Greece - St. Paul Pilgrimages

Probably one of the most exciting pilgrimages is the one which follows the footsteps of St. Paul in Europe. This pilgrimage is most appealing not only because of the destinations, Ephesus & Hous of Mary, islands like Rhodes or Patmos with St. John Evangelist, Athens, and Corinth but also because we get there cruising the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. On this pilgrimage, we will hear of first Christians in Europe, of St. Denis & St. Lydia! We will hear of the battles St. Paul fought with the pagans and believes he found in ancient Greece, Asia Minor (Turkey). The most exciting tour will include Salonika, Kavala,  Meteora Monasteries, Corinth, Athens, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini, and Crete! We would love to see you or your group joining us!

 

                                                            Pilgrimage of St. Paul
                    
                      
Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Meteora, Corinth, Ephesus, Rhodes
                                                            
                                                             October 9 - 19, 2018


 

 

Day 1 – Departure, USA – Greece, Oct. 9th, 2018, Tuesday  

Our pilgrimage to the ancient civilization and first Christian communities in Europe where St. Paul preached starts with flights to Europe, to Greece, Athens.
 

Day 2 – Arrival to Greece, Athens, Oct. 10th, 2018, Wednesday  

We will arrive in Athens, and after meeting with the guide and the driver, we will head north towards the Thessaloniki. The first night will be along the way, overnight on the Greece coastline a couple of hours drive from Athens in Kamena Vourla. After checking to the hotel, we will relax and rest a little bit before dinner and our first night in Greece.
 

Day 3 – Kamena Vourla – Thessaloniki, Oct. 11, 2018, Thursday

Today we will continue our journey to Thessaloniki. During early afternoon we will be Salonica, a town with the clear evidence of the long history, from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman-era! The churches and sites which you visit today will tell you the story of the presence of the first Christians in Europe. “Acheiropoietos” from the 5th century, “Hagia Sophia” from the 7th century, Church of Saint Demetrius, or “Hagios Demetrios”,  just to name some, are the most inspirational ones. We will spend the entire afternoon exploring the Salonica when the readings from the Acts 17:1-9 and "Letter to the Thessalonians" will become more alive. After a short bus city tour, we'll transfer you to our hotel, where we will stay the for our second night in Greece. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Thessaloniki.
 

Day 4 – Thessaloniki – Kavala – Krinides – Kalambaka (Meteora) Oct. 12, 2018, Friday

Today, you will leave Salonica, on your program is the Kavala, which occupies the site of ancient Neapolis and Philippi (Acts 16:12-40, Phil.), that today lies as a major archaeological site near Krinides where St. Paul and St. Silas were imprisoned after St. Paul's first sermon in what we today call Europe. Here we are introduced to a woman named Lydia from Thyatira (Rev.2: 18-29 and Acts.16: 14 -15) who became the first convert. After visiting the ruins of the magnificent Acropolis, the Market Place, Theatre, and Forum in the afternoon group will head towards Berea (Veira). Quick visit of a site before group continues to Kalambaka, dinner and overnight here near the famous Meteora Monasteries Check in to the hotel, dinner, and overnight.
 

Day 5 – Kalambaka – Meteora – Athens, Oct. 13, 2018, Saturday  

After early morning breakfast, you will visit Meteora, most beautiful Byzantine monasteries. The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air' as all the monasteries were built on top of the high rocks. First monks have lived in the caves as early as the 11th century. The Church of the Transfiguration is the best known of the Monasteries and is built upon the highest rock, founded by Athanasios the Meteorite, well-known figures in Orthodox monasticism. Construction of this monastery started in 1382, and it has priceless religious treasures as Byzantine murals, icons etc…after the visit we are moving closer to the south for dinner and overnight in Athens.
 

Day 6 – Athens – Corinth, Oct. 14, 2018, Sunday  

Today on early Sunday morning after the breakfast and group will be heading for Corinth. Corinth, one of the oldest towns of Greece, where St. Paul came after he left Athens. After a stop at the ancient Corinth (18: 1-18; Cori.), we again meet with St. Paul, who remained here for one and a half-year. We will be visiting marketplace where the Apostle preached to the Corinthians, the Temple of Apollo and the Corinth Museum. On the way back to Athens we will be passing by a port of Cenchreae from where St. Paul sailed to Ephesus, nowadays Turkey. In the afternoon we will be exploring the city of Athens (Acts 17: 16-34). Acropolis with Parthenon the most magnificent monument of antiquity, dedicated to the goddess Athena, from here one can see Areopagus (Areios Pagos = Hill of Ares) visited by St.  John Paul ll same hill where St. Paul gave his famous sermon of "Unknown God." Athens, Plaka, dinner before we pack for next morning cruise!
 

Day 7 – Monday – 4 DAY CRUISE, Oct. 15th, 2018, Monday

Today we’ll leave Athens early in the morning for Piraeus, embark the cruise ship and sail into the Aegean Sea. Our first island is one of the islands belonging to the Cyclades group of islands. This mountainous island of Mykonos has about 400 churches. City of picturesque white houses, and island's trademark the charming windmills. The place has a unique architecture of Byzantine and Western characteristics. We will visit the Church of the Virgin Paraportiani, on the main square Cathedral and an old Catholic Church and many boutiques and taverns along tiny paved streets. Return on board of the ship.
 

Day 8 – Ephesus, Turkey, and Patmos, Greece – Oct. 16th, 2018, Tuesday

In the morning you will arrive in the Turkish port city of Kusadasi. From here we will travel to Ephesus, where the Blessed Virgin Mary lived with St. John in a small house on the hill behind the city. Here you will have Mass before traveling down to the ancient city where you can walk the marble roads rutted by wheels of countless chariots and pass the ruins of architectural masterpieces. It is here that St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and where he was arrested and cast out of the city. In the afternoon you will visit the island of Patmos, where St. John wrote the apocalyptic Book of Revelations. On our excursion we will visit the cave where he lived, now the site of a monastery housing priceless icons and manuscripts.

 

Day 9 – Rhodes, Oct. 17th, 2018, Wednesday

Today after disembarking we are on our full day exploring city Rhodes, (Acts 21:1). It is a medieval city built by crusaders, Knights of St. John. We can walk down the Street of the Knights to the market area for shopping and a wonderful Greek lunch. The city is full of Byzantine monuments like St. George (14th c.) the 5th-century basilica, the Panayia of the Kastro (11th c.), and Agios Phanourios (13th c.). Just a little bit away is Our Lady of Philerimos (15th c.), while near the village of Lardos are two monasteries Psenis, abandoned Skiathos. Only 1 hour by bus and we will have a beautiful view from the Lindos famous ancient acropolis on the Bay of St. Paul where saint landed. Back on the ship!
 

Day 10 – Crete – Santorini, Oct. 18th, 2018, Thursday

Today on the last day of the cruise group will enjoy on their own visiting Heraklion on the island of Crete and visit Fira town on the island of Santorinioptional excursion on Crete to Knossos Palace is offered for those interested in more activities on the last cruise day.

  • see below under optional excursion
     

Day 11 Athens, Oct. 19th, 2018, Friday – flight back home

In the morning, after breakfast transfer to the Athens Intl. Airport, flight back home to the USA.
 


 

LAND SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • 2 frees packages including land, cruise and of shore excursions, port taxes, tips
  • 4* hotels in Greece
  • - 1 night Oct. 10 – 11, 2018 Kamena Vourla (summer resort)
  • - 1 night Oct. 11 – 12, 2018 Thessaloniki
  • - 1 night Oct. 12 – 13, 2018 Kalambaka
  • - 2 nights Oct. 13 – 15, 2018 Athens
  • - 4 nights Oct. 15 – 19, 2018 Cruise
    (Athens - Mykonos/Ephesus/ Patmos/Rhodes/Crete/Santorini - Athens)
  • Buffet breakfast and dinner daily, drinks included, wine & water
  • One dinner in “Plaka” Old Athens with Greek music and folk dances
  • High-class tourist coach
  • English speaking escort throughout the tour, Day 2 - 11
  • Local guides, guided tours as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sites/museums (Acropolis/Corinth Museum)
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage - hotels
  • Holy mass arrangements - where possible

 

CRUISE SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Accommodations in cabins, Celestyal Cruises in Standard INSIDE CABIN
  • All meals while on board & unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks
  • Of shore excursions - PRIVATE:
  • PATMOS - St John’s Monastery & the Grotto of Revelations
  • KUSADASI - The House Of Virgin Mary & Ephesus
  • Port tax on cruise
  • Tips for Cruise staff

 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Extra meals, drinks, extra visits, personal expenses,
  • Tips for guides on land portion of tour
  • Cable car ticket to Fira on Santorini  - 6,00 Euro per person
  • Rhodes city tour or excursion

 


To join this tour please fill in the registration form below!

For more information please contact Mrs. Michelle Bove from Bove Continental Travel:

E-mail:   bovetravel@aol.com
Phone: +1 718 680 5600


 

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Greece - St. Paul Pilgrimages