Classical World of the Aegean Sea

Santorini, Greece

14 Days, October 12 - 25, 2021

From $7,990 from Athens, Greece

Tour Operator:
Thalassa Journeys

What is it about the Aegean Sea that inspires such a notion of happiness? Is it the luminous depth of its blue, which Homer called “wine-dark,” or the pervasive radiance of its fabled islands, home to the Olympian gods and the heroic legends of the Ancient Greeks? Or is it that the Aegean once cradled a brilliant civilization that so deeply influenced later generations? It’s all that and more.  But it’s also that, in many ways, the Aegean is our cultural home. Democracy, Western philosophy, scientific inquiry, theater, and recorded history originated here. Much of the Western tradition and the course of subsequent history derives from the Ancient Greeks.  The Aegean, with its colors, lights, contours, and heights, was our original neighborhood.

We invite you to join us on a voyage that captures the essence of the ancient world. In Athens, we’ll stroll the grounds where Socrates conversed with his fellow citizens and behold the Acropolis and its famed monuments. In Olympia, the Olympic Games were held every four years for over a millennium; Crete was the birthplace of Zeus and home to the brilliant Bronze Age Minoan civilization, Europe’s earliest civilization; and Santorini, home to a sophisticated and prosperous prehistoric society presents an unforgettable spectacle with its volcanic landscape. In Ephesus, one of the most important cities of the Greco-Roman world, St. Paul preached Christianity; and Istanbul, straddling the narrow strait that separates Europe from Asia, once was the seat of the powerful Byzantine and later the Ottoman Empires.

We will travel in autumn, one of the best times of the year to visit the Aegean Sea. The temperature is ideal for exploring the ancient sites, and the summer crowds are gone. Our ship for the voyage is the luxurious all-suite Star Legend, which offers elegant accommodations, beautiful lounges, expansive open decks, fine dining, and many other amenities.  Please join us as we explore the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization in the congenial and stimulating company of fellow W&L travelers.

Traveling With You

Matthew Loar

Matthew Loar is Director of Fellowships and Assistant Professor of Classics (by courtesy) at Washington and Lee University. A 2007 graduate of W&L, he subsequently received an MSt (with distinction) from Oxford and a PhD in Classics from Stanford. In addition to teaching Latin and Ancient Greek, he has also taught courses on ancient mythology, Roman history, Greek tragedy, and Greek and Latin epic poetry. His publications include articles on Latin poetry, Roman historiography, Pompeian graffiti, and Greek mythology, as well as two co-edited volumes: Rome, Empire of Plunder and The Cultural History of Augustan Rome. Though this will be his first alumni program, he has led undergraduate study tours to Rome and Naples and he has participated in archaeological projects in Greece and Italy. He currently lives in Lexington with his wife, W&L English professor Taylor Walle ’07, and their charming black cat.

Contact Us

Office of Lifelong Learning
Washington and Lee University
204 W Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450