8 Day Program - " Follow the steps of Paul" from Phipippi to Corinth
A pilgrimage to biblical and spiritual sites from Philippi in the North of Greece to Corinth in the South.
Day 1 - Arrive Thessaloniki, Greece.
Arrive at Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki second largest city in Northern Greece. Meet and assist at the airport and transfer tothe center of the city. On route to the hotel you will have a condensed city tour of the city that Paul preached during the winters of 49-50 AD and wrote two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. See the ramparts of the city, the triumphal Arch of Galerius starting at the Via Egnatia, once a strategic artery of the Roman Empire. Afternoon Free.
Day 2 - Phillippi, Kavala, Thessaloniki
Today you will start with a visit to Kavala one of Greece's prettiest mainland ports in the North. Paul landed here with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. Luke the Evangelist, also came here from Troas. This ancient city of Neapolis was later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. Continue to the ancient city of Philippi where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. "And from there (He went) to Philippi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman Colony. We remained in this city some days..." Acts 16:12-18 Here Paul baptized a certain woman named Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe. The Roman forum, completely excavated, is from after Paul's time. Among the ruins, located on the rocky ledge above the town's main road is the prison where Paul and Silas were thrown. Return to Thessaloniki and visit St. Demetrius Basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convertevening free.
Day 3 - Thessaloniki, Meteora
Morning departure from the hotel for Kalambaka and the unique formation of Meteora monasteries,spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, one of the most striking sights in Greece. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal, they flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities and you will visit in the afternoon Roussanou, Ayias Triadhos and Ayiou Stefanou . Evening free,overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 4 - Kalambaka - Delphi
After breakfast visit 2 more of the Meteora Monasteries Varlaam and Great Meteoron, among striking scenery, that seem to be suspended in mid-air, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. After lunch continue to Delphi- evening free.
Day 5 - Delphi - Athens
In the morning visit Delphi, the center
of the ancient world (navel) of the earth, whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pithios. Visit the site and the museum andon the return to Athens visit Osios Lukas Monastery one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. " Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription " to an unknown God”. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you…”. Athens, is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. Evening free in Athens.
Day 6 - Athens -
In the morning, you will visit the Acropolis. For twenty five centuries, the panorama of this city is dominated by the rock of the Acropolis;you will visit the New Acropolis Museum and see the ruins of the Parthenon, the Erectheum and the Propylae. Afterwards,youwill ascend Mars Hill where Paul spoke to the ancient Athenians about the one and only God. From here we have an excellent view of the ancient agora; former center of the Athenian public life.You'll continue for a drive through the city to see the House of Parliament on Syntagma Square, the evzones in their picturesque uniforms guarding the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
You willalso see the Library, the University, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympics of the modern era were held, the temple of the Olympian Zeus and Adrian's Arch.
Day 7 - Athens - Excursion to Corinth In the morning,you willdepart for an excursion to the Peloponnese and tour Ancient Corinth. Here, under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, St. Paul preached and lived for two years. The vigorous and mostly Gentile Church he founded here in 50 AD caused him much grief and prompted him to write, at least, four letters to them. Visit the ruins of the ancient city where Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla. See the remains of the first century shops, the agora where Paul's trial by Gallio took place, the Fountain of Peirene, Temple of Apollo and the Bema. Return to Athens, evening free.
Day 8 – Departure Based on the departure flight, transfer to Athens airport El.Venizelos.