A nine day unique private Greece tour following in the footsteps of St. Paul the Apostle and experiencing first hand the glorious history of Greece .
Itinerary: Enjoy this private tour departing from Athens to visit the Corinth Canal, Ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Epidaurus, Olympia, Patras, Rio, Nafpaktos, Arachova, Delphi, Arachova, Meteora, Kastraki, Meteora, Thessaloniki and then back to Athens.
Day 1: Athens
Athens taxi tours start’s our full day Athens Sightseeing tour visiting the city of Athens, the birthplace of Western Culture. We begin our city tour by visiting the site of some of the most exquisite pieces of architecture in the world, the world-renowned Acropolis of Athens, including visits to the Parthenon and Erechtheion. Continuing this Athens taxi private tour we will head to the nearby Areopagus (the Hill of Ares) where the Apostle Paul delivered his well known sermon (Acts 17:22). Your taxi private tour ends with the highlights of modern Athens: passing by the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Mansion, Panathenian Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896), Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Academy, the University and the National Library. Visit together with Athens taxi tours the area of Monastiraki, the Plaka, the ancient agora (where St. Paul preached to the Athenians), the Roman Agora, one of the many museums (we recommend the Byzantine Museum), spend a little time shopping in the many stores along the way, and enjoy the remarkable panoramic view of Athens and Piraeus port from Lycabettus Hill, the highest hill in the city. In the afternoon we will continue our Athens private tour visiting the Monastery of Kaisariani, founded in the 11th century A.D. and consecrated to the Epiphany of the Virgin Mary in the Temple. The monastery is situated just a few minutes outside of the city. The rest of the afternoon is at your disposal to explore the lively city of Athens on your own at your own leisure. After dinner you will overnight in Athens.
Day 2 Itinerary: Athens – Corinth Canal – Ancient Corinth – Mycenae – Nafplion – Epidaurus
After breakfast we will journey with Athens taxi tours to Corinth, the largest city in the land known as Peloponnesus – Greece. In Corinth St. Paul spent 18 months, preaching to the Jews and Gentiles. The site is overlooked by the Acropolis of Corinth, housing the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, goddess of love. In Corinth, St. Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla and his trial presided by Gallio took place in the agora (Acts 18:12-17). The community he founded here caused him much grief and prompted him to address at least four of his letters to the Cornthians. It is from Corinth, also, that St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. We celebrate our liturgy today in Corinth with a reflection on Paul the Missionary. We will visit the ruins of Kenchreae, the harbour from which St. Paul sailed out for Ephesus (Acts 18:18). Continuing our private tour we will drive on to Mycenae, the site of the celebrated Cyclopean Walls. The walls are called “cyclopean” because they were thought to have been built by the mythical gigantic Cyclopes. You will also see the famous Lion Gate and the beehive tombs excavated (1876-1878) by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, which are known locally as the Treasury of Atreus and the Tomb of Clytemnestra. Visit the tomb of Agamemnon (King of Mycenae and leader of the allied Achaean army against Troy). Our Athens taxi private tour continues to Nafplion (the first capital of Greece after its liberation from the Ottoman Empire following the Revolution of 1821). Athens taxi tours will drive us to Epidaurus home of the one of the world`s best-preserved amphitheatres, with remarkable acoustics. In the afternoon we will drive to Olympia through Tripolis & Megalopolis. The afternoon is free for you to do whatever you would like. We will overnight in Olympia.
Day 3 Itinerary: Olympia – Patras – Rio – Nafpaktos – Arachova – Delphi
In the morning Athens taxi tours will drive you towards the city of Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In 776 BC, Iphitos, king of Elis, Kleosthenes of Pisa and Lykourgos of Sparta reorganized the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus and instituted the “ekecheiria“, the sacred truce during the conduction of the Olympic Games. Soon the quadrennial festival acquired a national character. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, the greatest national festival and a highly prestigious one world-wide, which was held every four years in honor of Zeus. The most important sanctuary of the God Zeus is situated here, as well as Altis and the original stadiums of the Games. Ancient Olympia has been the center of attention during the ancient years, and still today is the departure point of the Olympic Flame that is lit here, every four years prior to the new festival. Experience a run, the starting line is still visible in the original Olympic stadium, take your position, and run this historical course, competing with the athletes of the past, or simply the tourists that flock to this area. Visit to the Olympia Archaeological Museum and the Museum of the Olympic Games, where artifacts and collections related to both ancient and modern Games. Athens taxi will take us now from Olympia through Patras to Rion, we’ll cross the Corinthian bay to Antirion via the brand new bridge, the biggest in Europe. Then we’ll drive to picturesque Nafpaktos and via the new road along the coast, to Delphi. In the evening we will visit of the picturesque mountain village of Arachova for dinner. Overnight in Delphi or Arachova.
Day 4 Itinerary: Delphi – Arachova – Meteora – Kastraki
After breakfast Athens taxi Greece will drive us to Delphi. Delphi was one of the two most important cultic centers in ancient Greece. People journeyed to Delphi from all over the ancient world to participate in religious ceremonies and to consult its oracle before making important decisions. It was to the Delphic oracle, for example, that King Croesus of Sardis sent messengers to request guidance from the gods about whether he should attack Cyrus the Great. The oracle`s response was ambivalent – If you attack Cyrus a great empire will fall – and Croesus misinterpreted it. He did attack, and his own empire fell. Even if Delphi were not so crucial for understanding the mythology, religion, history and literature of ancient Greece, the beauty of the place would demand that we pause and contemplate. We continue our private tour visiting the site and museum. We will have lunch in Delphi or Arachova, a picturesque snow ski resort. After lunch Athens taxi tours will drive us to Meteora. Dinner and overnight in Meteora Kastraki.
Day 5 Itinerary: Meteora – Thessaloniki
In the morning Athens taxi Greece will drive to Meteora, an area of strange rock formations rising from the plain. You will wind your way through a forest of gigantic needle-like pillars, some as high as 1,820 feet above sea level. Back in the 14th century these inaccessible pinnacles offered a safe refuge to pious hermits and were later used as sites for hermits. We will visit Meteora Monasteries famous for their Byzantine museums perched precariously on huge finger-like rocks, exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes.
The most important monasteries of Meteora are:
After lunch we will drive to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 Itinerary: Thessaloniki
After breakfast we’ll tour the city of Thessaloniki built around 315 BC by Cassander, brother-in-law of Alexander the Great. St. Paul wrote two letters to the ancient Thessalonians and established the first church here (Acts 17:1-10). Ruins of an early Christian church are near the Palace of Galerius. In St. Paul’s letters to this community we can see his unbounded determination to continue the Church. We will also visit the church and crypt of St. Demetrius and the church of St. Sophia. Athens taxi will drive to the upper part of the Old City Walls where you will have excellent views of the city and the opportunity to take pictures. Continue this private tour on foot to visit the Vlatadon Monastery. Your private tour will end with a drive of the city viewing the White Tower and the Triumphal Arch of Galerius standing on the Egnatian Way. Afternoon free in Thessaloniki.
Day 7 Itinerary: Thessaloniki – Veria -Vergina. Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning, you will depart from Thessaloniki with Athens taxi and drive south toward Beroea. Following in the footsteps of St. Paul, in his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul successfully preached to the Jewish community in Beroea (modern Veria) after fleeing Thessalonica. In Veria, you will view reconstructed steps of the bema (or rostrum) to commemorate the place where Paul was believed to have preached. Continue our private tour to Vergina (ancient Aigai), the first capital of Macedonia, visit the most important tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. We will arrive late in the afternoon in Thessaloniki where we will have dinner and overnight.
Day 8 Itinerary: Philippi – Kavala (Neapolis)
In the morning, you will depart from Thessaloniki with Athens taxi for a full day private excursion to Philippi named after King Philip II of Macedonia, where St. Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe and sowed the seeds of Christianity. Paul and Silas came to Philippi on the second missionary journey and St. Paul returned here on his third (Acts 20:2-6). It was here that Paul baptized a certain woman named Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe. The Roman Forum here, completely excavated, was built after Paul`s time. You will walk among the ruins, located on the rocky ledge above the town’s main road and view the Prison where St. Paul and Silas were thrown after exorcizing a spirit from a slave girl. In the rocks, you will find inscriptions and carved reliefs of deities. It was in Philippi that Octavian and Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius, last defenders of the Roman Republic in 42 BC. Some ten miles southeast of Philippi continuing our private tour is the modern port city of Kavala, ancient Neapolis, where St. Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke, and Timothy, first set foot in Europe. To reach Kavala together with Athens taxi, we will follow the Via Egnatia, a remnant of Rome’s highway system, viewing Roman and Greek tombstones and ruts of ancient chariot wheels. Upon arrival in Kavala, located like an amphitheater by the sea, we will have the rest of the afternoon to explore this historical city. You may want to visit the Old City of Kavala including the Islamic Imaret, the lighthouse (which provides an amazing, full view of Kavala), the castle with its tower, and the famous Kamares, which is the Roman aqueduct that was reconstructed by the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent around 1550. You may also wish to visit the Modern City of Kavala, including the Heroes’ Monument next to the Public Garden, the Town hall, the Municipal Library, the building of the Byzantine Antiquities Authority and the Municipal Museum. The ruins of ancient Neapolis were built upon and the site became known as Christopolis because St. Paul traveled there in 50 A.D. Dinner and overnight in Kavala.
Day 9 Itinerary: Thessaloniki – Katerini – Tempi valley – Larisa – Lamia – Thermopylae – Athens
Early in the morning Athens taxi tours will drive us back to Athens passing through the city of Thessaloniki, Katerini, the Tembi mountains, Larisa, Lamia, Thermopylae (visit the monument of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans) and we will end this private tour following in the footsteps of St. Paul in Athens late in the afternoon.
You can customize this private tour at any time, either on the way together with your private chauffeur or in advance by contacting our Athens Taxi Tours team.
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