• Explore the untamed landscape, classical history and fascinating architecture of northern Greece in the company of archaeologist and specialist in the Graeco-Roman world, Andrew Wilson
• Learn about the region and its history through visits to Byzantine churches, sanctuaries and monasteries, taking in mosaics and early Christian art
• Uncover the ancient treasures of Vergina, Macedonia’s first capital, and journey to Alexander the Great’s birthplace of Pella
Depart Gatwick 0805 on British Airways for Thessaloniki, arriving 1320. Transfer to Hotel Royal for three nights.
Thessaloniki (major Greek Orthodox centre): Byzantine walls, Heptapyrgion tower, Rotonda (Galerius’ mausoleum), arch of Galerius, White Tower (part of Turkish ramparts), Archaeological Museum. Evening talk: Byzantine Church.
Whole day cruise along western shore of Mt Athos peninsula (spiritual home of Orthodox Church since 1054). Evening talk: Pebble Mosaics.
Along Via Egnatia to Pella (capital of Philip of Macedon’s empire): peristyle houses, huge palace complex, museum (superb mosaics), ancient site of Loggos, then Edessa (picturesque town famous for waterfalls and old bridges). Continue to Veria for two nights at the Hotel Villa Elia.
Dion at the foot of Mt Olympus, with visits to sanctuaries of Isis and Demeter. Vergina (former capital of Macedonian empire).
Kastoria and Veria: Byzantine Museum. Two nights in Kastoria at Hotel Chloe. Evening talk: Neolithic Greece.
Kastoria: churches and Folk Museum, Mavriotissa Church (13th century frescoes).
Ioannina (major Ottoman centre): medieval castle, mosques. Dodoni (ancient oracle of Zeus): sanctuary, theatre. Transfer to Hotel du Lac, Ioannina, for three nights. Evening talk: Byron in Epirus.
Whole day excursion to Nekromanteion (sanctuary of Persephone and Hades), Kassopi (4th century BC Hippodamian town), Nikopolis (founded by Augustus after battle of Actium) and Preveza.
Monodendri (Byzantine monastery), majestic Vikos Gorge then by boat to Nisaki (island monasteries).
Metsovo (mountain settlement) before continuing to Kalambaka for overnight stay at Hotel Amalia.
Meteora (‘monasteries in the air’, 16th century frescoes) then continue to Thessaloniki: church of Agios Dimitrios (6th century pilgrimage centre), 8th century Agia Sofia (splendid mosaics), Roman Forum area. Overnight stay at Hotel Royal.
Thessaloniki: Museum of Byzantine Culture. Depart Thessaloniki 1240, arriving Gatwick 1410.