Day #1 Overnight Flight - St. 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.
Day #2 Athens - Tour Begins - Your tour begins in Greece’s lively capital, Athens. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.
Day #3 Athens - Thessaloniki - Depart Athens and venture north to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, sitting on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Founded in 315 B.C.E. by King Kassandros, the city grew to be an important hub for trade in the ancient world. It was also an early center for Christianity, where St. Paul visited and preached during the winters of 49-50 A.D. and wrote two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. During a panoramic tour, see its iconic White Tower, St. George’s Church, the Arch of Galerius, the old city and the fortress.
Day #4 Thessaloniki - Kavala - Thessaloniki - Travel to the coastal town of Kavala where St. Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot on European soil. In nearby Philippi, he 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, Philippi, named after Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Discover monuments spanning the Ancient, Roman and Byzantine eras. See the dungeon where St. Paul was held prisoner and the site where he baptized St. Lydia, the first Christian in Europe. On your return to Thessaloniki, visit the Basilica of St. Demetrius, the city’s revered patron saint.
Day #5 Thessaloniki - Kalambaka - This morning, visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki where you’ll uncover fascinating treasures that date from prehistoric to Roman times. Then, stop at Berea and behold its beautiful modern mosaic of the Apostle. Continue your journey to Vergina. Nearby lay the ruins of ancient Aigai, where the Macedonian kings were interred. Visit the royal tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and explore the area’s evocative historic sites. Proceed through the fertile Thessalian Valley - the breadbasket of Greece - to Kalambaka, a small town at the foot of the dramatic Meteora, for a two night stay.
Day #6 Kalambaka - Meteora - Kalambaka - A short drive brings you to the 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 C.E., hermits, monks and ascetics sought solitude and spiritual solace in these dramatic crags. Visit two of the amazing monasteries* renowned for their intricate construction and exquisite Byzantine art.
Day #7 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. Make your own trek through this enchanting place during a guided tour that 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.
Day #8 Delphi - Corinth - Athens - Travel to Corinth, a large and prosperous Roman city with two busy ports. Ancient Corinth bustled with people from all corners of the Mediterranean when St. Paul lived and preached here for two years between 52 and 53 C.E. and again between 57 and 58 C.E.. Explore ancient Corinth on a guided tour featuring the Agora, where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place and its myriad of important structures; the Temple of Apollo; the Fountain of Pierene; the Lechaion Road; and the Bema, where St. Paul was brought before the tribunal, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. See the famous Corinth canal, the narrow waterway slicing through the Isthmus of Corinth, before departing for Athens.
Day #9 Athens - Today, embark on a memorable journey through Athens, the birthplace of democracy and western civilization. Explore this city as St. Paul once did, seeing the hill of Areopagus (Mars Hill) where he delivered his famous “Men of Athens” speech. Visit the incomparable Acropolis; see the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern games were held in 1896; the Temple of Zeus; the Presidential Palace, and the Parliament. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell 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 the lively and wonderful ambiance around you.
Day #10 Athens - Tour Ends - You’ve explored the ancient land where St. Paul made missionary journeys. You’ve seen the places to which he sent his famous epistles – Corinthians, Philippians and Thessalonians – and seen many of the places described in the Acts of the Apostles. Return home inspired and rested by Greece’s incredible, soothing landscapes and the words and deeds of St. Paul.