Paul’s Journey in Greece & Turkey (with cruise)
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TOUR
- Roundtrip Airfare from New York
- First Class Hotels
- Breakfast and Dinner Daily
- Deluxe Air-conditioned Motorcoaches
- Visits to the Sites of Apostle Paul
- Cruise three days in the Greek Isles
- See the Well-Preserved Site of Ephessus
- See sites of the Seven Churches of Revelations
- Explore Enchanting Istanbul and Much More
DAY 1 —USA • ATHENS
Depart from the USA on our flight to Athens, Greece. Meals and overnight on board. After dinner relax and enjoy the on-board entertainment.
DAY 2 — ATHENS
Arrive in Athens where we are met by our guide and transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight
DAY 3 — ATHENS CITY TOUR
Today’s tour will touch the highlights of this center of one of the world’s greatest civilizations and the cradle of Western civilization. First visit the Acropolis and wander through the ruins of some of the most architecturally perfect buildings ever constructed. We’ll see the Propylaea, the Temple of the Wingless Victory, the Erechtheum with its peerless Porch of Maidens and Mars Hill where Paul was brought before the council. Finally, we reach the ‘harmony between matter and spirit’, the monument that ‘puts order in the mind’, the Parthenon. On a drive through the city we’ll see the National Library, the University, the Academy, the Presidential Palace, the Stadium, Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. The afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
DAY 4 — CORINTH • ATHENS
Today we tour to Corinth driving through Daphni and Eleusis. After crossing the Corinthian Canal which connects the Aegean and Ionian Seas, we will arrive in ancient Corinth. We visit the ruins of Corinth where St. Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla. Included are the First Century shops, the Agora, Temple of Apollo and the Bema Seat. Still gurgling under the ruins is the water of the springs of the mighty Acropolis above, which once fed the Fountain of Pirene. Continue your drive up to Acrocorinth, in Paul’s time site of the great Temple of Aphrodite. Return to Athens where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 5— KAVALA • PHILIPPI • THESSALONIKI
This morning we transfer to the airport for our domestic flight to Kavala on the site of ancient Neapolis where Paul landed on the way to Philippi. Continue on a short drive to Ancient Philippi where we find two early Christian basilicas, traces of the Egnatian Way which Paul followed from the harbor of Neapolis (ancient port of Philippi) on his first visit on European soil. View the Roman Forum, the Citadel, the ancient theater, and the Ledia’s brook. Later, we drive to Thessaloniki where we begin with a brief tour of the Biblical Thessaloniki where Paul founded the Church in 49-50 A.D. Drive along the ancient route of Paul, through mountain passes and plains to Amphipolis for a short stop to view the ancient Lion Statue. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
DAY 6— THESSALONIKI • VERIA
This morning we take a tour of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city and capital of Macedonia, highlighting treasures of the ancient Byzantine and medieval eras. Included are the famous Byzantine St. Dimitri Church, Vlatadon Monastery, the University and Arch of Galerius. After the tour, we will drive through the plains of Thessaly, visit the legendary home of the Greek Gods, continue on to Veria where Paul remained for several days and the scriptures say the people were “more noble than in Thessaloniki.” Return to Thessaloniki where we will transfer to the airport for our domestic flight to Athens for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7— CATHENS • PIRAEUS • MYKONOS
This morning we embark on our cruise through the Aegean to Turkey. Our cruise ship offers a theater, a pool, a gymnasium and a sauna. White, bright and cheerful, we visit the sun-drenched island of Mykonos where picturesque windmills dot the landscape, which is blessed with beautiful and varied beaches, clusters of cubistic white washed houses, attractive narrow passageways and an endless line of boutiques and chapels. It is said that there are 365 chapels on the island, many built as the result of vows made by seamen while abroad. The most famed of all is the graceful Paraportiani, perhaps the most photographed chapel in the entire world.
DAY 8— RHODES
Arrive in Rhodes early this morning. Leaving the harbor, (optional) we will drive along the picturesque eastern coastline, scattered with white-washed villages, to Lindos, which is guarded by huge medieval walls constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 13th Century. Within, stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis there are breathtaking views of the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s Bay where the Apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. We will proceed up the Great Staircase leading from the Hellenistic portico to the Temple of Athena — among the most important temples of the Ancient Greek World. After having visited the Acropolis, return to Rhodes city. Enjoy a panoramic drive in the new part of the city, stop for a view of the walled old town from Mt. Smith and then see the ruins of ancient Rhodes town, the Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium. The return is directly to the port and the ship for lunch. Overnight on board our cruise ship..
DAY 9— PATMOS • EPHESUS • KUSADASI • PAMUKKALE
This morning we take a shore excursion to Patmos (optional). Take a short journey to the village of Choara, where the Monastery of St. John is located, which was built 900 years ago and is rich in chapels and treasures. Outstanding are the frescoes in the church and the treasures of the museum. Afterwards visit the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse, and see the silver niches in the wall that mark the pillow and the ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of Revelation. Look at the three-fold crack made by the Voice of God to emphasize the honor of the Trinity. This afternoon, we arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey, where our cruise will come to an end. After disembarkation, we will drive through the colorful town of Kusadasi and proceed to the Magnesian Gate, entrance to the ancient city of Ephesus. Your guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. After seeing the Odeon (concert hall), the Fountain of Trojan, the steam- heated Baths of Scolastika, the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians, you will reach the Library of Celsus, adorned with its columns and statues, considered one of the most magnificent ruins in the world. The Great Theater, where St. Paul preached, is the largest theater in antiquity, with a capacity of 24,000 people. At the end of the tour, your motorcoach will be waiting to take you to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight in our hotel.
DAY 10 — PAMUKKALE • PHILADELPHIA • SARDIS • IZMIR
This morning we take a brief tour of Pamukkale, where we visit the Roman spa of Hierapolis. We drive to Laodicea (Rev. 14) to see the remains of one of the Seven Churches. Laodicea church was a branch of Ephesus, as were the churches of Hierapolis and Colossea. Proceed to the Necropolis, the Temple of Apollo and the Theater and Roman baths. Then we depart Pamukkale and head for Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, founded by Attalus II, and Sardis, the capital of ancient kingdom of Lydia, with its gymnasium and marble paved synagogue, where King Croesus ruled. Philadelphia and Sardis are two of the Seven Churches of Revelation. We end the day in Izmir (ancient Smyrna) site of one of the Seven Churches.
DAY 11— IZMIR • PERGAMUM • CANAKKALE
Begin the day with a drive to and a tour of Pergamum, another one of the Seven Churches and capital of a large and powerful pre-Roman kingdom. It is here that the first Christian was put to death by the Roman state. Visit the Church of Pergamum, the Homonym Church and the Acropolis with its pagan temples including the Altar of Zeus, which is mentioned as the “Throne of Satan” in the Book of Revelation. We will also visit the health center of Asclepion, the Agora and theater. Later drive to Akhisar, Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches. The church of Thyatira had tolerated the works of Jezebel. Continue on to Canakkale. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
DAY 12— CANAKKALE • TROY • ISTANBUL
Today we visit the ancient city of Troy only rediscovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1873, with its 4000 year old history recalling the epic struggle of the Iliad. Later this morning we cross the Dardanelles by ferry boat and drive through the battle grounds of Gallipoli. Continue to Istanbul. Once called Byzantium in the 7th Century B.C., the city was renamed Constantinople in 326 A.D. by Constantine the Great when he moved the capital of the Roman Empire here. Istanbul received its current name from Mehmet the Conqueror, who captured the city and ended the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 13— ISTANBUL
This morning we visit the Blue Mosque which was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603. Exceptional in many ways, the Blue Mosque also sits opposite the site of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Continue with a visit to the Topkapi Palace Museum. Once home to the Ottoman Sultans, the Topkapi Palace was strategically located overlooking the Bosporus. Visit the Treasury containing jewel encrusted thrones, the world’s largest emerald, and the famous Topkapi Dagger. From here we will see the Hagia Sophia Church, which was built by the Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire. The Hagia Sophia was completed in 537 A.D. and ruled as the greatest Christian Church in the world for more than 1000 years until it was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans, who used it as a model for the construction of all their later mosques. We will take the time to explore the wide-ranging history of this amazing building, now a museum. Afternoon is at leisure to enjoy shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 14— ISTANBUL • USA
Today we transfer to the airport. Our guide will assist us with check-in procedures. Depart on our flight home. We arrive home today with wonderful memories of a magnificent journey!
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