Visit Greece in Paul’s Footsteps
When we arrive in Thessaloniki, the first stop of our tour to visit Greece and Turkey, we continue on to our hotel for dinner and overnight. This is the city where Paul was received by Jason. Paul was preaching the Word of God here until he was rushed out of the city. In the morning, we visit Greece and the landmarks of the city: the White Tower, the Walls of the Byzantine Acropolis, the Roman Arch of Galerius and the Rotonda. We visit two of the city’s oldest Christian churches, the Basilicas of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia. We then follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, like Paul and his companions, the area of Amphipolis, to see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis. Then we travel onto Philippi. There, we visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river, where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil, followed by the jailer. Also, we visit Greece and the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the “Prison of Paul” and the Theater. Then our visit Greece tour continues with a drive to Kavala (Neapolis), Paul’s first step in bringing the Gospel to present day Europe. Here we see the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. The next morning we see the Byzantine monasteries perched on mountain peaks. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliff-side caves. We will include a special visit Greece tour to Delphi, this mountainous city which today is both an archaeological site and a modern town.
Take a 3-Night Mediterranean Cruise
We sail this morning on our visit Greece cruise from Athens to the quaint isle of Mykonos, called the island of windmills. We arrive at Mykonos, where we disembark for our visit Greece tour of the island and have time to experience the waterfront lined with shops and cafes. We stroll the charming walkways through a maze of white-washed buildings before returning to the ship for the evening. The next morning we arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey. A short drive takes us to Ephesus, where Paul spent three years during his ministry. The ruins of Ephesus include the Agora, the Theater, the Stadium, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Diana and more. Later today we sail for the island of Patmos and visit the Monastery of St. John. From there, we walk down to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St. John. In the morning, we arrive at Heraklion, Crete and disembark. Excursion not included: You can choose to visit Greece at the Minoan Palace of Knossos, home to king Minos and his legendary beast the Minotaur. In the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, we can find the unbelievable works of art found in a number of sites all over Crete. In the afternoon, we cruise to the isle of Santorini and disembark. Excursion not included: Santorini is often referred to as the most breathtaking of all the Greek islands. The exquisite whitewashed villages, including the town of Fira, cling to volcanic cliffs accessible by cable-car or mule.
Tour Athens and Corinth
We disembark the visit Greece cruise this morning in Athens. Here we admire the architectural wonders of ancient Athens, as we follow our guide to the world-renowned Acropolis, to see the Propylea, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. We visit Mars Hill, where Paul delivered his speech on the “Unknown God.” Then we see 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, we also 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. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Athens on your own. The following day we travel to Ancient Corinth. This is the once-glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul spent a year and a half preaching the Word of God. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples and the famous Bema. Then we drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor from which Paul sailed back to Asia, thus ending his second missionary journey. We end our visit Greece tour with a transfer to the airport for the return flight home.
Continue the Tour with a Rome Extension
After our flight to Rome, we enjoy a sightseeing tour including a special visit to the early Christian Catacombs. From here we visit St. Peter in Chains. Then we visit the Colosseum, the Forum and the Piazza Venezia. In the afternoon, we visit St. John Lateran and the “Sacred Steps.” Afterwards we make a special visit to St. Paul’s Church where tradition believes the Apostle Paul is buried. The next day we travel to Pompeii to visit the spectacular ruins of a city covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Pompeii remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1500 years until excavations in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire. Our first visit this morning is to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the celebrated Chapel of the Popes. From here, our next visit is to the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the world. In the afternoon, we drive through the main streets of Rome, marveling at the monuments of this great capital. We stop near the Fontana di Trevi, following tradition by tossing a coin into the fountain, promising to return to Rome. We end our tour with a transfer to the Rome airport for our return flight home.