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Footsteps of Saint Paul in Greece: Thessaloniki to Athens

11 days |  15 days with Greek Islands Cruise & Athens extension
Group size1538 travelers
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Follow Apostle Paul’s missionary journey through ancient Greek cities.

In the first century A.D., Paul the Apostle journeyed through modern-day Greece on a mission to bring Christianity to the country’s people. On this sweeping tour through the Mediterranean country, you’ll retrace his historic route. Highlights include Thessaloniki’s Vlatadon Monastery, where he preached the divine word, and the Areopagus in Athens, where he delivered one of his most famous sermons.

Your tour package includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 6 sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
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Included highlights

  • Vlatadon Monastery
  • Royal Tombs at Vergina
  • Meteora monasteries
  • Temple of Apollo
  • Ancient Corinth
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel Day

Board your overnight flight to Thessaloniki today.

Thessaloniki3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Thessaloniki
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Greece! Get to know your Tour Director and fellow group members at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Thessaloniki
Included meal: Breakfast

Visit the places Paul the Apostle lived and preached, along with other historic sites in the city, on a guided tour of Thessaloniki.

  • View the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda, neighboring monuments commissioned by Roman Emperor Galerius in the fourth century as part of an imperial complex
  • Marvel at protective walls constructed around the city during the early third century
  • Follow the seaside promenade to the White Tower of Thessaloniki, a symbol of the city that has served as a defensive fort, a prison, and a WWI communication center and now houses a museum
  • Enter the Vlatadon Monastery, where Paul the Apostle preached the divine word to the Thessalonians
  • Head to the Brotherhood of Men of Thessaloniki Park, a pilgrimage site where Paul the Apostle is said to have stopped for a drink from a spring that’s now known as Apostle Paul’s Holy water

Spend a free afternoon in the city or add an excursion.

Thessaloniki Wine Tasting & Dinner

Additional cost per person

Day 4: Free day in Thessaloniki
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Thessaloniki or add an excursion.

A Day in Kavala, Philippi & Amphipolis

Additional cost per person

Meteora Region1 night
Day 5: Meteora Region via Veria & Vergina
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to the ancient cities of Veria and Vergina this morning.

  • Start in Veria, where you’ll pay a visit to Saint Paul’s Tribune, where he preached Christianity at least twice during his lifetime
  • See its impressive murals up close, and learn why it’s considered a universal monument of religious and cultural heritage
  • View the remnants of the Jewish Quarter on the terraced foothills of Mount Vernon
  • Visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Aigai and explore the remains of the royal palace at the archaeological museum of Vergina

Continue to the Meteora region and sit down for an included dinner.

Delphi1 night
Day 6: Sightseeing tour of the Meteora Region & transfer to Delphi
Included meal: Breakfast

Today, take a guided walking tour of the Meteora monasteries.

  • Enter two monasteries, such as the Monastery of Roussanou, the Monastery of Agios Stefanos, or the Monastery of Varlaam
  • Hike up to the monasteries to admire views from 1,000-foot-high pinnacle rocks
  • Meet with local nuns for a chat about the traditions and faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Learn more about this branch of Christianity, the nuns’ lives, and the work they take part in at the monasteries

This afternoon, transfer through scenic mountain terrain to Delphi. Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Arachova Village & Greek Dinner

From $65 per person

Nafplio2 nights
Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Delphi & transfer to Nafplio
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and visit the Archaeological Site of Delphi. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delphi was believed by ancient Greeks to be the Navel of the Earth and a spiritual focal point for all Greeks.

  • Embark on a guided tour featuring the Temple of Apollo, where, according to legend, the god Apollo once spoke in prophecy to mortals through the voice of the oracle and high priestess Pythia
  • Take time to explore the ancient treasures at the Delphi Museum, including the life-size bronze statue named the Charioteer of Delphi

Please note: This excursion involves some walking on uneven terrain and hills.

Make your way to the seaside town of Nafplio and explore the charming locale with your Tour Director.

  • Stroll through Syntagma Square
  • Soak in the beautiful views of the port and the hilltop Palamidi Fortress

This evening, sit down to an included dinner with your group.

Day 8: Free day in Nafplio
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Nafplio or add an excursion.

Ancient Ruins of Epidaurus & Mycenae

Additional cost per person

Athens2 nights
Day 9: Athens via Ancient Corinth
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel to the Greek capital, Athens, making a stop to explore Ancient Corinth on a guided tour.

  • See the Agora, where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place, and the Bema, where Paul was brought before the tribunal, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles
  • Snap a photo of the impressive Corinth Canal, which separates the Peloponnese peninsula from mainland Greece

Then, continue to Athens.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Athens
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Set out with your local guide to discover highlights of this bustling, ancient capital, home to the world’s first democracy.

  • Make stops at the Olympic Stadium, Syntagma Square, and the Arch of Hadrian
  • View the sixth-century Temple of Zeus
  • See the classically inspired Old Royal Palace, home of the Hellenic Parliament, and drive through the Plaka district
  • Set off on a walking tour around the ancient Acropolis, site of the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion
  • Drive to Areopagus Hill just northwest of the Acropolis
  • Choose to climb to the top of the hill where Paul the Apostle gave his sermon in 51 A.D. and take in sweeping views of the city

Later, celebrate your trip during a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Flight Home
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to explore the Greek Islands and Turkey.

Extension to Greek Islands Cruise & Athens
Continue along Saint Paul’s route with a cruise to historical—and scenic—sites throughout the Aegean Sea. Board your vessel in Athens, then sail to your first port of call, sun-soaked Mykonos. From there, you'll cruise to the ancient Turkish city of Ephesus, which Saint Paul once called home. Next, sail to the Greek island of Patmos to explore the Cave of the Apocalypse, inside of which an exiled St. John is said to have written the Book of Revelations of the New Testament. Fascinating archaeological sites and charming villages await on the islands of Crete and Santorini, your final two ports of call. End your tour back in Athens, where you can while away one last afternoon exploring the city’s ancient archaeological treasures before returning home.
Greek Islands Cruise3 nights
Day 11: Cruise embarkation & Mykonos
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Board your ship, get settled in your stateroom, and enjoy an included lunch as you sail to Mykonos for a day on the iconic island.

  • Disembark on Mykonos and join your Tour Director for a walk through the island’s charming Old Town
  • See the island’s iconic windmills, Little Venice neighborhood, and Church of Panagia Paraportiani
  • Enjoy free time to explore the labyrinthine alleys
  • Return to the ship this evening and sit down for an included dinner
Day 12: Kusadasi & Patmos
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the day visiting Kusadasi, Turkey, and Patmos, Greece.

  • Disembark in Kusadasi and set off on a guided sightseeing tour of Ephesus, one of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved ancient cities
  • Learn about Ephesus’ first Christian congregation, which was established by Saint John and expanded by Saint Paul
  • Discover many of the city’s UNESCO-listed sites, such as the Library of Celsus, the Odeon Theater, and the House of the Virgin Mary
  • Return to the ship and enjoy an included lunch as you sail on to Patmos, Greece
  • Spend free time on the island, where it’s said St. John penned the Book of Revelations of the New Testament while in exile
  • Visit the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and enter the Cave of the Apocalypse, where Saint John had visions later documented in the Book of Revelations
  • Return to the ship this evening and sit down for an included dinner
Day 13: Heraklion & Santorini
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue sailing along the Aegean Sea and visit two ports of call today.

  • Disembark on Crete for free time or book an excursion to visit the ruins of Knossos, where, according to myth, King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth
  • Head back to the ship and enjoy an included lunch before continuing on to Santorini
  • Enjoy free time to visit the iconic hilltop villages of Thira and Oia
  • Return to the ship and sit down for an included dinner this evening
Athens1 night
Day 14: Disembarkation in Athens
Included meal: Breakfast

Disembark your cruise in Athens. Then, spend a free afternoon in the city or add an excursion.

Greek Tavern Evening

Additional cost per person

Flight Home
Day 15: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
City Hotel Thessaloniki
City Hotel Thessaloniki

This stylish hotel is located in the city center of Thessaloniki. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find Tsi...

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Amalia Hotel Kalambaka
Amalia Hotel Kalambaka

This classical hotel is located in Kalambaka. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, balconies, and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find Tríkala, Megálou Metéorou, and...

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Amalia Hotel Delphi
Amalia Hotel Delphi

This modern hotel is located at the foot of Mount Parnassus. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, balconies, and air conditioning. Nearby, you’ll find the Temple ...

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Amalia Hotel Nauplia
Amalia Hotel Nauplia

This modern hotel is located in the town entrance of Nafplion. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, balconies, and air conditioning. Nearby, you’ll find Árgos, Ti...

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Wyndham Grand Athens
Wyndham Grand Athens

This elegant hotel is located in the Metaxourgeio neighborhood of Athens. Guests enjoy panoramic views of the Acropolis, a fitness center, and rooftop...

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Celestyal Olympia
Celestyal Olympia

This ship sails across the Adriatic Sea. As you hop from one Greek isle to the next, enjoy the two pools, fully equipped gym, and restaurants featurin...

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Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights

Local weather

Athens, Greece
Weather averages
Today
High 81 °FLow 69 °F
/
54°57°60°67°76°84°89°89°82°72°65°57°45°47°48°53°62°70°74°75°70°62°56°49°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nafplio, Greece
Weather averages
Today
High 82 °FLow 63 °F
/
52°55°60°67°76°84°89°89°82°72°64°55°38°39°41°46°54°61°66°67°61°54°48°41°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Thessaloniki, Greece
Weather averages
Today
High 78 °FLow 66 °F
/
48°52°58°66°76°85°91°91°82°70°61°51°36°39°42°47°55°63°68°69°62°55°48°39°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

FAQ

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About the cruise ship
  • Aboard the Celestyal Olympia you’ll find ambient lounges across the ship, restaurants featuring authentic cuisine, a fully equipped gym, library, two pools, and so much more. See a detailed summary of the ship’s amenities and available cabins on their website.
  • All cabins on this tour are standard outside cabins with a view of the water and come equipped with air conditioning, a telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box, and television. 
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Passport, visa, and entry requirements
  • In order to enter Greece (and Turkey on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code FPS.
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Tour pacing and mobility
  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting on and off ferries and ships.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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Transportation and arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Thessaloniki and depart from Athens. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • A three-night Greek islands cruise is included in the price of the tour extension.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure to label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
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Clothing and packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • Consider bringing sunglasses, brimmed hats, sunscreen, and lightweight clothing that covers your arms and neck. Many of the historical and ancient sites on this tour are out in the open with little shade, and temperatures in Greece can get quite hot.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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Health
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at [cdc.gov] (https://www.cdc.gov).
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • Please note that codeine (commonly found in headache medications) is banned in Greece, and you may face prosecution if you bring it into the country.
  • Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in Turkey (on the tour extension). Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in Turkey.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code FPS.
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Cuisine
  • Greece’s warm climate ensures a constant supply of fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. Salads served with aromatic olive oil, feta cheese, and oregano are plentiful. Grilled fish and meat are integral to Greek cuisine, as are squid and octopus. Don't miss the spinach-and-cheese pies, called spanakopita.
  • In Turkey on the tour extension, breakfast typically consists of sourdough bread with sheep’s cheese and olives, as well as jam or honey. A midday meal or dinner often starts with a meze, which is a plate of varied appetizers like cheese pastry rolls, pickled vegetables, and potato fritters. On the coast, fish is an excellent choice, especially tuna, turbot, and sardines. Meat eaters should try lamb kebabs, available in a wide variety of types, each with a different sauce or dressing. The national drink is tea, but don't miss out on the strong and rich Turkish coffee.
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Electricity and air conditioning
  • Greece (and Turkey on the tour extension) operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
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Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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Time zones
  • Greece (and Turkey on the extension) are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 7pm in Athens (and in Turkey on the tour extension).
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Currency
  • You will use the euro in Greece (as well as the Turkish lira in Turkey on the tour extension).
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
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Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • Gratuities aboard the cruise ship are included in price of the tour extension.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
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Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
  • International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
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