Archaeology Travel is an award-winning website for everyone who enjoys exploring the world’s histories, from humanity’s earliest times to our contemporary pasts. The website pays its way to produce accurate, unbiased content that promotes responsible travel and engagement with heritage sites. This we achieve by advertising and commissions for activities we recommend. Our content includes destination guides and a range of articles based on first hand experience that provide tips and information for visiting archaeological and historical sites and museums. We also recommend themed activities, tours and cruises, again based on our own experiences.
In 1982 one of the most influential archaeologists of the 20th century, Kent Flannery, wrote: “What the world wants is for archaeology to teach it something about humanity’s past … They want to hear about Olduvai Gorge, and Stonehenge, and Machu Picchu.”
Nearly four decades later getting to these far-off places is a lot easier, and the journey much more affordable. Increasingly then, people want to be able to see sites such as Machu Picchu and Stonehenge for themselves. And just as more of us are able to travel to distant places so too we are exploring historical and archaeological sites closer to our homes, more so than ever before.
When the idea of Archaeology Travel was conceived in 2010 there was very little information online about visiting archaeology and history. Often what was available was not easy to find, and certainly not very helpful.
Although many attractions now have websites and a presence on social media, in many cases the information is still is not visitor-friendly. For example, while the necessary details required to visit the spectacular Ice Age cave of Font de Gaume are published online what the website omits is that to stand a chance of actually getting a ticket you should join the queue by 7.30 am, even earlier in the peak tourist season. And then what about all the other sites in the area? If you do not know about them it is difficult to find them.
Whereas Archaeology Travel initially aimed to provide basic information about sites in a given area when the website launched in 2011 (to a certain degree this is still relevant), we now also provide practical information about visiting archaeology and history sites. The sort of information you are unlikely to read on the official websites.
Archaeology Travel is an ethical organisation that encourages responsible and sustainable tourism, with a focus on archaeology and history. We achieve this in three ways: by producing destination guides to a region’s heritage attractions; by recommending themed tours and cruises; and by working with organisations to promote a region’s archaeology and history.
Our principal goal is to produce useful destination-specific guides to exploring the past around the world.
At the centre of each of our destination guides is a well-researched list and map of archaeological and historical sites, ordered by period, open to the public. These are supplemented by travel tips and advice based on first-hand experiences of visiting these areas.
Some of our readers relish staying in Parisian luxury hotels while visiting some of the world’s finest museums. Others revel in something a bit more extreme, such as white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon and seeing the ancient mud-built cliff dwellings that are over a thousand years old. Of course there is no reason at all why you cannot enjoy both styles of travel.
Besides providing information about what archaeological and historical sites and museums there are to visit, we also provide information based on our own experiences about the products, services and activities associated with visiting these attractions. These include anything from guidebooks and maps, to skip-the-line tickets and guided walking tours, and day trips and archaeological/historical tours and cruises.
Our suggestions and recommendations for what ancient sites to visit in Athens goes hand in hand with providing tips and advice on buying tickets to these attractions. This often involves providing information about which service providers to use. Read more about this decision process in our Code of Ethics below.
Following over 30 years of academic research in the field of public archaeology we also consult on a wide range of issues concerning heritage and tourism to various bodies and organisations. For instance, we frequently work with destination management organisations to promote the area’s archaeology and history.
For example, in 2015 we visited numerous sites in Bulgaria to consult on the construction of a heritage-based theme park. The information gathered during this trip was used to begin preparing a guide to the archaeology and history of Bulgaria. The campaign we devised to promote the archaeology of Bulgaria was recognised by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 2017: Archaeology Travel was awarded the prize for the best publication in online media for 2016.
A Guide to Exploring the Past in Bulgaria.
Certificate awarded by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2017.
For details on how we work with various bodies and organisations, Click Here.
Some of the organisations and companies we have worked with.
► Archaeology Travel supports and promotes the principles of responsible travel, in particular actively encouraging irreproachable behaviour when visiting heritage sites and attractions, promoting a standard that often goes beyond the legal prescriptions set out in some countries. Recently Tiqets published an interview between Lauren Voges and Thomas Dowson that covers much of our approach towards and thinking about Historical Tourism. Here Thomas raises some issues that become important as we start to think about travelling again after the pandemic.
► Archaeology Travel answers to our readers, not (financially or intellectually) to shareholders or venture capitalists, or any other stakeholder with vested interest in the travel and heritage industries.
► All information provided is original and impartial, honest and often passionate. If we work with Destination Management Organisations, we always retain editorial control of what gets published.
► We will only promote archaeological and historical sites and museums, as well as activities associated with these that are available to the general public.
► We do visit sites, museums and regions as part of sponsored trips to promote these. Often some or all of our travelling expenses such as accommodation, transport and food costs are included. This enables us to visit new places and write about these from an informed position. We never take payment for producing content resulting from these trips.
► The majority of the trips we take are not sponsored trips, and we aim to keep it this way. In 2019, Only six out of over 20 trips were sponsored; and all six involved us paying at least our travel expenses. And it should be noted, it is not unusual for services provided to be basic to say the least.
► Archaeology Travel earns money through affiliate partnerships with a number of companies that provide travel products and services. Such as guidebooks and maps, skip-the-line tickets and guided walking tours, day trips and archaeological/historical tours. In most, not all cases, when a readers follows a link to a recommended website and purchases a product or service, we will earn a commission. We will only link to and recommend products and services under the following circumstances:
1. We will only recommend products and services that have or would use ourselves. If we have not used it ourselves, we have either used another service or bought another product from that company. Or we have carried out extensive research, always including a discussion with the company. We only recommend with confidence.
2. We will never link to a service or product to earn a commission if it means that commission is added to your costs. There are instances where we have turned down the opportunity to earn commissions because the commission we would earn is added to your costs (airline tickets being one example). We will only link to services and products where the commission we earn is taken out of the advertised price.
3. We only work with companies that have a responsible and proactive attitude towards their customers, our readers. For this reason, we recommend GetYourGuide, Viator and Tiqets for most activities, tours, walking tours and tickets. One of the reasons we choose these companies is because they have fair and transparent cancellation and amendment policies. In many cases, should your plans change for any reason, your reservations can be cancelled or changed up to 24 hours before the start of the activity. If things go wrong, as sometimes can happen, GetYourGuide, Viator and Tiqets have customer service teams that are easy to contact, responsive, often working round the clock and available in many languages to address these issues. We know these works because we have used these services ourselves.
Bottom Line: this website pays its way to produce accurate, unbiased content that promotes responsible travel and engagement with heritage sites.
Archaeology Travel was founded by Thomas Dowson, and launched in 2011. Over the years various writers with a professional background have either joined the team or contributed to the content on the website. Although the website has seen a few significant changes in direction, our activities have consistently been based on a code of ethics that sets us apart from other organisations and companies that offer similar services.
Thomas trained as an archaeologist in South Africa, and then went on to teach and research archaeology at leading universities in South Africa and England. He has researched and published books and articles in a range of academic journals and magazines, on the prehistoric arts in southern Africa, Europe and North America, as well as the contemporary significance of archaeology … Read More >>
Current and Past Contributors
Sarah has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Archaeology. Besides a passion for archaeology and history, Sarah is also a travel obsessed bookworm who greatly enjoys creating itineraries. Given her aim to get her children as interested in history and travel Sarah has produced our History with Kids series of articles. Currently, Sarah is on a mission to produce the definitive Guide to London for History Lovers – Londonophiles bookmark that page! Browse Sarah’s Articles on the website.
Ethan has a PhD in Medieval history and archaeology from University College, London. When not hunting down archaeological monuments at home and abroad and writing about these for the website, Ethan researches religion in early Medieval England and contemporary uses of heritage (Academia Profile). Check out one of his most recent books, Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft, published by Sussex Academic Press. Browse Ethan’s Articles on Archaeology Travel.
Pedro has a degree in Information and Communication Technologies from the University of Lisbon, and is not surprisingly then our lead IT person. We have Pedro to thank for the upgrade to our mapping solutions, making them more useful to our readers. Pedro is also passionate about history, and has made substantial contributions to articles on Wikipedia and influential groups on Facebook. Pedro is principally focused on producing content for our guide to Sites and Museums in Portugal.
Max is a certified archaeologist working in the Netherlands with a focus on prehistory. He obtained a Masters degree from Leiden University, with a thesis on Human Sacrifice in Iron Age Northern Europe. His interests include visual anthropology, human evolution and ritual and meaning. He feels strongly that it is important to cultivate interest among the public and is involved in developing strategies to engage and share archaeology with the community. Max is responsible for our guides to the Netherlands and Belgium. See Max’s Articles.
Kate is a History graduate from Hull University, now retired from teaching History to both willing and unwilling students over many years. Generally, they were years of great fun and it was very rewarding to instil a love of the past into so many young minds. Now Kate has the freedom to visit and research so many of the places she studied, as well as many that are completely new and full of fascination. Among other sites, Kate has written a wonderful collection of articles on some of the churches in London. Browse all of Kate’s articles.
Will is currently pursuing a BA in History from Trinity College in Connecticut, USA. He is most interested in historical memory and how we remember the past and loves to visit historical sites of all kinds. When not studying he loves to hike and to travel around the US and the world and has been able to intern at a variety of sites ranging from an archaeological site in Rome to a Civil War Battlefield in Tennessee, as well as a position in Homer, Alaska. Browse William’s Articles on Archaeology Travel.
After starting out as a travel agent, Sarah retrained as an editor and set up her own copy-editing and proofreading business, Charwell Proof Plus. Using her time and skills as a travel agent, Sarah has travelled widely in Europe and the Middle East. Everyone’s bucketlist site Petra being one of many highlights. Sarah is currently producing a series of articles with lots of tips for visiting the amazing Archaeology Sites in Sicily following her recent visits there. Watch this space! Browse Sarah’s Articles on the website.
Bethany has a MA in Art History from the University of Exeter. Her interests range from Gothic architecture to nineteenth-century painting. Bethany was one of two students who interned with Archaeology Travel as part of a grant awarded to us to promote the archaeology and history of the south west of England. Given she is from Cornwall and studied in Devon, she was an ideal candidate. Beth also wrote one of our popular articles – a history geek’s first time in Vienna. Browse Bethany’s Articles on the website.
Jason was awarded Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Exeter. He has long been interested in the human past and greatly enjoys visiting historic and archaeological sites. Jason is from Devon, and was one of two students to intern with Archaeology Travel to promote historical attractions in south west England. He has travelled widely, and is largely responsible for our Guide to the Archaeology and History of Sardinia. Browse all of Jason’s Articles on Archaeology Travel.
… by email
I’ve been using your website ‘archaeology-travel.com’ as a point of reference to plan a trip to the rock art caves in the south of France. It is an excellent website with great information (including getting tickets for Font de Gaume), and I am very glad I stumbled across it. Thank you very much!
… on Instagram
What a lovely IG feed to stumble upon. Informative, creative and original in equal measure!
… on Facebook
Following your page is like having my own personal tour guide. Thank you!
… on the website
Your information is the best. It helped me a lot. I have just successfully reserved tickets yesterday by mail.