Top five ports for archaeology 

Top five ports for archaeology 

Whenever I look at booking a cruise I always look at the destinations first and foremost. Being a history geek, history and culture feature highly on my priorities so here are my top five ports for archaeology

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A short 40 minute drive from Kusadesi is my favourite archaeological site, Ephesus. Ephesus recently became a world heritage site – about time! and is one of the most complete digs I have ever seen! There are many intact buildings on the site including houses with amazing murals but perhaps the most stunning is the library of Celsus who couldn’t help but be impressed!

library of celsus

library of celsus

St. Paul was also said to deliver sermon at this amazing amphitheatre


Nearby there is also the house of the Virgin Mary – another must see.

After a trip to Ephesus you can indulge in shopping in port or if you have time go to the nearby ladies beach!


Perhaps the most obvious choice but there’s a reason. Pompeii is an outstanding site and it’s amazing to see in the flesh. My advice is find a winter cruise and get there early. We had the site pretty much to ourselves when we went in December.


Herculaneum is also near by and offers a similar experience but isn’t as busy.

After a morning of exploring I recommend heading back to Naples for an authentic pizza!


Ok, you’ve got a long coach journey – about an hour – ahead of you but it’s totally worth it! Rome is full of aracheological wonders in the forum.

the forum

the forum

After a visit to the forum, head to the colesseum. I was surprised by its size, it feels so much bigger in real life!


You can’t mention Athens without thinking of the acropolis. Sitting above the city, the acropolis is an archaeologists dream. My personal favourite building was the Parthenon which unfortunately was undergoing renovations while we were there.


the acropolis

I recommend visiting in the morning and heading into town after for a gyro and a look around the acropolis museum.


A short drive away from Messina is the town of Taormina, a celebrity haven and has in my opinion the amphitheater with the best view on the world.

taormina theatre

After a visit to the amphitheater head back into town and try a delicious cannoli- a local delicacy

Top tip – I love archaeology sites but always find you get the most out of them with a guide. I always book a guide to go with us and have always found Viator to have great guides who are often archaeologists who have worked on the site.


  1. October 18, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    I loved Ephesus! It was one of the first places I wrote about on my blog! I’d love to visit all the other places you’ve listed but especially Pompeii.

    • October 18, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      Ephesus is amazing- I’ll have to read your post

  2. October 25, 2016 / 10:25 am

    I think I’d love to see Ephesus and where St Paul did his sermon. That just puts it into context how old it actually is. You would like Side too I think in Turkeu, full of more roman ruins and an apollos temple. It

  3. October 25, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Good tip – I’m sure you get so much more out of these places with a guide. I loved Pompeii – and that’s coming from my teenage self. Impressive stuff. I also loved Taormina and the colosseum. I Need to check out the rest! #citytripping

    • October 26, 2016 / 8:00 am

      I was worried Pompeii would be a disappointment as I was so desperate to go but it was truly amazing

  4. October 25, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Good tip to get a guide!

  5. Cathy
    October 25, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    If you head to Civitavecchia – you don’t need to limit yourself to Rome! You could visit Tarquinia and Cerveteri that are closer and equally of interest from an archeaological perspective.

  6. October 25, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    I studied ancient history at school so I’m a little ashamed to say that I haven’t been to Pompeii or Herculaneum. Or the Acropolis 🙁
    I do like your method of going to see them while on a cruise – that’d be a great way to break it up. Thanks for the awesome tips and photos!

    • October 26, 2016 / 8:03 am

      All were amazing and you can cover a lot of ground going by cruise

  7. October 25, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    I’ve always wanted to o go to Ephesus, have managed lots else in Turkey but never there. A cruise sounds a good way to see it.
    # CityTripping

    • October 26, 2016 / 8:06 am

      Ephesus is amazing. Can’t believe it was only recently made a world heritage site

  8. October 25, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    I’ve been to Rome and Pompeii, but I would love to see the other sites you mentioned, especially Ephesus. I actually just posted my travel recap of our day at Pompeii. I agree that it helps to have a guide at sites like these! There’s just so many facts and stories that I think you’d miss without one.

    • October 26, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Exactly. Will have to check out your post. Ephesus should def be on your list

  9. October 27, 2016 / 3:40 am

    Great idea for a post – I too am fascinated by archeology so when I saw the title of this I just had to read it. I’ve heard so much about Ephesus – hope I make it some day. #citytripping

  10. October 27, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    I would love to visit Ephesus someday. The ruins of the library of Celsus and the amphitheatre looks beautiful. #CityTripping

  11. October 27, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Very pleased to see I’ve done three of these- I love exploring historic sites too and Ephesus is high on my list. I’d add Delos at Mykonos and Troy, near Canakkale was an interesting one to see though very glad I had a guide there as there’s not much info or signs. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • October 30, 2016 / 12:00 pm

      Not done either of those so will have to add them on my list

  12. October 31, 2016 / 11:59 am

    Out of these, the only one I’ve visited is Athens. Thanks for the tips – so much fascinating history to explore! This post would be perfect for my new #CulturedKids linky. Do join up in Friday (4 Nov) if you get the chance!

    • November 1, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks – will def join up but away on Friday 4th so will have to be the one after but please add me to the list ?

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