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Greece & Turkey: Journeys of Paul
12 Day Tour

DAY 01:


Departure from N. America via jet service for our journey to Greece.  Meals will be served on board.


DAY 02:


Upon arrival in Thessaloniki, you will be met by our hospitality host and transferred to our hotel.


DAY 03:


Kavala Greece
Kavala Greece
Today become acquainted with Thessaloniki, built about 315 BC by Cassander, brother-in-law of Alexander, where Paul wrote two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians.  Then skirt the Lakes Koronia and Volvi into the modern port city of Kavala, ancient Neapolis, where Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot in Europe.  Aside from the great panoramas of Kavala, the city has a Byzantine castle, aqueduct, and museum containing finds from Ancient Amphipolis and Philippi.  Follow the Via Egnatia, remnant of Rome's highway system, viewing Roman and Greek tombstones and ruts of ancient chariot wheels.  Some ten miles northwest of Kavala is Philippi, where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe and sowed the seeds of Christianity.  Here Paul baptized "a certain woman named Lydia" the first Christian convert in Europe.  The Roman Forum, completely excavated, was built after Paul's time.  Among the ruins, located on the rocky ledge above the town's main road, is the "prison" where Paul and Silas were thrown.  In the rocks you will find inscriptions and carved reliefs of deieties.  It was in Philippi that Octavian and Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius, last defenders of the Roman Republic in 42 BC.  Return to your hotel in Thessaloniki.


DAY 04:


Apollo Temple
Temple of Apollo
Depart from Thessaloniki for Delphi via the National Highway passing near Thebes-Levadia and the picturesque village of Archova.  Visit the museum with its renowned bronze sculpture, "The Charioteer" and other famous pieces.  In the afternoon visit the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury and Castillian Spring.  Continue southward to Athens for dinner and overnight.


DAY 05:


Parthenon, Athens Greece
The Parthenon
Morning city sightseeing of Athens which will include a visit to the world renowned Acropolis, with the ruins of the Parthenon, Erectheum and Propylea.  Thereafter we will ascend Mars Hill, where Paul preached.  Also, view the Agora (ancient market place, and former center of Athenian public life), the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Palace, now called the Presidential Palace.  Return to the hotel for the balance of the day at leisure. Proceed for a visit to Ancient Corinth, seeing the Archaeological Museum, the Bema, the Marketplace and Temples. Corinth was home to St. Paul for 18 months. From the Bema at Corinth, Paul spoke to the Corinthians about Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. On the way to Corinth, stop for a few minutes at the Corinth Canal, which separates Peloponese from the Greek Mainland and connects the Ionian and Aegean Seas. Transfer to Piraeus, the port of Athens to board your cruise ship.


DAY 06:


Arrival in Istanbul in the evening local time. After dinner, you  may wish to visit on your own the Grand Bazaar - one of the most popular places in Istanbul with over 4,000 shops offering a large variety of gold, carpets, leatherware, souvenirs and antiques.


DAY 07:


Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Turkey
Depart from the port through the new city, across the Galata Bridge and over the Golden Horn to the majestic Haggia Sophia. Once the biggest church of the Christian world, this 15 century old building was initially built by the great Byzantine Emperor Constantine, in the 4th century and rebuilt by Justinian in the 6th century following a tragic fire. It was converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II, after his conquest of the city in 1453 and finally into a museum by Ataturk in the 1930's. Continue to visit the Hippodrome that once was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire and where the soldiers revolted against their emperor shouting the name of the victory goddess "Nike". Then visit Sultan Ahmet Mosque which stands in all its magnificence, opposite Haggia Sophia. This Grand Mosque is where large groups of pilgrims started their pilgrimage to Mecca. Return to the ship.


DAY 08:


This romantic, whitewashed isle has long been a favorite of pleasure-seeking travelers, partly because of its vivid coloration.  Contrasting against a dazzling whiteness, the pastel hues of windmills, street and buildings sparkle like jewels.  This afternoon, alongside its picturesque fishing boats and nearly 400 churches, you will find smarter boutiques that rival the Via Veneto.  Afternoon at leisure for your personal exploration or shopping.


DAY 09:


Church of St. John
Church of St. John
Ephesus, an ancient Greek city now part of Turkey, was once captured by Croesus, again by Alexander the Great, and then passed to the Romans.  It is the most complete city every excavated.  Walk down Curetia Street over the same worn stones that the apostles once trod.  Ephesus Temple of Artemis was one of the Severn Wonders of the World.  See the Fountain of Trajan, Library of Celsus, the second century Baths of Scholastica, the Temple of Hadrian and the Basilica of St. John.  St. Paul lived in Ephesus for two years and instructed the people daily in the School of Tyranus.  A great riot took place on Paul’s account in the massive theatre of Ephesus.  Here we will reflect on the events recorded in Acts 19.  We will visit the Church of St. John where the Apostle John is buried and the House of Mary and John.  Our tour will also include the Church of the Third Ecumenical Council, 431 AD.  Before boarding the ship, time for shopping. Continue to Patmos.  This charming island is famous for the site of the apocalyptic Revelation of St. John the Divine, written here while he was exiled by the Roman Empire.  From the little port of Skala, you can drive to the monastery and the white hillside Chapel of St. John.  Enjoy the spectacular scenery that this little island offers.


DAY 10:


Acropolis at Lindos
Acropolis at Lindos
Drive along the picturesque eastern coastline, scattered with white washed villages, to Lindos. The most important of the three great cities of ancient times is guarded by medieval walls constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century. Within, stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis there are breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul's Bay where the Apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill to the Great Staircase leading from the Hellenistic portico to the Temple of Athena. Return to Rhodes. Enjoy a panoramic drive in the new part of the city, stop for a view of the walled old town from Mt. Smith and then see the ruins of ancient Rhodes town, the Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium.


DAY 11:


It is a short drive from the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion town to Knossos, once the capital of the prehistoric Minoan civilization, and thought to be the basis for the original Labyrinth housing the mythological Minotaur. Visit a portion of the excavated and partially reconstructed Palace of King Minos, as well as the surrounding area. The Palace houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, decorated with frescoes and shields, the Hall of the Double Axes, and the King's Chamber and the Queens Apartment (currently closed for restoration). Returning to Heraklion enjoy a visit to the extraordinary Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Return to the ship for lunch. Sail to Santorini. Enjoy a short trip by local caique to Athenios harbor. Take the cable car up to the Caldera rim where the land slopes gently in one direction and falls steeply into the sea on the other. Enjoy the town at leisure. Here is the ideal spot to gaze down upon Kamenes, the two black volcanic islets in the Caldera Bay. Take the cable car down to the small pier of Scala from where the vessel's tenders will return you to your ship.


DAY 12:


Arrive back to the port of Piraeus in the morning where we will be met and assisted to our motorcoach. Transfer to airport for your return flight home.