- Corinth Canal
Arrival at Fiumicino Airport, meet & greet with the English-speaking assistant at baggage claim area. Check-in Hotel. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast, meet the guide at the hotel’s lobby to start the full day city tour in Rome. Visit Santa Pudenziana Basilica, Santa Prassade Basilica and San Paolo alla Regola Church. Free time for lunch.
After lunch. We will continue our visit to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and then on to St. Peter Basilica. In the afternoon, return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Proceed with a half-day tour of Rome. Meet the local guide and visit St. Paul’s Outside the Wall is Basilica (optional coffee or breakfast break at the cafeteria) then continue on the old Appian Way see Catacombs of St. Callistus and enjoy a panoramic tour before check-in at Hotel. Afternoon at leisure for rest. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel. At 7.45a.m, meet the guide at the lobby for another full day tour in Rome. Today we will visit will see the Arch of Constantine and will visit Coliseum (inside visit), the Roman Forum and St. Peter in Chains Church.
Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, we will spend free time in the city center for shopping and individual exploration of the city. After the tour, the group will be picked up from a central point to be transferred back to hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After early morning breakfast at hotel we checkout and meet the local escort at 6.30a.m for transfer to Fiumicino Airport and our morning flight to Bari. Upon arrival Bari airport, we will meet the local assistant for our transfer to Bari port.
We will have a brief stop at Bitonto and enjoy a city tour there on our way to Bari. Opportunity to have lunch and buy some snacks for the ferry. We will then continue to Bari port for embarkation on the ferry. Pick up the ferry tickets from Superfast booth and embark the ferry departing at 7.30pm to Patras, Greece. (Lunch and dinner on your own). Overnight on board of ferry.
At 1pm. arrive in Patras port for disembarkation. Meet the local Greek guide and board the bus for driving us towards Athens. Drive eastwards in the Peloponnese peninsula until we reach the Corinth Canal. We will have a short stop at the historic canal to see the long cut of land connecting the waters of Aegean and Ionian Sea. We will then continue on to Athens where we arrive in late afternoon for check-in hotel. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Early breakfast at hotel. We will depart from Athens and we will enjoy a full day tour visiting the most important Biblical sites in Greece, Corinth and Athens.
We will drive out of Athens along the coastal road of Saronic Gulf to reach the ancient city of Corinth.
Here Paul lived and worked with Aquila and Priscilla for one and a half year, establishing a strong church. We see the Temple of Apollo, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat. We will also visit the small archaeological museum before returning to Athens.
After a short lunch break, we will continue our tour with a visit to the marble capped Acropolis Hill. We will see Parthenon Temple and Erechtheion. We will then walk to the nearby Mars Hill where Paul delivered his well know sermon for the Unknown God. We see the inscription at the spot commemorating his preaching.
Afternoon free time in Plaka, the most ancient district of Athens. Walk long the paved pedestrian street full of souvenir shops, cafeteria and restaurants. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight in Athens.
After early breakfast at hotel we check out of rooms. We will start our journey in Northern Greece. Our destination is Meteora Monasteries, which are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a spectacular drive up to Meteora Monasteries. They are built by monks from 11th century onward, on the top of huge gray-reddish boulders as they have been pushed upwards by a hand. We will see St. Stephanos and Varlaam Monasteries with the remarkable icons, manuscripts and frescoes. After the visit check-in at hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
In the morning we check out of rooms and board the bus to continue our journey to Thessalonica. We pass through Katerini and gaze upon the Olympus Mountain, which was the residence of the twelve gods according to Greek mythology.
In late afternoon, we arrive in Thessalonica. Here Paul went immediately to the synagogue (Acts 17:1) where, for three Saturdays he explained the prophecies of the Old Testament to Jews and Greeks. According to the Book of the Acts, many Greeks believed and even many «Greek chief women» (Acts 17:1-4).
We will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city to see the Via Egnatia, which run from Rome to Byzantium (Istanbul). The Rotunda, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius, the Old City Walls, St. Demetrius’ Church famous for its early Byzantine mosaics, St. Sophia Church, which is the first Christian church in Thessaloniki, and at last, we will pass by White Tower. After the tour check-in hotel for dinner and overnight in Thessalonica.
Today we depart from Thessalonica and enjoy our journey to Philippi, where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe and sowed the seeds of Christianity.
Here Paul baptized “a certain woman named Lydia” the first Christian convert in Europe. The Roman Forum, completely excavated, was built after Paul’s time. Among the ruins, located on the rocky ledge above the town’s main road, is the “prison” where Paul and Silas were thrown. In the rocks, you will find inscriptions and carved reliefs of deities. It was in Philippi that Octavian and Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius, last defenders of the Roman Republic in 42 BC.
After our visit, we will continue on to Kavala (Neapolis) to take a panoramic tour in the city and have a brief stop for lunch.
In the afternoon check-in hotel in Kavala for dinner and overnight.
After early breakfast at hotel, we depart from Greece and cross over the land borders into Turkey. After passport control, we meet the Turkish guide and board the bus to start our journey in Turkey.
We drive to Istanbul where we arrive in late afternoon for check-in hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit St. Sophia, to admire its architectural beauty. We than walk to the nearby Hippodrome Square and continue with a visit to the Blue Mosque. After a brief stop for lunch on our own visit the Basilica Cistern. End up our tour with a pleasant walk among 4,000 shops at the covered Grand Bazaar where we will try our bargaining skills. Return to hotel in late afternoon. Dinner
Early morning breakfast at the hotel and checkout. We drive to Canakkale where we cross by car ferry to Asia Minor. Upon arrival in Canakkale drive to Troy, the legendary city from the Trojan War. We visit the ruins of the ancient city and see the replica of the Wooden Horse. After the tour drive to hotel for dinner and overnight.
We continue our journey to one of the early Christian Churches, Pergamum, called Bergama. (Rev 2:17).
Pergamum was the capital city of the province. Here parchment paper was invented, the treasury of the Alexander Great had enriched the city, and it was the center of art of culture. First visit the Acropolis, the Citadel with the city walls, where Trajan Temple and the Library were built. We will also see a theatre and the remains for of Zeus Altar, which was known the Throne of Satan.
We will then drive to the Asklepion, one of the foremost medical centers of classical times, where methods of treatment included blood transfusions, music therapy and meditation. We will also see the Red Basilica, which is a brick construction before departing from the city. In late afternoon, we check-in at hotel, in Izmir for dinner and overnight.
Enjoy a panoramic tour of Izmir (Smyrna), another of the Seven Churches in Asia Minor (Rev 2:8-11). It was also the birthplace of Homer and the capital of the Aegean. We will then continue to Sardis (Rev 3:1-6), the former capital city of Lydia of King Croesus. Here we see the temple of Artemis, (Cybele & Diana), the gate of the Byzantine church, the restored synagogues, gymnasium and the royal road.
We will then drive to Philadelphia (Rev1:11, 3:7), which is meant “brotherly love”. The church of Philadelphia had used the open doors. Here we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th century frescoes. We continue on to Hierapolis, actually Pamukkale, where we check-in at hotel for dinner and overnight.
In the morning we will visit the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea knew the therapeutic waters in 190 BC.
In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13], we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. We will also see the 2nd Century AD theatre, the Nymphaeum, the Plutonium and the Necropolis.
We then continue on to Laodicea (present name Denizli) yet another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. We see the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica and the amazing water pipes system of the ancient city. Continue on to Kusadasi for check-in at hotel for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we enjoy a visit to the ancient city of Ephesus including the Basilica of St. John.
St. Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him.
We tour the spectacular ruins along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings. We see the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the great Theatre.
We will also see the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city. We continue on to the Basilica of St John and then return to Kusadasi for farewell dinner and overnight at hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel and checkout and pick up for transfer to Izmir Airport for flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival at Istanbul Airport, collect the luggage and walk to the transit area of airport for your flight back to home. End of services.
MEALS: B= Breakfast / L= Lunch / D= Dinner