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Day 1 – Sep. 17
Afternoon departure from Toronto to Athens.
Day 2 – Sep. 18
Upon arrival in Athens, the capital of Greece and the foundation of democracy we are transferred to our hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Sep. 19
After breakfast we travel to Corinth with a short stop at the Corinth Canal. In Corinth we visit the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. We visit the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps and public worship place where St. Paul preached. Upon return to Athens we visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Erectheum and view Athens atop Mars Hill where St. Paul once stood. We continue to the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium, and Presidential Palace. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 4 – Sep. 20
This morning we start the 3 night Aegean Sea cruise. We sail to the quaint isle of Mykonos. Upon arrival free time for leisure on this charming island, dinner and overnight on the cruise ship.
Day 5 – Sep. 21
Today we arrive at Kusadasi in Turkey. We are transferred to Ephesus, where the first of Seven Churches was located and where St. Paul lived for some years. We enter through Magnesian Gate and discover numerous monuments such as the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the thermal baths of Scolastica and the Great Theater of Antiquity. We also visit the Monastery of St. John and Grotto of the Apocalypse. Dinner and overnight on the cruise ship.
Day 6 – Sep. 22
This morning we arrive in Heraklion on the island of Crete and visit the Knossos Palace, the site of civilization thriving here 6000 years ago. We continue to the volcanic island of Santorini and in the evening we dine and sail to Athens.
Day 7 – Sep. 23
Upon disembarking in Athens we board a bus and travel to Kalambaka. We visit the Meteora Monasteries, the world famous Byzantine monasteries that are perched precariously on the summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history dates back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliffside caves. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 8 – Sep. 24
After breakfast we travel to Thessaloniki. En route we visit Veria (ancient Berea) and see the memorial commemorating St. Paul’s preaching. Continue to Thessaloniki, the ancient walled city, where we visit St. George’s Basilica, built over the synagogue where St. Paul preached. We also visit the beautiful basilicas of St. Sophie and St. Demetrios, dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. We than see the Arch of Galerius on the Via Egnatia where we can look over the second largest city of Greece from the Old City Ramparts, some dating back to Roman times. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 9 – Sep. 25
This morning we travel to Phillipi where we visit the Baptistry of St. Lydia, the first convert of St. Paul on European soil. Continue to the old walls and the Byzantine castle. We also view the Roman-era crypt where St. Paul was imprisoned and explore Phillipi’s famous Acropolis, Market Place, the Basilica of St. Paul and Theater. Continue to Neopolis, the site of St. Paul’s first landing in Europe. The harbor is particularly picturesque with the brightly colored fishing boats moored along the waterfront. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Sep. 26
After breakfast we depart to Athens. En route we visit the modern-day monument of King Leonidas I of Sparta commemorating the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Continue to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 – Sep. 27
In the morning we are transferred to the airport for a flight from Athens to Toronto. Evening arrival.