Tour of Greece and Turkey explores the Footsteps of St. Paul and Seven Churches of Revelation for 13 days with pilgrimage chaplain.
Places to visit include Athens, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Larisa, Veria, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Philippi – Greece, Canakkale, Pergamon, Thyatira, Izmir, Ephesus, Sardis, Laodicea, Philadelphia, Pamukkale, Konya, Cappadocia, Kayseri and Istanbul.
- MAY 17 – 30, 2019
- OCTOBER 17 – 30, 2019
Meet in the Arrival’s hall at Athens airport and transfer to the city. Meet the guide and proceed on tour of the Greek capital. See Syntagma Square, (Constitution Square), the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the Evzones in their traditional costume. See the Athens Academy, the University and the National Library. Stop at the Pan Athenaic Olympic stadium, where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896. See the Temple of the Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. Drive to and visit the world famous site of the Acropolis to see the Propylaea, the Ereichteion and the Parthenon Temple. Down from the Acropolis is Areapagos from where St. Paul preached the gospel to the Athenians. Completing, wander into Plaka, the old quarter. Time at leisure to explore until dinner at a local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel. Depart on tour. Drive west, along the coastal highway, the Apollo coast, to Corinth. Stop to see the Corinth canal, which connects the Aegean and the Ionian seas before heading onto Ancient Corinth. Visit the site. See the Bema, the Temple of Apollo, remains of the Agora and Pyrene fountain. Continue to and see Cerchraes from where St. Paul departed on his journey. Depart for Mycenae. Arrive and stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, visit the archaeological site. See the Lion Gate, the Cyclopean Wall and the Tomb of Agammemnon. Drive to Epidaurus to visit the museum and amphitheater. Depart and drive back to Athens. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel. Depart Athens in the morning and take the highway north via Larisa into central Greece. Turn off to visit the mountain town of Veria to see the place from where St. Paul preached the gospel. Lunch on own. Depart for Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki. En route, see Mt. Olympus, the home of the ancient 12 Greek Gods. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel. Proceed on tour of the city and see the Rotunda, the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius, the Via Egnatia and visit the Church of St. Demetrius. See also the Monastery of Vlatadon. In the afternoon depart Thessaloniki and drive along the coast to Kavala, Biblical Neapolis. Take a short tour of the city to see the Roman aqueduct and St. Paul’s port before check in at the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to and visit Philippi. See the remains of the 2 Basilicas, the Via Egnatia and St. Paul’s prison. Visit also Lydia’s baptismal site. Depart and continue, along the coast, passing the towns of Xanthi and Komotini to Alexandroupolis, the last Greek town. After lunch, continue onto the border and cross to Ipsala. Cross into Turkey (Ipsala). We will meet at Ipsala, after the customs check point and check in the hotel. If time allows, we will visit Troy. Referred to in Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey", Troy has in fact nine cities superimposed one upon another. Troy VI pertains to the famous Trojan War of Homer where the legendary heroes included Agamemnon, Achilles, Ulysses, and Nestor on the Greek side and Priam, Hector, and Paris on the Trojan side. We will check-in to our hotel in Canakkale for dinner and overnight.
Travel to the Hellenistic city of Pergamon with its spectacular Acropolis situated 1000 feet above the town. Tour the site and visit the grand theater with seating for nearly 10,000 people, a library restored to its former glory and the medical center (Asklepion). Continue to Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation and one of the first Christian settlements in Minor Asia. Dinner and overnight in Izmir, site of one of the Seven Churches.
Today, travel to Ephesus, one of the 7 Churches of Revelation and where St. Paul lived for some years. Enter through the Magnesian Gate and discover numerous monuments such as the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the thermal baths of Scolastica and the Great Theater of Antiquity. Also visit the house of Mary, where she was brought after the death of Christ. Overnight in Izmir.
This morning, visit Sardis, the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom and home of the famous King Croesus. See the marble court with its beautiful marble colonnade, built for the Roman emperors. Continue to Laodicea, site of one of the Seven Churches of Revelation and then to Philadelphia, referred to as the New Jerusalem, to see the Church of St. John. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Today, visit Pamukkale with its unique white terraces and warm calcium pools. En route, visit the ruins of Hierapolis with its magnificently preserved Necropolis, thermal baths and theater. Continue to Konya, the home of Rumi, the Sufic mystic who founded the Whirling Dervish. Konya was one of the most important trading centers on the Silk Road and the place from which St. Barnabas and St. Paul were forced to flee due to persecution. Overnight.
Following an early breakfast we will drive through an interesting landscape where peasants make their living, to have lunch enroute before arriving in Konya. Konya was the center of the Selcuk Empire as well as the city of Mevlana and his Whirling Dervishes. After visiting the Mevlana Museum, check-in the hotel.
Today we visit the incredible Underground City of Kaymakli where early Christians lived secretly in order to survive and keep their faith. Picture stops will be given at the Valley of the Birds and at the foot of the Uchisar Castle. Afterwards Then proceed to the Goreme Valley to visit the rock carved churches hollowed out of volcanic ash. Lunch enroute then followed by the famous local pottery and carpet shows allowing ample time for shopping in the afternoon. Also time will be allocated for the local souvenir shopping before going to Kayseri Airport. Transfer to Kayseri Airport to catch a flight to Istanbul. Transfer to Istanbul Hotel.
Departure from the hotel and we will proceed to "Old City" for full day tour including the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue tiles and unique with its six minarets built in the name of Sultan Ahmet I. Next we will have a look at the Hippodrome of Constantinople where horse and chariot races used to take place. Then visit the St. Sophia Museum which is one of the greatest religious and architectural marvels of all times. Finally the famous Topkapi Palace museum will be visited, which was built as the home of the Ottoman sultans the World Famous Imperial Chinese Porcelain sections will be visited. Last stop will be Grand Bazaar. Followin our return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Departure from the hotel for a visit to the Spice Bazaar where we will experience the smells of cinnamon, cloves and thyme rising from every store, the same smells that filled the air over 400 years ago. We then embark on a scenic tour of the Bosphorus, the natural waterway that divides Asia from Europe, viewing imperial palaces, castles, palatial homes, and the two magnificent suspension bridges. In the afternoon enjoy shopping at local shopping malls. Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Ariport. ARRIVAL