DISCOVER JEWISH GREECE

A Journey to the Cradle of Western Civilization

October 16th – Oct 25th, 2017

Welcome to the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western civilization, a land of sea and sunshine, a home for artistic wonders and culinary delights. This is Greece! Discover the breathtaking history of this ancient country and its history of Jewish life across centuries. With 6,000 active members spread across its numerous communities – plus gorgeous synagogues and unique Jewish history-related destinations throughout – there will be no shortage of sights to see on this Greek adventure.

 

As your premier organizer for Jewish heritage tours across Europe and beyond, Milk & Honey Tours offers the unique combination of know-how and experience to provide you with the trip of a lifetime. Accompanied by our hand-picked local guide and by renowned scholar Prof. Eyal Ginio (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) along the way, you too can explore the rise and fall of empires in this home of Jewish life, art, and cultural exchange.


Monday October 16 – Athens

Arrival in Athens and transfer on own to the hotel 

  • 7:00 pm: Meet & Greet by scholar and guide, short introduction into the program 
  • Welcome Dinner

Tuesday October 17 – Athens

Athens

Athens is a magnificent city steeped in ancient history. There has been a Jewish presence in Greece for over 2,000 years, with evidence of synagogues in the capital dating back to the 2nd century BCE.

  • 9:00 am: We will begin with an informative and eye-catching overview of Athens. See neoclassical buildings such as the university and the Academy; the National Guard in front of the Parliament building; and the Panathenaic Stadium, built in the 6th century BCE and renovated for the 1896 Olympics. 
  • Next we will visit two synagogues located in the area of Thission. The older of the two, the Romaniote Synagogue, was built in 1904. Directly across the street we find the Sephardic Synagogue. Nearby we will see the Holocaust Memorial
  • From here we will drive to Syntagma Square, the central square of the city, followed by a visit to the Jewish Museum, which contains a collection of more than 8,000 artifacts dating from ancient times to the present day. 
  • 2:00 pm: We will stop for a late lunch in Pláka, a historical Athens neighborhood which is full of shops and restaurants.
  • We will continue to the Acropolis, where we will visit some of the most historically-significant buildings in the city, most of which date back to the 5th century BCE. Just some of the stops on our tour will be the Parthenon, the Propylaea (formerly the main entrance to the Acropolis and the temple of the “Wingless” Victory), and the Erechtheion. These structures bear witness to the splendor of Athenian democracy at the height of its power. 
  • Evening on your own 
  • We will end the day at the new Acropolis Museum, an impressive site with glass floors through which one can see the remains of ancient houses. 
  • Overnight: Athens

Wednesday October 18 – Chalkis + Volos

Chalkis and Volos

Flavius Josephus mentions a Jewish settlement in Chalkis in his book Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century. Jews played an important role in the economic life of the city, trading with both Ottoman and Venetian merchants. Before the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish community counted about 325 Jews. Today there is a community of about 20 families in Chalkis. 

  • 9:00 am: We will begin the day with a drive to Chalkis (about 1-1½ hours from Athens) on the Island of Euboea.  
  • We will visit the Romaniote Synagogue and the 16th century cemetery, explore the Old Town, and visit the impressive Archeology Museum
  • Next, we will explore the city’s Ottoman past by visiting Karababa Castle, a fortress built in 1864 which offers magnificent views of the city, followed by the Emir Zade Mosque
  • Lunch 
  • Afternoon: transfer to Volos to visit the town’s synagogue, which serves the 100 member-strong community, and to see the Holocaust memorial 
  • Dinner 
  • Overnight: Volos 

Thursday October 19 – Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of Greek Macedonia. It was the home of a major Jewish community, mostly of Sephardic origin, until the middle of the Second World War. It is the only known example of a city of this size in the Jewish Diaspora that retained a Jewish majority for centuries.

  • 8:00 am: Transfer to Thessaloniki, with a stop at the Pelion Peninsula along the way. This is one of the most beautiful regions of Greece, boasting a wonderful combination of mountains, sea, and quaint villages – as well as an interesting WWII-era Jewish history. 
  • Lecture on the bus; “Salonica as the Center of Sephardi Culture” 
  • Arrive in Thessaloniki (around 11:00 am) and begin tour at the Trigoniou Tower in the upper part of the city, where we will have a stunning panoramic view of Thessaloniki and will be provided with some important historical background. We will also visit the gate of Anna Paleologina
  • We continue to the old Monastirlis Synagogue and then to the front of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace – the old Konak. We continue to St. Demetrios Church and the Roman agora where the Rogos Jewish neighborhood existed. 
  • Lunch 
  • We will pass by the front of the house of Kemal Attaturk and will visit the Jewish Memorial in the Aristotelian University
  • We will continue to the villas Casa Bianca and Mordoh, and then by foot to Yeni Mosque, the mosque of the Dönmeh community (“crypto-Jews” who publicly converted to Islam but adhered to Judaism in secret.) 
  • We will complete our afternoon at the White Tower, a historic monument and adopted symbol of the city 
  • Evening on your own 
  • Overnight: Thessaloniki

Friday October 20 – Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
  • 10:30am: Depart hotel for morning tour, beginning with the Jewish Museum – where we will meet with a Holocaust survivor – followed by visits to the Rotunda and Gallerius Gate.  
  • Next, we will visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture, which contains artifacts dating from the 2nd century to the 20th century. 
  • Lunch
  • Begin an afternoon tour of the Yahudi Hamam and the Modiano Market. The Turkish monuments of Bedesten and the Hamza Bey Mosque are very close by.
  • Visit the Yad Leyikaron Synagogue,  
  • followed by the Baron Hirsch area from which the deportation of Jews took place during World War II. 
  • Shabbat services and dinner with community TBC 
  • Overnight: Thessaloniki

Saturday October 21 – Thessaloniki

  • 9:00 am: Morning lecture: “The Holocaust in Greece” 
  • Visit the Acheiropoietos and Hagia Sophia churches – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites – dating from the 5th and 8th centuries 
  • Lunch 
  • Continue on to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, where we will explore antiquities excavated in Thessaloniki as well as in the broader region of Macedonia 
  • Evening on your own 
  • Overnight: Thessaloniki 

Sunday October 22 – Veria + Vergina

Veria and Vergina

The ancient city of Veria, first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BCE, shows evidence that it was populated as early as 1000 BCE. The first evidence of a Jewish community in this city can be found in the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul’s visit to the synagogue of Veria is described.

  • 9:00 am: Depart hotel 
  • Barbouta, the former Jewish neighborhood of Veria, was recently restored. About 50 houses built in the local Macedonian style are preserved, some of them with Hebrew inscriptions. We will not miss a visit to the town’s beautiful synagogue, constructed in the 19th century. 
  • Lunch 
  • Before returning to Thessaloniki, we will drive to see the famous Royal Tombs in Vergina 
  • Dinner 
  • Overnight: Thessaloniki 

Monday October 23 – Rhodes

Jews first settled in Rhodes some time during the 2nd century BCE. The intensely learned, dedicated community would grow to become an important center of Sephardic culture – but was decimated during the Holocaust, with only 200 of its 1,900 members managing to survive. About 30 Jews live in Rhodes today.

  • Depart hotel for airport (at around 11:00 am) for flight to Rhodes (flight time: 14:05, Aegean Airlines) 
  • Lunchboxes 
  • Begin an overview walking tour, with visits to the Archaeological Museum and the Palace of the Grandmaster of Knights
  • Dinner 
  • Overnight: Rhodes

Tuesday October 24 – Rhodes

Rhodes
  • Explore the arched, medieval alleys of the "Juderia" (Jewish) quarter, where you will visit the Kahal Shalom Synagogue and the Jewish 
  • Museum of Rhodes
  • Continue onwards for a meaningful moment of reflection at the sixsided, multilingual Holocaust Memorial, located at the Square of the Martyred Jews 
  • See the sites of the former Rabbinical College, community center, multiple synagogues, and the old Jewish cemetery. You will also have the opportunity to see various plaques situated throughout the Juderia which commemorate the Jewish history of Rhodes. 
  • Lunch 
  • Visit the Jewish cemetery, one of the best-preserved in Europe and with headstones dating from the 1500s 
  • Farewell Dinner 
  • Overnight: Rhodes 

Wednesday October 25 – Departure

  • Departure to Athens 

Prices and Conditions:

The land portion of the program is entirely handled by Milk & Honey Tours GmbH.  

For booking and flights please contact Rita Karp at karp@uniworldtravel.com 

Land only:

3,150.00 EUR pp (Dbl), Single supplement 550.00 EUR

Minimum of participants 25 - maximum 35. 

Included:

  • 4 to 5 star selected hotels 
  • Lectures as described in the program 
  • M&H Tours Comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary 
  • sightseeing including entrance fees to all sights on itinerary, via a deluxe air conditioned motor coach with English speaking guide 
  • M&H expert guide 
  • Transportation by bus acc. to program 
  • Meals: All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners, 1 lunchbox 
  • Porterage 
  • Water

Not included:

  • Flights 
  • Tips 
  • All personal expenses 
  • Travel Insurance

Booking is possible until July 28th. Minimum of participants is 25. 

We reserve the right to change the itinerary in case of unforeseeable circumstances.


More information?

If you would like more information on our "Journey to the Cradle of Western Civilization", please fill out the form below -

or call us directly under +49 30 61 62 57 61