CHRISTIAN ROOTS in TURKEY and GREECE

  • Duration:14 NIGHTS/15 DAYS
  • Countries Visited:Greece
  • Highlights:ISTANBUL, GALLIPOLI, TROY, CANAKKALE,PUMUKKALE, KUSADAI, EPHESUS, PATMOS, CRETE, SANTORINI, RHODES, ATHENS

 

DAY 1: Depart Newark on an overnight flight to Istanbul

 

DAY 2: Arrive Istanbul

You are greeted by your Turkish English speaking guide and assisted with a transfer to the hotel. Settle in and relax this afternoon as you become acclimated to a new time zone. Tonight we have a welcome dinner and a cruise on the Bosporus River. Overnight Istanbul. (D.)

 

DAY 3: Istanbul*

We take a private tour of the ruins of the Roman Hippodrome*, built to hold 100,000 spectators for chariot races, and later used by Byzantines and Ottomans. Next is the 17th Century Blue Mosque*, famous for its blue tiles, six minarets, and magnificent interior. Then to Topkapi Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans and now a museum housing 700 years of treasures. In the afternoon we visit St. Sophia*, the splendid 6th Century Byzantine Basilica. The last stop is the Grand Bazaar, where you will have an opportunity to shop. Overnight Istanbul. (B.D.)

 

DAY 4 : Istanbul/Gallipoli/Troy*/Canakkale

We drive along the Sea of Marmara into Thrace, the European part of Turkey. We stop at Gallipoli, site of WWI battles. Then to Tevfikiye on the Dardanelles to visit the ruins of Troy*, made famous by Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War (1200 BC). Overnight Canakkale. (B.D.)

 

DAY 5 : Canakkale/Izmir

We visit the ancient port of Alexandria Troas, where Paul raised from death a boy named Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12). On to Bergama to visit the Acropolis, then to Pergamon (Rev 2:12-17) and the Asclepion, and finally to Akhisar to view the ruins of Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29). Overnight Izmir. (B.D.)

 

DAY 6:: Izmir/Pamukkale

Today we visit ancient Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11), famous for its Roman Agora; then on to ancient Sardis (Rev 3:1-6); through the Thousand Hills, an extensive ancient royal cemetery; and finally to Alasehir to visit the ruins of ancient Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13). Overnight Pamukkale. (B.D.)

 

DAY 7: Pamukkale*/Kusadasi

We visit the ruins of Laodiceia (Rev 3:14-22) and Hierpolis*, and the limestone wonders of Pamukkale*. On to Miletus (Acts 20:15, 2Tim 4:20), an ancient Ionian Greek city twice visited by Paul, and home to Thales, whom Aristotle said was the first philosopher in the Greek tradition. We see the theater of the Byzantine fortress, the Delphinion, the Nymphanion, the Bouleterium, and the Faustina baths, before driving to Kusadasi. Overnight Kusadasi. (B.D.)

 

DAY 8: Kusadasi/Ephesus

We drive to Ephesus (Gospel of John, Acts 19, Ephesians, Rev 2:1-7), where Paul came in 53 AD for two years – and sparked a riot with his preaching. John, according to tradition, wrote his Gospel here. We visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where, by tradition, she spent her last days with John. We take a short drive to see the abundant ruins of Ephesus, including the Library of Celsus, Temples dedicated to the Emperors Domitian and Hadrian, luxurious residential areas, and the ruins of the 6th Century Basilica of St. John. Overnight Kusadasi. (B.D.)

 

DAY 9: Kusadasi/Cruise-Patmos*

After breakfast we transfer to the port to embark on our cruise ship, which sets sail at 12 noon. We stop at Patmos* (Rev 1:9) where the exiled John received the book of Revelation. We take the included private excursion to the 11th Century Monastery of St. John* and the Grotto of Revelation*. Overnight on ship. (full meal plan on ship)

 

DAY 10: Cruise-Rhodes*

We dock this morning at Rhodes* (Acts 21:1), the beautiful Island of Roses, to spend the entire day. The ancient Colossus of Rhodes, now gone, was over 100′ high and one of the Seven Wonders. We visit the Medieval City* and castle, home of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaller), on our own. An optional tour is offered to the Temple of Athena on the rocky Acropolis of Lindos, towering over the Aegean. The Ottomans ruled Rhodes for 400 years, leaving mosques, minarets, and Turkish baths. Overnight on ship. (full meal plan on ship)

 

DAY 11: Cruise-Crete/Santorini

This morning we wake up at Crete, the largest island of Greece. Optional tours are offered to Knossos, the most famous site of Minoan civilization, and the Museum of Heraklion. We reboard our ship and proceed to Santorini. We may take a donkey ride up the steep hill or use the cable car. Overnight on ship. (full meal plan on ship)

 

DAY 12 : Disembark Cruise/Corinth/Athens*

We disembark from the ship and drive to the ruins of ancient Corinth (Acts 18, 1&2 Corinthians), where Paul established the first church consisting entirely of Gentiles. We see the archeological Museum of the Temples. En route back to Athens, we stop to visit the two ancient ports of Cenchrean and the Corinth Canal. In Athens* (Acts 17) we take a city tour, including Mars Hill and the Acropolis*. Tonight, dinner is in the Platka district, with wine and music in a local tavern. Overnight Athens. (B.D.)

 

DAY 13: Thessaloniki*/Kavala/Philippi

In the morning, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Thessaloniki. We follow the ancient highway of Via Ignatia to the ruins of Philippi (Acts 16), where Paul first made converts on European soil. We visit an ancient section of the Via Ignatia, St. Paul’s Prison, and the museum. On to Kavala, site of the ancient port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11), where Paul first landed in Greece. Overnight Thessaloniki. (B.D.)

 

DAY 14: Thessaloniki*/Veria

We tour Thessaloniki* (Acts 17, 1&2 Thessalonians) to see the Cathedrals of St. Sophia and St. Demitreous, the White Tower, the Church of St. Nicholas, and more. On to Veria (Berea, Acts 17), where Paul escaped. The rest of the day at leisure; dinner on your own. Overnight Thessaloniki. (B.)

 

DAY 15: Depart Thessaloniki for Newark Airport

Following breakfast you are transferred to the airport and your flight home. (B.)

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