Expert-led Archaeology Tours and Cruises
We offer a wide range of small group archaeological tours led by specialist guides. Many of them are cruises aboard traditional wooden gulets, while others are land based adventures.
You can see our full schedule of trips that explore the wonders and monuments of the ancient world by clicking on the country listings below.
Exploring the Past
There are many great reasons to travel in and around the Mediterranean: Among them are its clear blue waters, the diverse and alluring landscapes of its coasts and islands, its verdant springs and perfect summers, the hospitality of its people and the delicious cuisines that have developed along its shores.
The most unique and most fascinating feature of the region, however, is its extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. For millennia, the Mediterranean sea and the areas surrounding it have been a meeting place of peoples and cultures, a region where civilisations formed, developed and interacted, leaving their indelible stamp on the history of humankind, on its art and architecture, its thoughts and beliefs, its science and literature.
Turkey, Greece and Italy are the heartlands of the ancient Mediterranean. From the mysterious peoples and empires of the Bronze Age, via the glories of Classical Greece and Rome, to the Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Normans and Ottomans, each culture has left its own distinctive remains behind, to be discovered and explored at countless evocative archaeological sites, in wonderful museums full of treasure, and as standing architectural monuments in cities, towns and villages.
Travelling in the Mediterranean means stepping straight into that long and fascinating history. All our escorted tours, our laid-back gulet cruises, our carefully arranged land trips, our walking holidays and our food tours deeply respect that fact, making the region’s history a central part of the experience and a key focus of each tour’s narrative. Beautiful, thought-provoking, inspiring and always interesting, the archaeological and historical heritage of an area is put in context and brought to life by our expert guides.
Many of our tours include highlights of worldwide fame, such as Ephesus, the elaborately monumental capital of Roman Anatolia, the stunning Acropolis of Athens, a globally influential monument of Classical architecture, or the great ruins of Pompeii, the best-preserved Roman city on our planet. At the same time, we are also eager to include sites that are less famous and further away from the beaten tracks of tourism, each of them beautiful, arresting and fascinating in its own right. On our archaeological tours, we take you into the great ages of antiquity and bring that illustrious past to life for you.
A Fascination with History and Archaeology
History and Archaeology have been close to the heart of Peter Sommer Travels since the very beginning. The company’s foundation was inspired by Peter’s 2,000 mile (3,000km) walk across Turkey, retracing the route of Alexander the Great in the ancient lands of Asia Minor, following those pivotal historical events through the landscapes where they took place and the archaeological remains they left behind. The first archaeological holiday Peter organised and led, back in 1996 was a 2-week land tour of Caria, in south-west Turkey. The following year, 1997, witnessed the very first archaeological gulet cruise that Peter created, a 2-week itinerary around Lycia. Cruising the Lycian Shore has been in our programme of tours ever since.
Building on this auspicious start we have expanded our range of tours and its roster of tour guides and experts, always committed to provide the highest quality of cultural content and expertise available. The same effort and passion that went into designing our very first tours has become our benchmark, the unifying strand that connects all our archaeological holidays and that has made us a first-rate provider of cultural experiences in the Mediterranean.
Wherever you travel with us, be it a gulet trip along the shores of Turkey, an exploration in central Anatolia, a jaunt in the Greek islands or a tour in Mainland Greece, a voyage around Sicily or a cruise on the Amalfi Coast, our mission is to introduce you to the region’s culture, history and archaeology and to share its fascination with you.
Knowledge, Expertise and Passion
All of our archaeological tours and cruises are escorted by a carefully selected team - a designated archaeological or historical expert and an experienced local guide. Chosen for their knowledge and competence, our tour leaders have profound experience of the sites and finds they present to our guests. Moreover, they are motivated by a desire to share their passion for their topics with you.
Our tour experts are directly involved in the painstaking preparation of our tours and itineraries, which are thus built directly on the knowledge and experience of those leading them. On all of our archaeological holidays, you are shown a region, its antiquities and cultural heritage by a specialist who has engaged with the area in detail and gained an intimate understanding of it, both through extensive field trips and intensive research at libraries and scholarly institutions.
As important as that profound knowledge is the passion that characterises all our experts and guides, their love for the past and for the countries we travel, and the joy and pride they take in explaining them to our guests. It is that passion that makes the experience of our archaeology holidays an unforgettable one.
Bringing Antiquity Back to Life
Our tour experts are chosen not just for their knowledge, but for their communicative skills. The remains of the past are not presented in an abstract or academic fashion, but in a lively, accessible and engaging hands-on style.
We believe that archaeology is not a story about ruins and stones, but one about the communities and people that created them. It is that story of human life throughout the ages that fascinates us. Our narrative encompasses large-scale historical events, such as wars and campaigns, the rise and fall of empires, or the lives of great men and women, but we also pay attention to a more personal perspective: how did people live their day-to-day lives, what were their beliefs, what did they eat, what were their homes like – and the list goes on.
Our approach to the archaeological sites is based on our ambition to bring the past back to life for our guests, offering a direct and individual understanding of antiquity. It is our desire to make you feel you’ve been there.
Every one of our archaeology adventures, be it a cruise, a land tour or a city tour, is a profound introduction to an area’s culture and history, past and present. Currently, our itineraries include five UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites in Turkey, seven in Greece (with another six to be added soon) and eight in Italy (ten by next year). We treat these famous highlights not just as must-sees to be visited and ticked off some list, but as key beacons along our itineraries, embedded in the context of their region and tied into the fascinating tale of human life from past to present. It is our pleasure to tell you that story, combining the star-rated attractions with the more “secret” sights only true experts know about.
Needless to say, we are delighted to welcome single travellers, couples and groups. If you’d like to know more about our tours please get in touch. We’ll be delighted to help.