Central Greece and Corfu: 9 Days
Day 1: Athens
Αrrive in Athens and 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 by 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. This evening you will enjoy the first of many delectable Mediterranean style dinners.
Day 2: Monastery of Agios Patapios – Patras - Preveza
Early morning departure from Athens, following the National road to the Peloponissos peninsula will start your pilgrimage at the Monastery of Agios (Saint) Patapios. A monastery for women located 14km from Loutraki, at an elevation of some 700m (1120ft) on the Geranea mountains, where the sacred relics of Agios Patapios are being kept. Continue to Patras, short stop to visit the largest church of Greece and the Balkans the Holy Church of Saint Andrew, patron of Patras. Crossing the beautiful bridge from Rio-Antirio, continue to the Western coast of Central Greece and late afternoon arrive at the beautiful city of Preveza. Evening free, overnight.
Day 3: Preveza – Igoumenitsa – Kerkyra (Corfu island)
Early morning continue our pilgrimage to Epiros, starting with a visit at the Monastery of St. Demetrios, underneath the historical Zalongos Rock, a place where in 1803 women with their children trapped by Ottoman troops in the mountains of Zalongo, in order to avoid capture and enslavement, threw first their children and then themselves off a steep cliff, committing suicide. Continuing North, we reach the port of Igoumenitsa, where we take the ferry to the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) last stop of Odysseus on his way to Ithaca. In the old town of Kerkyra we will visit the church of Agios (Saint) Spyridon "the Thaumaturgist” (the miracle-maker) who is the patron Saint of the island. "Saint Spyridon, the Keeper of the City" for the miracle of expelling the plague from the island and saving the island at the second great siege of Corfu of 1716. Discovering the city of Corfu, we come across two Venetian fortresses and many old churches, important architectural monuments. Apart from the Venetian monuments however there are a lot of sights that decorate the city, like the Spiniada, a beautiful plaza which is one of Corfu's most typical spots, the Achilion palace, which takes its name from the statue of Achiles situated on its garden and many more other beautiful sites. Evening free, overnight.
Day 4: Kerkyra (Corfu island)
After breakfast start our pilgrimage around this beautiful Ionian island. Following the winding road 25klm from Corfu town, we reach the monastery of Panagia Paleokastritsa founded in 1225, today also includes a museum with Byzantine icons, books and other relics. Next will be the monastery of "Agia Triada” in the Northern part of the island, a symbol of faith since 1400. The monastery is famous for its murals, dating back to XVII century and icons of 1850. Returning back to the town of Kerkyra and the southernmost peninsula of Kanoni is the small monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary of "Vlachernes”. Being on a small island linked to mainland by a narrow path seems as if the little whitewashed monastery springs out of the sea. To enter you must pass by an arch at the base of the bell tower which leads to a small courtyard from where you enter the church. Afternoon free to walk around the narrow streets of the old town, overnight.
Day 5: Kerkyra - Ioannina - Volos
After breakfast, we depart from Corfu cross to Igoumenitsa by ferry and from there to the city of Ioannina, the biggest city of Epirus and the capital city of the prefecture, built on the bank of Lake Pamvotis. Visit by boat the island of "Kyra Frosini” with many monasteries. Visit the monastery of Saint Panteleimon, where Ali Pasha was killed in 1822 killed. Only a few klm outside the city of Ioannina, an unforgettable wandering in history waits for you at theVrellis Wax museum where you will see major historical figures and celebrities made by molded wax. Finally we continue to the cosmopolitan city of Volos. Late afternoon arrival, evening free to stroll and enjoy one of the many traditional sea-food restaurants at the famous waterfront of Volos, overnight.
Day 6: Pelion - Volos
After breakfast depart for the picturesque villages of Mount Pelion, a wonderful part of Greece in both winter and summer impresses the visitor. We will visit amongst others the picturesque village of Agios Georgios with the Monastery of the Archangels, the villages of Portaria and Makrinitsa with beautiful mansions where we will have a panoramic view of Pagasitikos Gulf. Time for lunch in Pelion. Afternoon return to Volos,free time and overnight.
Day 7: Volos - Evia - Athens
After breakfast we depart Volos and on our return we will have a beautiful journey through the island of Evia to visit and worship at the monastery of Saint David the Elder. and the picturesque Prokopi, the Church of St. John the Russian with it's sacred relic. On the return well have a short stop at the beautiful town of Chalkis Evia to see the phenomenon of the tide and ebb. Evening free in Athens, overnight.
Day 8: Athens
Breakfast and day free in Athens to utilize it as you wish. You can spend for shopping, or to get on the excursion train for a tour of antiquity in Athens, visit the Acropolis Museum and the picturesque streets of Plaka with local tavernas, typical old style Greek restaurants with Greek delicacies.
Day 9: Return
Transfer to the airport for our return flight home.