Greece – Footsteps of St.Paul

Oct 1, 2010   //   by admin   //   Group Tours, Suggested Itineraries  //  Comments Off on Greece – Footsteps of St.Paul
Greece Pilgrimage TourFootsteps of St.Paul
8 DAY TOUR – Mainland Greece

DAY 1: Arrive in Thessaloniki airport
Meet with our guide and transfer to the hotel

DAY 2: Drive east to the town of Kavala and PhilippiPhilippi Basilici

We cross the fertile plains of Macedonia following the route of the ancient Roman road ” Via Egnatia ” . We arrive in Philippi , where St. Paul first preached the gospel on European soil . Christianity spread rapidly in this Roman town . In the 5th century , the first vast Basilica ( 130 x 50m ) was built and was one of the most important early Christian architectural monuments in Greece . The ruins stand at height of 6.50m . It was destroyed in the 6th century and never rebuilt . A second three aisle basilicas was then built , but was abandoned unfinished , because the dome collapsed . Excavations have revealed two more basilicas . Here is also a crypt of the Roman times known to be the prison of Paul . After the visit, we drive to the nearby small village of Lydia . It was here that Paul baptised a woman called Lydia , the very first to be baptised in the whole of Europe. Arriving here, we can enjoy the beautiful view of the town port . The port Kavala corresponds to the ancient port of Nepalese , where Paul landed after he had sailed from Troad ( Asia Minor ) to Macedonia , Greece. Going back to Thessaloniki next to the Strimon River is an imposing monument called the Lion of Amfipolis. Further out is the ancient Amfipolis, through which Paul had passed on his way to Thessaloniki.

DAY 3:
Today we visit the city of Thessaloniki, the second largest in Greece, famous for its beautiful old and modern St. Demetrios Church, Thessolonikiquarters and Byzantine churches. We visit St. Demetrios church of the 11th century. According to tradition this church was built on the place of Martyrdom Synagogue, where Paul had preached whilst in Salonica. We visit also the Archaeological Museum containing the famous treasures of Vergina from the recently excavated tomb of King Philippos, father of Alexander the Great.

DAY 4: Today we drive west to Veria, the Beria of the New Testament built on a terrace on the foot of Mt. Vermion Here we visit the modern Monument, which corresponds to the Bema from which Paul had preached According to information, Paul’s audience here consisted mostly of gentiles and especially of the noble women. This was Paul’s last stop in Macedonia before continuing on to Athens . We then drive to Kalambaka.

DAY 5: Visit of the Monasteries of Meteora. From the 12th century onwards, monks and hermits began to retire to theMonasteries of Meteora recesses in these immense grey rocks of Meteora and in the 14th century a large monastic state began to develop, which in the 16th century numbered 24 monasteries. Only five of these are still occupied Two of these monasteries are visited. Return to Athens.

DAY 6: Visit Athens. Drive through the main streets, where the most important Monuments can be seen: the University, Library, Academy and the Parliament building, the 6th century B.C Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrain’s Arch. Visit the Acropolis and the famous Parthenon. Then the rocky Hill of Mars well known Areopagus located on the Northwest slope of the Acropolis. This Hill gave name to a Council of Nobles, which became the Senate and the Supreme Court of Ancient Athens. In 61 A.D. Paul delivered the Sermon on the unknown God. It was here that Senator Dionysius was converted to Christianity and later became the patron Saint of Athens. Rest of the day free.

DAY 7: Early departure for our excursion to Corinth. The drive the Corinth offers a variety of landscape viewing the Corinth, GreeceSaronic Gulf and its islands. This is the Gulf which Paul had sailed going from Athens to Corinth. Stop to see the Corinth Canal , which connects the Aegean with the lonian Sea. Ancient Corinth is located inland on the foot of Mt. Acrocorinth . The city’s “Long Wall ” began from the summit of the mountain , encompassed the city and ended at the port of Lechaio , which was the artificial harbour built on shore of the Gulf of Corinth . In the area city itself , the ruins are those of its Agora ( Forum ) as it was in the days of the Romans in the 1st century A.D. On the northern side of the Agora , 7, of the 38 columns of the Ancient Temple of Apollo ( 6th century B.C. ) still stand . To the Northwest of the Agora are the remains the Theatre and the Roman Odeon . Among the ruins of the Roman Forum we can see the Bema , a single structure from where Paul preached to Corinthians . Corinth was the city Paul visited twice on first trip and where he spent 18 months. Here in Corinth , Paul created one the of the biggest Christian communities in Europe. Visit also the museum containing finds from the Agora. Visit the small port of Lechaio, where St Paul disembarked to visit Corinth.

DAY 8: Transfer to the airport for departure.

Footsteps of St.Paul, Island of Crete
8 Day Tour

DAY 1:
Arrival at Heraklion port/airport.
Meet, assist and transfer HERAKLION.

DAY 2: RETHYMNON.Rethymnon, Greece Pilgrim Tour
After breakfast, tour to the south, with first stop in Aghia Varnava and then to the Monastery Kalyviani. Later at Gortys, see the 6th century church of St Paul Titus, a reminder that the disciple St Titus was appointed by St Paul as the Bishop of Crete. After a visit to Phaestos, the Minoan city , we arrive in Ag . Galini, where St Paul found shelter in the calm harbour . Return through Spili to Rethymnon.

All day excursion to the Moni Preveli, Frangokastello and then to Chora Sfakion. From here to Loutron by boat where St Paul landed. Two churches are on our programme to be visited: Theotokos and St Charalambous . Return to hotel in Sfakia.

DAY 4: PALEOHHORAPaleohhora Beach
From Sfakia we arrive in Sougia . Later through the countryside , we come to Paleohora for overnight.

After breakfast we visit the famous Moni Chrisoskalitissa ” Golden Step ” Later through Topolia we arrive at Kastelli . Overnight in Kastelli or Kolymbari area.

DAY 6: CHANIAMonastery of GoniaVisit the Monastery of Gonia and the Orthodox Academy at Kolmbari . Via Chania we arrive at Ag. Triada , the Monasteries of Tsagarolon and Gouverneto . Overnight in Chania.

Morning departure – return to Heraklion , through the villages Georgioupolis and Vrisses. Visit the historical Monastery of Arkadi . On the way stop to visit Fodele the birthplace of El Greco . Arrive at Heraklion for overnight.

DAY 8: Departure Day
Transfer with assistance to port/airport

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