Philippi & Kavala
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: kav-001
Relive the glory of Philippi through its incredible archaeological ruins, which reveal the importance and wealth of this ancient Macedonian city.
Your tour commences at the pier with a 45-minute drive inland to Philippi, one of the region's most important archaeological sites. Originally colonized in 360 B.C. by the people of Thasos and called Krinides, it was later renamed Phillippi by Philip II, the king of Macedonia, after he came to the city's aid when threatened by the Thracians. Realizing its potential, Phillip II fortified the city and it soon thrived because of its strategic position and abundant gold mines nearby. The ruins that you will see in Philippi reflect that immense wealth, and the city's former prosperity is further described in the Latin inscriptions still adorning the walls of many of the buildings. Philippi also has great religious importance as the apostle Paul visited on several occasions around 50 A.D. and founded the first Christian church on European soil here during this time.
The first excavations of Philippi began in 1914 and, over the years, a remarkable collection of artifacts and buildings have been unearthed and restored. During your visit you may see the Roman forum, commercial agora, Basilica of Paul, tombstones, mosaic pavements, and an intriguing baptismal area. The glory of Philippi is proudly on display and easy to reach within the rather compact excavated area.
En route back to the pier, you will also enjoy a scenic drive of Kavala. When Philippi was at the height of its power, Kavala also flourished because it was the area's main seaport. Today, it is the second largest city in northern Greece and the principal seaport of Eastern Macedonia. The ancient fortifications here were built by the Byzantines and reinforced by the Ottomans. Some of the noteworthy sites in Kavala are the ancient aqueduct and the castle.
Please note: This tour includes considerable walking in Phillippi, some of it over uneven surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.