Turkey and Greece plus an Aegean Sea Cruise:
Following the footsteps of Apostle Paul
Day 1, Departure from the US to Istanbul.
Dinner, breakfast and in-flight entertainment on board.
Day 2, Arrival to Istanbul,
we are met, assisted and escorted to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 3, Istanbul
,also known as Byzantium and Constantinople, the city reflects two cultures: at one time, it was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and a site of Christianity. Seven Ecumenical councils were held in Turkey between the 3rd - 8th centuries, three of them in Istanbul. At another time it was the stronghold of the Ottoman Empire, embracing Islamic ideals. Our day of sightseeing will include visits to the famed TopkapiPalace, the Blue Mosque (so-named from its decorative blue-shaded tiles, glass and gemstones), the Church of St. Savior in Chora, Aqueducts of Valens and the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4, Istanbul - Canakkale
After breakfast we will depart toward Canakkale. Enjoy the panoramic scenery and the explanations of your guide. Check in to our Canakkale hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5, Troy - Pergamum - Izmir:
Today we visit the ancient Troy, the famous old city of nine levels. The city is famed for the "Iliada" of Homer and the war of Troy with its famous Trojan horse. We continue to Pergamon considered the most favorable of the Seven Churches (Rev 2:12-17). We visit the Acropolis, the Temple of Atheana, the library and the great theatre. Continue to Izmir. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 6, Izmir / Sardis / Philadelphia / Laodicea / Pamukkale.
Today we start our day visiting Izmir (also known as Smyrna - another one of the Seven Churches). Continue our pilgrimage visiting two more of the Seven Churches, Sardis with its immense synagogue and the temple of Artemis (Rev 3:1-6) and Philadelphia a pagan center (Rev 3:7-13). We end the day for dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 7, Pamukkale / Ephesus / Kusadasi.
We leave Pamukkale and continue to Ephesus, the city which had a population of 250,000 during the first and second centuries AD (Acts 19:1-41). Apostle Paul visited here between 55-58 AD. His ministry included preaching, conversion and baptism. We visit the Adriano Temple, the Roman baths, the library, the Odeon and the theater. Mary was entrusted to Apostle John's care after the crucifixion of Christ and moved with John to Ephesus. We will visit her house. We continue to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Cruise
Today, we board our cruise ship for our two day cruise of the Greek islands. Our first port of call is Patmos. Here Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation (Rev 1:9-11). We will visit St. John Monastery and the cave where he lived. Dinner and overnight on board our cruise ship.
Day 9, Crete - Santorini.
Our next port of call will be Crete where Apostle Paul appointed Titus as his helper and advised him to establish congregations in "every town" (Titus 1:5). Return to the ship. Santorini is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It has stunning scenery from its top. Your visit here is done individually within the time allocated for it. Dinner on board.
Day 10, Piraeus / Corinth / Athens
Arrival to Piraeus. Upon arrival to Piraeus port, we drive to Corinth and visit this Biblical place. Apostle Paul lived here for eighteen months. He found a city of poor moral values and rejection but Corinth eventually accepted Christianity (Acts 18:1-17). We visit the Bema from which he preached to the Corinthians the Word of God. We also visit the Archeological Museum, the market, and the Temples. Continue to Athens - the cradle of civilization. We will visit the Acropolis, the Agora and the Pnyx where democracy was born. We will see the Parliament, the Tomb of the unknown soldier and the Presidential Palace. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 11 Return to the USA.
Transfer to the airport for our flight home. Arrival on the same day in the afternoon. Welcome home! You have just returned from a dream vacation and pilgrimage.
THIS PROGRAM MAY BE ALTERED TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR GROUP.
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