In the footsteps of Alexander the Great and the Gods of Olympus, exploring the Macedonian, Greek, Christian and Byzantine heritage of Northern Greece
Serres - 2 nights
Thessaloniki - 5 nights
Question: Where on Earth did this man come from?
Answer: Pella in Greek Macedonia reveals the birthplace of Alexander the Great, conqueror of a great Empire stretching into three continents from southern Europe to Egypt, Persia and the borders of India! Perhaps was he really from nearby Mount Olympus, mythological home of Zeus and the Greek Gods, bearing in mind that he declared himself a God in Egypt. Ancient Dion (‘Of Zeus’) in the shadow of Mountain Olympus was the Macedonian holy city.
Aigai (now Vergina) reveals the necropolis of his father, Philip, who conquered all Greece and paved the way for Alexander’s conquests. Philippi itself is a UNESCO site known as ‘Small Rome’ after the Battle of Philippi (Octavian & Mark Anthony versus Julius Caesar’s ‘assassins’) with significant early Christian architecture.
St. Paul first landed at Kavala and the whole region reveals much of the early Christian Heritage. Indeed Thessaloniki (former Salonica), Byzantium’s and now Greece’s second city, is a further UNESCO site for the art and architecture of its Byzantine churches.
Mount Athos’ monasteries still run on Byzantine time, their appeal perhaps that they cannot easily be visited (female visitors are prohibited) but many are visible to all from the sea.
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 8 – 28
Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki. Transfer to the 4-star Elpida Resort & Spa in Serres for two nights. Welcome drink.
Day 2 Travel to Philippi to visit ‘Small Rome’. Visit the port of Kavala, founded at the end of the 7th century BC along the coastline. (B)
Day 3 Depart for Kerkini Lake, a wetland in the Serres region for a boat ride. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. Continue to Kilkis to visit the imposing memorial from the Battle of Doiran and the British Military Cemetery. Stay five nights at the 4-star City Hotel in Thessaloniki. (B, L)
Day 4 Visit Pella and its archaeological museum. At Vergina visit the museum built around the ancient tombs of King Phillip II and family. Visit Veria with its Christian churches, historic Jewish neighbourhood and the altar where St. Paul preached to the first Christians. Return to Thessaloniki. (B)
Day 5 Tour of Thessaloniki and its Byzantine monuments. Walk amongst the Roman ruins, churches, monuments and neoclassical buildings visiting Agios Dimitrios, the castle walls, the Acropolis and Archaeological Museum. Short cruise from the White Tower in the Thermaic Gulf. (B)
Day 6 Visit the ancient theatre and museum of Dion. Time for lunch in the traditional village of Litochoro on the slopes of Mount Olympus and for a walk along Enipeas River. (B)
Day 7 From Ouranoupolis village cruise round Mount Athos peninsula viewing the 1,000 year old monasteries. Farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 8 Return flight to London Gatwick. (B)
A 4-star hotel in the valley of Agioi Anargyroi with views of Serres Acropolis. Restaurant, bar, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 111 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €3 per room per day.
A central 4-star hotel close to the waterfront. Restaurant, bar, gym and WiFi (free). 125 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €3 per room per day.
Stay four nights at the 5-star Cavo Olympo Hotel in Pieria located in a private cove in Plaka of Litochoro, right between the Aegean Sea and the foot of the majestic Mt. Olympus.
Day 1 Transfer to the 5-star Cavo Olympo Hotel for four nights. (B)
Day 2 At leisure. (B)
Day 3 At leisure. (B)
Day 4 At leisure. (B)
Day 5 Return flight. (B)
Restaurants, bars, pool, WiFi (free) and air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €4 per room per day.
per person in a twin/double room
easyJet from Gatwick
Supplements per person
Single supplement £295
Extension – Pieria
Cavo Olympo Hotel, Pieria
4 nights – £445 (Jun £545)
Single supplement £245
Arrival transfer add £69
Departure transfer add £32
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 1 dinner, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, entrance fees, accommodation tax, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently per room per day €3 (€4 in Pieria). Entrance fees are not included and are approximately €50 (€25 for visitors over 65).
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