On our third day staying in Thessaloniki, Greece we took a private day tour to Philippi and Kavala. Now, I will admit this was 100% a total splurge for us. A big point in our trip to Greece was that we wanted to see a lot of Biblical landmarks and we really wanted the expertise of a tour guide to give us information. I was a little nervous when we first booked this tour that we had spent to much and maybe it wouldn’t be worth it, but that was far from the truth! This tour was amazing and one of our favorite days from the whole trip!!
The tour started by picking us up in a luxury van outside of our hotel. As I said previously this tour was private so it was just me, Nathan and our tour guide, Vivi! I can not say enough praises of our tour guide that day, she talked to us the whole day and was a huge wealth of knowledge on teaching us not only about the ruins (she was also an archaeologist), but also teaching us about Greek culture and the language! We first drove about an hour to Amfipoli. This location is mentioned in the Bible as the place Paul stayed on his journey between Philippi and Thessaloniki. There’s a giant lion statue there that is pretty impressive. Then, we drove to the ancient ruins of Philippi, about 45 minutes from Amfipoli.
The ruins fo Philippi were unlike any ruins we saw during our whole trip to Greece. The sheer number of artifacts there was so impressive and so many pieces were pretty well intact. If you are very interested in Biblical or historical artifacts I highly recommend this location! The ruins gave us so much insight into how a booming ancient town may have looked. Our guide gave us so much information during this part of the tour I seriously wished I had a pen and paper to take everything down (instead I ended up just filming the whole thing!)
After a walking through the ruins we then went to the nearby Baptismal Church of Lydia. This is a church that was built along a river at the supposed baptismal spot of Lydia, the first person to be baptized in Europe. They have a cross built over the river where people can be baptized. The interiors of the church are covered in colorful depictions of other Biblical baptisms and Paul’s journey through Greece.
After finishing the tour of Philippi we went to the nearby city of Kavala for lunch and a small tour. Kavala was such a cute port city! If you are looking for a cute, historical, picturesque town to stay in Northern Greece, look no further than Kavala! This town blew Nathan and I away. We had zero expectations going to this town but we both fell in love with Kavala and we both cannot recommend it enough. We ate lunch along the pier at a classic Greek restaurant. We asked our tour guide to eat with us and we also asked her to tell us what to order for the most authentic food. After our scrumptious lunch, we took a walk around the town getting all sorts of interesting insights from Vivi.
This tour was just a dream!
Have you been on private tours before? We there any tours that stand out to you from your travels?