Saturday, June 16 | Welcome to Thessaloniki
Arrive in Greece. Transfer from airport. Orientation meeting.
Sunday, June 17 | Thessaloniki City Tour, Vergina, and Dion
We begin with a morning city tour around the most emblematic Roman and Byzantine monuments of the second largest city of Greece and capital of the province of Macedonia. Thessaloniki’s—or Salonika’s—history starts in the 4th century BC and continues to modern times. From here we continue to Vergina and the Royal tombs of Philip II.
Dion is the site long sacred to the cult of Zeus, situated at the foot of Mt Olympus. This is where Alexander the Great offered his sacrifices and organized rituals before starting his Asian campaign.
Monday, June 18 | Pella and Aristotle’s School
Today we visit Pella, birthplace and seat of Alexander the Great. This is where artists and scholars enjoyed the generosity of the royal family for several centuries. We’ll take time to admire the remains of this great city as well as the remarkable mosaic floors in the local archaeological museum.
As an interlude we enjoy a wine tasting at the Boutari estate before we travel along Via Egnatia to visit Mieza and the site of Aristotle’s school. Later in the afternoon we reach Thessaly, the land of the nomads.
Tuesday, June 19 | Between Heaven and Earth…the Meteora Monasteries
In the morning we travel in the breathtaking landscape of Meteora; we visit two monasteries and discuss the art and architecture of the Byzantine period. After lunch we visit the workshop of a renowned painter-priest to learn more about the techniques of Byzantine painting.
In the afternoon we stop at Thermopylae on the way to Mount Parnassus: the statue of King Leonidas of Sparta is always there, the guardian of the “hot gates” of Greece.
Wednesday, June 20 | Delphi
Delphi was the most treasured sacred place of ancient Greece, and one of the most beautiful. We make a morning visit to the spectacular site and to its museum. Then we drive down to the sea for lunch, and afterwards continue on a beautiful scenic tour along the coastline to Nafpaktos, the medieval town of Lepanto, for our coffee break at its picturesque port. Then it’s on to Olympia.
For tonight’s dinner, we are the guests of a local olive farm.