Explore the extraordinary world of ancient Greece, from the sprawling palaces of Minoan Crete and the citadels and monumental tombs of the Mycenaeans to the incomparable museums of Athens and the emergence of the Byzantines at the end of Antiquity. This 17-day tour by land and sea takes you from Crete to the Peloponnese, Olympia, Delphi and Athens, visiting archaeological sites and museums, and enjoying the dramatic landscapes – mountains, spectacular coastlines and rocky islands – of the Greek world. Get to know the deep history of the cultures that made Greece the cradle of western civilisation.
Minoan culture and history on Crete, Europe’s first civilisation
Greece’s defining symbol of cultural achievement: the Acropolis in Athens
Secluded bays and beautiful uninhabited islands, enjoyed from the comfort of a small motor yacht
Outstanding archaeological sites, ancient civilisations and the mythology of the Peloponnese, immortalised in the annals of history
A multicultural Mediterranean world, from the Delphic Oracle and ancient Olympia to the Mycenaeans, Spartans and Venetians
The 48-metre Galileo is a charming steel hull motor sailor with classic interiors renovated in 2016 and served by a crew of 16. 25 air-conditioned guest cabins measuring 12.5 square metres are located on Upper and Lower decks, all with large portholes and equipped with ensuite bathrooms with showers. Relax in the lounge or with a drink on the shaded outdoor deck or sundeck.
The legacy of Venice’s medieval maritime empire at Heraklion, Rethymno and Chania
Knossos, palace of King Minos and home to the legendary Minotaur
Athens’ incomparable museums, the Acropolis and Agora
Epidaurus’s well-preserved 4th-century BC theatre
The palaces of Agamemnon at Mycenae, and the beautifully preserved Palace of Nestor at Pylos
Revered Delphi, home to the most famous oracle in Antiquity, and Olympia, birthplace of the modern Olympic Games
Days 1–4: Arrive Athens. Fly to Heraklion and explore the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Arkhanes and Phaistos.
Days 5–6: Travel to Chania via Venetian Rethymno and the Australian Infantry Forces sites at Souda Bay. Embark on the MS Galileo.
Days 7–12: Circumnavigate the Peloponnese, calling in at historic Epidauraus, Mycenae, Gythion, Pylos, Olympia and Delphi. Sail through the narrow Corinth Canal to Piraeus.
Day 13: Disembark the Galileo, return to Athens.
Days 14–17: Survey Athens, Acropolis and Agora; investigate the National Archaeological Museum and superlative Benaki and Cycladic museums.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Emirates and Etihad offer daily flights from Australian capitals to Athens. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
Dr John Tidmarsh
The former president of the University of Sydney's Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, and a former lecturer in the Department of Archaeology.
Dr John Tidmarsh is an archaeologist who has conducted excavations in Syria, Jordan, Greece, and Cyprus. He is currently Co-Director of the University of Sydney excavations at Pella in Jordan and also Co-Director of the Australian Mission to Jebel Khalid, Syria. He is an Honorary Associate, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Sydney and was previously Senior Investigator of the University of Sydney excavations in Torone, Greece and Associate Director of the University of Sydney excavations at Paphos, Cyprus.
He has travelled widely in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East and since the 1980s has led numerous tours to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Oman, and Greece.
His main interests are in the art, archaeology and history of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period in the east, and in the Islamic World. He has written many articles and conference papers on these areas and has co-authored several books on the excavations at Jebel Khalid in Syria. He is soon to complete his book on the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods at Pella in Jordan.
John has a BA (Hons), MA (Hons) and PhD from the University of Sydney where he was previously tutor, then part-time lecturer in Classical Archaeology. He is a former President of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation at that university.
He is also a Clinical Endocrinologist (MBBS, FRACP) who worked previously in private practice and at Bankstown Hospital in Sydney, and is now at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
We asked John, what motivates your passion for travel?
“Since I first joined the excavation team in 1978 at Pella in Jordan I have become addicted to travelling and working in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
Along with my fascination for the detective work and discovery which archaeological excavation entails, one of my greatest joys is introducing my tour groups to worlds very different from those they have encountered while travelling in the USA and Europe. It is a source of real pleasure for me to see those first-timers to the Middle East, who often approach the region with slight trepidation though they may have travelled widely elsewhere, become quickly entranced by the marvellous mountain and desert landscapes and monuments that these countries possess and, more importantly, by the unsurpassed friendliness and hospitality of both Arabs and Persians alike.”
Hotels will be selected principally for their central location, often within walking distance to the museums, galleries and performance venues visited on tour. We generally use a range of 4-star hotels, suitable to group stays, throughout all our tours. The tour also includes 7 nights aboard the MS Galileo.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.