Religious tourism is not a new idea, something thought up recently. It is the oldest, the most important form of “tourism” in the history of Mankind.
Every society has produced members whose quest was to commune with the divine. Religious travel has its roots in the pilgrimages of a bygone age. Since antiquity the desire to embark on a journey for religious purposes has inspired Greeks and non-Greeks to make their way to religious sites throughout Greece.
In Greece, religious tourism stems from pilgrimage-related activities, well-rooted in past ages. Since deep antiquity, pilgrimage has been a strong incentive for travelling and people journeyed all over Greece to visit religious sites. Moreover, the cultural aspect of religion is closely related to tourism, making it a special kind of tourist activity based on different cultural backgrounds and traditions.
Greeks have always expressed their religiousness, their deep faith and devotion to God for two thousand years, keeping to Orthodox principles.
Foreign and Greek visitors alike stand in astonishment before the thousands of Byzantine churches, the innumerable chapels, the monasteries and their dependencies, the convents, the holy pilgrimage sites and the countless other awe-inspiring religious places.
Our 67 years presence in the tourism market and religious tourism, the impeccable organization, the accumulated experience and the state-of-the-art technological infrastructure of our offices, enable our highly-qualified staff to continuously provide high quality services, combined with the best available rates.
Orthodox practice has been associated in many areas with sites and monuments of worship of various religions, and this stresses out the unique historical and cultural value of Greece.
Whether on a trip for religious purposes or just for sight-seeing, visitors can’t help admiring the wonderful landscapes on the islands or the mainland, in places of worship such as monasteries and churches. Thousands of tourists each year visit the Byzantine and post Byzantine works of art, the mosaics, murals and icons as well as other religious sites, and this shows their interest in traditions and the abiding connection between Art and Religion.
Among the most important religious sites in the country are the Autonomous Monastic State of Mount Athos (aka “the Holy Mountain”); the impressive monasteries of Meteora; Patmos, the island of the Apocalypse of John the Apostle; the areas where Paul the Apostle travelled to; the monastic centre on Papikion mountain in Thrace (Rodopi); the sacred places dedicated to the Virgin Mary such as the Churches of Panagia (Virgin Mary) on Tinos island, of Panagia Soumela, of Panagia Ekatontapyliani etc.
One feels that the splendid Greek nature enjoys God’s blessing. Every mountain and island, every rock and cobblestone pavement can be a path towards spiritual exaltation. The journey to experience this face of Greece shows the devoutness of the Greeks over the centuries; it is a trip through time.
If you are an academic, a student, a researcher or a member of faculty, and you wish to experience five millennia of world-defining Greek history and religious heritage, why not take one of our accredited thematic Short Courses offered in collaboration with Greece’s oldest, biggest and highest internationally ranked university, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens?
All our Short Courses are also available as featured thematic vacations for culturally and religiously desirous travelers in search of an extraordinary Greek adventure, however at a more leisurely pace but with the same academic instructors and exclusive access to all venues and sites.
For more information, visit our dedicated website at www.tracesofgreece.gr