Macedonian Gold

7 nights starting from
£1300

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 waterfront city and an exciting capital of culture and 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 at Vergina, which now lie under a brilliant recreation of the tumulus which originally covered them and display some of the fantastic gold found in the tombs. We explore the great archaeological site of Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon; the great city of Philippi now a UNESCO world heritage site, and Amphipolis the seat of the battle between the Spartans and the Athenians in 422 BC; and wonder at the spectacular golden art of Macedon. We enjoy two nights in seaside Kavala and five nights in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, now revived as an exciting cultural capital, that sits next to the sea and hosts an interesting choice of historical highlights.

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

01 - November - 2019 £ 1300.00 Travel Info On Request

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 01st November 2019 at 08:45

Returning: 08th November 2019 at 14:45

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.
We visit the extensive remains of Philippi, the city named in honour of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father, and which much later was visited by St Paul who found the first European Christian church here in 49/50 AD.  Philippi was originally colonized by the people of Thasos, who, aware of the area's plentiful supplies of precious metals, timber, and agricultural products, established the city of Krinides in 360 BC. Soon after its establishment Krinides was threatened by the Thracians (365 BC) and turned to King Philip II of Macedon for help. Realizing its economic and strategic potential, Philip conquered, fortified, and renamed the city after himself.  Near here in 42 BC Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius to avenge the murder of Julius Caesar. We will have a guided tour of the extensive site and also visit the Philippi museum.
Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Kavala to Thessaloniki via Amphipolis.
We leave Kavala and head to Thessaloniki, visiting on the way the important 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. Arriving in Thessaloniki, we have time to visit the excellent Archaeological Museum before checking in to our hotel, which is well situated in the heart of Thessaloniki and close to tavernas and the water front that is wonderful for an evening 'promenade'.
Evening talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘Thessaloniki, City at the Crossroads.

Day 4: Full day Thessaloniki.
We start our exploration of Thessaloniki beginning 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 visit the 14th Century Vlatadon Monastery situated on a site where St Paul stayed, and then walk down through the winding paths of the old city to the church of Hosios David. We visit Hagios Demetrios (7th century and the patron saint of Thessaloniki), the most important church of Thessaloniki today; the Roman Forum and the Jewish Museum where we learn the history of the largest Jewish community in the Mediterranean world.
Evening talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘Philip and Alexander’.

Day 5: Pella, Edessa and Levkhadia.
Today we travel to Pella, the ancient capital of Macedon, visiting the extensive site to see the houses of the elite with their exceptional pebble mosaics. We also visit its remarkable museum. We then continue to Edessa, the delightful ‘city of the waters’, that has a place in the history of Macedon but today is known more for its spectacular waterfalls. A final visit before returning to Thessaloniki are the superbly decorated Macedonian tombs at Levkhadia.

Day 6: Full day Thessaloniki.
Today we continue further our exploration of Thessaloniki. We visit the 4th century Arch of the Roman Emperor Galerius and the impressive Rotunda, which may have been intended as the emperor’s mausoleum. We also explore the city’s fine Byzantine Museum.
Evening talk by Jeremy Paterson: ‘The communities of Thessaloniki’.

Day 7: Veria and Vergina, Ancient Aigai.
We journey to the pleasant town of Veria (ancient Beroe) and visit a monument which commemorates the visit there of St Paul. We will see some of the many small Byzantine churches in the city before continuing to Vergina, ancient Aigai, where we visit the remarkable recreated tumulus that contains the tombs of Philip II and other members of the Macedonian royal family. We also see the dazzling collections of gold, silver, and ivory objects from these tombs.

Day 8: 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
  • Two nights’ half-board at the five-star Lucy Hotel, Kavala, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star City 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 (two 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

City Hotel, Thessaloniki (five nights)
This comfortable four-star hotel is perfectly situated right in the heart of Thessaloniki. The attractive rooms offer a choice of inner view or city view (small supplement applies). A great choice of restaurants can be easily reached on foot; light meals are also served in the hotel café-bar.

City Hotel website

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Overall Impression

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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Overall Impression

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