Greece & Turkey (14 days): “Steps of Paul in Greece and Turkey”
Greece & Turkey (14 days): "Steps of Paul in Greece and Turkey”
Athens – Corinth - Delphi – Arachova - Kalambaka – Meteora – Vergina – Thessaloniki – Veria – Naoussa – Philippi – Kavala – Alexandroupolis – Troy – Pergamum – Bursa - Istanbul
Day 1: ATHENS
Arrival in Athens. Meeting and transfer by private bus to the centrally located hotel near the old town and Acropolis Museum. Walking orientation tour of the area. Welcome dinner at traditional tavern. Overnight in four star Hotel centrally located.
Day 2: ATHENS
After breakfast, meet your guide for a guided visit of the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum. Pass by the Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds and the Ancient Agora with its Museum; afternoon visit Byzantine Museum (if time allows). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 3: ATHENS - CORINTH
Morning departure by bus for guided visit of the National Archaeological Museum and continue to reach Ancient Corinth for visit of the site where St Paul preached the"Bema”: Paul spent 18 months in the city of Corinth before the Jews of the city charged him with breaking the law and brought him before Gallio at the city's place of judgment (bema). The mention of Gallio provides an anchor for New Testament chronology as we know from Roman sources that Gallio was proconsul of Achaia from June 51 to May 52. Standing on this platform, the proconsul dismissed the charges against Paul as a dispute of Jewish law and not of a criminal nature. Late afternoon return to Athens for dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
Day 4: DELPHI - ARACHOVA
Morning departure towards the mainland and continue towards Delphi. Guided visit of the oracle site and the unique Archaeological Museum, including the famous statue of the Charioteer. Drive to Arachova for dinner at local taverna, overnight at hotel in Delphi.
Day 5: DELPHI - KALAMPBAKA
Morning departure to drive towards Kalambaka (4 – 4 ½ hours drive) to visit two of the most famous monasteries in Meteora, built on the cliffs overlooking the plain of Thessaly. Dinner (included) in the hotel. Overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 6: METEORA - VERGINA - THESSALONIKI
Departure from Kalambaka to reach Vergina, the Tomb chamber of King Philip, father of Alexander the Great. Dinner in a selected ouzo place with Greek appetizers. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 7: THESSALONIKI
At 9:00am city tour by coach to visit the Old Walls of the city, the churches of St. Demetrius, Ag. Sophia, city wall fortifications, the Rotunda, the Arch of Galerius, Ossios David, Panagia Archeiropoitos the newly renovated Archaeological Museum and the Byzantine Museum. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8: THESSALONIKI - VERIA - NAOUSSA - THESSALONIKI
Drive via Verroia visited by St Paul (short stop to visit St Paul's monument as well as the small Byzantine museum) and continue to Naoussa to visit the school of the ancient philosopher Aristotle, where Alexander the Great was instructed. Wine tasting at the local winery, producing a local red variety and wine tour of the premises. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 9: THESSALONIKI - PHILIPPI - KAVALA - ALEXANFROUPOLIS
Morning departure to visit the site of Philippi visited by St. Paul and where Lydia the first European woman was baptised. Dinner in a typical restaurant with local specialties and overnight in Alexandroupolis.
Day 10: ALEXANDROUPOLIS - Greek/Turkish borders - TROY - PERGAMUM - BURSA
Acts of the Apostles – 16/9-15:
"And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them".
Drive to famous Troy and Pergamon with its acropolis and Great Theatre, the steepest of the ancient world. Revelation 2:12-16 describes the city as "where Satan's seat is", a reference to the altar of Zeus, where we pause for reflection on the fulfilment of Scripture. Nearby, visit the Red Basilica, once a pagan temple, it later converted into a Christian church. Finally, walk through the Asclepion, the famous medical centre of antiquity. Dinner in a selected restaurant and overnight in Bursa.
Day 11: BURSA - ISTANBUL
After having our breakfast and take a last tour in the famous Bursa bazaar, we depart for the Turkish metropolis: Istanbul. Arrival to Istanbul and walking tour of the city visiting the Cisterns, the Hippodrome, and St Sophia Basilica. Dinner and overnight at a 4* hotel centrally located in Istanbul.
Day 12: ISTANBUL
Visit of St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, the Topkapi Palace, walk through the famous Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, visit Theodosian Walls. Dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 13: ISTANBUL
Guided visits of the Arch. Museum with monuments from the Byzantine period, the Chora monastery (Kariye Cami) and visit of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate. Afternoon Bosporus cruise. Farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 14: ISTANBUL - Return flight
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.