Journeys of Paul in Turkey and Greece

Paul and The Early Church in Asia Minor and Greece

 

Day 01 Depart from New York – Fly to Athens

Day 02 Arrive Athens Airport

Your tour guide will meet you after you pass through customs and claim your baggage. We will transfer you to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

Parthenon Temple, Athens, Greece
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Parthenon Temple, Athens, Greece

Day 03 ATHENS

Enjoy the architectural splendors of the ancient city of Athens as you follow your guide to the world renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erectheum. Climb Mars Hill where the apostle Paul stood and said, “ I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. What you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). See the Agora, the ancient market place and center of the Athenian public life, where the apostle Paul preached “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The afternoon is free to explore Athens on your own or enjoy an optional journey to Sounion to visit the famous Temple of Poseidon (additional $39). Overnight in Athens. (B,D)

Day 04 CORINTH and CENCHRAEAE – ATHENS

Visit Corinth, the city where Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla, a city where Paul spent twenty one months in ministry during the second and third missions (Acts 18:1–17 & 20:2–3). Here, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord, along with many of the Corinthians. Paul wrote two New Testament letters to this church. Visit the Archaeological Museum, the market buildings and temples. Walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood before Gallio facing charges brought by the Jews. Visit Cenchraea, the port from which Paul departed at the conclusion of the third mission (Acts 18:18). Overnight in Athens. (B,D)

Day 05 DELPHI – METEORA – KALAMBAKA

Travel to scenic Delphi, the most important prophetic oracle in the ancient world. Walk the Sacra Via to the Athenian Treasury, the Theatre, and the Temple of Apollo where the oracle performed its prophetic rituals. Visit the Museum where you will view many ancient treasures including the famed 5th century bronzed Charioteer. Drive to Kalambaka to visit the rock forest of Meteora in western Thessaly. This area became the center of numerous Byzantine monasteries perched precariously on the summits of soaring, sheer–sided rock pinnacles of varied shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in cliff–side caves, then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, which were later transformed into monasteries. Visit one of these monasteries. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka. (B,D)

Delphi, Greece
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Delphi, Greece

Day 06 KALAMBAKA – THESSALONICA – PHILIPPI – KAVALA

Drive to Thessalonica, the city where Paul established a church amidst great opposition and a church to which Paul later wrote two letters. The agora at this site is visible, having been excavated in the center of modern Greece’s second largest city. Next, you’ll drive to Philippi, where Paul met Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe (Acts 16:13–15). Visit the forum at Philippi, the theater, two Byzantine basilica churches and a cistern which may have served as the prison for the apostle Paul and Silas. Overnight in the Kavala area. (B,D)

Day 07 KAVALA (GREECE) – ISTANBUL

Drive to the Greece–Turkey border, where you’ll transfer to your Turkish bus and meet your Turkish guide. Continue to Istanbul where you’ll visit the St Chora Church famous for its Golden Mosaics, followed by a visit to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, one of the world’s great archaeological museums with numerous important Biblical artifacts. Take a leisurely Boat Tour along the Bosphorus seeing both European and Asian shores of Istanbul. Have dinner at a local restaurant at the historic Flower Passage. Overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

Day 08 ISTANBUL

You’ll visit Istanbul’s ancient hippodrome and the famous Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and sparkling interior. Walk through the Hagia Sophia, Constantine’s famous church that, for 1000 years, was the largest church in Christendom. Rebuilt by Justinian (532–537 AD), the church has 107 columns, fossil imbedded white marble floors and beautiful glass mosaics. Tour the basilica cisterns that supplied water to the growing capital of the Byzantine empire. Finally, explore the Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest middle east bazaar. Over 4000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold. Overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

Day 09 ISTANBUL – CANAKKALE

Drive to Gallipoli. Cross the Dardanelles strait by ferry and drive to Alexandria Troas, founded by Alexander the Great. The apostle Paul visited here at least twice. Then visit Troy and see the site of the Trojan War immortalized in Homer’s Illiad. Overnight in Canakkale. (B,D)

Day 10 ASSOS – PERGAMUM – IZMIR (SMYRNA)

Visit Assos (a stop on Paul’s journeys) and drive to Pergamum, the site of one of the churches addressed in the book of Revelation (Rev. 2:12–17). Towering 1000 feet above the town and commanding a spectacular panorama is the scenic Acropolis. In the lower city see the Asclepion, the most famous healing facility in all of Asia Minor. Then drive to Izmir, ancient Smyrna. Overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

Assos, Turkey
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Assos, Turkey

Day 11 MILETUS and PRIENE – KUSADASI

Visit the excavations at Miletus, where Paul bid farewell to the elders of the church at Ephesus at the end of his Third Missionary Journey (Acts 20). The site contains a large theater where an important inscription refers to the Jews and “God-fearers” of the city. The God-fearers were monotheistic Gentiles who constituted a large portion of Paul’s converts. Priene, another site on this leg of the trip, had a synagogue (recently discovered) and had a substantial Christian community during the Byzantine period and was the seat of a bishop. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Day 12 EPHESUS – KUSADASI

Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1:11). In ancient days, Ephesus was a bustling port town of 250,000 or more people, graced with wide, colonnaded streets. Today you will be impressed with the excavations of the major streets and the slope houses containing spectacular frescoes and mosaics from 2,000 years ago. You’ll view the Library, the huge Agora and the temple of Domitian. The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, although today only a single column remains to mark the site. You’ll visit the Basilica of St. John, the traditional site of his tomb. From the basilica, enjoy a commanding view of the area. You’ll visit the Museum of Ephesus for an up–close look at the interesting and important artifacts from the ancient city. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Ephesus, Turkey
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Ephesus, Turkey

Day 13 LAODICEA – APHRODISIAS – PAMUKKALE

Visit Aphrodisias excavated by the New York University and see the Stadium, the Theater, the Agora, the Sebasteion and more. The museum on site contains beautiful reliefs and statues from the site, which served as a school for the production of sculpture. Proceed to Laodicea. The Christians of Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches (Rev 3:14–22), were chastised for being lukewarm, “You are neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:14) and for being too lax by incorporating pagan and Christian beliefs. Today, the site is being rapidly excavated and by archaeologists from the local university and the ancient city is coming to life in all of its glory with theaters, a stadium, several baths and columned streets. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B,D)

 

Day 14 HIERAPOLIS – SARDIS – IZMIR

Hierapolis, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, is blessed by hot mineral springs and some of the best–preserved Roman ruins in Asia Minor. Christianity came to Hierapolis via Paul (Colossians 4:13) and the ruins cover more than a mile. You’ll see the impressive theatre with seats still in perfect condition along with the City Gates, column–lined streets and the plutonium – thought to be the entrance to the underworld. The city is crowned with the Philip Martyrium and the recently discovered tomb of the apostle Philip. In addition to the ruins, the site is distinguished by massive travertine formations and hot springs that cascade from one white–edged terrace pool to the next. Sardis is another of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3:1–6). The site is noteworthy for the huge Temple of Artemis, the important Persian Royal Road, the gymnasium & palaestra complex and the synagogue. Continue on to Smyrna, modern day Izmir for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day 15 DEPARTURE

Transfer to Izmir Airport for your flight back to New York.

INCLUDING:
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  • International flight from New York* to Athens & Izmir–New York
  • 2 nights at 4 star hotel in Athens
  • 1 night at 4 star hotel in Kalambaka
  • 1 night at 4 star hotel in Kavala
  • 2 nights at 4 star hotel in Istanbul
  • 1 night at 4 star hotel in Canakkale
  • 2 nights at 4 star hotel in Izmir
  • 2 nights at 4 star hotel in Kusadasi
  • 1 night at 4 star hotel in Pamukkale
  • Daily breakfast and 12 dinner at hotels
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • All escorted transfers
  • English speaking, Bible–oriented, licensed professional tour guide(s) throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees to all sites as per the itinerary
  • Transportation in A/C bus throughout the tour
  • Service charges and local taxes
  • Tips to hotel staff

EXCLUDING:

  • Visa Fees (if applicable). US and Canadian citizens can get the Turkish Visa online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr Citizens of ALL other countries are responsible for checking their own countries’ visa regulations for travel.
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance may be given as a separate package at an extra cost. Travel Insurance agreement is contract between the traveller and the Insurance Company (American Express or other)
  • Tips to the tour guide & to the bus driver
  • Any expenses not mentioned at the above “including” list

*Please ask for our special add-on prices for departures from other US or Canadian cities.

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