Dawn at Mont Saint Michel, France
Dawn at Mont Saint Michel, France

Archaeological Tours

France & England: Standing Stones to Medieval Monuments

Megalithic Brittany and the Salisbury Plain explore a fundamental transformation in European life. During the half-million years preceding the megaliths, nature had limited the resources available to the continent’s early waves of human inhabitants. Around 7,000 years ago in northern Europe, modern humans assembled genetic improvements for a few critical bioresources. Domestication produced new social, political and religious activity, and certain places became very important. As if to celebrate a new earthly layer of life at these places, northerners raised earth’s surface upward with henges and mounds, and standing stones and timbers.

Millennia later, mysterious megalithic landscapes still identify the places. Brittany and Salisbury take us to the best of the regional monuments. Our tour also delights in the more recent past as we learn how historical Celts used standing stones and timber in cathedrals, castles, and parish closes alike. We will explore the picturesque countryside, traditional Breton villages and strikingly beautiful coasts.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Ferry
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team

Led by...

Dr Roy Larick

Dr Roy Larick

Dr Roy Larick is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. He specializes in historical tours of Europe.

Full Price
$8,550

Today's Price
$8,300

Saving
$250

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,380

Tour highlights:

  • Discover the legendary monoliths at Stonehenge and the surrounding prehistoric monuments, powerful witnesses to their Neolithic and Bronze Age creators
  • Visit Mont Saint-Michel, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and prehistoric tidal island stronghold
  • View one of the four original copies of the 1215 Magna Carta in the historic Salisbury Cathedral
  • Learn how historical Celts used standing stone and timber in cathedrals, castles and parish closes
  • Explore a number of museums across both countries and view fascinating archaeological collections

Tour details

Dates May 28 2020 - June 10 2020
Duration 14 days
Cost
Full Price
$8,550
Today's Price
$8,300
Saving
$250
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,380 Balance due by March 5 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20BRI

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

May 28 2020: Itinerary

We arrive in Paris, and, after some time to relax in our hotel, we come together in the evening for our first dinner as a group. Afterwards, our Expert Scholar will present an introductory lecture.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Saint James Albany Paris Hotel Spa

After breakfast, we head west to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and visit the Musée d’Archaeologie Nationale, a 12th century palace housing an astonishing 3 million artifacts from the Paleolithic era to the Middle Ages. After lunch, we board the train to Nantes, ending the day at our hotel in Carnac, our base for the next three nights.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Le Diana Hôtel & Spa NUXE

We begin our day exploring the Cromlech of Kerbourgnec, a stone circle with free-standing off shoots that rise out of a nearby beach. We proceed to the sites of the Carnac Alignments: long, parallel rows of great standing stones dating from the pre-Celtic era, thought to have been placed here as long ago as 4500 BCE. Before lunch, we continue to Tumulus Saint-Michel, the biggest Megalithic burial mound in all of Europe. Next, we visit Carnac’s Museum of Prehistory, the world’s first museum of the Megalithic Age, displaying finds from local excavations and burial mounds. We return to our hotel along a beautiful country road.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Le Diana Hôtel & Spa NUXE

After breakfast, we take a riveting boat ride across the Gulf of Morbihan to Gavrinis. This small, uninhabited island is famous for its Neolithic passage graves, an amazingly well-preserved set of tombs first excavated in the 1830s. After returning to the mainland for lunch, we set out for Locmariaquer Village, where we discover three world-renowned Megalithic monuments: the Table des Marchand, a large decorated dolmen; Er Grah, a paved tumulus dating from around the 4th millennium BCE, and the stupendous Broken Menhir. Our afternoon continues with more accessible dolmens at Mané Lud and Mané Rethaul.

All meals included

Hotel: Le Diana Hôtel & Spa NUXE

Today we start at the Kerzerho Alignments – 190 standing stones covering more than a mile overall. In addition to notable dolmens, we take in Tumulus le Moustoir, a chamber tomb in which artifacts such as jewels and animal offerings have been discovered. Later, we make our way to Pont-Aven where we have a walking tour to learn about this riverside port’s history. After lunch, we proceed to the Breton-Celtic town of Quimper (our base for the next two nights) and enjoy our second walking tour of the day. We see Quimper’s rustic sights while stopping at the illustrious Fine Art Museum.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Best Western Hôtel Kregenn, Quimper

Our first stop today is Menez Dregan. The Lower Paleolithic site shows evidence of habitation from as long ago as 500,000 BCE. In the Museum Center, we discover finds unearthed in this area since excavations began in 1991. After lunch, we continue to the Finisterian Museum of Prehistory in Saint-Guénole, which houses full reconstructions of early burial sites, as well as more than 3,000 artifacts recovered from nearby archaeological digs. Later, we visit the charming Church of Notre Dame de Tronoën where excavations have revealed the remains of hundreds of terracotta figures.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Best Western Hôtel Kregenn, Quimper

We set off for the elegant village of Locronan this morning, where a walking tour sheds light on a heritage of revered Irish travelers, expert weavers, and Celtic pilgrimage routes. Later on, in the afternoon, we visit the Lagatjar Alignments, rows of white quartz stones said to mirror the sun’s position at the time of the Winter Solstice. Afterwards, we embark on a walking tour of La Faou before traveling to our next hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hôtel De L'Europe, Morlaix

This morning we head for the covered alley of Mougau-Bihan, an extraordinary structure some 45 feet long, comprised of a chamber with stone-slabbed walls and roofs. Later, our group will separate into two as we take turns viewing the little-known site of Roc Toull Cave, as well as Guimiliau’s beloved Parish Close, a 17th century complex featuring an ossuary and ornate bell-tower. This afternoon, we visit the Tumulus de Barnenez, one of Europe’s earliest and more artistic Megalithic cairns, as well as the covered alley of Crech-Quille, an ancient site first excavated in the 1960s. We end the day at our next hotel in Morlaix.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hôtel De L'Europe, Morlaix

Having checked out of our hotel, we continue to La-Roche-Aux-Fées, a Neolithic passage grave known in English as Fairies’ Rock. Constructed with 500 tons of stone mined in 3000 BCE, the seeming impossibility of Neolithic man achieving such an architectural feat unaided has earned this site its supernatural name. After lunch, we proceed to Maison-des-Féins, or the Fairies’ House, a woodland grave decorated by two carved pairs of breasts. From here, we make our way to the atmospheric port of Saint-Malo, a historic city founded by the Gauls in the 1st century BCE. We explore the sights within its old walled town before checking in to our next hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Oceania Saint Malo

This morning takes us to the enchanting Mont Saint-Michel. This magical site is UNESCO-listed and is home to a beautiful Benedictine abbey and village. We will learn all about the island’s humble beginnings as a commune founded by an Irish hermit thanks to a guided tour. We will have lunch on the island, taking the afternoon to explore the village at our own pace.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Oceania Saint Malo

This morning we set sail for foreign shores, boarding the ferry for a day-long crossing to Portsmouth, on England’s south coast. On arrival, we transfer to the medieval city of Salisbury, clustered around the mighty spire of its cathedral – the tallest in all of Britain. This evening, we settle into our hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: White Hart Hotel, Salisbury

Today we visit the world-famous Stonehenge – a major high point of our tour! We also visit Woodhenge, a timber circle dating from the Neolithic period thought to have been used for both ceremonial and defensive purposes. Next, we drive to Old Sarum, Salisbury’s prehistoric predecessor and an Iron Age fort established in around 400 BCE. It was subsequently inhabited by Romans, Saxons, and Normans. We then return to the city for a tour of the majestic 13th century cathedral and view the world’s best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta – one of only four in existence. We finish the day at Salisbury Museum, discovering a host of relics unearthed from the Wessex region, including the remains of an archer who was discovered at Stonehenge.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: White Hart Hotel, Salisbury

Today, we explore Avebury where we find a Neolithic henge and stone circles – including Britain’s largest. Pausing for a traditional English pub lunch, we carry on to the Alexander Keiller Museum, an engaging collection of archaeological finds, including pottery and tools retrieved from Avebury. We finish at West Kennet Long Barrow, an expansive and accessible tomb in which the remains of some 50 bodies have been found, before heading to our airport hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow

After an early breakfast, we head to London’s Heathrow Airport and take our return flights home.

Meals include: Breakfast

May 28 2020: Additional Info

May 28 2020: Accommodation

Located in the center of Paris, opposite to the Jardin des Tuileries and Le Louvre, this hotel offers free access to the 500 m² spa with an indoor pool, fitness center and hammam.

Each soundproofed room and suite at the Saint-James & Albany Hotel-Spa is equipped with free internet access. Rooms also have satellite TV and a private bathroom. Free WiFi access is provided throughout the property.

The hotel provides a 24-hour reception with a Clefs d'Or Conciergerie and a private shuttle service at an extra cost. It is just a 5-minute walk from the Musee d’Orsay and the Tuileries Metro station provides direct access to the Champs-Elysees.

Located on the south coast of Brittany, the 4-star Hôtel Le Diana is opposite Carnac beach. Guests have free access to the heated outdoor swimming pool, sauna and hammam.

All rooms at Le Diana have a balcony, satellite TV, free WiFi and a hairdryer. Some rooms have panoramic views of the sea.

A breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant or on the outdoor terrace. The hotel’s gastronomic Le Diana restaurant is open for dinner on Friday and Saturday and for lunch on Sunday and offers panoramic views of the bay of Quiberon.

Set in an elegant building in the town center, this hotel is just 350 yards from Quimper Cathedral. It offers guest rooms with a refined décor and free internet access.

A flat-screen TV with cable channels is provided in each soundproofed guest room. Some rooms feature original stone walls and a seating area. The private bathrooms include a hairdryer.

Bar Le Treizh serves ice cream and sorbets during the summer. Guests can enjoy a drink on the terrace at Hôtel Kregenn. A buffet breakfast with fresh fruit and local produce is prepared daily

The Hôtel de l'Europe is ideally located in the heart of Morlaix and it offers modern guest rooms with satellite TV. A buffet breakfast is prepared every morning at the hotel.

The guest rooms and suites all have a private bathroom and a work desk. All of the rooms are serviced by a lift and have free Wi-Fi access.

With a 24-hour reception, the Hôtel De L'Europe also provides a bar where you can enjoy a refreshing drink, and an internet terminal for guests' use.

The Oceania Saint Malo hotel faces the sea and is located on Chaussée du Sillon, opposite Sillon Beach and 500 yards from Saint-Malo Marina. It offers luxurious rooms and guests have free access to the outdoor hot tub and stream room.

Guest rooms are air-conditioned and feature parquet flooring. They include flat-screen TV, free WiFi and a spacious bathroom.

The terrace has a panoramic sea view. The open-air hot tub is located on the patio. The modern fitness room includes the latest exercise equipment and massages are offered at an extra cost.

Located in the city center, this elegant, Georgian hotel with pillared entrance boasts modern rooms and private parking. Guests can find a restaurant, a lounge and a courtyard on site.

The rooms at the Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel all have an en suite bathroom and tea/coffee making facilities.

The Squires Restaurant specializes in British cuisine and has an informal lounge serving snacks, light meals and cream teas throughout the day. The lounge also serves pre and after-dinner drinks.

Located just 5 minutes’ drive from London Heathrow Airport, the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow is decorated with glass chandeliers, an ornate marble staircase and striking Eastern artwork. Free WiFi is available and a health spa features on site. The hotel has a 400-space private car park.

An airport shuttle service stops at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow and offers transfers to terminals 1 to 5 within 30 minutes.

A bath, a shower and Italian marble are featured in each modern bathroom and complimentary toiletries are provided. A satellite Samsung TV with up to 300 channels in multiple languages, Egyptian cotton bed linen, tea and coffee facilities, international sockets, a hairdryer are included in each air conditioned room.

Guests can dine in the Steak & Lobster restaurant which offers freshly cooked dishes with unlimited fries and salad. Vegetarian options are also available, along with a wine list and refreshing beers. Annayu restaurant offers a unique blend of classic and contemporary Indian cuisine. The Bijou Lounge Bar is a quiet retreat for lunch meetings, coffee and afternoon tea in the day, and bar snacks and cocktails in the evening.

May 28 2020: Enquiries

Enquiry Form

Contact Us