12 Days Greece, Cyprus and the Holy Land
Day 1: Athens
Αrrive in Athens Greece to start your journey for a life-changing experience. Meet and assist at the airport and transfer to the centre of the city. On route to your hotel you will have a first glance of the ancient treasures and Christian history in a condensed city tour with the bus where our guide will point out the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Presidential Palace and the Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimarmaro (the "beautifully marbled"), an athletic stadium in the centre of Athens that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Check into your Hotel and have the remainder of the day free to relax or take a stroll along the streets of Athens to enjoy the flavour of the city. Evening free.
Day 2: Athens
Following breakfast today you will visit Athens, the foundation of democracy. Early morning visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and Erectheum before viewing Athens atop Mars Hill where Paul stood and preached the truth to the Gentile nation. Additional sites include the Agora (ancient market place and centre of Athenian public life) and the fabulous New Acropolis Museum. A short walk through the narrow streets of the Old city, the famous Plaka with a multitude of shops and cafes. Evening Free.
Day 3: Corinth-Olympia
Following breakfast this morning you will depart Athens travelling west to the Peloponnesian peninsula, after short stop at the Corinth canal -Isthmos - you will arrive to the ancient city of Corinth, another treat for the New Testament scholar. Corinth is the city that inspired many of Paul's most familiar letters. You will see the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. Experience a devotional feeling in the midst of the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps, and public worship place where Paul preached. The ruins of this important cultural centre are fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern day. Our guide will be sure to show you the room dedicated to the medical care of that period. After the visit to ancient Corinth we travel to Olympia where you will visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia and the Museum. Evening Free.
Day 4: Olympia –Nafpaktos-Kalampaka-Meteora
Morning departure from Olympia passing from the magnificent bridge of Rio-Antirio that is connecting the Peloponissos peninsula with Central Greece. From there you will arrive in the beautiful town of Nafpaktos, with it's long history and tradition, evident in it's narrow cobbled streets and the castle which is unique in Europe. Late in the afternoon arrival in the town of Kalampaka under the rock towers of Meteora, the gigantic rock formation that in Greek the name means "suspended rocks” or "suspended in the air” or "in the heavens above. Overnight.
Day 5: Meteora-Athens
Early this morning you will have the chance to admire this spectacular sacred site of Meteora and visit some of the monasteries like the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus known as Great Meteoro, Varlaam, Saint Stephens and the monastery of Roussano. In the afternoon return to Athens, evening free.
Day 6: Athens-Cyprus
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Cyprus. Today you will visit theonly divided Capital in the world. Morning drive to‘Lefkosia' (Nicosia), situated near the centre of the Island. We enter Lefkosia by driving along the Green Line, the capital's dividing borderline. Passing by the newly restored Famagusta Gate, we proceed to the Archbishop's Palace where we visit St.John'sCathedral and the Byzantine Museum, which houses a priceless collection of fascinating Icons and religious Relics.Our tour continues to the picturesque Old Quarter where you will have time for lunch and a stroll around the charming winding alleyways lined with numerous traditional houses, shops and galleries.During this free time you also have the chance to stroll around the historical City Center and to visit the border that, since the Turkish invasion in 1974, has divided the Cypriot Capital of Nicosia into the Southern Greek-Cypriot region and the Northern Turkish-Cypriot region. Transfer to the hotel, evening free.
Day 7: Cyprus
Discover the Troodos Mountains - the Green Heart of Cyprus. A memorable day off-the-beaten track through idyllic mountain villages, unchanged for generations. Our first stop will be in Troodos Square just below Mount Olympus - the highest point in Cyprus with a peak of 1951 meters – the perfect spot to take in the panoramic views. We proceed to ‘Throni' to see the Tomb of Archbishop MakariosIII, the first President of Cyprus. Enjoy the spectacular views of the countryside and pine forests as we drive to the famous Monastery of Kykkos, Built in 1092 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it houses one of the three surviving icons painted by Agios Loukas. A break for lunch will be taken in a local restaurant.On our return we will pass Trooditisaa Monasteryand have a break in one of the many beautiful mountain villages famous for their true Cypriot architecture, handicrafts and excellent wine. Return to Nicosia, overnight.
Day 8: Cyprus – Embarcation
Today you will start with a guided tour of the beautiful coastal city of Limassol and in the afternoon transfer to board the luxurious cruise-ship that will take you to the Holy Land. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 9: The Holy Land
Early morning arrival in Haifa - Israel's third largest city and northern capital is the heart of it all! Situated in a broad natural bay between the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and the awe - inspiring Carmel mountain. Start the guided tour of the Holy Land visiting Saint George's tomb in Lida, one of Christianity's most popular saints, highly honored by both the Western and Eastern Churches. Continue to Jerusalem the holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. An intensive daycovering some of Jerusalem's majorChristian Sites. We beginthe tour at Jerusalem's famousChurch of all Nations (Church of Agony) in the Garden of Gethsemane.A short drive away we tourJerusalem's famous Christian sites on the Mount of Olives. We enjoy views across Jerusalem's Old City.We tour the Church of the Assumption dedicated to Our Lady. We head for Jerusalem's old city where we begin our tour of the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) walking in Jesus final footsteps we stop at all of the stations on the route. Within Jerusalem's main Christian site the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, are the final five stations of the cross, eacha chapel ofdedication includingthe Hill of Calvaryand the tomb of Jesus'.We also find here the stone slab (Unction stone) on which Jesus' body was prepared for burial.Completing our tour Church of the Holy Sepulcher, we pass the Citadel of Jerusalem and tour Mount Zion, just outside Old Jerusalem's city walls. Return to the cruise ship for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: The Holy Land
Another day for a full day guided tour this time to the North. Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Nazaret, Cana, Capernaoum are also amongst the most important Christian Holy Places throughout the Christian World. Early afternoon return to Haifa port and board the cruise ship for the return journey to Cyprus. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 11: Cyprus – return
Morning arrival in Limassol, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.