Expert-led Cultural Tours and Gulet Cruises
Tour Operator of the Year Gold Award 2015 – AITO (Assoc. of Independent Tour Operators)
Tour Operator of the Year Silver Award 2016 – AITO (Assoc. of Independent Tour Operators)
A "100 Best Holidays" Company 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2011 - The Sunday Times
One of the world’s "Top Ten Learning Retreats" - National Geographic Traveller
We design inspirational trips of a lifetime: relaxing and beautiful gulet cruises, stimulating and exciting land tours, private gulet charters and exclusive city and regional tours all in the company of expert archaeologists and historians. Our guided holidays in Greece, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, the UK and Ireland will take you to some of the world’s best preserved historical and cultural sites, from prehistory to the present. We offer a range of escorted historical and cultural tours, archaeological adventures, walking holidays, food and gastronomy vacations and language learning trips.
Take a gulet cruise along the turquoise coast and enjoy total relaxation, beautiful food, and superb swimming - the perfect vacation. Or discover some of the finest archaeological sites in the world on our spectacular ‘Exploring’ land adventures such as In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, Exploring Crete, Exploring Athens, Exploring Sicily, Exploring Rome, Exploring the Peloponnese or Exploring Istanbul.
Expert Tour Guides:
A team of the finest guides, archaeologists and historians, vividly bring the past to life on our escorted tours and gulet cruises. Friendly and knowledgeable, they are natural enthusiasts steeped in the history and culture of Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK.
Private Gulet Charters:
Alongside our scheduled gulet cruises in Croatia, Greece, Italy and Turkey, we also create bespoke gulet cruising holidays to order. Our private charters feature the same qualities that distinguish our scheduled gulet cruises: comfortable and stylish boats, painstakingly prepared itineraries, a perfectly balanced mix of relaxation and activity and of course – delicious food, all accompanied by our expert guides and local guides. We provide a range of fully crewed boats, maintained to the highest safety standards, ranging from 4 to 12 cabins (6 to 22 guests).
Why we Organise Gulet Cruises and Escorted Tours
In 1994, Peter Sommer walked 2,000 miles across Turkey, retracing the route of Alexander the Great, and in the process fell in love with the country, its archaeology and the Turkish people. A British archaeologist and documentary maker led his very first archaeology tour in Turkey in 1996. Since then, Peter and the team here at Peter Sommer Travels has been organising unique archaeological and cultural tours and gulet cruising holidays in Turkey, Greece and Italy, escorted by the finest experts.
Tom Brosnahan, originator of the Lonely Planet and Frommer’s travel guides to Turkey and creator of turkeytravelplanner.com.
Small Group Tour Operator:
A UK-based specialist tour operator, we offer cultural vacations and holidays - primarily gulet cruises - with a professional and above all personal touch. On our small group expert-led tours we take only small groups of like-minded people typically between 10 and 16 on our gulet tours (max 18 on our 12 cabin Cruising the Cyclades/Dodecanese trips) and between 10 and 18 on our land tours – travelling in an easy-going informal style.
Our family tours are designed to be relaxing and stimulating, fascinating and fun. Like our other escorted tours they are cultural gulet cruises and led by an expert guide. Visits to archaeological sites will take you and your children deep into the past. You’ll explore the world of the Greeks and Romans in colourful detail: from what they ate to how they built temples, from what their loos were like to how they were treated at the doctors. Find out more.
Alongside our archaeological adventures, there is the gulet cruise itself aboard a beautiful traditional wooden boat (Turkish gulet - aka goulette, gulette or gullet). Our gulet cruising holidays offer plenty of opportunities for families with children to swim, kayak or snorkel in azure seas, to lie back and read as the world goes by, and to enjoy delicious home-cooked food. When we hike off into the hills, we’re almost certain to see goats, tortoises, and creepy crawlies, and while at sea there is always the chance we’ll see some dolphins!
Along with the sites and itineraries, good food plays a key role in the design of our tours and cruises. For us, meals are much more than a practical necessity: they are a pleasure to be shared with our guests and moreover a central aspect in experiencing the local culture and the area's gastronomic wealth. In that sense, each of our itineraries is a culinary exploration.
On our gulet cruises, the on-board cooks freshly prepare a wonderful variety of dishes in the ship's galley using fine local ingredients. These daily delights are complemented by shore meals in excellent and atmospheric restaurants and tavernas along the itinerary.
On our land and city tours, you’ll enjoy meals at a range of carefully selected venues, usually our guides' personal favourites, based on in-depth local knowledge. They represent the full scope of the region's culinary achievements and specialities, ranging from authentic “home cooking” to truly gourmet food, always rooted in local tradition and based on the strengths of the area's produce.
Private Group Tours: Tailor made Land and City Tours
Our tailor-made expert-led land tours can focus on a single region or city, or we can create a bespoke itinerary for you that weaves together several different regions within one country e.g. Athens and Crete in Greece, Sicily and Rome in Italy, Split, the Islands and Zagreb in Croatia or Istanbul and Cappadocia in Turkey. Maybe you’d like to combine the highlights of several different countries, such as a tour of the classical capitals of Europe, combining Rome with Athens and Istanbul. From family-run boutique hotels and country houses to 5 star luxury hotels, we will find the accommodation that most closely suits your needs. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and capacity to arrange all aspects of your journey so you can explore and discover with all the background logistics smoothly taken care of.
We strive to offer the finest small group cultural tours. If you have any questions, please get in touch. We’ll be delighted to help.
Peter Sommer Travels is a member of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents), The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and a number of other travel industry bodies.