Greece Tour – In the Footsteps of Paul, May 2023

May 6, 2023 – May 11, 2023

Optional Extension May 12, 2023 – May 14, 2023

Rev. Bert Jones, VP of Missions and Member Care, and wife CherylA biblical tour you won’t want to miss.

The apostle Paul’s journey may become your very own as you retrace his footsteps. Greeks have been offering hospitality from ancient times. Today, Greek believers invite you to visit the places where Paul first brought the gospel to Europe and planted the churches of the New Testament.

You will never read the Bible the same after this unforgettable journey through Philippi, Berea, Thessaloniki, Corinth, Athens, Delphi, and other sites with Costas Tsevas, the best evangelical guide in the country. His knowledge of the Bible, archeology, history, and ancient Greece will astound you!

We will find rich communion following the steps of Paul, as we visit magnificent cathedrals, look upon inspiring religious markers, and thrill at some of the world’s richest displays of sacred art, from murals of scenes from the Bible to inspired renderings of events such as the Transfiguration of Christ. Our visit to cities like Corinth will have us ever contemplating Paul’s stirring admonitions and appreciating the great fruits of his labor as we are reminded that “many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).

Experience the land of Greece and see how it transforms your reading of the Bible.

 


Tour includes the following

  • Six nights lodging
  • Hotel city tax and porterage at hotels
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Entrance fees to museums and other sites
  • Bus transportation throughout the tour
  • Use of Whispers headsets to hear the tour guide
  • Tips to guides, drivers and hotel staff
  • Government-licensed tour guide throughout the tour
  • International Travel Insurance from Thursday, May 4 – Saturday, May 12, 2023 (allows for an extra day of travel at the beginning and end of the tour). Additional days are available for $7 per person per day. This coverage includes Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Medical Expenses, Disability Income, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Crisis Management, including the expense and coordination of a security evacuation, Personal Property, and General Liability.

Optional Cruise Extension Includes

  • Three nights inside standard cabin
  • All meals
  • All inclusive drinks package
  • Three shore excursions
    • Kusadasi – House of Virgin Mary & Ancient Ephesus
    • Patmos – Religious visit to St. John’s Monastery and Grotto of Apocalypse (where John received the Revelation)
    • Heraklio – First European civilization
  • Use of Whispers headsets
  • Tips to cruise staff, drivers and excursion guides
  • Government-licensed tour guide throughout the tour
  • International Travel Insurance from Friday, May 12 – Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (allows for an extra day of travel at the end of the extension). Additional days are available for $7 per person per day. This coverage includes Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Medical Expenses, Disability Income, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Crisis Management, including the expense and coordination of a security evacuation, Personal Property, and General Liability.

Tour Package Does NOT Include

  • International flights
  • Airport baggage transfer
  • Lunches
  • Beverages

 

Travel Arrangements – NOTE WE FLY IN AND OUT OF DIFFERENT AIRPORTS

Arrival to Greece

  • Fly IN TO Thessaloniki (Macedonia International Airport – SKG) no later than Saturday, May 6, 2023

 

Departure from Greece – Fly OUT OF Athens (Athens International Airport – ATH)

  • Tour only – Depart Friday, May 12, 2023
  • Tour and Extension – Depart Monday, May 15, 2023 after 12:00 Noon

 

Travel Agency

Travelers are welcome to make international flight arrangements through their preferred travel source, or World Travel Service, Inc. is available to assist. Direct Number: 865-777-1600

 

Visas and Passports

  • Each participant must have a valid passport. Passport expiration date must be six months beyond the last day of the tour. CMDA will requests a photo of the first two pages of your Passport be emailed to Kim Hodge (kim.hodge@cmda.org) 60 days prior to travel. If you prefer, you may also copy and mail to Kim’s attention at CMDA P.O. Box 7500 Bristol, TN 37621-7500.
  • No Visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter Italy as a tourist.

 

Detailed Itinerary

For a detailed itinerary, click on the “Schedule” link.

 

Activity Level

The activity level for this tour is moderately strenuous. You should be able to walk several miles on uneven terrain without difficulty. If you have mobility issues, this tour may not be for you. If you have questions, please contact Kim Hodge before registering.

Main Tour

Double Occupancy (per person)

  • CMDA Member and Spouse/Family $2,480
  • Non-Member $2,580

Single Occupancy

  • CMDA Member $3,180
  • Non-Member $3,280

Optional Extension

Double Occupancy (per person) $960

Single Occupancy $1,275

 

Cancelation Policy
Cancellations and requests for refund must be submitted in writing to the Christian Medical & Dental Associations at the address below or by email.

 

Cancellation charges:

Before or on January 1, 2023: $400 per person

January 1 – 31, 2023: $700 per person

February 1 – 28, 2023: $800 per person

March 1 – 31, 2023: $1,200 per person

On or after April 1, 2023: No Refund

Breakfasts and dinners included. All lunches are “on your own”

 

Hotels for main tour:

Grand Palace Hotel of Thessaloniki https://www.grandhotelpalace.gr/ or similar

Grand Meteora http://www.grandmeteora.gr/ or similar

Grand Wyndham of Athens https://www.wyndhamgrandathens.com/ or similar

 

Cruise Line for extension:

Celestyal Cruises  https://celestyal.com/us/

Tour Guide:

Costas Tsevas – As a boy, Costas was raised in the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church being taught and trained to become an Orthodox priest. However, the death of his grandmother when he was thirteen years old set him on a different path. During his teen years, he studied God’s Word diligently and secretly with a Christian family living in his village. At age 18, Costas revealed his “secret” and was sharply rejected by his family. Miraculously, his father alone now worships with him at a small but dynamic evangelical church! Costas is one of a very few government-licensed, Christian tour guides in Greece. Through his work with the International Center of New Testament Studies, a ministry of AMG International, he has introduced thousands of people to rich

archeological evidence supporting the authenticity of the Bible. Costas and his wife, Dona, have three daughters, ages 15-21.

 

Tour Hosts:

Rev. Bert Jones, VP of Missions and Member Care, and wife Cheryl – Bert oversees the Center for Well-Being and Church Ministries. In his role he also serves as the Chaplain of CMDA and has traveled to 5 continents and to over 33 countries to teach and preach the gospel. He has engaged in Leadership development nationally and internationally throughout his ministry. Bert coauthored the book “Servant Leadership Proverbs” in 2017, with Dr. David Stevens. He graduated from Asbury University in 1989 with a degree in Bible and completed two years of Seminary at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Bert holds his ordination through the Missionary Church USA.

 

Paul Montgomery, MBA , Senior Director of Stewardship and Legacy Giving, and wife Cherry – For over 40 years, Paul was blessed to serve in corporate work and now finds enjoyment serving the members of CMDA.

Paul resides in Kingsport, TN, with wife, Cherry, and has two adult children and three grandchildren. He attends Central Baptist Church of Kingsport where he serves as a deacon and actively supports church missions. Paul completed his BA and MBA at King University.

Saturday, May 6: Arrive at Macedonia International Airport of Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight stay at the Grand Hotel Palace (or similar).


Sunday, May 7: Visit Philippi and Neapolis
Day’s trip to Philippi and Neapolis (Kavala). http://ancientgreecejourney.co.uk/places/philipi.htm

In Philippi (Acts 16:12-40; 20:6) Paul preached his evangelistic sermon to women who had gathered at the river. You will visit the river where Paul baptized Lydia, a purple fabric merchant, who became the first Christian woman to be baptized on European soil (Acts 16:14, 15, 40). You will also see a crypt, dating from the Roman period, which according to the Church’s tradition, has been the place where Paul was flogged and imprisoned. Also, at Philippi, you will see the ancient Roman Agora (Forum) built during the time of Augustus and mentioned in the Book of Acts as the place where Paul was publicly punished after he healed the demon-possessed girl (Acts 16:19). You will also see the Basilicas and the Greek Theatre (4th century BC), which was converted into an arena by the Romans and used during the persecutions of the early days of the Church. Paul’s letter to Philippians was addressed to the local Christians, 14 years after his first visit there.

You will also see Neapolis (present-day Kavalla), Greece’s most picturesque mainland port. Paul arrived in this city (Acts 16:11) with his coworkers Timothy (Acts 16:1-3; 17:14-15; 18:5; 20:4, 5) and Silas (Acts 15:22-35, 40, 41; 16:25-40; 17:4, 14, 15) . On the way back to Thessaloniki, you will see the remains of the famous ancient road Via Egnatia. You will pass by the ancient cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia, which are mentioned in the Book of Acts (Acts 17:1).

Dinner and overnight at Grand Hotel Palace http://grandhotelpalace.gr/?lang=el or similar


Monday, May 8: Visit Thessaloniki
Today we continue touring in the city of Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1-13)
http://ancientgreecejourney.co.uk/places/thessaloniki.htm
http://ancientgreecejourney.co.uk/places/thess%20sights.htm

Paul wrote two epistles to Thessalonians, both in the canon of the NT. Here we will try to visit the Roman Agora(Forum) and the Basilica of Saint Demetrios. You will also see the White Tower, the statue of Alexander the Great, and the remains of the Palace complex of Galerius (Late 3rd century AD). The Arch of Galerius and Rotonda was later converted to the Church of Saint George. You will also see the City Walls and the Great Gate, which connects the city with Via Egnatia (Via Egnatia was the trans-continental east-west road of the Roman Empire built on the 2nd century BC). ( You may visit the St. Luke’s hospital in Thessaloniki but I doubt if you have time)

After lunch, we will be traveling to Veria (ancient Berea) where Paul visited and preached to the Jewish synagogue of the city and to the Greek nobility who readily accepted the new faith (Acts 17:10-15). In this city, there is a monument dedicated to Apostle Paul. You will see the Jewish quarter where the synagogue is still situated today. We continue our trip to the recently discovered archaeological site of Vergina, the old capital of the Macedonian Kingdom (5th to 2nd centuries BC). There you will visit the grave of Philip the 2nd, the father of Alexander the Great, which was found intact. Vergina, the birthplace of Macedonia, http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/Museums/Archaeological_and_Byzantine/Arx_Bas_Tafoi_Berginas.html (hope you will be able to visit the graves in Vergina if the time allows.)

Dinner and overnight at Grand Meteora hotel in Kalambaka http://www.grandmeteora.gr or similar.


Tuesday, May 9: Visit Meteora monasteries
After breakfast, visit the beautiful place of Meteora monasteries at the top of exotic rocks. This will provides a tremendous introduction to Eastern Orthodox Church. Next, travel to Athens for dinner and overnight stay at the Grand Wyndham Athens or similar (3 nights).


Wednesday, May 10: Visit Athens (Acts 17:15-34)
The architectural splendors of this ancient city are majestic. You will visit the world-renown hill of Acropolis. Particular emphasis will be on the visit to the Areopagus (Mars Hill) where Paul gave his famous speech to the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:18-34). You will be visiting also in the same area, the Ancient Agora (Forum), where Paul met the Philosophers, the Stoa of Attalus, and the Temple of Hephaestus. Athens is related to the meanings of Democracy, City Assembly (Ecclesia), and Reasoning (Logos) were first conceived and practiced in this part of the world. Many of the terms used by the Athenian Democracy were incorporated in the Church’s terminology. (Ecclesia, Logos). You will enjoy lunch and a little free time for shopping in the famous Plaka area of the Flee Market of Athens. Dinner and overnight stay at the Grand Wyndham Athens.


Thursday, May 11: Corinth (Acts 18:1-18)
Corinth is the city where Paul stayed for one and a half years, during his first visit, the longest he stayed in any of the cities he visited except Ephesos. Paul wrote at least four letters addressed to the Church of Corinth, two of which are found in the NT. From Corinth, he wrote three, and possibly four epistles addressed to the first Christians in Rome, Thessaloniki, and Galatia. You will be visiting the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Agora (Forum), and the Bema where Paul stood in front of Gallio (Acts 18:12-17), the Roman Pro-Consul of Achaea. You will be seeing the inscription of Erastus, the treasurer of the city, mentioned in the epistle to Romans. (Acts 19:22; Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20)/ You will also enjoy seeing the Temple of Apollo and the hill of Acrocorinth, where during the time of Classical Greece used to be the famous Temple of Aphrodite. Dinner at CosmoVision Center and overnight stay at the Grand Wyndham Athens.


Friday, May 12:
For those not staying for the extension, you will check out of the hotel and transfer to the Athens International Airport your return flight home.


Optional Extension:

Transfer to port at Piraeus to board the Celestyal Olympia for a three-day cruise in the Aegean Sea (tentative schedule):

Friday, May 12:
11:30 AM – Depart from Piraeus
6 PM – Arrive at Mykonos Island
11 PM – Depart Mykonos Island

Saturday, May 13:
7:30 AM – Arrive at Kusadasi Shore excursion – House of the Virgin Mary and Ancient Ephesus (included)
1 PM – Depart Kusadasi
5:45 PM – Arrive at Patmos Shore excursion – visit St. John’s Monastery & the Grotto of the Apocalypse (included)
8:30 PM – Depart Patmos

Sunday, May 14:
7 AM – Arrive at Heraklion-Crete Shore excursion – Minoan Palace of Knossos – 1st European civilization (included)
12 NOON – Depart Heraklion-Crete
4:30 PM Arrive at Santorini
9:30 PM Depart Santorini

PLEASE NOTE WE FLY IN AND OUT OF DIFFERENT AIRPORTS

Arrival to Greece

  • Fly IN TO Thessaloniki (Macedonia International Airport – SKG) no later than Saturday, May 6, 2023

 

Departure from Greece

  • Fly OUT OF Athens (Athens International Airport-ATH)

Tour ONLY: Depart Friday, May 12, 2023

Tour and Extension: Depart Monday, May 15, 2023 after 12:00 noon

Please let me know if you need additional information or have any questions.


Questions?

 

Please contact Kim Hodge for additional details or questions:

Mail:

Kim Hodge

CMDA

PO Box 7500

Bristol, TN 37621

 

Phone: 423.844.1063

Email: Kim.Hodge@cmda.org

Questions?

Please contact Kim Hodge for additional details or questions:

Mail:
Kim Hodge
CMDA
PO Box 7500
Bristol, TN 37621

Phone: 423.844.1063

Email: Kim.Hodge@cmda.org