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The cradle of western civilisation beckons, with centuries of beliefs, rituals and mythology waiting to be explored. You'll have the day on your own before meeting your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception at your hotel.
Departing Athens this morning, we will 'Connect With Locals' over lunch during an exclusive 'Be My Guest' experience. Then delve into the origins of the Macedonian nation when you visit the site of ancient Aigai, the first capital of Macedon and the city where Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. Explore the royal tombs and remains of the royal palace at the archaeological museum of Vergina, an extraordinary journey back to a time of ancient dynasties and expanding empires. Leaving the incredible archaeological finds behind, we travel east towards Thessaloniki, where we'll arrive later this evening.
Admire the Byzantine art around every turn as you embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Thessaloniki with a 'Local Specialist'. Enjoy a visit to the UNESCO-listed Church of Saint Demetrius, dedicated to the patron saint of Thessaloniki. Our journey continues to Kavala, where St. Paul and St. Silas were imprisoned after St. Paul's first sermon in Europe as it is known today. Visit what remains of Philippi, which was created as a smaller version of Rome, complete with its forum, theatre and market square. Learn how the city became the centre of Christian faith and pilgrimage following the visit of St. Paul and see the remains of Christian basilicas and the octagonal church which stand as a testament to the early establishment of Christianity. We return to Thessaloniki this evening.
Making our way from Thessaloniki to Kalambaka, we tread in the footsteps of St. Paul during our stop in Veria. Here we'll see his Tribune (Bema), where he preached Christianity. Then continue to Meteora, where we'll have an opportunity to visit two of the Eastern Orthodox monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers overlooking the town. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Begin your return journey to Athens this morning, driving a scenic route south to Delphi. Here you will follow the path once taken by the ancient Greeks to consult with the most important oracle in the classical world. Join your 'Local Specialist' and walk the Sacred Way to the 4th-century Temple of Apollo. Then visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum, featuring rare treasures from the Mycenean period to the early Byzantine era. There's time for lunch on your own in Delphi before you continue to the Greek capital, where you'll stay two nights.
Journey to Corinth, once home to the first Christian communities. In his letters, Paul provides us with excellent insights into what life was like for the Corinthian community who were the recipients of two Epistles. You'll have an opportunity to explore its ancient sites and visit the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth before crossing the mighty Corinth Canal on your return journey to Athens. This afternoon, embark on a guided sightseeing tour and journey into antiquity. Your 'Local Specialist' will reveal an ancient world as you 'Dive Into Culture' and explore Mars Hill and the Acropolis. Admire the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, view the Royal Palace and see the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch and the Agora, once the haunt of Socrates and Plato. After a full day of sightseeing, you'll join your new friends for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
We say a fond farewell to our newfound friends and Greece after an unforgettable journey. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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