Greece Pilgrimage

 

Embark on a journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history. Fulfilling the dream of walking where the apostles walked. Greece Pilgrimage is led by a local guide who is an expert on the historical, cultural, scenic, and spiritual history of this ancient country. Most of our Greece packages include an Aegean cruise. You’ll get the chance to experience the islands of Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, Crete, and Santorini. ​Are you ready to embark on a journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history? Join others in fulfilling the dream of walking where the apostles walked. Each of our Greece tours is led by a local guide who is an expert on the historical, cultural, scenic, and spiritual history of this ancient country. Most of our Greece packages include an Aegean cruise. You’ll get the chance to experience the islands of Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, Crete, and Santorini with the many shore excursions offered onboard a Celestyal Cruise. Some other tour highlights include a visit to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the ancient city of Corinth, and the archaeological site of Mycenae. 

9 Day Pilgrimage

Sample Itinerary 

Day 1  Home

Departure Overnight flight to Thessaloniki.

 

Day 2 Thessaloniki

Today we discover Thessaloniki, a city at a unique crossroads of civilizations, where East meets West. Take the afternoon to soak up the thriving culture of Greece's beloved Northern capital with its idyllic sea views, tree-lined streets and colorful bazaars. B | D

 

Day 3 - Thessaloniki - Kavala

Today we visit Neapolis, now known as Kavala, where St. Paul first set foot in Europe. En route we will see the mountain peninsula UNESCO world heritage site that is widely considered the holiest place in modern Greece: Mount Athos. We continue on to Kavala for afternoon at leisure to visit the old town with its famous aqueduct, Byzantine castle and neoclassical mansions. Enjoy dinner at a picturesque seaside taverna and settle in for the night. B | D

 

Day 4 - Philippi - Thessaloniki

After breakfast we will travel, just as St. Paul and his companions did, from Kavala to Philippi, where he preached his first sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. We will visit the sites where Lydia was baptized and where St. Paul was imprisoned. We will visit the Acropolis, the theater and the remains of the first Christian basilica established in Europe. We continue in chronological order, stopping in Ancient Amphipolis, before returning to Thessaloniki. B | D

 

Day 5 - Thessaloniki - Kalambaka

Today we visit the Arch of Galerious, the neighboring Rotunda and through the ruins of the Ancient Agora. We’ll also visit St. Demetrious and St. Sophia churches before setting off, as Paul and Silas did, for Veria. At nearby Vergina, we’ll see the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great before making our way to Kalambaka, home of the breathtaking Meteora Monasteries, for dinner and an overnight. B | D

Day 6 - Kalambaka - Athens

Today we will climb above the charming mountain villages of Kastraki and Kalambaka to visit two of the six surviving Monasteries of Meteora, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world. Though Paul passed through Greece long before hermits began cave-dwelling here in the 9th century, one cannot deny that the message of his mission is alive and is exceptionally wellpreserved here. We will see how the monks live today and enter some of the most captivating Byzantine basilicas in Greece. In the afternoon we’ll head south to Athens for dinner and a several nights stay. B | D

 

Day 7 - Athens

We will begin our morning climbing up the rock of the Acropolis. Afterward, we will ascend the Areopagus, Mars Hill, where St. Paul spoke to the Athenians who were gathered in the Ancient Agora below. We’ll continue on to the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of the Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. To follow we will see the National Gardens, the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, the University of Athens, and finally the National Library. Dinner and evening at your leisure in lively Athens. B

 

Day 8 - Corinth

We will visit the ruins of Corinth, walking in the same paths that St Paul walked almost two thousands of years ago. We will visit the ruins of the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo, the Fountain of Peirene, the Agora where Paul's trial by Gallio took place and where the famous Bema stands. Afterward we will pass by the ancient port of Kechries, Paul’s departure point for Ephesus. We’ll return to Athens for a special last evening together. B | D

 

Day 9 - Return Home

Flight home after a life changing spiritual journey through the Greece. B

10-Days: In the Footsteps of St. Paul: A Pilgrimage to Greece

 

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart USA en route to Thessaloniki, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

 

DAY 2: ARRIVE THESSALONIKI
We arrive in Thessaloniki and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative. We transfer via private motor coach to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (D)

 

DAY 3: THESSALONIKI: VISIT OF THE CITY
Today we dedicate ourselves to Thessaloniki and St. Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians. Paul established the first church here (Acts 17:1-10). Ruins of an early Christian church are near the Palace of Galerius. We examine in Paul’s letters to this community his unbounded determination to continue the Church. After visits to several churches and the Old Town, we return to our hotel to reflect on our day. (B, D)

 

DAY 4: THESSALONIKI: PHILIPPI EXCURSION
We devote ourselves today to Philippi, named after King Philip II of Macedonia. Paul and Silas came to Philippi on the second missionary journey and Paul returned on his third (Acts 20:2-6). Following the Baptism of Lydia, the first Christian church in Europe was established here. We will visit the ruins of the area, including the site commemorating Lydia’s baptism
and the place where St. Paul was imprisoned. We return to Thessaloniki for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 5: THESSSALONIKI / KALAMBAKA
We travel to some of the enchanting Greek countryside, including Kamena Vourla, Amshissa, Thermopylae, and Kalambaka. We continue to our hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 6: KALAMBAKA / DELPHI / ATHENS
This morning we will visit the breathtaking Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Then we are off to the City of Delphi, home to the Sanctuary of Apollo. En route we will stop at the Ossios Lucas Monastery. In Delphi, we explore the fascinating archeological sites and museums. We continue to Athens for the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 7: ATHENS: CITY TOUR
We begin our city tour with perhaps the most perfect piece of architecture known, the Parthenon, the Temple of Athens. This afternoon we make our way to the nearby marketplace (agora) where St. Paul preached as we reflect on his mission in this city. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Dinner is served at our hotel. (B, D)

 

DAY 8: ATHENS: ONE DAY CRUISE
This morning we transfer to Piraeus for a one-day cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydria. We return to Athens and enjoy dinner at our hotel. (B, D)

 

DAY 9: ATHENS: CORINTH EXCURSION
This morning we depart for the peninsula of Argolis, home of Corinth, the most wealthy and important city in the time of Paul. Here the Apostle worked with Aquila and Priscilla. The mostly Gentile Church he founded here caused him much grief and prompted from him at least four letters to them. Paul’s trial by Gallio took place in the agora (Acts 18:12-17). It is from Corinth, also, that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. On the return, we visit the ruins of Cenchaeae, the harbor from which St. Paul sailed to Ephesus (Acts 18:18). Later we will explore the historic sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus, containing the best preserved open air theatre in Greece. We enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

 

DAY 10: RETURN USA
We transfer to the Athens airport for our return flight to the USA. (B

 

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.

In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle

 

 

Day 1 Overnight Flight

Paul the Apostle, the prolific writer of the New Testament letters, was one of the first Christian missionaries. Trace his journey through the ancient cities and pastoral countryside of Greece and Turkey.

 

Day 2 Athens, Greece - Tour Begins

Your tour begins in Athens, Greece’s lively capital. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner in Athens’ historic district – the Plaka – a lively historic neighborhood nestled at the foot of the Acropolis. Feast on local cuisine and enjoy fine wine in a traditional taverna while Greek entertainment creates a wonderful ambiance around you.

  • Dinner

  • Crowne Plaza Athens City Center

 

Day 3 Athens - Piraeus* (Embarkation) - Mykonos

Embark on a wonderful 3-night cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily while on board. Mykonos, the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands, is your first stop. This charming, mountainous island is known for the hundreds of tiny chapels, whitewashed buildings and beautiful windmills that dot its landscape. Don’t miss Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity. Enjoy free time to explore this island paradise.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Celestyal Cruises

 

Day 4 Kusadasi, Turkey - Patmos, Greece

Visit the Turkish port of Kusadasi for an included excursion to the ruins of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Paul the Apostle spent three years during his ministry and where its inhabitants were the recipients of Paul’s famous epistle. Visit the House of Mary, where she is said to have spent her last days. A visit to the ruins includes the Agora, the great theater, and the stadium where chariot races took place and gladiatorial combats were held. It is said that Paul himself fought here against wild beasts. Continue your cruise to Patmos, the “Jerusalem of the Aegean.” Visit the Monastery of John and the Cave of the Apocalypse where John the Evangelist, inspired by God, wrote the Book of Revelation during his exile.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Celestyal Cruises

 

Day 5 Heraklion (Crete)** - Santorini

Arrive early this morning in Heraklion, Crete. Enjoy time at leisure to independently explore this lovely port (ship excursions available for purchase directly with the cruise line). Later, arrive on the fabled island of Santorini, known as the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” Visit the breathtaking Oia Village, perched on the caldera rim. Then, enjoy free time to visit the clifftop village of Fira for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Celestyal Cruises

 

Day 6 Piraeus* - Disembark Cruise Ship - Thessaloniki

After an early morning disembarkation, travel north. Make a picture stop at Thermopylae, famous for its heroic defense by Leonidas and his courageous Spartans against the Persian army. Your day ends in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Founded in 315 B.C., Thessaloniki was an early center for Christianity; it is where Paul visited and preached during the winters of A.D. 49-50 and wrote two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture, one of the finest museums in the world devoted to Byzantine art and civilization with an impressive collection of many Byzantine and early Christian frescoes, icons and artifacts.

  • Breakfast & Dinner

  • Capsis Hotel Thessaloniki

 

Day 7 Thessaloniki - Kavala - Philippi - Thessaloniki

Travel to the coastal town of Kavala where Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot on European soil. In nearby Philippi, Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, planting the seeds of Christianity. Join a local expert for a guided tour of this historic town featuring the archaeological site and monuments spanning the Ancient, Roman and Byzantine eras. See the dungeon where Paul was held prisoner and the site where he baptized Lydia, the first Christian in Europe.

  • Breakfast

  • Capsis Hotel Thessaloniki

 

Day 8 Thessaloniki - Meteora - Kalambaka

Proceed through the fertile Thessalian Valley – the breadbasket of Greece – to spectacular Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These dark, sandstone pinnacles rise abruptly from the plain of Thessaly, with six historic monasteries perched upon their peaks. Beginning in the 10th century, hermits, monks and ascetics sought solitude and spiritual solace in these dramatic crags. Visit two amazing Meteora monasteries*** which are renowned for their intricate construction and exquisite Byzantine art. Overnight in Kalambaka.

  • Breakfast & Dinner

  • Hotel Famissi

 

Day 9 Kalambaka - Delphi

Travel through scenic mountain terrain to Delphi, one of the most moving sites of the ancient world. Once considered the “navel of the world,” Delphi is nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Pilgrims once came from all over the ancient world to consult its mysterious oracle. A guided tour takes you along the Sacred Way to see the Doric Temple and the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasuries, and the intriguing Archaeological Museum with its staggering collection of ancient artifacts including the 5th-century bronzed Charioteer.

  • Breakfast & Dinner

  • Hotel Anemolia

 

Day 10 Delphi - Corinth - Athens

Travel to Corinth where Paul wrote two epistles, lived and preached for two years. Explore ancient Corinth on a guided tour featuring the Agora, where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place, and the Bema, where Paul was brought before the tribunal, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In Athens, see the hill of Areopagus (Mars Hill) – where Paul delivered his famous “Men of Athens” speech – and visit the incomparable Acropolis. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a marvelous trip.

  • Breakfast & Dinner

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Toll Free: 800-910-0114

Pilgrimages

Jamie Thom

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313-799-0419

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