Greece is inspiring wherever you look. However, Inspiration Ventures best Gods, Heroes and the Scriptures voyage, by land and sea, is awe-inspiring.

This innovative tour combines scenic land excursions with all the pleasures of a small ship cruise. Unique aspects of this tour include the Bible as history, an exploration of the ancient world of Paul the Apostle, following his footsteps around the country, and a wealth of cultural and natural treasures.

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Overview

Follow Paul’s pilgrimage from Philippi to Thessaloniki, Athens, Corinth and beyond.

Discover the religious practices of the ancients from the dawn of time and relive the everyday challenges faced by St. Paul in preaching the Gospel in the land of the gods.

Enjoy the delights of a small ship cruise around the Peloponnese, sailing its blue waters and relishing the sea breeze.

Mycenae, rich in gold, King Nestor’s Palace in Pylos, Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, Delphi, the Oracle of Apollo, the dramatic beauty of the Mani Peninsula and sailing the underground river in the Diros Caves are only some of the highlights of your venture. 

What could be more enlightening and enjoyable? 

Our expert guides will lead you on an inspiring journey through antiquity, early Christianity, the Byzantine era and Greek Orthodox tradition. 

8-day land tour, following the steps of St. Paul from Thessaloniki to Athens

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7-day small ship cruise around the Peloponnese, docking in harbors inaccessible to large cruise liners

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Guided visits of Apostle Paul’s pilgrimage locations: Philippi, Thessaloniki, Veroia, Athens, Corinth

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Guided visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mycenae, Meteora, Athens Acropolis, Ancient Olympia, Delphi

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Overnight at the charming port town of Nafplio

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Impressive Corinth Canal crossing

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A taste of the local life and Greek products
Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Philippi

Day 3: Thessaloniki

Day 4: Veroia – Vergina

Day 5: Meteora

Day 6: Athens – Acropolis Museum

Day 7: Acropolis – Mars Hill – Agora

Day 8: Corinth – Embarkation

Day 9: Epidaurus

Day 10: Nafplio – Mycenae

Day 11: Gytheio

Day 12:  Pylos

Day 13: Ancient Olympia

Day 14: Delphi

Day 15: Disembarkation

Day 1

Arrival in Thessaloniki and Transfer

On arrival at Thessaloniki Airport, our airport representative will greet you and assist you with the transfer to your hotel. Your Tour Director will welcome you at the hotel and provide all useful information, such as restaurant recommendations and travel tips for your stay. Dinner on your own. There is a wide choice of restaurants in Thessaloniki, a city well-known for its delicious cuisine.

Overnight in Thessaloniki Hotel

Day 2

Philippi

Visit the archaeological site of Philippi, where the first Christian congregation on European soil was established. After exploring the archaeological site with its famous theater, the remains of the large basilicas and Paul’s prison, drive to the banks of the river, where St. Paul baptized Lydia – his first European convert. Later in the day, drive to the quaint port of Kavala for lunch and leisure time. Drive back to Thessaloniki. Dinner in hotel included.

Overnight in Thessaloniki Hotel

Day 3

Thessaloniki

After breakfast, depart for a full day tour of Thessaloniki, which, during the Byzantine era, was second only to Constantinople in glory. The history of the city is written in its architecture. The tour includes visits to the Byzantine Museum, the churches of Agia Sophia and St. Demetrious and, of course, a visit to the Roman Agora, where, according to the Holy Scriptures, Paul preached. Light lunch downtown and remainder of the day free, to enjoy Thessaloniki’s famous seaside promenade with its many cafes and spectacular port views. Dinner on your own.

Overnight in Thessaloniki Hotel

Day 4

Veroia – Vergina

Today you start driving south to visit Veroia and the monument commemorating St. Paul’s preaching in the city. The Apostle probably travelled for three days together with Silas, after escaping from Thessaloniki. In Vergina discover the archaeological site, where the impressive tomb of Philipp II, father of Alexander the Great, is situated. Lunch in the area and drive to Meteora, situated in the plain of Thessaly. Included dinner at the hotel and overnight.

Overnight in Meteora Hotel

Day 5

Meteora

After an inspirational morning view of the spectacular Meteora rock formations from your balcony, drive into the rock forest and visit two of the monasteries at the summit of the rocks. Travelers are always amazed by the natural beauty of Meteora, as well as the Byzantine frescoes decorating the walls of the monasteries. Lunch included, in a traditional Greek restaurant in Kalambaka. Remainder of the afternoon free. Optional afternoon photography and hike at Meteora. Included dinner in a local tavern.

Overnight in Meteora Hotel

Day 6

Acropolis Museum & Plaka

Begin the drive to Athens. On the way visit the Byzantine icon workshop, operated by a priest’s entire family. Stop at Thermopylae, where the famous battle of the 300 Spartans took place in 480 BC. Light lunch on the way and check in to your Athens hotel. Late afternoon visit to the new Acropolis Museum, one of the world’s top ten museums. Walk in Plaka, a picturesque neighborhood under the Acropolis. Your Tour Director will give you several options for dinner on your own tonight.

Overnight in Athens Hotel

Day 7

Acropolis, Mars Hill, Agora

Enjoy a walking tour of the Athens Acropolis, crowned by the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Continue to Mars Hill, where Paul the Apostle spoke before the Council of Areopagus about idolatry and the altar to ‘the unknown God’. Next, visit the Agora (ancient marketplace), where merchants, rhetoricians, philosophers and Athenian citizens mingled and learned the latest news of the city. Light lunch at Monastiraki, the flea market area of Athens, and remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy sightseeing on your own. In the evening, meet for a short cruise briefing and the included dinner in the hotel’s terrace restaurant, with view of the Acropolis.

Overnight in Athens Hotel

Day 8

Corinth, Cenchreae and Embarkation

After breakfast, which includes fresh fruit and home-baked breads, you will enjoy a scenic drive following Paul’s steps, crossing the Corinth Canal to ancient Corinth. Visit the remains of the Roman city of Corinth, where the Apostle lived for 18 months making tents together with his friends, Priscilla and Aquila. You will have the opportunity to see fragments of the Synagogue where Paul preached and the famous Bema, where the Apostle was tried before Proconsul Galio. After this inspiring experience in Ancient Corinth we will drive to the remains of the port of Cechreae, where Paul embarked for Ephesus. Later during the day, your ship sails to the port of Old Epidaurus.

Overnight on board

Day 9

Epidaurus

Optional visit to Epidaurus early in the morning. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as one of the healing sanctuaries of Asclepius. Today the site is world famous for its ancient theater, dating back to the 4th century BCE and considered the best-preserved ancient Greek theater in the world. Lunch on board, before the ship sails this afternoon for the quaint port town of Nafplio. Overnight in Nafplio, with the possibility for an evening stroll.

Overnight on board

Day 10

Nafplio – Mycenae

After a short walking tour of Nafplio, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae (optional). According to Homer, ‘Mycenae rich in gold’ was the stronghold of King Agamemnon. Visit the remains of the glorious ancient city, including the Lion’s Gate, the palace, the famous beehive tomb, known as Atreus’s Treasury, and the museum. Lunch on board and afternoon sailing to Monemvasia. Overnight in Gytheio.

Overnight on board

Day 11

Gytheio

Early morning arrival in Gytheio. Optional excursion to the Mani Peninsula and Cape Tenaro, including a visit to the Diros Caves (optional). Leaving Gytheio, cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves discovered in the ’60s, which are among the most important natural sites of Greece. After visiting the caves, drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is on the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other in Greece. A desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers that create a strangely beautiful environment. Overnight at sea to Pylos.

Overnight on board

Day 12

Pylos

Pylos is a picturesque seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. Near this quaint harbor, in open sea, one of the most important naval battles in history took place in 1827, when the European fleet defeated the Ottoman Turks. After stopping to admire the scenery, you can join an optional tour to Nestor’s Palace. The palace, discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen, is dated as a contemporary site to the Homeric site of Mycenae. After exploring the archaeological site, short drive to the town for a visit to the small, superb archaeological museum, which holds the timeless artifacts recovered from the site. Night sail to Katakolo.

Overnight on board

Day 13

Ancient Olympia

Early morning arrival in Katakolo port. Disembark around 7:00 a.m. and travel by bus for our optional excursion to Ancient Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites of the ancient world. Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the most famous sanctuary of the ancient world, dedicated to Zeus, father of all gods. By exploring the remains of the Temples of Zeus and Hera, the Philippeion, the Gymnasium, the Palestra and the original Stadium where the Games were held, you will gain insight into the ancient world where Christ was born and the centuries-old tradition of spiritual beliefs which Paul confronted in teaching the Gospel. You will also see an early Christian church built on the site as Christianity took root in Greece. Later, visit the Olympia Museum, where the famous statue of Hermes by Praxiteles is on display. Following lunch in a small village near Olympia, a visit to the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games. After leisure time in the town, enjoy a beautiful drive to Patras, on the north coast of the peninsula, where St. Andrew was martyred and is buried today. Here, reboard ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight in Itea.

Overnight on board

Day 14

Itea – Delphi

Disembark early in the morning and join an optional visit to the Delphic Oracle, one of the most revered sites of the ancient world. Drive up along the slopes of Mt. Parnassus to reach the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. At the peak of its glory, Delphi was famous for its wealth and reputation, as it hosted the most important oracle in the classical world. Half a day to explore the ruins and to visit the Delphi Museum, which houses, among other great treasures, the renowned statue of the Bronze Charioteer, as well as an inscription carved into limestone which helps date St. Paul’s stay in Corinth. Return to the ship and cross the Corinth Canal. Later in the evening we sail to Marina Zea, where the ship docks tonight.

Overnight on board

Day 15

Disembarkation and Transfer to Athens Airport

After breakfast, disembarkation and transfer to the airport.

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES

  • Accommodation for 14 nights: 3 nights in Thessaloniki, 2 nights in Meteora, 2 nights in Athens and 7 nights on board M/S Galileo
  • Land tour with Mercedes motor coach throughout the trip
  • 37 meals:  14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Guided tour and entrance fees to all included sites described
  • All the way services of Inspiration Ventures Tour Director
  • Private motor coach transportation during land tour
  • Small ship cruise: price varies according to cabin type
  • Transfers from and to airport/port
  • Luggage handling: One bag per person & one carry-on

TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Airfare
  • Shore excursions to Epidaurus, Monemvasia and Pylos (they can be purchased on board)
  • Gratuities for Tour Director, drivers and onboard crew

TOUR DATES AND PRICES

Tour Duration: 15 days – 14 nights

Departures: 17, 24, 31 March/ 7, 14 April/ 20, 27 October/ 3, 10 November

Cost starting from: 2,600 euros (depending on seasonality and cabin type)

 

Itineraries are subject to change at the discretion of the shipping company and the vessel’s captain, in case of adverse weather conditions; winds of 6-7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel;  port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port in case of extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not automatically entitle passengers to any refunds. The shipping company guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.

GALILEO

Facts at a Glance

Launched/Rebuilt: 1992/2007

Renovated: 2016

Length: 48.00 meters

Breadth: 10.00 meters

Draft: 2.80 meters

Crew: 16-18 persons

Cruising Speed: 11.00 knots

Cabins: 25

Thessaloniki stay

Mediterranean Palace Hotel or similar

The Mediterranean Palace is a five-star hotel of ultimate hospitality for guests with high expectations. It is situated near one of the most picturesque areas of the city called ‘Ladadika,  has a magnificent view of the Thermaikos Bay and displays the most beautiful characteristics of Thessaloniki: cosmopolitan atmosphere, refined sense of peacefulness and traditional warm hospitality. The style and the luxury, in combination with its strategic location in the heart of the commercial and business center of the city, make the Mediterranean Palace an ideal destination.

Meteora Stay

Meteora Hotel or similar

Located at a peaceful hill with an amazing view of the Meteora rocks, this hotel offers a unique insight to the mountainous mainland Greece. Owned by a Greek family that cherishes their homeland’s tradition, guests at the Meteora Hotel enjoy breathtaking views and family hospitality.

Athens Stay

Hera Hotel or similar

Hera Hotel is conveniently located a few steps away from the new Acropolis Museum; right at the foot of the Acropolis hill and next to the interconnected archeological sites. This boutique hotel offers a unique opportunity to the visitor to enjoy an excellent stay right in the heart of old Athens. Within a walking distance of two minutes, our travelers can find local quality restaurants, bars and enjoy the picturesque Plaka district of Athens. Furthermore, Hera Hotel offers a unique dining experience at its rooftop, with marvelous Acropolis view, exceptional cuisine and cozy setting.

  • During your land tour and on board, we suggest smart casual clothes. Please check our weather chart here before packing. 
  • We suggest good walking shoes for visiting the archaeological sites and warmer clothes for after dark. 
  • Walking consists of around  5 km a day on uneven ground, steps and cobblestone streets. Good physical condition is important. Wheelchairs cannot be accommodated.
  • In Greece the electric current is 220V. You may need an adaptor for your electrical appliances.
  • We suggest that you take a photo of your passport and of all credit/debit cards (both sides) that you will be bringing with you, and mail these photos to yourself. In the event of lost credentials, these photos can be extremely helpful and time-saving!
  • For the visit to the Meteora monasteries a long skirt will be needed for the ladies and long pants for the gentlemen.

Biblical References

Philippi

Acts 16:12

Acts 20:6

Phil 1:1

1 Thess 2:2

Phil 4:15

Neapolis (Kavala)

Acts 16:11

Thessaloniki

Acts 17:1, 11, 13

Acts 20:4

27:2

1 Thess 1:1

2 Thess 1:1

Phil 4:16

2 Tim 4:10

Beroia

Acts 17:10, 13

Acts 20:4

Athens

2 Macc 9:15

2 Macc 6:1

Acts 17:15, 16

Acts 18:1

Acts 17:22

1 Thess 3:1

Corinth

Acts 18:1

Acts 19:1

Acts 18:8

1 Cor 1:2

2 Cor 1:1, 23

2 Cor 6:11

2 Tim 4:20

Cenchreae

Acts 18:18

Rom 16:1