Archaeology travel guide

Old archaeologists never die. They just wish you bone voyage.
Dating is big in the world of archaeology, with some finds using absolute dating techniques and others using relative dating techniques. Whichever dating you opt for, what we know for sure is that there is a lot of love out there for understanding the ancient influences on a place – a growing desire to delve into the DNA of destinations. Think of our archaeology vacations travel guide, therefore, as a dating profile to some of the world’s greatest spots, where travelers not only seek to explore how a place looks, but also the epic stories, colossal constructions and immovable feasts for eyes that can get hearts pounding. From Petra to the Parthenon to the Pyramids, expert archaeology guides lead the way.

Archaeology vacations are...

not just about going back in time, but also slowing down time so that you can dig and delve, hear the stories and breathe it all in.

Archaeology vacations aren’t…

just about ancient culture. Many combine history with hiking, dramatic sites with desert sands. Old stories with new ones.

Types of archaeology vacations

Forget any image you have of archaeology vacations being like grown up school trips, packed into steamed up coaches with boring guides. Archaeology rocks these days, and vacation providers are offering trips that get you pedalling up mountains, sailing across the Aegean or down the Nile on a traditional felucca. Just as the great buildings and sites that we visit were informed by the landscapes they were built in, so too can your vacations.

Pedal around the Peloponnese

Pedalling is very Peloponnese, and you can go on an archaeology vacation that is tailored to your needs. This way you can cycle around places like Nafplion on the coast, taking in sites such as the Venetian Palamidi fortress, or around Mycenae, where the ancient citadel is said to be the mythological King Agamemnon’s home. The beauty here, as you cycle from one ancient village is far from a myth though; it’s just sheer magic.

Go under canvas in Jordan

An hour and a half from Petra is the protected area known as Wadi Rum, or as the Bedouin call it, “Valley of the Moon”. This is southern Jordan’s desert, rich in Bedouin culture and highly protected for its natural and cultural heritage. Trips to Jordan nearly always include a night under the stars in this idyllic, isolated spot, staying with the Bedouin in one of their camps. Gazing starward, you will lose track of which century you are in altogether.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Archaeology or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Sail around Greece

Immerse yourself both in history and the Med by seeing the ancient sites of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece by going on a small ship cruise. Traveling with maximum 50 passengers, all staying in cabins overlooking the water, you can visit sites such as Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae and many more, with an expert local guide.

Wash off the dust at the beach

Archaeology lovers may happily walk and walk in order to get to grips with the greats, but many also love a bit of blissing out at the beach as much as anyone else. Downtime on archaeology vacations includes snorkelling in the Red Sea in Jordan; or in Greece, spend a week exploring the ancient sites in and around Athens, followed by a few days on the volcanic island of Santorini. Ancient fishing villages and coves are omnipresent in Greece’s Peloponnese and, on an archaeology vacation in Naples, the Amalfi coast boasts a bevy of bays.

Best time to go on an archaeology vacation

When I saw Petra lit by over a thousand candles, I could have stayed there all night. At one point I couldn’t tell the stars and the candles apart.
Archaeology vacations are usually small group tours, so your tour operator will choose the best times to go on an archaeology vacation to avoid extreme temperatures as you will be out and about all day, They also know when the local expert guides are available. On top of their tips, here are some pointers to help you choose the best time to go on an archaeology vacation in some of our history hot spots. The vast majority of Jordan is desert, and so scorching during summer months. Most archaeology trips bow out of July and August. For many, the best time to visit Jordan on an archaeology vacation is March-May, with early spring bringing green valleys and temperatures in the teens. January is cool, with temperatures between 5°C-10°C. Winter in the Desert Loop can be cold and dry, so bring plenty of layers, especially if camping out. Although the Peloponnese is pushing for perfection when it comes to climate, archaeology vacations don’t tend to happen in January and February. Hiking through ancient Arcadia when the wildflowers come out in spring, or when the olive harvests are happening in autumn, adds the perfect aroma to any archaeological trip. Some archaeology trips avoid the height of summer heat completely. Similarly in Egypt, many archaeology tours avoid the peak summer season, due to heat and crowds. Temperatures start to dip a little in September and cruise ship crowds dissipate around October. Between then and February, you will need a jacket or a long sleeved top to keep warm. It also gets windy during March and April due to the 'Khamsin' wind. During the month of Ramadan (dates vary each year) some sites and shops close early. In Egypt, if you time your trip to Abu Simbel Temples for the eves of Oct 22nd or Feb 22nd, you see people gather to watch the sun illuminating three out of its four statues, leaving Ptah, God of Darkness, in the shadows.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Christopher Michel] [Top box: Pocholo Calapre] [are/aren't: soomness] [Getting around intro: David Stanley] [Peddaling: plusgood] [Jordan camp: Guillaume Baviere] [Sail around Greece: Greg Schechter] [Beach: Tom Grimbert]