Steps of Paul
September 30 - October 7, 2023
What Are We Doing?
Saturday, September 30 - DEPART USA
Your pilgrimage begins as you depart the USA on your international overnight flight.
Sunday, October 1 - ARRIVE IN GREECE
You will arrive in Thessaloniki, Greece, where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Monday, October 2 - AMPHIPOLIS, PHILIPPI, AND NEAPOLI (KAVALA)
Follow in the footsteps of Paul and Silas to Amphipolis and explore the ruins of the many Christian basilicas there. Philippi is a baptismal site commemorating where God opened the heart of Lydia (a seller of purple from Thyatira) to hear the words of Paul (Acts 16:13-15). Lydia and her household were the first Christian converts baptized on European soil. View the Roman-era crypt thought to have served as a prison for the apostle Paul, and explore Philippis' famous Acropolis, Market Place, the Basilica of Paul, and Theater. Today's last stop is Neapolis (Kavala), one of Greece's most picturesque mainland ports, where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. See the Roman Aqueduct and Acropolis before returning to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, October 3 - THESSALONIKI AND VERIA (BEREA)
Discover Thessaloniki, where Paul was accused of turning the world upside down with his preaching of Christ (Acts 17:3-6). As you explore St. George's Basilica, believed to be built over the synagogue where Paul preached, reflect on the two epistles the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church here. Stroll through the Archaeological Museum and the beautiful basilicas of St. Sophia and St. Demetrios, dedicated to a distinguished Roman proconsul martyred for his Christian faith. Along the Via Egnatia stands the Galerius Arch, and you can look out over the second-largest city in Greece from the Old City Ramparts, some dating back to Roman times. Follow the path of Paul when he fled Thessaloniki for the safety of Veria (Berea), where Jews and some honorable Greeks accepted the new faith (Acts 17:10-12). Continue to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, October 4 - METEORA AND DELPHI
As you visit the rock forest of Meteora ("in the heavens above") in western Thessaly, imagine the apostle Paul walking that treacherous terrain on his missionary journey. Gaze up at the breathtaking Byzantine monasteries spectacularly perched on soaring, sheer-sided grey sandstone pillars. In the 13th century, monks sought refuge in cliffside caves before fleeing higher to build the original wooden shelters that later became these monasteries. After a monastery tour, travel to scenic Delphi, the religious center of the ancient Greek world, marked by the conical stone called the omphalosor ("navel"). Walk the Sacra Via to the Athenian Treasury, Theatre, and the Temple of Apollo, where the oracle performed her prophetic rituals. As you consider the incredible pagan influence in Delphi alone, you will gain a new appreciation for the tremendous spiritual opposition the apostle Paul faced in preaching the Gospel of Christ here. In the Museum are many ancient treasures, including the 5th century bronzed Charioteer, so detailed you can see his eyelashes. Continue to Athens overnight.
Thursday, October 5 - CORINTH AND CENCHREAE
Tour the city of Corinth, where the apostle Paul met fellow tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla and received a vision from the Lord saying, "I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city" (Acts 18:10). As Paul spoke, Crispus (Chief ruler of the synagogue) and many others believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8), establishing the church at Corinth to whom Paul later wrote his two epistles. Discover the Archaeological Museum, Market Place, and Temples. As you walk among the ruins, stand on the Bema, where the apostle Paul stood before Gallio to face charges brought against him by the Jews. Stop briefly at the port town of Cenchreae, from which Paul later departed for Syria (Acts 18:12-18). Return to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Friday, October 6 - ATHENS
Enjoy the rich architectural splendor of the ancient city of Athens as your guide introduces you to the world-renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erectheum. Stand on Mars Hill as the minister Paul did when he proclaimed, "I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom; therefore, ye ignorantly worship, he declares I unto you" (Acts 17:23). As you stroll Agora (ancient market place and center of Athenian public life), recall that this was where the apostle Paul preached "Jesus and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also, see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This afternoon is free to explore Athens on your own or enjoy an optional journey to Sounion to visit the famous Temple of Poseidon (an additional $75). Dinner and overnight spent in Athens.
(Note - Cruise extension passengers will depart from the group this morning and head to Piraeus for their cruise ship. They will enjoy this day in Athens after the cruise.)
Saturday, October 7 - RETURN TO USA
Return home with a new understanding of the apostle Paul's life and ministry.