Classical Greece (5 nights)
Classical Greece (5 nights)
Day 1: Departure
Board your transatlantic flight. Meals are served onboard
Day 2: Arrival – Athens
Arrival at Athens airport. After meeting our guide and driver, we drive 20 miles to the city. At the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis, we explore the architectural masterpieces of Athens’ Golden Age, including the Propylaea, the temple of Nike, the Erechtheion, and the world-famous Parthenon. Then we visit Mars Hill where Paul addressed the Athenians about the one God. From above we view the ancient Agora, once the center of Athenian public life. We continue with a tour of the city, including its important sites: the university, the Parliament House, the Panathenaic Stadium, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We proceed to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Corinth, Mycenae and Olympia
We make our way to ancient Corinth, where the Apostle Paul lived and preached—as we know from his epistles to the Corinthians. It was here that he established the first solely Gentile church. We visit the archaeological museum and the temples. We stop to visit the ancient ports of Lechaion and Cenchreae, as well as the Corinth Canal, which joins the Aegean and Ionian seas. We continue to Mycenae to view the Lion Gate and the Tomb of Agamemnon. We then drive to Olympia for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Olympia and Delphi
We visit Olympia, city of the ancient Olympic Games, which were celebrated every four years. The Archaeological Museum, one of the most important in Greece, presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary in the classical world, the Temple of Zeus. We continue over the famous Rio-Antirrio Bridge to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Delphi and Kalambaka
Visiting the ancient sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, we may hope to gain a greater understanding of the Greek religious heritage and its influence on the early Christian church. Regarded by the ancient Greeks as the center of the world or “Omphalos,” Delphi was the place where they consulted Apollo’s Oracle. The route through the upper site leads along the Sacred Way, past the Treasuries of the Temple, to the place of the Oracle herself. Above are the Theatre, and, still higher up, the beautifully preserved Stadium. From here the view is superb, but for those who stay below there is also much to see: the ruined sanctuary of Athena Pronaia with its circular Tholos, as well as the Xystos or covered track, used for the Pythian games held here in Apollo’s honor. We also visit the Treasury of the Athenians, which includes the gifts of Croesus to Apollo—for instance, an archaic silver bull from the 6th century BC. We visit the museum, especially for the Charioteer, a bronze statue so delicate we can see the eyelashes. We then continue to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Kalambaka and Athens
Kalambaka is the site of unique hanging monasteries, two of which we visit. Then we start back to Athens, passing Thermopylae (“hot springs”), whose defile was defended by a small Greek force against a huge Persian army in 480 BC. Again in Athens, we take a free afternoon to explore the “Plaka,” the oldest part of the city, now full of shops and restaurants. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 7: Departure
We transfer to the airport for departure.