2021 Pilgrimage to Greece & Turkey


In Footsteps of Saint Paul

With Father Michael Gallagher

Emeritus Professor

Trinity College, Washington DC. 

Join us in June 2021 as we enjoy a special journey organized through Worldstrides Educational and Religious Travel.  Working through Worldstrides allows pilgrims to use credit cards and make smaller payments over time.  

Thursday, 24 June 2021:   Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from Dulles Intl Airport to Athens, Greece.  Dinner and a movie on board.

Friday, 25 June 2021:        After breakfast, arrival in Athens.  After Customs and Passport Control, we meet our Tour Director  and board our  private coach and depart for a panoramic tour to the most important monuments and landmarks of the city including the Panathinaikon stadium, the Zappeion, the temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Syntagma square, the Parliament, the tomb of the unknown soldier, Schliemann’s house, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and the old Parliament.

On the way to the hotel, Father celebrate Mass.  In the evening, dine in the lively Plaka Area, the historic heart of Athens. With the narrow streets, the neo-classical buildings and the numerous little shops and restaurants, you are welcomed to Old Athens.

Saturday, 26 June 2021:     After breakfast at our hotel, depart to visit the Acropolis which has dominated Athens for over 2,000 years.  There are indications that it was occupied as early as the Neolithic age. View the Temple of Athena Nike, and its successor, The Parthenon. The Parthenon is the crowning achievement of the Doric order and was used to store raw gold from other states and tributes to Athena.

In this area, we find Mars Hill, relevant to St Paul, his life and preaching:  Acts 17:16-34     Paul preaches in the synagogue at Athens and also discusses with the Greek philosophers in the Ancient Agora (the market place). In this city of many pagan gods and goddesses, Paul reveals the nature of the ‘unknown god’ whose inscription he has seen on a pagan altar. As a result, Dionysius – a member of the Areopagus – and several other Athenians become the first believers in Athens.

Below the Acropolis stands the Agora, the political heart of Athens from 600 BC. With shops, a theater, and schools, the agora served as the center of social and commercial life. Highlights of the complex include the beautiful Hephaisteion, a particularly well-preserved temple, and the Stoa of Attalos, a reconstructed, colonnaded building that houses a small museum with finds from the agora.

Our walk will conclude at Syntagma square.  Watch the Evzones or guards in uniform guarding the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Solder before we board our coach again.  Stopping at a local church where Father will celebrate Mass then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Sunday, 27 June 2021.  After our hotel breakfast, we depart for day trip to Corinth, the entry point to the Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental Greece. Stop to marvel at the Corinth Canal, built in the first century to carry ship traffic between the western Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea.

Continue to Mycenae, a fortified late Bronze Age city located between two hills on the Argolid plain of the Peloponnese, Greece.The acropolis today dates from between the 14th and 13th century BCE when the Mycenaean civilization was at its peak of power, influence and artistic expression.  Uncovered by archaeologist Heinrich Schielmann in 1874, highlights include the 13th century BC Lion Gate; Grave Circle A, with its six royal family shaft graves; the Royal Palace and the Secret Stairway, a flight of steps that lead down to a cistern deep beneath the citadel.

After a lunch break, we continue to Ancient Corinth where Paul came, worked and established a thriving Christian community. (Acts 18: 1-18). Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC. Demolished by the Romans in 146 BC, they rebuilt it in 44 BC and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.  Visit the museum to see some of the ancient healing arts and statues.   Father will celebrate Mass before we depart for Athens and our hotel.

Monday, 28 June 2021.   After breakfast, depart the hotel for the port of Pireaus and embark on the Celestyal Olympia, for a magnificent 4-night cruise to the Aegean and Turkey. First stop is enchanting Mykonos. Take advantage of the complementary shuttle service to Chora (Mykonos town), stroll in its whitewashed streets and mingle with people from all over the world while watching beautiful scenery, marvelous sunset and picturesque Cycladic colors. Father will celebrate Mass before dinner on board.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021.  In the morning, we arrive at the port of Kusadasi, the gateway to one of the most important biblical sites, , Ephesus where St. Paul lived for three years, working with the congregation and planning his missionary journeys.
       We visit the site of Ephesus, including Diana’s temple with the baths of Scholastica, the Odeon, the arch of Hercules, the Library of Celsus, the temple of Hadrian, the Agora and the Greco-Roman theater.    Continue to the house of Virgin Mary where she lived with John.

Return to the ship around mid-day, and continue our journey to arrive at the small and picturesque island of Patmos in the afternoon.
This is the place of exile of St. John the Theologian. We will first visit the monastery of St. John, belonging to UNESCO’s list of world heritage monuments, and continue to the Grotto of the Revelation, a cave where St. John lived during exile and received a series of oracular messages through a small hole from the rock and where he wrote the book of the Revelation.    Late in the afternoon, we will embark our cruise ship again and set sail to Rhodes. Mass will be celebrated when we return to ship before dinner.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021.  In the morning, arrive at the island of Rhodes. During our included shore excursion, you will first head to Lindos with its beautiful Acropolis on top of the hill, overlooking the little port of St. Paul, where he first arrived in Rhodes. Your tour will continue to visit the medieval town of Rhodes with the Palace of the Grand Master and the street of the Knights, before returning back to the cruise ship. Mass will be celebrated when we return to ship before dinner.

Thursday, 1 July 2021.  Early in the morning arrive at the island of Crete and the port of Heraklion, another of Paul’s stop during his journey towards Rome. You can explore the town of Heraklion on your own or join an optional excursion to the Minoan Palace of Knossos.

Return on board and set sail to the most beautiful and romantic island of the Aegean, Santorini. Arrival early in the afternoon. Take the funicular up to Fira town or join an optional excursion to see the villages of Santorini and the famous Oia. The stunning views to the Caldera and the volcano of this unique island, is probably the best way to conclude the visits of this beautiful journey. Mass will be celebrated when we return to ship before dinner.

Friday, 2 July 2021.  Early in the morning we will be arriving back at Piraeus. Breakfast on board and disembarkation.
Our private coach awaits us for some last day touring. Explore the National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world. Its original purpose was to protect items from 19th century excavations in and around Athens. However, the collection quickly grew to include important treasures from all over Greece.  Father will celebrate Mass before dinner.

This evening we will enjoy a farewell Greek Dinner and Floor Show, which will feature traditional Greek dance and music.

Saturday 2 July 2021.   Time to head home with many memories to Give Thanks and Remember.  Transfer to the airport and our flight home. 


What is Included:

  • Round trip airfare on a major carrier on schedule flights
  • All airport taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Accommodations in 3 and 4* hotels in twin or triple rooms with private bathrooms
  • Porterage of ONE bag per person.
  • Filling breakfast and three-course dinner reflecting local cuisine every night.
  • 4-night Iconic Aegean cruise on board Celestyal Olympia
  • All meals included on board
  • Expertise and perspective of local guides during tours
  • All excursions, cultural activities and admissions mentioned in itinerary;
  • Private motor coach for touring
  • Basic health insurance while on tour (including medical treatment on tour up to $7,500, plus $50,000 emergency evacuation. Additional coverage including increased health and property coverage, plus Cancel for Any Reason available.

This Does Not Include:

  • Lunches (except during the cruise) or personal beverages with meals
  • Tips and gratuities for the guide and driver (or cruise staff)
  • Checked Baggage fees IF imposed by airlines.

Register by sending a $500 deposit check  to:  Give Thanks & Remember LLC

Mail to:

1484 Morris Pond Drive, Suite B2

Locust Grove, VA 22508

Questions:  Heidi Watson.   Cell:  540-760-6387

Email:  gvthnks@aol.com

 Brochure: https://www.gtrpilgrimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Give-Thanks-and-Remember-LLC-Watson-Greece-Promo.pdf

Worldstrides is offering our group an opportunity to pay the balance by credit card.  The portal to their website will be sent to you when you send your deposit and registration.