I’m delighted to invite members and friends of Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis to travel with me to Greece and Turkey to walk in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and other leaders of the early church. The stories of the New Testament will come alive for us in new ways as we renew our baptismal promises in the very location of Lydia’s baptism, as we stand atop Mars Hill in the shadow of the Acropolis where Paul preached to the city of Athens, as we visit the Island of Patmos where John wrote the book of Revelation. 

Paul wrote letters to the Corinthians – we’ll visit Corinth, where the extensive ruins indicate the importance of this city. He wrote a letter to the Ephesians – we’ll visit the ancient and sprawling city of Ephesus, with its breathtaking Celsus library. Paul wrote letters to the Thessalonians and the Philippians – we’ll visit Thessaloniki and Philippi, where Paul and Silas were thrown into prison.

And because we’re there already and because context matters, we’ll learn about the oracle of Delphi, we’ll visit the monasteries balanced impossibly atop the towering cliffs of Meteora, we’ll travel by sea to the islands of Crete and Mykonos and Rhodes and Santorini. We’ll draw on our understanding of Greek mythology as we stand in the ruins of massive stone arenas and alongside temples built by Greek gods. We’ll visit the Panathenaic Stadium, home to the first Olympic Games of modern times. We’ll do wine tastings and olive oil tastings; we’ll learn about how icons are made. We’ll eat more feta cheese than we ever thought possible. 

We’ll learn more about ourselves, more about one another, and more about our own relationships to scripture.

It's going to be a good time. I hope you can join us! 

In festive anticipation,
Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe



  • Trip departs on October 14, 2025, and returns on October 25, 2025

  • Departure Airport: Minneapolis, MN (other cities are available)


  • $4,890.00 per person based on double occupancy - book now as space is limited!

  • Single room supplement - $890

  • Land Only (if booking your own flights) - $1250 (airfare credit)


  • $500.00 deposit per person with registration to secure space

  • $2500 due March 1, 2025

  • Balance due on or before July 15, 2025


     Registration Form 

  • Registering online? Click the "BOOK NOW" button and fill out the online form; you can pay by check or with a credit card (a 4% platform fee applies)

  • Registering by mail? Please download and complete the registration form (both the personal information page and the terms and conditions page signed at the bottom) with a copy of your passport and a deposit of $500.00 per person made payable to Elias Tours and mail to: 4941 Chalden Ln NE, Marietta, GA 30066


 Flight information will be posted 6 months before departure 

* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.

October 14 - 25, 2025 14 Oct Athens, Greece

What is included in the tour

  • Airfare from Minneapolis, MN   - Other cities available
  • 10 nights in 4-star hotels (double occupancy)
  • 4-day cruise extension
  • Patmos and Ephesus Excursion 
  • Breakfast and dinner daily 
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Entrance fee to all sites
  • All ground transportation in a private tour bus

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Gratuities, For guide and driver
  • Lunch (Except on the Boat)
  • Personal Expenses
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through *Travelex Insurance Services. For questions, quotes, or to purchase travel insurance, visit Travelex Insurance or call (800) 228-9792 and use the code 26-0057 for Elias Tours.
What makes this tour special

This trip will invite us to forget everything we thought we knew about Paul and the early church, and to immerse ourselves in these stories again as though for the first time, with fresh context. We can’t wait for you to join us!



Day 1, Oct 14: Departure from the USA

Depart from the United States for an overnight flight to Thessaloniki, Greece.

Day 2, Oct 15: Beginning the Footsteps of Paul: Thessaloniki

Upon our arrival in Thessaloniki, we enter the world of the New Testament, where St. Paul and his companions established the first Christian communities during his four missionary journeys. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Day 3, Oct 16: Thessaloniki/Kavala/Philippi

Begin the day in the port of Kavala, where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. This port was also a destination for Luke the Evangelist when he sailed from Troas. Explore a Byzantine castle, the Roman Aqueduct, and the ruins of an acropolis. Follow the Via Egnatia, a remnant of Rome’s highway system, where you can view Roman and Greek tombs and the ruts of ancient chariot wheels.

Next, stop in Philippi, where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the very first Christian convert on European soil. Among the ruins on the rocky ledge above the town’s main road is the prison where Paul and Silas were held. Philippi is also notable as the site where Octavian and Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius in 42 BCE.

Return to Thessaloniki to explore the ancient city where Paul planted a church that would later receive two New Testament epistles. Visit St. Demetrius, one of the city's most beautiful basilicas. Continue along the waterfront to the massive White Tower and the nearby triumphal Arch of Galerius. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Day 4, Oct 17: Thessaloniki City Tour/Veria/Meteora/Kalambaka

Pass through the city of Veria as we head toward Meteora. Veria is known for its numerous Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, with about 48 surviving today out of an original 72, earning it the nickname "Small Jerusalem." The city also boasts unique collections of Byzantine icons, with the Church of the Resurrection being particularly famous.

Today, we will spend most of our time marveling at the unique natural phenomenon of Meteora—24 perpendicular rocks where, 600 years ago, Byzantine monks chose to worship God and build their cave-like monastic community. The striking monasteries that crown the summits of these pinnacles, with their wooden galleries and corniced rooftops, hang precariously over stunning abysses, composing one of the most fascinating sites on Earth. A special treat awaits as we visit two of these timeless monasteries to see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. We will also have the chance to visit a village to learn how icons are made. Overnight in Kalambaka.

Day 5, Oct 18: Delphi/Athens

After breakfast at the hotel, we begin our exploration of the ancient site of Delphi. The Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the site of the omphalos, the 'navel of the world.' Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century BCE was the religious center and symbol of unity for the ancient Greek world.

We then travel directly to the center of Athens and check into our hotel. Enjoy a free evening in Athens. Dinner and overnight in Athens.

Day 6, Oct 19: Athens/Acropolis/Mars Hill

We begin our day with breakfast at the hotel, then travel directly to the center of Athens for a half-day panoramic city tour to observe the striking contrasts that define the city. Our first stop is the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. We continue on, passing by the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, and then head towards Mars Hill, which served as the meeting place for the Areopagus Court, the highest court in Greece. This historic site is also where Paul delivered one of his most important gospel presentations during his second missionary journey, addressing the religious idolatry of the Greeks who had an altar to the “Unknown God” (Acts 17:16–34).

Next, we visit the ancient Roman Agora before heading to the Acropolis to marvel at the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and finally the Parthenon, described as “the harmony between material and spirit” and “the monument that puts order in the mind.”

After returning to the hotel, enjoy a free afternoon in Athens. Overnight in Athens.

Day 7, Oct 20: Athens/Start the 4-night cruise/Mykonos

Begin the day with a drive to the Port of Lavrio and step aboard The Olympia to start a 4-day Greek Islands cruise. Spend the afternoon exploring the island of Mykonos, renowned for its charming windmills, small cobblestone streets, and picturesque countryside. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 8, Oct 21: Ephesus (Türkiye)/Patmos (Greece)

Step off the ship at Kusadasi and into nearby Ephesus, Türkiye, Asia Minor’s greatest archaeological site. This remarkably preserved Greek and Roman city features broad marble streets where Paul once walked. Gaze at the Temple of Artemis (Diana), the Temple of Hadrian, and the Celsus Library. Marvel at the massive theater where Paul was opposed as he spoke boldly about Christ.

In the afternoon, enjoy cruising aboard The Olympia to the island of Patmos, built on a mass of volcanic rock. Patmos is the site where the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation. Visit the Monastery of St. John and the cave where he was imprisoned. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 9, Oct 22: Rhodes

Arrive at the Island of Rhodes around 7 am and disembark. You'll have the opportunity to visit medieval Rhodes and the Acropolis of Lindos, with the ancient temple of Athena built in 300 BCE. Explore the houses of the captains and the Church of Our Lady of Lindos. At the acropolis, admire the Doric temple of Athena, built on an earlier monument.

In the city of Rhodes, go through the Porta d'Amboise to walk along the Street of the Knights, where you will see the residences of the knights, separated by order and still displaying their original shields. Board the ship at 6 pm for dinner and departure to Crete.

Day 10, Oct 23: Crete/Santorini

Arrive in Heraklion, Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands and the cradle of the ancient Minoan civilization. This island is where the Apostle Paul spent time while being transported to Rome as a prisoner and where Titus remained to help the churches. Take a walking tour through town and stop at the Church of St. Titus, Paul's true son in the faith and the first Bishop of Crete. Experience an olive oil tasting and enjoy the countryside of the island.

In the afternoon, board The Olympia for a cruise to the famous island of Santorini, formed by the half-submerged crescent of a volcanic caldera. Perched atop high cliffs, savor the island’s breathtaking views from Oia. Dinner and overnight on the ship.

Day 11, Oct 24: Athens/Corinth

Arrive at the port and, after breakfast, disembark for a full-day tour. Begin with a stop at the famous Isthmus Canal, where the Peloponnese meets central Greece, and the Aegean and Ionian seas connect. Completed in the late 19th century by the government of Charilaos Trikoupis, the canal saves ships the more than 400 km journey around the Peloponnese peninsula.

Next, visit Ancient Corinth, a city that was a center of trade for many centuries. Explore the city's amazing artifacts, some dating back to 6000 BCE. The remains, including the agora (market) and the Temple of Apollo, illustrate the city's historical wealth and importance. Rebuilt by the Romans in 44 BCE, Corinth later became the provincial capital of Greece.

On our way back to Athens, we will make a brief stop at the site of the ancient port of Cenchreae, where Paul disembarked from Thessaloniki. Corinth is significant in Christian history as it is mentioned in the New Testament in the two epistles, First and Second Corinthians, and in the Acts of the Apostles during Paul's evangelical work.

At the end of the tour, return to Athens. Overnight in Athens.

Day 12, Oct 25: Athens/USA

Following breakfast at our hotel, we will be met by our concierge for a private transfer to Athens Airport (ATH). We then fly home, arriving the same day.

NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to various factors and the tour guide’s discretion.


Tour Location
Athens, Greece View on Map