In the Steps of Saint Paul - Greece & Turkey
||Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun
|No. of days:
||14 days - 12 nights
|First & Last Cities:
||Thessaloniki, Kavala, Philippi, Kalabaka, Corinth
Cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion, Santorini
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, Mykonos (Sailing)
After breakfast at the hotel we will transfer to the port of Piraeus to embark on the Aegean cruise. From the busy port of Piraeus, we set sail to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos, famous for its characteristic Cubist architecture and lovely port. With its charming landscape and golden beaches this beautiful island is one of the ‘must see’ islands of the Aegean. [B/L/D]
Day 10: Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos (Sailing)
Dock at Kusadasi in Turkey, and find yourself surrounded by all sorts of merchandise: Clothes, carpets, souvenirs, pottery, watches, anything and everything under the sun. Furthermore, from there you can also visit the archaeological site of Ephesus, an ancient city, which has withstood the ravages of time and much is still standing. Famous in antiquity as the sight where the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, once stood. St. Paul's epistles to the Ephesians are part of the New Testament. We depart from Kusadasi to set sail to Patmos. In the island of Patmos you can visit the venerable monastery of St. John where it is said that the 'Book of Revelation' was written. The visit to the cave were St. John wrote the book is a truly mystical experience. [B/L/D]
Day 11: Patmos, Rhodes (Sailing)
Set sail to Rhodes, the island of the Crusader Knights of St. John. Stroll around the fascinating medieval old town of Rhodes with its mighty castle, where the appearance of a knight in shiny armor would not seem out of place. Visit the ancient ruins of Lindos, where its acropolis and temple stand impressively on sheer cliffs and from there marvel at the stunning coastal views. [B/L/D]
Day 12: Rhodes, Heraklion, Santorini (Sailing)
Arrive at the port of Heraklion in Crete. Join an optional excursion to the Palace of Knossos, the probable site of the labyrinth and dwelling of the Minotaur a creature of Greek mythology with the head of a bull and the body of a man or explore the town and visit the Archaeological museum, which houses the most important collection of Minoan antiquities. Later we sail to the island of Santorini. Experience the island’s capital, Thira, with its cliff top restaurants and cafes, breathtaking views & spectacular sunset! [B/L/D]
Day 13: Santorini, Athens (Sailing)
Disembark this morning at the port of Piraeus and take your time shopping and re-immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere of the city! [B/L/D]
Day 14: Athens, USA
As your footsteps of St. Paul tour has come to an end, you are transferred to Athens International Airport. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [D] = Dinner | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner
- Round trip airfare between the USA and Athens
- Arrival & Departures transfer service to Thessaloniki hotel
- Arrival and Departure transfer service from Athens hotel to Athens International Airport or to the Port of Piraeus
- 7 nights’ accommodation in select hotels:
- Thessaloniki - 2 nights
- Kavala - 1 night
- Kalambaka - 1 night
- Athens - 3 nights
- 5-night Aegean Sea cruise
- Athens/Mykonos - 1 night
- Mykonos/Patmos - 1 night
- Patmos/Rhodes - 1 night
- Rhodes/Santorini - 1 night
- Santorini/Athens - 1 night
- Daily breakfast
- Daily lunch aboard the cruise
- Guided sightseeing of Mt. Athos by sea, Phillipi, Amphipolis, Thessaloniki, Veria, Vergina, The Monasteries of Meteora, Athens, Ancient Corinth 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Trained & professional Tour Director, Insured Driver and Luxury vehicle
- All entrance fees
- All hotels porterage
- All local taxes
Not included in tour
- Airfare fees and taxes
- Airfare difference between New York and another USA gateway
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature
- Port fees and taxes
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips to guides or drivers
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips to guides or drivers
Hotels in your Tour
||Dellas Boutique Hotel
||Egnacia City Hotel & Spa
||Amalia Hotel Kalambaka
||Divani Meteora Hotel
MEAL PLAN: Normally we include daily breakfast and dinner for all groups. However, the meal plan may vary depending on the organizer's request
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 must be considered at time of request.
- If you wish to use this program for your group please either call us (1-855-55-TOURS or use the web Group Quote Request.
- In either case our specialists will work with you to refine all the details and they will get you a quote with 2 business days. Quotes may be obtained for the air and land portions of just for the land journey.
- Booking both air and land with us will represent savings for you because of our special Leisure Fares, buying power and longtime relationship with the airlines.
- We will also may have the choice between regular fares and special leisure fares not available to the public.
Tour Code: GR02ATH20XX
- Lunches and dinners can be arranged for groups at top restaurants or any restaurant requested by you.
- We can revise the itinerary to spend more time and provide more depth in those areas that you are interested on.
- Any other changes to the itinerary will be accommodated depending on the facilities available in the area.