The Itinerary for the 13 Day Extensive Biblical Greece Tour (including a 4 day Aegean Sea cruise)
September 10-22, 2018
All Inclusive Price: $4,277 from JFK, NY. $3,497 for “land only” travelers.
* New Instant Registration:
(This link will take you directly to the web site of our Holyland / Greece travel agent, imagine Tours & Travel. This is a safe & secure way to place your $500 deposit instantly with your credit card and reserve your spot on this tour. Please enter the tour code – DeLanceyG18 – to register for this trip).)
Price of this Greece Tour includes: Airfare & US & Int’l Departure-fuel taxes ($492.12), gratuities ($40 cruise and $105 land), Port fees ($176), hotels, 2 meals daily on land, 3 meals daily on the ship, and all entry fees. $4,277 from JFK, NY (additional departure cites available upon request). The land only price includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: July 10, 2018.
Early Bird Discounts: With your deposit of $500 to reserve your spot on this Greece tour, you will earn the following discounts off the overall price: $150 for deposits made before 8/10/17; $100 before 10/8/17; $90 before 11/8/17, $80 before 12/8/17, $70 before 1/8/18, $60 before 2/8/18, and $50 before 3/8/18.
This extensive Greece tour features is a “one-of-a-kind” trip like none other! We start in the north and drive south to see not only virtually every biblical site but many classic sites as well. All of these sites offer us the context for the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul as we retrace his steps! We also drive into the southern Peloponnese to see a a few sites here as well. The trip also includes a 4 day cruise in the beautiful Aegean Sea. We will see the islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and the spectacular Santorini. We even sail to the western coastline of Turkey to see the massive biblical site of Ephesus! We return to Athens to climb the Acropolis and see the famous Parthenon and Mars Hill (Acts 17).
DAY 1 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10: DEPART U.S.A. FOR GREECE
Embark upon your journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Chris an history with an overnight flight to Thessaloniki. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience and get some rest on the night. Tomorrow we will be walking in the Greek world that the Apostle Paul knew. The world and culture of the New Testament is about to come alive!
DAY 2 – TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: THESSALONIKI
We arrive in Thessaloniki, the city where Paul was received by Jason. Paul was preaching the Word of God here until he was rushed out of the city. We transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12: PHILIPPI, KAVALA, THESSALONIKI
This morning we travel east to the amazing site of Philippi. We visit the Baptistry of Lydia, near the river where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil, followed by the conversion of the jailer. We also visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christ an Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. We then drive to the coast, to the port of Kavala (ancient Neapolis). Here, Paul took his first step in bringing the Gospel to present day Europe. It is a picturesque port! We view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. To end the day, we drive back to Thessaloniki for a panoramic city tour before returning to our hotel for our second night.
DAY 4 – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13: BEREA, VERGINA, KALAMBAKA
We leave Thessaloniki and drive south through the beautiful landscape of inland Greece. Our first stop is Berea, visited by Paul. It was here that Paul planted a church that “studied the Scriptures” on a regular basis. Close by is Vergina, the burial place of Philip II (Father of Alexander the great), now a museum. In the afternoon, we drive through the scenic route over the mountains to Kalambaka. Weather permiting, we might see Mt. Olympus, the legendary abode of the Greek gods. We spend the night in Kalambaka, located in the shadows of the unique monasteries of Meteora.
DAY 5 – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14: METEORA, THERMOPYLAE, DELPHI
This morning you see the world famous Byzantine monasteries that are perched precariously on summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliff-side caves. Then they fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, which were later transformed into monasteries. Next, we drive to Thermopylae. It was here that the famous 300 Spartans, led by King Leonidas, fought with an alliance of Greek city-states against the large Persian army in 480 B.C. From here we drive to Delphi and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15: DELPHI, OLYMPIA
In the morning we tour the ancient oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Here we will visit the local museum with its renown bronze statue of the charioteer. We also see the stadium where the ancient Pythian athletic games were held every four years. Second only to the Olympic games in fame, these games were in honor of Apollo. Then we see the temple of Apollo where the young priestess Pythia gave her prophecies. Next we cross the famous suspended bridge into the Peloponnese, the southern peninsula of Greece. This is yet another classic Greek city that sets the context for the world of the New Testament. Here we will see the ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, with its magnificent temples. The ancient original Olympic stadium is where the most important ancient games were held every four years. In the late afternoon, we drive to the picturesque coastline city of Nafplion the first capital of modern liberated Greece from the Ottoman Empire. This picturesque little town combines Greek, and Vene an architecture, and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Dinner and overnight are in Olympia.
DAY 7 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: MYCANAE, CORINTH, ATHENS
We start the day by visiting the site of Mycenae, the legendary city rival of Troy, and described by Homer as “Mycenae rich in Gold.” This city dates back to the late Bronze Age, and is famous for the “beehive” Tomb of Agamemnon (Treasury of Atreus) and the gold masks. We then continue to ancient Corinth. This is the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Word of God. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman forum and the famous Bema where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Then we drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor from which Paul sailed back to Asia, thus ending his second missionary journey. We end the day by driving to Athens for overnight. An optional walk will be offered after dinner.
DAY 8 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17: START OUR 4-NIGHT MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE
We sail this morning from Athens to the quaint isle of Mykonos, called the island of windmills. We arrive at Mykonos where we disembark and have time to experience the waterfront lined with shops and cafes. We stroll the charming walkways through a maze of white-washed buildings before returning to the ship for dinner and evening activities. No excursions are included today, as we will visit the island at our leisure by foot.
DAY 9 – TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: KUSADASI, PATMOS
In the morning we arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey. Excursion Included: A short drive takes us to Ephesus, where Paul spent three years during his ministry. The impressive remains of Ephesus include the Agora, the Theater, the Stadium, the Library of Celsus, the ruins of the Temple of Diana (one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”) and many more. Later, we sail for the island of Patmos. (Excursion Included) Here we visit the Monastery of St. John, on one of the island’s highest points. From there, we walk down to the Groto of the Apocalypse, the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St. John the Divine.
DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: RHODES, LINDOS
Today, we will visit the Island of Rhodes. The ship enters the port, which was once dominated by the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. (Excursion to Rhodes and Lindos included). On this excursion, we drive along the southeastern coastline on our way to Lindos, the most important of the three great cities of ancient times. We visit the Acropolis of Lindos, overlooking the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s Bay. Afterward, we spend some free time in the small attractive village with the little shops and narrow streets. We drive back to the city of Rhodes for our walking tour of the city and stroll through the Medieval Old City, down through Chevaliers Road. Then, we view the Palace of the Knights of St. John.
DAY 11 – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: HERAKLION, CRETE / SANTORINI
This morning we spend time in Crete, the largest and most rugged of the Greek Islands. It is also the ancient home of the great Minoans and the mythological god, Zeus. Optional Excursion to Knossos Palace and Heraklion City not included: During this excursion, we take a short ride through the town of Heraklion and then arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan’s archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire ourished on the island of Crete. Paul left Titus in Crete and gave instructions on appointing church leaders in the towns (Titus 1:5 ). Next, we spend an evening on what many would consider the most spectacular of all the Greek islands, Santorini. Optional Excursion to Thira & Oia Village not included. On this excursion, we follow a scenic coastal drive along the Aegean and arrive in Oia where we enjoy a guided walking tour of the village. The walk takes us along the cobbled streets to view up close the whitewashed homes, which characterize the ancient Cycladic architectural style. We continue on via coach to Thira, an attractive town perched on the Caldera rim. Here we will have me to stroll the cobbled lanes of this fascinating town or simply relax over coffee, as we gaze down upon Kamenes, the two volcanic islets in the Caldera Bay. A short cable car ride will take us down to the pier where we will rejoin the ship. Optional guided excursions are available from the cruise line, but not recommended by the tour leader.
DAY 12 – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: PIREAUS, ATHENS
We disembark the cruise this morning in Piraeus. Afterwards, we will continue our sightseeing in Athens with a visit to the world-renowned Acropolis. Here we will see the Propylea, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. We visit Mars Hill, where Paul delivered his speech on the “Unknown God (Acts 17).” Then we will look down to the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city, where Paul preached to the skeptical Athenians. At the end of the day, an optional hike up to the top of Mt. Lycabetus (for the best view of Athens) will be offered. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 13 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: FLIGHT HOME
We wake up early to drive to the Athens Airport for our flight home. We arrive back in the States, proceed through U.S. Customs, and secure our connecting flights back to our respective homes, the end of a great trip to the world of the New Testament.
*Tour members who choose not to take the optional excursions can explore the islands on their own. Optional excursion pricing is subject to change by the cruise line and is reserved/purchased in Euros directly on the cruise ship. Upgraded cabins are available upon request at an additional cost.
*Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this brochure. While we will do our utmost to include all the sites listed above, the order of the sites and/or days and the number of days may be altered to accommodate changes in airlines, hotel schedules, time constraints, the cruise lines and local conditions. Rotation of ports of call may vary for congestion reasons at certain ports, with or without prior notice and changed by cruise lines without notice. Celestyal Cruises reserves the right to substitute vessel trading for the scheduled vessel without notice.
*Breakfast & Dinner included daily while on land. Three meals will be provided each day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) on board the cruise. Unlimited non-alcoholic drinks are included on board the cruise. Drinks are not included with meals on land, except for customary items served at the buffet.