Oct 12 - 20, 2024

Breukelein Institute


The Allure of Greece:  Crete to Athens and Stops Along the Way


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Join Father Dennis Corrado and members of the Breukelein Institute community on an inspiring journey to Greece.  Over the ages, Greece has been a crossroads of thought and spirituality – making it an enchanting land for exploring the evolution of ideas around politics, philosophy, religion, art, commerce, and food.  Some of the earliest European settlements have been excavated on Crete.  The great monuments of Athens continue to impress visitors from around the world and provided the context for the rise of Christianity.  We have created a customized itinerary that weaves together archaeological, religious, cultural, and culinary highlights of Crete, Athens, and stops in between.  Accommodations will be in 5-star hotels in locations that provide access to the city-centers of Heraklion and Athens.  We will enjoy local expert guides who will open our eyes to the many layers of history that make Greece such a fascinating destination – from some of the earliest settlements of Minoan civilization to the apex of Athenian society at the Acropolis.  


Program Itinerary

Saturday, October 12, 2024
People will make their own flight arrangements in order to arrive in Crete today.  They will make their own way from the airport to the designated hotel.  People will check in (the tour manager will be at the hotel in the afternoon to facilitate this) and be able to relax, adjust to the new time zone, freshen up, and explore the neighborhood.  This evening everyone will gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.  

Sunday, October 13, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  We will celebrate Sunday liturgy this morning at the Heraklion Catholic Church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist.  We will continue with a visit to the Palace of Knossos (outside of Heraklion), one of the more important archaeological sites in Greece.  It is an impressive site underscoring the ancient Minoan Civilization that flourished here.  We will continue with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Heraklion proper, a rich museum of treasures found in excavations in Crete.  There will be some free time to enjoy the city or the hotel amenities before we gather for dinner at the hotel this evening.  Overnight Heraklion.

Monday, October 14, 2024
Breakfast at the hotel.  Today we will travel to Gortyn – a site that includes an old 7th century Basilica and some Roman ruins (minor but historic).  We continue to Festos, a substantial archaeological site of a Bronze Age city.  The town existed slightly later than Knossos but was of Minoan culture.  We then continue to Matala which was once the port city of Feston (Phaistos).  It is now a charming seaside village.  There are artificial caves built near the harbor that are the object of a lot of speculation as to their use.  We will have lunch at a restaurant in Matala and some free time before returning to Heraklion. This evening, we will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.  Overnight Heraklion.

Tuesday, October 15, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  Today, we will enjoy an excursion to and guided walking tour of Rethymnon, a medieval town. It is one of the best preserved historic cities on Crete with Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian influences. We will continue to nearby Arkadi Monastery.  This is one of the largest monastic complexes in Greece and is symbolic for its role in the war with Turkey.  The structures are beautiful and the site is serene and picturesque.  We will enjoy wine tasting at a local vineyard along with a light snack.  We return to Heraklion for some free time and will gather in the hotel for dinner this evening.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2024
Today we journey by ferry to Athens.  We will stop en route in Santorini, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful islands in the Aegean.  The schedule of our journey is contingent upon schedules that are posted later in the year. There will be coordination of our luggage from Heraklion to Athens.  We will enjoy a guided visit to Santorini.  On arrival in Athens, we will enjoy a welcome dinner (location to be determined).  Overnight Athens.

Thursday, October 17, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  There will be a leisurely start to the day (after late arrival day before).  Today, we will visit the Acropolis, Areopagus Hill, and the Acropolis museum.  The Acropolis is, of course, the iconic symbol of Athenian political and religious life.  The Areopagus Hill was an important place of assembly and was where St. Paul met with Athenian officials.  We'll take a break for people to relax and get something to eat on their own. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a guided visit to the impressive new Acropolis Museum.  We gather this evening for dinner a a local restaurant.  Overnight Athens.

Friday, October 18, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  Today we enjoy an excursion to and visit of the island of Aegina, including Paleohora (a town that was abandoned but 13th century monuments restored - Venetian influence), the spectacular Greek temple at Aphaia and Nktarios monastery.  Lunch will be included today on Aegina.  We return to Athens for dinner/overnight.

Saturday, October 19, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  Today we enjoy an excursion to Dafni and Eleusis, which holds the title of European Capital of Culture.  Dafni is one of the more impressive monasteries in Greece and boasts impressive Byzantine mosaics.  Eleusis was one of the most important religious sites in Greece - the place where the Eleusian Mysteries were celebrated, worshiping Demeter and Persephone. This was the birthplace of Aeschylus - the great Greek playwright.  We will return to Athens. We will gather for anticipatory Mass at the local Catholic Church in Athens before a festive farewell dinner.  Overnight Athens.

Sunday, October 20, 2024
Breakfast at hotel.  Our program concludes with breakfast.  People make their own way to the airport or other destinations in Greece/Europe.

Inclusive Features:

8-nights accommodations in centrally located 5-star hotels, ferry tickets with porterage, local transportation via deluxe motorcoach, a full-time local tour manager and guide, entrances and guided visits per the itinerary, and gratuities for motorcoach drivers, local experts and guides, and your tour manager. 

In addition to local sightseeing as per the itinerary, the following meals are included:

Continental buffet breakfast is included in the program, and served daily at hotels.
Dinner at a local restaurant in Heraklion – October 12
2 dinners at the hotel in Heraklion – October 13, 15
Dinner at a local restaurant in Heraklion - October 14
One lunch at a local restaurant in Matala – October 14
Winery tour and wine tasting with snacks – October 15
Dinner at the hotel in Athens – October 16, October 18
Dinner at a local restaurant in Plaka, Athens – October 17, October 19
One lunch at a local restaurant in Aegina – October 18
Beverages are included in the 8 dinners: wine, mineral water, coffee

Hotels: (Please note these are subject to change)

Crete - Aquila Atlantis Hotel

Athens - Divani Palace Acropolis

Land Only Program Prices:

Excludes all airfare and airport transfers
$4670 per person based on double occupancy

+$1235 supplement for single occupancy

Please note: If you have selected double occupancy but no roommate is available due to uneven numbers or if your roommate should cancel you will be in a single room and responsible for the single room supplement.

All prices listed are discounted for payment by check. When paying with a credit card, you will be charged the standard base price, which is 5% higher.

All program prices are based on availability of services at the time registration material is received; currency exchange rates in effect February 8, 2024—and on 2024 land tariffs—and are subject to change. All services are provided subject to Illume’s Conditions and Clauses.

The program prices will be reviewed before the invoices for the final payment are mailed, and will reflect the current prices.

Program Registration:

Step 1: Complete the Event Registration Form before April 15, 2024


Step 2: Submit your $1500 deposit check per person to illume not later than April 15, 2024

Checks should be made payable to illume and mailed to 236 Lewis Wharf, Boston MA 02110. Please include the program number 24.10661 on the memo line.

You will receive a Welcome E-mail from illume after your check is received. You will also receive a link to add optional Travel Insurance/Protection to your program at that time.

Second nonrefundable deposit of $1500 due not later than: May 15, 2024

Balance of payment due not later than: July 14, 2024

Note: Any changes to the program will be outlined in the final documents which you will receive one month prior to departure. If changes are made that affect the program price, you will receive an invoice or a credit accordingly.


Program No. 24.10661


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