G R E E C E 2 0 2 0
Trip Cost: $4219 - All inclusive (including 3 day Greek Isles cruise)
Trip Dates: March 17-26, 2020
Trip Pastor: Todd Gaston
Trip Highlights: Athens, Corinth, Mykonos, Patmos, Ephesus, Santorini, Thessaloniki
DAY 01 – TUE. MAR. 17 - DEPARTURE Today we depart Washington Dulles on our overnight international flight to Athens, with a connection in Frankfurt.
DAY 02- WED. MAR. 18 - ARRIVAL ATHENS Welcome to Greece, the capital of democracy, ancient civilization and art! Upon arrival we’ll be met by our guide and driver and travel to the city for a panoramic orientation tour before arrival to our hotel to settle. We will have a free afternoon to explore the area. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 03 – THU. MAR. 19 - CORINTH-ATHENS After breakfast we start our tour to drive along the beautiful Peloponnesian Gulf and across the Corinthian Canal to Corinth. In ancient times it was the chief commercial center of Greece. See the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. To stand in the midst of the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps, and public worship place where Paul preached will enhance your understanding of I & II Corinthians. The ruins of this important cultural center are fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked. Athens, with its famous Acropolis with visits to the Parthenon, Areopagus, and Mars Hill where the Apostle Paul delivered his well known sermon. Afterwards we take a panoramic tour to the rest of the sites of Athens: the Athens National Museum & Library; the University and the Parliament House. We’ll have some time this afternoon to explore the ancient area of Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighborhood. Plaka’s charming stone-paved streets, colorful houses, and beautiful little gardens create a delightful atmosphere. Dinner and overnight
DAY 04 – FRI. MAR. 20 - CRUISE EMBARKATION-MYKONOS After breakfast we will depart the hotel and transfer to the port to embark our cruise. Our first stop will be at the famous island of Mykonos. A shuttle bus will take us to the capital to enjoy walking in the narrow roads full of shops and restaurants
DAY 05 – SAT. MAR. 21 - CRUISE -KUSADASI /PATMOS Early this morning, we explore Ephesus, dominated by the great 24,000-seat amphitheater, cited in Acts as the place of the apostles’ courageous witness. What a privilege to walk these ancient streets in the footsteps of New Testament writers Paul and John! Excavations at Ephesus are ongoing…each season more can be seen of the city where Paul invested two years of his ministry. Archaeologists still digging at the site have reconstructed much of it, including the beautiful two-story Library of Celsus, The Temple of Hadrian, and the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the temple once had 129 columns and was the size of a football field). Our second stop today is at Patmos where the exiled St John received the Revelation which forms the last book of the New Testament. Included is an excursion to the Monastery which is of the 11th Century and to the Grotto of Revelation.
DAY 06 – SUN. MAR. 22 - HERAKLION / SANTORINI This morning we will wake up at Crete, the biggest island in Greece. We can take part in the excursion to the ancient Minoan civilization and visits of Knossos Palace and the Museum of Heraklion. Then we will continue to Santorini, the famous colorful volcanic island. We may take the donkey ride up the steep hill to the village or use the cable car.
DAY 07 – MON. MAR. 23 - DISEMBARK CRUISE / KALAMBAKA This morning our ship will reach its final destination-Athens. We will disembark the ship and meet our guide and bus to leave Athens towards Delphi where we will visit the ancient sanctuary of Apollo we will gain a greater understanding of the Greek religious heritage and their influence on the early Christian church. We visit the museum where we will marvel at the site of the Charioteer, a bronze statue so delicate we will see his eyelashes. We will see the Temple of Apollo and the Castalia Springs. Continue to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 08 – TUE. MAR. 24 - KALAMBAKA / VERIA / THESSALONIKI Today we will depart our hotel after breakfast to visit the unique hanging Byzantine monasteries from the Medieval centuries. There are 24 but only 6 are inhabited. Continue to Veria (Berea) where St. Paul escaped the hostility he encountered at Thessaloniki, we will see the monument built to the Apostle at the southern part of the city, also known as the Bema. Continue to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece .We will see the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius, the churches of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia, and the Roman Forum and Rotonda. We will then check in at our hotel, have dinner and overnight.
DAY 09 – WED. MAR. 25 - DRIVE BACK TO ATHENS This morning we will have a city tour of the second biggest city in Greece where we will see the castles and the Byzantine churches of St Sophia, St Demetrius and many other features of the city. Then we will drive back to Athens passing through amazing scenes of the country. Dinner and our final overnight in Athens .
DAY 10 – THU. MAR. 26- DEPATURE HOME We transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA.