an 8 day journey to Greece and the Greek Islands
Day 1 - Depart USA to Greece
Evening departure from your home town, for the overnight flight to Greece. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Arrive Athens
Upon arrival in Athens you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Time to relax, meet your fellow pilgrims. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 3 - Athens - Excursion to Corinth
Today you will start by visiting the Acropolis to see the ruins of the Parthenon, Erectheum and Propylae. For twenty five centuries, the panorama of this city is dominated by the rock of the Acropolis; see the ruins of the Parthenon, the Erectheum and the Propylae. Afterwards, ascend Mars Hill where Paul spoke to the ancient Athenians about the one and Only * God. From here you have an excellent view of the ancient agora; former center of the Athenian public life. Continue for a drive through the city to see the House of Parliament on Syntagma Square, the evzones in their picturesque uniforms guarding the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You will also see the Library, the University, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympics of the modern era were held, the temple of the Olympian Zeus and Adrianís Arch. This afternoon continue the tour to Ancient Corinth. Here, under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, St. Paul preached and lived for two years. The vigorous and mostly Gentile Church he founded here in 50 AD caused him much grief and prompted him to write, at least, four letters to them. Visit the ruins of the ancient city where Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla. See the remains of the first century shops, the agora where Paul's trial by Gallio took place, the Fountain of Peirene, Temple of Apollo and the Bema. Return to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - Athens - Start 3-day Cruise - Mykonos
The first port-of-call is Mykonos. It is the most cosmopolitan of all Greek islands and attracts many visitors from all over the globe, including large numbers of artists and intellectuals. Your coaches will take you to Hora the island's capital where you'll enjoy a walking tour in the narrow cobbled streets of the town, passing by chic boutiques, elegant nightclubs and white washed houses till reaching Alefkandra. Alefkandra is a charming corner of Hora, known also as the "Venice" of Mykonos. The houses are built on the sea, with wooden balconies that evoke Venice. These were built from the mid 18th century onward and were homes of wealthy merchants and captains. At one of the famous restaurants of Alefkandra you'll enjoy the sunset on Mykonos island while drinking your refreshment accompanied by Greek meze. You'll return then to Mykonos Town (Hora) from where you'll take the ship's shuttle service back to the port to meet your ship!
Day 5 - Visit the Island of Rhodos
Drive along the
picturesque south-eastern coastline, scattered with white-washed villages, to
Lindos, one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times.
See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by
the knights of St. John in the 13th century. Within stands the ancient Acropolis
of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the
Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the
Aegean Sea and St. Paula's bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his
historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great staircase
leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and Temple of Athena.
Should you wish to make your way up by mule, a fee must be paid to the local
muleteer. After your guided tour of the Acropolis, enjoy some free time on your
own in Lindos village before meeting up with your motorcoach. Return to Rhodes
city to enjoy a panoramic drive through the new part of the city before
continuing to Mount Smith where you will view the ruins of ancient Rhodes, the
Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium. Afterwards your motorcoach will drop you
off at Porte Amboise were you will commence your walking tour through the
medieval city of Rhodes. Follow your guide through the northern part where once
lived the knights and their attendants. View the Palace of the Knights and
continue your walk down Chevaliers Road in order to meet up with your motorcoach
at the marine gate and return back to the ship.
Day 6 - Kusadasi - Patmos
Begin the day by arriving at Patmos, where you will enjoy a short journey 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 build 900 years ago, exceptional in its architecture. View the courtyard, the monk's dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noting its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Next, see the priceless ecclesiastical treasures housed in the beautiful but small museum: books and manuscripts, mosaics, Icons, splendid medieval textiles and vestments as well as jewelry. Return to your motorcoach to continue on to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse, where above stands the Monastery of the Apocalypse, a sub-unit of the main monastery. Walk down the steps to visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Here you will see the silver niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of the Revelation as well as the three-fold crack made by the voice of God emphasizing the honor of the Holy Trinity. Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque harbor.
Continue our journey, Kusadasi is a lively Turkish port. Drive through the colourful town of Kusadasi to reach Mt. Koressos. Situated in a small valley, it is here where you will visit the humble chapel which lies on the site of the little house where The Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days. Despite the many controversies, the Christian World still favours this belief and the site has been officially sanctioned by the Vatican for pilgrimage. Continue on to Ancient Ephesus and accompanied by your guide, walk through the Magnesian Gate which is the entrance to the ancient city of Ephesus. Your guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. See the Odeon (concert hall), the Fountain of Trajan, the steam-heated Baths of Scolastika, the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians, the Library of Celsus and The Great Theatre, where St. Paul preached, which is the largest theatre in antiquity having a capacity of 24,000 people. Walk back to your motor coach along the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. While driving back to Kusadasi and just outside Ephesus, view the Basilica of St. John, which was erected over his grave in the 6th Century AD by the Emperor Justinian. Before returning to the ship, enjoy free time in Kusadasi.
Day 7 Piraeus - Athens
Today marks the end of the cruise. Today you will be have a city tour of Athens, where old and new coexist. You will visit the magnificent Acropolis, the fortified city housing the temples including the Parthenon, the temple of the goddess Athena. Afternoon will be at leisure. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 - Athens - USA
Transfer to the airport for return flights home.
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