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Athens – Ancient Corinth – Osios Lucas – Delphi – Meteora – Thessaloniki – Philippi – Kavala – Vergina – Veroia – Thermopylae – Athens
You can admire the most famous monuments of Greece in a single guided tour. Tour starts and ends in Athens. This itinerary brings all the participants in direct contact with history, architecture and nature and inserts them into Modern Greek life.
Tour the most famous archaeological, historical and religious sites of Greece, walk on the Footsteps of St.Paul and be introduced to nature of the Greek countryside by starting and ending your trip in Athens.
Tuesday: Arrival at the Athens International Airport
Transfer to the hotel in the center of Athens and free time available for the rest of the day. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Wednesday: Osios Lucas – Delphi – Kalambaka
After breakfast departure from Athens with the guide for the visit to the Monastery of San Luca (Osios Lucas) one of the most important examples of Byzantine architecture and art (UNESCO World Heritage). Continue to visit the famous Archaeological Site of Delphi, known in ancient times for its mystical energy and for the power of the God Apollo. On Mount Parnassos, in a landscape of immense beauty, we find the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Museum, full of masterpieces of ancient sculpture such as the bronze Auriga. Lunch at a local restaurant and departure for Kalambaka.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kalambaka.
Thursday: Meteora – Vergina – Veria – Thessaloniki
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Meteora. Famous for its impressive image with its well-preserved monasteries, which contains an inestimable history and religious treasures, as well as exquisite examples of Byzantine art, remaining between earth and sky on top of huge rocks. Once the visit of the monasteris is over, we proceed to the city of Kalambaka for lunch and then we continue to Vergina, a small town in the northern part of Greece near Veria, capital of perfection of Imathia. The city became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed what he thought was the burial place of the kings of Macedonia, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. These artifacts established the site as the ancient city of Aigai. Visiting the museum that was inaugurated in 1993, it was built in a way to protect the tombs, expose the artifacts and show the mound as it was before the excavations. The two most important tombs were not stripped and contained the main treasures that can be admired in the museum. The tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander, was discovered in 1977 and is divided into two rooms. The main room included a marble sarcophagus, and inside there was the larnax made of 24 carat gold and weighs 11 kilograms. Within the golden larnax the bones of the dead were found and a gold crown of 313 oak leaves and acorns 68, weighing 717 grams.
The facade of the tomb of Alexander IV of Macedonia: In 1978 another burial place was discovered near the tomb of Philippe, who belongs to Alexander IV of Macedonia, son of Alexander the Great. It was slightly smaller than the previous one and also was not stripped. Your guide will take you inside the museum to see some of King Philippe’s most important assets, including the King’s Shield and gold-trimmed pettor. According to legend, the golden chest containing the king’s bones was washed with wine and wrapped in a purple cloth. Also you can learn how it was brought to light before seeing the golden chest. Also on display are the golden tiaras of unrivaled art, sumptuous wall paintings and a golden crown of oak leaves.
After visiting the archaeological site of Vergina, our bus will take us to a small hill near the town of Veria, where local tradition holds that St. Paul has preached. A small shrine known as the Altar of St. Paul was erected in this place. Many religious ceremonies are still held at this altar today. After the visit to the Altar, we will return to the city of Thessaloniki, early in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight.
Friday: Philippi – Kavala – Thessaloniki
After breakfast in hotel departure to Kavala, along the important road “Egnatia” built on the ancient Roman road “Via Egnatia” and passing by the lakes of Koroni and Volvi and for the village of Asprovalta, with visit of the Lion of Amfipolis . Following a visit to the place where Santa Lydia, the first woman in Europe, was christened Cristiana da San Paolo and at the archaeological site of Philippi, significant examples are ‘the’ Forum Romanum ‘and the ruins of the two Christian Basilicas (the prison where Saint Paul was held prisoner) and the ancient Greek Theater.
At the end of the visit departure for Kavala, stop to admire the beautiful town and its port and lunch in a local restaurant. In the evening arrival in Thessaloniki, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Saturday: Thessaloniki – Thermopylae – Athens
After breakfast at the hotel Meet with our guide and start the tour with a panoramic tour around the city. See the main places of interest in the city. Take a short break at the White Tower to take some pictures. Then continue the tour by visiting Agios Demetrios Byzantine church which is the most important church in Thessaloniki for religious, historical and artistic reasons. The most famous and interesting part of the church is the ancient underground “Crypt”. The crypt was rediscovered after the fire of 1917 and was finally restored as an exhibition / museum in 1988. According to Christian tradition, the saint was imprisoned here and died in 303 AD. You will also have the opportunity to visit the “Vlatadon” monastery, also known as the ” Tsaous ” Monastery. It is a monastery in the Upper Town region of Thessaloniki. It is the only monastery of the Byzantine period of the city, founded in the mid-14th century, which remains open until today.
During the 15th century the abbey prospered.
After the capture of Thessaloniki by the Turks, some privileges were given to the monastery, validated with a “firm” by Sultan Mehmed II in 1446. In addition, some Ottoman-style buildings show that in the 16th century the monastery was inhabited by Turks . In 1801 the patriarch Cirillo Loukaris restored the monastery church, but in 1870 a fire destroyed part of it, including the library. The damages were repaired at the expense of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Today the Abbey belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. From the original construction, the only thing that remains is the sanctuary and a few other architectural elements. Near the monastery church, which is dedicated to the “Transfiguration”, there is a vaulted chapel from the 14th century with period frescoes of the “Paleologo” family. According to local tradition, the monastery was built in the place where Paul preached and lived during his stay in the city. 93 codes and records of the monastery are saved and have been transferred to the “Moni Iviron of Mount Athos”, during the Second World War After visiting the Altar stop in a local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, return to Athens by bus. On the road to Athens a brief stop at Thermopylae, where the fierce battle between Persians and Greeks took place during the Persian invasion of 480-479 BC. The Greek force (300 warriors) was small but very determined able to take a stand against the huge Persian army.
Arrival in Athens in time for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Sunday: Athens city tour
After breakfast in the hotel, departure for a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, whose vast collection of treasures of antiquity makes it one of the most important National Museums in the world. The tour continues with a panoramic tour of Athens and visits to the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion accompanied by the astonishing view of the city from the Areopagus hill, where Paul, the Apostle had preached Christianity to the Athenians. The Apostle arrived in Athens from Veria with a ship and while waiting for the arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, he preached freely in the streets, he spoke to the people in the Synagogue and the market, struck by the plurality of images of worship and idols. Similarly, the doctrine of the Crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection astounded some philosophers and historians who considered St. Paul a “talkative” to expel him from Athens and lead him to the Supreme Court to force him to officially return his doctrines and to present his ideas of teaching.
The tour continues to Agora ‘with a walk through the streets of the ancient city, the famous Plaka, with its multitude of shops and bars, you reach the small church of Notre Kapnikareas, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the middle of Ermou and the Cathedral of Athens “Metropolis”.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Monday: Tour of Ancient Corinth and Mycenae
After breakfast departure from Athens towards South West of Greece until you reach the Corinth Canal, the famous channel that connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian Sea (short stop). Continuation of the visit to the Ancient Corinth, place where St. Paul had lived and prayed for two years. The remains of the city, which include the Agora (local market) and the Temple of Apollo (6th century AD) clearly show the richness and importance of this community in ancient times.
After lunch in a characteristic restaurant, departure for Mycenae and visit to the Archaeological Site, the most important center of ancient Greek civilization in the years between 1600 A.C. up to 1100 A.C. and today, world cultural heritage. Mycenae was not only one of the major centers of Greek civilization, but also a significant military power that dominated southern Greece. Visit to the Archaeological Site, home of the mythical King Agamemnon, to the Cyclopean walls, the gate of the Lions and the Royal Tombs , including the Clytemnestra of Agamemnon and the Treasure of Atrea, majestic structure of the 14th century BC
Return to Athens in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Tuesday: Athens – departure
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Athens International Airportyou’re your departure.