On The Foot Steps of St. Paul Turkey-Greece Extensive Tour / 18Days 17Nights(TMPL-3006)

Day 01 Istanbul (-,L,D)
Welcome to Istanbul! Upon arrival meeting with your tour director and transfer to Mass at Espirit Church. After lunch we commence with sightseeing in Istanbul, covering the following: Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque), a 16th century’s religious center and the only mosque in Istanbul with 6 minarets. Hippodrome square where horse carriage and gladiator fights took place during the Byzantian Empire. It is decorated today with an Egyptian Column, Serpentane Column. Next, Topkapi Palace – a museum palace with a wide collection of Porcelains, Treasuries, religious collect peace. It is the first Great Imperial Palace of Ottoman Dynasty. Next, continue to visit Ibrahim Pasa Palace (Turkish islamic art museums), it is an important structure since it is the only presered private palace not belonging to the dynasty. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 02 Istanbul (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit Church of the Holy Saviour, It was built in the late 11th century, one of the museum’s most wonderful mosaics, found above the door to the nave in the inner narthex, depicts Theodore offering the church to Christ. Next, Bosphorous Cruise trip. Here, you will be able to soak in the sights and sounds of Turkey’s Asia and Europe sector as you cruise through this water channel that is the very beat of life in Istanbul.  Witness the magnificent architecture of the buildings along the river and the interesting activities of our local people. We will get very chance of taking photo of Rumeli Castle and Anatolia Castle build by the conquerer of Istanbu in 1453.  Next, visit St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia), at one time a cathedral and a mosque, a now a magnificent museum. Next visit Underground Water Cistern, built by Justinian in 532. The cistern is 65m wide and 143m long, and its roof is supported by 336 columns arranged in 12 rows. It once held 80000 cubic metres of water, pumped and delivered through nearly 20km of aqueducts. Next, visit the 500 year-old Grand Bazaar, which has more than 4000 shops selling local products handicrafts. Overnight in Istanbul.
Mass services will set at Stephanos Church

Day 03 Istanbul- Cappadocia (B,L,D) by flight
After an early breakfast, we are driving to Istanbul Ataturk airport and will take a domestic flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival we drive center of Cappadocia. Our first stop is Kaymakli, 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 colorful 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
Mass service will set at Avanos Village Church

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
Mass service will set at Avanos Village Church

Day 05 Cappadocia-Konya (B,L,D) 224km
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. Next, 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. Thereafter, Overnight in Konya
Mass service will set at Hotel

Day 06 Konya-Pamukkale (B,L,D) 398km
Following an early breakfast, 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 Pamukkale
Ps: Don’t forget to bring your swimming clothes, you will enjoy our hotel complimentary hot spring pools and Jacuzzi.
Mass service will set at hotel

Day 07 Pamukkale-Laodicea-Philedelphia-Sardis-Izmir (B,L,D) 224km
Following an early breakfast, 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) Overnight in Izmir
Mass service will set at Sardis or Philedaphia

Day 08 Izmir-Thyatira-Pergamum-Kusadasi (B,L,D) 224km
After breakfast drive to Thyatira one of the Seven Churches of revelation (Rev. 1:11;2:18-29). Drive along the Aegean coast line to the hilltop city of Pergamum, another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. The description in Rev2:12-17. At Pergamum we will visit the steepest theatre in the ancient world, the Temple of Trajan, the podium of the Altar of Zeus and the market place (agora). Next, visit Church of St.Policarp symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalyps. Overnight in Kusadasi
Mass service will set at Policarp Church

Day 09 Kusadasi (B,L,D) 101km    
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 Celsius, 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. Visit St. John Castle & Church in Selcuk town, this is the final resting place of John. Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight
Mass service will set at Virgin Mary House

Day 10 Kusadasi – Patmos (B,L,D)
After breakfast continue to Kusadasi pier and take a ferry to Patmos. Upon arrival meet at the port of Patmos and board the coach. Depart on tour to visit the Monastery of St. John and the Grotto of St. Anna. Completing the tour, lunch at a local restaurant. Walk to the hotel and check in.  Dinner in the evening at a restaurant. Overnight.    
Mass service at TBA                                                                               

Day 11 Patmos – Athens (B,-,D)
Breakfast in the hotel.  Full day at own leisure to relax or, explore.  Dinner in the evening at a restaurant.  Walk to the port for the ferry boat to Athens.  Overnight on board.
Mass service at Hotel                                                                            

Day 12 Athens – Corinth Tour – Athens Tour (B,L,D) 90km
Meet at the port in the morning and depart for Corinth. On the way, stop for breakfast.  Afterwards, drive to see the Corinth Canal, which separates the Aegean and the Ionian seas, before heading onto Ancient Corinth. Visit the site and see the Temple of Apollo, the Bema, the remains of the Agora and Pyrene Fountain. Completing, lunch at a local restaurant.  Drive back to Athens and tour the Greek capital. See Syntagma Square, (Constitution Square), the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the Evzones in their traditional costume. See the Athens Academy and the University. Stop at the Pan Athenaic Olympic stadium, where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896. See the archaeological site of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. Visit the world famous site of the Acropolis and see the Propylaea and the Parthenon.  Down from the Acropolis is Areopagos, where, St. Paul preached the gospel.  The tour completes with a visit to the Acropolis museum. Inside, see the statues and icons taken from the site. Completing, proceed to a local restaurant for dinner.  Transfer to the hotel for overnight.  
Mass service at TBA                                                                               

Day 13 Athens – Kalambaka (B,L,D) 365km
Breakfast in the hotel.  Depart on tour.  Drive north, along the highway, passing the town of Thebes, connected with the tragedy of King Oedipus Rex to Kalambaka, the town nestling at the foot of Meteora.  Arrive and stop at a local restaurant for lunch.  In the afternoon, drive to and visit 2 of the Meteora monasteries. Standing amid striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks, which seem to be suspended in mid-air. Inside, see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art, manuscripts and jewellry. Completing the tour, return to Kalambaka and to the hotel. Check in. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.          
Mass service at TBA                                                                               

Day 14 Kalambaka – Vergina Veria – Thessaloniki – Kavala (B,L,D) 235km
Breakfast in the hotel.  Depart Kalambaka and continue north. Turn off to visit the site of Vergina. See the treasures taken from the site and the Tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Continue to and visit the mountain town of Veria to see the place from where St. Paul preached the gospel.  Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue north to Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki and tour the city. See the symbol of the city, the White Tower, the Via Egnatia, the Rotunda, the Arch of Galerius and visit the Church of St. Demetrius. In the late afternoon, continue along the coast to Kavala (Biblical Neapolis). Arrive in the evening and check in the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.  
Mass service at TBA                                                                               

Day 15 Kavala – Greece and Turkey Border – Cannakkale (B,L,D) 216km
Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to and visit Philippi. See the remains of the 2 Basilicas, the Via Egnatia and St. Paul’s prison.  Visit also Lydia’s baptismal site.  Depart and continue, along the coast, passing the towns of Xanthi and Komotini to Alexandroupolis, the last Greek town. Lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, continue onto the border and cross to Ipsala. Meeting with the guide in Turkey and continue to Canakkale cross the Asia side of Turkey and visit Troy Ancient City, The legend of the Trojan War is the most notable theme from ancient Greek literature and forms the basis of Homer’s Iliad. Although the actual nature and size of the historical settlement remain matters of scholarly debate, the ruins of Troy in Turkey are a key archaeological site whose many layers illustrate the gradual development of civilization in north-western Asia Minor. Overnight in Canakkale.            
Mass service at Hotel                                                                              

Day 16 Canakkale – Istanbul (B,L,D) 320km
After breakfast continue to visit Gallipoli Campaign took place at Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916, during the First World War. A joint British Empire and French operation was mounted to computer the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, and secure a sea route Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. In Australia and New Zealand, the campaign was the first major battle undertaken by a joint military formation, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries. Anzac Day (25 April) remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Armistice Day/Remembrance Day. Our tours will cover following places as such; Kilitbahir Fortress, Turkish canon batteries, Beach Cemetery (the grave of john simpson), Anzac Cove, Anzac commemorative Site, Mehmetcik Memorial Statue, Lone pine Australian memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish and Anzac trenches and tunnels), Turkish 57. Infantry regiment cemetery, The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial. After complete the tours in Gallipoli we shall continue back to Istanbul and overnight.
Mass service at Hotel                                                                          

Day 17 Istanbul (B,-,-)
After breakfast free and easy day in Istanbul, you may like to join our optional tour of Prince Islands (please see bellow prince island optional details and price at below)
Mass service at St Anthony Church at Taksim                                                                         

Day 18 Istanbul-Return (B,-,-)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back home to bringing back wonderful memories and superb souvenirs from your Turkish vacation
Mass service at Hotel in the early morning