"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!"
- Proverbs 3:5-6
"Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
- Psalm 25:4-5
Itinerary for the Footsteps of Paul
Greece Tour and Cruise (with optional extension to Rome)
April 17-29, 2023 (10/3 days)
Day 1 - Monday, April 17: U.S.A to Athens
Begin your journey with an overnight flight to Athens. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience and get some rest on the flight. Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostle Paul walked!
DAY 2 – Tuesday, April 18: Athens, Thessaloniki
We arrive in Athens mid-afternoon and are met by our representative and given the tickets for our flight to Thessaloniki. This is the city where Paul was received by Jason. Paul was preaching the Word of God here until he was rushed out of the city. We transfer to our hotel for check-in and dinner.
DAY 3 – Wednesday, April 19: Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala
In the morning we start with the landmarks of the city: the White Tower, the Walls of the Byzantine Acropolis, the Roman Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda. We visit two of the city’s oldest and most admired Christian churches, the Basilicas of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia. We then follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, like Paul and his companions, the area of Amphipolis. Thee we see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis. Then we travel on to Philippi. There, we visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert to Christ on European soil, followed by the town jailer and his family. We visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. Then we drive to Kavala (Neapolis), Paul’s next step in bringing the Gospel to present day Europe. A picturesque port, we view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. We return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 – Thursday, April 20: Meteora, Athens
This morning we see the world-famous Byzantine monasteries perched on the summits of gray rock peaks of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when monks sought refuge in the cliff-side caves, then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, which were later transformed into monasteries. Afterwards, we continue to Athens where we will have dinner and overnight.
DAY 5 – Friday, April 21: Start our 3-night Mediterranean Cruise
We sail this morning from Athens to the quaint isle of Mykonos, called the island of windmills. We arrive at Mykonos where we disembark and have time to experience the waterfront lined with shops and cafes. We stroll the charming walkways through a maze of white-washed buildings before returning to the ship for dinner and evening activities.
No excursions are included today, as we will visit the island at our leisure.
DAY 6 – Saturday, April 22: Kusadasi, Patmos
In the morning we arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey. Excursion Included: A short drive takes us to Ephesus, where Paul spent three years during his ministry. The impressive remains of Ephesus include the Agora, the Theater, the Stadium, the Library of Celsus, the ruins of the Temple of Diana (one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”) and many more. Later, we sail for the island of Patmos. Excursion Included: Here we visit the Monastery of St. John, on one of the island’s highest points. From there, we walk down to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where the Apostle John received and wrote the Revelation.
DAY 7 – Sunday, April 23: Heraklion, Crete / Santorini
In the morning, we arrive at Heraklion, Crete and disembark. Excursion Included: During this excursion, we take a short ride through the town of Heraklion and then arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan’s archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Paul left Titus in Crete and gave instructions on appointing church leaders in the towns (Titus 1:5ff). In the afternoon, we cruise to the isle of Santorini and disembark. Excursion Not included: Santorini is often considered the most breathtaking of all the Greek islands. The exquisite, whitewashed villages, including the town of Fira, or Thira, cling to volcanic cliffs, accessible by cable-car, or mule.
DAY 8 – Monday, April 24: Pireaus, Corinth, Athens
We disembark the cruise this morning in Piraeus. After disembarkation, we will continue our sightseeing with a visit to Ancient Corinth. This is the once-glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Word of God. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples, and the famous Bema, where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Then we drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor from which Paul sailed back to Asia, thus ending his second missionary journey. Here we admire the architectural wonders of ancient Athens, as we follow our guide to the world-renowned Acropolis, to see the Propylea, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. We visit Mars Hill, where Paul delivered his speech on the “Unknown God.” Then we see the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city, where Paul preached to the skeptical Athenians. During the bus tour, we also see Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Olympic Stadium, and the Neoclassical Buildings of Athens. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Athens on your own. Dinner and overnight are in Athens.
DAY 9 – Tuesday, April 25: Delphi, Athens
We will include a special visit to Delphi, this mountainous city which today is both an archaeological site and a modern town. For the ancient Greeks, Delphi was labeled the “omphalos” (navel) of the earth, and it is here that the eternal flame burned in the Temple of Apollo. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world. It was also here beginning in 586 B.C. that athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the precursors to the modern Olympics. On our way up to Delphi, we’ll have time to stop and enjoy the small scenic villages that cling to the mountainsides. Dinner and overnight are in Athens.
DAY 10 – Wednesday, April 26: Athens, U.S.A
We transfer in the morning to Athens Airport for our return flight back to the U.S.A. We arrive home the same day filled with beautiful experiences, lifetime memories and increased knowledge of the New Testament.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION DAY 10 – Wednesday April 26: Athens fight to Rome, Ostia Antica, Appian Way, Rome
We transfer in the morning to Athens Airport for our flight to Rome. Upon arrival we meet our tour escort and head to the coast. There we explore the spectacular ruins of Ostia Antica, the port of Rome in New Testament times. Excavations continuing today provide insight into what Roman cities were like in the 1st century. On the way to Rome we stop to walk on the ancient stones of the Appian Way, as Paul did on his way to Rome. We then return to Rome to begin our touring, which includes stops at the Trastaverte area of the city where Paul lived for two years. We then check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 - Thursday, April 27: Rome, Vatican , Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain.
Our first stop this morning is the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of the Popes and venue for the conclaves for Papal elections. The ceiling is one of the most splendid masterpieces in the history of world art, meticulously painted by Machaelangelo. Our next visit is the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church building in the world. It overlooks the enormous Piazza San Pietro. After a break for lunch (not included), we tour the eternal city and marvel at the monuments of this great capitol. Then we stop near the Fontana deTrevi, following tradition by tossing a coin in the fountain, hoping to return to Rome. Dinner and overnight are in Rome.
Day 12 - Friday, April 28: Catacombs, St. Peter in Chains, Colosseum, Forum, St. John Lateran, Basilica of St. Paul
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour including a special visit to the Catacombs where we see the wall carvings by early Christians. From here we continue to St. Peter in Chains. Then we visit the Colosseum which symbolizes the "eternity" of the Roman civilization, the Forum and the Piazza Venezia, dominated by the imposing monument to Vittorio Emanuel II. After lunch (not included), we visit St. John Lateran and the "Sacred Steps." As a monk, Martin Luther climbed these steps on his knees, trying to earn forgiveness for his sins. Afterward, we visit St. Paul's church where tradition suggests the Apostle Paul is buried. We then enjoy dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 13 - Saturday, April 29: Rome, USA
In the morning we transfer to Rome Airport for our return flight to the USA. We arrive home the same day filled with lifetime memories of walking in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul!