|Purpose:||Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun|
|No. of days:||9 days - 7 nights|
|First & Last Cities:||Athens|
|Other cities:||Thessaloniki, Kavala, Philippi, Kalambaka, Corinth|
|Starting cost:||On Request|
Tour does not include:
Hotels in your Tour:
CATEGORY: The hotels provided may be 3, 4 or 5-star hotels, except during the 5-night walk where accommodation will in rural hostels
LOCATION: The location will normally be in the center of main cities
MEAL PLAN: Normally we include daily breakfast and dinner for all groups. However the meal plan may vary depending on the organizer's request
All hotels will be requested after discussion with the group Organizer
The Itinerary may be changed to accommodate the desires of the Group Organizer and the number of days may be increased or reduced to fit particular needs.
Day 1: USA, Athens
Depart the USA on an overnight flight to Athens. Dinner and breakfast served on board.
Day 2: Athens, Thessaloniki
After you pass arrival formalities at Athens airport board your connecting flight to Thessaloniki. There, you will be met, on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Discover vibrant Thessaloniki, a city at a unique crossroads of civilizations, where East meets West, and where cultures and religions have mixed for thousands of years. Take the afternoon to soak up the thriving culture of Greece's beloved Northern capital with its idyllic sea views, tree-lined streets and colorful bazaars. In the afternoon meet your fully trained and professional Tour Director for a meeting. We’ll kick off the tour in style with a lovely welcome dinner to follow (included) and stay overnight in Thessaloniki. [D]
Day 3: Thessaloniki, Kavala
Today your journey takes you to the biblical port city of Neapolis, now known as Kavala, where St. Paul first set foot in Europe. En route to Kavala you have the opportunity to see the mountain peninsula UNESCO world heritage site that is widely considered the holiest place in Modern Greece: Mount Athos. We will take a guided cruise of the epicenter of Eastern Christian Orthodox Monasticism. You will have a chance for reflection, spending the morning cruising the very same pristine Aegean waters that Paul, Silas and Luke passed through on their long journey from Troy. After lunch we continue on to Kavala, where in 45 AD, Paul docked and began his mission. Take the afternoon to visit the atmospheric old town with its famous aqueduct, Byzantine castle and neoclassical mansions. Enjoy dinner at a Kavala picturesque seaside “taverna“ and settle in for the night. [B/D]
Day 4: Kavala, Philippi, Thessaloniki
After breakfast we will officially commence following the footsteps as we travel, just as St. Paul and his companions did, from Kavala to Philippi, where he preached his first sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. Our licensed expert will guide us through the monumental ruins, including the site where Lydia was baptized and where St. Paul was imprisoned. We will visit the Acropolis, the theater and the remains of the first Christian Basilica established in Europe. We will continue our journey in chronological order, stopping in Ancient Amphipolis, before returning to dynamic Thessaloniki for another night stay. [B/D]
Day 5: Thessaloniki, Kalambaka
The prolific words from Paul's letters to the Thessalonians will play through our minds as we are led through the very places where he lived, preached and wrote about. Our local expert guide will expose Thessaloniki’s ancient roots, taking us through the Arch of Galerious built over the Egnatian Way, to the neighboring Rotunda and through the ruins of the Ancient Agora. We’ll also visit the beautiful churches St. Demetrious and St. Sophia before setting off, as Paul and Silas did, for Veria. At nearby Vergina, we’ll see the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. After an enlightening day, we’ll make our way to Kalambaka, home of the breathtaking Meteora Monasteries, for dinner and an overnight stay. [B/D]
Day 6: Kalambaka, Athens
When you awaken to see the awe-inspiring rock formations unfold before your eyes, you will easily understand why we call this place Meteora, which means “suspended in the heavens above.” Today we will climb above the charming mountain villages of Kastraki and Kalambaka to visit two of the six surviving Monasteries of Meteora, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world. Though Paul passed through Greece long before hermits began cave-dwelling here in the 9th century, one cannot deny that the message of his mission is alive and is exceptionally well-preserved here. We will see how the monks live today and enter some of the most captivating Byzantine basilicas in Greece. In the afternoon we’ll head south to the world-famous capital city of Athens for dinner and a several nights stay. [B/D]
Day 7: Athens
Today we will explore the fascinating city of Athens, a city whose deeply spiritual citizens have dedicated themselves to Gods for over 4,500 years, leaving behind countless places of worship to visit. We will begin our morning climbing up the rock of the Acropolis, while our experienced guide uncovers the stories behind the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erectheum, the Propylae, and perhaps the most perfect piece of architecture ever built, the majestic Parthenon. Afterward, we will ascend the Areopagus, Mars Hill, where Paul spoke to the Athenians who were gathered in the Ancient Agora below. We’ll continue on to the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of the Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. To follow we will see the National Gardens, the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, the University of Athens, and finally the National Library. Take a walk through the enchanting Plaka and pass by some of the city's most precious Byzantine churches afterward. Dinner and overnight in lively Athens. [B/D]
Day 8: Athens (Corinth)
After Athens, Paul went to Corinth. At the foothills of the Corinthian Acropolis, he lived, worked as a tent maker and taught the word of God for 18 months. We will visit the ruins of the ancient city, walking in the same paths that he walked thousands of years before while our guide reveals the ruins of the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo, the Fountain of Peirene, the Agora where Paul's trial by Gallio took place and where the famous Bema stands. Afterward we will pass by the ancient port of Kechries, where Paul departed from for Ephesus and later on we’ll marvel at the engineering feat of the Corinth Canal, designed in Paul’s time, but finally realized in the late 1890s. We’ll return to Athens for a special last evening together, as our steps on land will have come to an end. [B/D]
Day 9: Athens, USA
As your footsteps of St. Paul tour ends, say farewell to the vibrant city of Athens. Enjoy a nice breakfast at the hotel and be ready to be picked-up for your transfer to Athens airport to board your flight back home. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [D] = Dinner | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner
The price for the group will be quoted based on the number of passengers, season, hotel type and meal plan.
Group organizers always travel for free if the group has 15 or more paying passengers.
Inclusion of tour conductors maybe considered at time of request.
Tour Code: IT01ATH17BST