Discover the tumultuous forces which propelled the small ancient kingdom of Macedon (in modern-day Greece) into an unrivalled global empire, with realms extending through Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and even as far as modern Pakistan. With Classicist Dr Alphonso Moreno, learn about Macedon’s most influential rulers, Philip II and his son, the self-proclaimed demi-god Alexander the Great. History remembers Alexander variously as a hero, a visionary, a megalomaniac and a madman. But through their actions, Macedon became the hub of global advances in philosophy, arts, literature, engineering and science, changing the face of Europe and Asia forever.
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage city and royal tombs of Aigai where recent research proves Philip II is buried and where Alexander was proclaimed King
- Discover the impressive mosaics in the ancient city of Pella, Alexander’s capital, and Philip II’s eponymous city Philippi with its fine theatre
- See the Temple of the Nymphs where a young Alexander was taught by the philosopher Aristotle, and Aristotle’s birthplace Stageira
- Stroll around Lefkadia and the sacred city of Dion, with its renowned sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, now the site of several exciting archaeological finds
- Enjoy vibrant Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, set on the Thermaïkos Gulf with wonderful Classical, Byzantine and Ottoman remains
Itinerary at a glance
Day 1: Tour starts in Veria | Welcome dinner | Overnight Veria
Day 2: Travel to Vergina | Explore Aigai, Macedonia’s first capital. See ancient Berrhoea and Veria museum | Overnight Veria
Day 3: Visit Alexander’s capital, Pella | See Aristotle’s classroom for Alexander at ancient Mieza | Overnight Veria
Day 4: Full day at Dion and Pydna | Travel to Thessaloniki | Overnight Thessaloniki
Day 5: Morning journey along the famous Via Egnatia to visit Philippi | Afternoon in Amphiopolis | Overnight Thessaloniki
Day 6: Full day Thessaloniki | Archaeological Museum | Museum of Byzantine Culture | Overnight Thessaloniki
Day 7: Travel to ancient Stagira for full day exploration | Farewell dinner | Overnight Thessaloniki
Day 8: Tour ends after breakfast | Extensions or flights home
Day 1: 5 May 2018 Tour starts in Veria
Day 2: 6 May 2018 Philippi & Veria
Day 3: 7 May 2018 Pella & Mieza
Day 4: 8 May 2018 Dion & Pydna
Day 5: 9 May 2018 Philippi & Amphipolis
Day 6: 10 May 2018 Thessaloniki
Day 7: 11 May 2018 Stageira
Day 8: 12 May 2018 Tour ends
|Room Type||Price Per Person||Single Supplement||Optional Flight||Availability|
Temple World can arrange flights to coordinate with this tour. We recommend flying with British Airways from London Gatwick on their direct service at 07:05, arriving 12:25. Tickets start from £250 per person, return. Other airlines, routes and departures from regional airports may be available. We will arrange a group transfer to and from the airport to coincide with the flight arrival/departure time of the BA flight for a small extra charge. Private transfers to meet any flight are also possible.
Booking your own flights
Clients wishing to use airmiles to buy or upgrade flights, or who wish to fly from outside the UK are advised to book their own flights. The start and end point for the tour is THESSALONIKI, Greece, but the first night will be spent in Veria, a town 70km from the airport. On the first day of the tour, there are no activities until dinner, so guests can arrive at any point during this day, although as the transfer to Veria takes over an hour we recommend trying to join the group transfer from Thessaloniki Airport as this will be inexpensive compared to private transfers. For those making their own way to Veria, check-in at the hotel is usually from 2pm but bags can be stored there if guests arrive early. We will be happy to provide a quote for early check-in if needed. On the last day of the tour, there are no activities after breakfast but you are welcome to stay until check-out which is 12.00 midday. If you would like us to give you a quote for late check-out or extra nights we will be happy to help. We will be arranging a group airport transfer for those booking flights with us (fee applies) but we can also arrange private airport transfers for those arranging their own flights for a supplement.
Very Important! Those who plan to book their own flights should not make any binding or non-refundable arrangements until their place has been confirmed in writing on the tour and Temple World has confirmed that it is a guaranteed departure.
The tour price includes
Hotel accommodation in a twin or double bedded rooms with ensuite bathroom throughout, all excursions with local guides including entrance fees (except any optional excursions if mentioned), full board (except on first day, where no meals are included until dinner, and after breakfast on the last day, where lunch, if needed, is at own expense), expert trip lecturer.
International flights, drinks, tips to drivers & guides, items of a personal nature.
The two hotels we are using on this tour are four star properties suitable for hosting groups. Veriopolis Hotel is a modern boutique hotel set in a quiet location five minutes from the town of Veria. Set on a bluff overlooking a valley, the 22 rooms are modern and there is a large pool for those who fancy a dip after a busy day of sightseeing. It’s an excellent base for exploring nearby Vergina and Naousa.
Mediterranean Palace is a traditional four/five star property located in the old port at the edge of Thessaloniki’s historic centre. Classical in style, the rooms are elegantly and rather opulently appointed, with some boasting views of Mount Olympus. There is a spa and a small gym on site, and the hotel is known for its superb breakfast buffet.
Please note that from time to time we might have to substitute the chosen hotels for others of the same standard for logistical reasons.
NHS Fit For Travel advises travellers to Greece should ensure that all childhood vaccinations and boosters are up to date. Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 week before departure. NHS Fit For Travel Website
UK and US passport holders do not require a visa to enter Greece as a tourist for stays of under 90 days. Nationals of other countries may require a visa in advance, so please check with your local Greek consulate before travel.
We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate. This is a relatively full itinerary, with some long days and lots of travelling by road. There are no hikes in this tour; however many of the sites are large, with steps, an incline or frequent uneven ground. We may be out on site visits for several hours at a time without the possibility of returning to the hotel. Participants need to be able to keep up with the group. For these reasons we feel that this tour is unsuitable for the frail or for anyone who routinely uses a walking aid. If unsure whether this tour is for you, please check with us.
Dr Alfonso Moreno
Dr Moreno is Tutorial Fellow in Ancient History, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Magdalen College. His research (historical and archaeological) explores seaborne commerce and the link between trade and politics across the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Dr Moreno has accompanied previous alumni tours to the region and is very popular with our alumni groups.
Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.
Private Extensions after the main tour
There are endless options to extend your trip with a private break before or after the main tour – talk to our knowledgeable tailor-made team to create something just for you. There is something for everyone, whether you’d like to take a break from archaeological sites with a relaxing beach stay or add to your knowledge with a three night stopover in Athens.
In and around Halkidiki, here are our top three beach resort picks:
Sani Beach Resort
A private ecological reserve on a stunning 1,000 acre stretch of coastline on the Kassandra peninsula, Sani Resort is a self-contained estate made up of four luxury hotels. A collection of hotel rooms, suites and villas are on offer, as are a dazzling array of restaurants, sports and leisure facilities. Sani Resort’s state-of-the-art sports centre includes six clay tennis courts, and and there are two watersports stations for arranging water-skiing or sailing, as well as a dive centre. For relaxation, there are three immaculate beaches, a lovely spa and several pools. Please enquire for prices.
Wonderfully secluded, surrounded by lush gardens of olive and palm trees, Eagles Palace overlooks a sparkling blue sea above its own private sandy beach. Located just outside the small fishing village of Ouranoupolis on the Halkidiki peninsula, it’s close to the holy community of Mount Athos. The 156 rooms, suites and bungalows are set in the gardens with beautiful views. Pamper yourself at the Elemis spa; take a boat trip around Mount Athos, a place where the history of Byzantine times unfold before your eyes, or take a private cruise and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece. Please enquire for prices.
Danai Beach Resort
The 55 suites and villas of this lavish Greek resort, located on the northern bluffs of the Aegean Peninsula, dot the lush hillside of Sithonia and offer stunning sea views. The hotel is centred around an enormous private terrace and a heated infinity pool, and a further indoor pool can be found in the expansive spa. Sweeping vistas also take centre stage at The Squirrel, the open-air gourmet restaurant headed by Chef Herve Pronzato. Please enquire for prices.