During the weekend following the first week of classes of each program we have scheduled two excursions, one on Saturday, the other on Sunday: a guided tour to the old section of Kavala and the archeological site of Philippi; and a boat excursion to the island of Thassos right across from Kavala. Some students may wish to skip the guided tour, which will last for about 4 hours, in case they wish to make alternate plans such as visiting other locations in the region (see Further Suggestions) or spend more time in the beach. But the boat ride in Thassos should definitely not be missed.
GUIDED TOUR: KAVALA AND PHILIPPI
We will familiarize ourselves with the town of Kavala by taking a guided tour which will focus on the old section of the city called Panagia right below the remnants of the city’s castle. The tour will also include a short trip to the archeological site of Philippi, one of the most important sites of Christianity. The town was established in 356 BC by the Macedonian king Philip II. Perhaps the most important event in the history of the town was that it was visited a few times by apostle Paul, the first time in 49 or 50 AD; about a dozen years later he wrote the famous Epistle to the Philippians. Philippi was the very first location the apostle preached on European soil. The town thrived since its establishment but a major earthquake in 619 AD had such a devastating effect from which it never fully recovered. Today’s site, which includes the ruins of the ancient town and its theater (still used for cultural events in the context of a summer festival), is being currently a candidate to become one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.
BOAT EXCURSION IN THE ISLAND OF THASSOS
The highlight of the planned activities will be a one-day excursion to the island of Thassos. The students and faculty will be picked up from the hotel after breakfast for a bus ride to the embarkation of ferries to the island. Once we arrive at Thassos a local boat will pick us up for a ride which will cover the most beautiful part of the island’s perimeter. The boat will pass by some remote beaches inaccessible by car and will stop in some of them giving the opportunity to the students to swim in some of the most appealing spots in the Aegean. Barbecue will also be served on the boat. The entire itinerary is still under consideration but it is likely to include visits to one or two picturesque mountain villages of the island. We will return to Kavala later in the evening. View the Thassos photo album.
A MEMORABLE FAREWELL DINNER
On the evening of the day prior to our departure for each program we plan to have a festive dinner in a restaurant located in an idyllic spot at the outskirts of Kavala. It will be the perfect end to what promises to be a memorable experience.