BIBLICAL TOUR 1   11d/ 9 nights

Day 1 – FLIGHT FROM HOME

 

Day 2  ARRIVAL - THESSALONIKI 

Welcome to Greece! Thessaloniki where the New Testament books of I & II Thessalonians will come alive to us today. Visit the old city ramparts; the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church, an ancient Roman monument which was transformed into a church; and the Galerios Arch which rises over the famous Via Egnatia, the road on which Paul walked to Thessaloniki.  It was here in the synagogue that Paul "...reasoned with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki

 

Day 3 – BEREA - PHILIPPI – KAVALA 

Following breakfast we’ll travel to Berea where Paul established a small church.  View the reconstructed steps of the bema (or rostrum) and see the newly placed mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the "more noble" church (Acts 17:1-13).  Visit the Jewish Quarter.

Continue to Philippi, where St. Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity (Acts 16:12-18).  Here St. Paul baptized a certain woman named Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe.  Visit the Roman forum, and the prison where St. Paul and Silas were thrown. Continue into the modern port city of Kavala, ancient Neapolis, where St. Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot in Europe. This ancient city was later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. 

 

Day 4 – BORDER CROSSING-ISTANBUL

A scenic drive will bring us from Kavala-Greece to Istanbul- Turkey. We start our exploration with a scenic Bosporus cruise. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

 

Day 5 – ISTANBUL DAY TOUR

Following breakfast, we begin our tour with an orientation drive through the business centre of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. On the way, see the Süleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. You will continue around the mighty city walls, which once protected Constantinople from the many invasions and attacks it incurred over the centuries. In the Old City, your first visit will be to the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was once one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, where large groups of pilgrims commenced their pilgrimage to Mecca. It is decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles naming it the "Blue Mosque". Walk to the world famous monument of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom, where you can marvel at the superb mosaics and the marble decorations. Our next and last stop will be the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi, or Covered Market) is Turkey's largest covered market offering excellent shopping: beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things. Most guidebooks claim that it has 4000 shops. Because of consolidation and replacement of shops by restaurants and other services the number is certainly lower, but you get the idea: it has lots of shops. Not all of them, by the way, are for tourists; locals shop here as well, lending a welcome dose of authenticity.

 

Day 6 IZMIR – PERGAMUM -

Drive to airport for flight to Izmir. Continue to beautiful Pergamon which rises high on a hill as one nears the city of Bergama. Being one of the richest and most powerful of kingdoms of the ancient world, one look will tell you it still retains its past grandeur even in its shattered yet dignified present state. Highlights will include the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Trojan and the Theater. Coming down the mountain we will stop by Asclepion, a leading health center of the ancient world where methods of treatment included music therapy and barefoot walkingTouring Smyrna, Izmir, ancient city of Smyrna The city was established 3000 BC and was one of the Seven Churches which John referred to as the poor, persecuted church that God announced was rich due to their faithfulness amidst their suffering (Revelation 2:8-11). Visit to church of Smyrna, the ruins of the Roman agora—the market place—take the visitor back to apostolic days. The citadel, known as the Kadifekale, built by Alexander the Great on Mount Pagos (elevation 525 ft.), will be viewed overlooking the city. Back ti Izmir  for dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 7. Thyatira,Sardes,Philadelphia,PAMUKKALE

Today we visit THREE more of the 7 churches, Thyatira, Sardes and Philadelphia.We end our day at Pamukkale.

 

Day 8 LAODICEA/ EPHESUS - KUSADASI 

Our tour will begin with Laodicea,one more of the 7 churches ;drive to Ephessos,start  with the Basilica of St. John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis, considered as on the Seven Wonders of the World, was located here. Ephesus as you will see, is in very good state of preservation and the overall existing view of this ancient city will make it evident that she was a wealthy cultural and commercial center in the past. St. Paul’s preachings in the area resulted with the uproar of the Guild of Silversmiths and eventually the whole population of Ephesus. Highlights include the Library of Celcius, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan, the Brothel and the Theater. We will also stop by the House of Virgin Mary closeby, where she is reputed to have spent her last years and died. You will be able to collect some holly water from the Sacred Spring. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.

 

Day 09 PATMOS – FERRY TO PIRAEUS

Today we sail by charter boat to the former Roman prison island of Patmos where John received his "Revelation," visiting the Grotto named for his book and the Monastery of St. John which houses ancient manuscripts including an early one of the Gospel.  This afternoon we have some free time in Skala (the capital of the island of Patmos), where you may explore on your own and shop for items such as ceramics, small sculptures and hand-woven fabrics with traditional designs.  This evening we board a ferry for our overnight journey to Athens

 

Day 10 ATHENS / CORINTH

We disembark the ferry and drive to Corinth following closely the same route Paul took during his journey. After a short stop at the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean and Ionian Seas, we will arrive in Ancient Corinth. We will 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. Return to Athens. See Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the University, the Academie and the National Library. Driving down Herodes Atticus treet and the Avzones in their picturesque uniforms and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era ere held in 1896), the Temple of Olympia Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. On the Acropolis mount, you will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylee, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon – the monument that “puts order in the mind” and “is harmony between material and spirit” Beneath the Acropolis is the Areopagus or Mars Hill. This is where St. Paul made his famous “Men of Athens” speech revealing a considerable knowledge of the Greek philosophy and character. Dinner and overnight in Athens.

 

Day 11 DEPART

 

 

We include

First class hotels HB (B,D)

Touring as per itinerary

Flight Istanbul to Izmir

Ferry Kusadasi to Patmos

Overnight ferry Patmos to Pireaus in two berth cabins with all facilities(like cruiseship!)

 

Net rates per person in dbl