10 Days - Religious Discoveries
Day 1 : Wednesday 16 ( 23 ) October 2013 ATHENS –Arrival ( D.)
Arrive Athens. After clearing Customs and collecting your baggage, you will be met by representatives
who will escort you to the coach for a transfer to hotel in the centre .
Depending on traffic, transfer takes approximately 45 minutes .
During transfer, our representatives will give you information on contemporary Athens & Greece.
Check in the rooms.
In the evening, we depart hotel for our Welcome Dinner in Plaka, the oldest part of Athens.
Being in Plaka you will discover why it is said that ‘Athens is the city that never sleeps’.
To a great extend that statement is true and you surely have the chance to find it out tonight as we
will have dinner at the traditional Taverna in Plaka with live music and folklore dance and show.
Return to the hotel after dinner for the overnight.
Day 2 : Thursday 17 ( 24 ) October 2013 ATHENS – Half day city tour & Acropolis (B.)
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning meet with your guide at the lobby of the hotel and depart on coach for a city tour of Athens which will give you the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such as fascinating city. Your guide will take you to the centre: Constitution Square, the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier. Driving down Herod Atticus street you will see the Evzones in their picturesque costume and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Panathenaic stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896) and the Athens of the 2nd century A.D., the temple of Olympian Zeus and the Adrian’s Arch. On the Acropolis visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, the Erechteion and finally, the “harmony between matter and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon. Afterwards visit the Mars Hill (Areopagus) where Saint Paul preached Christianism to the Athenians.
Balance of day will be free at leisure to explore on your own the town’s secrets or just stroll around Plaka and enjoy shopping bargains.
Overnight at the Hotel in Athens.
Day 3 : Friday 18 ( 25 ) October 2013
ATHENS – Half day Ancient Corinth Tour – DEPARTURE (B.)
Breakfast at the hotel.
After check out hotel, we depart on coach for a visit to Ancient Corinth. Drive down the coastal road along the Saronic Gulf to the Canal of Corinth which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean Sea (short stop) then continue to Ancient Corinth.
Here Saint Paul spent 18 months preaching to the Jews and the Gentile.
The site is overlooked by an Acropolis housing the remains of the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In Corinth Paul worked with Aquilla and Priscilla. Paul’s trial by Gallio took place in the Agora.
The community he founded here caused him much grief and prompted from him at least 4 letters. It is from Corinth that he wrote to the Thessalians. Mass in open .
Around 14h:00pm, we depart to Athens , to Lavrio Port to embark your Cruise Vessel. Your Cruise vessel departs for the first port of call – Thessaloniki at 18h:00 .
Overnight on board.
Day 4 : Saturday 19 ( 26 ) October 2013 THESSALONIKI / VERIA
THESSALONIKI /GREECE (ARRIVAL 09h:30 / Departure 20h:00)
Thessaloniki / Veria : ancient walls , the House of Jason & the Agora. Then Veria .
Veria ( BERROIA ) :
We start our tour by air-conditioned motor coach from the port of Thessaloniki, to reach the Citadel and visit the Vlatadon Monastery where St. Paul preached during his second missionary trip. After that , we leave Thessaloniki and after one hour drive we arrive in Veria the city of BERROIA as mentioned
in the Bible, that was St. Paul’s next stop and where he preached to the Jews that were more noble.
We pay a visit to the traditional Tribune where three steps in site coexist with the recently created mosaic of the Saint to commemorate the event.
St. Paul is the Patron Saint of the city of Veria. The classical city, bearing the name of one of the mythological King Veris daughters and founded at the footsteps of mount Vermion, flourished during these years when huge walls were built to protect the city part of which can be seen at the entrance of the city and it was the first to surrender in 168 b.C to the Romans when it developed into the second important city in the area after Thessaloniki.
During the Byzantine era it was the seat of many nobles who lived there exiled that resulted to the foundation of a number of delicate small Byzantine small churches beautiful decorated with frescoes inside. Due to the existence of these churches, Veria is called the small Jerusalem. One of these
churches, the Church of Christ is planed to be visited next.
It is a construction of the early 14th century bearing inside the representative masterwork wall paintings of the most famous painter of this era named Kalliergis who worked mostly in this area.
During the dark years of the Ottoman occupation, Veria was an important commercial and cultural center with many Mosques, the old market and beautiful mansions.
Today it is the capital of the prefecture and it is the biggest export center of all agricultural products in the district.
There will be some free time for individual visits and then we drive back to the port of Thessaloniki .
09.45 hrs Dep. Port, drive to Veria passing from VLATADON Monastery
10.10 hrs Arrive at the Monastery
10.30 hrs Drive to Veria
11.30 hrs Visit St. Paul’s Tribune
12.00 hrs Visit Church of Christ
12.30 hrs Departure from Veria
13.30 hrs Arrival at the port of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Highlights :
Afternoon visit of Thessaloniki’s most popular landmarks and highlights. From the pier, travel by airconditioned motor coach into the City, where you will pause briefly for photos of the White Tower. An excellent example of post-Byzantine architecture, this building stands today as a majestic symbol of
At the Byzantine Museum, enjoy an hour perusing displays that feature artifacts from the Christian Era through the post-Byzantine period. Pieces to admire include sculptures, mosaics, painted tombs, embroidered fabrics and religious icons.
Back aboard your motor coach, continue past the International Trade Fair grounds and the Aristotelion University as you head to the Citadel. Here, enjoy a superb panoramic view of the city, with Mt. Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf in the backround.
Your next visit will be to the 5th-century Basilica of St. Demetrius, the largest church in Greece. View an impressive display of mosaics and visit the basilica’s crypt, where Demetrius, an officer of the guard, was confined.
Before returning to the ship, travel along one of Thessaloniki’s main avenues, past the Arch of
Galerius and St. George’s Rotonda.
It is recommended that guests wear flat, comfortable shoes. This excursion is not wheelchair accessible. Summary of Highlights: White Tower, Byzantine Museum, citadel and Basilica of St. Demetrius.
15.00 hrs Depart from the pier
15.10 hrs Photo stop at the White Tower
15.20 hrs Arrive at the Byzantine Museum
15.30 hrs Visit the Byzantine Museum (restroom facilities)
16.30 hrs Drive to Citadel
16.45 hrs Visit Citadel
17.15 hrs Drive to Basilica of St. Demetrius
17.30 hrs Visit Basilica and Crypt
18.30 hrs Drive through the city passing The Arch of Galerius & Rotonda
19.00 hrs Return to the pier
Day 5 : Sunday 20 ( 27 ) October 2013 KAVALA / PHILIPPI
KAVALA /GREECE (ARRIVAL 08h:00 / Departure 14h:00)
Kavala / Philippi : tour Kavala ( Biblical Neapolis ) , visit Philippi and the Bapticery of Lydia.
Mass on the river where Paul’s first Europian convert Lydia was baptized .
Kavala, the ancient site of Neapolis, founded in the 7th Century BC, is the very same place where St. Paul set foot on the European Continent during his second missionary journey, establishing a thriving Christian church in the nearby city of Philippi. The famous Egnatian road, which once ran from Adriatic
Sea to Byzantium (today Constantinople) passed by this city.
Depart the port by motor coach and drive a short distance to see the Aqueduct, built by Suleiman the Magnificent after the Roman style. From here, you will cross the city, giving you the opportunity to pass by the St. Sylas Monastery named after one of St. Paul’s companions. Arrive at the famous city
of Philippi, one of the most interesting biblical and historical ancient cities.
The city once known as Krinides, was renamed “Philippoi” after King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It is the place where Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian Augustus, granting the City of Philippi a great many privileges. From here, drive a short distance to
the Baptistery and the River, where Lydia, the first European convert was baptized. Return to the archaeological site for a guided tour through the excavations, marvelling at the upper and lower parts as well as the Forum, the Walls, the two Basilicas and the Theatre. Your guide will also point out the
traditional prison, which once held St. Paul and St. Sylas. Afterwards, meet back up with your motor coach at the specified place and drive back to Kavala with a short stop at the place where a monument stands commemorating the landing of St. Paul in Neapolis. After that we return to the
ship, the duration is approximately 10 minutes.
08.30 hrs Depart from the pier
09.00 hrs Arrive at Lydia’s place
09.45 hrs Continue to the archaeological Site for visit
11.30 hrs Leave the Site for Kavala
12.00 hrs – 12.20 hrs Arrive and stop at St. Paul’s monument
12.30 hrs Return to the ship
Day 6 : Monday 21 ( 28 ) October 2013 ISTANBUL
ISTANBUL /TURKEY (ARRIVAL 07H:00 / Departure 18h:00)
Istanbul : Topkapi Palace , Blue Mosque , Hagia Sofia.
ISTANBUL TOUR TIMETABLE
08:00 Departure from the port, orientation drive
08:45 Arriving Old City, visiting Hippodrome
09:00 Visiting Blue Mosque
09:30 Visiting St. Sophie
10:45 Arriving Topkapi Palace and visit
12:30 Lunch at Konyali Restaurant in Topkapi Palace
14:00 Arriving Grand Bazaar and free time for shopping
15:30 Arriving Holy Spirit Cathedral for Mass
16:30 Departure from the Cathedral
17:00 On board
Your Istanbul tour starts from the Karakoy Ship port to the Old City area. On the way to the old city you will see Galata District which was a capital of commerce during the Ottoman Empire, Galata Tower, Galata Bridge, Eminonu Square and New Mosque. Your first stop will be the Ancient
Hippodrome, which was a sporting and social centre of Constantinople ( Capital of Byzantine Empire). After Hippodrome you will continue to the fabulous Blue Mosque. This mosque is well known with its handmade Iznik tiles. Your tour continue with the Hagia Sophia Museum, former Church and Mosque,
which is a very important place of Orthodox World. Before lunch you will visit the Topkapi Palace, a primary residence of the Ottoman Empire for
approximately 400 years. You will have your lunch at fourth courtyard of the palace at the Konyali Restaurant with a Bosphorus view.
Lastly you will have a shopping opportunity at Grand Bazaar, which is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3000 shops. Your tour will end after a long day at the Karakoy Ship Port.
Day 7 : Tuesday 22 ( 29 ) October 2013 DIKILI
DIKILI /TURKEY (ARRIVAL 10H:00 / Departure 22h:00)
Dikili / Pergamon : Pergamon , Acropolis , Asclepion.
PERGAMON TOUR TIMETABLE
10:00 Departure from the port of Dikili
10:45 Arriving Acropolis and visit
11:45 Departure for Red Basilica
12:00 Arriving Red Basilica, visit and Mass
12:45 Departure for lunch
13:00 Arriving restaurant and lunch break
14:45 Departure for Asklepion
15:00 Arriving Asklepion and visit
16:00 Departure for the port of Dikili
16:30 On board
Your tour starts from the Dikili port and your first stop will be Acropolis. It is a part of ancient town
Pergamon. After Acropolis, you will visit the Red Basilica, which is one of the largest Roman structures
still surviving in the Ancient Greek World. You will be doing your Mass here and then you will have a
lunch. Your last stop will be Asklepion Ancient City. Your tour ends at the Dikili port.
Day 8 : Wednesday 23 ( 30 ) October 2013 KUSADASI / EPHESUS / MILETUS
KUSADASI /TURKEY (ARRIVAL 07H:30 / Departure 23h:30)
Kusadasi / Ephesus / Miletus : visit Ephesus , sit in the Great Aphitheater and Mary’s House. Free
lunch and demonstration at a Turkey rug factory, Time permitting , visit ruins of St. John’s Basilica
and tomb of John and the Council Church of 431 – and an afternoon tour of Miletus.
KUSADASI TOUR TIMETABLE
08:00 Departure from the port of Kusadasi
08:45 Arrival the House of Virgin Mary, Mass after visit
09:30 Departure for Ephesus
09:45 Arrival Ephesus and visit
11:45 Departure for St. John Basilica
12:00 Arrival St. John and visit
12:45 Departure for Rug Village
13:00 Arrival rug village for lunch and rug weaving demonstration
15:30 Departure for Miletus
16:30 Arrival Miletus and visit
17:15 Departure for the port of Kusadasi
18:00 On board
KUSADASI Including The House of Virgin Mary
After a departure from the Kusadasi port, firstly you will visit the House of Virgin Mary. The belief that the Virgin Mary had spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus. After a visit, you will have your Mass here. Your next stop will be the Ancient Ephesus, which was the trade centre of the ancient world, a religious centre of the early Christianity. Next place will be the St. John Basilica. It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. You will drive to the Rug Village for a lunch and free carpet
demonstration. As last, you will visit the Miletus Ancient City, which was considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities. Your tour ends at the Kusadasi port.
Kusadasi without the House of Virgin Mary We will welcome you at the port of Kusadasi. After a 30 minute drive your spectacular day will begin.
For a few hours you will feel like a Roman citizen living in the history of the ancient site of Ephesus. You will have an extensive tour in this ancient site where you will see the Hadrian’s, Trajan’s and the Domitian’s Temples, the huge Roman bath, Harbour Street, the Marble Street, the Gate of Mihridates and Mazues, Commercial Agora, Latrina, the Scolastica Baths, Curetes Street, Polio Fountain, Memnius Monument, the Prytaneion, Odeon, the Satet Agora, the Celcus Library and the biggest amphitheater of Turkey. Then we will drive to St. John Basilica. It was constructed by Justinian I in the 6th century.
It stands over the believed burial site of John the Apostle. It was modeled after the now lost Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.Next stop will be Rug village. There will be time for lunch and shopping before going to Miletus. Demonstrations of ceramic and carpet weaving procedures to be seen in the Rug village. And then we will drive to Miletus. Miletus is one of the oldest cities of Ionia, located North of Soke, about 60 km from Kusadasi. Miletus with its magnificent theatre and the Byzantine fortress on the acropolis above.
We will drive back to the Kusadasi port after a long day.
Day 9 : Thursday 24 ( 31 ) October 2013 PATMOS – SYROS
PATMOS / GREECE (ARRIVAL 07H:00 / Departure 11h:30)
Patmos : Cave and Monastery St. John’s Monastery & Grotto of the Apocalypse Depart from the port of Scala and enjoy a short drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As you walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. View the courtyard, the monks’ dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noted for its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Next, visit the small museum where priceless ecclesiastical treasures, books, manuscripts, mosaics, icons, splendid medieval textiles, vestments and jewellery are housed. Return to your motor coach and continue to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse. Walk down the steps to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Here you will see the niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the book of the Revelation and the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honouring the Holy Trinity. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque town.
Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.
SYROS / GREECE (ARRIVAL 18H:00 / Departure 23h:00)
Free time to walk around in the Capital of Cyclades Group of Islands.
Day 10 : Friday 25 October / 01 November 2013 ATHENS ( LAVRION )
ATHENS ( LAVRION ) GREECE (ARRIVAL 06H:30 )
Breakfast on board . Disembark the Cruise Vessel and transfer to Athens Airport for your flight back
" IT'S GOOD TO HEAR AND TO ALSO SEE AND TOUCH" 1 John 1:1-3
Greece is bidding you Farewell and Wishes you many happy returns!