18 – 23 October 2018
Athens and Thessaloníki: Masterpieces of Byzantum


We will be looking at Mosaics, Frescoes and Icons in Thessaloniki Athens and Meteora. This tour will concentrate on exploring the two major collections of Byzantine Panel Painting in The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki and The Byzantine Museum in Athens (eg Archangel Michael on the left).  In addition, the Athens part of the tour will take in one of the World’s finest private art collections at the Benaki Museum.


Our time in Thessaloniki will include fascinating foot tours of some of the city’s hidden gems of Byzantine Art and Architecture, as well as better known sites, such as the Cathedral of Agia Sophia, Basilica of St Demetrius and the Roman Rotunda. We will in addition use Thessaloniki as our base for a day tour visiting the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage cliff top Monasteries of Meteora (image on the left) with their incredible late Byzantine fresco cycles by Master Iconographers of the Cretan School.


Other Details


2 nights at the Hotel Dorian Inn*** in, conveniently located near the centre of Athens and 3 nights at the Hotel Pella** in the heart of Thessaloniki, in twin-share room with private facilities

Course Cost

£660 inclusive of tuition, airport transfers (airport transfers are only available for the Siragusa Tours Ltd nominated flight), visit to the Monasteries of Meteora, in twin-share room with private facilities

Single Room Supplement


Travel Insurance

Once tour is viable and if we have booked a flight for you through Travelpack, you can call Lina on 0208 5854010 ext 1008, for an immediate quote (unless you already have insurance).


Ca. £400 scheduled flights with Aegean Airlines

18th Oct 2018 London Heathrow – Athens,

20th Oct 2018 Athens – Thessaloniki,

23rd Oct 2018 Thessaloniki – Athens / Athens – London Heathrow.

Note that this is an estimate. Once the tour is viable we will contact you with details of the ‘nominated flight’. You can decide whether you wish to make independent arrangements (people from the North may wish to use a Northern airport) or whether you wish to be booked on the group flight. Please note that when we contact you with fares they are usually only valid for the day and may be higher (or lower) the next day. On the booking form you have the option to authorise us to issue flights if we can’t get hold of you.

Local Transport

Airport transfers and day visit to Monasteries of Meteora by private minibus.

Group Size



Peter Murphy, BA, is a noted expert in the fields of Byzantine and Pre Renaissance Italian Art. Educated at Jacob Kramer College of Art and the University of East London, later trained with noted iconographer Guillem Ramos Poqui in London. Peter works using traditional techniques from medieval religious painting, including egg tempera paint and gold leaf. He was Vice Chairman of the Society of Tempera Painters and is a member of The British Association of Iconographers for whom he runs workshops. He runs courses in the UK, USA, Greece, and Italy teaching these techniques and in addition leads groups on Sacred Art Tours to Italy and Sicily. He has been commissioned by a number of churches in the UK, notably Tewkesbury Abbey and Hereford Cathedral. He has also been employed by a number of museums for special exhibitions; he has recreated a triptych by Simone Martini for The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and created a mural of ten scenes from the life of Benedict Biscop for Bede’s World Museum in Jarrow. He is currently undertaking his fourth major commission for The Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral. This year he helped establish and is chief tutor for the St Peter’s Centre for Sacred Art, located in the medieval church of St Peter’s in the heart of Canterbury. He is visiting tutor in Byzantine Iconography and Early Italian painting and gilding techniques for the Edward James Foundation at West Dean College in Sussex.

Related OU Courses

General Interest


Itinerary / Study Programme

Day 1, Thursday 18 October 2018

Arrive at Athens airport and transfer by minibus to Hotel Dorian Inn, orientation

Day 2, Friday 19 October 2018


AM Benaki Musuem

PM Byzantine Museum

Day 3, Saturday 20 October 2018

AM transfer to airport, flight to Thessaloniki, transfer to Hotel Pella


PM Orientation and Museum of Byzantine Culture

Day 4, Sunday 21 October 2018


AM Byzantine Churches of Agios Demetrius, Agia Sophia, Panaghia Ahiropitos and the Roman Rotunda.These are all grouped very close to each other in central Thessaloniki

PM Short walk into the old town to Agios Nikolas Orfanos which houses the Agion Mandillion, the equivalent of the shroud of Turin for Orthodox Christians. Then to the Church of the Dhodeka Apostoli close by the surviving Byzantine city walls to see the last, Byzantine mosaics executed before the city fell to the Ottomans in 1430.

Day 5, Monday 22 October 2018


AM & PM   full day trip to the spectacular cliff top Byzantine Monasteries of Meteora

Day 6, Tuesday 23 October 2018

Free time in Thessaloniki until transfer by mini bus back to Thessaloniki airport


This itinerary and study program is provisional and may be subject to change in response to local conditions