Greek Orthodox Roots

Trip Highlights

  • 2 nights at Les Lazaristes, Thessaloniki
  • 1 night at Larissa Imperial, Larissa
  • 1 night at Delphi Palace, Delphi
  • 2 nights at The King George Palace Hotel, Athens
  • 3 nights at Scots Hotel, Tiberius
  • 4 nights at the American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem

Trip Highlights

Lifetime Discovery invites you to spend 2 weeks of exploring Greek Orthodox heritage in Greece and Israel. In Greece you will be invited to discover the country so full of classics and antiquity through the eyes and lens of St. Paul and the roots of the Greek Orthodox ministry. Focus will be placed on Thessaloniki, Kavala, Phillipi, Kalambaka, Veria and of course Meteora and Athens. In Israel, the trail of the Greek Orthodox demonization and its connection to the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem and the rest of the region will be highlighted for the visitor discovering the roots set in the Old and New Testaments. Nazareth, Bethlehem, and the many destinations in the Sea of Galilee area where Jesus spent a great deal of his ministry, as well as the important sites in the Negev and Arava deserts are offered on the program and subject to your preferences. There is a possibility to connect between the two countries by air or by a one-night sea crossing.

Lifetime Discovery also offers this Greek Orthodox itinerary individually in each destination, priced from *$275.

* Rate is per person per night based on double occupancy, depending on time of travel, chosen hotels, availability and number of passengers.

Les Lazaristes | Thessaloniki

Days: 1 2

Les Lazaristes is one of the best hotels in Thessaloniki. Domotel Les Lazaristes is a member of the luxury hotel-chain Domotel and welcomed its first guests on the 1st of June 2004. Domotel Les Lazaristes is a fresh hotel, located at an area fully characterized by the arts. Its neighboring position, nearby Moni Lazariston Cultural Center, State Theater of Northern Greece, School of Fine Arts, State Museum of Contemporary Art, inspired its design philosophy.  Its ideal geographical position offers a high quality stay in a quiet but central area of the city. It is situated at the city’s entrance, at the junction of all major motorways, and connects Thessaloniki with the rest of Greece and the Balkans. Domotel Les Lazaristes Thessaloniki hotel presents 74 spacious rooms, suites in their majority, fully equipped with all contemporary amenities, which offer a comfortable and unforgettable stay.

Les Lazaristes Exterior    Les Lazaristes Pool

Larissa Imperial | Larissa

Days: 3

Our Luxury Larissa Hotel is ideally located on the outskirts of Larissa, the vibrant capital of Thessaly, administrative, commercial, industrial and cultural center of the province. The Larissa Imperial hotel lies in the middle of the fertile plains of the eastern coast of central Greece.

Larissa imperial Pool

Delphi Palace | Delphi

Days: 4

Delphi Palace is a historic hotel, of famous architecture built in the early 1950s.  With a magnificent view to the Delphic valley of olive trees and the Corinthian gulf and surrounded by a 12 acre secluded garden.  It offers suites with Jacuzzi, bar, gourmet restaurant, indoor – outdoor heated swimming-pool and an open amphitheater.
All rooms in the hotel include de-lux bathrooms and verandas to grant the ultimum time for relaxation.

King George Palace Hotel | Athens

Days: 5 6

Recipient of the highest score in the 2009 Guest Recognition Award of Excellence from members of the Leaders Club, the King George Palace was created for people who recognize quality and demand excellence in all they do. It combines the grace and stature of a historic landmark with ultra-modern amenities and personal service that puts guests’ comfort above all. A total renovation has recently restored the King George to its original glamour, while the experienced hotel personnel offer discreet and competent service around the clock.

 

Scots Hotel | Tiberius

Days: 7 8 9

The luxurious Scots Hotel was established by the Scottish Church in 2004 in the historical compound of the Scottish Hospital, and uniquely combines the 19th century basalt buildings with a modern and up-to-date hotel of international standards.

Day 1: Thessaloniki Bound

Accomodation: Les Lazaristes | Thessaloniki

From Athens airport you will travel towards Thessaloniki to discover your hotel, the base for your next 2 days.  Continuing on from here you will explore and tour the city of Thessaloniki, including visits to The White Tower, The Rotonda and a selection of important Orthodox Churches.

Church Thessaloniki

Day 2: Kavala and Philipi

Accomodation: Les Lazaristes | Thessaloniki

This morning you will drive to the beautiful city of Kavala in Macedonia where St. Paul landed with his disciples Timothy and Silas.  Here you will see the small church that marks the traditional site of landing.  Kavala was the first city in Europe to accept Christianity.  Later on, you will continue the tour onto Philippi, the place where Paul preached his first Evangelical sermon and where early Christians were baptized in European soil.  The tour then takes you on to visit a crypt from the Roman period that is believe to have served as a prison for St. Paul.  Lastly, before returning to relax at your hotel in Thessaloniki you will visit the market place and the famous Acropolis and theater.

Day 3: Onward to Thessaloniki, Veria, Vergina and Kalambaka

Accomodation: Larissa Imperial | Larissa

In the morning you will continue touring Thessaloniki with the Church of St. Sofia and the St. Demetrius Basilica.  You will go down the crypt where St. Paul is believed to have preached.  From Thessaloniki you will travel to Veria to visit here St. Paul’s shrine.  To finish the day, you will head to Vergina where you will visit the Tomb of King Phillip (father of Alexander the Great) and admire the unique treasures of the museum.  You will round off the day with a drive to the city of Kalambaka to stay the night.

Day 4: Meteora Magic and Delphi

Accomodation: Delphi Palace | Delphi

After breakfast you will travel to Meteora to see the Byzantine monasteries perched on the jutting cliffs.  The monasteries of Meteora are a unique phenomenon of men’s courage and imagination which has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You will visit a selection of the monasteries and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of this special region.  From Meteora you will continue to drive through the breath-taking scenery of Delphi.

Day 5: The Delphi Oracle

Accomodation: King George Palace Hotel | Athens

This morning you will visit the famous Delphi Oracle, situated on the slopes of Mount Parnassus with an amazing panorama over the sea with millions of olive trees.  There is no record of St. Paul having visited Delphi, but this site was an important center of pilgrimage in his day.  You will then visit the museum and proceed back to Athens for the night.

Day 6: Athens

Accomodation: King George Palace Hotel | Athens

When Paul arrived in Athens, he debated with many in the synagogue and market place named Agora.  During your morning tour of the ancient city of Athens, you will drop by famous sites such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon and Mars Hill, the Acropolis museum, the Olympic Stadium and the House of Parliament before returning back to your hotel in Athens for your transfer to the airport onward to Israel.

Day 7: Towards the Galilee

Accomodation: Scots Hotel | Tiberius

After pickup at Ben Gurion International Airport by Lifetime Discovery staff, we will begin our pilgrimage with a stop at the ruins of the ancient port of Caesarea with its majestic aqueducts, on the way to biblical city of Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee.

Day 8: By the Sea – Capernaum, Tabgha, Beatitudes & Golan

Accomodation: Scots Hotel | Tiberius

We begin our day around the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum, Jesus’ home during much of his ministry, before ascending the Mount of Beatitudes, where he delivered his famous “Sermon on the Mount.”  Our pilgrimage continues to Tabgha and to the Church of the Bread and Fish, commemorating the miracle where Jesus turned the loaves of bread into enough food to feed the entire gathering.  We will then head up to the Golan Heights, for a stop at an overlook featuring the amazing vistas and countryside connecting Israel and Syria. Before returning to the hotel on the Sea of Galilee in Tiberius we will stop at Kursi, where Jesus healed Gadarine Demoniacs.

Day 9: Mary, Gabriel, Nazareth, Cana & Transfiguration

Accomodation: Scots Hotel | Tiberius

Today we continue on to cherished Christian destinations in Nazareth and Cana.  We will stop at Mary’s Well in Nazareth, the place where Jesus spent his youth.  From there we will walk down Pilgrim’s Way, where artisans continue to work in the manner used at the time of Jesus.  The Basilica of the Annunciation, where the birth of Jesus was foretold by the Angel Gabriel, is the final stop in Nazareth before moving on to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine.   The final activity  of the day will be ascending Mt. Tabor to witness the site of Jesus’ Transfiguration, before returning once more to the magical city on the magical sea.

 

Day 10: Baptism & Jerusalem Bound

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

We rise early to leave the green of the Galilee and watch the colors change as we ride through the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert towards Jerusalem.  We will stop on the way at Scythopolis /Beit Shean, with its world-famous archaeological ruins, followed by a stop at the site where John baptized  Jesus (Kasser el-Yahud in Arabic).  As we approach the golden city we will pass by the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the site of the well-known story from the New Testament. For an evening program after checking in to the hotel, we recommend an optional walk along the ramparts of the ancient walls of the old city under the stars before turning in to prepare for the exciting day that awaits within the walls of ancient Jerusalem.

Day 11: Pater Noster, Gesthemane, Via Dolorosa and Holy Sepulchre

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

Day Five begins with another Middle Eastern breakfast before setting out for the holy sites that Jerusalem offers every Christian pilgrim.  On the Mt. of Olives we will visit the Church of the Ascension, the Pater Noster “Church of Our Father” and the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus rested and prayed before his crucifixion.  We will then pass through St. Stephan’s Gate and pass by the former compound of the Greek Orthodox patriarch before reaching the Church of Theotokos.  We then walk the Via Dolorosa to the Golgotha at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified and buried.

Day 12: Shrine of the Book, Bethlehem and Shepherds’ Field

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

The first stop on Day Six will be the Monastery of the Cross, the site marking where the wood of the cross that Jesus bore down the Via Dolorosa was grown.  From there, the modern pilgrims are offered an opportunity to see how the traditions began and how they grew with a visit to the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest of ancient biblical manuscripts, and hosts a scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.  The afternoon is dedicated to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Greek monastery at Shepherd’s Field, where Angels delivered the news to eager shepherds that the Messiah was about to be born.

Day 13: Masada, Dead Sea ad 4th Century Greek Orthodox Monks

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

Rising early we will visit the sites that bring ancient history together in moments of awe and amazement.  The UNESCO World Heritage site at Masada, commemorating the Jewish Revolt against the Romans 2,000 years ago mixes history and nature in sublime harmony.  It overlooks the Dead Sea, known the world over for its famous floating magic, mud baths and mineral treatments, where you may take a dip at the lowest spot on earth.  We then follow the footsteps of the Greek Orthodox Monks from the 4th century, visiting several of their ancient monasteries, including St. George Monastery in Wadi Qelt.

Day 14: Mt. Zion, Tel Aviv and Homeward Bound

We pack our bags and check out from the hotel and make a stop on Mt. Zion to see the Church of the Upper Room, the church of the Last Supper.  From there we will continue to Emmaus / Nicopolis, where Jesus revealed himself after his Resurrection, and from there, to the St. George Monastery in Lod, one of the most important Orthodox pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land.  Our pilgrimage ends with a festive dinner in Tel Aviv before departing for the airport.

HAVE A SAFE TRIP & COME BACK SOON TO DISCOVERYN MORE MEMORIES OF A LIFETIME.