DAY 1 MADRID – ATHENS – THESSALONIKI Meeting in Madrid-Barajas Airport – Barajas, to embark on a scheduled flight for Athens. Arrival and boarding on the flight for Thessaloniki. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 2 THESSALONIKI – EXCURSION FILIPPI, LYDIA AND CRUISE TO MOUNT ATHOS Breakfast. We leave for the ancient city of Filippi, founded by 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 the 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 – EGES / 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. Afterward,we will leave for Veria. Arrival and tour of the Tribunal from which Saint Paul addressed the crowd. We continue to Aigai, the first and the oldest capital of the Macedonians. Tour of the Archaeological area and 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 Kalambaka – Meteora, traveling through the Vale of Tempe of Mount Olympus. Arrival to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 KALAMBAKA / METEORA – THERMOPYLAE – MOUNT PARNASSUS – DELPHI Breakfast. Departure for Meteora where we will be able to visit two of The Byzantine Monasteries. Meteora is very spectacular and unique place in the world. It is un forest of very tall monolithic rocks. The Monasteries are still conserved in perfect state today and they have enormous cultural and artistic value since they hold more than 10,000 manuscripts, byzantine icons, frescoes and byzantine religious objects. Lunch. Departure for Delphi. En route, we will make a stop in Thermopylae to see the monument of the King Leonidas of Sparta and contemplate the place where where the famous Battle of Thermopylae was fought against the Persians. Then and crossing the mountain range of Mount Parnassus (Mountain of the Muses), contemplating an alpine landscape, we arrive in Delphi. Arrival to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 DELPHI – OSSIOS LUCAS – THEBES – ATHENS Breakfast. In the morning, we will visit the Archaeological area de 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 by visiting 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 Lucas 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 of Zeus at Olympia, 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 that 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 the beginning of the 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 stopto 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 tts 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 SOUNION Breakfast. Morning free. Lunch. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to Cape Sounion 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 – CRUISE EXCURSION 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 permit cars to circulate in it. 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 ancient 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 take a flight to Madrid. Arrival and END OF TRIP