SAT, SEP 19 KUSADASI (Ephesus) • PATMOS
This morning we arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey. Kusadasi is a colorful harbor town and the starting point for an optional excursion to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, site of one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Excavation still continues in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC and was subdued by both Croesus and Alexander the Great. Walk through history along streets lined with magnificent public buildings, among them the Baths of Skolasticia, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the theatre. Ephesus also played an important part in the life of the Apostle Paul, who wrote an epistle to its inhabitants. This afternoon we spend our time cruising the beautiful, blue Aegean arriving after lunch in Patmos. Patmos is the beautiful, rocky island where the exiled St. John the Divine received the mystical Revelation which forms the last book of the New Testament. Optional excursion to the Grotto of the Revelation and then on to the 11th Century Monastery of St. John, which houses an original manuscript of the Gospel. Enjoy the panoramic view from this superb, fortress-like complex, high on a hill.
SUN, SEP 20 CRETE • SANTORINI
This morning we wake up at Heraklion, Crete, the home of the great Minoan Civilization .Visit the Knossos excavations dating back to 4000 B.C. and the Palace. Return to our cruise ship to sail to Santorini, for a visit on this interesting island. OPTIONAL: Enjoy a short trip by local boat to Athenios harbor where we board our motor coach to visit Oia Village, built on the Caldera rim which is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture .A unique sight is the various layers of lava that can be seen on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the volcano activity. Proceed through the beautiful countryside to Fira, an attractive town perched on the Caldera rim where the land slopes gently in one direction and falls steeply in to the sea in the other. Enjoy the town at leisure or perhaps relax over a coffee as you gaze down upon Kamenes, the two black volcanic islets in the Caldera Bay. Afterwards, return to the small pier of Scala by cable car or mule, where the vessel’s tenders will take you back to the ship. Overnight on board our cruise ship.