Following in the Footsteps of St Paul
Central to the Annual Meeting program are excursions into the Bible lands where the gentile Church was first established and grew.
The two excursions draw out the cultural phenomena that allowed Christianity thrive as a result of the Apostle Paul's second missionary journey 49-52 AD.
Each excursion is led by professional Christian guides (see below). As well as providing insights into the geo-political and cultural context where the Gospel begun to flourish, the excursions offer a sense of personal pilgrimage - of following in the steps of St Paul -, and an informal setting for networking.
Program Excursion Details
The Annual Meeting program includes two excursions covered by the registration fee. Find out more by clicking on the links below.
If you know that you will NOT be participating in either excursion, you can confirm this on your registration.
Weather and Conditions
The temperatures should be in the high teens to low 20's°C / low to mid 60's °F. Suitable footwear for uneven surfaces and head gear to protect from the sun should be worn.
Beginning at the foot of the Acropolis Hill, the tour visits the world famous Parthenon and the Erechteion temple. Continuing to the nearby Areopagus where the Apostle Paul gave his speech about the ‘unknown God’ and proclaimed the gospel as recorded in Acts 17: 16-34. From the site you will see Athenian Agora with the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalus, the center of the ancient city, where Paul met the Epicurean and the Stoic philosophers. This is the place where Democracy was born and the term "Ecclesia" (Church) was first established.
Coaches leave the hotel at 9.00am (boarding 8.45am) and return for lunch in the hotel at 1.30pm.
The first stop after leaving Athens is the Corinth Canal cut on the Isthmus of Corinth. The tour continues to see the Diolkos, an ancient road where boats were hauled across the Isthmus.
The tour arrives at archaeological site of Corinth depicted in Acts 18:1-18 and where Paul worked as a tentmaker. The visit includes the Roman Forum with the Bema (Judgment Seat) of Gallio, the temple of Apollo, the fountains and the roman latrines, as well as the Erastus inscription. Erastus was the aedile or economos (treasurer) of the city and a co-worker of Paul mentioned in Romans 16:23.
The coaches will depart at 8.30am (boarding 8.15am) and return around 5.30pm. The hotel will provide a boxed lunch.
Optional Excursion 24-27 April
You need to book and pay for the tour direct with Hellenic Scripture Union who will contact you by email direct. Open the links below to find out more and connect with Hellenic Scripture Union.
Numbers for the optional tour are limited and will be on a first come, first served basis with a booking deadline of 31 December 2019. We will hold a wait list if the tour is oversubscribed.
Transfer from the hotel at 18.30 to Athens airport for evening flight to Thessaloniki. Stay overnight.
Full day tour to ancient Neapolis (modern Kavala), Philippi, and Amphipolis (Acts 16:11-17:1). Neapolis was the port of Philippi and the place where the Apostle Paul first set foot on European soil (Acts 16:9-11), and where he established the very first European Church. Philippi was named after Philip II (father of Alexander the Great) and was a very important Roman colony. The tours visits the archaeological site with the Roman forum, the theatre, the octagonal 4th century AD church, and where Paul was supposedly imprisoned. Another highlight is the river of Lydia (the Zingates), where Paul met Lydia and the other Jews, outside the city’s walls. On the way back to Thessaloniki, you will pass by Amphipolis. Stay overnight.
Sightseeing tour of Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1-8). You will visit the Old City and see the superbly preserved Byzantine City Walls, the White Tower, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the Rotoda; and, visit the Roman Forum and the early Christian basilica of St. Demetrius (the patron Orthodox Saint of Thessaloniki). You will move on to Veria (the Biblical Berea, Acts 17:10-13) where you will encounter the old Jewish quarter. The last stop of the day is Vergina, (ancient Aigai), the first capital of the Macedonians. There, you will visit the museum that houses remarkable artworks from the tomb of Philip II. You continue to Kalambaka, at the foot of Meteora. Stay overnight in Kalambaka.
Morning tour of Meteora and visit to one of the monasteries. A UNESCO world heritage site, the rocky formations are crowned with Byzantine monasteries dating from 14th -16th century AD. In the afternoon you head back to Athens, passing by Thermopylae, famous for its 480 BC battle between the Greeks and the Persians. Arrival in Athens (around 6pm) dropping off at the airport or back to the hotel.
The baseline cost is €360 per person sharing (€450 for single occupancy).
Included in the price are:
- All land transfers
- Two nights accommodation in Thessaloniki (full board) and one night in Kalampaka (half board)
- Entrance fees
- Professional Christian guide
NOT included in the price are:
- Flight from Athens to Thessaloniki (€115).
- Personal expenses and tips (typically €2-3 per day)
- Additional night at Hotel Titania (unless flying out on night of 27 April).
Payment is direct to Hellenic Scripture Union Biblical Tours who will provide payment details.
To book your place on the tour beginning the evening of 24 April kindly complete this form. In your message please include your name and those of your party as appropriate. The deadline for booking is 20 January 2020.
Hellenic Scripture Union will connect with you concerning payment.
Our Tour Guides
Hellenic Scripture Union cooperates with several Christian guides who each have great expertise in their field; each is licensed by the Greek authorities and are graduates from the School of Tourist Guides. The guides are fluent English speakers and have a rich insight into the biblical and historical context of Greece.
If you are a hearer or sign language interpreter you will be provided with headsets.