Cultural intelligence (CQ) is defined as a person’s capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity. In other words, a traveler’s adaptability.

When traveling, we think part of the fun is meeting people of different cultures and learning about their everyday lives. But the thing is, you can’t really do that as a “tourist;” instead, you need to be a “traveler.”

At Inspiration Ventures, we help our travelers go beyond staged tourist spaces – beyond just monuments, commercialized restaurants and recipes, and cheap touristy souvenirs. (Although they can certainly be fun, under the right circumstances!)

If you’re seeking authentic cultural experiences, you’re looking to immerse yourself in Greek culture. If you are inquisitive and friendly, you’d like to mingle with Greeks and indulge in a hands-on kind of experiences. We’ll help you dig deeper. We’ll introduce you to local traditions and social mores. We’ll treat you to the best of the best insider’s trips to Greece.

Greece is thoroughly European, so you’ll find that local culture is similar to other parts of the Western world. That said, there are some differences you should probably know in advance, so you can travel with cultural intelligence, seek out meaningful interactions, and enjoy your time with us.

 

Day 1:Arrival

Day 2: Philippi

Day 3: Thessaloniki

Day 4: Veroea - 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: Githio - Mistras

Day 12:  Pilos

Day 13: Ancient Olympia

Day 14: Delphi

Day 15: Disembarkation

Day 1

Arrival in Thessaloniki and transfer

Upon arrival at Athens Airport you will be greeted by your Inspiration Ventures Tour Director who will assist you and transfer you to your hotel. Your Tour Director will provide to you all useful info and travel tips for the tour. Dinner tonight is included at local restaurant, as Thessaloniki is well known for its delicious cuisine. 

Day 2

Philippi

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

Day 3

Thessaloniki

After breakfast departure for a full day to Thessaloniki, once only second to Constantinople during the glorious Byzantine years. One can read the history of the city through architecture. Our tour includes visits to the Byzantine museum, churches of Agia Sophia and St. Demetrious; and of course a stop to the Roman Agora, where according to the holy scripts Paul use to preach. Light lunch on our own downtown and remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy the Riviera of the city with its many cafes and gorgeous port views. Dinner is on our own tonight. 

Day 4

Veroea - Vergina

This morning we leave Macedonia behind, and start driving to the south. Our first stop will be Veroea and the monument commemorating St. Paul’s preaching in the city. The Apostle probably travelled for 3 days together with Silas after escaping Thessaloniki. In continuation, we’ll discover the archaeological site of Vergina, where the impressive tomb of Philipp II, father of Alexander the Great, is situated. Lunch in the area and drive to Meteora.Dinner in the hotel and overnight.

Day 5

Meteora

After an inspirational wake up with Meteora rocks view from our balconies, we drive into the rock forest and visit two of the monasteries on top of the rocks. Travelers are always amazed by the natural beauty of the area and the byzantine frescoes seen in the monasteries’ “catholicon” decorations. Lunch included at traditional Greek restaurant at Kalambaka town and rest of the afternoon at leisure. Optional afternoon photography hike at Meteora. Surprise dinner! 

Day 6

Acropolis museum & Plaka

Today we start our way south to Athens. On the way visit byzantine icons workshop operated by an entire priest 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 our hotel in Athens. Late afternoon visit to the New Acropolis museum, one of the top 10 World’s Museums. Orientation walk to Plaka picturesque district. Your Tour Director will give several options for dinner on our own tonight.

Day 7

Acropolis, Mars Hill, Agora

Enjoy a walking tour of the Athens Acropolis with its crowning Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Continue to Mars Hill, where Paul the Apostle spoke before the Council of Areopagus about the altar to “the unknown God”.We then continue with our walk to Agora, where merchants, rhetoricians, philosophers and Athenian citizens would mingle and learn the latest city news. It is said that in the Agora Paul found shelter during his stay in Athens. Light lunch at Monastiraki, flea market area of Athens and remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy site seeing on your own. In the evening, meet for a short cruise briefing and included dinner in hotel with Acropolis view. 

Day 8

Corinth and Cenchreae. Embarkation

After a nice breakfast with fresh fruit and home baked cakes, we follow Paul’s steps through the mainland road crossing the Corinth Canal and reach Ancient Corinth. The remains of the Roman city that we see today, was the Corinth that the Apostle experienced during his 18 months stay making tents together with his friends, Priscilla and Aquila. We’ll have the opportunity to see fragments of the Synagogue where Paul preached and the famous Bema, where the Apostle was trialed before Proconsul Galio. After this great experience of discovering Ancient Corinth, we drive to the remains of the port of Cechreae from which Paul embarked for Ephesus. Lunch in the area and drive to Piraeus port for our embarkation. Later during the day our ship sails to the port of Old Epidaurus.

Day 9

Epidaurus

We leave our ship early in the morning for an optional outing to Epidaurus. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as one of the  healing sanctuaries of Asclepius. Today, the site is world wide known for its ancient theater dating to the 4th century BCE, and is considered to be the best preserved ancient greek theater in the world today. Lunch onboard  before our ship sails this afternoon for the  quaint port town of Nafplion. Overnight at port. 

Day 10

Nafplio - Mycenae

After a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae. According to Homer, “Mycenae rich in gold, was the stronghold of king Agamemnon. Visit the remains of the ancient glorious city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, the famous beehive tomb, known as Atreus’ Treasury and the museum. Lunch on onboard and afternoon sailing to Monemvasia.Overnight at Gythion.

Day 11

Gythio - Mystras

Early morning arrival to Gythion. Outing to Mystras Byzantine city with its remarkable frescoes. After visiting Mystras we will drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece. A desolate region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes and towers which are strangely beautiful. Overnight at sea to Pylos.

Day 12

Pylos

Pylos is a picturesque seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In the open sea near this quaint harbor, one of the most important naval battles in history took place in 1827, when the European fleet united defeated the Ottoman Turks. After stopping to admire the scenery, if you decide to join the optional tour, we will continue up the road to Nestor’s Palace and discover a contemporary to Mycenae Homeric site discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen. After exploring the archaeological site we will make the short trip to the town of Hora, where  the small superb archaeological museum holds timeless artifacts recovered from the site. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.

Day 13

Ancient Olympia

Early morning arrival in Katakolon port. We will disembark the ship around 7:00 a.m. and travel by bus for our included 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 was the most famous sanctuary of the ancient world, dedicated to Zeus- the father of all Gods.By exploring the remains of Zeus’ and Hera’s Temples, the Philippeion, the Gymnasium, the Palestra and the original Stadium where the Games were held, we will have the chance to integrate into the culture where Jesus Christ was born and meet the world Paul had to deal with on his effort to teach the story of Jesus. We’ ll also see an early Christian church that was built on the site after the victory of the new religion. Later we visit the Olympia Museum, where the famous statue of Hermes made by Praxiteles is exposed. Following lunch in a small village near Olympia, we’ll also stroll through the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. After having time at leisure in town, we will travel overland to Patras, on the north coast of the peninsula, where St. Andrew had his martyrdom and is buried today. Visit St. Andrew's church in Patras and re-board our ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight at Itea.

Day 14

Itea - Delphi

Morning included outing to the remains of the Delphi Oracle, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world. We will disembark the ship early this morning and proceed to the ruins complex by bus. In its prime, Delphi was famous for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from the site’s location as hosting the most important oracle in the classical world. We will have a half day to walk around the ruins complex and visit the Delfi museum that houses, among the renownedstatue of the Bronze Charioteer, also an inscription cut in a limestone which helps in dating St. Paul’s stay in Corinth. 

Day 15

Disembarkation. Transfer to Athens Airport

Disembarkation after breakfast and transfer to the airport.
 

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES

14 nights accommodation: 2 nights in Thessaloniki, 2 nights at Meteora, 2 nights in Athens and 7 nights onboard M/S Galileo

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 - Guide

Private motor coach transportation during land tour

Small ship cruise: price varies according to cabin type

Transfers from and to the airport

Luggage handling: One bag per person & one carry on

TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

 

Air Fare

Shore excursions to Epidaurus, Monemvasia and Pylos, they can be purchased onboard

Gratuities for Tour Director, drivers, onboard crew

ALL OUR DEPARTURES ARE FULL FOR 2016.COMING SOON DEPARTURE DATES FOR 2017
  

Tour Highlights

 Seven days cruise aboard small ship docking in harbours that big cruiselines cannot approach

 

Guided visits of Apostle Paul’sPilgrimagelocations: Philippi, Thessaloniki, Beroea, Athens, Corinth

 

Guided visits of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Meteora, Athens Acropolis, Ancient Olympia, Delphi

 

Overnight at charming Nafplio port town

 

Cross the impressive Corinth Canal

 

Imerse in local life and taste greek products

Casual onboard atmoshere

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

Meteora stay:

 

Meteora Hotel

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

Athens stay:

Hera boutique hotelHera Hotel is conveniently located 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 into the heart of the old Athens. Within a walking distance of 2 min, our travelers can find local quality restaurants, bars and enjoy the picturesque Plaka district of Athens. Furthermore, Hera hotel offers a unique dinning experience at its rooftop, with marvelous Acropolis view, exceptional cuisine and cozy setting.

Travel tips

  • For touring in Athens we suggest comfortable, casual clothes and good walking shoes for visiting the sites. Hats, sunscreen and a bottle of water are suggested during summer months.
  • Big bags and backpacks are not allowed in most sites & Museums. They are usually kept at the entrance and returned to you after the visit.
  • Remember to bring along your cameras. You will have great photo moments.  Please note that in Museums and Sites it is not allowed to pose by a statue for a picture.
  • Please remember not to leave your bags, cameras or any personal item unattended.
  • Consider about 2 miles walking during the day, which includes city walking but also uneven ground while visiting sites, uphill Acropolis climb, steps and cobblestone streets.  
  • Good physical condition is important. Wheelchairs cannot be accommodated.  
 
 

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

Beroea

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