Ancient and Modern

Ancient and Modern



Trip Themes

Ancient History, World History, Classics, Archaeology, Civics, Government

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. From the Acropolis atop Athens to the ruined ancient cities of the Aegean, history is everywhere here. But the history we remember and the stories we’ve heard aren’t the only narrative. Above and below an ancient city are layers of values, culture, and identity. Investigating how archaeology shapes our understanding of the world can raise new questions about what we know, and what we don’t. How has the story of our civilization evolved over time? Who decides how the story is told?

On this program, we’ll discover what life was, and is like in classical and modern Greece. Explore archaeological dig sites on the mainland, taste traditionally made sweets in seaside towns, and investigate ancient civilizations on the islands. Along the way, we will think about how ancient times have shaped modern society, and what that means for us as democratic and global citizens 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 local Greeks 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 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 Rethymnon, 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.



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 history is set within a complex modern nation. 

We can adapt this trip to have a strong focus on modern Greece or ancient Greece depending on the group’s focus. From a classics trip with specific archaeological destinations, to a more modern trip in Greece including connections to local businesses 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 “Island of Migration” and “Sustainable Civilizations.” Likewise we can also link this theme to a program in another country and conduct an investigation of past and present civilizations in Italy, Croatia, Spain, or Japan