Bible – History – Archeology

Hosts: George & Marcia Dialectakis
Biblical Greece – Tour Itinerary

Join George Dialectakis, a native of Greece, on a 13-day journey tracing Bible history on archeological locations from the time of Socrates and Plato to Daniel’s prophecy about the Hellenic Empire and Alexander the Great. Follow the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and explore the writings of the book of Revelation by the beloved Apostle John. Discover the artistic wealth of the Greek Classical Era. Learn about the birth of Christianity in Greece nearly two millennia ago. George and Marcia will guide you through a Land Tour of Greece and a Mediterranean Cruise to bring the Bible alive in your mind!

Itinerary Overview
    • Wed, July 3

      Overnight flight from USA to Thessaloniki, Greece Int’l Airport (SKG)

    • Thu, July 4

      Arrival at Thessaloniki. Dinner. Orientation. Overnight in Thessaloniki

    • Fri, July 5

      Kavala / Philippi / Amphipolis
      Visit Paul’s landing in Kavala. Walk on the same ancient stone road Paul walked. Visit Philippi, the city where Paul founded the first European Christian church. Visit the Forum, the Prison, the Baptistry of Lydia, the Lion of Amphipolis.

    • Sat, Jul 6

      Thessaloniki
      Sabbath Worship with the Greek SDA congregation. Greek fellowship meal. City tour. Medieval tower & walls, the Forum, Jason’s house, Arch of Galerius, Rotunda.

    • Sun, Jul 7

      Berea / Vergina / Dion /Kalambaka
      Visit the synagogue in Berea,. Learn about the Greek Empire in Daniel’s prophecies at Vergina – the lavish tomb of King Philip II and at Dion about Alexander the Great.

    • Mon, Jul 8

      Kalambaka / Meteora / Thermopylae
      Visit two of the Byzantine monasteries perched on top of incredible rock formations. View an extraordinary collection of religious frescoes. Compare Paul’s missionary mindset to monasticism. Learn about Xerxes I, Esther, Leonidas and his 300 men.

    • Tue, Jul 9

      Delphi / Athens
      Visit the ancient temple of Apollo where Pythia gave the ambiguous prophecies and contrast it to the reliability of Bible prophecies. Learn about the Gallio inscription.

    • Wed, Jul 10

      Corinth / Athens
      Visit the Corinthia region – Isthmus, the ancient “rail track” Diolkos. In ancient Corinth, learn about the Bema where Paul appeared before Gallio, the Macellum, the Erastus inscription. Race in the ancient Stadium that Paul references in his athletic metaphors. Visit the port of Cenchrea. Enjoy Olive oil and Olive tasting.

    • Thu, Jul 11

      Athens
      Visit Acropolis, the Areopagus where Paul preached, and the Agora. Learn how Greek philosophy impacted Christianity. Tour of the modern city. Enjoy a colorful Greek folk show with traditional costumes. Greek cooking demonstration. Walk in the old Athens, find souvenirs to keep Greece alive once home again.

    • Fri, Jul 12

      Mykonos / Kusadasi
      Embarq on a 3-night cruise starting with the beautiful island of Mykonos.

    • Sat, Jul 13

      Ephesus / Patmos
      Visit Ephesus, the ruins of the temple of Artemis. Then sail to the island where Apostle John was exiled and wrote the book of Revelation.

    • Sun, Jul 14

      Heraklion, Crete / Santorini
      Knossos, the oldest throne in Europe. Learn about Paul’s & Titus ministry in Crete.

    • Mon, Jul 15

      Departure flight from Athens Int’l Airport (ATH) to the USA

Itinerary Details




























Wed, Jul 3 Flight to Greece (Independent Travel)

Overnight flight to Thessaloniki, Greece Int’l Airport (SKG).
Return flight from Athens Int’l Airport (ATH).

Thu, Jul 4 Thessalonica (Arrival)

Arrive in Thessaloniki (Thessalonica). Travelers will need to arrange for a transfer to the hotel by Taxi or Uber or pre-arranged pick up. New time zone (+7 hours ahead of EST). Welcome Dinner at the hotel. Orientation about the tour. Overnight in Thessaloniki.

Fri, Jul 5 Kavala/Philippi (Theme: The Philippians)

After breakfast, tour departure for Neapolis (modern day Kavala). The landing site of Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke – the first Christian missionaries to the European mainland continent. While enroute to Kavala, your host will give you an overview of Paul’s 2nd missionary journey and the Macedonian call.

Begin the discovery by walking on a surviving segment of the Via Egnatia – the very stone paved road Paul and his companions travelled on to reach Philippi. You will learn of the significance of this Roman road in the spreading of the gospel.

In Kavala visit the Kamares Aqueduct, the monument in memory of Paul’s landing in Europe, and the old harbor.

Then, continue to the archeological site of Philippi. Visit the Roman Forum where Paul and Silas were brought before the magistrates, the prison where they were sentenced to spend the night, the ancient theater, the 4th century Basilica of Paul, and the 6th century Basilica with a full-size baptistry.

Transfer by bus to the Baptismal site where Lydia was baptized as the first recorded European convert to Christianity. Participate in a communion service on site. In past tours, some have chosen to be baptized in that river.

Return to Thessaloniki stopping by Amphipolis to visit the famous Lion Tomb. Lunch at Kavala. Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Sat, Jul 6 Thessaloniki (Theme: The Thessalonians)

On Sabbath morning, worship with our Greek brothers and sisters at the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Thessaloniki. We will have a Greek potluck lunch all together at the church.

Spend the afternoon touring the historic sites in Thessaloniki. Ride the bus to visit the Arch of Galerius and walk to the Rotunda. Learn of the relationship between Revelation 2:10 and the Thessaloniki of the 4th century AD. Continue to the Ancient Agora (marketplace), and then walk to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Demetrios – patron of the city of Thessaloniki. Your host will explain the architecture layout of the Greek Orthodox Churches and the historic transition from the Jewish temple to the Christian Cathedrals. Visit the cathedral and the underground Crypt.

Bus tour will continue to Eptapyrgion and then to Vlatades Monastery overseeing the city of Thessaloniki and the Thermaikos Gulf. Tradition places this 14th century monastery at the site where the Apostle Paul preached during his 2nd missionary journey; and according to tradition, it is in the neighborhood where Jason’s house was located. Hop on the bus for a return to the seaport of Thessaloniki. The tour will end at Lefkos Pyrgos (White Tower) – the iconic tower of Thessaloniki and the statue of Alexander the Great. Continue a walking tour to return to the center of town and the hotel.

Evening is open for personal exploration. You may stroll along the promenade towards Aristoteles Square. You can enjoy a dinner on your own (not included in the package) in one of the many nice restaurants in the area. Overnight in Thessaloniki.

Sun, Jul 7 Berea/Vergina/Dion (Theme: The Bereans)

After breakfast, leave Thessaloniki by bus for the beautiful city of Veria (Berea) located in the northwest section of Greece. The modern road leading to the old section of the city is paved over the ancient Roman road, the remnants of which are still visible in certain sections. Picture Paul and Silas walking through the ancient city as we drive through the modern city. Stroll through Jewish quarters – Barbouta – which is believed to be inhabited since the 1st century AD. Visit the restored Jewish synagogue. Learn about the annotated scroll. The Veria walking tour starts and ends at the monument (bema) of Apostle Paul.

Continue by bus to Aigai / Vergina – the first capital of the Macedonian Kingdom – and visit the burial tomb of Phillip II (father of Alexander the Great), and Alexander IV (Alexander the Great’s son). Admire the beautiful artifacts of gold preserved for over 2 millennia. Learn about the Daniel 8:5 symbolism and Alexander the Great’s role in fulfilling the prophesies of Daniel.

Bus will pass by Pydna, the place of the decisive battle between the Roman armies and the Greeks (Cassander’s kingdom) in 168 BC. This battle marked the fall of the Greek Empire. Learn about the fulfillment of Daniel’s 7:6,12 prophecy.

Continue to the Archaeological Site of Dion, situated at the foot of Mt. Olympus – the highest mountain in Greece and the mythical home of the 12 Greek gods. Dion was reconstructed as a Roman colony after 168 BC. Visit the ancient thermal baths and discover the heating and plumbing engineering of antiquity. Walk on the cardo maximus paved stone road of this ancient city and stop by the monument of the shields. Visit the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos. In the museum explore the hydraulic pipe organ, the mosaic, and more. Learn about the significance of this location as it relates to Alexander the Great and to Apostle Paul.

Continue to Kalambaka, check in at the hotel, and after dinner, experience an amazing sunset at Meterora: From a panoramic viewpoint watch the sun setting behind the mountain range of Pindos or according to Greek mythology, you will see god Helios on his fiery chariot taking his horses to rest. We will hold a short vespers service at that site.

Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Kalambaka.

Mon, Jul 8 Meteora/Thermopylae/Delphi (Theme: The Monastics)

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and board the bus. Travel to the majestic rock formations of Meteora. Visit two of the monasteries listed in the UNESCO world heritage monument list, perched on top of free-standing rock pillars. Be prepared to climb the stairs to both for a breathtaking view and experience the living environment of a convent. The location offers a unique perspective of nature’s grandeur. Dress code restrictions apply for entering the monasteries. During this segment of the tour, we will compare the monastic approach for connecting with God versus the mission focus of Apostle Paul in reaching out to the world for God.

Continue the trip to Thermopylae and stop at the memorial of Leonidas and the 300 brave Spartans who stood against the Persian King. Understand the correlation of the Persian king and Queen Esther (Esther 1, 2).

Tour continues to Delphi/Arachova for dinner and overnight stay.

Tue, Jul 9 Delphi/Athens (Theme: The Prophets)

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and visit the magnificent ruins of Delphi situated on the breathtaking slopes of Mt Parnassus. Ancient Delphi was considered the “Omphalos” (Navel) of the earth. Visit the Temple of Apollo where Pythia would deliver the ambiguous oracles. Your tour guide will discuss the fallacy of the Oracle of Delphi and the reliability of Bible prophecy. Study the Gallio Inscription in the museum validating the Biblical record that Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia at the time of Paul’s stay in Corinth.

Upon arrival in Athens look forward to a panoramic tour of modern Athens by bus. Visit the Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and watch the changing of the guards – the Evzones in their picturesque uniforms. Continue to the Presidential Palace. Short stop at the renovated 50,000 seat Kallimarmaro Stadium made of marble dating to the 3rd century BC. This is the location of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and the place of the opening night of the 2004 Olympic Games.

Explore Plaka (Old Athens) on your own and enjoy dinner in one of the old taverns (restaurants) (dinner is not included in this package). Overnight stay in Athens.

Wed, Jul 10 Corinth/Cenchrea/Diolkos (Theme: The Corinthians)

After breakfast, travel to ancient Corinth. Paul spent a year and a half preaching the gospel in this cosmopolitan, and extremely secular city.

Stop by ancient Nemea to visit the well-preserved stadium. Both Isthmia and Nemea held athletic competitions at the time Paul was stationed in Corinth which would have inspired the athletic metaphors used in his letters.

Tour the archeological site and the museum of Corinth. See the Synagogue inscription, the Bema where Paul appeared before Gallio, the Macellum, the Fountain of Peirene, the Temple of Apollo, the Theater with the Erastus inscription, the Agora with the shops, and more.

Visit Diolkos – a stone paved “rail track” road used to pull boats and cargo between the two gulfs in antiquity.

Visit the ancient seaport of Cenchrea where Paul and other missionaries would have sailed. Stop at the Canal that connects two gulfs and ancient Corinth’s twin seaports (Lechaion and Cenchrea).

Experience an unforgettable olive oil tour. Walk through the olive groves, visit the olive oil mill and taste extra virgin olive oil. Return to Athens for dinner and overnight stay.

Thu, Jul 11 Athens (Theme: The Athenians)

After breakfast, tour ancient Athens – the birthplace of democracy, arts, science and philosophy of western civilization. Visit the Acropolis and Parthenon and learn about the golden era of classical Greece. As you walk through the ancient ruins you will have an opportunity to see the structures as they looked about 2400 years ago through 3D reconstructive digital technology. Based on historical records, your host will point out the landing port of Paul and the location of the altar to “the unknown god”.

Visit Areopagous (Mars Hill) – where Paul was summoned by the Athenians to defend his belief to the “Unknown God” before the Council of Nobles and the Supreme Judicial Court.

Continue to Pnyx – the official meeting place of the Athenian democratic assembly (ekklesia). Continuing to the ancient Agora (marketplace) where Paul interacted daily with the philosophers in Athens. Your host will explain the influence of Greek philosophy in today’s Christian thinking.

Greek cooking lesson and lunch (included in this package) at Plaka.

You have free time in the afternoon and evening to stroll through the old Athens – Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thissio where you can purchase souvenirs, and do your shopping.

In the evening transfer by bus to a theater and enjoy a live performance of traditional Greek folk dances. Songs and dances are presented in their original forms as they would be performed in the respective villages or islands today. Costumes are authentic handmade. Overnight in Athens.

Fri, Jul 12 Cruise/Mykonos

After breakfast, check out of the hotel, and board the bus for a transfer to the harbor for a 3-night Mediterranean cruise.

Leave the historic and classical capital of Greece and set sail for our first destination, the beautiful island of Mykonos, also known as the Island of the Winds. Take an evening stroll and enjoy the atmosphere of the Old Town with its immaculate whitewashed houses, winding alleys, lovely little churches, and delightful restaurants at the water’s edge. You will undoubtedly recognize the picture postcard white windmills sitting side by side, overlooking the sea.

Sat, Jul 13 Cruise/Kusadasi, Turkey (Ephesus)/Patmos

Arrive in the colorful Turkish beach town of Kusadasi in the morning. This is the coastal gateway to the Hellenistic ruins of Ephesus, famed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Your guide will discuss the patient labors of Apostle Paul to establish a Christian church in this secular metropolis. Planned excursion to the archeological site.

Next stop is the island of Patmos. One of northernmost and smallest islands in the Dodecanese with a charm all its own. It is known as the island of the exile of Apostle John and the location where John saw the visions and wrote the Book of Revelation. Planned excursion to the Cave of the Apocalypse.

 

Sun, Jul 14 Cruise/Heraklion, Crete/Santorini

Welcome to Crete, Greece’s largest island, a place of mystery, myths, and legends. Planned excursion to discover the art and creativity of the Minoans – the location of the 1st European civilization.

Our odyssey continues as we spend an evening in Santorini, whose stunning face is instantly recognizable across the world. We’re sure she will take your breath away, with her soaring landscapes, clusters of whitewashed houses in the capital, Fira, and, of course, the iconic, blue-domed church at Oia.

Mon, Jul 15 Flight to USA/Canada (Independent travel)

Exit cruise ship. Arrive to Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport (ATH) by around 9 am. Board your return flight to your home country.

IMPORTANT: Please note that the return flight is from the airport of ATH not from SKG.

OPTIONAL EXTENTION

Tue, Jul 16 Flight to USA/Canada (Independent travel)

Those wishing to stay an extra day in Athens and enjoy Old and Modern Athens, can request an extension. Extension price includes Hotel, Breakfast, Transfer to the Airport and a custom itinerary. Your hosts will be available, if desired, to spend part of the day with you, strolling through Athens.

For those interested in archeology and history. Visit the new and extensive Acropolis Museum, taking in the wonder of rare artifacts.

For those wishing to soak in the Athens of the 19th century we will spend time in Plaka, eat in the quaint restaurants at the foot of Acropolis, stroll through the pedestrian streets of Plaka and Monastiraki and stop by the shops. Visit the Market of Athens and much more. It will be an unforgettable time spending a day at leisure!

Accommodations
  • Cruise Ship Accommodations
Cabin Accommodations
IA – Interior Cabins at deck 2 and 3
(~11 sqm) Accommodate up to 4 persons with 2 lower beds, 3rd/4th berth, bathroom with shower, A/C, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box & TV. (standard room included in this package)
IC – Interior Cabins at deck 5 and 6
(~11 sqm) can accommodate up to 2 persons with 2 lower beds, bathroom with shower, A/C, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box and TV. ((room upgrade available))
XB – Exterior Cabins at deck 3 and 4
(~11 sqm) can accommodate up to 4 persons with 2 lower beds, 3rd /4th berth, bathroom with shower, A/C, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box, TV and a window.
XC – Exterior Cabins at deck 5, 6 and 7
(~12 sqm) can accommodate up to 2 persons with 2 lower beds, bathroom with shower, A/C, telephone, hair dryer, safety deposit box, TV and a window. (room upgrades available)
Common Areas
Hotel Accommodations
Thessaloniki: 3 – night accommodation in a 5 star hotel.
Kalambaka: 1 – night accommodation in a 5 star hotel.
Delphi/Arachova: 1 – night accommodation in a 4 star hotel.
Athens: 3 – night accommodation in a 5 star hotel.
Tour Cost & Supplements

July 3-15, 2024, US$ 3,300 (per person on double occupancy). Please refer to what is included and what is not included.

Supplements

Optional Single Occupancy US$ 4,600 (per person)

Optional Cruise Cabin Upgrade for 3-nights:

  • IC – Interior Cabin at Deck 5 and 6
    • Add on cost: US$ 100per person DBL / US$ 150 per person SGL.
  • XB – Exterior Cabins at deck 3 and 4
    • Add on cost: US$ 200 per person DBL / US$ 300 per person SGL.
  • XC – Exterior Cabins at deck 5, 6 and 7
    • Add on cost: US$ 300 per person DBL / US$ 450 per person SGL.

Optional Extension in Athens:

  • 1-extra night in Athens: US$ 300 pp DBL BB/ US$ 380 pp SGL BB

Optional Reduction for those wishing to join the mainland Greece tour only:

  • If you wish to join only the mainland tour of Greece (July 3-13, 2024) and forgo the 3-night cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Crete, Santorini and the 3 local excursions to Ephesus, Knossos, and the Cave of the Apocalypse, the reduced cost for the mainland tour:

US$ 2,500 pp DBL /US$ $3,600 pp SGL

Registration:
  • Register online at www.BiblicalTouring.com
  • Send a non-refundable deposit of US$300 (deductible from final payment) to hold your place.
Payment Methods:
  • Check Payable: George Dialectakis,
  • Mail Check to:  PO Box 477, Coventry, CT 06238 USA
  • PayPal:  george@dialectakis.com
  • Zelle:  860-402-2247 or george@dialectakis.com
  • Venmo:  @George-Dialectakis
Payment Milestones:
  • Upon Registration: US$300 initial non-refundable deposit.
  • Dec 10, 2023: Additional US$1,000 (cumulative subtotal $1,300)
  • Jan 10, 2024: Additional US$1,000 (cumulative subtotal $2,300)
  • Feb 10, 2024: Final Payment US$1,000 (base cost) + All Upgrades
Cancelation Policy:
  • All cancellations are subject to a NON-REFUNDABLE/NON-TRANSFERABLE deposit of $300, per person.
  • Cancelations before Jan 3, 2024 (6 months before departure) will receive a full refund (excluding the non-refundable deposit of US$300).
  • Cancelation on or after April 3, 2024 (90 days before departure) will not receive any refund. Please contact your travel insurance if you purchased an optional insurance plan.
  • ALL Cancelation must be submitted in writing and sent via email. When sending, please request Return Receipt.
What is Included in the Tour Price?
  • Deluxe private bus transportation with Wi-Fi and A/C for any transfers to various sites, as shown in this brochure.
  • Hotel accommodation (double occupancy) in beautiful 5-star and 4-star hotels, as shown in this brochure. Single occupancy supplement available.
  • Meals – Mainland Segment:
    • Breakfast daily at all locations.
    • Two (2) Lunches (table water only)
    • Four (4) Dinners (table water only)
  • Meals – Cruise segment:
    • Full boards [Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners]
    • Drinks with the meals by the glass (water, sodas, juices, coffee, tea)
      • Drinks with meals are excluded in Specialty Restaurants.
    • Entertainment.
  • All entrance fees to archeological sites and museums.
  • Three (3) shore excursions to Ephesus, Patmos, and Knossos.
  • Folk-dance show with costumes from around Greece.
  • Greek Cooking Lesson.
  • Olive farm and press tour and Olive Oil tasting.
  • Type C electricity adaptor (converts US plug to EU plug – no voltage conversion) – one per traveler.
  • Use of headsets “whispers” during the visits to the museums and archaeological sites.
  • English speaking licensed tour guides at all archeological sites.
  • All entrance fees to archeological sites and museums.
  • All taxes, including City tax, and assistance during the tour.
What is NOT Included in the Tour Price?
  • Round trip Airfare to / from Greece.
  • Airport hotel, porterage & trolleys
  • Transfer from Airport to hotel in Thessalonica on arrival
  • Single room accommodation (supplement is available)
  • Cruise ship cabin upgrades and any other packages (like Soft Drinks and Alcohol Free) the cruise ship may be offering.
  • Meals:
    • Drinks with the meals, except for water (see as specified in previous section).
    • Some Lunches & Dinners (except as specified above)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as shopping, additional gratuities, laundry, drinks, water, etc.
  • Bus Driver, Local Tour Guide / Escort, Hotel & Restaurant Staff Tips.
  • Any other service not mentioned above.
Submit your information below to indicate an Interest in this Tour
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    Your Hosts: George & Marcia Dialectakis

    Join your tour guide George Dialectakis, a native of Greece, on this journey tracing Biblical history on archeological locations.