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Greece

Following in the Footsteps of St Paul

Our five centre, ten day journey follows St Paul’s route from landing in the northern port of Neapolis to preaching his famous sermon introducing the unknown God in Athens. We travel the length of Greece visiting Philippi, Thessalonika, Berea, Athens and Corinth. As well as the Pauline sites, highlights include a drive up a mountain to experience a living monastery, where the sisters are always happy to discuss their monastic way of life.

This is contrasted with a visit to the ancient Meteora monasteries perched on top of rock pillars. Nearby is Delphi where the Oracle was once considered the centre of the ancient world. Our theme is the expansion of the Christian church as it moved westward from Asia into Europe.

Itinerary

  1. Journey to Greece

    Depart London for Thessaloniki. Transfer to Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis, where St Paul landed arriving from Troas en route to Philippi. Two night stay in Kavala.

  2. Philippi

    This morning we visit Philippi, the first city in Europe visited by Paul and the city where he and Silas were imprisoned. The church of Philippi was perhaps the most supportive of all to Paul. We also visit the stream by the village of Lydia, where Lydia of Thyatira was baptised, the first recorded baptism in Europe. We break for lunch and the rest of the day is free.

  3. Thessalonika & Berea

    We take the coastal road to Thessalonica. Our visits include St Demetrius Basilica, the largest church in Greece, and Agia Sophia, with its 10th century mosaics. We also see the White Tower and drive to the highest point to view the city. We continue to Veria (Berea) where St Paul went after his escape from Thessalonica. Berea filled him with encouragement as the people were more receptive to his words than they were in Thessalonica. Overnight stay in Berea.

  4. Greece

    A mountain top experience

    We visit the site of Vergina to see the impressive tomb of Philip II (Alexander the Great’s father). Continue to Larissa and enjoy lunch in a village taverna (included). Our dramatic drive up a mountain takes us to the very modern Monastery of St John the Forerunner high above Larissa. Here we will meet with the nuns, learn about their life and join in worship with them in this very outgoing and welcoming monastic community. Two night stay in Kalambaka. A taverna lunch is included today.

  5. Greece

    The Meteora monasteries

    This morning we visit the extraordinary Meteora Monasteries perched high on gigantic rocks. The monastic history of Meteora dates back to the 11th century and the monasteries themselves date back to the 14th. We shall visit at least two of the monasteries; the afternoon is free in this spectacular setting.

  6. Thermopylae

    We drive to Delphi, clinging to the lower slopes of Mount Parnassos. This afternoon we will visit the museum. En route, we visit the ancient site of Thermopylae, where in 480 BC the Greeks came together for the first time to fight the Persians. Overnight by the sea near Delphi.

  7. Delphi

    Deeply engraved on the record of Greek history, Delphi was a place of incalculable religious and political importance which attracted pilgrims from all over the Hellenic world. Here the Oracle was consulted by both states and individuals; it highlights the religious background to Paul’s preaching of the gospel. We continue to Athens visiting the medieval Christian site of Hosios Loukas. Three night stay in Athens.

  8. Athens

    Our walking tour of Athens takes in the Acropolis, the foremost site of Classical Greece, with the Parthenon. We walk down to the site of  Paul's sermon on Mars Hill (Areopagus). Paul had a very mixed reception here in making known the Unknown God.  We then visit the Agora, the centre of public life in Athens at the time of Paul, and include time for shopping in the Plaka. Afternoon free to explore the city at your leisure.

  9. Corinth

    A full day today. We drive along the coast road to Corinth, always remembered through Paul's letters to a lively church in the midst of immorality and paganism (Eucharist). Visit Cenchreae, Paul’s departure point for Ephesus. Break for lunch and on to the ancient site of Epidaurus, a sanctuary for healing with it’s extremely well-preserved theatre.

  10. Journey Home

    Transfer to Athens airport.

Essential Information

The price you pay is inclusive

The only extras you need to budget for are lunches, drinks and shopping. We include gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.

Included

Flights, Hotel accommodation, Breakfast, Dinner, One featured lunch, Sightseeing programme, Entrance fees & guiding, Gratuities.

Not included

Travel Insurance, Single Room Supplement, Most lunches.

Lunches are not included generally  as on many days, snacks en route are more appropriate. Tavernas offer interesting food served quickly at a reasonable price. Your guide will give advice each day.

One featured taverna lunch is included en route to Kalambaka.

Travel Insurance

The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. We also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.

Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options including annual policies on the market. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.

You can read the full policy wording here.

Airlines

Flights from London will be from Gatwick on easyJet or Stansted on Ryanair.

Hotels

We stay in five very different hotels, all of which we have experience using.

You can find out more on the hotel websites below.

Galaxy Hotel, Kavala

Macekonia hotel, Berea

Divani Hotel, Kalambaka

Nafsika Palace, Itea

Acropolis Select hotel, Athens 

Practical information

Passports, visas and health

Check that your passport is valid beyond the return date of this tour. If you need a new passport apply early as there can be considerable backlogs at the passport offices. There are minimal formalities for British passport holders entering Greece. If you are holding a non-British passport, or require further advice, please consult the McCabe office. No inoculations are required. We do, however, advise you to consult your doctor regarding your own personal requirements.

Travelling Alone

Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.

The McCabe Educational Trust

For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full Financial Security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE

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Dates

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