Tour Code : CBT-SPL02
15 day 14 night Istanbul Troy Seven Churches Patmos Rhodes Crete Santorini Athens Delphi Meteora Thesaloniki Pihilipi kayala

Day 1 Istanbul
Arrival in Istanbul, the city that bridges two continents, “Europe” and “Asia”. You will be met at the airport, assistance and transfer to the hotel. There you will have a briefing and welcome cocktail. Overnight in Istanbul. (C)

Day 2 Istanbul
Morning visit to the Museum of St. Sophia (the Church of Divine Wisdom, built by Justinian) a fantastic church. In the words of the historians of 6th century “Had not been since Adam and never would be again”. Then visit to the Hippodrome, where chariot races and athletic events took place during the Roman period. Continue to the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. Lunch at Daruzziyafe, a formal medieval Islamic college or medrese. Then an afternoon visit to the Kariye Museum, the old church of St. Saviour in Chora treasuring the marvelous mosaics and frescoes which represent scenes drawn from, the cycle of the life of the Virgin and of Christ which have been restored under the guidance of the Byzantine Institute of Boston. Drive to the Dolmabahce Palace, a masterpiece of the 19th century palaces in the Renaissance Style, right on the Bosphorus. The interior is of great richness with the world’s largest crystal chandelier and variety of material employed: crystal, alabaster, marble, porphyry and inlays. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, L)

Day 3 Alexandra Troas
Early Departure for Alexandra Troas. Visit Legendary city Troy en-route. After lunch we drive to Assos. In his journey Paul went by land from Alexandria Troas to Assos. St. Luke and the others took a ship and met St. Paul in Assos. Overnight stay in Assos. (B, D)

Day 4 Pergamum - Thyatira
Early departure for Pergamum. Visit the Acropolis. Its grandeur makes up for the missing Altar of Zeus (in the Berlin Museum), which was referred to in the Bible as "Satan's Seat." Pergamum was a great center of scholarship and learning. Anthony took the library from here with its 200,000 rolls and transferred it to Alexandria as a present for Cleopatra. After the Acropolis we will visit the Acslepion, the ancient hospital. The ruins here are so complete that walking among them one can relive the methods employed in this health center from sacrifice to psychodrama. We will also visit the Church of St. John that was built into the red court. After lunch, we drive to see the site of the Church of Izmir (Symrna) via Thaytira. Overnight stay in Izmir. (B, L)

Day 5 Sardes - Philadelphia - Leodicea - Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
Departure to Sardes, to see the beautifully restored Synagogue/Church, which is one of the most unique of its kind. Next continue to Philedelphia. another of the Christian congregations, and a city built in 2 BC by King Eumenos. Continue to PAMUKKALE (Hierapolis). Visit Leodicea en-route. Watch the sunset over the petrified water-falls. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B, D)

Day 6 Virgin Mary - Ephesus
After visiting Pamukkale, drive to Ephesus, home of St. Paul between 53 AD - 57 AD to visit the most impressive archaeological site of today. Before reaching Ephesus comes the most holy visit of the tour. Stop at the last home of the Virgin Mary which is visited by over a hundred thousand pilgrims each year. In 1967 Pope Paul VI and in 1979 Pope Paul II both celebrated mass here and also prayed in the double church in Ephesus. St. John brought the Virgin Mary to live here in peace in her final years. After praying for health in this holy atmosphere of an ancient place of worship, continue to St. John’s basilica and his tomb. In the afternoon visit Ephesus, the city dedicated to Artemis, the best preserved archaeological site in Asia Minor. Visit the odeon, the marble street, where St. Paul walked and held daily discussions (act. 19:9) the Temple of Artemis, one the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian and the theater. St. Paul attended the synagogue in Ephesus discussing Christianity there for three months before he moved his converts to the lecture hall of Thyrannus. There he taught when the hall was otherwise empty during the middle of the day for about two years. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B, D)

Day 7 Kusadasi - Patmos (cruise)
Morning at leisure for shopping in Kusadasi. Around noon transfer to the Kusadasi port to embark on the cruise ship. Cruise to Patmos, the tiny, rocky island where the exiled St. John the Divine received the Revelation which forms the last book of the New Testament. Optional tour of the 11th century monastery of St. John is available. Tonight you will sail to Rhodes. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Rhodes
Morning arrival at Rhodes, the island of Roses and site of the ancient Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Here you can take an optional tour to Lindos with its bay of St. Paul, where St. Paul landed, and its acropolis, dedicated to the goddess Athena; stroll though the medieval city with the streets of Knights and the stone mansions or enjoy swim on one of the beautiful beaches of the island. Late afternoon sail to Crete. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Heraklion (Crete) - Santorini
Morning arrival at Heraklion, the capital of Crete. A few miles away is the Palace of Knossos, discovered by Sir Arthur Evans in 1899, center of the famed Minoan civilization and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Noon sail to Santorini the most spectacular of the Greek Islands. The town of Thira is perched on a cliff created by volcanic eruption. Optional visit to the Akrotiri excavation where recent Minoan discoveries support the theories that Santorini might be the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis. At night sail to Piraeus. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Athens - Acropolis - Corinth
Breakfast on board. Disembarkation and transfer to the bus for a city tour that will give you the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides take you on a bus orientation through the main streets to The Tomb of Unknown Soldier, the Parliament House guarded by the Evzones, the National Library, the Panathenian Stadium built for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and the Temple of Zeus. Conclude your tour on the Acropolis hill with the masterpiece of the Golden Age, the Parthenon. View the Erectheion, the Propylea, the Parthenon Temple and visit the Acropolis Museum. On the slopes of the Acropolis you will view the Neopagus on Mars Hill, site of St. Paul’s address to “the men of Athens” about their “unknown God” (Act 17). In the afternoon, continue the tour via the Bay of Salamis, the Corinth Canal and the Saronic Gulf to Corinth. Corinth, an important place and congregation in St. Paul’s odyssey (Act, 18 and Letters to the Corinthians) with its temple of Apollo ruins set against the Acrocorinth on which the Temple of Aphrodite was located. This is the city where Paul worked with Aquilla and Priscilla. Return to Athens in the evening. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Corinth. (B, D)

Day 11 Athens - Delphi - Meteora
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning tour departure. Drive through the ancient kingdon of Thebes to Levadia, Arachova and Delphi, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios and the Museum. Continue your tour with a drive through the pleasant valleys of mount Parnassos, the river Spercheios and the plains of Thessaly to the town of Kalambaka at the foot of Meteora. Dinner and overnight in Meteora. (B, D)

Day 12 Meteora - Thessaloniki
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the greatest and most important monastery of all, the “Great Meteoran” and see perfectly preserved Frescoes of the 14th century, holy Icons offered by Byzantine Royal Dynasties and ancient manuscripts belonging to Royal collections and libraries. Depart via Larissa and the valley of Tempi crossed by the river Pinaos, to the province of Macedonia and Mt. Olympus, residence of Zeus and the 12 Olympian Gods. At the foot of the mountain you will visit the recently excavated sancuary of Dion, the ancient city of Dion and the perfectly preserved shrines and collections of the new archaeological museum of Dion. Continue to Thessaloniki, capital of the province of Macedonia where you will visit the famous Byzantine churches and the museum’s unique findings of the excavations at Vergina the Royal Tomb of King Philip the Second, father of Alexander the Great. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. (B, D)

Day 13 Thessaloniki - Amphipolis - Philippi - Kavala
After breakfast at the hotel you will depart for Amphipolis and the Region of the Lakes Corinia and Volvi. Visit the colossal Lion monument at Amphipolis (5th century BC) and proceed to Philippi, site of the famous battle between two Roman armies, where you will have an opportunity to follow the steps of St. Paul, St. Timothy and St. Silas. Short stop at the city and harbor of Kavala before you return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 14 Pella - Athens
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure for Pella, the ancient capital of King Philip and birthplace of Alexander the Great (356 BC). Visit the site and proceed to Lefkadia for a visit to the newly discovered temple-like tombs of the 4th century BC covered with perfectly preserved frescoes. Continue to Athens via the Tempi plains, the towns of Larissa and Lamia, the famous battlefield of Thermopylae and the spa of Kammena Vourla. Overnight in Athens. (B, D)

Day 15 Athens - Departure
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight. (B)
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