Ancient and Modern

Ancient and Modern



Trip Themes

Ancient History, Classics, Modern Greece, Archaeology

Cities Visited

Athens, Nafplio, Heraklion and Chania

How does the ancient world shape modern Greece?

The Western World wouldn’t be what it is today without the ideas of ancient Greece. Greece is the birthplace of modern democracy and western society, from the Acropolis atop Athens to the ruined ancient cities of the Aegean, history is everywhere. As Europe redefines itself, understanding this history and tying it to modern Greek and American life is more important than ever.

But the history we remember and the stories we tell aren’t the only narrative. Above and below an ancient city are layers of values, culture, and identity. Investigating the ancient world and how archaeology shapes our modern understanding is a cornerstone of global citizenship.

Discover the intersection of life in classical and modern Greece. Explore archaeological dig sites on the mainland, taste fresh cheese and produce in seaside towns, and investigate ancient civilizations on the islands. Along the way, we will think about how the ancient times have shaped our perspective on the world today.



In Athens, we’ll explore how a modern capital can be built on thousands of years of history. We will investigate the historical core of Greece atop the Acropolis and meet with Archaeologists in the Agora to understand how studying the past shapes our thinking today. 

For a more modern take, we will get into the different neighborhoods of the city to understand how modern Greek’s connect to their history, and contextualize recent issues in the country. We’ll also climb to the church on top of Lycabettus hill, enjoy dinner at a hidden Taverna in Plaka, and take over a rooftop for a night of music and dancing looking out over the city.


We will head South to the Peloponnese Peninsula and settle into the city of Nafplio as a jumping off point to the ruins of Mycenae and Epidaurus. From visits to active dig sites, lunch with an archaeologist, and a chance to make our own pottery we’ll leave Nafplio with a deeper understanding of what an archaeologist actually does.


Greek islands are famous for their history and landscape and on Crete we will explore both. 

At the stunning museum of Heraklion, we will discover the story of the Minoan civilization and question the different artifacts from the island. We will visit the ancient ruins of Knossos, Europe’s oldest city, and map out how cities have changed thousands of years later. 

In Chania and Rathymnon, we can develop a deeper connection to the diverse lifestyles and cultures of Greece, a nation known for seafarers and island towns. 

Across the island we will also take time to connect with local students and communities and explore the secluded beaches and mountain villages. And of course we will enjoy incredible mezzes, baked goods, and more, as we get a first hand taste of Greece and even learn to make some dishes ourselves.


Variations and Ideas: 

Atlas Workshops has a deep network in Greece and a passion for connecting ancient stories to the present day. While the perfect immersive trip to ancient Greece would involve a time-machine, it’s important to explore how the history is set among a complex modern nation. 

We can adapt the trip to have a strong focus on modern Greece or ancient Greece depending on the trip focus. From a classics trip with specific archaeological destinations, to a more modern trip in Greece including connections to locals and NGOs, this trip template is flexible. 

By balancing exploration of different time periods and contexts, a trip to Greece can combine disparate themes and appeal to a large group of students. By asking questions about identity and historical narratives, this trip can also fit into a wider discussion about global citizenship and diversity at a school.

For a trip with a deeper focus on current issues in Greece, we have a variety of other programs in the country, such as “Navigating a Refugee Crisis”. Likewise we can also link this trip to a program in another country and include an investigation of ancient civilizations in Italy, Croatia, or further afar.