Treasures of the Classical World
A Journey to Greece and the Greek Islands
September 7-17, 2021

Discover many of the seminal sites of Classical Antiquity on this rich itinerary, designed exclusively for UVA Alumni.

Begin with an in-depth exploration of Athens, the oldest city in Europe and the birthplace of democracy, where in the company of Professor Tyler Jo Smith and our expert guide, we explore the Acropolis, the magnificent Acropolis Museum, the ancient Agora and other sites, while also having time to appreciate the vibrancy of this dynamic capital city. Also venture to the region of Argolis in the Peloponnese, where we tour Bronze Age Mycenae, the ancient Theater at Epidauros, and explore the delightful seaside town of Nafplion. We then fly to the island of Naxos, one of the most verdant of the Greek islands, where for three days we will enjoy its varied landscapes, ancient sites, picturesque villages and Byzantine churches. From Naxos, venture by a boat to Mykonos and the small, uninhabited island of Delos, sacred in antiquity as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and now a vast archaeological site. Then proceed to Santorini, perhaps the most spectacular and iconic of all Greek islands, where during our two-night stay we will explore its villages and the excavations at Akrotiri, the Bronze Age site that in the 17th century B.C. was buried by a massive volcanic eruption that collapsed half of the island. Those who wish may continue on an optional three-night extension to Crete, to explore its beautiful villages and significant ancient sites including the Palace of Knossos, associated with the legend of the Minotaur. This is a trip to Greece that allows time to linger, learn and fully appreciate the warm hospitality for which the Greek people are known.

Program Highlights

Discover places in Greece and the Greek
Islands that are of singular importance to
the sources of our own Western civilization.

Visit the beautiful islands of Mykonos
and Santorini with their characteristic
white-washed architecture.

Derive a greater understanding of Greek
history from the lectures and discussions of
Professor Tyler Jo Smith.

Enjoy the outstanding cuisine of the
Mediterranean diet


Tyler Jo Smith, Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology

Tyler Jo is Professor in the McIntire Department of Art at UVA, and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program. Her current research focuses on the relationship between art and religion in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. She is the author of Komast Dancers in Archaic Greek Art (Oxford 2010) and co-editor of the Blackwell Companion to Greek Art (2012). Her book entitled Art in the Religion of Archaic and Classical Greece will be published next year. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for both teaching and research, including fellowships from Harvard University at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC and the Institute of Classical Studies in London, and grants from the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust and the Center for International Studies, UVa. During the academic year 2018-2019 she was appointed Elizabeth A. Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. As an active field archaeologist, Tyler Jo has participated on projects in Greece, Sicily, Turkey, and England.

Tyler Jo led Cavalier Travels trips to Greece and on the Aegean Sea in 2008 and Turkey and the Turquoise Coast in 2009. She has lectured to many UVA alumni groups, including in Athens, Istanbul, London, and Boston.


DAY 1 - Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Fly From USA

DAY 2 - Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Athens, Greece

Upon arrival in Athens, join a group transfer(s) to the Athens Plaza Hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a restaurant in Plaka.
Athens Plaza Hotel. Dinner (D)

DAY 3 - Thursday, September 9, 2021

Athens / The Agora & National Archaeological Museum

One of the world’s most venerable cities, Athens is the capital of Greece and the oldest city in Europe. Its ancient monuments are testimonials to its glorious past that gave birth to democracy and many other ideas and institutions that form an integral part of the Western tradition. Explore the Agora, the civic and commercial center of ancient Athens and the living heart of its democracy. The Agora was the favorite ground of Socrates, who could be seen daily questioning the assumptions of his fellow citizens. Visit the National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece, housing the greatest collection of Greek antiquities in the world.
Athens Plaza Hotel. Breakfast (B)

DAY 4 - Friday September 10, 2021

Athens / Mycenae, Epidauros & Nafplion


Leaving Athens, drive over the steep banks of the Corinth Canal, the narrow water way that separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese. Here in the Argolis region discover Mycenae, the most important center of the Mycenaean civilization, which flourished in the second millennium BC; and Epidaurus, the shrine dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing, famous for its incredible 4th century BC theater with perfect acoustics. Continue to Nafplion, one of Greece’s most attractive towns, situated on the shores of a spacious bay and crowned with two fortresses. Discover the town’s narrow streets and graceful squares, lined with neoclassical buildings.
Athens Plaza Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch (B, L)

DAY 5 - Saturday, September 11, 2021

Athens / The Acropolis and Acropolis Museum

Occupied since prehistoric times, the rocky plateau of the Acropolis rises dramatically out of the plain and dominates the modern city as it did in antiquity. The incomparable Parthenon and other temples and structures built in the 5th century BC represent the highest achievement of architecture and art of the Classical period. Visit also the Acropolis Museum, which houses an outstanding collection of sculpture and other artifacts from the site.
Athens Plaza Hotel. (B)

DAY 6 - Sunday, September 12, 2021

Athens / Naxos

Fly to Naxos, a major center of the prehistoric Cycladic culture and the birthplace of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest. Naxos is known for its varied landscapes, ancient sites, picturesque old villages, Byzantine churches decorated with high quality frescoes, and fertile soil that supports a vibrant agriculture.
Lagos Mare Hotel. (B, D)

DAY 7 - Monday, September 13, 2021

Naxos / Delos / Mykonos / Naxos

Delos, Greece

Cruise to uninhabited Delos, the small island that was sacred to the ancient Greeks, believed to be birthplace of the divine twins Apollo and Artemis. The group of islands in the center of the Aegean Sea are called Cyclades because they form a circle around Delos. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delos is a vast archaeological site and a veritable open-air museum. Walk the Sacred Way to see the remains of sanctuaries, temples, and houses, some of which contain exquisite mosaics. After exploring Delos, sail across the short channel to Mykonos, the quintessential Cycladic island, known for its white-wash houses and chapels, cosmopolitan atmosphere and smart cafes and shops. Spend time at leisure in Mykonos before returning to Naxos.
Lagos Mare Hotel. (B)

DAY 8 - Tuesday, September 14, 2021


Explore picturesque Chora, Naxos’s main town, where you can admire a unique blend of Cycladic and Medieval architecture. Visit the Archaeological Museum, housed in a historic building of the Venetian Period that showcases artifacts from the Early Neolithic Age up to the Early Christian Period. Visit other important sites including Dionysus’ Sanctuary, a cult center since the 8th century BC; the Temple of Demeter, constructed in 530 BC; the villages of Chalki and Moni, home to early churches that contain important frescoes; and a cliff-top ancient marble quarry with unfinished monumental statues from around 570 BC.
Lagos Mare Hotel. (B, L)

DAY 9 - Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Naxos / Santorini

Travel via fast boat to Santorini and check- into to the Hotel Santorini Palace for two nights.

Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and view exhibits including wall paintings, Minoan influenced ceramics, a gold ibex figurine dating from the 17th century BC, and fossilized olive tree leaves from within the caldera. Visit the village of Oia, built on a steep slope of the caldera, and enjoy one of the most stunning views in the Cyclades.
Hotel Santorini Palace. (B)

DAY 10 - Thursday, September 16, 2021

Santorini / Archaeological excavations at Akrotiri

Beautiful Oia town on Santorini island, Greece

Known in classical antiquity as Thera, Santorini was a flourishing trading center inhabited by a sophisticated society during the Bronze Age. In the late 17th century BC, a massive volcanic eruption collapsed half of the island and buried Akrotiri, its main town, in a thick layer of ash and pumice, preserving its houses, streets and squares as they existed 3,700 years ago. Some have connected the disappearance of half of the island to the legend of Atlantis. Starting in the late 1960s, excavations by Greek archaeologists brought Akrotiri to life, becoming one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. Akrotiri conveys a powerful life like picture of a well-organized and prosperous Aegean prehistoric city. Gather this evening for a farewell sinner.
Hotel Santorini Palace. (B, D)

DAY 11 - Friday, September 17, 2021

Santorini / Athens / USA

Fly from Santorini to Athens and connect with your flight to the USA

Return Flights from Athens should be booked for no earlier than Noon.

Optional extension to Crete

September 17-20, 2021

Travel by fast ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, Crete for a three-night stay at the lovely Hotel Megaron or similar, located near the harbor and fortress in Heraklion. Program includes ½ day tour of the Palace at Knossos, tour of the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, and full day tour to the ancient site of Gortyn, the Minoan Palace at Phaistos, lunch at the seaside resort town of Aghia Galini, including time to explore the seaside town of Rethymnon, with its well-preserved architecture from the Venetian and Ottoman periods. Rate includes ferry transfer from Santorini to Crete, hotel and sightseeing as described; 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner.

Extension Rate: $1,190 per person, double occupancy; single supplement $420.
Flight from Heraklion to Athens is included in place of flight from Santorini to Athens.

Program Fees

$5,240 per person, double occupancy, land only.

The rate includes airfare from Athens to Naxos and from Santorini to Athens valued at $250 and excludes international airfare.

Single supplement: $890 to the per person, double occupancy rate.

Price includes:

  • 9 nights’ accommodations as described
  • 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners with wine and beer included at lunch and dinner
  • Tours as described with expert Greek guides

General Terms & Conditions

Cavalier Travels reserves the right to use photos that might include you in marketing materials and other purposes unless you specify otherwise.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE: A deposit of $800 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS: All cancellations are subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. Cancellations received 61-90 days prior to departure will be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the total program cost per person. Cancellations received within 60 days of departure are subject to 100% cancellation penalties. Requests for cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be made for any part of this program in which you choose not to participate.

INSURANCE: We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.
ITINERARY: The itinerary, accommodations and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Thalassa Journeys.

RESPONSIBILITY: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the traveler and Thalassa Journeys and the tour’s sponsoring organization. Thalassa Journeys and the tour’s sponsoring organization act solely as agents for the traveler with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the traveler’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the traveler or in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the traveler, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the traveler shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the traveler’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the traveler beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, transportation methods, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the traveler shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the traveler certifies that he/she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other travelers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other travelers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the traveler’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be affected exclusively in the state or federal courts presiding in the City of New York, pursuant to applicable New York law.

RATES: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.