Archaeology holidays

√ Watch/Do-Play √ Culture √ People




For someone interested in history, an archaeology holiday can be very inspiring.   A diverse range of archaeology vacations and digs, as well as tours and tailor made holidays with an interest in archaeology, will appeal to those of us who love things to do with the past.


It is possible to take an archaeological holiday in numerous continents and countries, particularly North America (Colorado) and Europe (Greece, Italy, Turkey, Balearic Islands), as well as Africa (Egypt, South Africa).


Unless you are a serious and qualified scientist, this type of holiday will not be “hands on”.   However, you will have ample opportunity to watch archaeologists at work in some destinations, and at the very least walk around sites to experience for yourself what has been unearthed.   You should take account your weather preferences, because often archaeological digs take place in exposed and (in summer) very hot conditions.   Keep in mind also that attitudes to getting too close to such digs can differ considerably from one culture to another.   Just as you cannot climb on Stonehenge, the same will apply to many sites.   On the other hand, in places like Menorca in the Balearic Islands, you can walk up and touch most of the scores of Stonehenge like monuments dotted around the island.   On an archaeological holiday you can travel as part of a group or alternatively explore on your own.   That way you will often not bump into a soul, especially in low holiday season.


A visit to Colorado in North America is recommended in August and September, whereas a visit to Egypt and the Nile, Menorca or Greece can be taken year round.   You might prefer to take such a holiday during low or shoulder season to avoid the crowds and also the often searing Mediterranean summer temperatures.


You will almost certainly need to be equipped with sturdy shoes or boots to traverse the often uneven ground surrounding archaeological ruins.   If you are travelling in summer, make sure you have a good sun hat and cream, as well as a good supply of drinking water.   A first aid kit in your bag or hire car is also handy for minor cuts and grazes, just in case you lose your footing as you explore.


Egypt has an enthralling history and a wealth of well-preserved monuments and treasures. Cruising the Nile allows you to visit all the sites and attractions in a comfortable fashion: from the last remaining wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramids at Giza, to the vibrant Nubian culture at Aswan, we incorporate all the significant places of interest. We board our cruise boat at Luxor and, travelling upstream, we watch traditional life pass by, visiting the spectacular Edfu and Kom Ombo temples along the way. The lush green banks and the beautiful sunsets over the Nile, together with the good onboard facilities (which can be enjoyed during sailing and when moored) make this the only way to travel.

Menorca is often referred to as the Mediterranean’s largest open air museum. As you travel around the island, whether by car, bike, horseback or on foot, you cannot fail to notice the mysterious weatherworn stone remains dotted all over the countryside that are evidence of a sophisticated, prehistoric culture. These are the remains of the late-Bronze-Age, dating back to pre-Talayotic (2300-1300 BC) and Talayotic (1000-123 BC) civilisations and include talayots (square-based watchtowers), navetes (circular accommodation and burial chambers) and taulas (standing stones in the shape of a huge table). There is something quite incredible about finding these imposing ancient relics as they have been left, many standing in wild meadows with sheep and cows grazing peacefully nearby.


You should budget at least £1,000 per person for a 10 day trip to Egypt inclusive of return flights.   You will need extra spending money for some meals, and you may need to pay to enter some monuments.

For a one week holiday in Menorca staying in a good three or four star hotel on half board, expect to pay from £500 per person inclusive of flights, and some tour operators will include a hire car in the price.


Howard Carter is famous for discovering the perfectly preserved burial chamber of “the boy king” Tutankhamen.   On a less serious note, fictional archaeologists include Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.

Link to Other Things To Know (Passports, Visas, Health, Security)

You are unlikely to need more than the usual valid passport and visa for a holiday in Europe or North America, though you might need vaccinations for a trip to Africa.   We suggest you carefully check any prevailing security information in advance of travel, as archaeological sites can often be located in remote places.

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