This is a private group led by Dr. John Patterson. After taking care of business in Thessaloniki, the group will take a tour dedicated to the ministry of the Apostle Paul. The trip will include a cruise to the Greek islands and stop for meaningful visits to Ephesus and Patmos.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 (SAT) FLIGHT LEAVES FOR THESSALONICA
Our flight departs from San Francisco and wends its way overnight to Thessaloniki.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2022 (SUN) THESSALONIKI
We arrive in Thessaloniki, where we are met by our guide who transports us to our hotel for dinner and a good night's rest.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT THE PORTO PALACE HOTEL, THESSALONIKI
Ancient forum in Thessaloniki
SEPTEMBER 19, (MON) THESSALONIKI
Half of our day will be spent taking care of business. The other half will consist of an overview of Biblical Thessaloniki which is in the heart of Macedonia and is Greece's second largest city. We drive around Thessaloniki to see the landmark of the city, the White Tower, the Walls of the Byzantine Acropolis, the Roman Arch of Galerius and the Rotonda. Visit two of the city’s oldest and most admired Christian churches, the Basilicas of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia (Divine Wisdom).
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT THESSALONIKI
SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 (TUE) PHILIPPI / LYDIA BAPTISM SITE / KAVALA (Neapolis)
Another half day of business before visiting the ruins of the city of Philippi. Follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, like Paul and his companion, the area of Amphipolis, to see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis, and the site of Philippi. There, you visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river, where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil and the conversion of the jailer followed. Also, visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. Drive to Kavala (Neapolis), where Paul, Timothy and Silas landed on the coast of Thrace. It is a picturesque port and we view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct.
Acts 16:10-12 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT THESSALONIKI
Site of Lydia's baptism
SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 (WED) BREA / METEORA / KALAMBAKA
We travel south today following the path of Paul's second missionary journey. We visit Veria (Berea) and view the Bema where he preached. Afterwards, we travel on to Meteora, to visit the amazing six monasteries (of an original twenty four) built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AMALIA HOTEL (or similar), KALAMBAKA
SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 (THU) DELPHI / ATHENS
Continuing from Kalambaka, we travel to the ruins of Delphi. It sits upon the slopes of Mount Parnassus high above the Gulf of Corinth. It is one of the most famous historic sites in Greece. It was known throughout the ancient Greek world and beyond as the sanctuary of Apollo and the shrine of his oracle. After the fascinating visit, it is but another hundred miles to Athens where we check into our hotel.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT WYNDHAM GRAND HOTEL (or similar), ATHENS
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 (FRI) ATHENS / PARTHENON / MARS HILL
Drive to central Athens and begin a tour of classical Athens. Among other masterpieces of the "Golden Age," we visit the Acropolis, the agora and the Mars Hill where Paul taught.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT ATHENS
SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 (SAT) ATHENS / CORINTH
We visit the ruins of ancient Corinth where Paul worked. See the remains of first-century shops, the agora where Paul was on trial at the Bema, the Fountain of Peirene, Temple of Apollo and visit the museum.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT ATHENS
SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 (SUN) ATHENS / ISTANBUL
Arrive in Istanbul.
Meet & greet at the airport and transferred to our centrally located hotel.
This afternoon we begin our exploration with the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Built during the period of 1609-1617 it is also known as the “Blue Mosque” thanks to the light which shines through over 2,500 stained glass windows and reflects onto the dark blue Iznik tiles within. A masterpiece of woodworking and calligraphy, the mosque complex is also home to the tomb of Sultan Ahmet I. Continue your exploration with the Basilica of Saint Sophia, one of the largest Christian shrines ever built-in history. Adorned with rich mosaic murals, colossal columns and exposition of divine serenity, Saint Sophia is a true world heritage that has accommodated various faiths throughout the different periods of history and is currently operated as a museum displaying Byzantine art and architecture embellished by Ottoman taste.
We will end the day with visit to The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) – Grand Bazaar is one of the earliest shopping malls ever built-in history, which maintains its charm and volume of business to the modern day with its indoor and outdoor sections. Istanbul has been the center of commerce and trade between the Orient and the Occident even before the arrival of Ottomans. Nuru Osmaniye District (Glamour of the Ottomans) was where the Genoese and Venetian merchants had their ware-houses where they store their inventory of brass, copper, rugs and tiles before they were loaded on the ships to sail to Venice and Genoa. Today, Nuru Osmaniye District is where you can find the most reputable stores with wide collections of jewelry, antiques and oriental rugs. Breathe in the vivacious atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar with a sip of Turkish coffee while checking the exciting variety of handcrafted souvenirs. **Unique Moments: During the visit of Grand Bazaar, you will be experiencing the Turkish coffee from Sark Kahvesi, Historical Coffee Roasters located in Grand Bazaar. Each variety has been prepared with a blend of traditional knowledge experience, and an abiding “Love of Coffee”
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT ISTANBUL
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 (MON) ISTANBUL / BANDIRMA / PERGAMUM / THYATIRA / IZMIR
After early breakfast, short drive to Yenikapi port to embark our fast ferry to Bandirma. This will be a pleasant journey over the Sea of Marmara which will take 2 hour and 15 minutes. Once you arrive in Bandirma (09:20) continue our drive towards to Pergamon (2 hours) Pergamum, second of the churches, to see the Altar of Zeus, referred to as the “Throne of Satan” in the Book of Revelations, the precipitous theatre, the library and the gymnasium. We will visit the Acropolis. All major buildings in Pergamum were reserved for public use in daily life. Even in the temples, religion was of secondary importance. Next, we will see The Library of Pergamum, built by Eumenes II, was the second of the three famous ancient libraries. The Temple of Trajan was a 2nd Century AD temple in Corinthian order, dedicated to Trajan, built by his successor Hadrian. Both emperors were worshipped there. The temple was built of marble, probably on the site of a previous Hellenistic building. Zeus Altar, the finest altar ever built of about 180 BC, stands in its own precinct but, most unusually, without a temple. Much of the structure and almost all of the friezes are now in Berlin. We will proceed to the Medical Center of the ancient world, Asklepion where the first psychological treatment had been used and which was dedicated to the God of Health, Asklepios. Next, we will drive to Thyatira, another one of the Seven Churches. According to the letters, the members of this church were commended for their steadfastness against libertarianism. At the end of the day drive to Izmir.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IZMIR
SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 (TUE) EPHESUS / HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY / ARTEMIS TEMPLE / IZMIR
After breakfast short drive to town of Selcuk. We will visit Ephesus, famous throughout the ancient world for its Temple of Artemis. You will first visit Odeon Theatre where the state affairs used to be held. Then, view the Hadrian Temple, It was dedicated in 118 AD to Hadrian, Artemis, and the people of Ephesus but greatly reconstructed in the 4th century. This impressive Corinthian style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch. According to the belief of Ephesians, the Medusa head on the porch, would protect the city from its enemies. Proceed to Celsus Library, the library is the best-preserved structure of its kind. The inscription on the side of the building’s front staircase says that the library was built by Julius, in his father’s honor, after his death. His father, Celsus was the Roman governor of Asia Minor early in the 2nd century AD. The Great Theatre, dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD it was successfully reconstructed, expanded by the Romans until it reached the seating capacity of 25,000. Marble Road, runs between the Library of Celsus and the theater and is a part of the sacred walk way. you will head up the hills behind Ephesus, where Virgin Mary is believed to have spent the last days of her life. Presently, there is a charming chapel, consecrated by Pope, at the very spot where the House of Virgin Mary stood. The local tradition suggests that Virgin Mary lived and died at this holy place with the company of St. John to whom she was entrusted by Jesus Christ before he was crucified. En-route, we will also see the few remaining of the Temple of Artemis.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IZMIR
SEPTEMBER 28, (WED) IZMIR / USA
In the early morning we are transferred to the Izmir Airport for our journey back to Athens and then home;
IZMIR / ATHENS / SANTORINI
continue via Athens to Santorini.
SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2022 (WED-FRI) IZMIR / ATHENS / SANTORINI
After our return to Athens from Turkey we connect to our early afternoon flight to Santorini for an extended stay on the beautiful isle. Santorini is the most popular Greek destination and a worldwide famous island! It has something for everybody, an abundance of attractions and activities, a combination of serenity and entertainment and a tremendous natural beauty that makes it hard to take your eyes off of it. Great food too, with scrumptious dishes and luscious local products .On top of that, it is a romantic haven like no other, for all the views, idyllic locations and sunsets that fill visitors with awe.
OVERNIGHT AND BREAKFAST DAILY, VOLCANO VIEW HOTEL
SEPTEMBER 1, 2022 (SAT) SANTORINI / ATHENS
After absorbing the pleasures of Santorini, we are transferred to our port for our swift hydrofoil back to Athens. On arrival, we are transferred to our hotel.
DINNER AND OVERNIGHT, WYNDHAM GRAND VIEW HOTEL
SEPTEMBER 2, (FRI) ATHENS / USA
This morning we are transferred to the Athens Airport for our journey home.
Does not include air
Does not include air
See inclusions below
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