The Footsteps of Paul in Greece and Turkey Athens, Delphi, Meteores, Thessaloniki, Phillipi, Troy, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Izmir, Istanbul
Day 1 – Canada / Athens
Departure for our overnight flight to Athens. Meals served on board.
Day 2 – Athens
Arrival in Athens and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Athens
Half day tour of Athens including the Royal Palace, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arc and the Acropolis with the Parthenon and its museum. The afternoon is free to explore the city. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.
Day 4 – Delphi
Morning drive to Delphi through Levadia and the Arachova. Upon arrival, visit the museum and the archeological site. Rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
Day 5 – Kalambaka
Drive through the Central Greece towns of Amphissa, Lamia and Trikala to Kalambaka.
A quaint little town settled just below the Meteores Monasteries. Visit Meteores, a particularly impressive scenery where ageless monasteries containing priceless historical and religious treasures, stand suspended between earth and sky, on top of huge granite rocks. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 6 – Kalambaka / Dion / Thessaloniki
Drive north with a short stop in Veria. Visit the monument to Paul, and continue to Thessaloniki, the second capital of Greece. When Macedonia became a province Thessaloniki became its capital. Paul came to Thessaloniki with Silas and following his usual custom he went to the synagogue where he used the Jewish scriptures as the source of his preaching. He founded a church here and the book of Thessalonians. Among the highlights of the tour are the old ramparts, the white tower, and the Basilicas of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 7 – Thessaloniki / Philipi / Kavala
Drive to Philipi for a visit to the ruins of the town where Paul won his first convert, a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira. Drive to Kavala, on the site of ancient Neapolis, where Paul, Timothy and Silas landed on the coast of Thrace. You will see the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis. Dinner and overnight in Kavala.
Day 8 – Kavala / Alexanroupolis / Canakkale
Enjoy the drive through the Thrace visiting castles and forts dating from pre-Christian times to the Byzantine era. Continue and cross the Turkish border. Drive along the Sea of Gallipouli, see famous World War I sites, cross the Dardanelles waterway to Asia, and tour the legendary walls, buildings and famous wooden horse of Troy. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 9 – Troy / Pergamum / Smyrna (Izmir)
Tour Troas (Troy), visited by Paul on his third journey, then on to Pergamum and its ancient medical center. Ascend the Acropolis to see the Altar of Zeus and temple of Athena then continue to Smyrna (Izmir), Homer’s Birthplace on the Aegean coast. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 10 – Sardis / Philadelphia / Loadicea / Hierapolis (Pamukkale)
Visit Sardis with its beautiful gymnasium and marble paved synagogue. Continue to Philadelphia, a favorite city of Paul and John. Drive to Pamukkale to see the white lime cascades of the Roman spa, Hierapolis. This was Philip the Evangelist’s home. Tour the extensive necropolis, churches and baths then stop at nearby Laodicea. Enjoy a spa in the warm mineral waters of your hotel’s pool. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 11 – Ephesus & St. Mary’s House / Izmir
Cross the fertile Menderes Valley to Ephesus and explore the expansive synthesis of Greco-Roman and Christian remains, home of Paul between 54 and 57 AD. Nearby visit the Virgin Mary’s house on a wooded hilltop. Drive to Izmir to catch an evening flight to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 12 – Istanbul
Morning visit to Magnificent Topkapi Palace. Tour the romantic Harem, then walk across the Byzantine Hippodrome, scene of chariot races and visit the Sunken Palace, a huge sixth century Byzantine cistern. Visit Saint Sophia Basilica, historic seat of the Byzantine Church, whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been crafted to create an environment of breathtaking beauty. Walk through the gardens to the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet 1 built in 1616 AD that is famous for its unequalled ceramic tiles. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 13 – Istanbul / Canada
Transfer to airport for your flight to Canada.