Experience Sacred Monasteries, Holy Week, Greek Mythology, and the Yugas. A transformative pilgrimage to the mystical islands of the Gods.
April 16 to May 2, 2022 – Open to Everyone
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Why do Shiva and Poseidon both wield a trident? Is there really a Shiva Lingam in ancient Delphi? Can we find echoes of Saraswati’s divine melodies in the artistry and beauty of the Greek muses?
Join Ananda College for 17 inspiring days in Greece and the island of Crete. Together we’ll explore parallels between Greek, Hindu, and Egyptian mythology in a stunning landscape while encountering thousands of years of spiritual practice. Learn ancient Greek myth, history, and culture while exploring mystic oracles, gleaming temples, and miraculous caves and streams. Most days before breakfast there will be optional led Energization Exercises, chanting, meditation, and healing prayers.
This tour will combine devotional pilgrimage with the teachings of the Yuga Cycles, an area of expertise of Ananda College.
Ananda College studies other cultures from the lens of “The Yuga Cycles of Time,” a circular Vedic calendar that comprises 24,000 year cycles that repeat themselves in ascending and descending “Yugas”. These Vedic cycles show the vast civilizations that have been created, maintained, then destroyed on our planet.
Our tour begins in Athens, the ancient and modern capital of Greece. In Athens, we’ll take in the imposing and inspiring Acropolis, the majestic symbol of Classical Greece and its artistic achievements.
We’ll visit the Acropolis Museum and learn about the goddess Athena, plus much more. We’ll stay in a centrally located area within walking distance to the famous Plaka shops and cafes.
There will be time to explore or dine out in the tavernas along the slopes of the Acropolis hill. Our journey will involve daily walks and some easy-moderate hikes. Greek cuisine is very vegetarian-friendly. Most Greeks speak English and are very welcoming to tourists.
From Athens, we’ll travel north towards Delphi, a vast site of ancient temples, treasures, and a stadium built on a mountainside overlooking the Corinthian Gulf. In ancient times, Delphi was known as the “navel of the world,” the pinnacle of spiritual and political power.
In Delphi, we’ll visit the sites of the Delphic Oracle where the priestesses of Apollo prophesied the fate of the Greeks. Delphi is suffused with mystery and natural beauty, located as it is on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. We’ll visit the Corcynan Cave of the nymphs and Muses and weave our own prayers of enchantment. We’ll also take in the Kastalian Spring, the prophetic and purifying waters of the Delphic Oracle.
On the way to Delphi, we’ll see the 10th Century monastery of Saint Luke of Steiris and see a well-preserved Byzantine church and the relics of the saint. The Saint’s relics have been said to heal pilgrims for hundreds of years through spontaneous miracles, dreams, and the healing scent of myrrh.
From Delphi, we’ll travel to Kalambaka, a small town in central Greece where we will experience the sacred liturgies and practices of Greek Orthodox Holy Week. Kalambaka is the home of the monastery complex of Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where six monasteries are built on tall pillars of rock.
We’ll visit these sacred monasteries, and in Kalambaka have the opportunity to experience the passion of Christ and the celebration of the Resurrection in a place of natural beauty, tradition, and spiritual community.
There will be time for meditation, prayer, hikes, and special arts and culinary activities, such as painting our own icons.
Before heading to the island of Crete, we’ll tour south to Athens. Here, we’ll board our overnight ferry cruise to Crete, complete with private cabins, restaurant on board, and an upper deck to take in the sights. We’ll arrive in Heraklion, Crete early the following morning, where we’ll go to a city hotel for breakfast before departing on our tour of Knossos and Heraklion.
In Crete we will immerse ourselves in the history of the Minoan civilization, a Bronze Age civilization that thrived beginning in 3,500 BC. We’ll chart their rise and fall as we visit their palace complexes and mountain cave shrines, traversing the natural landscape and coastlines of Crete.
Some of the most scenic villages and oceanside dwellings in all the Greek islands exist in Crete. This is where we’ll connect with the laid-back Greek culture, experience Greek dancing and sample Greek cuisine the island is known for. Here, we’ll also explore the mysteries of Minoan culture and discover some of the little-known spiritual traditions that have persisted since the descending age in the Yuga Cycles of Time.
We will visit the quaint village of Kritsa where we will have time for lunch and shopping. We’ll also visit the town of Gortyn, a place that was continually occupied since 7000 BC in the Treta Yuga. This is the site where the myth of Zeus and his lover Europa, turned into a bull, supposedly took place. Gortyn is also known as a place where an early Greek law code was discovered.
We’ll have 2 free days in Crete to explore additional sites and museums on your own, relax, visit the beach or the spa, and take in the simple and arresting beauty of the Cretan coastline.
We’ll take an overnight ferry from Crete to Athens. The overnight ferry offers private cabins with berths, bathroom and shower.
Upon returning, we’ll go to a lovely lake with hiking trails and a chance to relax in nature before taking breakfast at our hotel in Athens. That day, there will be free time to explore additional archaeological sites such as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, or the Ancient Agora, and walk through the shops in the Plaka. There will be an option for spa treatments and relaxation. On the evening of May 1st, we’ll have a special farewell dinner in Athens.
Your Tour Leaders
Jenny Kellogg, PhD, a Kriyaban who is fluent in Greek and has led Hellenic tours for Harvard.
Nayaswami Nischala, co-founder of Ananda College of Living Wisdom, and the New Horizons Gap Year.
Flights Not Included
Early Bird Special
Double occupancy per person $6,400
Single occupancy $7,200
After January 5, 2022
Double occupancy per person $6,800
Single occupancy $7,600
A $1,000 deposit is required to reserve your place.
The remaining balance must be received before February 15, 2022.
Please note that we have limited rooms on this journey and expect to fill this trip by mid-January 2022 . We aren’t able to offer scholarships for our spiritual travels.
- all accommodations at delightful 4 and 5 star hotels
- transportation during the journey, entrance to all holy and ancient sites and museums including the Delphic Oracle and Acropolis Museum
- welcome dinner, farewell dinner, Easter lunch, daily heartybreakfasts, 11 dinners enjoyed together at lovely restaurants
- ocean facing cabins on the overnight ferry to Crete, round-trip
- iconography private workshop where you’ll create your own special icon
- all expert guides for monastery and Delphi visits, Athens morning walking tour, hiking and cave expert guides
Cost does not include:
- your international flights to/from Greece
- any extra nights at hotels before or after trip
- travel insurance that we require proof of
- transportation from the Athens airport to our Athens hotel
- any spa treatments you choose to have
- any personal expenses, laundry costs
- any medical expenses
- Meals other than the above.We do not cover drinks at meals we provide, lunches and dinners we do not provide.
- NOTE: Greeks like to eat a light meal at 3:00 so we will visit small tavernas around lunch and dinnertime where people can order for themselves. We will do some ‘Dutch’ group dinners in Crete.
- We suggest you plan your budget to include tips for the specialty expert guides we have contracted with at key trip locations.
- Round trip airline tickets to Athens, Greece are very low right now. If you’d like to come with us consider getting your tickets now.
- If anyone is planning on flying from San Francisco Bay Area to Athens, Greece round trip, we have someone who wants to go on the trip who is looking for a travel partner to fly with.
- If you are a single traveler looking to find a female roommate to share with, Contact Us.
Requirements for traveling to Greece:
Requirements for traveling internationally are changing with some regularity. We will keep you informed as we approach the date of this trip of the then-current requirements. For now, these are the circumstances. Link for Greece travel health portal: https://travel.gov.gr/#/
Prior to departure, all travelers must ensure that they carry an acceptable form of certification of their health condition. Acceptable documents include:
- A negative PCR molecular test result from a laboratory; the test must be taken up to 72 hours before entry.
- A negative antigen (rapid) test result from a laboratory; the test must be taken up to 48 hours before entry.
- A vaccination certificate issued by a certified authority.
- A certificate of recovery from the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection
You should be reasonably fit to walk up stairs and uneven surfaces. At Delphi, there are trails on the slopes. You can walk slowly, or one of our tour leaders or guide will walk with you.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our travelers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US $200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance a couple weeks ahead of departure; you will not be able to join the trip without it. Here are a couple options:
You must hold a valid National Travel passport with an expiration date at least six months after the end of your stay. No visa is needed for travelers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and most other countries in the Americas and Europe.
Reserve your spot on this transformative pilgrimage
A $1,000 deposit saves your place!