History & Modern Culture on the Aegean Sea

Join us for a grand voyage on the Aegean Odyssey as we sail from Istanbul across the Aegean Sea, with stops at ancient cities and iconic Greek islands.
Length
22 days
Starts at
6,999
Length
22 days
New
Starts at
6,999
Program No. 24219RJ

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At a Glance

On this extensive voyage, experience the ancient history, cultural centers and deep mythology of the Aegean Sea. Investigate the archaeological sites surrounding port cities like Thessaloniki, Kavala and Canakkale, before crisscrossing the Aegean to discover countless treasures, from the dazzling charms of Mykonos to the romantic vistas of Santorini, all ending in the historic capital of Athens. Throughout your journey, take in the private ambiance of the Aegean Odyssey, as you attend expert-led lectures and presentations and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow Road Scholars.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Visit Istanbul's legendary Hagia Sophia Mosque.
  • Explore the archaeological sites and architectural ruins of ancient Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Experience authentic local life and time-honored treasures on two of the most popular Greek Isles, Mykonos and Santorini.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Eleni Petroutsou
Eleni Petroutsou was born in Athens. She 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!”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Eleni Petroutsou
Eleni Petroutsou View biography
Eleni Petroutsou was born in Athens. She 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!”
Profile Image of Ioanna Kopsiafti
Ioanna Kopsiafti View biography
Ioanna Kopsiafti is an art historian, professor and writer living in Athens for the past 20 years. She earned her master’s degree from St. Andrews University and her doctorate from Oxford. Ioanna currently lectures in Athens and Rome, primarily on ancient Greek and Roman art and civilization. Her publications include “Style City Athens” (Thames & Hudson 2006) and “Thinking Space, Advancing Art: Cassirer with Crowther” (Routledge 2015) on the philosophy of symbolic forms that explores language, myth, religion and art within the philosophy of culture.
Profile Image of Catherine Skokan
Catherine Skokan View biography
Dr. Catherine Skokan is a professor emerita at the Colorado School of Mines and the first woman to receive a graduate degree from that institution. Her technical interests include volcanoes, geothermal and energy resources, groundwater resources, and humanitarian engineering. Dr. Skokan has traveled extensively with student and adult groups and has led humanitarian engineering projects, visiting all seven continents and some 100 countries, sharing the beauties of this world with others.
Profile Image of Maria Argyraki
Maria Argyraki View biography
Maria Argyraki, an experienced member of the Association of Greek Licensed Tourist Guides, joined the Road Scholar Group Leader team in 2011. Born and raised in Athens to a family of Ottoman Greek refugees, she has studied, traveled, and worked in the U.S.A, the U.K, France, Turkey, and Japan. Dedicated to sharing her knowledge of history and culture and hosting travelers in a most personable manner, Maria is also an awarded literary translator. She is currently working on two historical novels of her own.
Profile Image of Ioanna Christoforaki
Ioanna Christoforaki View biography
Ioanna Christoforaki, born and raised on the island of Rhodes, has lived in Athens for the past 20 years. She studied history and archaeology at the University of Athens and holds a Master’s degree and a Doctorate from the University of Oxford. She has worked at the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Open University, and the Academy of Athens. Her research interests focus on the visual and material culture of the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages and cultural interchanges among its people.
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.
Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey
by Anastasia M. Ashman, Jennifer Eaton Gokmen
As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals its most personal nuances. This illuminating anthology provides a window into the country from the perspective of thirty-two expatriates from seven different nations—artists, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps volunteers, archaeologists, missionaries, and others—who established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the mystique of the “Orient,” describe religious conflict, embrace cultural discovery, and maneuver familial traditions, customs, and responsibilities. Poignant, humorous, and transcendent, the essays take readers to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road, and deep into the feminine stronghold of steamy Ottoman bathhouses. The outcome is a stunning collection of voices from women suspended between two homes as they redefine their identities and reshape their world views.
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
by Robert Graves
A new edition of Graves' classic collection with a cover by comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.
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.
Athens Map
by Borch Maps
An excellent laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:7,500 with inset maps of the Acropolis, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Attica and the surrounding region.
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
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.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
by Thomas Cahill
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.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
Turkey: A Short History
by Norman Stone
A concise survey of Turkey's relations with neighboring countries and the wider world from 11th century to today.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This informative handbook traces Greek art and architecture from the third millennium to the first century B.C.
Turkey: A Modern History
by Erik J. Zürcher
A revised edition looks at Turkey's modern day changes and continuations into a capitalist and modern world. Focuses on the 1950s and forward, Zürcher focuses on politics, military, human rights issues, Turkey's relationships with Europe and the West and their ambivalent relationship with the Middle East.
A Traveller's History of Athens
by Richard Stoneman
A brief history of Athens through the 1990's -- wide-ranging, accessible and effectively condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
Eyewitness Guide Turkey
by Eyewitness Guides
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book is a thorough overview of Turkey, its history, traditions, cultures and sights. With hundreds of color photographs and illustrations.
The Greeks, An Illustrated History
by Diane Harris Cline
This accessible photographic history of ancient Greece pays special attention to Greek innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the Olympics, Socrates and much more. Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek empire with archaeological discoveries.
Istanbul: The Imperial City
by John Freely
Whether you call it Byzantium, Constantinople, or Istanbul, the “old Turkish hand” John Freely tells the story of each creation and decline up to today’s Istanbul under the Turkish Republic. Spirited and colorful, Freely gives his readers a lively account of the turmoil each incarnation brought. In addition to “page turning history”, Freely gives a complete listing of monuments & museums in the city - he has lived there for decades. This is the one to read on Istanbul if you have a short list of books and limited time to get into its history.
Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds
by Stephen Kinzer
A passionate love for the Turkish people and an optimism that its ruling class can complete Turkey's transformation into a Western-style democracy mark Kinzer's reflections on a country that sits geographically and culturally at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Kinzer, the former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief, gives a concise introduction to Turkey: Kemal Ataterk's post-WWI establishment of the modern secular Turkish state; the odd makeup of contemporary society, in which the military enforces Ataterk's reforms. In stylized but substantive prose, he devotes chapters to the problems he sees plaguing Turkish society: Islamic fundamentalism, frictions regarding the large Kurdish minority and the lack of democratic freedoms. Kinzer's commonsense, if naeve, solution: the ruling military elite, which takes power when it feels Turkey is threatened, must follow the modernizing path of Ataterk whom Kinzer obviously admires a step further and increase human rights and press freedoms. Kinzer's journalistic eye serves him well as he goes beyond the political, vividly describing, for instance, the importance and allure of the narghile salon, where Turks smoke water pipes. Here, as elsewhere, Kinzer drops his journalist veneer and gets personal, explaining that he enjoys the salons in part "because the sensation of smoking a water pipe is so seductive and satisfying." Readers who want a one-volume guide to this fascinating country need look no further.
Circe
by Madeline Miller
#1 New York Times Bestseller, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.





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