Ultimate Ancient Road Trips

Following on from the success of its cruises, Andante is introducing a series of new itineraries where the conduits are important ancient roads instead of rivers or the Mediterranean. Journeying across these ancient arteries brings antiquity to life both in the sense that we are able to relive famous events which occurred on these roads and because we follow the same tracks trodden millennia earlier by our ancient antecedents. With the viae acting as a thread through these odysseys, we follow the course of these antique roads, walking on ancient tracts and crossing ancient bridges, all while admiring the Romans’ fantastic engineering skills. Along the way, we see spectacular cities and sites once united by imperial thoroughfares and sharing goods, as well as ideas and a common sense of belonging to the same empire. Join us on a journey to explore the glorious heart of Italy, or explore the way in which Rome subdued the Italian peninsula through its most famous road. Alternatively, follow routes leading out of Rome and Italy to major provincial centres such as Arles and Byzantium. En route, you will explore antiquity as it would have been experienced at the time and will re-live history as it happened.

Browse our full selection of ancient road trip tours below:

The Via Appia – Queen of Roads

Enjoy a memorable journey along Rome’s most ancient road as we travel from Benevento to the Eternal City, hearing about famous events which took place on this road, such as the assassination of Cicero, the murder of Clodius and the crucifixion of 6,000 of Spartacus’ men along the road from Capua to Rome. On the way, you will explore the incredible engineering which went into constructing this, the regina viarum or queen of roads, and will consider the way in which this road allowed Rome to subdue and ultimately unite their Italian neighbours. This odyssey down the UNESCO listed road takes you to a number of a world class sites, including the UNESCO listed site of Benevento, the Mithraeum and amphitheatre at Capua, as well as the evocative intact sections of the road outside of Rome which houses a number of remains including the Dominus Quo Vadis Church, as well as the Circus of Maxentius.

Departs 26th March and 17th September | 8 days | Click here for more

The Via Flaminia

Traversing the Apennines, the Via Flaminia remains, to this day, the best way to travel through central Italy. Originally built in the 3rd century BC in order to facilitate the transport of grain to Rome, it crosses through some of the most spectacular parts of the Italy – including the spectacular hill top cities of Umbria, such as Perugia, Assisi and Spoleto. This new tour begins at the end of the road, at ancient Ariminium, where we see a number of Roman remains, including Tiberius’ bridge and Augustus’ triumphal arch. On the way to Rome, we visit several bridges and sections of the road which show off Rome’s engineering capabilities and have several private visits to ancient sites, including the Etruscan Hypogeum of the Volumni outside Perugia, as well as the Domus of Propertius and of the Lararium in Assisi. The like all roads, the Via Flaminia ends in Rome, where we walk down the Via, now called Via del Corso, to the Porta del Popolo following the footsteps of our ancient counterparts.

Departs 24th May | 10 days | Click here for more

Albania & Macedonia – The Via Egnatia

While this tour isn’t new, it does follow an enchanting ancient road – the Via Egnatia, which followed on from the Via Appia which ultimately extended to Brundisium. The Balkans, divided by mountains, are united by roads and the greatest of these is the Via Egnatia. On this 9-day adventure, you will explore the ruins of ancient Apollonia (one of the Via Egnatia’s starting points), you’ll travel along the shores of historic Lake Ohrid and there will be a visit to Edessa with its refreshing waterfalls. Elsewhere, discover the palace complex of Galerius, experience Albania’s capital of Tirana and explore Thessaloniki’s fantastic Archaeological Museum.

Departs 10th October | 9 days | Click here for more

Greece & Turkey – The Via Egnatia II

East from Thessaloniki, the Via Egnatia cuts across Thrace to Istanbul, taking in millennia of European history. The tour begins at the Roman and Macedonian colony of Philippi. A crucial point along the road, here Augustus and Mark Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius – the assassins of Caesar. Visits on this tour are staggering and range from the inimitable Hagia Sophia and extraordinary Blue Mosque in Istanbul, to the ancient city of Thasos and then Xanthi, the latter of which was a Byzantine and Ottoman era trading town.

Departs 3rd June and 19th October | 10 days | Click here for more

Roman France – Côte d’Azur | On the Trail of the Via Julia Augusta

This ancient Roman road, begun in 13 BCE by Augustus and completed by later emperors, runs from Piacenza in Italy through to Arles in France. Explore the numerous remains and surrounding towns that once relied on the road for ancient trading. Discover the recently excavated site of Roman Albintimilium, take a tour of Arles’ amazing ruins that include an amphitheatre and a cryptoporticus, and explore the Balzi Rossi caves across the border in Italy.

Departs 4th September | 7 days | Click here for more

If you’re after a tour that focuses less on a specific road, but also includes elements of a certain road’s history, we have a few options that might be of interest…


Explore the sites and cities of the Silk Road on this extended tour of historic Uzbekistan. This iconic road once ran from China to Europe, with Uzbekistan at its heart. The steppes, deserts, mountains and blue-tiled cities tell stories of trade and conquest, and you’ll follow in the footsteps of those who’ve travelled these routes for thousands of years. Discover four UNESCO-listed sites such as Khiva and Samarkand, explore the Bibi Khanym Mosque and tour the mighty fortresses of Ayaz Kala.

Departs 25th March and 17th September | 15 days | Click here for more

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Uncover the jewels of the Silk Road – a road that has long captured our imaginations here in the Andante office. This tour offers the best of two Khanate states whose vast wealth was ploughed into splendid architecture. Explore the UNESCO-listed site of Khiva, the deserted city of Kunya-Urgench with its 11th-16th century ruins and spend two memorable days at the unique Turkmen site of Merv.   

Departs 16th April and 3rd September | 18 days | Click here for more

Hidden Rome

If you’d like to experience a slice of the Appian Way, why not book a place on our Hidden Rome tour? Travelling down part of this legendary road, you will explore some of its renowned villas such as the villa of the Quintili and villa of Emperor Maxentius. There will also be a visit to the Roman baths of Caracalla, which were once Rome’s second-largest baths and could accommodate around 1,600 bathers.

Departs throughout the year | 7 days | Click here for more

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Ultimate Ancient Road Trips was published on 27 March 2020