In this pilgrimage, the visitor will have an extended tour to important and unique in the world ancient and Byzantine monuments, monastic buildings, churches, Christian curios, locations and ecosystems of tremendous beauty and traditional village settings.
KONSTANTINOPOLE – THESSALONIKI-OURANOUPOLIS-VERGINA
The following excursion can be modified to meet your desires and budget. We are able to arrange customized and tailor-made trips just for you based on your needs.
The detailed itinerary is as follows:
DAY ONE: THESSALONIKI
Arrival at the airport. Transfer and tour of the historical center of Thessaloniki, the capital of the region of Macedonia. A unique city with a very long and ancient history. It is in this city that St Paul the Apostle taught the Christian faith to the Thessalonians and addressed two of his epistles.
We will visit Saint Demetrios cathedral and we will venerate his cara. Then we will visit the crypt where he was imprisoned, martyred and buried. We continue toward the Cathedral of Saint Gregory Palamas (one of the insightful theologians of the Orthodox Church, 1296-1359) where his relic is maintained. Then, we will walk toward the Acheiropoiitos, an early christian era church of the 5th century AD with which features mosaics of exquisite beauty and color harmony. Our steps will take us to the Museum of the Macedonian Fight, the Rotonda Church and we will end at are of Castra (Castles) with the panoramic view of the Thermaic gulf for dinner.
After dinner, we go back to our hotel for the night.
DAY TWO: THESSALONIKI-OURANOUPOLIS.
Breakfast and departure for Ouranoupolis. Our destination is located toward the southeast of Chalkidiki. We will be following a route full of ancient beauty and byzantine devoutness, among forests, vineyeards and orchards, sandy beaches, picturesque villages, such as Arnaia, and Stageira (the birth town of Aristotle the Philosopher). Once we reach Ouranoupolis, we embark on the cruise boat sailing around the Athonite Peninsula and wonder the impressive monasteries and the natural beauty of Mount Athos, the craddle of Orthodoxy, the orchard of the Theotokos. Upon our return from the boat trip in Ouranopoulis, we will visit the Byzantine monastery of Zygos, which is the most ancient monastery in Mount Athos. On our way back to Thessaloniki and if there is time we shall visit Stageira and the park of Aristotle which is equipped with instruments that apply upon natural phenomena and that are mentioned in the book of the great Philosopher "Fysika". It combines in an intelligent way entertainment and education. We will stop for supper and return to our hotel to rest for the night.
DAY THREE: THESSALONIKI, VERGINA, ARIDAIA
After breakfast we leave to visit the archeological site of Vergina , containing possibly the most significant, recent archeological discoveries in modern Greece, by Manolis Andronikos, of Greek history and language dating back more than 2,400 years.
In Vergina Alexander the Great was crowned King of the Macedonians and he studied under one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Aristotle. Vergina is also where Alexander's father's king Philip's tomb is located.
We will then continue to the spa town of Aridaia, a location of outstanding natural beauty. Finally, we will visit the holy Archangel monastery. We shall return to our hotel for the evening.
DAY FOUR: CONSTANTINOPOLE
Breakfast , followed by transfer to the airport. On arrival in Constantinople our guided tour of the capital and Byzantine autocracy will begin, starting with visits to Our Lady of Vlachernon, the town's monastery, the Baloukli monastery(the Zoodochos Spring), the Saint Sophia, perhaps the most recognizable Byzantine building and aqueduct. Transfer to the hotel, for check in and supper.
DAY FIVE: CONSTANTINOPOLE
After breakfast, we will board a ship to Prigiponissa. Our first stop will be Halkis where we shall have a guided tour the famous theological school. Next, we will visit Pringipos, the monastery of St George Koudounas.
We will return to Constantinople for supper and overnight stay.
DAY SIX: CONSTANTINOPLE
Breakfast will be followed by a visit to the Patriarchate and a guided tour. We will then continue over the Bosporus bridge stop for a lunch, then go to the airport to fly to Salonica.
Breakfast. Free day.
In the afternoon for those who wish to do so, we will visit the holy monastery of St John the Theologian at Souroti, the site of the tomb of elder Paisios.
Supper and overnight stay.
DAY EIGHT : DEPARTURE
Breakfast then transfer to the airport