An 11-Day Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Saint Paul in Greece and Turkey
Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Paul Sites, Including:
Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora, Berea, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala, Canakkale, Troy, Pergamon, Izmir, Ephesus, Istanbul and more.
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Day 1 Monday
USA / ATHENS
Our journey begins as we depart the United States to our Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Paul, beginning in Athens, Greece. Meals are served in-flight.
Day 2 Tuesday
Today we arrive in Athens and are met by our Pilgrimage Tours tour director prior to embarking on a driving tour of classical Athens prior to checking into our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 3 Wednesday
ATHENS / CORINTH
This morning we drive along the picturesque Corinthian Gulf via its historic Canal to Corinth where Saint Paul lived and worked and from where he sent his first and second letters to the Corinthians. We visit the market place where Paul preached to the Corinthians. To stand in the midst of the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps and place of public worship where Paul preached, will enhance your understanding and love of Corinthians I, II. We also visit the sixth century BC Temple of Apollo, the Museum of Corinth and the Bema Seat of St. Paul. We continue on to Cenchreae, the ancient seaport from where the Apostle Paul set sail for Ephesus. In the afternoon we return to Athens and visit the legendary Acropolis, the spectacular Parthenon and the Temple of the Winged Victory. Next we visit Areopagus on Mars Hill where Paul was brought before the council and made his famous “Men of Athens” speech. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 4 Thursday
ATHENS / DELPHI / KALAMBAKA
Morning drive to Delphi, the center of the Ancient world, the omphalos (navel) of the earth whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty and majesty, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. We visit the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the Archaeological Museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. After the tour we continue on to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Friday
METEORA / BEREA / THESSALONIKI
We depart Kalambaka for a climb up to spectacular Meteora with its thousand-year-old Byzantine monasteries perched precariously on huge finger-like rocks. The view from here is breathtakingly beautiful. We continue on to Berea on the terraced foot of Mt. Vernon to see the Monument where Paul preached. Next we depart for Thessaloniki where Paul also preached and to where he sent his first and second letters to the Thessalonians. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 6 Saturday
THESSALONIKI / PHILIPPI / KAVALA
This morning we enjoy a panoramic drive to the Old City Walls where we have excellent views of the city and the opportunity to take pictures. Then we see the White Tower, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius standing on the Egnatian Way and the Rotunda. Next we drive to Philippi, where Paul established the first church in Europe. Here we see the river where Lydia were baptized and the ancient forum and jail where Paul and Silas were kept. We then drive to the beautiful port city of Kavala (Neapolis), where Paul landed when he sailed from Troas. Here we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight in Kavala.
Day 7 Sunday
KAVALA / CANAKKALE
Today we drive from Kavala to the Greek-Turkish border. We say goodbye to our Greek guide and driver and we continue our journey with our Turkish guide and driver. We drive to Gallipoli through the European lands of Turkey and cross the Dardanelles Straits by ferry-boat. We arrive in Canakkale and visit a small Archaeological Museum which houses such 4th century treasures as gold laurel wreaths and precious jewelry. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 8 Monday
CANAKKALE / TROY / PERGAMON / IZMIR
Today we visit the ancient city of Troy and its 5,000-year-old history. Homer’s Iliad tells the legendary story of the Trojan War (1200 BC). Here the Apostle Paul stopped by what then was known as Troas and received his Macedonian call (Acts 16: 8). We continue on to Pergamon (Rev: 2:12-17), with its replica of the wooden horse that stands above the only remains of the city; a small theater and the foundation walls. We also see the acropolis, asclepion, the Red Basilica, which is one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. We continue on to Izmir passing by Thyatira. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 9 Tuesday
EPHESUS / IZMIR / ISTANBUL
Today we have a full-day visit of ancient Ephesus (Rev: 1:11:2:1:7, Acts: 18:19-28:19) with St. Johns Basilica, the archaeological site & museum. Here we see the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ephesus is another of the seven churches where the Apostle John wrote while imprisoned by Roman rulers. St. Paul founded the Church of Ephesus 53-56 AD. From here, he wrote letters to Galatia, Philippi and Corinth. Our excursion visits the great theater where St. Paul addressed the crowds (Acts 19:29). Next we visit the Basilica of St. John and also the House of Mary. It is widely believed that St. John brought the Blesssed Virgin Mary to Ephesus, after the crucifixion of Christ, to spend her final days. Finally, we will visit the Ephesus Museum. Late afternoon we drive to Izmir Airport for our flight to Istanbul departing early evening, arriving one hour later in Istanbul. We drive to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 10 Wednesday
Formerly Byzantium, the centre of the Eastern Roman Empire, this city is built on seven green hills and situated astride two continents. Full day visits to the Topkapi Palace; overlooking the Sea of Marmara and containing numerous chambers, courtyards and royal treasures, the Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque with its six minarets and thousands of blue tile, the Basilica of St. Sofia, (church of the sacred wisdom), now a museum, converted to a mosque from a Christian basilica after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Next we see the Hippodrome and the Obelisk brought from Egypt. In the afternoon we visit the Grand Bazaar, a place where numerous merchants have items for sale. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 11 Thursday
ISTANBUL / USA
This morning we leave the ancient New Testament lands of Greece and Turkey for home. Though our Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Paul has come to an end, its blessings and memories are sure to last a lifetime.