Greece Tour – In the Footsteps of Paul
September 21 – 27, 2024
Optional Three Day Cruise Extension: September 27 – 30, 2024
Saturday, September 21 Arrival in Greece
Arrive at Macedonia International Airport in Thessaloniki. Welcome dinner and tour orientation with CMDA Tour Hosts and Greece Tour Guide. Overnight stay at the Grand PalaceHotel or similar (2 nights).
Sunday, September 22 Philippi and Neapolis
Day trip to Philippi and Neapolis (Kavala). 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).
Monday, September 23 Thessaloniki, Veria, Vergina
Today we continue touring in the city of Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1-13) 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 the 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. Dinner and overnight stay at Grand Meteora Palace or similar (1 night).
Tuesday, September 24 Meteora Monasteries
Visit the Meteora monasteries located atop exotic rocks. This is a tremendous introduction to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Next, travel to Athens for dinner and overnight stay at the Wyndham Grand Athens or similar (3 nights).
Wednesday, September 25 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 also be visiting 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 Market of Athens.
Thursday, September 26 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.
Friday, September 27
For those not staying for the extension, you will check out of the hotel and transfer to the Athens International Airport for your return flight home.
Those continuing on the extension will transfer to Piraeus or Laurio port to board the three-day cruise in the Greek islands and Ephesus Asia Minor (tentative schedule):
Friday, September 27
11 AM – Depart from Piraeus
6 PM – Arrive at Mykonos Island
11 PM – Depart Mykonos Island
Saturday, September 28
7 AM – Arrive at Kusadasi Shore excursion to Ancient Ephesus (included)
1 PM – Depart Kusadasi
5:45 PM – Arrive at Patmos Shore excursion visiting St. John’s Monastery and the Grotto of the Apocalypse (included)
8:30 PM – Depart Patmos
Sunday, September 29
7 AM – Arrive at Heraklion-Crete Shore. Walk the streets and shop or purchase optional excursion to Knossos.
12 NOON – Depart Heraklion-Crete
4:30 PM Arrive at Santorini to shop and watch the most amazing sunset in Mediterranean Sea.
9:30 PM Depart Santorini
Monday, September 30
9:00 AM Return to Piraeus and depart for the U.S. from Athens International Airport. Return flights should be scheduled after 12:00 noon.
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, September 19 – Saturday, September 28, 2024 (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, upgrades available for additional fee
- All meals
- All inclusive drinks package
- Two shore excursions
- Kusadasi – Ancient Ephesus
- Patmos – St. John’s Monastery and Grotto of Apocalypse (where John received the Revelation)
- Use of Whispers headsets during included excursions
- Tips to cruise staff, drivers and excursion guides
- Government-licensed tour guide throughout the tour
- International Travel Insurance from Friday, September 27 – Tuesday, October 1, 2024 (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
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/
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, September 21, 2024
Departure from Greece – Fly OUT OF Athens (Athens International Airport – ATH)
- Tour only – Depart Friday, September 27, 2024
- Tour and Extension – Depart Monday, September 30, 2024 after 12:00 Noon
Visas and Passports
- Each participant must have a valid passport. Passport expiration date must be six months beyond the last day of the tour. Please email a photo of the first two pages of your Passport to Kim Hodge (email@example.com).
- No Visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter Italy as a tourist.
For a detailed itinerary, click on the “Schedule” link.
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.
By registering for this tour, travelers are acknowledging they are of reasonable health and considered fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice. By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate, travelers are indemnifying CMDA from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness. We reserve the right to remove a traveler from a tour activity if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day-to-day running of the tour. In this instance, our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.
If you have questions, please contact Kim Hodge before registering.
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 15-22.
A member of CMDA since dental school, Bill Griffin, DDS has served on the Dental Advisory Council since 2013. He is a 1983 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, and he has been practicing in Newport News, Virginia for 35 years. Dr. Griffin formerly served as Board Chairman and Dental Director at the Lackey Clinic, a Christian medical-dental clinic in Yorktown, Virginia. He averages four international dental mission trips each year, and he is passionate about opportunities to communicate the love of Christ to others, both domestically and internationally. He and his wife Linda have been married since 1983, and they have been blessed with two married children – Katherine and William, Jr., and one grandson – Barrett.
CMDA Tour Hosts
George Courtney serves CMDA as the Vice President of Stewardship Development and Legacy Giving. With more than 30 years of experience in Stewardship Development, he finds much joy in helping families navigate their stewardship and legacy-planning journeys. Earlier in his career, George served in leadership roles in Christian day schools, higher education, and international mission organizations. George’s wife, Rose, has served CMDA members for more than 29 years as a placement specialist in CMDA Placement Services.
Double Occupancy (per person): $2,480
Double Occupancy (per person) Non-Member: $2,580
Single Occupancy Member Non-Member: $3,280
Single Occupancy Non-Member: $3,380
Double Occupancy (per person): $973
Single Occupancy: $1,423
Cancellations and requests for refund must be submitted in writing to the Christian Medical & Dental Associations at P.O. Box 7500 Bristol, TN 37621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before or on May 1, 2024: $500 per person
June 1 – 30, 2024: $800 per person
July 1 – 31, 2024: $900 per person
August 1 – 31, 2024: $1,600 per person
On or after September 1,2024: No Refund