The best holiday tours for history lovers

( 22 September 2016 )

Holiday tours provide the perfect way to see a country’s most illustrious sites, without having to worry about booking everything separately.

Holiday tours provide the perfect way to see a country’s most illustrious sites, without having to worry about booking details like flights, hotels and travel transfers separately. 

If you have a special interest in archaeology and history, Saga offer some of the most in-depth escorted tours that explore the history and culture of different societies over the last 5,000 years. Here are some of our top special interest holiday tours for keen historians that want to step back in time for several days.

Pompeii and Ancient Italy Tour

Italy has no shortage of the historical to explore, from the Renaissance capitals of Florence and Venice to the ancient foundations of Rome. There is much to learn at different places in this vibrant and colourful peninsula.

Head to the picturesque Amalfi Coast, where the sprawling city of Naples lies. You can tour the ruins of Pompeii, a Roman city famously destroyed yet preserved by the ash cloud of Vesuvius, which met its fatal end in 79 AD. 

Walk along its ancient streets and stand before the temple of Jupiter on this fascinating tour that provides a window into the events of the past.

Related: Discover Ancient Italy and Pompeii on a tour with Saga. 

Crete and the Minoan Culture Tour

The Grecian culture has long been held in our minds as the father of philosophy, politics and theatre. On this tour you can see the remnants of the Minoan civilisation, including metalwork, pottery and art frescoes depicting female deities.

Trade was another huge part of Minoan culture because of the many natural harbours that Crete boasts. See this coastal heritage on the scenic drive section of the tour.

Spend a day exploring the ancient Minoan palaces of Crete, like Knossos, which has Neolithic foundations dating back to 1900BC. 

According to Greek mythology, Knossos was said to be the home of King Minos whose Queen was the mother of the Minotaur that was later killed by Theseus in the labyrinth.

Related: Explore Crete and learn about the Minoan culture with Saga. 

Archaeology of Sicily Tour

The island of Sicily touches the boot of its motherland, Italy, and sprawls out towards the tip of Tunisia. It is here that the great ancient kingdoms of Greece and Rome met, and as a result Sicily houses some of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

After a good night of rest you will travel to Syracuse, a central Greek city, and if you book onto this tour you can see many of the ancient remnants of the Greek way of life. 

However, there are other places and sites to experience all over the island, including the Greek temples of Concord and Juno that date back to the 5th century BC. Visit the theatres of Segesta and Taormina, the latter of which has views of Mount Etna.

Roman ruins abound too; in the Sicilian hinterland you can find the Villa Romana del Casale, built some 700-800 years ago, and covered with colourful mosaics depicting the daily life of its citizens. 

Related: Discover Sicily's many ancient treasures on this archaeological tour.  

Embrace the historian in you by booking one of Saga's specialist archaeology and history tours.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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