Macedonian Gold

8 nights starting from
£1495

Tour highlights:

  • The spectacular treasures of Macedonia;

  • The ancient cities of Philippi and Amphipolis;

  • Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon; and the impressive recreation of the tombs of Philip II

  • Thessaloniki - a capital of culture and an exciting waterfront city with a host of impressive historic monuments

  • Historian Jeremy Paterson, who brings the vast history of this region to life

‘Much have I travelled in the realms of gold’. John Keats 1795 - 1821

Join historian, Jeremy Paterson, in the heartland of Macedon, home of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great.  We visit the spectacular tombs of Philip II and other members of the Macedonian royal family at Vergina, ancient Aigai, which now lie under a brilliant recreation of the tumulus which originally covered them.  We explore the great archaeological sites of Philippi, Amphipolis and Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon, and wonder at the spectacular golden art of Macedon in the regions excellent museums.  We visit the port city of Kavalla with its spectacular aqueduct and winding paths of its old citadel, and wander the streets of Xanthi with its distinctive Ottoman mansions. In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, now an exciting and attractive cultural centre, we discover its extraordinary history as a Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Jewish city.

Your Lecturer

Jeremy Paterson
Jeremy taught Greek and Roman history for over forty years at Newcastle University. He has travelled widely in Greece and the Mediterranean. His enthusiasm for the ancient world was first inspired by reading Homer and then by his fascination with the archaeological discoveries at Mycenae and Knossos. He is much in demand as a speaker at home and in many of the classical countries of the Mediterranean, where he has accompanied many groups to sites and museums.

 

 

 

 

Available Departures

From

17 - March - 2023 £ 1495.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 17th March 2023 at 08:40

Returning: 25th March 2023 at 18:50

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki. On arrival transfer to the seaside city of Kavala. Dinner at the hotel and brief introductory evening talk by Jeremy Paterson.

Day 2: Full day visit to the ancient City of Philippi.
In the morning we visit the extensive remains of Philippi, the city named in honour of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father, which much later was visited by St Paul.  Near here in 42 BC Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius to avenge the murder of Julius Caesar.  We return to Kavalla for lunch by the attractive port. Then we will take a walk to see the Ottoman Kamares aqueduct and the Byzantine Walls and winding lanes of the citadel. 
Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Visit to the eastern town of Xanthi
Today we travel from Kavala to explore the old town of Xanthi with its clusters of Greek and Ottoman merchant mansions. Founded in the 11th century, Xanthi is considered the cultural capital of Thrace. The city has an oriental feel to it, probably due to the continuence of a muslim community here. The Ottoman Muslim population of this region were specifically excluded from the 1923 exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. Xanthi remains the centre for the surviving population of Greek Muslims. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Amphipolis
We leave Kavala and head towards Thessaloniki, visiting on the way the important and sprawling Macedonian site of Amphipolis and its museum, where we can see the silver ossuary of what is likely to be the remains of the Spartan commander Brasidas, who died here in 422 BC. We will travel on for lunch in the attractive traditional village of Arnaia on the way to our second hotel, The Royal, just outside Thessaloniki.  Evening talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘Thessaloniki, City at the Crossroads’ Dinner at the hotel.


Day 5: Full day Thessaloniki.
We pay our first visit to Thessaloniki and start our exploration in the historic Upper City where we enjoy panoramic views across the city and over the gulf towards Mount Olympus, which we may spy in the distance. We hope to include visits to the Byzantine /Ottoman walls and some of the city’s small, but beautiful Byzantine churches with their paintings and mosaics, such as Vlatadon, Hosios David, and Hosios Nikolaos Orphanos. In the evening there will a talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘Philip and Alexander and the bodies in the Tomb’ 

Day 6: Pella and Ancient Aigai.
We travel west of Thessaloniki to visit the large site of Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon. We explore the extensive site and see the houses of the elite with their remarkable pebble mosaics and then visit the fine museum.   Our day culminates at Vergina, ancient Aigai, where we visit the remarkable recreated tumulus which contains the tombs which may be of Philip II and of other members of the Macedonian royal family, and the dazzling collections of gold, silver, and ivory objects from these tombs. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 7: Thessaloniki
On our second day exploring Thessaloniki, we will visit some of the bigger Byzantine Churches, including St Dimitrios and Hagia Sophia, as well as the major Roman sites; the Roman Forum, the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda.  In the evening there will be a talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘The communities of Thessaloniki’

Day 8: Thessaloniki
In the morning we visit the rich Archaeological Museum in Thessaloniki with its excellent 
‘Gold of Macedon’ collection and artifacts from the Prehistoric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, mostly from the city of Thessaloniki but also from the region of Macedonia in general. In the afternoon there will be a possibility to say farewell to Thessaloniki with a wander along the city’s bustling seaside promenade. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 9: Transfer to Thessaloniki Airport for return flight to London Gatwick.


NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.


INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki
  • Three nights’ accommodation on half board basis at the five-star Lucy Hotel, Kavala, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room  
  • Three nights’ accommodation on half board basis and two nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Royal Hotel, Thessaloniki, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Four lectures
  • Transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • Ancient historian Jeremy Paterson, a local guide and tour manager

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Excellent quality hotels are used throughout this tour, all offering a high standard of service, facilities and comfort in ideal locations to explore the sites visited.

Lucy Hotel, Kavala (three nights)
The five-star Lucy Hotel is set in an impressive eight storey building, a five-minute drive from the city centre. Located at the western end of Kavala, this comfortable hotel overlooks the sea. Facilities include two restaurants, one with a sea-view terrace, a café-bar, outside pool (seasonal) and elegantly designed rooms that offer sea or city view.

Lucy Hotel website

Royal Hotel, Thessaloniki (five nights)

Situated just 17 kilometres from Thessaloniki and only a 10-minute drive from the airport, the four-star Royal Hotel provides a good choice for a relaxed place to stay. Set on a hill, the hotel commands a fantastic view across the Thermaikos Gulf. The comfortable rooms all have balconies with either mountain or sea view, air conditioning/heating. The hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar.


Royal Hotel website

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Overall Impression

Very interesting and well organised. Jeremy is a fascinating lecturer and guide.

Review by Cooper who travelled 01-November-2019


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Tough going and long days made easier by Jane's usual supportive organisation

Review by Anonymous who travelled 01-November-2019


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A wonderful experience , the team were so helpful and ready to respond to our needs. It surpassed my hopes and expectations..

Review by Hughes who travelled 01-November-2019


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I'd like to say a big thank you to Jane Freeman, the tour manager. She was superb, and looked after me with great care when I was taken ill. Only other comment: when the tour is so late in the year and it gets dark around 5pm, it might make more sense to spend less time over lunch, and have the main meal in the evening when it's dark.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 01-November-2019


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A good holiday, well looked after!

Review by Mcwilliams who travelled 01-November-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 01-November-2019


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A very enjoyable and informative holiday.

Review by Twitchett who travelled 02-November-2017


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This was an excellent experience. The lecturer and the Greek guide, as well as the tour manager, were both terrific, and the programme was well balanced. I had complete confidence in all three of them, and the driver, too.

Review by Forster who travelled 02-November-2017


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The tour was very well put together. I don't believe there was any element that should be entirely got rid of. Just a few tweaks made to the timing maybe (see below). The hotels were good and rooms nice. Breakfasts were of the continental style but very adequate. The tour was very well managed by Jane, and having both Jeremy and George as very knowledgeable archaeologists/historians certainly added significantly to my enjoyment of Macedonia. The coach transport driven by Nikos was excellent: very safely driven, plenty of space and comfortable. Some suggestions for improvement: (1) A couple of days were a little rushed and perhaps leaving the hotel 30 mins earlier on a couple of days would have been better, giving us a little more time to see the sights (like the day at Delphi, and on the last day visiting some sights on the way to Athens airport). (2) I would like to have seen some more of the site of Vergina. The Royal Tombs were amazing but there was more that we did not see. I would certainly recommend the tour to anyone wanting a trip to Northern Greece.

Review by Giles who travelled 02-November-2017


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Review by Harris who travelled 02-November-2017


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Fabulous tour,really interesting and every day different. Jeremy is a wonderful lecturer,able to impart loads of information in an accessible way.I shall certainly be looking out to travel with him again. Jane was a great tour leader for whom nothing was too much trouble.

Review by who travelled 25-October-2017


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We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Jeremy Paterson is a wonderful guide lecturer, who really brings history to life. Jane, Nikos and Giorgos are excellent in support and we are so impressed by the way that all four work together to deliver the perfect tour. We thought the Glory That Was Greece in 2015 would be a hard act to follow, but Macedonian Gold was every bit as good.

Review by Speed who travelled 25-October-2017


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Really helpful staff in UK (though let down by IT glitches) set the tone for a great trip. Then the tour manager, expert lecturer and Greek guide could not have been bettered anywhere we feel sure. A super holiday..

Review by Bullimore who travelled 25-October-2017


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This was my third trip with Travel Editions and with the same team of Professor Jeremy Paterson, efficient and caring administrator Jane Freeman, Nikos our first class driver and the inimitable additional expert Giorgios. Jeremy and Giorgios complement each other superbly; both are erudite and witty - and their mutual respect is admirable. As before the whole team could not be bettered. Excellent in all respects.

Review by Livingston who travelled 25-October-2017


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A good tour: well planned and interesting. The guest lecturer Jeremy Paterson was excellent as was the tour manager Jane Freeman. The hotel in Kalambaka was a bit dingy and pokey. The other two hotels were OK.

Review by Vaigncourt-Strallen who travelled 25-October-2017


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Jane, Nicos and Jeremy Paterson managed the trip very well and all three were excellent. George the Greek guide was very entertaining and covered things in detail

Review by who travelled 25-October-2017


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Review by who travelled 25-October-2017


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Review by who travelled 15-October-2017


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The team of Jeremy,Jane and Nikos were outstanding and could not have been more helpful and informative

Review by Friend who travelled 15-October-2017


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An excellent tour, helped along by perfect weather. We thought particularly highly of Jane, our tour manager (direct but pleasant and very efficient) and Jeremy, our professional lecturer (he wore his learning lightly, put it over expertly and was very approachable).

Review by who travelled 15-October-2017


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As with all Jeremy's tours this was packed full of interest and any minor wrinkles on this first tour will I am sure be ironed out for subsequent weeks. It was so good that if you run the northern half of the tour plus Philippi we would be sorely tempted to revisit.

Review by who travelled 15-October-2017


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On the positive side, we found the great care our tour manager, Jane Freeman, gave us quite exceptional and personal to each member of the party. Nicos the driver was also very good indeed. We found Jeremy Paterson's lectures stimulating and we much enjoyed his taking us off the beaten track for extra sights/sites. We think the tour suffered from the unavailability of George, the Greek guide, until the this day. The unfamiliarity of the replacement guide with Thessaloniki and the times when sites were open/closed meant that George had to repeat a lot of the first day and it made the day very long. The Dion-Pella day, again reorganised, was also excessively long. We tended to jump about and back again over the many themes of the tour - pre-Christian/Christian, pre-Byzantine/Byzantine, Churches/archaeological sites, so that intellectual coherence suffered.

Review by Chitnis who travelled 15-October-2017


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Review by Edward who travelled 15-October-2017


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An excellent tour, it was the most enjoyable of the three Travel Editions Greek trips I have been on because of the contrasting nature of the sights visited.

Review by Horn who travelled 15-October-2017


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We were not happy with EasyJet- rather fly a better airline. Hotels ok but the Amalia put all the single people at the back of the hotel. Very unfair we thought. Especially as the website suggests that all the rooms have good views.

Review by Healey who travelled 15-October-2017


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Last day dragged a bit as if filling in time before a late flight. Otherwise a very good tour with an excellent expert guide, Jeremy Paterson.

Review by van der Vat who travelled 15-October-2017


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The order of some excursions was not thought through and we found the Greek guide focused on churches to the exclusion of other aspects of Ancient Greece . However, Jeremy was as wonderful as ever and full of energy !

Review by Leigh who travelled 15-October-2017