Itinerary: Turkey/Greece 2015
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January 10, Saturday:
- Depart from Port Columbus International Airport, OH destination Istanbul.
January 11, Sunday: Arrival in Istanbul
- Transfer to hotel
- In the late afternoon we will have a short orientation tour of Istanbul and visit the Grand Bazaar.
- Welcome dinner at the hotel.
January 12, Monday: Istanbul
January 13, Tuesday: Istanbul: Chalcedon and Nicaea
- Drive to Chalcedon (modern Kadikoy) on the Asian side of Istanbul.
- Drive to Iznik to see the ancient site of Nicaea.
- Return to Istanbul for dinner.
January 14, Wednesday: Fly to Adana - Antakya (Ancient Antioch)
- Fly from Istanbul to Adana.
- Drive to modern Antakya, ancient Antioch on the Orontes River.
- Full day tour in Antioch. Antioch was St. Paul's headquarters and the third largest city of the Roman Empire, rivaled only by Rome and Alexandria.
- Visit the cave church where St. Peter is said to have preached. South of the church, the Iron Gate was one of the actual entrances of Biblical Antioch; strolling through the old part of the city, one can imagine the early Christians who walked these old streets, for little has changed since that time.
- After lunch, drive to Seleucia Pieria mentioned in the New Testament as the port from which St. Paul and St. Barnabas set sail for Anatolia on their first missionary journey (45-46 AD).
- Visit the Temple of Zeus for a bird's eye view of the harbor, and then visit the famous Titus water tunnel.
January 15, Thursday: Tarsus - Cilician Gates - Cappadocia
- Drive to Tarsus, to visit the birthplace of St. Paul and drink from the ancient well.
- Continue on to Cappadocia. Transfer to hotel for overnight.
January 16, Friday: Cappadocia
- Full day exploring Cappadocia, land of unique landscapes and unusual rock formations called "Fairy Chimneys." Early inhabitants carved the soft volcanic rock to create underground dwellings, that eventually grew to become entire cities where as many as six thousand Christians hid to escape persecution Elaborate churches, by some counts over a thousand of them, were also carved of the porous rock, and lavishly decorated with frescoes; many of these 9th to 11th century art works still remain.
- Visit Goreme Open Air Museum with rock Churches, Underground City, the natural Citadel of Uchisar and the monastic Zelve Valley.
January 17, Saturday: Fly from Cappadocia to Izmir (Ancient Smyrna)
- Drive to Kayseri Airport. Fly to Izmir via Istanbul.
- Visit ancient Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11), the Agora, view Alexander the Great's castle, and visit the new Archaeology and History Museum. Overnight Izmir.
January 18, Sunday: Sardis - Philadelphia - Hierapolis - Pamukkale
- Drive to Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) and see the Gymnasium, the 3rd century. Synagogue, the Temple of Diana and the remains of the 1st century Church
- Visit Alasehir to see the 1st century Philadelphia Church (Rev. 3:7-13).
- Drive to Hierapolis.
- Overnight in Pamukkale.
January 19, Monday: Laodicea - Aphrodisias
- Visit Laodicea (Rev. 3: 14-22).
- Visit Hierapolis and the Necropolis.
- Continue to Aphrodisias, currently being excavated by the New York University.
- Proceed to Kusadasi for overnight.
January 20, Tuesday: Ephesus (Modern Kusadasi)
- Full day tour in Ephesus (Acts 18- 21, I & II Tim., Rev. 2:1) and Terrace Houses.
- Visit the Basilica of St. John.
- Visit the Archeological Museum.
- Return to Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight.
January 21, Wednesday: Pergamum - Ancient Troy -
- Drive North to Pergamum (Rev. 2:12-17). Visit the Acropolis and the remaining of the 1st century Church called the Red Basilica.
- Visit Ancient Troy.
- Dinner and overnight in
January 22, Thursday: Turkey - Greece - Kavala
- After crossing by ferry, drive north to the Greek border of Kipi. We will be met on the Greek side of the border by the Greek guide and driven to the city of Kavala (ancient Neapolis).
- Visit Neapolis a picturesque port city where Paul landed with his disciples Timothy and Silas.
- Take a short panoramic tour of the city including the Kavala Old Town (Panagia), 16th century Aqueduct, Byzantine Fortress (castle) and the mosaic of Paul replicating his first step onto the European continent.
- Dinner and overnight at hotel in Kavala.
January 23, Friday: Philippi - Thessaloniki
- After an early breakfast, travel to Philippi, the site where the apostle Paul came and worked, establishing a strong church. See the ruins of a prison where Paul and Sylas were kept, the Agora, 5th and 6th century Basilica and the Theater.
- In the afternoon we drive to Thessaloniki.
- We will visit St. Demetrius' Church and crypt with its early Byzantine mosaics.
- Visit St. Sophia, the first Christian church in Thessaloniki.
- Visit the archaeological site of the ancient Greek Agora/Roman Forum.
- Drive to the upper part of the Old City Walls and continue with a sightseeing drive of the city viewing the White Tower, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius standing on the Egnatian Way, and the Rotunda.
- After tour continue on to Lamia for late check-in at hotel for dinner and overnight.
January 24, Saturday: Lamia - Delphi - Athens
- After an early breakfast, we leave Lamia and drive to Thermopylae (site of the famous battle of the "300"), see Leonidas statue and drive south to Delphi.
- On the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty and majesty, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. We visit the
Sanctuary of Apollo, the
Treasury of the Athenians and the Archaeological Museum containing such masterpieces as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. Visit the Marmaria Precinct to see the Tholos and then continue on to Athens for late check-in at hotel in Athens followed by dinner and overnight.
January 25, Sunday: Athens
- All day sightseeing tour of Athens.
- We will climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis and visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion.
- Visit Mars' Hill (or Areopagus) (Acts 17:22) where the Apostle Paul delivered his well-known sermon as well as visit the Stoa and Forum areas.
- Our tour continues with a visit to the Acropolis Museum and highlights of modern Athens: we will see the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenaic Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Academy, the University and the National Library. Return to hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight.
January 26, Monday: Corinth
- Depart Athens for Corinth. Driving along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf we will pass by the historic Corinthian Isthmus Canal.
- Visit Ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18) where the Apostle Paul established a thriving church and subsequently sent two of his epistles. Here, we see all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio's Seat. The small archaeological museum is included as well as a trip to the Acropolis (Acro-Corinth).
- Return to hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight.
January 27, Tuesday: Athens Departure for Home
- After an early morning breakfast at hotel, transfer to Athens International Airport for departure flight back to USA.
(Last updated 5/15/2013)