Spring Time in Greece
Explore the historical, cultural, and Biblical wonders of ancient Greece on this springtime adventure. Climb the Acropolis to admire the mighty Parthenon. Travel to Delphi, site of the famed Oracle. Visit the Temple of Apollo, and see masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture in the museum. At Corinth, see the marketplace still laid out as it was in Paul’s day; and at Mycenae visit Greece’s archaeological underground treasure chest of royal tombs, constructed like a beehive.
Board a cruise ship for a four-night Aegean discovery, including the remarkable ruins of ancient Ephesus; the island of Patmos where John received the Revelation; and Rhodes, where one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World once stood. Learn about the 3000-year old Minoan civilization on Crete, or explore the unique shops and cafes along Handakos Street. And, decide for yourself whether Santorini is the lost continent of Atlantis.
The sequence of touring and days may be altered to adjust to religious holidays, special closings of sites, air schedule changes, etc. Hotels listed subject to availability. Meal inclusions may vary by departure.
Day 1 – USA/ATHENS
Depart U.S.A. for Athens. (meals aloft)
Day 2 – ATHENS
Arrive in Athens and transfer to the Athens Acropolis Hotel for dinner and overnight. (meals aloft,D)
Day 3 – ATHENS
Today we visit the Acropolis with the Parthenon shimmering in its ageless grace and unmatched design and the unique Erechtheion (the only double temple). Nearby we climb the Areopagus (Mars Hill), where the apostle Paul addressed the philosophic court. Our full day of touring also features a visit to the National Archaeological Museum and a walking tour of the Plaka and old town area of Athens, as well as a panoramic tour including Embassy Row, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the National Palace, the House of Parliament, and the University. (B,D)
Site of the famed Oracle, Delphi’s prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollos Pythios. We visit the treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze charioteer and the famous Athlete Aghias. We return to Athens for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 5 – PIRAEUS/MYKONOS
This morning we board our cruise ship in the Port of Piraeus (Athens). We arrive in the afternoon at the world famous Greek island of Mykonos. Mykonos combines the dazzling white beauty of a typical Cycladic island with a sophisticated jet-set atmosphere. Stroll at leisure through the white-washed, flower-decked alleyways to the church of Paraportiani, and along the waterfront to the famous windmills. (B,L,D)
Day 6 – EPHESUS/PATMOS
We arrive at the busy resort town of Kusadasi, Turkey, where you may spend the morning exploring its quaint shops and markets, strolling the sandy beaches, or enjoying a cold beverage at a cafe on a palm-lined boulevard. You may choose an optional journey to Ephesus ($58), and walk through history in a city founded as early as the 10th century B.C. Wander among the magnificent excavations and see streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the Basilica of St. John and the great Theatre. From Kusadasi we sail to the former Roman prison island of Patmos where John received his “Revelation,” visiting the Grotto named for his book and the Monastery of St. John which houses ancient manuscripts including one of the Gospel. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – RHODES
The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once dominated the strategic harbor entrance. Later it served as a crucial outpost for the Crusaders in many of their ill-fated journeys to Israel during their conflicts with the Muslim conquerors. Wandering through the old city you can see its fortifications, the Street of the Knights with medieval stone mansions, the Palace of the Grand Master and the Hospital of the Knights (now a museum). There are also art shops as well as many lovely beaches. (B,L,D)
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is well-known for its archaeological sites. Arrive in Heraklion and explore its Archaeological Museum, which holds the remains of the 3000-year old Minoan civilization. Explore pedestrian-friendly Handakos street with its many unique small shops as well as attractively themed and decorated cafes. You may wish to take an optional excursion to the Palace of Knossos ($75), the residence of the ruling house and also an administrative and religious center for the whole region. The buildings (a labyrinth complex) covered an area of 22 square miles. Architecture, frescoes and the perfect plumbing system surprise even modern visitors with the high standard of Minoan civilization. Then to the island of Santorini, widely considered to be the lost continent of Atlantis. Off the entrance of the bay of Santorini there is the only active volcano in the Eastern Mediterranean. After you have strolled through the narrow streets you can enjoy the most fascinating and marvelous sunset. (B,L,D)
Day 9 – CORINTH/MYCENAE/EPIDAURUS/NAUPLIA/ATHENS
After an early morning arrival of our cruise ship at the port of Piraeus, we drive to Corinth, the capital of the Roman province of Achaia and the city of Paul’s extensive personal ministry and challenging letter writing. Dominated by the Acro-corinth rising 1700 feet above the ruins, the Market Place is still laid out as it was in Paul’s day with its stone Bema (judgment dais) where Gallio refused to condemn Paul (Acts 18). Nearby in a prominent place is the Temple of Apollo with its Doric columns. A superb collection of Corinthian artifacts greets the visitor in the museum. We journey next to Mycenae and visit Greece’s archaeological underground treasure chest of royal tombs constructed like a beehive and the important Lion Gate before continuing to Epidaurus, where we see the 14,000 seat amphitheater, still well-preserved. We make a brief stop in the picturesque coastal town of Nauplia before returning to Athens for overnight. (B,D)
DAY 10 – ATHENS/USA
We transfer to the airport this morning for our return transatlantic flight to the States. (B,meals aloft)