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12 DAYS CHRISTIAN TOUR GREECE, CRUISE TOUR MOUNT OF ATHOS, SANTORINI
Athens, one of the world’s oldest cities, is the capital and largest city of Greece, dominating the Attica region. Arrival at the airport which is named Elefthérios Venizélos, started operating in 2001 and it is about 30 km from Athens. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Athens.
After your breakfast, our tour begins with a visit to the Acropolis hill. Stroll around the ancient citadel while your experienced tour guide relates to you the fascinating history of such monuments as the Temple of Athena Nike, the Theatre of Dionysus, the majestic Parthenon and the Mars Hill where Apostle Paul preached the word of the Christian God to the Athenians. After a short walk, passing by the picturesque Monastiraki area, you will visit the Ancient Agora. The Agora was the heart of Athens in ancient times and the meeting point of St. Paul with the first followers of Christianity. Also located here, is the Church of the Holy Apostles, a medieval orthodox church from the 10th century. Our next stop will be the Panathinaikon Stadium where the first Modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Next, we will pass by Zappeion and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, and the National Library. We continue passing by the National Garden, Hadrian’s Arch, St. Paul’s Church, tge Parliamentand the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schliemann’s House (Numismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral, the Old Parliament, Constitution Square and the Russian Orthodox Church. Overnight in Athens.
After your breakfast, pick you up from your Hotel about 08.30 and about 2 hours later, we will arrive at the Delphi area. Along the way, you will see the plain of Beotia, an agricultural center, and you will also pass by the city of Theva, the birthplace of King Oedipus. Our first stop will be at the wonderful Byzantine Monastery of St. Loukas or at the Monastery of St. John Theologos. Continuing, we will visit Castalia Spring, where we will visit the archaeological site and view the monument of the Argive Kings, the treasury of the Athenians, the Athenian Stoa, the Polygonal Wall, the monument of Platea and the Temple of Apollo, famous for its oracle, and the Delphi museum, with its spectacular exhibits that include the frieze of the Treasury of the Sifnians, the Naxian Sphinx, the Statue of Antinoos, the metopes of the Athenian treasury and the famous bronze Charioteer, originally created to commemorate a victory during the 476 B.C. Pythian Games. Late in the evening and through Tempi Valley, we arrive at the largest town of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
After breakfast, we visit the small town of Nea Fokea and the “Agiasma of St. Paul”, an underground corridor that ends to a chamber where St. Paul was hidden when the people of Thessaloniki were running after him. Afterwards, we will reach the town of Kavala and then Filippoi, where St. Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians in Europe! Visit the‘’Baptismal’’ site, where Lydia was baptized as the first European woman, and the secret crypt where Paul was imprisoned. Finally, we visit the Acropolis of Filippoi, the Ancient Market, the Basilica and the Theater. Overnight in Kavala.
After your breakfast, we will drive to Ouranoupolis in order to take the ferry for Mount of Athos that is called “Virgin Mary’s Garden,” the jewel of Orthodoxy, the place where Holy Fathers have lived for centuries in enlightenment and still continue to do so. For the devout, it is a place of spiritual enlightenment, a place of worship, a chance for reflection, meditation and spiritual renewal. The ferry departs at 14.00, starting from Ouranoupolis, and we will see 7 monasteries. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
After breakfast we leave Kavala, and we arrive at the beautiful town of Veria in Northwestern Greece. Visit the marble- made “Podium of Apostle Paul,’’ the place where Paul preached to the people of one of his beloved towns for many days. We continue to the Ancient town of Vergina and to the King’s tombs, one of them belonging toAlexander the Great’s father and ex-king, and we finally arrive to the picturesque town of Kalambaka, next to the amazing monasteries of Meteora. Overnight in Kalambaka.
Early in the morning, we drive to Meteora and the breathtaking rock tower monasteries of the 11th Century! We visit the first great monastery of Varlaam, founded in the 16th century and located on the top of a rock at a height of 380 meters! Our second visit will be at the Monastery of St. Stephan, dating to the 15th century, also built on top of another huge rock, where you will admire a small treasure of Byzantine and Christian items at the museum inside the monastery! We will visit Aghia Triada. “Holy Trinity” is one of the most dramatically positioned monasteris of the Meteora. Overnight in Korinthos.
In Corinth, one of Paul’s beloved cities, the town that inspired many of Paul’s letters, we keep following his steps by visiting the ancient Roman market with the famous speakers platform (Vima), from which Saint Paul preached to the citizens, the Temple of Apollo and the Cathedral of St. Paul, and walk the same paths that the Apostle of Nations walked and preached hundreds of years ago. We will also visit the ancient town of Mycenae and the Gate of Lions, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, and after a short stop at the Canal of Corinth, we return back to Athens to get on the ship to Santorini Island which departs at 08:20 am and arrives at 10:25 am. Transfer at your hotel. Pick up from your hotel, at about 14.00, to visit Pyrgos village, the highest point of the island, where the Monastery of Prophet Elias,built in 1711, stands. Megalochori, the archaeological site of Akrotiri and the famous Red beach will be our next visits. Overnight in Santorini.
After your breakfast, pick up form your hotel to transfer you at Athinios Port to take the boat for the Volcano, Hot Spring and Thirasia. After that, you will reach Amoudi beach and disembark the boat to reach the famous Oia village to bask in the sunset. Overnight in Santorini.
Transfer to Santorini Port at 15:30 for Piraeus Port where you will arrive at 23.15. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Athens.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight.