catholic tour greece

Catholic Pilgrimage Of Saint Paul In Greece

A 8 Days / 7 Nights Catholic Tour In Greece


DAY 1: Athens

The Catholic tour in Greece 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

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. Return to Athens,attend mass, dinner and overnight in Athens.

DAY 3: Athens / Delphi / Kalambaka

After breakfast, we will depart towards Delphi. Delphi is the famous oracle where the priestess of Apollo, Pitia, influenced, with their prophecies the history of cities and states of antiquity. Visit the archaeological site and museum. The museum houses an impressive collection associated with ancient Delphi, including the earliest known notation of a melody, the famous Charioteer, golden treasures discovered beneath the Sacred Way, and fragments of reliefs from the Siphnian Treasury. Close to the exit is the inscription that mentions the Roman proconsul Gallio. The reference to proconsul Gallio in the inscription provides an important marker for developing a chronology of the life of Apostle Paul by relating it to the trial of Paul in Achaea mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (18:12-17). Near there you will find the famous Monastery of Hosios Loukas. This is a historic walled monastery and one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The day will end with dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.

DAY 4: Kalambaka / Meteora / Veria / Vergina / Thessalonica

Following breakfast we will visit the spectacular Meteora, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a mountainous region of stunning scenery. You will see hundred-year-old Byzantine monasteries on top of huge rocks, during the Middle Ages, first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation. We will visit the most famous of them, which is now a popular museum, the Great Meteoron, to admire superb icons, old manuscripts, unique mosaics and frescoes. Departure 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 continue to Thessalonica, dinner and overnight.

DAY 5: 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, attend mass at the Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception, dinner and overnight in Thessalonica.

DAY 6: Thessalonica / Philippi / Kavala

Breakfast and trip to Philippi, the town where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. “And from there (He went) to Philippi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman Colony. We remained in this city some days...” (Acts 16:12-18). Paul arrived here with Silas and Luke on the winter of AD 49 to AD50. There the first Christian baptism was performed, of a woman named Lydia. Although they were prosecuted and arrested, they received God’s help to escape from prison (Acts 16: 11-23) where there was the conversion of the jailer (Acts 16: 23-26). We will visit the Roman Theatre, probable site of the prison where Paul and Silas were arrested. We will continue towards the city of Kavala and the ancient city of Neapolis (Acts 16:11) where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. It was later renamed Christoupolis, meaning city of God, because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. We will visit the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis. Dinner and overnight in Kavala.

DAY 7: Kavala / Athens Walking Tour

Early breakfast and early morning flight to Athens. The tour will continue on a walk around the historical churches found in Athens. We will start with Mass from the Catholic Cathedral of St. Dionysius the Areopagite which is the main Roman Catholic Church of Athens, Greece. We will admire the interior and stained glass art and attend Mass (subject to availability). We will then move to 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 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. Dinner and Overnight in Athens.

DAY 8: Athens Airport

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

Mass Schedule

Masses are optional and can be arranged by us for better spiritual experience. Please note that priests celebrating masses in outdoor venues need to have vestments, hosts & wine.

Land Tour
Day 2Athens: Roman Catholic Cathedral of Athens St. Dennis or Corinth at the Site
Day 3Kalambaka: At the Hotel in a private meeting room
Day 4Thessaloniki: At the Hotel in a private meeting room
Day 5Thessaloniki: Roman Catholic Church of Immaculate Assumption
Day 6Phillipi: At Lydia’s Spring
Cruise Portion
Day 1On Board in a private meeting area (Upon request)
Day 2 At the House of Virgin Mary during the tour (Upon Request)
Day 3 On Board in a private meeting area (Upon request)

The above itinerary 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
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
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-

Biblical Readings

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1,2,3
Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things. And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchreae: for he had a vow. Acts 18:17,18
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
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. Philippians 4:15