Greece – Travels of Paul Itinerary

Friday, September  25 .. Depart Indianapolis for Thessaloniki

 

Saturday, September 26  ARRIVAL – THESSALONIKI 

 

Arrival at Thessaloniki airport and start your tour by viewing the White Tower, an historical landmark before continuing on to visit the Archaeological Museum which houses interesting finds from the Archaic, Classical and Roman periods, with findings of Sindos area and a stunning exhibition of golden jewels. Further visit of St. Demetrios Basilica which was erected in the 5th century AD. The five aisled basilica suffered a tragic fire in the year 1917 but was later restored in 1948. Marvel at the beautiful mosaics, dating back from the 5th to 9th Centuries.  Drive along the modern Egnatia street and view the Arch of Gallerius and St. George’s Rotonda. The tour will end with a short stop at the well preserved Byzantine Basilica of St. Sophia, an 8th Century structure, rich in mosaics and frescoes.

Transfer to our hotel- Thessaloniki Electra Palace for dinner and overnight.

 

Sunday, September 27 : PHILIPPI – KAVALA

After breakfast,  we depart for St. Lydia’s Baptistery where the first Christian Lady of Europe was baptized.  We will have a morning worship and opportunity to participate in a “Remember your Baptism: “ service.  From there, we will view the St. Sylas Monastery named after one of St. Paul’s companions and continue to the Archaeological Site of Philippi, founded by Philip II King of Macedonia. It was here too where St. Paul set foot on Europe during his second missionary journey, establishing a thriving Christian church. The ruins include the Forum Romanum with its Basilica, St. Paul’s Prison and the Theater. The famous road Egnatia, which once ran from Adriatic Sea to Constantinople, passed by this city. Continue our drive to Amphipolis and view the Lion Statue. Return to Thessaloniki for overnight at our hotel. Enjoy dinner on your own along the waterfront. 

Monday, September 28: THESSALONIKI – VERIA – KALAMBAKA

After breakfast at hotel, we enjoy a great view of Mt. Olympus as we depart to Veria to visit the Church Of The Christ from the 14th a.d. and continue for a short visit at St. Paul’s Tribune where the 3 steps in situ and the modern mosaic. We continue on to Kalambaka, a small town at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks.  We check into  our hotel, the Divani Meteora.  Enjoy dinner on our own

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Tuesday, September 29: KALAMBAKA – DELPHI

After breakfast at hotel, we depart to visit Meteora – among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. We will visit two of the monasteries before we continue to Delphi to check in to the Amalia Hotel.  Dinner tonight is included.

Wednesday, September 30: DELPHI – ATHENS 

After breakfast at hotel, depart to visit Delphi – once believed as the centre, “Naval” of the Earth, is the home of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. You will also visit the Treasury of the Athenians and Delphi Museum, which hosts valuable pieces of art like the famous bronze charioteer. We continue to Arachova, a small picturesque village famous for its traditional dairy products, hand woven colorful rugs and carpets. On to Athens where we check into the Royal Olympic Hotel, known for one of the best views of the Acropolis from its rooftop restaurant and just a short walk from the famous Plaka area of Athens.  Dinner tonight is on your own.

 

Thursday, October 1 : ATHENS

Enjoy Breakfast at our hotel. Depart to see the centre of the city, the Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier, Academy, University & National library. On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and photo stop at the Panathenean Stadium, where the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896 were held. On the Acropolis visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in mind”.  Then visit Mars Hill and continue tour in Plaka with some free time to walk around on your pace.  Transfer  back to the hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Enjoy dinner on your own.

 

Friday, October 2: ATHENS – CRUISE TO MYKONOS 

After breakfast, we check out and transfer to Piraeus port for embarkation on cruise sailing at 11.00 am to Mykonos with time at leisure on the beloved island of the international “Jet-Setters”  for its whitewashed cubic houses, windmills and chapels, the wonderful sandy beaches, shops, galleries and the incredible night life;  explore the towns’ winding narrow streets or enjoy a drink at little Venice – lunch, dinner and overnight on board.

 

Saturday, October 3: CRUISE TO EPHESUS (KUSADASI, TURKEY) & PATMOS 

Arrive at the port of Kusadasi on the Turkish coast where we will take an excursion to the Ancient city of Ephesus. We return to the boat and will set sail at noon for the Island of Patmos., the holy island where Saint John the Divine wrote the book of Revelations. You have the chance to join an optional visit to St’ John Monastery & Grotto of Apocalypse  – breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight on board.

 

 

Sunday, October 4: CRETE & SANTORINI 

This morning visit the island of Crete. Choose to particpate in an optional excursion, where you can visit the Palace of Knossos and its  famous ‘’ Labyrinth’’ which was the centre of the Minoan  civilization… incredible! At 4:30 pm, we dock at  Santorini, the volcanic island of the Cyclades. Admire the spectacular caldera, created by the eruption of the close by islet’s volcano in the ancient times and the white washed houses perched on the edge. Explore this cosmopolitan island on your own or take an optional tour and enjoy the breathtaking panorama and the world famous sunset in Oia traditional village – breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight on board.

Monday, October 5 : ATHENS-CORINTH

 

After breakfast on board, we disembark and drive south west until we reach the Corinth Canal which connects the Aegean sea with the Ionian sea. We continue to visit Ancient Corinth where St. Paul lived and preached for two years. The remains of the city, which include the Agora (market place) and Apollo’s Temple (6th century B.C) clearly show how rich and important Corinth was in ancient times. A short stop at the site of the ancient port of Kehries, where St. Paul disembarked, will conclude the visit. We return to Athens and transfer to your hotel.  Enjoy a final dinner on your own in the great city of Athens.

 

 

Tuesday, October 6: ATHENS – DEPARTURE

Breakfast at hotel and check out. At indicated time transfer from hotel to airport for departure.

 

 

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Package includes:

-          Round trip airfare from Indianapolis to Thessaloniki with return from Athens

-          7 nights in 5* hotels

-          Daily Breakfast

-          2 Dinners on the Ground tour

-          3 night cruise with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Louis Cruises.

-          5 day tour, with a/c bus & English speaking guide, including entrance fees.

-          Athens sightseeing tour

-          Transfer Athens hotel-Piraeus port.

-          Tour of Ephesus

-          Tour of Ancient Corinth

-          Transfer Athens hotel-Athens Airport.

 

 

 

 

Price:   The price for the trip is estimated to be approximately $3500 per person (double occupancy.)  A single supplement will be available at approximately $600.00 The final price will be determined when the final payment is due.  Since Greece is on the Euro, the final price may adjust slightly up until the final payment is due, but we will make every effort to keep the price as close to the original quoted price as possible.

 

Payments:  To hold a spot on the trip, a deposit of $500 per person is required by November 15, 2014.  A second payment of $1500.00 will be due on March. 15, 2014 with the final balance due July 15, 2015.

 

Flights:    We endeavor to book flights, using economy class seats,  that provide the best schedule at lowest price.  Upgrades to Business Class on the same itinerary may be available. For a price quote, please let me know.

 

You may  choose to book your own airfare because you are traveling on a different itinerary or using Frequent flyer miles, please let me know that you will not be using the group fare.

 

If you would like to alter either your departing flight or your return flight and leave early or return later, we can make that change with the group fare.  Please let me know the specifics of your itinerary so I can get a quote.

 

For all flights, You will need to provide information from your passport,  your name, exactly as it appears on your passport along with your date of birth, passport number and the passport expiration date.

 

Cancellation:

 

Once you have made a payment, If you must cancel before 120 days prior to the trip, you will be entitled to a full refund.  Between 120 days and 30 days prior to the trip, you will be entitled to a refund of the total trip cost less the cost of the airline ticket and any non refundable deposits paid to hotels and other vendors plus a handling fee of $200.00.  If you cancel less than 30 days prior, there will be no refund.   If you cancel after 120 days prior and the airfare has been paid, you may be entitled to an airline credit less the change fee assessed by the airline.  Usually you have one year to use the value of the ticket minus the change fee set by the airline, currently at $300.00.

 

Trip Insurance:

You may wish to purchase trip insurance to protect your cost of the trip in case of a last minute emergency.   Upon receipt of your deposit, you will receive an application for trip insurance.  Please note that insurance will only cover pre-existing conditions if it is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit.  You can also purchase and compare insurance plans on the website www.insuremytrip.com.  You can purchase trip insurance to cover limited situations or you can purchase insurance that will allow you to cancel for any reason.  Prices and various plans are available.

 

Baggage:  Most carriers allow for one free checked bag on international flights.  You will be charged for a second checked bag.  Please check the website for specific prices.   You will be allowed a small carry-on and one personal bag.  Please be sure you meet the specifications for the carry on bag so you are not surprised with a charge at check in.