In the footsteps of Apostlet Paul in Greece
Saint Paul has contributed greatly to the spread of Christianity in its infancy. Supported by his faith, he has traveled thousands of kilometres through often hostile lands to bring the word of Jesus Christ. Among the milestones of this journey there are Philippi, Neapolis (Kavala), Thessaloniκι and Berea (Veria) in the north of Greece, Athens and Corinth in the south. We suggest you to follow in the footsteps of Paul to listen to his message and to discover through his work the roots of a young and vital Christianity. But following the path of Paul is to pass through regions rich of more than 2500 years of history of ancient Greece through the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire to arrive at modern Greece. An exceptional trip rich in several aspects.
Arrival at the airport of Macedonia of Thessaloniki. Transfer to the hotel and, depending on the time of arrival, city walk or other activity proposed.
Departure for Philippi, ancient town, one of Paul’s milestones. We will find the remains of the first Christian church in Europe. We will also visit the Source of Lydia, one of the first conversions to Christianity in Europe. Here we will get in touch with the spirit of Paul. Thus having the same sentiments as those of Christ Jesus: He who is of divine form, did not jealously desired the rank that equalled to God. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave and becoming like men. And being human he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross! God also exalted him and he gave him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in the highest heaven, and on earth into hell, and every tongue should state that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is also the opportunity to discover the ancient city of Philippi. A visit to the city of Kavala, named Neapolis in ancient times, where Paul approached from the coast of Asia Minor. We will walk through the old city to the Byzantine citadel which offers a magnificent view. We will also have the opportunity to admire the impressive aqueduct dating from the Ottoman period. Return to Thessaloniki and the hotel in the early evening.
We will visit Thessaloniki, a city that Paul crossed. The city is better known by the two letters Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. We must give thanks to God because your faith is in great progress and the love for
each of you grows in you all. We will visit the White Tower where we will be told the history of the city. We will climb to the acropolis of the city along the walls until Heptapyrgion, Byzantine and Ottoman fortress turned into a prison in the 1890s. From the walls we can enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the harbour and the Thermaïc Gulf. We will rreturn back down to the city and visit the church of Saint Dimitrios, patron saint of the city (IV century) whose relics are preserved in the church. This church, originally built on the site of the martyrdom, became during the VII th century a basilica with five naves of Hellenistic type. We will ffollow the ancient market that dates back to the foundation of the city (IIIcentury BC) We will visit the Arch of Triumph of Galerius (305 AD) and the Rotunda, built in Roman times, it was a church in the Christian era and a mosque during the Ottoman era. Walking round Aristotelous square and the neighbouring colourful markets will awaken all your senses.
Departure for Vergina and visit of the remains of the first capital of ancient Macedonia. We will also visit the unique museum devoted to the royal tombs discovered in 1977, including that of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. We will continue to Veria, Béroia named at the time of Paul. After his hasty departure from Thessaloniki, he finds himself in Béroia, he preaches in the synagogue where his teaching is well received. “Many of them became believers as well as Greek women of high rank and men in significant numbers” (Ac.17: 12). A monument commemorates his stay. There still exist the remains of the Via Egnatia, which connected Rome with Constantinople. After a walk through the old town, departure for Kalambaka at the foot of the meteorites. The meteorites are the most important group of monasteries of the Orthodox tradition in Greece, apart from those of Mount Athos.
Approximately 600 years ago Byzantine monks withdrew to found the monastic communities of Meteora. Meteora, are gigantic rocks, dark stalagmites rising towards heaven and crowned by monasteries that seem inaccessible. They contain relics, art objects, rare manuscripts. They are decorated with frescoes, gilded wood and precious icons. A wonder to the visitor. We will have the opportunity to visit two of these monasteries during this unforgettable day. In the afternoon we will cross the plain of Thessaly towards Delphi.
Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks as the central point (omphalos) of the world and home to the most famous oracle of the ancient world. We will visit the archaeological site, the Sanctuary of Apollo clinging to the slopes of Mount Parnassus. We will also visit the museum where we will have the opportunity to admire among others the famous Charioteer of Delphi. On the way to Athens we will walk through the picturesque village of Arachova, and we will also visit the monastery Ossios-Loukas. We will arrive in Athens at the end of the day.
Panoramic tour of Athens before returning to Paul in the agora of the ancient city at the foot of the Acropolis, where he addressed the Athenians. Athenians, it seems to me that the divine power inspires you more than all men with a religious fear because, walking through your city and contemplating the objects of your worship, I met an altar with this inscription: To the unknown God. This God whom you worship without knowing, this is the one that I announce to you, the God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples built by men, and that is not honoured by the works of mortals as if he needed anything, seeing he giveth all things to all, life and breath! … We will visit the Acropolis where we can admire among other monuments, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena, the Propylaea, the theater of Dionysus, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. At the top of the Acropolis we can enjoy a panoramic view over the city of Athens. We will also visit the magnificent archaeological museum of the Acropolis. We will walk to the Acropolis through the picturesque streets of Plaka.
Departure for the Peloponnese. We find Paul in Corinth, where he preached. I have the gift to speak all the languages of earth and sky, If I did not love, if I lack love, I am only a resounding copper, a tinkling cymbal. I might be a prophet, having all the knowledge of the mysteries, and all knowledge of God, and a faith that can move mountains, if I lack love, I am nothing. ‘ We will visit the remains of the Temple of Apollo and the fountain Pirene, which dates back to the sixth century BC. We will continue further south to Nafplio, where we will walk downtime through the picturesque streets, in the shadow of the citadel of acronauplie. Last stop of the day Epidaurus. We will visit the remains of the sanctuary of Asclepius, the Mecca of medicine in antiquity, and the famous theater of Epidaurus. Return to Athens in the late afternoon.
Walk freely before your departure for the airport of Athens
– The program can be extended and built according to your wishes and needs