These unique Christian Tour packages combine the footsteps of St. Paul with cruising in Greece and Turkey. Participants have the opportunity to thoroughly explore a vast part of continental Greece, as well as get a glimpse of some characteristic Greek islands while on our 3-day cruise.
Day 1 Thursday Istanbul : Arrival in Istanbul, the city that bridges two continents, "Europe" and "Asia". You will be met at the airport, assistance and transfer to the hotel. There you will have a briefing and welcome cocktail. Overnight in Istanbul.(D)
Day 2 Friday Istanbul : Morning visit to the Museum of St. Sophia (the Church of Divine Wisdom, built by Justinian) a fantastic church. In the words of the historians of 6th century "Had not been since Adam and never would be again". Then visit to the Hippodrome, where chariot races and athletic events took place during the Roman period. Continue to the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. Lunch at Daruzziyafe, a formal medieval Islamic college or medrese. Then an afternoon visit to the Kariye Museum, the old church of St. Savior in Chora treasuring the marvelous mosaics and frescoes that represent scenes drawn from, the cycle of the life of the Virgin and of Christ that have been restored under the guidance of the Byzantine Institute of Boston. Grand Covered Bazaar Overnigh Stay in Istanbul (B, L D)
Day 3 Saturday Pergamon - Thyatira : Early in the morning, take flight to Izmir than proceed to Pergamon. Pergamon (Bergama), the place where, wrote St. John to the church of Pergamon, "Satans throne is sited. Visit the Church of Pergamon, the red-court, Acropolis, after lunch; we drive to, visit Thyatira, and were the fourth of the seven Churches of Asia Minor to receive an epistle from the Apostle John (Rev. 2:18-29). Overnight stay in Izmir Kusadasi. (B, L D)
Day 4 Sunday Smyrna Sardis - Philadelphia - Laodicea - Pamukkale (Hierapolis) : Departure to Sardis, to see the beautifully restored Synagogue/Church, which is one of unique of its kind. Next, continue to Philadelphia. Another of the Christian congregations, and a city built in 2 BC by King Eumenos. Continue to PAMUKKALE (Hierapolis). Visit Laodicea en-route. Watch the sunset over the petrified waterfalls. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B, L D)
Day 5 Monday Virgin Mary - Ephesus : After visiting Pamukkale, drive to Ephesus, home of St. Paul between 53 AD - 57 AD to visit the most impressive archaeological site of today. Before reaching Ephesus comes the most holy visit of the tour. Stop at the last home of the Virgin Mary that is visited by over a hundred thousand pilgrims each year. In 1967 Pope Paul VI and in 1979 Pope Paul II both celebrated mass here and also prayed in the double church in Ephesus. St. John brought the Virgin Mary to live here in peace in her final years. Continue to St. Johns basilica and his tomb. In the afternoon visit Ephesus, the city dedicated to Artemis, the best-preserved archaeological site in Asia Minor. Visit the Odeon, the marble street, where St. Paul walked and held daily discussions (act. 19:9), the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian and the theater Where St. Paul preached. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B, L D)
Day 6 Tuesday Kusadasi - Patmos (cruise) : Morning at leisure for shopping in Kusadasi. Around noon transfer to the Kusadasi port to embark on the cruise ship. Cruise to Patmos, the tiny, rocky island where the exiled St. John the Divine received the Revelation which forms the last book of the New Testament. Optional tour of the 11th century monastery of St. John is available. Tonight you will sail to Rhodes. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Wednesday Rhodes : Morning arrival at Rhodes, the island of Roses and site of the ancient Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Here you can take an optional tour to Lindos with its bay of St. Paul, where St. Paul landed, and its acropolis, dedicated to the goddess Athena; stroll though the medieval city with the streets of Knights and the stone mansions or enjoy swim on one of the beautiful beaches of the island. Late afternoon sail to Crete. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Thursday Heraklion (Crete) - Santorini : Morning arrival at Heraklion, the capital of Crete. A few miles away is the Palace of Knossos, discovered by Sir Arthur Evans in 1899, center of the famed Minoan civilization and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Noon sail to Santorini the most spectacular of the Greek Islands. The town of Thira is perched on a cliff created by volcanic eruption. Optional visit to the Akrotiri excavation where recent Minoan discoveries support the theories that Santorini might be the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis. At night, sail to Piraeus. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Friday, Athens Arrival - Ancient Corinth Tour : Disembarkation after breakfast at Piraeus port and transfer to the bus terminal in Athens to board the bus for Ancient Corinth tour.
Starting from Athens, we drive westwards along the scenic coast, until we reach the Corinth Canal with its breathtaking views (shortstop). Shortly thereafter, we reach the ancient town of Corinth (visit) where St. Paul lived and preached for two years. Back in the ancient times Corinth was amongst the richest cities and this is quite evident by its remains, including the huge agora (market place) and Apollos Temple (6th C B.C.), brief stop at the site of the ancient port of Cenchreae where the Apostle Paul disembarked. Return to Athens in time for lunch. Check-in at hotel. Afternoon at leisure.Overnight at hotel.
Day 10 - Saturday: Full day Argolis Tour (with lunch) : At 7:45a.m. Pick up from hotel and drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to MYCENAE; visit the remains of the ancient city, including the lionesses gate, the tomb of Agamemnon and the Palace. Then through ARGOS on to NAFPLION. After lunch visit EPIDAURUS and its theatre, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Return to Athens in late afternoon. Overnight at hotel. (B, L)
Day 11 - Sunday: Athens - Delphi : At 7:30a.m. Pick up from hotel and drive to DELPHI. Pass by LEVADIA and ARACHOVA. These are the two towns famous for their colorful carpets.
Then continue on to Delphi. Upon arrival, visit the archaeological site and the museum. The rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in DELPHI. (B, D)
Day 12 - Monday: Delphi - Kalambaka : Morning at leisure. Drive by the Central Greece towns of AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA to arrive in KALAMBAKA. Check-in at hotel in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Day 13 - Tuesday: Meteora - Athens : In the morning, we enjoy a spectacular drive up to visit Meteora. Colossal symmetrical gray and reddish boulders, as though pushed upwards from the bowels of mother earth by an invisible hand, sustain breathtaking beautiful monasteries perched precariously high above the ground. Monks seeking isolation and salvation, accessible only by ropes thrown from above, first built them in the 14th century. We will climb through steps built since. They are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. The Byzantine monasteries and then start the drive back to ATHENS, passing through THERMOPYLAE (visit) and KAMMENA VOURLA. Check-in in the afternoon. Overnight. (B)
Day 14 - Wednesday: Half day Athens tour : At 8 a.m., enjoy a tour of Athens, combining many of the cities principal modern and classical sights. This tour includes an overview of the modern city and striking contrasts to the remains of its glorious past. Drive by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Panathenian Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896). See the Presidential Palace (ex Royal Palace), government buildings and elegant homes. Drive along Panepistimiou Avenue and see the Catholic Cathedral, the Academy, University, National Library and Omonia Square. In contrast, we visit the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus and the crowning beauty and glory that were Athens, the Acropolis with its many monuments atop its rocky base, including the awesome Parthenon, the Propylae, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechteion with its Porch of Maidens. We also visit the Acropolis Museum. Return to hotel at noon. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight. (B)
Day 15 - Thursday: Athens Departure : Transfer to Athens International Airport for departure flight back home. (B)
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
Arrival, departure airport transfers ground transportation domestic flights as mentioned
Accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels double occupancy ,Single supplement is surcharge
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Entrance fee to the various sites.
Transportation in non-smoking mini/midi bus.
Professional English speaking guide and experienced driver.
TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDES :
Drinks and Bevarages
Tips to guide and
personal expenses and optional tours.