15-Days: In the Footsteps of St. Paul: A Pilgrimage to Greece & Turkey

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DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart USA en route to Thessaloniki with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2: ARRIVE THESSALONIKI
We arrive in Thessaloniki and are greeted by our Catholic Travel Centre representative. We board our motor coach and transfer to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (D)

DAY 3: THESSALONIKI
Today we dedicate ourselves to Thessaloniki and St. Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians. Paul established the first church here (Acts 17:1-10). Ruins of an early Christian church are near the Palace of Galerius. We examine in Paul’s letters to this community his unbounded determination to continue the Church. After visits to several churches and the Old Town, we return to our hotel to reflect on our day. (B, D)

DAY 4: THESSALONIKI: PHILIPPI EXCURSION
We devote ourselves today to Philippi, named after King Philip II of Macedonia. Paul and Silas came to Philippi on the second missionary journey and Paul returned on his third (Acts 20:2-6). Following the Baptism of Lydia, the first Christian church in Europe was established here. We will visit the ruins of the area, including the site commemorating Lydia’s baptism and the place where St. Paul was imprisoned. We return to Thessaloniki for the evening. (B, D)

DAY 5: THESSALONIKI / KALAMBAKA
We travel to some of the enchanting Greek countryside, including Kamena Vourla, Amshissa, Thermopylae, and Kalambaka. We continue to our hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 6: KALAMBAKA / DELPHI
This morning we will visit the breathtaking Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Then we are off to the City of Delphi, home to the Sanctuary of Apollo. En route we will stop at the Ossios Lucas Monastery. In Delphi, we explore the fascinating archeological sites and museums. Tonight we lodge at the lovely Hotel Amalia. (B, D)

DAY 7: DELPHI / ATHENS
Today, after celebrating Mass in Delphi, we depart for Athens, the birthplace of Western Culture. We arrive at the Divani Zafolia Palace, our home for the next few days. The remainder of the day is yours to unwind. Tonight we will all enjoy dinner at a local Taverna. (B, D)

DAY 8: ATHENS
We begin our city tour with perhaps the most perfect piece of architecture known, the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena. We continue onto the famed

Archeological Museum and the Plaka Flea Market. The rest of the day is yours to explore the enchanting city. (B, D)

DAY 9: ATHENS
After breakfast, we proceed to the nearby marketplace (agora) where St. Paul preached as we reflect on his mission in this city. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B, D)

DAY 10: ATHENS: CORINTH EXCURSION
This morning we depart for the peninsula of Argolis, home of Corinth, the most wealthy and important city in the time of Paul. Here the Apostle worked with Aquila and Priscilla. The mostly Gentile Church he founded here caused him much grief and prompted from him at least four letters to them. Paul’s trial by Gallio took place in the agora (Acts 18:12-17). It is from Corinth, also, that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. On our return, we visit the ruins of Cenchaeae, the harbor from which St. Paul sailed to Ephesus (Acts 18:18). Later we will explore the historic sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus, containing the best preserved open air theatre in Greece. Our evening is in Athens. (B, D)

DAY 11: ATHENS
Today is at your leisure to explore the city, or to take an optional excursion on your own to one of the surrounding towns. (B, D)

DAY 12: CRUISE / MYKONOS
This morning we transfer to the port of Piraeus for our three day cruise on the Epirotiki Cruise Lines. Our first stop of the day is the island of Mykonos, the island of entertainment and excitement. This evening we leave Mykonos for Rhodes. (B, D)

DAY 13: CRUISE / RHODES
We arrive in Rhodes this morning, with the day at your leisure to explore the island and its charm. This evening, we sail for Turkey. (B, D)

DAY 14: CRUISE / KUSADASI / EPHESUS / PATMOS
Our first stop is Kusadasi in Turkey. We will proceed by bus for a short ride to Ephesus. St. Paul founded the Church here in 53-56 AD. From here, he wrote letters to Galatia, Philippi, and Corinth. We will see the great theatre where St. Paul addressed the crowds (Acts 19:29), as well as the site of the scene of the riot from which Paul escaped. We will also visit the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This afternoon we set sail for Patmos, the isle where St. John was exiled prior to writing the Book of Revelation. After our tour we set sail again for Piraeus.

DAY 15: RETURN USA
We transfer to the Athens airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.