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Footsteps of St. John and St. Paul
Follow the travels of St. John and St. Paul from Asia Minor into Europe on this journey through Turkey and Greece. The Seven Churches of Revelation are seven major churches of Early Christianity, all found in Turkey. They are mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation, wherein Jesus Christ instructs His servant John to: "Write in a book what thou seest, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." (Revelation 1:11)

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb. 4:12)
Istanbul, the Seven Churches of the Revelation,
Thessaloniki, Kalambaka, Delphi and Athens
15 Days - Turkey and Greece with an Optional Cruise Extension
Itinerary
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in Istanbul, we are met by our local Tour Director and transferred to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Istanbul Depart after breakfast for a full day city tour of Istanbul. Formerly Constantinople, this once-walled city built on seven hills and situated astride two continents, has been the capital of three great empires. After lunch, we'll see the Hippodrome Square and the fabled Topkapi Palace, once residence of the Ottoman sultans, with its display of holy relics. Then we proceed to the historical Spice Market, followed by a ride on a private boat for a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, separating Europe and Asia. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4: Enjoy another full day tour of Istanbul. We will visit the imperial mosques like the famous Sultan Ahmet ("Blue") Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Church of St. Sophia, built by Constantine the Great, a great Byzantine basilica converted to a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul, and now designated as a World Heritage site. For lunch, experience the local cuisine before we continue our tour with visits to the Chora Church, known for its gold mosaics, then to the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 5: After breakfast, we fly to Izmir (Symrna) and on to a full day visit to Ephesus, site of the best preserved of the Seven Churches of Revelation and considered one of the most impressive ruins of the biblical world! This ancient city hosts impressive temples, marble streets, library, baths and the grand theatre where St. Paul and St. John preached to the Ephessians. We will visit the House of the Virgin Mary; built by St. John, who brought Her here from Jerusalem to live and where She spent Her last days, and where we will celebrate Mass. We continue to the Basilica of St. John, site of the tomb of Apostle John. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 6: Today, we enjoy a day trip to the ancient city of Miletus, the oldest and the most powerful of the 12 Ionian cities in Asia Minor and once a center of learning. Consider these views put forward by Milesian philosophers:
1. "The healthy and well-educated man is a happy man."
2. "Beauty arises not from a beautiful body but from beautiful actions."

It was in Miletus that St. Paul gave his farewell speech as found in Acts 20:17-38. We continue our journey back to Izmir, the "Pearl of the Aegean". Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7: Today we visit four churches of the Revelation: Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. After breakfast, we celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp, ancient Smyrna's oldest church and symbol of the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. We continue to Sardis, capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia, to visit the Church of Sardis built on the foundations of the Temple of Artemis. Continue to Alasehir, to see the ruins of the ancient Philadelphia Church, founded by Attalus II, and then continue with a visit to Eskihisar, the ancient Laodicea founded around 260 B.C. We next proceed to Pamukkale, once the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis; admire the beautiful snow-white "frozen waterfalls" once the Roman thermal baths, then to Necropolis. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 8: This morning, we depart for Akhisar to visit the ruins of the Church of ancient Thyatira. Then to Pergamum, capital of a large and powerful pre-Roman kingdom. We will visit the Church at the site of ancient Serapium, the Acropolis, the Red Court dedicated to St. John, and then on to Asclepion, the ancient healing center. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 9: After breakfast, we will visit ancient Troy, famous for the legendary Trojan horse, and then drive to Ipsala, at the border of Turkey, to cross over by ferry to Kavala, Greece. Kavala, once known as Neapolis, the biblical port city where St. Paul first landed with Timothy and Silas. Travel to Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 10: Enjoy a day trip to Philippi, the place where St. Paul preached his first sermon in Europe and also where he was imprisoned. View the Roman Forum, the Market Place, the Basilica, and the Theater. It was also in Philippi that he baptized Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe. We will also tour Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 11: Travel to Berea to view the famous steps where St. Paul preached and continue to Kalambaka. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 12: Today we visit the world famous Byzantine Monasteries, the Meteora, where we will ascend huge granite rock formations to view architectural wonders over 700 years old. We will visit one of the monasteries with its church and museum. We then travel on to Delphi, site of the famous "Oracle" in ancient times. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
Day 13: We tour Delphi today. We will walk to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and view the ruins of the sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. We will also see the Treasury, the Archeological Museum and the first monument built in the ancient world dedicated to "One God". We later travel on to Athens. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 14: The Parthenon, Athens Today, we head to Corinth, where St. Paul lived and preached for nearly 2 years, as reflected in his letters to the Corinthians. Walk the marketplace where St. Paul preached and visit the Archeological Museum and the Temples. Here, Paul founded the first church consisting entirely of Gentiles. We return to Athens by way of the Corinth Canal and the Roman seaport of Cenchrea; St. Paul sailed from this site to Ephesus. Back in Athens, we embark on a city tour, visiting the Acropolis and the Parthenon, Mars Hill, the Erchthelon, the majestic Propylea, the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the modern day Olympics, the Temple of Zeus, the Agora, Adrianís Arch and many other ancient sites. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 15: We bid farewell to Greece as we prepare to return to the U.S. or join an optional 4-night Greek Island Cruise extension plus 1 extra night in Athens.
Click here for the Greek Island Cruise extension plus an extra night in Athens.
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