Art, Archaeology & Greek Culture

Mouse island Corfu, Greece

Explore the history and beauty of Greece

Art, Archaeology & Greek Culture with Prof. Rolf Winkes and Friends: May 2015
This is a rare opportunity to explore the Art, Archaeology & Culture of Greece with an archaeologist and art historian as your traveling companion. Rolf Winkes, Professor Emeritus at Brown University, will share his knowledge and passion for the ancient world, as you tour with him not only the iconic “must see” sites, but also lesser-known treasures. As we travel through Greece, you will enjoy informative talks in preparation for museum and site visits. At the museums and archaeological sites, Rolf will select artifacts on which to focus, illuminating important aspects of Greek culture. The highlight of the tour will be a visit to the archaeological site that Rolf himself excavated for more than a decade. Join us on this special journey, a valuable and fascinating opportunity for the first time traveler to Greece or those returning for another look!

Tour itinerary: The tour begins and ends in Athens, Greece. Dates: May 7-18, 2015

For more information please email:

Athens: 3 nights

Day 1: Our journey begins with a reception dinner welcoming us to Athens, the capital and cultural hub of modern Greece. (D)

Day 2: On our first day of touring, we begin at the Kerameikos, which served as the city’s cemetery for well over a thousand years, beginning in the 9th century BC. This site lies at what would have been the outer limits of the ancient city. It offers a wonderful museum of funerary artifacts, including intricate, beautiful graves and memorials.

We will essentially follow along the Panatheniac Way, starting near site of the Dipylon gate (the city’s ancient entrance), and on to the Agora, which was the marketplace and social center. Here we will see the remarkably well-preserved Temple of Hephaistos, and walk along the Stoa of Attalos, a massive covered walkway reconstructed in the 19th century by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. The Stoa of Attalos contains the Agora Museum—a trove of fascinating objects offering insights to ancient Athenian life, commerce, and politics.

After lunch, we will transfer by bus (or walk) to the entrance side of the Acropolis, and continue to the terminus of the Panatheniac Way: the famed Parthenon on the Acropolis, one of the most enduring architectural feats ever accomplished, and truly the preeminent icon of Greece. (B, L)

Day 3: After a night’s rest, we will visit the Acropolis Museum, in the shadow of the “High City” itself—this 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art museum was only just opened in 2009, after decades of planning and fundraising. It houses the statues and monuments recovered from the Acropolis, including what remains in Greece of the Parthenon Marbles, which are ingeniously staged to recreate the experience of viewing them on the Parthenon Temple. With the museum’s massive windows, one needs only to turn around for the actual Acropolis to reveal itself above.

After lunch, we move on to the National Museum of Archaeology, home of the most impressive collection of Greek statuary and art in the world. Iconic artifacts from every era of ancient Greece are beautifully displayed here, like the “Death Mask of Agamemnon,” or the famous statue of Zeus (possibly Poseidon), arm stretched powerfully back as if about to hurl a bolt of lightning. Here and throughout the trip, Rolf will reveal fascinating points, which might otherwise be missed, and of course time will be given for personal exploration, and conversations with Rolf.  (B, L)

Day 4: On our final day in Athens, we will visit the Melina Mercouri Cultural Center, dedicated to the modern Greek actress and politician who served as Greece’s first Cultural Minister in 1981.  The international movement to return to Greece the Parthenon Marbles was initiated by Melina Mercouri, a cause to which she dedicated her life.

After lunch, we will tour the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art. One of the great museums of Athens, the Goulandris specializes in art of the third millennium BC—pieces from more than four thousand years ago. This incredibly old art would have been ancient even to the Greeks who built the Parthenon.

That evening we will fly to the Island of Corfu, and enjoy a reception with a light dinner of mezedes, a wide array of traditional Greek dips and small bites.  (B, L, D)

Island of Corfu (Kerkyra): 4 nights

Day 5: Our exploration of Corfu begins with a relaxing journey through its winding roads, olive groves and traditional villages.  We will visit the Achilleion Palace, built in the 19th century by the Bavarian Empress Elisabeth.  Later it became the summer residence of Wilhelm II Kaiser of Germany, who was actively involved in the archaeological excavations of the island.  The statues and paintings that adorn this incredible summer home (now a museum) recall figures and moments in Greek mythology, most famously, the grand statue of “Achilles Dying.”

After lunch we will visit the Old Town of Corfu, the National Gallery Annex, and Byzantine Museum. Here we will explore the incredible diversity of cultures that have left their mark on the island and city of Corfu: the ancient Greek, the medieval Venetian, and the colonial British. (Corfu finally joined the modern nation of Greece during its unification in 1827—in fact, the father of modern Greek Independence and the first leader of the unified Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was a native of Corfu.) (B)

Day 6:  Our tour of Corfu culminates with a visit to the ancient town (the Palaiopolis) of Corfu on the picturesque Kanoni peninsula, where Rolf began excavating with his colleagues more than 25 years ago. With Rolf, the original archaeologist, as our guide we will tour the discoveries he and his team made. It is a short way to the Mon Repos Museum (the summer palace of Greek royalty until the 1970s), where the artifacts of his excavations are kept. (B, D)

Day 7:  This last day on Corfu we will further explore the island’s charm, with its wonderful and eclectic sights, shops, food, history, and ties to ancient myth.  It was on this unique island that according to Homer, Odysseus recounted his epic journey to its ancient inhabitants and their king Alcinous and queen Arete. In the afternoon we’ll have a special  celebration to bid farewell to our friends on Corfu. (B, L)

Epirus: 3 nights / Athens: 1 night

Day 8:  We continue odyssey with Rolf traveling by ferry to the mainland in the region of Epirus.  Here we will travel to the Oracle at the temple-site at ancient Dodona, the oldest oracle in Greece, second in importance only to Delphi. Dedicated to the mother goddess Dione for most of its early history, it then became a seat of Zeus in classical times. Many of the site’s most fascinating artifacts are stored at the National Museum in Athens—so for those of you who are planning on extending your tour, you’ll want to take a look at the Dodona artifacts while there on Day Three!

It’s then on to Ioannina, the capital of the Epirus region of Greece. We will explore the historic center of this city, which was the capital of a Turkish Pashalik, a region of the once great Ottoman Empire, which stretched well into Greece. (B, L)

Day 9:  We will further explore the city of Ioannina and travel by boat on Lake Ioannina, also called Pamvotida, to Ioannina Island at its center. Here we will see the museum that was once the home of the Turkish Pasha, or governor. We will have dinner on the island before returning to our hotel.  (B, D)

Day 10:  The next morning we will travel the winding hilly roads of Epirus to Metsovo. The Metsovone cheese produced there is an EU-recognized “protected origin” specialty—this is the only place in the world that may produce this regional delicacy. This truly picturesque town is also known for its local wines, and is the cultural center of the Vlach people, a Balkan culture totally distinct from the Greeks.

We’ll then continue south to Metéora to explore its incredible thousand-year-old “floating” monasteries, perched atop massive cliffs. These must-see structures are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Sight. We’ll move on to the nearby city of Kalambaka for the night.  (B)

Day 11: On our final day of touring, we will sight-see as we travel out of Epirus, through the regions of Thessaly, Central Greece, making our way through Greece’s heartland and ending where we began, in Athens for our last night. (B, L)

Day 12: After breakfast, our tour ends.  Kalo Taksidi! (B)

Additional nights pre- or post-tour in Athens can be arranged.

Group size is limited to 10-16 participants

Rolf Winkes grew up in Germany, where he did his graduate study in Classical Archaeology, Ancient Greek, Ancient and Prehistoric Archaeology, as well as Egyptology and Early Christian Art and Philosophy. In 1969, he was invited to Brown University, where he taught art and archaeology until 2008.  He co-founded the Center for Old World Archaeology and Art, later renamed the Joukowsky Institute, which is one of the leading archaeological institutes in the world, and has traveled to two dozen countries on three continents. Rolf spent 12 seasons excavating the Palaipolis of Corfu, beginning in 1986, and later worked at the site of Tongobriga in Portugal. He has taught and published on a diverse number of subjects ranging from the early Greek period until the rise of Christianity, and the influence of the ancient world on later periods. He is now Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, the History of Art and Architecture, and Old World Archaeology and Art at Brown University. He and his wife Mary, a painter, live in Damariscotta, Maine, where he volunteers his time teaching courses at Coastal Senior College.

Special guests on our journey- Rolf has invited his friends and colleagues to join us at various points throughout our journey, including Professor Katerina Thomas Ph.D., Dean of Fine and Performing Arts at DEREE College, the American college in Athens; and Paulina Tzeirani Representative of the Melina Mercouri Foundation in Athens; and Stathis Provatas, Director of the Paliopolis Museum; and Maria Nakou, a fellow archaeologist on Corfu.

Also we have an extra bonus for those interested in exploring and/or purchasing contemporary art.  Thomas O’Donovan, art dealer, designer/goldsmith, and owner of Harbor Square Gallery in Rockland, Maine is joining us and will be available to provide guidance to those who would like to visit contemporary art galleries and purchase art to bring home.

This small group tour is limited to 12-16 participants allowing you to experience, not only personalized tours, but also opportunities to experience modern Greek Culture and history. We will tour by air conditioned motor-coach, but some walking is required to fully partake in this tour. You should be comfortable walking at a relaxed pace with rest stops for 1 to 4 hours. We will be visiting archaeological sites and walking ancient ways where the terrain can be uneven. Some climbing of stairs is required, for example to go to the top of the Acropolis in Athens. Thus this tour is not suitable for those with limited mobility.

The group will meet at our centrally located hotel in Athens, Greece.  Although international airfare to Athens is NOT included, we will gladly help with making your flight arrangements. Also we can assist you with any pre- or post-tour arrangements in Greece and beyond. The tour concludes at Athens Airport in time for early flights home.

ALL tours will be lead by art historian/archaeologist Rolf Winkes. The price includes privately guided tours with official Greek tourist board guides of the archaeological sites of the Kerameikos & museum and ancient Agora & Museum, Acropolis & the New Acropolis Museum, the Melina Mercouri Cultural Center, the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Archaeological Museum. On Corfu tours include the Palaiopolis Archaeological site & Mon Repos Museum, the Museum of Byzantium Art, the National Gallery Annex, and the 19th century Achelleion Palace. Also included are  tours of Dodona archaeological site, Ioannina and some of the monasteries at Meteora.  All admissions fees to sites and museums in the itinerary are included.

The accommodations in Athens are at a 4-star boutique hotel within walking distance to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. In Corfu our hotel is a charming Greek-style 3-star property in the city center. The hotels in Epirus are 5-star properties.   All of the rooms have a private bathroom, direct dial telephone, TVs, safe, minibar, refrigerator, and blow dryer. The hotels are within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and points of interest – giving you freedom to explore right out the door! The last night will be at a 4-star hotel at Athens airport. Most of the hotels have a business center, WiFi, and laundry service.

Price is based on double occupancy for reservations received by January 31, 2015.  After this date add $150 per person.
Single supplement for private room: $895

Price includes: 11 nights accommodations in Greece; domestic transportation within Greece as per the itinerary including ferry, air conditioned coach, taxis, and domestic Greek flights. Also included are healthy Mediterranean-style dinners as noted above (drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included, other than water and breakfast beverages, unless specified above).

To be notified once tour details become available please call or email Eurynome Journeys.
Once we open the tour for reservations, we will send you an information/application packet and hold your space for up to two weeks.  If you decide to join us, a $700 deposit per person is due. Add $100 to deposit for any pre- or post-tour options. Payment in full is due 95 days prior to the tour start date. Travel insurance should be purchased within 14 days of your first payment.

Click here for a free travel insurance quote from Travel Guard Insurance

This tour involves walking and climbing stairs and thus requires a certain degree of physical fitness. This tour is NOT suitable for those with limited mobility. All group activities are NON-SMOKING.

One thought on “Art, Archaeology & Greek Culture

Comments are closed.