Step back in time with a history-themed tour from Jules Verne

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Jules Verne history holidays: Ulugh Beg Observatory in Uzbekistan

Walk the streets of ancient Petra, traverse the Silk Road or explore Greek and Roman ruins on a tour steeped in history

Follow in the footsteps of those who travelled hundreds of years ago, to discover five of the finest historical sites the world has to offer.

Whether you’re exploring the remotest corners of the abandoned city of Petra, visiting the medieval trading centre of Samarkand or investigating Ottoman fortresses and ancient citadels in Albania, let Jules Verne take you there.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Floating on the Dead Sea, visiting Mount Nebo (the place from which Moses purportedly first saw the Promised Land) and a trip to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world – a tour to the Holy Land is as varied as it is breathtaking. Visit the lively city of Amman, and from there the Desert Castle loop – built by the Umayyad caliphs in the seventh and eighth centuries.

And what historic trip to Jordan would be complete without a visit to Petra, the jewel of the first century BC Nabataean Empire, still as it was when Swiss explorer Johannes Burckhardt rediscovered it in 1812?

Recommended trip: Jules Verne’s Discover Jordan, 9 nights from £1,895

Jules Verne history holidays: Petra monastery in Jordan

Petra's monastery, with its beautiful carvings, is hidden in a canyon outside the city.

Discover hidden Albania

Closed to tourists for much of the 20th century, Albania has thrown open its doors to reveal a wealth of history. Discover fortresses, citadels, battle sites, monasteries, mosques and tombs in the country’s mountainous regions. Travel to the ancient Greek colony city of Apollonia, where Roman emperor Augustus studied philosophy, and visit picturesque Berat – nestled in central Albania, this 2,413-year-old city is known for its white Ottoman houses.

High in the mountains, an ancient fortress has evolved into the idyllic town of Gjirokastra, complete with castle, while in southern Albania, the ruined city of Byllis, steeped in Greek and Roman history, is well worth a visit.

Recommended trip: Jules Verne’s Classical Tour of Albania, 7 nights from £795

Follow Roman roads

The idyllic coastal town of Sorrento took its name from the mythical sirens, who lured sailors to their doom. These days, it’s Sorrento alone that does the luring, thankfully without the peril. Follow in the footsteps of the Romans and while away the summer days on the cliffs, before following the Amalfi drive along the ‘Divine Coast’, marvelling at some of Italy’s best scenery.

A visit to Pompeii, to see a city frozen in time, is an irresistible draw. The ruins of a prosperous Roman town, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, contain the impeccably preserved remains of Roman life.

Recommended trip: Jules Verne’s Amalfi, Pompeii and Sorrento, 7 nights from £845

Jules Verne history holidays: Amalfi's Divine Coast

Travel to Amalfi's 'Divine Coast' and marvel at some of Italy's best scenery.

Uncover Sicily’s past

Occupied by both the Greeks and the Romans, Sicily is bequeathed with the splendour of these influences, combined with those of the Normans, Phoenicians and Saracens. In seaside Syracuse, founded in 733 BC by Corinthian settlers, you can walk the same streets as celebrated Greek scientist Archimedes, and imagine times gone by while seated in the vast Greek amphitheatre.

In the hilltop city of Agrigento, discover the impressive ‘valley of the temples’, a vast complex of spectacularly well-preserved Greek structures, and in the Sicilian capital Palermo, you can explore the royal tombs of the 12th-century cathedral and marvel at Byzantine mosaics in the ninth-century royal palace.

Recommended trip: Jules Verne’s Treasures of Sicily Tour, 7 nights from £1,095

Travel the Silk Road

With the Silk Road cutting through its heart, and many cities founded around the first century BC, to journey in Uzbekistan is to truly travel back in time. Samarkand, one of Central Asia’s oldest cities, has stood firm through the rule of Alexander the Great and invasion by Genghis Khan. Revered for its impressive mosques and mausoleums, a visit to the famous observatory of Ulugh Beg is not to be missed.

Close to the northern border, Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, offers a full timeline of fascinating history. From Mongol occupation to Russian dominance, this walled city remains an economic and cultural centre to this day.

And don’t miss welcoming Khiva – once a place of arduous desert journeys and slave caravans, it has a remarkable 54 historical and architectural monuments within its city wall.

Recommended trip: Jules Verne’s The Golden Road to Samarkand, 11 nights from £1,895

Jules Verne history holidays: Ulugh Beg Observatory in Uzbekistan

The Ulugh Beg Madrasah on Registan Square in Samarkand, built by the Timurid Sultan between 1417 and 1420.

Travel back in time with Jules Verne

For more information, visit the Jules Verne website or call 020 3811 5890 to speak to a Jules Verne travel expert.

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