Day 1 :
Departure from your airport
Day 2 :
Arrive in Thessaloniki
- Aristotelous Square:
Thessaloniki is Greece's second major economic, industrial, commercial and political center, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and its southeast European hinterland. Thessaloniki has given Greece some of its greatest musicians, artists, poets and thinkers. It has some of the most beautiful beaches and has some of the finest hotels and best restaurants in northern Greece. The city is also home to the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the International Trade Fair and host to many cultural events.
Day 3 :
Day Trip to Kavala and Philippi
- Walking Tour of Kavala:
Kavala is the second-largest city of Macedonia and the second port for northern Greece. A picturesque citadel looks down from a rocky promontory to the east, and an elegant Turkish aqueduct leaps over modern buildings into the old quarter on the bluff. Known in ancient times as Neapolis, the town was for two centuries or more a staging post on the Via Egnatía and the first European port of call for merchants and travelers from the Middle East. It was here that Saint Paul landed en route to Philippi on his initial mission to Europe.
Visit the ancient city of Philippi. A landmark in the history of Philippi was the year A.D. 49 or 50, when Apostle Paul visited the city and established there the first Christian Church of Europe. This made Philippi a metropolis of Christianity. During the Byzantine period (A.D. 963-969) the walls of the city were reconstructed and at the same time the towers and the wall of the acropolis were built.
Take a guided tour of the Excavations including the well preserved Forum, The Philippian Jail that once held Saint Paul; and the Egnatian Way, the main road between Byzantium and the Adriatic Ports that Saint Paul traveled spreading the Christian faith.
Day 4 :
Thessaloniki – Vergina – Kalambaka
- Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum:
Explore Vergina's Archaeological Museum and view many of Vergina's treasures.
- Royal Tombs:
Explore the Vergina Royal Tombs Museum. The Tumulus date from 4C B.C. and the façade is adorned with magnificent hunting scenes. Whilst here we also see the Macedonian Tombs, underground chambered structures known for their ornate decorations.
Kalambaka is a small modern town with near Meteora. The most interesting feature of the town is the dramatic backdrop of the steep Meteora rocks that frame the northern part of the skyline.
Day 5 :
Kalambaka – Meteora – Delphi
- Megalo Meteoro:
Visit Megalo Meteoro, the most famous of the monasteries in Meteora, built on the highest rock. It was founded by Athanasios the Meteorite, a well known figure in Orthodox monasticism. At its height it was the richest and most powerful of the monasteries, and contains some of the most beautiful wall paintings and post-Byzantine mural art in Greece.
Discover Varlaam Monastery, home to an important collection of relics, intricately carved wooden crosses, icons, and many other ecclesiastical treasures. It also contains impressive frescos by the well-known post-Byzantine iconographer Frangos Katelanos.
Visit Rousanou Monastery, the most spectacularly located of the Meteora monasteries, with rock cliffs dropping off sharply on all sides to a fantastic view of the valley.
Day 6 :
- Sanctuary of Apollo:
Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the most important sacred site in the Greek world. This was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo, believed to have slain the Pytho, a deity who lived here and protected the mythological center of the earth.
- Sacred Way:
Walk along the Sacred Way, which winds up a hill towards the main temple of Apollo. We will pass an array of dedicatory objects and the old Treasury as we wind up the path, as the Ancient Greeks did during their sacred processions.
- Temple of Apollo:
Visit the spectacular ruins of the Doric Temple of Apollo, the home of the Pythia, the oracle who would deliver the prophecies of the gods.
- Delphi Archaeological Museum:
Visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum, displaying some of the finest works of art in Greece. The museum’s 15 rooms chronicle the history of Delphi from the 15th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., and includes many magnificent treasures donated from locations throughout the Classical world.
Day 7 :
Delphi – Corinth – Athens
- Ancient Corinth:
Corinth is one of the most ancient cities in Greece and was one of the largest and most prosperous. It eventually became an important Roman colony and drew significant historical figures, such as St. Paul, who worked and lived here after leaving Athens.
- Temple of Apollo:
View the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the most striking structure in the city.
- Temple of Octavia:
View the Temple of Octavia, a temple dedicated to the sister of Emperor Augustus, and The Bema (platform) where the Corinthians accused Saint Paul of sacrilege.
Explore the remains of the huge rock fortress located just outside Corinth known as the Acrocorinth. This famous fortress could withstand lengthy sieges due to the presence of the upper Peirene spring on the southeast side of the ramparts. Enjoy one of the most sweeping views in all of Greece, stretching over 35 miles in all directions from the Geraneia range in the northeast to the peaks of the Ziria in the southwest.
Day 8 :
Visit the Acropolis which has dominated Athens for over 2,000 years, and habitation traces indicate that it was occupied as early as the Neolithic age.
- Acropolis Museum:
The Acropolis Museum contains a superb collection of sculptures from the area. The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, foreign travelers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact.
- Hadrian's Arch:
View Hadrian’s Arch, an enormous triumphal arch built by the Roman Emperor, which is still a symbolic entrance to Athens.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus:
Explore the Temple of Olympian Zeus, once the largest temple in Athens. Though currently in ruins, its enormous size is suggested by the 15 columns that remain of the original 104. At one time, this was among the most important temples of the city, but over the centuries it was quarried to provide stone and building materials for the houses and churches of medieval Athens.
- Areopagos Hill:
View Areopagos Hill where St Paul delivered his first sermon and gained his first convert.
- Plaka Area:
This evening we will dine in the lively Plaka Area, the historic heart of Athens.
Day 9 :
Departure from Athens