orthodox tour in greece

Byzantine Tradition Of Greece

A 10 Days / 9 Nights Christian Tour In Greece

Itinerary

DAY 1: Athens

The trip will start with your arrival in Athens airport where we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure, dinner and overnight in Athens.

DAY 2: Athens City Tour / Corinth / Cenchrea / Loutraki

After breakfast we will go on a city tour to explore the city of Athens. Athens is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. We will visit the main points of interest in the city: the Acropolis, the Parthenon and Mars’ Hill (Areopagus) where Paul preached the truth to the Gentile Nation. After that, we will head toward ancient Corinth (Acts 18.1-18). It was in ancient Corinth where Paul came and worked, established a thriving church and writing two of the epistles, which are now part of the New Testament. We will see all the sites that are associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s seat, the pillars, stairs, and the place of public worship, where Paul preached. All these visits will certainly enhance the understanding of Corinthians I and II. Before ending the tour and return to Athens, we will visit the ancient Greek port of Cenchrea (Acts 18:18) where Paul was during his second missionary journey and the ruin of the early Christian 5th Century basilica. We will move to Loutraki for dinner and overnight.

DAY 3: Loutraki / Derveni / Kalavrita/ Nafpaktos

After breakfast we will head towards the Monastery of Assumption of Panagia the Kyparissiotisa in Derveni, dating back to the 11th century. View the extremely rare Icons of Angels Giil and Gidail, names from the Old Testament. The most precious treasure of the monastery is the burial head (Karas) of St. Lerotheou. Continue to Osios (‘the Blessed’) Patapios located high in the Geraneia mountains. The relics of Osios Patapios, known for his many miracles, were originally buried at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Constantinople, but later brought to the Geraneia Mountains and sealed in a cave adorned with 13th century Byzantine wall paintings. After lunch we will continue to Kalavryta and its Mega Spileo & Agia Lavra monasteries. Mega Spileo Monastery is the oldest Monastery of Greece where you will se icon of Holy Mary crafted by Evangelist Lucas. It was founded in the 4th century by two monks from Thessalonica, and built in a huge cave on Mount Helmos at an altitude of 924 meters. The monastery of Agia Lavra was constructed in the year 961 at an altitude of 961 meters, housing 961 monks. It also houses a precious carved icon screen, frescoes and other valuable relics. Continue to Nafpaktos for dinner and overnight.

DAY 4: Nafpaktos / Kalambaka

After breakfast we visit the monastery of St. Augustine and Seraphim Sarof, built in 1980 and which quickly became known world-wide. Its unique bell tower houses 400 bells and is considered to be one of the largest in the world. We continue our visit to the 11th century Byzantine Monastery of Ossios Loukas. The Cathedral is decorated with splendid mosaics, and is architecturally one of the finest Byzantine monuments in Greece. Continue to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.

DAY 5: Kalambaka / Thessalonica

After breakfast the trip continues with a visit to Kalambaka and Meteora, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a mountainous region of stunning scenery. On top of huge rocks, during the Middle Ages, monks seeking isolation built inaccessible monasteries. We will visit the most famous of them, which is now a popular museum, the Great Meteoron. We will continue to the biggest city of northern Greece, Thessalonica for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6: Thessalonica City Tour

After breakfast the trip continues with exploring the city of Thessalonica, where Paul preached the gospel in the second and third missionary journey. For the early Christians of this city he wrote epistles “To the Thessalonians.”. We will visit the Cathedral of St. Demetrius, the Protector Saint of the city, the Church of Saint Sofia, the great Church of Saint George which is hosted in a medieval building, the Byzantine temple of «Panagia Chalkeon», the historical Church of Prophet Elias, the White Tower and the Byzantine fortress of the city. Finally we will visit the monastery of Vlatadon, which was founded in 1360. The rest of the day is at leisure, dinner and overnight in Thessalonica.

DAY 7: Thessalonica / Athos / Thessalonica

After breakfast we will depart from Thessalonica towards Chalkidiki region and arrive to Ouranoupolis,. Upon our arrival in Ouranopolis the men of the group will visit one of the Monasteries on Mount Athos, the garden of Virgin Mary and which is out of bound for all other women. Monks have been living there since the 4th Century. From Byzantium the Orthodox faith spread to the Balkans and monks from these lands arrived on Mount Athos to establish monasteries. The women will depart for a cruise around Mount Athos, where they will admire the monasteries from the sea. The ship heads towards the southwestern part of the peninsula and reaches the sea borders of the monastic state and its territory. From there, passes the area of the first Russian cloisters and some unique beaches, it passes the first monastery, Iera Moni Dochiariou and another 7 monasteries follow as well as the Holy Mount’s central port, Daphni, and finally the cloisters, small villages, where groups of monks live in every house. The group will reunite in Ouranoupolis and return to Thessalonica for dinner and overnight.

DAY 8: Thessalonica / Vergina /Veria / Athens

Following breakfast we will head to Veria (Berea), another town evangelized by Paul (Acts 17.10-14). When Saint Paul visited this town in AD50, he came across a more “noble” Jewish community where he preached and created an important Church. This is where Paul met Sopatros, who would later become a valuable comrade who followed him on his return journey to Asia. We will visit the ancient synagogue where we will see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. According to tradition it was at this place where he preached. Then we will head to Vergina, the legendary burial site of the Macedonian kings. This place is considered as a World Heritage Site, also known as the Royal Tombs and houses the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great and conqueror of Greek territories which resulted in the expansion of Hellenism. We will then head towards Athens, dinner and overnight in Athens.

DAY 9: Athens Kaisariani Monastery and Historical Churches

After Breakfast we will begin the day with a visit at Kaisariani Monastery. Overlooking the Kaisariani district from a hill a short distance from Hymettus, the Kaisariani Monastery stands some 350 meters high. The Monastery is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The monastery includes baths from the Byzantine era and preserved frescoes from the 17th and 18th centuries. The tour will continue with a visit of Byzantine & Christian Museum of Athens where you can admire relics of the Byzantine era. Then you will proceed on a walk around the historical churches found in Athens. We start from what is known to Athenians as the Russian Church, the Holy Church of Lykodemos Sotira is one of the oldest and largest Byzantine churches in Athens. The next stop will be located on Monastiraki Square, the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, or Pantanassa, was once called the Great Monastery, and today is known commonly as Monastiraki. This 10th-century arched basilica was first mentioned in a 17th-century document when the church was managed as part of the Kaisariani Monastery. Kapnikarea Church will be the final stop and it stands out as a major landmark in Athens’ Byzantine past. Dating from the 11th century, the church lies in the middle of Ermou Street and is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The church was built atop an older, Christian temple, commissioned in the fifth century AC by the Byzantine empress Eudokia, wife of Theodosius the Younger. Constructed on foundations of the ancient temple of Athena or, perhaps, Demeter, Kapnikarea Church is today owned by the University of Athens. The rest of the day is at leisure, dinner and overnight in Athens.

DAY 10: Departure from Athens

According to the schedule of your return flight you will be taken to the airport of Athens.

The above program can be combined with a 3-Day or 4-Day Cruise to the Greek Islands as per the tables below:

3 Day Cruise Ports Of Call
DayPortArrDept
FriAthens (Piraeus), Greece-11:30
FriMykonos, Greece18:0023:00
Sat ORSamos (Pythagorion), Greece05:0015:30
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey07:0013:00
SatPatmos, Greece17:4521:30
SunCrete (Heraklion), Greece07:0012:00
SunSantorini, Greece16:3021:30
MonAthens (Piraeus), Greece07:00-
4 Day Cruise Ports Of Call
DayPortArrDept
MonAthens (Piraeus), Greece-11:30
MonMykonos, Greece18:0023:00
Tue ORSamos (Pythagorion), Greece05:0015:30
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey07:0013:00
TuePatmos, Greece17:4521:30
WedRhodes, Greece07:0018:00
ThuCrete (Heraklion), Greece07:0012:00
ThuSantorini, Greece16:3021:30
FriAthens (Piraeus), Greece07:00-
athens corinth cenchrea loutraki meteora thessalonica mount athos veria christian museum

Biblical Readings

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill [or, the court of the Areopagites], and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions [or, gods that ye worship], I found an altar with this inscription, To the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. Acts 17:22,23
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead ; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Acts 17:1,2,3
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Beroea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed ; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Beroea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea : but Silas and Timothy abode there still. Acts 17:10,11,12,13,14