Istanbul-Antioch-Cappadocia-Laodicea-Philedephia-Sardis-Patmos-Pergamon-Thyatira-Asos-Troias-Kavala-Philippi-Tasalonika-Meteora-Delphi-Athens-Corinth-Epidaurus-Mykenia-Aegina-Paros-Hydra / On The Foot Steps of St. Paul Turkey&Greece Tour / 16Days 15Nights(TMPL-3005)

Day 01 Istanbul-Adana-Antioch (-,L,D)
Upon arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, we connect directly to a domestic flight to Adana, ancient Cilicia. From there, we make our way to Tarsus, the birthplace of St Paul. Highlights include St Paul’s well and Cleopatra’s Gate. We continue on to Antioch at Orontes and stay the night there.

Day 02 Antioch (B,L,D)
Today, we journey east to Antakya, ancient Antioch. Antioch is thought to have been founded in 300 BC. St Peter was the first to preach here, followed by St Paul and Barnabas whose extensive efforts proved to be very fruitful for Christianity. Highlights include the museum which houses a superb collection of mosaics from Antioch, Daphne and Seleucia Pieria. St Peter’s Grotto, the cave church, came to be known as the meeting place of the early Christians. The most interesting monument here is the Tunnel of Titus, which is a tremendous canal dug for the purpose of diverting waters from the Orontes River. Another highlight is the rock tombs with their impressive facades pertaining to the Hellenistic period. Overnight in Antioch

Day 03 Adana-Cappadocia (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we drive north to Cappadocia. Our first stop is Derinkuyu, an underground city carved into soft rocks resembling a huge labyrinth of tunnels, rooms, kitchens, wine cellars and passageways. A huge chimney ventilates this 8-level dwelling, which was used by Christians hiding from their Roman and Byzantine persecutors. Their colourful frescoes remain as vibrant as when they were first made. Further on, we come to Cappadocia, which reminds the visitor of a village out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Overnight in Cappadocia

Day 04 Cappadocia (B,L,D)
In the morning, we visit the Valleys of Goreme to explore the unusual troglodyte dwellings, remains of the early churches comprising complicated rooms hollowed out of the cones of volcanic ash and decorated with scratched frescoes. We will visit the Apple Church, the Church of Sandals, and the Church with a Buckle in Goreme. Photo stops will be made at Uchisar “castle” village, a fantasy-land of strange and wonderful works of man and nature. If time permits, visit one of the local cave house. Then, proceed to Avanos Pottery Village, set on the banks of the Kizilirmak (Red River).    Overnight in Cappadocia

Day 05 Cappadocia-Konya (B,L,D)
After breakfast, travel to Konya. Visit  a 700 year old ancient caravanserai (a ‘hotel’ for ancient traders and travelers on silk road). Next, We will discover fairy Chimneys valley and Camel (Dervent Valley) where you will discovere most interesting geographical sights of Cappadocia. we continue to Konya visit the museum of 13th century  Philosopher  Melvana Celaleddin-i Rumi, which used to be the cloister for Mevlevi Dervishes. Mevlana was a philosopher and mystic of Islam, but not a Muslim of the orthodox type. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to men of all sects and creeds. Overnight in Konya

Day 06 Konya-Pamukkale (B,L,D)
Following an early breakfast, we drive to Pisidian Antioch (Yalvac). During Paul’s time, the population was made up of Jews, Romans and Greeks. Very little is left of Pisidian Antioch today.. Continue to Capaddocia. Thereafter, we proceed to Pamukkale and stay the night there. Next, we visit Hierapolis, which was founded by Pergamon King Telephons and named after his wife, Hiera. During the Byzantine period, the city became the seat of diocese with a large Christian Church dedicated to St Philip, who was martyred there in 80 AD. Highlights include the Roman Baths, the Theatre and the famous white calcium cascades of Pamukkale (the white “Cotton Castles”). Overnight in Konya

Day 07 Pamukkale-Laodicea-Philedelphia-Sardis-Kusadasi (B,L,D)
Drive to Laodicea, another one of the Seven Churches (Rev 3:14-22), chastised for being lukewarm. Then visit Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) referred to as the New Jerusalem. The next stops are Sardis the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia (Rev. 3:1-6) and Church of St.Policarp symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalyps. Overnight in Kusadasi

Day 08 Kusadasi (B,L,D)    
Following an early breakfast, we drive to the famous city of Ephesus, one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Our tour will begin with the Basilica of St John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity, was located here. Highlights include the Library of Celcius, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan, the Brothel and the Theatre. We will also stop by the House of Virgin Mary (on top of Mt Coressos). She was believed to have spent her last years in this area. On 18 August 1961, Pope John XXII proclaimed this place to be sacred. Drive to kusadasi for dinner and overnight.

Day 09 Kusadasi-Patmos-Kusadasi (B,L,D)
After breakfast early in the morning we embark on a chartered boat for a 3hrs ride to Patmos Island. Monastery of St John the Evangelist, where we have a wonderful view of the Island. After that we visit Grotto of the Revelation where the heavenly voice of God revealed to st John the future of humanity (Rev 1:12-21) Return to the port in the late afternoon to board our ferry back to Kusadasi Overnight in Kusadasi

Day 10 Kusadasi-Pergamum-Thyatira-Asos (B,L,D)
Today drive to Ephesus one of the Seven Churches in Revelation (Rev. 1:11), once populated with three hundred thousand people, it has an enormous Amphitheater, which can still hold twenty four thousand spectators. As we walk down the marble covered streets, we see gymnasiums, baths houses, public latrines, the library of Celsus, and the Temple of Artemis. After exploring of Virgin Mary House and sixth century Church of St. John. Next drive to Thyatira one of the Seven Churches of revelation (Rev. 1:11;2:18-29). After visiting of Pergamos (2:12–17) with Acropolis of the Hellenistic city drive to Assos for overnight.

Day 11 Asos-Troias-Kavala (B,L,D)
In the morning we have a conducted tour of Troy, that most famous of cities, written about by Homer in the Illiad and Odyssey in the 9th century BC. Afterwards we cross the Dardenelles to Europe en route for the Greek Frontier. We continue to Kavala, ancient Neapolis. As the port of Philippi it prospered until devastateed by Alaric’s Goths in 396 AD.

Day 11 Kavala-Philippi-Tasalonika-Meteora (B,L,D)
In Byzantine times it was called Christoupolis (Christ’s Town) probably because so many saints, including Luke, Paul, Silas and Timothy, had visited it in 43 AD. In the morning we have a tour in which we will see the Roman aqueduct that still spans the lower part of the town. Afterwards we proceed to Philippi, where St. Paul preached his first evangelical sermons and baptized the first Christians on European soil. In Philippi churches dominate the extensive ruins. During our visit we will see the Acropolis, the Agora, Basilica and Theatre. In the afternoon we drive to Meteora for an overnight stay.

Day 12 Meteora-Delphi (B,L,D)
Kalambaka is on the western edge of the Thessalian plain. It is dominated by a sheer cliff which rises 555 m above sea level. Taking a winding road we come to the Meteora, an unearthly forest of twenty four perpendicular rock needles. A circular road twists among these pillars, in which there are shallow caves occupied by hermits in the 11th century. In the troublesome times of the 14th century the Byzantines built a monastery on each of the peaks, two of which we will be visiting. This morning we will enjoy a pleasant drive through picturesque villages and towns of central Greece to Delphi, perhaps the most famous place in the Classical World. Delphi’s majestic combination of legend, history, architecture and landscape inspires awe in the thousands of people who visit it each year. The principal sites include the Theatre and Stadium, the Kastallian Spring and Marmária. In addition we will be taken to the Sanctuary of Apollo and Oracle on Mount Pamassus. Overnight in Delphi.

Day 13 Delphi-Athens (B,L,D)
Today we continue our sightseeing in Delphi which includes in a visit to the famous Archaeological Museum. The principal exhibit is “The Charioteer”, a unique 5th century BC bronze statue. From Delphi we drive 176 kms to Athens for a three nights stay.

Day 14 Athens-Corinth-Epidaurus-Mykenia-Athens (B,L,D)
Another magical day commences with a visit to Corinth where the Apostle Paul lived and preached for two years. Here we will see the Corinth Canal built in 1892, the Roman Agora (Market Place), six temples, the Julian Basilica and the Peirene Fountain. Before leaving we will visit the Archaeological Museum. From Corinth we proceed to Mycenae where we will visit the famous Lion Gate, the remains of Agamemnon’s Palace, the impressive Acropolis and the royal tombs. Overnight in Athens.

Day 15 Athens Island Hopping ( Aegina-Paros-Hydra) (B,L,D)
After breakfast, pickup from the hotel and transfer to the port for the cruise to the 3 Saronic Islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra.  Lunch served on board.  See and visit all 3 Islands, each different in character.  In the evening return to Athens and transfer to the hotel.  Overnight in Athens

Day 16 Athens-Home (B,L,D)
After breakfast, An all day tour of Athens, the capital of Greece, and cradle of civilization. We will be visiting the immortal Acropolis that to this day dominates this ancient city. Marvel at the majestic ruins of the Parthenon the greatest Doric Temple ever built, the Erectheum, and the Propylaea. Ascend Mars Hill, view the partly restored Agora, the National Archaeological Museum, the Theatre of Dionysos and Panatheanic Olympic Stadium, Synatgma Square, House of Parlement, The tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Athens academy university and other sites. and transfer to the airport