The lands of northern Greece, have always had a special history and identity and exert a fascination for their differences. Their geographical position has made them a meeting place of cultures
Macedonia is in Northern Greece, so we travel by bus on the national highway to Kammena Vourla to visit Thermopylae, scene of the famous battle between the 300 Greek of Leonidas and Persians forces of Xerxes. From there we continue to Volos where we find traces of the earliest known settlements in Greece, the Neolithic sites of Sesklo and Dimini, finds from which are displayed in the Archeological Museum of Volos. We overnight in the beautiful seaside town of Volos.
We pass the day visiting the villages of Mount Pelion, home of Chiron the Centaur who was the teacher of Achilles and Asclepius; the local villages, surrounded by woods and water are very picturesque.
Day 3: :
On the way to Thessaloniki we visit Vergina(Aeges), the first capital of the Macedonians. Recent excavations have unearthed Royal Graves with rare treasures, possibly the tomb of the father of Alexander the Great, King Phillip II. We continue to Pella, the second capital of Macedonia, and from there to Thessaloniki for the night.
Our visits include the Basilica of St. Demetrius, the Rotonda of St. George, the Arch of Galerius and the white tower on the seafront promenade. Also the Archaeological Museum, which contains further treasures from the graves at Vergina and the cemetery of Sindos.
St. Paul’s first preaching in Europe took place here at the Roman town of Philippi. View the two basilicas, the octagon, the so-called prison of Paul and the theater. Overnight in Thessaloniki, cultural capital of the Balkans.
A full-day cruise around Mount Athos, to see the small fortified towns which are actually monasteries, perched precariously on the mountain.
Mt Athos provides a surviving example of the spiritual world of Byzantium.
Flights to Athens.
- Lectures before the visits.
- An expert accompanies the group throughout the trip.
- Lecture by a professor of Byzantine history and art in Thessaloniki.
- Lunch at a seafood restaurant in Kavalla, near Philippi.
- Booklet with the history and culture of Greece