Academic 12 days
Arrive in Athens, where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning board the ship and sail to the world-famous island of Mykonos. The town is a small architectural miracle with its gleaming whitewashed buildings and windmills, and is one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world.
Today you arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey, and have the option to drive to ancient Ephesus. The impressive remains include the Agora, the Theater, the Stadium, the Library of Celsius, the ruins of the Temple of Diana (one of the “seven Wonders of the Ancient World”) and more. Later, sail for the isle of Patmos, where you can choose to visit the Monastery of St John, on one of the island’s highest points. From there, walk down to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St John the Divine.
Spend the day on the island of Rhodes, where you can stroll around the medieval city and see the Palace of the Grand Master, which was built by the Knights of St John. Also, you will have the option to drive to the lovely town of Lindos and climb its Acropolis to admire the panoramic view.
In the morning arrive in Heraklion, Crete, where you can choose to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, home to king Minos and his legendary beast, the Minotaur. In the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, you can find the unbelievable works of art (pieces of sculpture and pottery, jewelry, arms, frescoes) that have been found in a number of Minoan sites all over Crete. Then sail north to the isle of Santorini, the most breathtaking of all the Greek islands. The exquisite whitewashed villages, including the town of Fira (aka Thira) cling to volcanic cliffs, accessible only by cable car or mule.
Disembark cruise in Piraeus at 7:00 a.m. and begin your five-day classical tour of northern Greece with a scenic drive to Delphi, one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, according to a poet. Drive through beautiful countryside and see the town of Arachova, well-known for its local industry of rugs, carpets and leather goods. Arrive in Delphi and explore the archaeological site which was once believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the world. Walk on the Sacred Way to see the Athenian Treasury, the Temple of Apollo (where the oracle delivered her ambiguous prophecies) and the Theater. Also visit the Museum with its splendid collection of ancient works of art, including the Sphinx of the Naxians, the Silver Bull, the Column of the Dancers, the “Omphalos” and the pride of the museum, the 5 th century B.C. bronze “Charioteer”. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
Continue your journey in the mainland of Greece with a drive from Delphi to Kalambaka in central Greece. Here you find scenery of unique and striking beauty: on top of huge granite pinnacles, you see the ageless Meteora Monasteries full of treasures of Christian art. Visit one of them and drive to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
This morning you get a taste of the beautiful countryside of Central and Northern Greece as you drive from Kalambaka to Veria, where you visit the Bema of the Apostle Paul. Continue to Thessaloniki and get acquainted with the city of Jason and Paul. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, like Paul and his companion, the area of Amphipolis to see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis, and the site of Philippi. There you visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river, where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil and the jailer followed. Also visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. Drive to Kavala (Neapolis), a picturesque city-port, and view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
In the morning, drive to Thessaloniki to see the landmark of the city, the White Tower, as well as the Walls of the Byzantine Acropolis, the Roman Arch of Galerius and the Rotonda. Visit two of the city’s oldest and most admired Christian churches, the Basilicas of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia (Divine Wisdom). Continue to Athens for dinner and overnight.
This morning, admire the architectural miracles of ancient Athens as you follow your guide to the world-renowned Acropolis to see the Propylea, the Erectheum and the Parthenon. Visit Mars Hill where Paul delivered his speech on the “Unknown God”. View the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city, where Paul preached to the skeptical Athenians. During the bus tour, you see Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Olympic Stadium and the Neoclassical buildings of Athens like the National University, the National Library and the Academy. Then you continue your trip to Ancient Corinth. This is the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Gospel. You visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples, and the famous Bema, where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Then you drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor Paul sailed back to Asia from, thus ending his second missionary journey. Back to Athens for dinner and overnight.
You will be transferred to Athens International Airport for your departure flight. Fly back home full of wonderful memories of your trip to Greece!