William Carey University: Study Travel and Excavation Program

STEP 2011 Greece Tour Schedule, 27 October - 8 November

NOTE: This is an anticipated study travel schedule at this time; the actual itinerary may be modified for the benefit of the program or because of provider schedule changes. The purpose of this page is to give an overview of the itinerary and, through the pictures, provide a sense of the nature of the program for those considering this STEP adventure. Not all activities are listed, and pictures are chosen from previous STEP Greece trips.

Clicking on images below will allow viewing of full-screen versions

enroute Thurs
27 October
(Day 1)

Depart USA from Gulfport (GPT); connections in Atlanta and New York (JFK); overnight flight from JFK to Athens.

28 October
(Day 2)

After our morning arrival in Athens; drive to Sounion Bay for a look at the dramatically sited Temple to Poseidon; then north to the Mycenaean remains and Hellenistic acropolis of Orchomenos--a tough climb with a great reward; then it off to Delphi, where there is excellent pizza and good sleep.

See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT: Paige at the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion in 2009

RIGHT:  Andrew, Josh, and Luke atop ruins on the citadel of Orchomenos in 2009, you can almost make out our vans way down below (you don't get this on the bus tour!)
29 October
(Day 3)

In the morning, visit Delphi, oracle of the god Apollo with dramatic mountainside ruins, the museum, and Temple of Athena Pronaos below; drive north, with a stop at the spring of Thermopylae and the site of the last stand of "The 300;" continue to Meteora, for spectacular vistas, dinner, and overnight in Kalambaka
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

the 2009 group with the Athenian Treasury at Delphi
AT RIGHT: view of Varlaam at Meteora, where granite columns have supported monasteries for centuries

30 October
(Day 4)
Morning visits to monasteries and more excellent landscapes at Meteora; drive through mountain tunnels to Thesprotia in northwestern Greece for an exploration of the Nekyomanteion of Acheron, an ancient oracle for consultation of the Dead at the confluence of two of the mythical rivers of Hades; return east along the modern motorway "Egnatia Odos" (built on the route of the Roman highway by the same name) stopping at Dodona (the oldest oracle in Greece) and Beroea (of Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey; Acts 16); overnight in the mountains above Thessalonica
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT: in the Nekyomanteion of the Acheron, an Oracle of the Dead in 2009

AT RIGHT: Sarah and Shannon at Meteora on 31 October 2006

31 October
(Day 5)

A morning drive east to Kavalla (ancient Neapolis, where Paul first made land in Europe) where we can walk a well-preserved Roman road; a short distance away explore the extensive ruins of Philippi (of Paul's 2nd journey) and optionally make the tough climb to the acropolis for excellent views; just outside of the city, visit the traditional site of Lydia's baptism; heading back towards Thessalonica, stop at the Hellenistic lion statue at Amphipolis, and continue to Jim Grill Place for a unique Greek dinner; for those with remaining energy: night pictures of Thessalonica before overnight
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT, above: the 2006 group with the lion of Amphipolis

AT LEFT, below: photographing Bo in 2009 on the Via Egnatia, the Roman road taken by Paul to Philippi

AT RIGHT, above: Amber in the theater at Philippi in 2009

AT RIGHT, below: Nate in a tower on the acropolis at Philippi in 2009

1 Nov
(Day 6)

Pre-breakfast dawn look at ancient Thessalonica among the modern buildings of the city; after breakfast, set out for the Macedonian capital of Pella (home of Alexander the Great) and Aigai/Vergina with its spectacular necropolis, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander; a drive to the south, broken by stops at the Platamon Castle and the Mycenaean remains of Gla, will bring us to Piraeus, the port of Athens, for an overnight ferry to Crete in deluxe private cabins (very much like a cruise ship)
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT, above: Bo inspects the Arch of Galerius--one of the last Emperors to persecute Christians--in Thessalonica in 2009
AT LEFT, below: at the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, now part of an underground museum, in 2009

AT RIGHT, above: Brandon on the ruins of the gate at Gla in 2006
AT RIGHT, below: Paige, Amber, Lee, and Danielle on the citadel at Gla in 2009

2 Nov
(Day 7)

Off the ferry in Crete at 6:00 am, head across the island to the south shore to visit the site of Fair Havens (Acts 27:8); then to the Minoan palace sites of Phaistos (and perhaps Agios Triada), then the classical and early Christian site of Gortys; then visit the major Minoan site of Knossos, the "palace of Minos;" if time and daylight permit, visit smaller but impressive Minoan sites before grabbing dinner and returning to the ferry for the overnight trip back to Pireus and the mainland
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT, above: Danielle at Fair Havens on the south coast of Crete
AT LEFT, below: the 2006 group in the palace at Knossos

AT RIGHT, above: Nate impresses the girls on the ceremonial steps at Phaistos
AT RIGHT, below: a geocache at a Minoan temple site with evidence for human sacrifice (the site, not the geocache!) 


3 Nov
(Day 8)

Early arrival at Piraeus permits a stop at Cenchrea, eastern port of Corinth, and drive to Epidaurus, site of the best preserved of all pure Greek theaters and important center of Asklepius, by opening time; continue to ascend the mountain overshadowing Nauplion to visit the Palamidi Fortress and its spectacular views, visit Tiryns, a Mycenaean palace center, and  Mycenae, cultural center of Bronze Age Greece and capital of Agamemnon (legendary king of Achaeans in the Trojan War); an evening drive brings us to Olympia for overnight
See the 2009 trip path (ending at Corinth) in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT, above: Amber and Andrew at Cenchrea in 2009

AT LEFT, center: Luke, Josh, and Caldwell take in the scene at the Epidaurus theater in 2009

AT LEFT, below: Joah and Charlie overlook Nauplion from the Palamidi Fortress in 2009

AT RIGHT, above: at the Lion Gate of Mycenae in 2009

AT RIGHT, center:  fleeing some unknown danger at the "Treasury of Atreus," actually a tholos tomb, at Mycenae in 2009

AT RIGHT, below: cool guys (you can tell by the vests) Brandon and Michael on the tower of the medieval Larissa castle at Argos in 2006

Argos castle

4 Nov
(Day 9)
AM: visit Olympia, site of the original Olympic games and home of one of the original "Seven Wonders of the World;" then move along the Messinian coast to Pylos, where "Nestor's Palace" has been excavated, perhaps belonging to the king involved in the Trojan War; then, on to Sparta and the spectacular medieval castle and ruins of Mystras are found; overnight in Sparta

AT LEFT, above: ruins of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia
AT LEFT, below: Megaron/throne room of Mycenaean "Palace of Nestor (Greek king in the Trojan War)" at Pylos

AT RIGHT, above: the original Olympic stadium at Olympia
AT RIGHT, below: Mystras, with the medieval castle above the churches and monasteries below

5 Nov
(Day 10)

Morning visit to Mystras (if not visited the previous afternoon) and then to Corinth, important classical center and focus of Paul's 2nd missionary journey (Acts 18); possible side trips if time permits (options include Isthmia, Perachora, the diolkos road along the Corinth canal); overnight in Isthmia, near Corinth

AT LEFT, above: the Menelaion, and ancient monument to the Homeric king of Sparta and jilted husband of Helen of Troy
AT LEFT, below: reading an inscription by Erastus, mentioned in Paul's letters, at Corinth in 2003
AT RIGHT, above: Nate and Andrew on Corinth's Lechaion Road, with the Acrocorinth in the background in 2009
AT RIGHT, below: Benji at Perachora in 2003


6 Nov
(Day 11)
AM: climb the Acrocorinth to see the foundations of the Temple of Aphrodite and stunning views of the area of Corinth and the Isthmus; after descent, drive towards Athens via Eleusis, home to the cult of Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries; in Athens, check into hotel and set out for the Archaeological Museum and then for views of the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, and excellent gyros before bed
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!:

AT LEFT, above: Paige on the Acrocorinth in 2009
AT LEFT, below: trying for that good picture of the Acropolis in 2009

AT RIGHT, above: happiness is a good gyro, and we know a great place!
AT RIGHT, below Shannon at the Acropolis in sunset light in 2006

7 Nov
(Day 12)

Morning visit to the famous Acropolis with the Parthenon and other temples, the Areopagus ("Mars Hill," Acts 17:19, 22), and the Athenian Agora (the "marketplace" of Acts 17:17); lunch and free time for shopping in the Monastriaki and Plaka districts; overnight in Athens
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT, above: Matt and Michael with the Parthenon in 2006
AT LEFT, below: the girls at the Hephaisteon in the Athenian Agora in 2009
AT RIGHT, above: the whole group at the Hephaisteon in 2009
AT RIGHT, below: nighttime exploration with the Acropolis in the background in 2009

8 Nov
(Day 13)

Transfer to airport for extremely early return flight to the US
See the 2009 trip path in Google Maps by clicking here!

AT LEFT: Andrew saying goodbye to Athens in 2009 . . .
USA Flag
All photos are Daniel C. Browning, Jr., and may only be used elsewhere by permission, unless otherwise noted.
Updated: 10 August 2011