Jewish Heritage

Trip Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage site at Makrinitsa
  • Volos and Mt. Pelion
  • Romaniote Synagogue and Monument of Holocaust Martyrs at Volos
  • Veria and Olympus
  • Trikkala, Meteora & Makrnitzia
  • Thessaloniki Jewish Museum & Square of Jewish Martyrs
  • Olympia and Veria
  • Athens, Acropolis, Parthenon and Plaka
  • Etz HaHayim and Beth Shalom Synagogues
  • Hill of Lycabettus and Port of Piraeus

Trip Highlights

Lifetime Discovery invites you to spend 6 days of exploring Jewish heritage in Greece, where  there is a compelling story about the Greek Jewish population, its triumphs and its tragedies, that speaks to everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike. While focusing on the cities, sites and communities with an extraordinary Jewish heritage, we will visit all the major classic destinations in mainland Greece.

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

Xenia Palace | Volos

Days: 1

With absolute respect to the cultural heritage of “Xenia” buildings that had been some of the most brilliant examples of Greek architecture in the 20th century, the hotel build in the 60’s is characteristic of the postwar modernism in Volos. It has been fully renovated, the services have been updated and the hotel has been transformed into a modern 5-star city and conventions resort for a relaxing Volos accommodation.  Pelion, according to the Greek mythology was the summer residence of Gods and the Centaurs’ homeland.

 

Larissa Imperial Hotel | Larissa

Days: 2

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.

Les Lazaristes Hotel | Thessaloniki

Days: 3 4

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.

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.

Day 1: Athens and on to Volos

Accomodation: Xenia Palace | Volos

At Venizelos Airport you will be greeted by Lifetime Discovery staff who will deal with all your arrival details before getting underway towards our first destination: the  magical town of  Volos at the foot of Mt. Pelion.  We will continue through the mountains to the magical town of Makrinitzia, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  After return to Volos, you will be met by a member of the Jewish community who will introduce us to Jewish heritage in  Greece and  Volos in particular.

Day 2: Via Trikkala to and Meteora for Heritage and Cultures

Accomodation: Larissa Imperial Hotel | Larissa

Jewish heritage everywhere in the world is one of both triumph and tragedy.  Greece is no different, with one exception: the almost surrealistic blend of extraordinary beauty  running in tandem with some very gloomy history. The Holocaust Memorial Monument, in the nearly fairytale-like town of  Volos,  is the first of such examples.  We will visit the city’s Romaniote Synagogue before heading towards Trikkala, where we find its Romaniote Synagogue, before taking a break from the history to enjoy the here-and-now with a casual  stroll through the charming alleys of the old city of Trikkala.  Next, we will continue to Meteora, one of the most amazing wonders of nature known in the world.  The monasteries at the top of the cliff will give us a glimpse into what was transpiring in other cultures outside Judaic circles, and is a site for exquisite  Byzantine art and architecture.  From the cliff of Meteora we will travel to Larissa the capital of Thessalia, where you will settle into a luxury hotel of a lifetime for some pampering.

Day 3: On to Thessaloniki

Accomodation: Les Lazaristes Hotel | Thessaloniki

Begin the day with a walking tour or a guided tour of Thessaloniki’s own  Jewish Museum, (http://www.jmth.gr/) and then to both the “Malka de Israel” (Queen of Israel) and “Yad LeZikaron” (memorial) synagogues.  The city was home to the largest and most important Jewish community in all of Greece before WW II.  During the tour we will hear the amazing story of the Jewish community by one of its members.  Thessaloniki is also the city where the first Jew was ever appointed assistant mayor in all Greece.  The day concludes with a visit to the Thessaloniki Holocaust Memorial Monument which commemorates the more than 150,000 Jews of the city who perished at the hand s of the Nazis.

Day 4: Olympus & Heritage in Veria

Accomodation: Les Lazaristes Hotel | Thessaloniki

Start the day by rounding off your visit of Thessaloniki by a walk around the colourful markets of Thessaloniki.  We will then head north towards Veria, stopping on the way for a  view of Olympus, the “mountain of the gods”, Zeus, Hera and friends and will learn a bit about the Greek mythology as an aside to the Jewish heritage.  When reaching Veria, on the slopes of the magnificent Mt. Vermion, we will have a walking tour of the old Jewish district of Barbuta. This will be followed by visits to the recently restored synagogue and to the Jewish cemetery.

Day 5: Depart Larissa

Accomodation: King George Palace Hotel | Athens

The day begins with a lovely walking tour of the Jewish district of Larissa, including a stop at the Square of the Jewish Martyrs and then onto the Sephardic Synagogue.

Day 6: Jews and Non-Jews of Athens

Accomodation: King George Palace Hotel | Athens

Day Six is devoted to a tour of Athens, including of course the Acropolis and Parthenon.  After paying tribute to the glories of ancient Greece, we will continue with a visit to the Jewish Museum and then to the Beth Shalom and “Etz-Hayim” (Tree of Life) synagogues.  Both houses of worship are located in the old historical Jewish quarter of Thission. Which is fascinating for all visitors of any persuasion.  Later in the day we will visit the Hill of Lycabettus, a site which provides us with a spectacular panoramic view of Athens and the port of Piraeus.  At the hotel a special farewell dinner awaits you.

Day 7: Athens Environs & Homeward Bound

The last day is subject to departure details and whether you choose to connect by sea or air to your next destination. You may choose a luxury vacation on one of the Greek Islands; it’s once again up to you.

For flights departing in the evening, we will offer you a day of touring through Athens and Cape Sounion. The Lifetime Discovery staff will see to swift and easy your check in at the airport for a safe travel home, where we know you’ll be eager  to share all you’ve learned about the rich Jewish heritage in Greece with your nearest and dearest. 

If you are continuing on to Jerusalem and a fascinating “trailblazers” discovery, we will sign-out and hand you off to the awaiting Israeli staff for a safe transition and welcome to the Holy Land.

Have a safe trip and come back soon!