Highlights : Athens – Coritnth – Samos Island – Patmos – Ephesus – Izmir – Pergamos – Troia – Istanbul
10 days / 9 nights
Arrival to Athens
Upon arrival in Athens, you will be met by your local representative who will transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at leisure for rest and relaxation.
Athens / Corinth / Athens
Following breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Athens, including the world renowned Acropolis with the Propylae entrance, and the ruins of the Parthenon and Erectheum. View Mars Hill, the Agora (ancient market place and center of Athenian public life), where St. Paul addressed the Athenians. Drive around the city’s most important sites to see the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential Palace. Travel along the scenic coastal road and follow fairly the same route that the St. Paul took to the city of Corinth where he spent 18 months, preaching to Gentiles and Jews, and where he wrote to the Thessalonians. Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema and the Temples. This evening is at leisure to explore the plaka market area. Dinner in a typical Greek Taverna.
Athens / Samos
This morning transfer to Athens airport for your flight to the island of Samos, named in mythology as the birthplace of the ancient virgin goddess. Drive to your hotel to relax on the shores of the deep blue crystal waters of the island. Time permitting, visit the remains of the Temple of Hera and the Monastery of the Holy Cross.
Excursion to Patmos
Take a ferry boat to the Isle of Patmos, where St. John wrote the book of Revelation in a cave. Visit the chapel that depicts scenes from St. John’s life, the Grotto of the Revelation, and the 11th Century Monastery of St. John. After some time at leisure on this beautiful island, return to Samos.
Samos / Kusadasi
Today board your ferry from Samos to the Turkish resort of Kusadasi. You’ll be met by your representative who will give you a brief orientation of the city. Check-in to your seaside resort hotel with the remainder of the day free.
Kusadasi / Ephesus / Izmir
Following breakfast, depart for Ephesus, site of the Temple of Artemis. Paul spent two years in Ephesus. It was to this community that Paul may have written his Epistle to the Ephesians. Paul implored the Ephesians to cease their worship of Artemis and to turn to Christianity. You will see the great theatre where Paul addressed the crowds and visit the site of the scene of the riot from which Paul escaped. Visit the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. On a hill overlooking Ephesus is the House of Mary, where according to early Christian tradition says that Mary, mother of Our Lord, may have died here. Visit the Basilica of St. John and travel to Izmir.
Izmir / Sardis / Pergamum / Assos
Drive to Sardis, one of the most picturesque sites of the Seven Churches. Here we will visit the Temple of Artemis, the Byzantine Church, the Acropolis, the Synagogue and the Gymnasium. Continue to Pergamum to see the majestic Acropolis with the Altar of Zeus and the Red Basilica which was originally a center of pagan worship and afterwards used as a church dedicated to St. John. Travel to Assos, passing through Edremit (Adramyttium), the home port of the ship on St. Paul’s journey to Rome.
Assos / Alexandria Troas / Canakkale / Istanbul
In the morning visit Assos where Paul is said to have walked from Alexandria Troas on his third journey. Proceed to Alexandria Troas where Paul is said to have visited at least twice; first when he and Timothy had wanted to go into Bithynia but were prevented by the Holy Spirit, and the second time on his way to Jerusalem when he preached 12 hours without stopping. Drive through Canakkale, a land of history and beautiful resorts where the sea of Marmara begins and the Aegean Sea ends. Cross the Dardanelles by ferry to European Turkey, then to Istanbul. Istanbul sits between two continents and is home to 450 mosques. En route to your hotel, your tour guide will give you a brief orientation of the city.
Full day tour to visit the Haga Sophia, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Basilica dedicated to Divine Wisdom has a history dating back to the fourth century. You almost touch the birth of Christian Church. Other visits will include the architecturally superb Sultan Ahmed’s famous Blue Mosque with six minarets and sparkling interior. Next visit the famous Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest covered market in the world. Over 4000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold.
This morning, transfer to Istanbul Airport for your international flight back.