DAY 1 MADRID – ATHENS – THESSALONIKI Meeting in Madrid-Barajas Airport at the designated time to embark on the flight to Athens. Arrival and connecting flight to Thessaloniki. Arrival in Thessaloniki, luggage retrieval and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 2 THESSALONIKI – EXCURSION PHILIPPI, LYDIA and CRUISE TO MOUNT ATHOS Breakfast. We leave for the ancient city of Philippi, founded by the King Philip of Macedonia (Father of Alexander the Great) to visit its Archaeological area. After the visit, we will arrive in Lydia, the place where Saint Paul baptized the first European woman who converted to Christianity. Afterward we will head to the port of Ouranoupolis. Lunch. Then, we will take a 3-hour cruise to contemplate the magnificent byzantine monasteries of Mount Athos from the boat. Its architecture, its churches and its naturto the southroundings stand out. Return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 3 THESSALONIKI – VERIA – EGAS / VERGINA – KALAMBAKA-METEORA Breakfast. First thing in the morning, we will visit the National Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, considered among the most important in Greece. Then, panoramic tour of the city to contemplate its ancient monuments: the White Tower, the Byzantine walls, the Arch and the Galerio Palaceor the Ancient Agora, among others. Afterwards we will leave for Veria. Arrival and tour of the Tribunal from which Saint Paul addressed the crowd. We continue to Aigai/Vergina. The ancient city of Aigai, today known as Vergina, is the first and the oldest capital of the Macedonians. Tour of the Royal Tombs, especially that of King Philip, which is still intact. We will also visit the other Royal Tomb, although it is not know to which king it belongs. All of the tombs have been recovered by an audacious dome that gives unity to the funerary Historic Grouping, creating a unique museum space that has been awarded by UNESCO. It is especially moving to contemplate the personal objects of King Philip made of ivory, gold and silver. Lunch. Then, departure for the region of Kalambaka-Meteora, traveling through the Vale of Tempe of Mount Olympus. Arrival to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 KALAMBAKA-METEORA– THERMOPYLAE – DELPHI Breakfast. Departure to visit two of the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. It is a very spectacular and unique place in the world. It is a forest of very tall monolithic rocks. These monasteries are still conserved in perfect state today, and they have enormous cultural and artistic value since in them are kept more than 10,000 manuscripts, Byzantine icons, frescos and Byzantine religious objects. Lunch. Departure for Delphi, En route we will make a stop in Thermopylae to see the monument of King Leonidas of Sparta and contemplate the place where the famous Battle of Thermopylae was fought against the Persians. Then, crossing the mountain range of Mount Parnassus (Mountain of the Muses) and contemplating an alpine landscape, we arrive in Delphi. Arrival to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 DELPHI – OSSIOS LUKAS – ATHENS Breakfast. In the morning, we will visit the Archaeological area of Delphi. During all of antiquity, Delphi was considered the center of the earth (“Belly Button of the Earth”), in addition to being one of the most important shrines of the ancient world. It was also the religious and economic center of all of Greece during the entire ancient period. It was also very famous for its oracle of the God Apollo, where people from all parts of the world would go to receive the answers of the Pythia. The landscape and the the surroundings of Delphi are unique, among the loveliest in the world. We continue with the tour of the Archaeological Museum, pointing out the marble statues of the sculptor Lysippos and the celebrated bronze statue “The Auriga”. Lunch. After lunch, departure for the Byzantine monastery of Ossios Lukas from the 11th century, where unique Byzantine icons and very important manuscripts are conserved. Having finished the tour of the monastery, departure for Athens traveling through the alpine town of Arachova. Arrival to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 6 ATHENS Breakfast. In the morning, we will leave to take a panoramic tour of the city in which we will see the most important monuments of the city: the Arch of Hadrian, the Temple de Zeus Olímpico, the Presidential Mansion, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Academy of Athens, the National Library, etc. We will visit “in situ” the Acropolis with the Parthenon, the Areopegus and the ancient Agora of Athens. Dozens of monuments that relive different cultural periods and que reflect the excepcional richness in archaeological deposits of this city. Lunch. Afternoon free. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 7 ATHENS – EXCURSION CORINTH CANAL, ANCIENT CORINTH, MYCENAE, NAFPLIO AND EPIDAURUS Breakfast. Departure in order to take a full day excursion to the Argolis. Arrival to the Corinth Canal and short stop to contemplate the spectacular canal that joins the Ionian Sea with the Aegean. Then, departure for Ancient Corinth, celebrated city especially in The 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Saint Paul lived and preached in this city in the years 51 and 52, as well as in the years 57 and 58 of our era. We will visit the Archaeological area of Ancient Corinth, as well as the museum. Then, Departure for Mycenae, inhabited from the end of the Neolithic Period and from the beginning of Bronze Age (3000-2800 B.C.). Tour of the Archaeological area and the Tomb of Agamemnon. Lunch. We continue to Epidaurus, traveling through Nafplio. We will make a short stop to contemplate the neoclassical city of Nafplio with its spectacular castle and its picturesque port. Nafplio was the first capital of Contemporary Greece, and it is considered among the prettiest cities in the country. Continuation to Epidaurus, the most important medicinal center in the entire ancient world and also one of the largest religious centers dedicated to the God Asclepius, the god of medicine. We will visit Its famous theater from the classical period known worldwide for its perfect and impressive acoustics. In addition, it is the best preserved of the entire Greek world. Return to Athens. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 8 ATHENS – EXCURSION TO CAPE SUNION Breakfast. Morning free. Lunch. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to cape Sunion where we will visit all of the famous “Coast of Apollo,” as well as the Temple of the God of the Sea, Poseidon. After the tour of the Archaeological area, we will contemplate one of the most famous sunsets from the cape. Return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 9 ATHENS – EXCURSION CRUISE TO THE ISLANDS OF HYDRA, POROS AND AEGINA Breakfast. Departure for the port to begin a cruise with lunch on board to get to know three of the prettiest islands in Greece. Hydra, whose city is built in the shape of a classical theater, does not allow cars to circulate. Poros was the island of Poseidon, the God of the sea. Aegina, celebrated for its Temple of Aphaea, contains a very picturesque port thanks to Its hermitage and its anciente traditional houses. Typical Greek dinner in the tavern-restaurant “Geros Tou Moria” with music and folkloric show. Return to the hotel and Lodging.
DAY 10 ATHENS – MADRID Breakfast. Transfer to the airport at the specified time to embark on the return flight to Madrid. END OF TRIP.