Are you interested in exploring the birthplace of democracy and lingering in the Land of the Gods? If so, the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce is preparing an informative community meeting for its upcoming trip to Greece.

The Lodi branch is part of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, an international organization that encourages travel between countries. The Lodi Chamber has traveled with members of the community to Ireland, China and Italy in recent years.

“It's a safe way for single travelers to travel and a great way for even couples to travel,” said Karen Alvarez, Lodi Chamber’s director of operations. “You get to know people right from your own neighborhood. We all commute over, and we spend 10 days together. It’s like a field trip with a bunch of people in your city.

Members of the community who join this year’s trip will experience a nine-day, seven-night journey to the archeological ruins of Greece. Travelers can witness the magnificent Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, as well as the iconic limestone columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Located near the temple is Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier. According to Alvarez, travelers will also visit the Parthenon — a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena.

“We will be visiting lots of ancient cites including mountainside villages of the Peloponnese Peninsula (Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Nafplion) and the Corinth Canal,” she said.

Travelers also have the option to extend their trip with an excursion to the popular cliffside island of Santorini, which is known for its recognizable white buildings with blue rooftops.

Tickets are currently being advertised at an early-bird base price of $2,899, which includes the cost of airfare.

“People that purchase their tickets before March 23 get a free ticket to tour Delphi. The excursion costs $153 for people that book after March,” Alvarez said.

Delphi, known as the heart of classical Grecian history, is home to several ancient ruins including the Temple of Apollo and the hillside amphitheater built in the fourth century B.C.

“A lot of the people that travel with the Chamber are repeat travelers of a variety of ages. They like to travel with us because we have an itinerary that allows people to see everything at a low cost,” she said.

The chamber books each of their trips with Aventura World, a company that is known for going the extra mile and creating itineraries that ensure travelers get to experience first-class travel at an affordable price, according to Alvarez.

“They plan everything for you. You really hit the ground running, and you get to visit so many places and learn a lot of different cultures and religions and governments,” she said.

Alvarez believes that travel is important for personal development and awareness, and is delighted that the Lodi Chamber provides safe travel options to the community.

“You learn so much about the world from traveling. It teaches you about different languages, cultures and people. It also helps you develop a respect for your own country,” Alvarez said.

The Chamber will host an informational meeting for people interested in traveling to Greece on Jan. 23 at 5:30 in the Lodi Chamber of Commerce conference room, 35 S. School St.

Alvarez will discuss trip dates, pricing details, and provide individuals with a full itinerary that explains the day-to-day activities and excursions.

For more information, call Alvarez at 209-367-7840, ext. 103, or email kalvarez@lodichamber.com.

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