Greece – In the Footsteps of St. Paul

Day 1: Depart US
Tour members gather for the overnight flight to Europe.

Day 2: Thessaloniki
On arrival at a European hub, we catch a connecting flight to northern Greece and Thessaloniki, where we are met and transferred to our hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure, until we gather for our Welcome Dinner at our hotel. D

Day 3: Philippi and Kavala
Today, we visit Philippi where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. Here Paul baptized the woman named Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe. Among the ruins by the Roman Forum, located on a rocky ledge above the main town is the prison where Paul and Silas were confined. We continue into the modern port city of Kavala, ancient Neapolis, where Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy first set foot in Europe. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner in a local restaurant and overnight. BD

Day 4: Thessaloniki and Meteora
During the winter of 49 AD, Paul taught in Thessaloniki and wrote two epistles to the people there. Our day begins with a tour of this great city, including a drive along the waterfront to the massive White Tower and nearby Triumphal Arch of Gallerius, built in 303 AD. We then continue to the Byzantine churches of St. Sophia and Agios Demetrios with their valuable mosaics and frescoes. By mid morning we begin our journey south, stopping first at the Museum of Vergina, which contains treasures from ancient Macedonia and the Royal Tombs. By late afternoon, we will arrive in Meteora, greeted by the site of monasteries that seem to hang, lying suspended between Heaven and Earth. Check in at our hotel, dinner and overnight.  BD

Day 5: Meteora and Delphi
Our morning is devoted to explore these ageless monasteries that sit high atop granite pinnacles, many of which are almost inaccessible. Inside, we will find priceless specimens of Byzantine art. In the afternoon, we will continue south through the picturesque Greek countryside to the sacred Oracle of Delphi, once considered the centre of the Ancient World. Check in at our hotel in Delphi, dinner and overnight. BD

Day 6: Delphi and Athens
Our morning is devoted to this ancient site, the ‘omphales’ (navel) of the earth, whose prestige extended far beyond the borders of the Hellenic world. Set on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lies the remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. We visit the Temple of Delphi and walk the Sacred Way to the Athenaeum Treasury. Later this afternoon, we make our way into Athens. Check in at our hotel, dinner and overnight. BD

Day 7: Athens
Our morning tour will introduce us to the Golden Age of Athens, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Panathenian Stadium, the Temple of Zeus, Adrian’s Arch, the Constitution Square, the House of Parliament, the mighty Acropolis, which dominates the city skyline, and Mars Hill, where St. Paul addressed the Elders of Athens, pleading the cause of Christianity. In the evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. BD

Day 8: Corinth 
Today, we follow the coastal route used by St. Paul to his most beloved Greek city, Corinth. Visit the Market Place in which St. Paul preached, and the local Archaeological Museum. We return to Athens for a free afternoon. Tonight, we will enjoy a typical Greek dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Piraeus. BD

Day 9: Athens and Mykonos 
We will transfer to Piraeus this morning and embark on the MS Olympia, our home for the next 4 nights. Relax on board this afternoon while we sail to Mykonos. Winding lanes, tiny fishing boats bobbing in the harbor, white-washed houses and windmills contrast with the deep blue of the sea. Mykonos is indeed an island for artists and dreamers. BLD
Arrive 5:00pm / Sail 11:00pm

Day 10: Kusadasi (Ephesus) and Patmos
From the Turkish port of Kusadasi, we will venture inland to Ephesus. We stroll the Sacred Way, see the restored facade of the Celsius Library and the great theatre, where St. Paul was almost put to death. We visit the remains of the Basilica of St. John. The tiny island of Patmos was the place which St. John chose to spend the last years of his life and where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Our shore excursion will visit the hilltop monastery where he lived and wrote. Both excursions are included in the program. BLD
Kusadasi 7:00am / Noon, Patmos 4:00pm / 9:00pm

Day 11: Rhodes
Once guarded by the massive Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Rhodes Harbor is now full of pleasure craft and fishing boats. Be sure to explore the Old Town with its interesting shops, the Grand Master’s Palace with its mosaic floors and the gothic Governor’s Palace. You can also join an excursion across the island. BLD
Arrive 7:00am / Sail 6:00pm

Day 12: Heraklion and Santorini
Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands, was home to the ancient Minoan civilization, which dates back to 1700 BC. Be sure to visit the Palace of Knossos that once contained over 1,500 rooms and served as the Royal Palace, as well as the kingdom’s administrative, religious and cultural centre. The inner harbor of Santorini was created by a volcano in 1500 BC – today dazzling white houses cling to the tops of 1,000 foot high cliffs. Beyond those heights, once only reached by donkeys, gentle slopes of rich soil fall gently to the sea. (Santorini shore visits by tender) BLD
Heraklion 7:00am / 11:30am, Santorini 4:30pm / 9:00pm

Day 13: Athens
Our Greek Odyssey comes to a close as we arrive back in Piraeus. Transfer to the airport this morning for our flights back to the US. B