Holidays

The Pilgrimage od St Paul

The Pilgrimage od St Paul

Purpose: Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun
No. of days: 15 days - 14 nights
First & Last Cities: Istanbul, Athens
Other cities: Antioch, Adana, Tarsus, Cappadocia, Konya, Yalvaç, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini, Corinth, Kechries
Starting cost: On request

In the very civilized lands of Asia Minor, crossing the rugged mountains to reach the most populated cities of the moment, the indefatigable runt of God preaches Christ the Savior to the Jewish communities and to the pagans. What constitutes present-day Turkey saw the birth of the first large communities of disciples. Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, will be the first stage of this circuit. A pilgrimage which, without denying anything of the contemporary realities of the country, will lead us step by step through the homeland of the apostle, some of the Greek islands and finally to Athens, Corinth and Kechies as he spreads the teachings of Christianity.

 

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 - Mon: 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 4,000 shops. Lunch will follow at a local restaurant. Return to the hotel at dusk. [B/L/D]

 

Day 3 -Tue: Istanbul, Antioch, Adana

Breakfast and transfer to Antioch, to explore the third largest city of the Roman Empire and the headquarters of Saint Paul’s Missionary Journeys. The city became an important center of Christianity when it was visited by St. Barnabas, St. Peter and Saint Paul. We will have lunch and visit the cave of St. Peter, where it is assumed that the early Christians hid as well as the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated Mass. South of this church, the Iron Gate was one of the actual entrances of biblical Antioch, where you will get to walk on the same streets as the Saints did. Then we will move on to the Mosaics Museum of Roman times. We will transfer to Adana for dinner and stay overnight. [B/L/D]

 

Day 4 - Wed: Adana, Tarsus, Cappadocia

Breakfast and departure towards Tarsus. We will visit the ancient ruins of the city where Paul was born. His missionary work focused on the homeland. We will also drink water from the blessed well. Then, continue to Adana’s airport to catch a flight to Cappadocia, our next destination. On arrival, transfer at the hotel, dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. [B/D]

 

Day 5 - Thu: Cappadocia (Goreme, Üchisar, Saratli or Ozkonak)

This morning, visit the spectacular region of Cappadocia, unique for its fascinating and original landscape formed by lava of the volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan that erupted three million years ago. Visit the numerous monasteries and chapels of Goreme, dug into the rocks decorated with frescoes of the 10th century (some of them very well kept). In Üçhisar we will pass by the fortress and the Avcillar Valley. We will have lunch and visit the underground city of Saratli or Ozkonak, or one of 36 underground cities of Cappadocia that served as a refuge for Christians. At the end of the day we will return to Cappadocia for dinner and overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 6 - Fri: Cappadocia, Konya

Breakfast and departure to Konya (known as Iconium during the ancient time), which is the capital of the Seljuk sultans in the 11th century and which was visited by the Saint Paul on his missionary journeys (Acts 14.1-5). Then we will visit Caravansarai of Sultanhan, where the camel caravans on the Silk Road once stopped. We will have lunch on the way. We will also visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, who was a poet, philosopher and founder of mystical sect of the Whirling Dervishes. Dinner and overnight in Konya. [B/D]

 

Day 7 - Sat: Konya, Yalvaç, Pamukkale

Breakfast and move towards Pamukkale. On our way we will pass by the biblical city of Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvac). This was a major Roman colony that was visited by Saint Paul on his First Missionary Journey. Pisidian Antioch marked an important turning point in Paul’s ministry, as the city became the first to have a fully Gentile Christian community. Visit the remains of the Church of Saint Paul. This Byzantine church is the traditional location of the synagogue that Paul preached in (Acts 13:14-52). Transfer for dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. [B/D]

 

Day 8 - Sun: Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Kusadasi

Breakfast and exploration of Pamukkale, a truly unique place in the world, beautiful for its white cascades and natural pools. Then we will move on to the ancient 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. We will then visit Cleopatra’s pool and after lunch continue to Aphrodisias, the ancient Greco-Roman city, dedicated to the goddess of love Aphrodite. Then we will move to Kusadasi where we will enjoy dinner and spend overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 9 - Mon: 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 in Kusadasi. [B/D]

 

Day 10 - Tue: Kusadasi, Patmos

After breakfast, transfer to the port to board the cruise in the Greek islands. During 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 11 - Wed: Rhodes

The ship arrives in Rhodes, known as the island of Roses, where it will stay all day. To the south, the town of Lindos, with its ancient Acropolis on the mountain, and below, the beautiful bay of Saint Paul, which was the place where Saint Paul arrived on the island for the first time. Take the opportunity to visit the medieval city of Rhodes, famous for the Castle Knights; Knights of the Crusades that were left to fight against the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Mosques, minarets and Turkish baths mark the presence of the Ottomans in place throughout history. [B/L/D]

 

Day 12 - Thu: Heraklion (Crete), Santorini

Breakfast on board and arrival 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 13 - Fri: Piraeus, Athens

Breakfast and early morning disembarkation at the port of Piraeus. After disembarking, in Athens, the city tour will visit the main points of interest in the city: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Royal Palace, Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and visit the world-famous Acropolis, with its new Museum as well as Monastiraki (the Old Flea Market) and Mars’ Hill (Areopagus) where Paul preached the truth to the Gentile Nation. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Athens. [B/D]

 

Day 14 – Sat: Athens, Corinth, Kechries

After breakfast, the trip continues towards 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. Return to Athens, dinner and overnight. [B/D]

 

Day 15 - Sun: Athens, USA

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some free time in Athens. At the appointed time you’ll be picked-up at the hotel and transferred to Athens Airport to board your flight back home. [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 Adana 1 night

o Cappadocia 2 nights

o Konya 1 night

o Pamukkale 1 night

o Kusadasi 2 nights

o Athens 2 nights

o On board 3 nights (outside cabin)

 

·  Meals:

o Breakfast daily

o 3 lunches

o Dinner daily

·  Sightseeing of Istanbul

·  Cave of St. Peter in Antioch

·  Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul

·  Cappadocia (Goreme, Uchisar, Sarati or Ozkonak

·  Caravansarai of Sultanhan in Konya

·  Mausoleum of Mevlana

·  Biblical Yalvac

·  Church of Saint Paul

·  Pamukkale World Heritage Site

·  Ancient Greco-Roman Aphrodisias

·   Ancient Ephesus

·   4-day cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey

·  Palace of Knossos

·  Sightseeing of Athens & Acropolis

·  Excursion to Corinth & Kechries

·  Professional English-speaking Christian guide

·  All entrance fees as per itinerary

·  Private Luxury air-conditioned motor-coach:

·  WI-FI

·  1 bottle of water

·  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
Adana Adana Hilton SA 4.5
Cappadocia Elika Cave Suites 4.5
Konya Grand Hotel Konya 4
Pamukkale Richmond Pamukkale Thermal 4
Kusadasi Charisma Deluxe Hotel 4
Athens Royal Olympic 4
First Class
Istanbul Romance Istanbul Hotel 5
Adana Sheraton Grand Adana 4.5
Cappadocia Goreme Inn Hotel 5
Konya Hilton Garden Inn Konya 4.5
Pamukkale Melrose House Hotel 4.5
Kusadasi Paloma Marina Suites 4.5
Athens The Athens Gate Hotel 4.5
Superior Tourist Class
Istanbul Romance Istanbul Hotel 4.5
Adana Riva Resatbey Hotel 4.5
Cappadocia Divan Cave House 5
Konya Ibis Konya Hotel 4.5
Pamukkale Venus Suite Hotel 4.5
Kusadasi Asena Hotel 4.5
Athens Plaka Hotel 4.5

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: AJ04IST22XX


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.