CHRISTIAN ODYSSEY

  • Duration:12 NIGHTS/13 DAYS
  • Highlights:GREECE AND TURKEY WITH EXTENSION TO CAPPADOCIA
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare NYC / Athens X Istanbul/NYC
    • Flight Izmir/Istanbul
    • Accommodations in first class hotels
    • Buffet breakfast and dinner daily
    • English speaking guide throughout
    • Comprehensive sightseeing as listed
    • Transportation by private air-conditioned motor coach
    • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
    • Select International Travel Portfolio

DAY 1: DEPART USA – ATHENS

Today we depart on an overnight flight to Athens.

DAY 2: ATHENS

Welcome to Greece. We are met by the guide and transferred to the hotel. Remainder of day is at leisure for becoming acclimated to a new time zone. Overnight in Athens. (D.)

DAY 3: ATHENS – CORINTH

This morning the city tour includes a visit to the House of Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Theater of Dyoneseus and then to the famous Acropolis. We’ll see Mars Hill where Paul preached to the populace of Athens. In the afternoon we’ll depart for ancient Corinth. Our drive takes us across the Corinth Canal and through rolling vineyards and olive groves, to what was once the most beautiful and frivolous city of Roman Greece. Paul stayed here a long time, and founded the first church consisting entirely of Gentiles. Overnight Athens. (B.D.)

DAY 4: DELPHI- METEORA

Depart for Delphi, where we see the ancient ruins and tour the Museum of Archeology. We marvel at the ancient’s foresight as we examine the first monument built to One God. Continue to Meteora, a sight not to be missed. You will be amazed at the world famous Byzantine monasteries perched precariously on top of strange rock formations. Meteora is a cluster of gigantic large rocks of varied and beautiful shapes, and a sight to behold. We visit the Monastery of Metamorphosis, and marvel at the architectural, artistic and spiritual wonders of the monastery. Overnight in Kalambaka. (B.D.)

DAY 5: BEREA – THESSALONIKA

Today travel to Greek Macedonia, where the Christian congregations were most devoted to Paul, their founder. Here Paul found understanding and spiritual comfort. We stop at Berea, where the scriptures say the people were “nobler than in Thessalonika”. We see Paul’s Bema, and near the steps where the Apostle proclaimed the new doctrine a small monument depicting Paul. Continue to the capital of Greek Macedonia. Overnight in Thessalonika. (B.D.)

DAY 6: THESSALONIKA – KAVALA- PHILIPPI

We start the day with a city tour of Thessaloniki including St. George’s Church, the Galerius Arch and the Basilica of St. Sophia and St. Dimetrius. Continue to Philip where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon on European soil and the first Christian was baptized. Here Paul and Silas were cruelly beaten, imprisoned and delivered from their bonds. Our day ends in the historic port of Kavala, where Paul landed with his disciplines Timothy and Silos and where Luke arrived from Traos. Overnight in Alexandroupolis. (B.D.)

DAY 7: KAVALA-GREEK- TURKISH BORDER-CANAKKALE

We arrive at the Turkish border gate, transfer to your Turkish bus and drive through the First World War battlefields of Galliopoli and cross by ferry to the Asian Minor side. Overnight in Canakkale. (B.D.)

DAY 8: CANAKKALE – TROY – PERGAMUM – THYATIRA – IZMIR

Today we will visit the Troy of Homer and view Alexander’s Troas from a distance. It was from here that Paul set sail for Philippi, where he had a vision calling him ” Come over to Macedonia and help us”. Continue driving south to Pergamum, see the majestic Acropolis with the Altar of Zeus, Red Church and the Aesculapium, the earliest healing center. In Pergamum, the first Christians were executed by Romans. This was the most favored of the Seven Churches and Christianity came early to this location. Continue to Thyatira, to see the remains of another one of the Seven Churches of Revelations. Overnight in Izmir. (B.D.)

DAY 9: IZMIR / SARDIS / PHILADELPHIA / LAODICEA / PAMUKKALE

This morning we drive to Sardis, another of the seven churches and ancient Philadelphia, referred to as “New Jerusalem” to see the remaining walls of another one of the Seven Churches. Drive to Laodicea where Paul chastised the people for being lukewarm. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B.D.)

DAY 10: PAMUKKALE / HIERAPOLIS / COLOSSEAE / EPHESUS / KUSADASI

This area known as Pamukkale, is named for the limestone-laden hot springs which cascades from one white-edged terrace pool to the next. In the morning we will visit the ruins of Hierapolis, home of Philip the Evangelist. We then drive to marvelous ruins of Ephesus. Visit the last house of the Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St. John and the ancient city of Ephesus. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B.D.)

DAY 11: KUSADASI / IZMIR / ISTANBUL

Early morning transfer to Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul. On this day visit the Church of St. Savior, the Byzantine Hippodrome, St. Sophia Church,  the impressive Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque. In the afternoon we have time to visit the Bazaar and have the opportunity to bargain for treasures. Overnight in Istanbul. (B.D.)

DAY 12: ISTANBUL

Situated on two continents, Europe and Asia. Ancient Byzantium became Constantinopolis in the 4th century, the “New Rome” and Christian Capital of Eastern Roman Empire, lasting over a millennium. In 1453, from the most important Christian city, it passed to Islam under the rule of the Ottoman Sultans. Today you plunge into history and discover the principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Visit the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years. Built on the ancient location of the Byzantine Acropolis, you will see the splendid Porcelain Collection and the Sultan’s Treasury. Afternoon at leisure, and the opportunity to take an optional cruise on the Bosphorus. Overnight in Istanbul. (B.D.)

DAY 13: ISTANBUL/USA

Transfer to the airport and flight home. (B.)

WE RECOMMEND: An Optional Extension to Cappadocia

DAY 13: ANKARA / CAPPADOCIA

Tour starts with the morning flight to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The first site is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which is located in a restored bazaar. Then on to the Mausoleum of Ataturk, a tribute to modern Turkey. In the afternoon depart for Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B.D.)

DAY 14: CAPPADOCIA

After breakfast, we begin a full day tour of Biblical Cappadocia. The first Christians came to settle here following the footsteps of Paul, and set up their dwellings in the almost inaccessible natural grottoes of this lost land. The wondrous landscape of the underground cities built from volcanic rock permeate the moon-like topography of the area. The unique landscape of Goreme, an open air museum, with rock churches built by early Christians and decorated with colorful frescoes is an unforgettable experience and an important part of early Christian art. Next stop is Zelve the Byzantine monastic complex, and the village of Avanos, where the traditional pottery is still hand made. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B.D.)

DAY 15: CAPPADOCIA / ANKARA / ISTANBUL

After breakfast visit the underground city of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu where the early Christians found refuge from persecutors. After arrival in Ankara you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul. (B.D.)

DAY 16: ISTANBUL/USA

Transfer to the airport and flight home. (B.)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This