Mystical Greek Pilgrimage Tour for 13-Days

Mystical Greek Pilgrimage Tour 

May 14 to 26, 2023 – 7-Nights

for 13-Days











            $3301.00 – per person for Double Occupancy – Final Payment – purchase by December 1, 2022 

Indicate which cancellation plan you want – the Non-Refundable 

or

Refundable which requires you purchase by December 1, 2022 the Non-refundable deposit below of $199 in addition to the Refundable $3301 above which will be refunded, if you cancel by January 1, 2023, no refund after January 1, 2023

 












$4301.00 for Single Occupancy – Final Payment – purchase by December 1, 2022

Indicate which cancellation plan you want – the Non-Refundable 

or

Refundable which requires you purchase purchase by December 1, 2022 the Non-refundable deposit below of $199 in addition to the Refundable $4301 above which will be refunded if you cancel by January 1, 2023, no refund after January 1, 2023





$199.00 per person

Non-refundable Deposit for Refundable Final Payment – purchase by December 1, 2022

This reserves your placement and secures a refund of the rest of your tour payment if you cancel by January 1, 2023, after that there’s no refund 


Contact us at support@ctstourservices.com  or call us at CTS Tour Services – 442-369 – 0990 

 

Icon of Virgin Mary of Jerusalem

Inquiry – contact us at support@ctstourservices.com  

or call CTS Tour Services – 442-369 – 0990



DAY 1  – May 14 

Athens, Request transfer from airport to NLH Mati Seafront Hotel in Nea Marki, part of the Greek Riviera

Time on your own to explore Athens or go to Nea Makri (part of the Greek Riviera) and check into your hotel, the newly renovated beautiful NLH Mati Seafront Hotel at 3.5 star hotel.  It’s on the seafront, close to beaches and convenient to the Ferry Port, as well as, a variety of restaurants and shops and the beautiful beaches which you can explore on your own. You’ll find your hotel room is modern, spacious and comfortable.

In the evening, we’ll gather for a meet and greet with the Tour Director and group and celebrate the beginning of our pilgrimage with a delicious welcome dinner (included in the tour price) served by an accomodating staff in the hotel’s restaurant with a beautiful view.  

You’ll enjoy the hotel’s terrace and dinning areas which have a stunning view of the sea. You may want to go for a swim in the swimming pool or just relax. If there’s time consider a therapuetic back massage in the hotel’s spa. Or there will be time in the future when we return to this hotel on the 19th and the 25th – check our tour schedule on those dates.

In the morning there will be a fully stocked excellent breakfast buffet. So get some rest, we’ll be starting early for Delphi. 

Overnight: Nea Makri – NLH Mati Seafront Hotel – Laundry Services Are Available
Meals: Dinner


Day 2 – May 15 

Delphi, Temple of Apollo

After breakfast we’ll travel to Delphi and  head to the Olympic Hotel for check into this 3 star hotel.

We’ll have lunch and tour the imposing 4th century B.C. Delphi that was a powerful home of the oracle. And it was called Omphalos of the world, the spiritual and religious centre of the ancient world which is situated in a uniquely beautiful location, among the hillsides and just before the olive grove of Amphissa that leads to the sea.

We’ll see the Temple of Apollo and the remaining treasures in the museum next to it, the archaeological Museum, perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We’ll see a bronze statue of the charioteer, whose serene and amazing beauty has made it one of the most famous statues in the world.

We’ll  head to the Olympic Hotel for check-in and lunch. And the rest of the day is for leisure time. 

 

Enjoy the great sea view from your hotel room and explore Delphi on your own.

 

Overnight: Delphi –  Olympic Hotel – Your room has a sea view
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 


DAY 3 – May 16

Kastraki & Meteora – Monasteries Tour

After breakfast we’ll travel to the small town of Kastraki, situated amidst smooth sandstone cliffs in the foothills of Meteora. And we’ll check into a 4 star hotel, Meteora Hotel at Kastraki where everyone’s room will have a view of Meteora.

Then we’re off to see Meteora meaning “suspended in the air”, and tour 2-3 out of 6 mystical Christian Orthodox monasteries incredibly

nestled securely on the edge of extraordinary rock formations. 

These monastaries are holy places and some have a dress code as follows: Women wear skirts below the knees.  Men wear long pants and cover arms with something they can easily slip on and off. 

You can choose to wear shorts and just in case bring a skirt or large scarf that will cover your knees for women and long pants and jacket for men to change into.  (Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette). 

Most of the Meteora monasteries were built in the 1500’s and then added to over the centuries. On our pilgrimage we’ll see the easiest accessible of the monasteries, the Monastery of St Stephen, built in the late 12th century. 

The monastery has been restored numerous times and added to until it’s current form as a nunnery since 1961 and where the sisterhood of nuns are known for their remarkable social action. 

Meteora is a monastic site that is increasingly gaining significance as a World Heritage site, as a tourist destination and as functioning “living sites of the present” influenced by wider changing circumstances which is a new approach from “monuments of the past” approach. Living sites: the past in the present approach.

The “living sites” approach concentrates on communities as the creators of the sites, viewing communities and sites as an inseparable entity. The ultimate aim is to shift the focus of conservation from ‘protection’ towards a continual process of ‘creation’ in an ongoing present, attempting to change the way heritage is perceived, protected and, more importantly, further created with spiritual and construction works stemming from the divine and their representatives, i.e., the divine ‘Ministry of Spirituality and Culture’.

Next, we’ll have lunch at one of the more popular restaurants in town. 

Next we’ll see Great Meteoron Monastery that is the largest, oldest and best known monastery in Meteora where there’s housing for Christian monks. Most of the Meteora monasteries were built in the 1500’s and then added to over the centuries.

Also called Megalo Meteoro or Metamorphisis, the first church of the Transfiguration of the Savior was built in the 14th century upon the highest rock. 

At the sanctum of the catholic there are important frescos of the Macedonian school and the remarkable frescos of the main church and the narthex are believed to be created by Georgie, student of Theophanous the Cretan.

There is the chapel of the divine Mother of God (Virgin Mary of the Meteorite Stone)(Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette).  Some other important buildings at the centre are the kitchen, and dining hall, called the “trapeza”.  

Returning to our hotel you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure. 

Overnight: Kalabaka – Davini Meteora Hotel – Swimming pool and a view of Meteora Mt.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 4 – May 17 

Nafplio, Sacred Sites – Theatre of Epidaurus, Citadel of Mycenae

After breakfast we’ll cross over the Rion-Antirion Cable-Stayed

Bridge, and we’ll head for the picturesque seaport of Nafplio in the historic Argolis area of Greece and stop along the way at the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus and see the striking Theatre of Epidaurus, the best-preserved Ancient Greek theater in the world. 

The Epidaurus is a remarkable testament to the healing cults of the ancient world and the emergence of scientific medicine.

The Park Hotel Nafplio

We’ll check into the Park Hotel in Nafplio, a 3 star hotel in Nafplio.

The rest of the day is at your leisure. Enjoy the Park Hotel.  It’s comfortable with amazing views from the rooms and the dinning room where there’s also great food. It’s close to beaches and across from Kolokotronis Park and near National Gallery and Archeological Museum. 

Nafplio is the first capital of Greece. Nafplio remained the capital of the kingdom until 1834, when King Otto decided to move the capital to Athens. It’s one of the most  romantic towns with stone pathways and many coffee shops and restaurants with traditional tastes. 

Overnight: The Park Hotel, Nafplio
Meals: Breakfast


Day 5 – May 18

Corinth, Temple of Apollo, Temple of Octavia. Athens, Acropolis, Temple of Athena, Parthenon

After breakfast we’ll visit ancient Corinth, one of the most important cities of the ancient world as well as the major hub for the building of Christianity. We’ll see a fairly well-preserved ruins of the Temple of Apollo, which was built in 550 BC and the remaining columns of the Temple of Octavia.  We’ll see the Canal of Corinth (6 km length and 80m height).

We arrive in Athens with excitement and anticipation as this ancient capital of Greece and model for democracy and civilization comes into focus.

You’ll  check into your 4-star hotel, at B4B Athens Hotel and go through the Acropolis entry gate with the entrance fee paid and the group be able to freely explore on their own and complete a their own mystical Acropolis experience at their own pace.

Remember to see the crowning glory the Temple of Athena, the ancient architectural masterpiece built during the Golden Age of Athens, over 2500 years ago.  And you’ll see the Parthenon that stands as one of the most revered and recognized sites in the world.  

You’ll  can choose one of the numerous nearby  restaurants to have a satisfying lunch and enjoy having free time until 6:30 when you’ll return by taxi to our hotel, B4B Athens Hotel, and we’ll gather to go to dinner together by 6:45 pm. to make our reservation on time at a designated nearby rooftop restaurant.

Or you can continue to do what you want on your own for the rest of the day and have dinner on you own and return to the hotel when your ready to.  

There are numerous historic places to see in this area. 

Some historic churches I recommend are those that commemorate the divine feminine and divine Mother Mary, i.e. churches of the Assumption and/or churches of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. 

“Annunciation” churches commemorate Gabriel’s announcement of Mary’s divine pregnancy while other churches commemorate Mary’s divine assumption, immortallity or death, dormition. 

Usually these churches reveal the soul and divine feminine by displaying a divine Madonna and Child and/or divine Mother at or near the entryway, and at the very least, a version of the icon, prehaps as a fresco, would be somewhere in the church.

Some are very famous and located in the Prothesis over the altar, such as, the Holy Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Mitropolis Square that is close by where you can see impressive frescos of the divine and you can lite a candle for a loved one and/or in reverence to the divine Mother recognized by all who are connected to their soul and spiritually aware.  Take this time to restore your soul’s connection and have your own mystical experiences. (Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette). 

There’s a beautiful Byzantine church near our hotel, called the Church of Agiou Panteleimonos.  Byzantine churches traditionally honor the divine Mother.  Check to see if this church has a divine Mother and/or Madonna and Child icon or fresco and if it does then your soul will want to continue the visit there, if it doesn’t you’ll want to get out of there quickly.

In August, especially on August 15, there are many customs and festivals organized all over Greece in commemoration of the Virgin Mary, or Panagia. The 15th is a public holiday in Greece and around the world. Christian Orthodoxy marks it as one of their most important days of the year. It’s a time during which they examine their beliefs and understandings so that the Virgin Mary’s story is understood better, such as her death,  ressurrection and Assumption.

Many Christians believe divine Mother 

resurrected after her transfiguration on the 3rd day and that she’s divine, immortal and is enjoying heaven and earth.

Some GreekOrthodox Christians believe that Mother Mary died a natural death, like any human being.

However, there is no decisive historical evidence to support these belief.  We can only say, noone knows where she’s buried and no one can say for sure she died. 

And in 1950, the pope declared the Assumption of Mary to be “divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (No. 44).

I repeat, the group meets at the B4B Athens Hotel by 6:45pm to go to the designated rooftop restaurant near our hotel and share our mystical stories of our successful pilgrimage through Athens today.

Or if you decide to eat dinner elsewhere on your own, you’ll return to the hotel safely for a good nights sleep and be packed, eat breakfast, checkout of the hotel & join the group waiting at the bus the next morning by 10 am and travel together safely to our hotel in the Greek Riviera.

 

Overnight: B4B Athens Hotel – Athens 
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 


Day 6 – May 19th

Nea Makri

After breakfast we’ll check out of the hotel and board the bus by 10 am. and travel to Nea Makri to the NLH Mati Seafront Hotel, our second visit to the Greek Riviera.

This is a day at your leisure.  Catch-up on some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation and get a massage and get laundry done.  Optional visit to a beautiful and secluded beach, if interested.  

Later in the evening we’ll have our celebration dinner after having successfully completed the main land portion of our pilgrimage.

In the morning we rise early for the ferry boat ride to our first stay in the Cyclades Islands, Andros Island. 

Overnight: Nea Makri – NLH Mati Seafront Hotel – Laundry Services Are Available
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


The Pilgrimage Continues 

Andros & Mykonos

Day 7 – May 20th

Batsi, Andros

After breakfast, early ferry to Andros Island for a 2-night accommodation – at the Chryssi Akti Hotel, a 3 star hotel in Batsi Andros. The Chryssi Akti Hotel is “Ideal”,  it’s an excellent hotel with a beautiful swimming pool, health spa, massage room and an airy terrace. It’s located on the beach in Batsi, 

You’ll be on your own for the whole day.  Relax, regenerate, rejuvenate during this segment of our adventure. You may walk bare-foot on the near by beach. 

Body & Mental Wellness

The hotel provides activities that contribute to body and mental health and wellbeing.

  • Align yourself with the universal energy by experiencing the ancient Chinese art of Taichi Chuan and Qigong. This art helps our mental health and makes us more conscious of our acts by acquiring spiritual clarity and positive thinking.
  • Try a yoga session. Let yourself in meditation and search for spirituality.
  • Relax with a massage or meditation early in the morning.
  • Stay fit with aqua aerobic or pilates.

 

 

Batsi has grown from a small fishing village to become a bustling resort town.  And it’s kept it’s traditional and picturesque charm with little red-tiled colored houses which have been built on a hillside encircling a bay with a lovely fishing harbor at its south end and a nice sandy beach at the other side. 

 

 

Overnight: Chryssi Akti Hotel, Batsi Andros – Laundry Services Are Available
Meals: Breakfast


Day 8 -May 21

Batsi, Chora, Church of St George, Pythara’s Waterfalls, Menites

After breakfast, we’ll pilgrimage to Chora, the capital town of Andros Island, home to renowned captains and shipowners who built these stylish home on the right. Some say this is the most beautiful city of the Cyclades Islands. 

We’ll visit the Church of St George,  also called Panagia Theoskepasti (“meaning hidden”) and the Divine Mother is no longer hidden. Here’s another chance to experience the mystical, divine and sacred (Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette). 

Next, along the way I’ll get food for our picnic and we’ll find a great spot for it.  It’s at the Pythara’s Waterfalls, a grotto called “fairyland” because it’s so fairytale-like in its sheer beauty it’s almost unreal. Lore has it that fairies and nymphs bath in the crystal waters.  THIS is a great chance to experience the mystical, divine and sacred.

The waters from several springs form picturesque waterfalls of intense and wild beauty, creating a verdant, lush habitat full of beautiful waters, rare plants and flowers, and a rare ecosystem of water life. 

6 km from Chora we’ll visit Menites a village on Petalo mountain. It is beautiful and surrounded by lush greenery, and the famous Menites springs adding cool waters to the already gorgeous scenery. 

Andros has an extensive network of hiking routes of more than 300 km. Andros is the only island in Greece with a European certification for a 100 km network of hiking paths, a single route from north to south. 

Returning to the hotel you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure. Check out the nearby beautiful beach and rub your feet in the silky sand.

You may gravitate to the beautiful swimming pool with warm sparkling clear water calling to you and enticing you to “jump in”.

Batsi has the necessary ingredients for a happy vacation with nature, adventure, picturesque and historic places to explore and quite places for healing and reflection, relaxation, rejuvenating and regeneration.

 

Overnight: Chryssi Akti Hotel, Batsi Andros – Laundry Services Are Available
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 


Day 9 – May 22

Mykonos, Ano Mera, Monastery of Panagia Tourliani

After breakfast, we’ll go by ferry to Mykonos for a 3-day accomodation at the 3-star Mykonos Beach

 Hotel. 

We’ll check into the Mykonos Beach Hotel which is a great place to stay when visiting Mykonos.  It’s is beautiful, very clean, extra spacious and modern. You’ll have some time to relax and rejuvenate for the rest of the morning. The pool is amazing.  The beach is a minutes walk away.  

blessed Icon on left

After lunch, we’ll go to the village of Ano Mera where you’ll have an opportunity to explore the village.

And there we’ll visit the 16th-century cathedral Monastery of Panagia Tourliani known for its remarkable architecture and rare icons and one special one that is considered a miracle and sacred because it was found miraculously floating in the sea in the neighbouring region of Tourlos in 1767. The church is the keeper of this blessed Icon of the Virgin Mary (refer to right photo). 

Panagia means Virgin Mary and Tourliani means, the red dome of the church. 

The Virgin Mary of Tourliani is considered the Patroness saint of the island and also host to the island’s most important religious festival, the Feast of the Virgin, considered a major holiday celebrated annually in different ways across Greece on August 15th.  Many take pilgrimages, some like ours.

The monastery was founded in 1542 by fugitive monks of the monastery of Katapoliani of Paros who sought asylum on the island of Mykonos, and was initially named as the church of “Eisodia tis Panaghias” (meaning Presentation of the Virgin Mary). Here’s another chance to experience the mystical, divine and sacred (Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette). 

We’ll return to the hotel to enjoy the rest of our day at leisure. Take time to reflect, relax, rejuvenate and regenerate and replenish. The beach is a minutes walk away. So lie to on the beach with a hotel towel, water, sunglasses and hat.  

Overnight: Mykonos Beach Hotel

Meals: Breakfast


Day 10 – May 23

Mykonos

Today you’ll be on your own. ENJOY!!!  The food and pool are great.  The beach is a minutes walk away.  

If you’ve gone for the day, you’ll return to the hotel safely for a good nights sleep and be ready for tomorrow’s mystical pilgrimage tour.

Overnight: Mykonos Beach Hotel
Meals: Breakfast


Day 11 – May 24

Mykonos, St. George Church, Tria Pigadia, Church of the Virgin of St. Rosary 

After breakfast, we’ll explore the center of town and have lunch along the way.

Mykonos has famous windmills, dating back to the 16th century, when islanders used wind power to grind grain. 

There are 16 windmills in total, and while they are no longer operational, they stand as a monument to early innovation. The views here are spectacular: From this hilltop perch, you can see Chora, the capital of Mykonos and the harbor in the distance. Marvel at the sapphire blue water of the Aegean Sea that matches the blue domes of some of the churches which we’ll be taking a look at. There’s a nearby Mykonos Archeological Museum. 

We’ll go an area known as “Tria Pigadia” (“Three Wells”, in English). The legend says that unmarried girls will find husbands after drinking a sip of water from each well! I say, find yourself and love yourself first, and have some mystical experiences before and after finding someone else to love.

For more mystical experiences we’ll visit St. George Church a beautiful little church.  This Greek Orthodox Church of “Agios Georgios” was built in the 15th Century, in the traditional cycladic architectural style and it praises Saint George who symbolically expresses divine justice and protective power by slaying the dragon.

In its interior, the fantastic mystical atmosphere of Greek Orthodox churches: beautiful golden framed sacred icons and candle holders. Here’s a chance to feel the divine presence, lite a candle and open your heart to acknowledge the divine wisdom and guidance coming your way from the divine realm. You’ll see dozens of candles are lit by locals and visitors in veneration to the divine. 

Have a touching and mystical moment. Across the front of the main altar are a number of incense burners. There are some ornately carved chairs with a two-headed bird on the chair back. The double-headed eagle has been interpreted as “royal insignia” and symbolizes both material and spiritual powers working together. One of the heads symbolizes the material world; in other words, the real physical power, The other head symbolizes the spiritual, divine protective power. Two heads are also believed to be the symbols of power and justice. And a painting of St. George slaying the dragon is another symbol of divine justice and protective power. 

 We’ll visit the Church of the Virgin of St. Rosary a Catholic Church which is situated in Alefcandra Square near the picturesque windmills of Mykonos. 

The icon above the Holy Table depicts the Madonna and  Child between St. Dominic, the apostle of piety of St.Rosary, and St. Catherine of Sienna. It was transported to Mykonos from Venice in 1715. 

Here’s another chances to feel the divine presence, an opportunity to lit candles and open your heart and acknowledge the divine wisdom and guidance coming your way from the divine Mother Mary.  The roses on the table represent wisdom (Refer below to NOTES on Church Etiquette). 

Next, we’ll have lunch at one of the popular restaurants in town.

We’ll return to the hotel to enjoy the rest of our day at leisure. Take time to reflect, relax, rejuvenate and regenerate and replenish. 

Overnight: Mykonos
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 12 – May 25

Nea Makri

After breakfast, we’ll take the ferry to Rafina and return to NHL Mati Seafront Hotel in Nea Makri for the 3rd time.

You’ll have the day to enjoy on you own.

In the evening we’ll have a wonderful celebration dinner when we’ll acknowledge how much insight we’ve gained and compare mystical experiences.  And we’ll congratulate each other on completing our mystical magical pilgrimage and achnowledge an expanded panoramic sea view has come into focus which we can enjoy for the present moment and perhaps extend into our future together.

Overnights: Nea Makri – NLH Mati Seafront Hotel – Laundry Services Are Available

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 13 – May 26

After breakfast, an early transfer home.


Tip:

Bring European electric plug adapter for your appliances.


*CTS Tours reserves the right to make changes to this tour’s itinerary, Mystical Greek Pilgrimage Tour, that will be of benefit and will insure a successful completion of the tour.  CTS Tours while follow it as best it can, with possible changes in the future, in hotels and the sequencing of events or additions or subtrations of events so it will run smoothly. 

CTS Tours doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of a hotel’s description in their advertisement, however, currently, CTS is satisfied that it’s done it’s best to verify the information when possible. If a hotel is changed, in the future, it will be replaced with a hotel with an equivalent number of stars or better.


Inquiry – contact us at support@ctstourservices.com  

or call CTS Tour Services – 442-369 – 0990


Notes:

Church Etiquette 

Here’s an overview of some of the things you need to remember if you attend an Orthodox Church service.

Get There on Time

It’s important to get to church on time. Even though plenty of people are late for church, this is usually something that bothers the priest, even if he doesn’t say anything. If you are late for the service, just be sure to follow the right protocol for entering the church so that your entrance doesn’t cause a disruption.

When you arrive at church, the first thing you will do is walk through the doors and address anyone who greets you. Some churches may have official greeters standing at the door.

After you walk in, it’s customary but optional to do the following:

Take a candle and place a donation in the tray next to them.

Then, light your candle, do your cross, and venerate any icons that are nearby. 

Bowing your head is acceptable.

Entering the Church

If you arrive once the Divine Liturgy has begun you should wait until the priest or congregation stop talking before you take your seat.

Finally, you definitely shouldn’t enter while the consecration prayers are being said. 

What to Wear

In recent years, Greek Orthodox Churches have gotten a little more casual than they used to be. The general rule is to wear clothes that are classy and not too provocative. Business casual or a suit and tie for the men are both acceptable. For women, wearing a dress or skirt that falls around the knee is preferred. Even though pantsuits are acceptable, they are still frowned on. When in doubt, dress in your best clothes. Also, be aware that men should remove their hats while in church.

Don’t Cross Your Legs

This is one of those rules that a lot of people don’t seem to adhere to. In the eyes of the church, this represents a form of arrogance that stands in the way of our relationship to God. Since a lot of people aren’t aware of this thinking, people tend to cross their legs without realizing that it is considered improper.

By following some of these basic rules of etiquette, you’ll get more out of the experience at church. Most of these rules are in place to help create an optimal place of worship.