Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle
|Resort:||Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle|
Retrace the missionary journey of the Apostle Paul, prolific writer of the New Testament letters. Travel through ancient cities and pastoral landscapes. Enjoy a 3-night cruise of the magical Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos and Santorini. Visit the ancient Roman city of Ephesus, Turkey. Discover archaeological treasures like the Acropolis in Athens and seek ancient wisdom at the ruins of Delphi. Investigate the dramatic Meteora Monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the biblical town of Corinth on a guided tour featuring the Agora and the Bema, where Paul was brought before the tribunal. Stop in Philippi, where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe and baptized Lydia, the first Christian. Even see the dungeon where he was held prisoner. Find inspiration throughout as you visit the places where the great apostle lived and preached.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Paul the Apostle, the prolific writer of the New Testament letters, was one of the first Christian missionaries. Trace his journey through the ancient cities and pastoral countryside of Greece and Turkey.
Day 2: Athens, Greece – Tour Begins
Your tour begins in Athens, Greeces lively capital. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner in Athens historic district the Plaka a lively historic neighborhood nestled at the foot of the Acropolis. Feast on local cuisine and enjoy fine wine in a traditional taverna while Greek entertainment creates a wonderful ambiance around you.
Day 3: Athens – Lavrion* (Embarkation) – Mykonos
Embark on a wonderful 3-night cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily while on board. Mykonos, the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands, is your first stop. This charming, mountainous island is known for the hundreds of tiny chapels, whitewashed buildings and beautiful windmills that dot its landscape. Dont miss Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity. Enjoy free time to explore this island paradise.
Day 4: Kusadasi, Turkey – Patmos, Greece
Visit the Turkish port of Kusadasi for an included excursion to the ruins of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Paul the Apostle spent three years during his ministry and where its inhabitants were the recipients of Pauls famous epistle. Visit the House of Mary, where she is said to have spent her last days. A visit to the ruins includes the Agora, the great theater, and the stadium where chariot races took place and gladiatorial combats were held. It is said that Paul himself fought here against wild beasts. Continue your cruise to Patmos, the Jerusalem of the Aegean. Visit the Monastery of John and the Cave of the Apocalypse where John the Evangelist, inspired by God, wrote the Book of Revelation during his exile.
Day 5: Heraklion (Crete)** – Santorini
Arrive early this morning in Heraklion, Crete. Time is allowed for an optional excursion to Knossos, one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the western world and the center of the 4000 B.C. Minoan civilization. Explore the site and visit the world-famous Knossos Archaeological Museum. Later, arrive on the fabled island of Santorini, known as the Black Pearl of the Aegean. Visit the breathtaking Oia Village, perched on the caldera rim. Then, enjoy free time to visit the clifftop village of Fira for one of the worlds most breathtaking panoramas.
Day 6: Lavrion* – Disembark Cruise Ship – Thessaloniki
After an early morning disembarkation, travel north. Make a picture stop at Thermopylae, famous for its heroic defense by Leonidas and his courageous Spartans against the Persian army. Your day ends in Thessaloniki, Greeces second largest city. Founded in 315 B.C., Thessaloniki was an early center for Christianity; it is where Paul visited and preached during the winters of A.D. 49-50 and wrote two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture, one of the finest museums in the world devoted to Byzantine art and civilization with an impressive collection of many Byzantine and early Christian frescoes, icons and artifacts.
Day 7: Thessaloniki – Kavala – Philippi – Thessaloniki
Travel to the coastal town of Kavala where Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot on European soil. In nearby Philippi, Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, planting the seeds of Christianity. Join a local expert for a guided tour of this historic town featuring the archaeological site and monuments spanning the Ancient, Roman and Byzantine eras. See the dungeon where Paul was held prisoner and the site where he baptized Lydia, the first Christian in Europe.
Day 8: Thessaloniki – Meteora – Kalambaka
Proceed through the fertile Thessalian Valley the breadbasket of Greece to spectacular Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These dark, sandstone pinnacles rise abruptly from the plain of Thessaly, with six historic monasteries perched upon their peaks. Beginning in the 10th century, hermits, monks and ascetics sought solitude and spiritual solace in these dramatic crags. Visit two amazing Meteora monasteries*** which are renowned for their intricate construction and exquisite Byzantine art. Overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 9: Kalambaka – Delphi
Travel through scenic mountain terrain to Delphi, one of the most moving sites of the ancient world. Once considered the navel of the world, Delphi is nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Pilgrims once came from all over the ancient world to consult its mysterious oracle. A guided tour takes you along the Sacred Way to see the Doric Temple and the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasuries, and the intriguing Archaeological Museum with its staggering collection of ancient artifacts including the 5th-century bronzed Charioteer.
Day 10: Delphi – Corinth – Athens
Travel to Corinth where Paul wrote two epistles, lived and preached for two years. Explore ancient Corinth on a guided tour featuring the Agora, where Pauls trial by Gallio took place, and the Bema, where Paul was brought before the tribunal, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In Athens, see the hill of Areopagus (Mars Hill) where Paul delivered his famous Men of Athens speech and visit the incomparable Acropolis. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a marvelous trip.
Day 11: Athens – Tour Ends
Youve explored the ancient land where Paul the Apostle made missionary journeys. Youve seen the places to which he sent his famous epistles Thessalonians, Philippians and Corinthians and seen many of the places described in the Acts of the Apostles. Return home inspired by the incredible, soothing landscapes and the words and deeds of Paul the Apostle.