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Highligts: Athens, Meteora, Veria, Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kavala (Neapolis), Istanbul, Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale, Laodicea, Aphrodisias, Kusadasi, Ephesus.

Day 1 Arrival in Athens
Today you arrive in Athens, where you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

Day 2 Athens
In the morning, admire the architectural miracles of ancient Athens, as you follow your guide to the world famous Acropolis, to see the Propylea, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. You will visit Mars Hill where Paul, delivered his speech on the “Unknown God”. View the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city, where Paul preached to the skeptical Athenians. During the bus tour that will follow, you see Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Olympic Stadium and the Neoclassical buildings of Athens. Then, you continue your trip to Ancient Corinth. This is the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Gospel. You visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples and the famous Bema, where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Then, you drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor from where Paul sailed back to Asia, thus ending his second missionary journey. Back to Athens for dinner and overnight. (BD)

Day 3 Meteora
Your journey through the mainland of Greece begins with the drive from Athens to Kalambaka, in central Greece. Here you find scenery of unique and striking beauty: on top of huge granite pinnacles, you see the ageless Meteora Monasteries full of treasures of Christian art. Visit one of them and drive to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.(BD)

Day 4 Veria / Thessaloniki
This morning you get a taste of the beautiful countryside of Central and Northern Greece, as you drive from Kalambaka to Veria, where you visit the Bema of the apostle Paul. Continue to Thessaloniki and get acquainted with the city of Jason and Paul; see the White Tower, the Rotonda, the Roman Arch of Galerius, the Byzantine Acropolis and visit the most famous church of Thessaloniki, the Basilica of St. Demetrius. Dinner and overnight will be in Thessaloniki.(BD)

Day 5 Philippi / Kavala (Neapolis)
Follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, as Paul and his companions had done once, the area of Amphipolis. There you will see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis, the site of Philippi and also visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river the place where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil and the next was the jailer. Also, visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. Drive to Kavala (Neapolis), a picturesque city-port and view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. Dinner and overnight will be in Kavala.(BD)

Day 6 Istanbul
Depart from Kavala and drive through the Greek part of Thrace, passing by the towns of Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupolis. Arrive at the border of Turkey and cross over to the Turkish part of Thrace. Your final destination is Istanbul (Constantinople), the city which straddles two continents. This city was the capital of the Byzantine Empire for more than one thousand years and of the Ottoman Empire for more than five hundred years. Istanbul is famous for many beautiful places and museums, which you will have the opportunity to see the next day. Dinner and overnight will be in Istanbul.(BD)

Day 7 Istanbul
Today your “Istanbul City tour” will start with the Blue Mosque, the most splendid mosque in the city, distinguished by the six slender minarets and the interior decorated with blue Iznik tile. You then continue with a walk through the Hippodrome, the center of Byzantine civic life housing three ancient monuments; The Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Visit St. Sophia (Divine Wisdom), one of the greatest churches in the world, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. After the conquest of the city in 1453, it was transformed into a mosque by Mehmet the Conqueror and in 1934 into a museum by Ataturk. In the afternoon, visit the famous Topkapi Palace, where the rich collection of Ottoman Treasures can be seen. The palace with a base area of 700.000 sq. m is spread over the promontory called the Seraglio Point; once the acropolis and from there enjoy a splendid view the Bosporus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. This legendary maze of buildings was the residence of the Ottoman sultans and the administrative heart of the Empire. Nowadays, it is one of the world’s greatest museums. Dinner and overnight will be in Istanbul.(BD)

Day 8 Izmir
Early in the morning, you will fly to Izmir. From Izmir airport, you visit St. Polycarp’s Church and afterwards, you drive north to Pergamum, which was one of the principal political and cultural centers of the Hellenistic and Roman world, as well as home of one of the Seven Churches. Among the most impressive structures of this city are the Altar of Zeus, the Temple of Dionysus dating from 399 B.C and of course the great Library, which was the second best of ancient times after the one in Alexandria. The Asclepieion of Pergamum was a famous healing center, where methods of treatment included blood transfusions, music therapy and meditation. On the way back to Izmir, visit the city of Thyatira, to see the remains of the Church, which was as well one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation. Dinner and overnight will be in Izmir.(BD)

Day 9 Sardis / Philadelphia / Pamukkale
Today you will visit Sardis, a place which holds a prominent place in the heart of the Christians, since this as well was one of the Seven Churches which you will visit. In Sardis we can also see a Synagogue dating back to the 3rd century A.D. You will also see there the Gymnasium and the Temple of Artemis. Next visit on your itinerary will be Philadelphia, another one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation, which was a very important Christian center during Byzantine times. Dinner and overnight will be in Pamukkale.(BD)

Day 10 Laodicea / Aphrodisias / Kusadasi
Today you drive to Laodicea, where the remains of the city are found on a flat-topped hill. Christianity was introduced to this area during the time of Paul, by Epaphras of Colossae. Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation, became the seat of a Bishop and hosted an important Ecumenical Council in the 4th A.D. Highlights are the Water Tower, the Stadium and the Council Chamber. The next stop will be Aphrodisias, named after and dedicated to the Goddess of beauty and love. The city was known as a center of art, science, sculpture and festivals, this city boasts well preserved ruins, among which are the Theater, the Stadium, the Baths and the “Bishop’s Palace”. Dinner and overnight will be in the seaside town of Kusadasi.(BD)

Day 11 Kusadasi / Ephesus
In the morning, you drive to the ancient city of Ephesus, where Paul spent three years during his 3rd missionary journey. The impressive remains of Ephesus include the Agora, the Theater (in which Paul preached), the Stadium, the Library of Celsius, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis (one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”) and many more. Dinner and overnight.(BD)

Day 12 Departure
Drive to Izmir airport from where you will take your flight back home.

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