Visalia Chamber holds Jan. 9 preview of two European tours for 2019 in “Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle” and “Shades of Ireland”
VISALIA – Just a few weeks after celebrating Jesus’ birth, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce is offering a chance to walk in the footsteps of the man who authored half of the New Testament chronically the messiah’s life and teachings.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, the chamber will be holding a slide show to preview its latest hosted travel offer titled “Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle.” The slide show will begin at noon at the Buckman Mitchell Building, 500 N. Santa Fe.
Paul the Apostle, the prolific writer of the New Testament letters was one of the first Christian missionaries. Trace his journey through the ancient cities and pastoral countryside of Greece and Turkey. The tour will begin in Athens with a welcome dinner at the Plaka nestled at the foot of the Acropolis. From Athens the tour will leave on a 3-night cruise of the Greek is lands beginning with Mykonos full of whitewashed buildings and narrow streets. Next on the cruise is Kusadasi, Turkey and Patmos Greece where Paul spent three years, this part of the journey includes a visit to the “House of Mary” where it is believed she spent her last days. Patmos, considered the “Jerusalem of the Aegean” includes a visit to the Monastery of John and the Cave of the Apocalypse where John was inspired and wrote the Book of Revelations. The last stop on the cruise is picturesque Santorini with an excursion to the open-air museum of the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Back on the mainland the day will end in
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city founded in 315 B.C. where Paul wrote two epistles to the Thessalonians. Travelers will also get to visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Traveling down the coast to Philippi the tour will join a local guide to where Paul was held prisoner in the dungeon and where he baptized Lydia the first Christian in Europe. Next on the tour is Delphi where travelers will explore the Sacred Way as they walk to see the Doric Temple and Sanctuary of Apollo. Finally, the tour will stop in Corinth on the way back to Athens where travelers will see the hill of Areopagus (Mars Hills) where Paul delivered his famous “Men of Athens” speech, and then end the trip with a tour of the Acropolis.
The Greece tour, which includes a three-night Greek Island and Turkey cruise, will depart on Oct. 2, 2019 and return on Oct. 12, 2019. The Greece tour is 11 days and includes 20 meals and costs $4,599 per person (with early booking discount).
The chamber will also be previewing another tour to discover the “Shades of Ireland.” Set out on an amazing Irish adventure that tells the complete story of the Emerald Isle. The tour will begin in Dublin, Ireland with tours of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, O’Connell Street, Phoenix Park or Grafton Street and the River Liffey. From Dublin the tour will travel to Kilkenney the 12th Century city on the River Nore, then onto Waterford for a walking tour and chance to visit the Waterford Crystal factory or the Medieval Museum. Next on the agenda is a visit to Blarney Castle where the story goes that those who kiss the Blarney Stone gain the gift of eloquence. From the castle the tour will travel to Killarney’s stunning national park to participate in a traditional boat ride and sale the breathtaking lakes. Travelers will experience the Ring of Kerry, along the rugged coasting and take time to shop for local artisan-made crafts before visiting the Cliffs of Moher one of the Ireland’s most iconic sites.
For those interested in tradition, the tour will stop for a visit at a traditional Irish farm and then stroll the streets of Donegal Town enjoying quaint craft and woolen shops. More historic information will follow in the town of Derry know for political turmoil. The tour will travel to the Inishowen Peninsula and Malin Head the northern most point of Ireland. As the tour begins to wind down travelers will see the most famous national site in Northern Ireland the Giant’s Causeway, formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Travelers will end the tour in Belfast with a tour of the capital city where they will see “Samson and Goliath” the cranes that build the Titanic, before touring the “Titanic Experience.” The day will end with an overnight stay at the regal grounds of Cabra Castle.
The Ireland tour will depart on July 22, 2019 and return on August 3, 2019. The Shades of Ireland tour is 13 days and includes 17 meals and costs $4,799 per person (with early booking discount). Both tours have early booking rates of $200 per person if booked soon. Both tours include roundtrip airfare from Fresno, roundtrip transportation to the Fresno Airport, and hotel accommodations. For more information about the Chamber travel program go to www.visaliachamber.org/travel.