The island of Spinalonga
The island of Spinalonga

10 Things To Do In Europe If You Love Archaeology

Any visitor to Europe will know that there are myriad archaeological sites and historical experiences just waiting to be had here, and we've rounded up 10 of our favourites.

1) Encounter standing stones in Scotland

Head north to Scotland to gaze upon some ancient standing stones. Join our Orkney & Shetland tour and you'll come face to face with the Stones of Stenness as well as the Ring of Brodgar (pictured below). 

2) Revisit Pompeii

If, like many others, you’ve already visited what is considered by many to be one of the top archaeological sites, we can give you a new reason to return in 2020. We have secured an exclusive private visit to the Theatre of Herculaneum, which is opening only for Andante Travels’ guests, and there will also be private access to the fascinating store rooms at the Paestum Museum, where you can see Lucanian painted tombs that are otherwise closed to the public. If this wasn’t enough, we will also treat you to private access to the Cave of Sejanus and the adjoining villa of Pausilypon, which boasts dramatic coastal views. 

3) Take a private tour of the Archaeological Crypt in Alcácer do Sal, Portugal

Another familiar destination that you may have already been to, Portugal is home to some captivating sites and the aforementioned crypt is one of them. This subterranean network of structures lies beneath the Castle of Alcácer Salt and is an absolute must-see.

4) Explore the Roman amphitheatre in Trier

Built into a hillside and constructed in the 2nd century AD, games with gladiators and animals took place here in front of audiences that could reach up to 20,000 people.

5) Pay a visit to the fascinating ruins of Byllis in the Albanian countryside

Legend states that this ancient city was founded by warriors led by the son of Achilles, returning from the Trojan wars. While evidence of Homeric heroes is yet to be uncovered, archaeologists have found a Hellenistic-era stadium, theatre and fortifications.

6) Board a boat to the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony that was in use right up until 1962

Surrounded by the clearest sea in all shades of blue, this somewhat macabre place makes for an interesting tour stop should you find yourself in Crete. Wander around this now-deserted site with its fortress and learn about its startling history.

7) Discover the rock art site of Fontanalba in France

Here, over 20,000 engravings that depict animals and humans alike can be observed. Exploring enigmatic rock art sites will showcase France’s history in a whole new way.

8) Explore the biggest and best-preserved medieval monastery in Kosovo

Decani Monastery was built by the Serbian King, St. Stefan of Decani in 1335. A lesser-visited European destination, amazing Byzantine frescoes, the ancient Roman city of Ulpiana and burial sites of both Iron Age Illyrians and their Bronze Age predecessors await discovery in this curious country.

9) Don’t just visit the Berlin Wall, take a tour of the hidden escape tunnels beneath it

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and we can take you to a part of it not usually seen. On this interesting visit, explore a series of tunnels that were dug by citizens in order to escape to the West.

10) Explore the extraordinary Sassi of Matera

This amazing network of cave dwellings and Byzantine churches replete with frescoes is a sight to behold, and a destination that secured this year’s European Capital of Culture title.