Apostle Paul’s Missionary Journey and Classical Greece
Day 1 Arrival in Greece-Thessaloniki
Schedule your flight to arrive at Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG), where we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Day at leisure, dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 2 Thessaloniki / Philippi / Kavala / Thessaloniki - (Acts 16: 12-40)
Traveling eastward from Thessaloniki, we will visit Philippi (Acts 16: 12). The ancient city was named after the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II King of Macedonia. When Paul and his disciples came to this place it used to be one of the leading cities of that district of Macedonia and a Roman Colony after the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C. Outside of the archaeological site flows the river known as the "Jordan river of Greece", where Paul baptized Lydia, the first Christian in Europe (Acts 16: 13-15). One of the early Christian basilicas in the area of the Agora marks the place of the jail where, based on tradition, Paul and Silas were imprisoned for one night (Acts 16: 16-40). Nearby, there is a mosaic with an inscription related to the first church built, which was dedicated to the Apostle Paul. Next, we will visit Kavala, which at first was called Neapolis (Acts 16:11), the port where the Apostle Paul arrived before heading to Philippi. Later the town was called Christoupolis, meaning the city of Christ. The old city of Kavala was built as a fortress on a peninsula, which we will visit. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 3 Thessaloniki – (Acts 17: 1-9)
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and has played a highly cultural and geopolitical role throughout all the historical periods. During our tour, we are going to see monuments from the roman period such as the triumphal Arch of Galerius and the marketplace, where the Jews stirred the mob and dragged Jason to the rulers of the city (Acts 17: 1-9). From the Christian period there are dozens of churches preserved. The basilica of Saint Demetrius, patron saint of the city, and the church of Hagia Sophia are two of them. We will also visit the Rotonda, the oldest church in Thessaloniki from the 4th c. A.D. It is decorated with splendid mosaics of the same period. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 4 Thessaloniki / Vergina / Veria / Kalambaka – (Acts 17: 10-14)
When Paul was forced to leave Thessaloniki, he went to Veria where the Jews were nobler. Today, a monument marks the marble steps, where, according to tradition, the Apostle Paul stood while preaching. During the Christian period the city was also known as “the little Jerusalem” because of the outstanding number of churches dating to different periods (Acts 17: 10-14). Then we will visit the place where Alexander the Great started his campaign that changed the world for ever, and was part of God’s plan to prepare the nations for the coming of Jesus Christ (Daniel 2: 39). The modern village of Vergina is located in Aigai, the first capital of Macedonia. It was in 1977 when some untouched royal tombs were discovered there for the first-time during excavations. One of them has been identified as the burial place of King Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 5 Kalambaka / Meteora / Thermopylae / Delphi
Kalambaka is built on the foot of the extraordinary rock formations, called “Meteora”, which means “suspended between earth and heaven”. It was during the 14th c. A.D. when the first monks climbed on these rocks and started building the monasteries, which we see today. We will visit one of them to admire icons, old manuscripts, wall paintings and the superb view! Strolling around the streets of Kalambaka, we will visit a byzantine monument from the 10th c. with the only surviving example of a pulpit in the middle of the church. In a traditional icon-painting workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn more about this art and its techniques. On our way to Delphi, we will stop at Thermopylae, where the king of Sparta Leonidas and his 300 soldiers died trying to stop the King of Persia Xerxes and his army. Xerxes was the Persian king who is mentioned in the book of Esther. Dinner and Overnight in Delphi.
Day 6 Delphi / Olympia
The magnificent archaeological site of Delphi is situated on a slope of the mythical mountain of Parnassos. We explore “the center of the world” visiting the most important monuments, such as the treasury and the stoa of the Athenians, the polygonal wall, the altar of Chians, the dedication of Platea and the temple of Apollo, where the Pythia with her words ruled the world. The spirit of divination which possessed the Pythia in Delphi is the same as the one that the Apostle Paul commanded to come out of the young girl in Philippi (Acts 16: 16). Then we will visit the Delphi museum, which hosts the most important offerings/dedications to the god Apollo, for example the frieze of the treasury of the Siphnians, the Naxian sphinx, the silver life-size statue of a bull, the gold ivory statues of Apollo and his family, the statue of Antinoos and the famous bronze Charioteer. In the museum, we can also see the inscription, where Gallio (Acts 18: 12), the proconsul of Achaia, is mentioned. Dinner and overnight in Olympia.
Day 7 Olympia / Mycenae / Nafplio
Olympia used to be the most famous sanctuary dedicated to Zeus in ancient Greece. The Olympic Games were organized there for the first time and they took place every 4 years to honor the deity. Today we will see several temples, such as the one dedicated to Zeus that housed the gold ivory statue - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – and athletic facilities as for example the stadium. At the Olympia museum, we will marvel at the largest collection of bronze votive offerings and weapons; the sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus; the statue of Nike of Paionios; the helmet of Miltiades, the Athenian general of the battle against the Persians in Marathon; and the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles. In the afternoon, we will visit the most important archaeological site dating to the Bronze Age. The archaeological site of Mycenae, known from the Trojan war, fascinates the visitor still today. The excavations brought to light its cyclopean walls, the Lion’s Gate, the famous tombs of the mythological king Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra, as well as the treasury of Atreus dating to the 14th c. B.C. Dinner and overnight in Nafplio.
Day 8 Nafplio / Epidaurus / Cenchreae / Corinth / Athens (Acts 18: 1-18)
In the morning we will visit Epidaurus, the most important healing center of antiquity, dedicated to the god of medicine Asclepios. The acoustic of its theater is considered to be an architectural achievement and it is very well preserved. Today many cultural events are organized every summer. On our way to Corinth, we will make a stop at Kechries (Cenchreae), its eastern port. It is stated in Acts 18: 18 that the Apostle Paul stopped there, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow. Corinth used to be one of the most important and prosperous cities of ancient Greece, next to Athens and Sparta. It was destroyed by the Romans and it was later rebuilt as a roman colony. When the Apostle Paul arrived at Corinth, it was the capital of the Roman province of Achaea. He spent there about one and a half year preaching to the Jews at first and then to the Gentiles. In the area of the forum, besides the ruins of shrines and shops, we will see the temple of Apollo, the only monument that belongs to the pre-roman period. Situated there is the “Bema”, otherwise known as the judgment seat of Gallio (Acts18: 12-17). Among the many artifacts of the museum that we will visit, two of them prove the Jewish presence in the city (Acts 18: 4). Finally, we will see the "Erastus" inscription and understand its role in the history of the Apostle Paul in Corinth (Romans 16:23). We depart to Athens and travel east with a rest stop and photos at the Corinth Canal. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 9 Athens (Acts 17:16-34)
Athens was known as the city of the goddess Athena and the birthplace of democracy, drama and philosophy. First of all, we are going to visit the Acropolis with the world-famous Parthenon, Erechtheion and other monuments. The Areopagus (Acts 17: 19) is the place where the Athenian philosophers invited Paul to hold a speech and there he preached about THE UNKNOWN GOD (Acts 17: 23). From this historic place we have a good view of the Agora below, the ancient marketplace and center of Athenian public life. After we will visit the New Acropolis Museum, which is considered to be one of the top 10 museums in the world. Among the many treasures that we will see are: the Parthenon frieze, the Karyatides and the kores (female statues offerings of the ancient Athenians to their gods). We will also understand, why Paul’s spirit was provoked within him, when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Finally, during our panoramic bus tour we will see the house of parliament, the first modern Olympic stadium, the temple of Zeus and the Hellenic Academy. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 10 Depart from Greece-Athens
According to the schedule of your return flight you will be taken to Eleftherios Venizelos (airport of Athens).
Deluxe bus transportation for airport transfers and for the tours according to the program - 50-seats bus.*
… overnights, on HB basis in 4* or 5* hotels .
Professional qualified English-speaking tourist guide throughout the tour.
The whispers set.***
Full liability insurance.
All legal taxes and VAT.
Possible tips and personal expenses.
Meals outside of package.
The Overnight Stay Tax, which is 3,00€ per room, per overnight in 4* hotel and …€ per room, per overnight in 5* hotel.
What is not clearly described as included in the program.
* According to Covid-19 protocols, the capacity of the tourist bus must be at 65% of the seats.
** The cost of entrance tickets is based on the prices given by the Ministry of Culture up to now. If the prices of the entrance fees change, the cost will be adjusted accordingly.
***Losses or destruction of the whispers:
The following charges without VAT apply for the loss or destruction of the equipment:
- Receiver € 75.00
This tour package can be combined with:
1 day cruise to Poros, Hydra and Aigina
1 day cruise to Mount Athos.
3 nights Iconic Aegean Sea Islands cruise.
4 nights Iconic Aegean Sea Islands cruise.
We can design shorter or longer itineraries according to your interest.
You may combine the above program with any itinerary regarding Cyprus, Israel, Italy and Turkey.
We bear no responsibility in case of unannounced and unexpectedly closed archaeological sites, museums, churches or monasteries,
We recommend to be dressed with respect towards the religious places we are going to visit – covered knees and shoulders.
We also strongly advise you to always wear a hat, comfortable shoes, sunglasses and have sunblock with you.