Highlights: Athens – Corinth – Nafplio – Delphi – Kalabaka – Meteora – Veria – Thessaloniki – Kavala – Philippi – Istanbul
13 days / 12 nights
Arrival to Athens
Arrival to Athens airport, meeting with our representative and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Athens city tour
Morning guided tour of the city of Athens. We begin our city tour with Acropolis end continue to see the Areopaqus, where Paul addressed the Athenians, Hadrian’s Arch, and the Temple of Zeus. Other highlights of Athens include the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Presidential Palace, and the Stadium. In the afternoon we will visit the Monastery of Kaisariani, founded in the 11th century A.D. and consecrated to the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Transfer to Corinth via Corinth Canal. Here Paul spent 18 months, preaching to the Jews and Gentiles. We celebrate our liturgy today in Corinth with a reflection on Paul the Missionary. Continue on to Mycenae and Epidaurus. After free time in Nafplio city, return to Athens, dinner in the hotel and overnight.
Transfer to Delphi, home to the Sanctuary of Apollo, where sat the famous oracle. In Delphi, we explore the fascinating archeological sites and the museum. After free time in Arachova, transfer to our hotel, dinner in the hotel and overnight.
Morning departure to Kalabaka. This city is built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks, at the point where the Pinios River flows down from the Pindus range. On our way, visit Osios Loukas monastery. Upon arrival in Kalabaka, we have leisure time to stroll through the town. You should not miss the cathedral church of the Dormition of the Virgin. Transfer to our hotel, dinner in the hotel and overnight.
This morning we will visit the breathtaking Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. These monasteries, among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks, which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless, containing priceless Byzantine art. We return to our hotel in Kalabaka for dinner and the evening.
This morning we travel to Thessaloniki. We will stop briefly in Veria to visit the bema of St. Paul, where Paul stood and preached the gospel to the people of Veria, as well as the beautiful white marble monument built in honor of St. Paul. Arrival to Thessaloniki hotel, dinner and overnight.
Thessaloniki city tour
Paul established the first church here. Ruins of an early Christian church are near the Palace of Galerius. We will also visit the church and crypt of St. Dimitri and the church of St. Sophia and in the afternoon, visit the Old Town, before going to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Philippi and Kavala
In the morning we leave Thessaloniki and to Philippi. We continue to Kavala and upon arrival we will have the rest of the afternoon to explore this historical city. You may want to visit the Old City of Kavala including the Islamic Imaret, the lighthouse, the castle with its tower, and the famous Kamares, which is the Roman aqueduct that was reconstructed by the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent around 1550. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel.
Travel to Istanbul
This morning we make our way over the border into Turkey. Upon arrival in Istanbul, we will take time to rest from our travels. We enjoy dinner and the evening at our hotel.
Istanbul city center
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for a full day visit of the city. Today we will visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. We will spend our afternoon in the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel.
This morning we see the Hippodrome, and the Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. We continue to Church of St. Saviour in Chora and finish the day visiting the rug factory.
We transfer to the airport for our return flight back home.