0920OS3 - Journey of St. Paul Pilgrimage 10 days from Norfolk

Airline Name Baggage Information
Austrian Airlines http://bit.ly/1cx7LRf

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $172 plus current fuel surcharges of $400 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
OS0920GS 09/20/2023 $6399.00
Weather Info

Trip Details

We depart Norfolk to connect with our overnight flight aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner, and breakfast while aloft.
This morning, we arrive in Athens and transfer for our short flight to Thessaloniki. On arrival, we are met by our Tour Manager and enjoy a short sightseeing tour of this famous port city. We drive up to the old town to see the place where St. Paul preached the gospel to the Thessalonians. We enjoy lunch on our own along the way. We visit the St. Demetrius Church, the white tower, the Arch of Galerius. Time permitting, we celebrate Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. We enjoy our “welcome” dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Today, our full day excursion takes us along the ancient route of St. Paul, through mountain passes and plains on the traces of the Old Egnatia Avenue. We continue to ancient Philippi, where St. Paul established the first church in Europe. Weather permitting, we celebrate an outdoor Mass at Philippi at the traditional site where St. Paul baptized St. Lydia. We stop for lunch on our own and then continue a short drive to Kavala on the site of ancient Neapolis, where St. Paul landed on the way to Philippi, before returning to Thessaloniki in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning, following Mass at a local parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, we depart Thessaloniki and drive through the plains of Thessaly, and visit the legendary home of the Greek gods and continue to Veria (Berea of the New Testament), where St. Paul visited on route to Athens and the Scriptures say the people were "More noble than in Thessaloniki." St. Paul and St. Silas the Martyr were taken there after the Thessaloniki pagans attacked them. We break for lunch on our own. We then visit Vergina, a modern town in Greece and the location of the ancient capital of the Macedonians, called Aigeai. We end in Kalambaka, with dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Today, we celebrate Mass at the hotel and then continue to nearby Meteora, whose pillar-like rocks provide an amazing site. The Meteora (meaning “suspended rocks,” “suspended in the air,” “in the heavens above”), is one of the largest and one of the most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries in Greece. The six Monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly. We have the opportunity to visit two of them. After a stop for lunch on our own, we precede south to travel on the highway to catch a glimpse of Mt. Olympus while proceeding through the towns of Lamia, Larissa. We continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we transfer from our hotel to the seaport of Lavrio, where we board our cruise ship for our three-day cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey. We enjoy an early lunch while aboard and arrive at the island of Mykonos, with its whitewashed houses and winding streets. We are free to explore this picturesque island, startling white against the multi-hued sunset. Time permitting, we celebrate Mass at Holy Rosary Church before reboarding our ship. Dinner and overnight aboard our ship.
Today, our ship docks in Kusadasi, where our excursion takes us first to “Mary’s House”. Early Christian tradition believes that before His crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the safety of the Virgin Mary to St. John the Evangelist. St. John moved Mary to Ephesus for safety. She lived here with St. John. We celebrate Mass while there. Some of the most spectacular ruins of the world are to be found in Ephesus,the early Christian of city to whom St. Paul wrote his famous epistle. Together with our tour guide, we pass the Magnesian Gate. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian period are scattered everywhere: the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of the Kouretes, the Thermal Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Public Latrines, and the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, Hadrian’s Temple, and the Great Theatre. We return to our ship for lunch while continuing to Patmos, which was considered sacred and is often referred to as the "Jerusalem of the Aegean." It was here that the Evangelist St. John received the inspiration for the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation. We visit the Monastery of St. John, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century. We also visit the grotto, where tradition says that St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. We return to our ship for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we visit Rhodes. The Acropolis of ancient Rhodes stands proudly on the hill of St. Stephanos. We wander through the ruins of the Hellenistic Temple of Apollo, with its amazing columns and the restored Ancient Stadium of Diagoras. Next, we see the hill of Philerimos, above the homonymous bay, which once “hosted” ancient Ialyssos, one of the three Rhodes cities that participated in the Trojan War. Stone steps surrounded by cypresses lead to the Gothic Monastery of Our Lady of Philerimos, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (the Life-Giving Source). We also visit the Byzantine Church of St. George Hostos, with rare frescoes from the 14th-15th century, as well as “Golgotha”, a path of 12 copper reliefs which depict the Passion of Christ. We stop for lunch on our own before heading back to the city of Rhodes where we stroll through the Street of the Knights, all the way up to the Palace of the Grand Master, Castello. Dinner and overnight aboard our ship.
Today, we arrive at Crete. We visit the ancient city of Knossos, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., it is beyond doubt the land that “gave birth” to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. We visit the excavations first begun in 1878 by the Heraklion Minos Kalokairinos, and then later by the British Sir Arthur Evans, wo went on to complete the scientific research, bringing to light the Minoan palace in its entirety, which was, according to tradition, the residence of the wise King Minos. We return to our ship for lunch while sailing to Santorini, the island thought by many to be the lost continent of Atlantis. On route, we admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and neighboring islands. Here we join a visit to Oia Village, built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. We explore by walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters which appears as a beautiful travel poster. If time permits, we celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of St. John. Our final stop is in Fira, where our guide will show us the way to the cable car back to the ship. Dinner and overnight aboard our ship.
This morning, we disembark and transfer directly to the airport for our return flight home, with memories of a lifetime having walked in the Footsteps of St.Paul.