Peter Sommer Travels

An award-winning UK-based specialist tour operator we design inspirational trips of a lifetime: stimulating and luxurious tours, educational and relaxing gulet cruises.

"Tour Operator of the Year Gold Award 2015" AITO (The Association of Independent Tour Operators)

"Tour Operator of the Year Silver Award 2016" AITO (The Association of Independent Tour Operators)

"Tour Operator of the Year Gold Award 2017" AITO (The Association of Independent Tour Operators)

"One of the 100 best worldwide vacations to enrich your life" National Geographic

"A 100 Best Holidays Company 2016, 2015, 2014 & 2011" The Sunday Times

We offer cultural vacations and holidays - primarily gulet cruises - with a professional and above all personal touch. On our escorted tours in Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK, we take only small groups (some as small as a maximum of 10 guests) of like-minded people, travelling in an easy-going, informal style. Our carefully crafted journeys will take you to some of the world’s best preserved Greek and Roman ruins, with a friendly and knowledgeable expert guide ready to bring their history to life.

The guides who lead our escorted holidays in Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK, are true specialists - archaeologists, historians and travel writers - natural enthusiasts steeped in Croatian, Greek, Sicilian and Turkish history and culture. We choose our tour guides not just because they are extremely knowledgeable, but because they are great communicators and friendly hosts.

Why we organise archaeological and cultural tours

Peter Sommer Turkey travel guide

In 1994, Peter Sommer walked 2,000 miles across Turkey, following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, and in the process fell in love with the country, its ancient civilizations, and the Turkish people. For the past 14 years, Peter, a British archaeologist and documentary maker, has been leading and organising unique historical and cultural tours and gulet cruises in Croatia, Greece, Italy & Turkey, escorted by the finest experts.

Peter Sommer Travels is a member of The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

Our Customers

Our archaeological tours are very much self-selecting. The people who come on our trips are usually well travelled, enthusiastic, and curious about exploring new countries and cultures. They come from an incredibly wide range of professional backgrounds. Some have never been on an archaeological tour before; others have explored ancient sites all over the world. On average about a quarter of the people on our trips are single travellers. About 40% of our guests come from the UK, 40% from the US, with the remaining 20% split between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and beyond.

Many of the people who travel with us first find out about Peter Sommer Travels through personal recommendations. Many clients travel with us again and again. Our trips tend to appeal to quite a wide age range. Generally speaking, most are in the 35-70 age bracket. Our family tours have attracted parents with children aged 8-15. We have mums and dads bringing their grown up children along in their 20’s or 30’s, and we are finding more and more people in their 30’s and 40’s coming on our trips.

Environment & Social Responsibility

Throughout our tours we provide much needed business to local cafes and shops in these places, thereby supporting local families, artisans, and village crafts. We dine in family run local restaurants, that source food locally providing income to families living in rural areas.

Throughout our tours we employ local guides and location managers. We also use local drivers and vehicles to visit sites, which are often owner operated or run by a local cooperative. This ensures that money goes directly into the pockets of local people, so it is the local community that benefits.

We travel in a small group to minimize our impact on the environment. We believe that escorted small group tours is the best way to organise sustainable tourism, allowing travellers to discover the ancient heritage and modern culture of Turkey, Greece or Italy while at the same time keeping our impact as low as possible.

We make it clear to our customers that the archaeological and historic remains we visit must be treated with care and attention. We consider archaeological tours to be of great benefit. Uncovering the past enhances our travellers’ ability to understand a country’s modern situations – its culture and religion, as well as the environmental history of fragile ecosystems.

To help protect the environment, if we discover litter and detritus on a beach, path, etc. we pick it up, and then dispose of it properly. We regularly organise litter picking parties to tidy up a beach we are moored by and so help keep the coasts of Croatia, Turkey and Greece and the Mediterranean beautiful, free from detritus, and safer for native animals.

Since we are travelling by boat, the amount of water available is limited and needs to be used sparingly. Only showers are provided, not baths, and we advise customers to reduce their use of water by taking short showers, and avoiding leaving the tap running for long periods. As a result the amount of water used during our cruises is significantly less than if travellers were staying in a typical large resort hotel.

We have been using the same gulet for the majority of our trips ever since we started organising tours in Turkey. We charter the gulet for almost the entire season, providing important employment and income to the boat’s crew and owner.

From an office perspective, we use green electricity and aim to use as little as possible. We reuse and recycle materials (such as paper, cardboard, glass, tins and food waste) whenever feasible. We try to keep our paper waste to a minimum, and all our printing is done using recycled paper and/or on paper approved by the FSC, the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Awards
Accreditations

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Our top 29 trips

Cruising to Ephesus: Family Trip

From: £2395.00

A classic cruise that takes in a series of Turkey’s most important and interesting archaeological sites, including the stunning ruins of Ephesus.

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Cruising the South-East Aegean: Greek Isles and Turkish Shores

From: £2395.00

A unique experience combining two countries, one fascinating history and a whole series of beautiful land and seascapes!

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Cruising the Lycian Shore

From: £4075.00

This gulet cruise and cultural Turkey tour explores the virtually untouched coastline of ancient Lycia, on the breathtaking turquoise coast.

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Exploring Ireland: The Heart of The Emerald Isle

From: £4535.00

Our first tour in a country that is spectacularly rich in beauty, in history, in character, in hospitality and – most of all – in stories.

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Cruising the Amalfi Coast

From: £3795.00

This unique gulet cruise visits some of the greatest archaeological and cultural jewels of the Amalfi coast.

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Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Split to Dubrovnik

From: £3550.00

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Split to Dubrovnik is a spectacular tour, offering the same combination of experiences that has become the hallmark of Peter Sommer Travels’ gulet cruises elsewhere.

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Exploring Wessex: From Neolithic Avebury to Georgian Bath

From: £2795.00

Wessex: close to our home base, and close to our hearts. We invite you to join us and see why - in this tour of a beautiful region of England

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Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore

From: £4075.00

An ideal tour for walkers and for lovers of the sea alike.

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Exploring Sicily

From: £4725.00

Explore the fascinating and beautiful heritage of Sicily on a trip to Europe's cultural heartland.

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Cruising the Aeolian Islands

From: £3795.00

The Aeolian Islands, home to some fascinating archaeological sites from the ancient cultures of Southern Italy

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Exploring Rome

From: £2675.00

We are proud to present Exploring Rome, a tour that has been carefully crafted to offer the ultimate experience of a city that has shaped the identity and history of Europe like no other.

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Cruising the Dodecanese

From: £4250.00

This gulet cruise takes us through the beautiful and evocative Greek islands in the Dodecanese chain.

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Exploring Wales: Millennia Under The Gaze Of Mountains

From: £2695.00

Our first Welsh tour tells the unique story of south and west Wales, lands with a long and complex history of invasion, accommodation, resistance and conquest.

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Exploring the Peloponnese

From: £4395.00

“One of The top 10 cultural holidays in Greece 2015” - The Telegraph

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Cruising the Carian Coast - from Mediterranean to Aegean

From: £2395.00

a marvellous combination of superb archaeological sites and a remarkably beautiful maritime landscape.

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A Gastronomic Gulet Cruise

From: £2395.00

This is a historical journey to treat your taste buds, a voyage of discovery through Turkish Mediterranean cuisine and culture.

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Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia

From: £3395.00

Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia is an enticing combination of a gulet cruise with walks through some of the region's most beautiful landscapes.

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Easter In Athens

From: £2875.00

A unique opportunity to explore one of Europe’s most fascinating cities and experience its spectacular past and vibrant present during its most important annual celebration.

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Cruising the Aegean: From Kos to Patmos

From: £2845.00

The Dodecanese islands are perhaps the most beautiful part of the Aegean. Set in a sparkling topaz-blue sea, they have a rich and intricate history stretching back millennia.

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A Gastronomic Tour of Sicily

From: £3695.00

A Sicily tour taking in the highlights of the island’s varied cuisine and historical sites.

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Exploring Hadrian's Wall: Romans, Reivers and Romantics

From: £2825.00

Join us on an exploration of the raw beauty and richly-layered history of this most distinctive English region.

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Exploring Thessaloniki and Northern Greece

From: £2450.00

New for 2016. Join us for a spectacular tour of Northern Greece centred on the core areas of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.

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Cruising to Ephesus

From: £2395.00

A classic cruise that takes in a series of Turkey’s most important and interesting archaeological sites, including the stunning ruins of Ephesus.

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Walking and Cruising Western Lycia

From: £2250.00

This is a dream trip for walkers and sailors alike, with fabulous swims and stunning archaeology thrown in for good measure.

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Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast

From: £2225.00

A brand new tour that combines a cruise along this beautiful and undeveloped coast with walks along the recently opened Carian Trail, one of Turkey’s most spectacular footpaths.

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Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Šibenik to Zadar

From: £3395.00

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Šibenik to Zadar offers an astonishing historical and cultural tour of one of Croatia’s most diverse coastal regions

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Exploring Crete: Archaeology, Nature & Food

From: £3895.00

A spectacular land tour of the legendary island of Crete.

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Cruising to the Cyclades

From: £4250.00

The quintessential Greek islands cruise and experience.

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Cruising Western Lycia

From: £2175.00

This cultural tour and gulet cruise in Turkey explores a quite beautiful stretch of coastline behind which an extraordinary culture and a fiercely independent people developed.

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