Join Finbarr for an unforgettable Sacred Tour of Greece! Travel the beautiful islands of Santorini, Tinos, Crete and more…
Greece – a land of myth and mysteries, discovering the legends of ancient gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines. Visit and experience sacred sites that honor Greek gods and goddesses, and take a step back in time to relive the ancient mysteries of this sacred land. Blessed with the beautiful gift of the captivating islands of Greece, enjoy the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the traditional cuisine, the lively and vibrant culture and people on this sacred spiritual tour to Greece in October, 2016.
Our journey will begin in Athens as we follow the Panathenaic Way, the ancient procession of the goddess, up to the Acropolis to explore this sacred site. At the Acropolis Museum we will discover the antique relics and findings from the site of the Acropolis, finally ending our day at the sacred centre of the Agora in the heart of the city. We continue on to the sacred site of Delphi and the Sanctuary of Eleusis to learn about the ancient secret rites and initiation ceremonies and discuss the role of the goddess in Greek mythology as well as the role of ritual in antiquity. We shall also wind our way up the ancient Sacred Way to the home of the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo, one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in all the world, and, in the spirit of the ancient pilgrims, we too shall ask a question. At Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games, we shall learn about the relationship between athletics and spirituality, and the sacred dimensions of sports in ancient times.
Continuing our journey, we stop at Mycenae and Corinth eventually winding our odyssey on the island Tinos, the Lourdes of Greece, and then on to tour the island of Santorini. With its dramatic caldera views and stunning sunsets, here we shall unravel mysteries of the ancient Minoan civilization that flourished in Akrotiri before a momentous volcanic eruption destroyed it in the 2nd century B.C.E. We will look the Myth of Atlantis. We bid farewell to Santonrini and journey to Crete.
Crete, known as the “Island of the Gods”, according to Homer. Here we will visit Bronze Age sites and learn about the magnificent civilization that once inhabited this enchanting place. There are many ancient tales of Crete, including the legend of the Minotaur and his labyrinth at Knossos. We will also visit the Paliani Monastery to discover its associations with Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and the Dikteon Andron, the spectacular cave which has long been considered the legendary secret birth site of Zeus.
We welcome you to join us on this spiritual journey to Greece to connect with the power of the ancient gods and goddesses and be graced with all the magic and fascination this land has to offer.
Spiritual Tour to Greece Itinerary:
Day 1: Athens
Arrive at the Athens airport and be met by our representative who will transfer you to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to explore this ancient city on your own. Athens is full of myths, mysteries, and legends. Steeped with a rich history that spans around 3,400 years, the city is home of many sacred ancient sites, monuments, and landmarks. A fusion of old and new.
This evening we will gather as a group for our Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant in the Plaka area. Dining on delicious traditional food. Overnight at our hotel in Athens. (D)
Day 2: Athens – The Panathenaic Way
Today on our Sacred Tour of Greece, we follow the Panathenaic Way, the ancient procession of the goddess, up to the Acropolis. Here, we will visit the magnificent ruins of the Parthenon, visit the Theater of Dionysus, the world’s oldest theater where great plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were first performed. We then visit the Acropolis Museum, which is home to all the findings and artifacts from this ancient site. The museum itself sits on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and over part of the ruins of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. We then take a break for lunch on your own either at the museum or a nearby restaurant.
After lunch we walk to the Agora, the heart of Athens, historically important, the ancient marketplace where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle strolled, and the traditional morning meeting place for the citizens in Athens. Here the people would discuss politics and philosophy, worship at one of the many altars, visit the Temple of Poseidon, and shop at one of the many markets. Today it is one of the quietest and most meditative places in Athens, with magnificent views of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Overnight at our hotel in Athens. (B,D)
Day 3: Athens to Delphi
This morning on our tour of the sacred sites Greece, we depart for Delphi. We will stop en route at Eleusis to visit to the Sanctuary of Eleusis, one of the greatest shrines in honor of Demeter and Persephone. Here we will learn about secret rites and initiation ceremonies that honored the wandering Demeter and her daughter Persephone who was held hostage in the underworld by the god Hades. Their drama was enacted here and witnessed by initiates under a vow of secrecy. Sophocles remarked that “happy is man who has seen the secret rites,” which were intended to reveal the mysteries of rebirth.
Upon arrival in Delphi, we will settle into our hotel and then have a little time to stroll around the town and do some shopping before gathering for dinner. Overnight in Delphi. (B,D)
Day 4: Delphi/Olympia
Today we experience the Oracle of Delphi, also called the Pythia, or the Sibyl, who uttered prophecies for pilgrims who came to her temple for over twelve hundred years. We will walk from the small town of Delphi and wind our way up the ancient Sacred Way to the home of the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo. Here, we will dwell on the threshold of one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the world where everyone will have time to approach the temple, in the spirit of the ancient pilgrims who brought their deepest questions here for 1200 years. We will also experience the healing energies at the Temple to Athena, this temple is dedicated to protecting women. We then visit one of the most beautiful stadiums in ancient Greece, and the old theater. Finally, we will visit the Delphi Museum, which features the original stone omphalos, symbolic of Delphi being the navel of the ancient world, and see the magnificent bronze sculpture of the Charioteer found in a shipwreck in the 19th century.
After lunch, Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece, and home to the Olympic Games of the classical period. Olympia was considered a national shrine for the Greeks and housed many treasures and works of art ranging from temples, monuments, sacred altars, theaters and statues. Upon arrival at our hotel we will settle in and then enjoy dinner. Overnight in Olympia. (B,D)
Day 5: Olympia
Today we will discover the site of the ancient Olympics and spend the day visiting the ancient gymnasium, and the palaestra (wrestling forum). At the Temple of Hera, where the Olympic torch is lit every four years, we will gather for a meditation.
We will then visit the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and finally enter the excavated stadium, the origin site of all Western athletics. Breaking for lunch on your own, we will dine at a nearby restaurant. After lunch, we walk through an old olive grove for a visit of the Olympics Museum, which features a collection of Olympic torches, medals, and memorabilia of the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the visionary who revived the Modern Olympic Games in the belief it would revive the spirit of the well-lived life.
We return to the hotel to freshen up, followed by dinner. This evening, stroll through Olympia on your own, or we may visit a local tavern for traditional music. Overnight in Olympia. (B,D)
Day 6: Corinth/Mycenae/Athens
This morning on our Sacred Tour of Greece, we stop at Corinth, home of King Sisyphus, and the infamous temple in honor of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and the spectacular nearby canal. We visit the ancient citadel of Mycenae, with its cyclopean walls and history of Menelaus and Clytemnestra. Overnight in Athens. (B,D)
Day 7: Tinos
Enchanting yet still unknown to the majority of people, this Cycladic island mostly attracts Greek pilgrims travelling there twice a year, on March 25 and August 15, to visit the church of Panagia Megalochari (the Blessed Virgin Mary). From all over the world, people come here to seek comfort, healing and rejuvination. Tinos is the most important Orthodox centre of worship in Greece but, in the same time, an important Catholic center; this so rare in Greece mix of religious traditions gives to the island a magical character.
This island is the homeland of renowned great artists of marble carving such as Gyzis, Lytras, Chalepas, Filippotis and Sochos, who have been the last famous names to have held the baton of the island’s marble-carving tradition. According to the legend, the famous sculptor of the ancient times, Fidias, had taught the secrets of his art to the locals. Their admirable craft is displayed in chapels, fountains, arches and pigeon lofts. In the village of Pýrgos the Marble Art Museum is worth a visit as much as the Gallery of Tinian Artists right next to the church of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Tinos. (B,D)
Day 8-9: Tinos/Santorini
Santorini, like a sparkling jewel in the Aegean Sea, with it's white-washed buildings against the backdrop of cobalt blue sea and famous for it's black sand beaches - is almost too picture perfect! It's not hard to understand why so many believe Santorini to be the ancient site of Atlantis. This island is filled with archaeological sites including Akrotiri, Greece's answer to Pompei, an ancient village that was preserved by lava, now uncovered.
Equally as beautiful is the Volcano of Santorini, the enormous sea filled Crater perched so high above the island that the cruise ships below look like model boats! This is one of the most beautiful places in the world to enjoy the sunset. We will look at mystery of the Minoans and the labyrinth of Knossos Palace.
We enjoy a boat trip to Nea Kameni to visit the active volcano. On to Palea Kameni where the thermal springs provide natural heated baths. Overnight in Santorini. (B,D)
Day 10-11: Santorini/Crete
Crete is a colourful puzzle of Mythology, History, mountains, gorges and seashores! This huge island is filled with Minoan, Ancient Greek, Roman, Venetian, Byzantine and Islamic sites and ruins.
This island is rich in history and mythology, with plenty of ruins and ancient temples to discover, including Knossos - we will visit the Paliani Monastery, discover its associations with Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty and the Dikteon, the magnificent cave which has long been considered the legendary birth place of Zeus. Here, the Kundalini/Shakti energies were revered, making Knossos the latest and most advanced civilization of the Goddess. We will experience Knossos and the main ceremonial center and palace of King Minos. Visit Gortyn, famous for the “Law Code of Gortyn” a 6th century B.C. tablets of stone built into the wall and much more. Master Hilarion, chohan of the fifth ray is said to be on the etheric plane near Crete.
Overnight on Crete. (B,D)
Day 12: Crete to Athens
Upon arrival in Athens we will depart to experience the vibrational energy at the magnificent Temple of Poseidon god of the sea. In power, Poseidon was considered second only to Zeus (Jupiter), the supreme god himself. Situated in Sounion over the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic Period. It stands on a craggy spur that plunges 65m down to the sea. Built in 444 BC – it is constructed of local marble from Agrilesa; its slender columns, of which 16 remain, are Doric.
Overnight in Athens wit a farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 13: Depart Athens/Homeward Journey
Today unfortunately, it is time to depart from our new friends and the beauty that is Greece for our flight back home from Athens airport.
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