Holidays

Teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul

Teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul

Purpose: Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun
No. of days: 15 days - 14 nights
First & Last Cities: Istanbul, Athens
Other cities: Troy, Canakkale, Pergamum, Thyatira, Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Patmos, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini, Piraeus, Corinth, Kechries, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora, Veria, Vergina, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala,
Starting cost: On requesr

Teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul

15 days – 14 nights

Istanbul, Troy, Canakkale, Pergamum, Thyatira, Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Patmos, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini, Piraeus, Corinth, Kechries, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora, Veria, Vergina, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala, Athens

Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun

 

As recorded in the first chapter of the book of Revelation, the apostle John received a vision describing end-time events culminating in the return of Jesus Christ. In particular, he received the following directive: "What you see, write it in a book and send it to the seven Churches which are in Asia, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamon, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia and to Laodicea” (Revelation 1:11, Ostervald version). The order in which these cities are listed corresponds to “the route that a messenger would have taken, starting from Patmos [island where John received this vision], to deliver this parchment [to its recipients]” (ESV Study Bible; Revelation 2:11). The travels of Saint Paul in Greece mark the beginning of the evangelization of this land of which we are the cultural and spiritual heirs. This itinerary will take you from Philippi to Athens passing through Thessaloniki and Corinth, places where Paul resided and structured the faith of the first Christian communities. You will also visit some of the greatest sites of ancient Greece, all steeped in a fundamentally religious civilization. The Epistles of Paul will be the guides of this pilgrimage which will allow you to better understand the dialogue between culture and faith, at the origins of the Church.

 

Day 1 - Sun: Istanbul

After passing Immigration and Customs formalities at Istanbul International Airport you’ll meet your guide for your transfer to the hotel in town. Rest of the day free to rest and relax. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. [D]

 

Day 2 - Sun: Istanbul

Breakfast and full-day city tour of Istanbul. Visits include monuments of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empire, the Roman Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar with over 4000 shops. Lunch will follow at a local restaurant and we will return at dusk. Dinner and

overnight in Istanbul. [B/L/D]

 

Day 3 - Mon: Istanbul, Troy, Canakkale

Breakfast and visit to the legendary city of Troy, whose fame derives from Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War and after we will continue to Canakkale for dinner and overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 4 - Tue: Canakkale, Pergamum, Thyatira, Izmir

Breakfast and departure from Canakkale to explore three of the cities that received the letters of John:

- Pergamum (Revelation 2: 12-17), now called Bergama, was the rival city of Alexandria in the arts and letters. On a visit to this city we will see its Greco-Roman Theatre, the Temple of Trajan and altar of Zeus. The Pergamum church characterizes the church from the time of Constantine (313-600 AD). At that time Christianity became the official religion of the Roman state. In this way, the church began to spread around the world. - Thyatira (Revelation 2: 18-29), which was an important trade center in ancient times, is now called Akrisar meaning White Castle. A letter to this Church was the longest of all the letters of the Apocalypse and the message it delivers is also among the toughest. We will have lunch at a local restaurant, return in the evening for dinner and spend the night there. - Izmir (Revelation 2: 8-11), at the time it was called Smyrna, which means bitter. The origin of the word Smyrna derives from «myrrh», which was one of the components that served to embalm the dead (John 19:39). In this city, we will enjoy a panoramic visit and then visit the church of St. Polycarp. We will gather for dinner and spend the night there. [B/L/D]

 

Day 5 - Wed: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale

Breakfast and set off for the city of Sardis (Revelation 3: 1-6), whose ruins bear near the present village of Sarte and Philadelphia (Revelation 3: 7-13). There, we will visit their respective churches. Philadelphia lies in a valley at the foot of a mountain plateau. The location of the city is now occupied by a small Turkish village name Shehr Allah, meaning “city of God”. Pamukkale is one of the most breathtaking places in the world, stunning for its white waterfalls and natural swimming pools, where will indulge in its beauty. The day will conclude with dinner and we will stay overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 6 - Thu: Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Kusadasi

Breakfast and visit to the ancient city of Hierapolis. We will continue to Laodicea (Revelation 3: 14-22) that was located at the site of the modern city of Denizli, where we will visit one of the seven churches. The hot springs of Hierapolis, mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Colossians (Col 4:13), meaning “Holy City”, a UNESCO world heritage site, classified for its hot springs and the ruins of the ancient capital of Phrygia, where Saint Philip is buried and Colossus (now known as the village of Honaz), whose church was mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians. The hot springs of Hierapolis helped in the treatment of health problems, while the cold waters of Colossus were good to drink. Then we will move to Kusadasi where we will enjoy dinner and spend overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 7 - Fri: Kusadasi (Ephesus)

Breakfast and move to Ephesus. Ancient Ephesus was the Roman capital of Asia Minor and an important center for Christianity from AD 50s. During AD52-54 Saint Paul lived here working with the congregation and organizing his missionary activity and taught the Word of God (Acts 20:31) and this is where he wrote the Epistle to Corinthians I. Additionally this was one of the seven cities found in the Book of Revelation (Acts 2:1-7), indicating a strong church. We will visit the house of Virgin Mary where she lived with John, on the hill behind the city. After this amazing experience we will have lunch and then visit the Basilica of St. John as well as the ruins of the famous Diana’s temple with the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Odeon, the Arch of Hercules, the Temple of Hadrian, the Agora and the Greco-Roman theater. The day will conclude with dinner and we will stay overnight. [B/L/D]

 

Day 8 - Sat: Kusadasi, Patmos

Breakfast and move to the port to board the cruise to the Greek islands. Over lunch, the ship will head to the island of Patmos, a beautiful and spiritual island where in 95 AD, St. John the Theologian - one of the twelve disciples of Jesus - was sent into exile. St. John remained on the island for eighteen months during which time he lived in a cave below the hilltop temple of Diana. In this cave exists a small hole in the rock wall, from which derived a series of oracular messages that Prochoros, a disciple

of St. John, transcribed as the Biblical chapter of Revelations. During his time in the sacred cave, now known as the Holy Grotto of the Revelation, St. John also composed the Fourth Gospel. During our time there we will visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will see the Holy Grotto as well as priceless icons and manuscripts. [B/L/D]

 

Day 9 - Sun: Heraklion (Crete), Santorini

In the morning the ship will dock at the port of Heraklion on the island of Crete. In Heraklion Paul met the owner and captain of the ship, who warned him about continuing his journey to Rome. You can take a tour (optional) to the Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan civilization. After lunch, the ship will travel to the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea known as the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”, the volcanic Santorini where we will enjoy the breathtaking panoramic View. Latest excavations have suggested that Santorini might be the lost sight of Atlantis. [B/L/D]

 

Day 10 - Mon: Piraeus, Corinth, Kechries, Athens

Breakfast on board and early arrival in Piraeus. After disembarking, we will head toward ancient Corinth (Acts 18.1-18). It was in ancient Corinth where Paul came and worked, established a thriving church and writing two of the epistles, which are now part of the New Testament. We will see all the sites that are associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s seat, the pillars, stairs, and the place of public worship, where Paul preached. All these visits will certainly enhance the understanding of Corinthians I and II. Before ending the tour and return to Athens, we will visit the ancient Greek port of Kechries (Acts 18:18) where Paul was during his second missionary journey and the ruin of the early Christian 5th Century basilica. Next stop will be Athens where we will have city tour visiting the main points of interest in town: the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Areopagus where Paul preached the Truth to the nation (Acts 17:22). Dinner and overnight in Athens. [B/D]

 

Day 11 - Tue: Athens, Delphi, Kalambaka

We will have breakfast and then departure towards Delphi. Delphi is the famous oracle where the priestess of Apollo, Pitia, influenced, with their prophecies the history of cities and states of antiquity. Visit the archaeological site and museum, where you will admire the famous statue of Bronze Charioteer the young driver of the sun chariot. Near there you will find the famous Monastery of Hosios Loukas. This is a historic walled monastery and one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The trip continues with a visit to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 12 - Wed: Kalambaka, Meteora, Veria, Vergina, Thessaloniki

Following breakfast, we will visit the spectacular Meteora, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a mountainous region of stunning scenery. You will see hundred-year-old Byzantine monasteries on top of huge rocks, during the Middle Ages, first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation. We will visit the most famous of them, which is now a popular museum, the Great Meteoron, to admire superb icons, old manuscripts, unique mosaics and frescoes. Departure to Veria (Berea), another town evangelized by Paul (Acts 17.10-14). When Saint Paul visited this town in CE 50, he came across a more noble Jewish community where he preached and created an important Church. This is where Paul met Sopatros, who would later become a valuable comrade who followed him on his return journey to Asia. We will visit the ancient synagogue where we will see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. According to tradition it was at this place where he preached. Then we will head to Vergina, the legendary burial site of the Macedonian kings. This place is considered as a World Heritage Site, also known as the Royal Tombs and houses the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great and conqueror of Greek territories which resulted in the expansion of Hellenism. Return to Thessalonica, dinner and overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 13 - Thu: Thessalonica (Philippi, Kavala)

The day will begin with a trip to Philippi, the town where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity. “And from there (He went) to Philippi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman Colony. We remained in this city some days...” (Acts 16:12-18). Paul arrived here with Silas and Luke on the winter of AD 49 to AD 50. There the first Christian baptism was performed, of a woman named Lydia. Although they were prosecuted and arrested, they received God’s help to escape from prison (Acts 16: 11-23) where there was the conversion of the jailer (Acts 16: 23-26). We will visit the Roman Theatre, probable site of the prison where Paul and Silas were arrested. We will continue towards the city of Kavala and the ancient city of Neapolis (Acts 16:11) where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. It was later renamed Christoupolis, meaning city of God, because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. We will visit the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. [B/D]

 

Day 14 - Fri: Thessaloniki, Athens

Breakfast and return to Athens. On the way we will see the walls of the Old Town, the newly excavated Forum, an ancient Roman monument that was transformed into a church and the Arch of Galerius, which rises along the famous Via Egnatia and we will also pass through Thermopylae, where we will see the statue of the Spartan King Leonidas. This place was an important and vital point because of its location. Several battles occurred there during the ancient time and the most famous was the heroic battle of the Spartans against the Persians in 480 BC. Arrival in Athens is expected in the

afternoon where we will enjoy dinner and spend the night. [B/D]

 

Day 15: Sat: Athens. USA

According to the schedule of your return flight you will be taken to the airport of Athens. [B]

 

[B] = Breakfast | [D] = Dinner | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



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1-855-55
TOURS

Tour includes

·  Airfare USA/Istanbul//Athens/USA

·  Airport and pier transfers

·  14 nights’ accommodation:

o Istanbul 2 nights

o Canakkale 1 night

o Izmir 1 night

o Pamukkale 1 night

o Kusadasi 2 nights

o On board 2 nights

o Athens 2 nights

o Kalambaka 1 night

o Thessaloniki 2 nights

·  Meals:

o Breakfast daily

o 5 lunches

o Dinner daily

·  Sightseeing of Istanbul

·   Legendary city of Troy

·   Pergamum Greco-Roman Theatre, Temple of Trajan and altar of Zeus

·   Thyatira (Akrisar)

·   Smyrna (Izmir) church of St. Polycarp

·   Churches or Sadis & Philadelphia

·   Ancient city of Hierapolis

·   Laodicea (Denizli) church

·   Ancient Ephesus

·   3-day cruise to the Greek Islands

·   Monastery of St. John in Patmos

·  Palace of Knossos

·  Ancient Corinth

·  Ancient Greek port of Kechries

·  World Heritage site of Delphi

·  World Heritage site of Meteora

·  Vergina, legendary burial site of the Macedonian kings

·  Philippi, first Paul’s sermon in Europe

·  Ancient city of Neapolis (Kavala)

·  Panoramic tour of Thessaloniki

·  Statue of King Leonidas in Thermopylae

·  Sightseeing of Athens & Acropolis

·  Excursion to Corinth & Kechries

·  3-day Greek Islands cruise, full board (outside category)

·  Professional English-speaking Christian guide

·  All entrance fees as per itinerary

·  Private Luxury air-conditioned motor-coach:

o WI-FI

o 1 bottle of water

o Headset upon request

·  All local taxes

Not included in tour

·  Airfare fees and taxes

·  Travel Insurance

·  Expenses of personal nature

·  Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

·  Tips to guides or drivers

·  Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

·  Tips to guides or drivers


Hotels in your Tour
City Hotel Name Tripadvisor
Deluxe
Istanbul Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus 4.5
Canakkale Kolin Hotel 4
Izmir Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir 4.5
Pamukkale Richmond Pamukkale Thermal 4
Kusadasi Charisma Deluxe Hotel 4
Athens Royal Olympic 4
Kalambaka Guesthouse Sotiriou 4.5
Thessaloniki Electra Palace Thessaloniki 4.5
First Class
Istanbul Romance Istanbul Hotel 5
Canakkale Akol Hotel 3.5
Izmir DoubleTree by Hilton Izmir - Alsancak 4
Pamukkale Melrose House Hotel 4.5
Kusadasi Paloma Marina Suites 4.5
Athens The Athens Gate Hotel 4.5
Kalambaka Divani Meteora Hotel 4.5
Thessaloniki Anatolia Hotel Thessaloniki 4.5
Superior Tourist Class
Istanbul Romance Istanbul Hotel 4.5
Canakkale Artur Hotel 4.5
Izmir Ibis Izmir Alsancak 4.5
Pamukkale Venus Suite Hotel 4.5
Kusadasi Asena Hotel 4.5
Athens Plaka Hotel 4.5
Kalambaka Dellas Boutique Hotel 5
Thessaloniki The Caravan 5

MEAL PLAN: Normally we include daily breakfast and dinner for all groups. However, the meal plan may vary depending on the organizer's request

·  All hotels will be requested after discussion with the group Organizer


Tour Pricing

The price for the group will be quoted based on the number of passengers, season, hotel type and meal plan.

Group organizers always travel for free if the group has 15 or more paying passengers.

Inclusion of tour conductors must be considered at time of request.

·  If you wish to use this program for your group please either call us (1-855-55-TOURS or use the web Group Quote Request.

·  In either case our specialists will work with you to refine all the details and they will get you a quote with 2 business days. Quotes may be obtained for the air and land portions of just for the land journey.

·  Booking both air and land with us will represent savings for you because of our special Leisure Fares, buying power and longtime relationship with the airlines.

·  We will also may have the choice between regular fares and special leisure fares not available to the public.

 

Tour Code: AJ03IST22XX


Options

·   Lunches and dinners can be arranged for groups at top restaurants or any restaurant requested by you.

·  We can revise the itinerary to spend more time and provide more depth in those areas that you are interested on.

·   Any other changes to the itinerary will be accommodated depending on the facilities available in the area.