IN THE STEPS OF ST. PAUL TURKEY & GREEK ISLES & GREECE 15 Nights / 16 Days DAY 1 – Mon. – Arrive Istanbul Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy welcome Dinner. DAY 2 – Tue. – ISTANBUL Drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to view the best of Istanbul’s stunning architecture and attractions. The impressive Hippodrome is your first stop. Then visit the Blue Mosque named for the vivid Iznik tiles which line its interior. Afterwards you will stop at the jewel in Turkey’s Byzantine crown-the Museum of St Sophia. This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 4th century AD and was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of the glorious city of Istanbul. Enjoy some time at the Grand Bazaar for some shopping. Late afternoon take the local ferry to start an unforgetable excursion between two continents, Europe & Asia. The cruise takes you along the latest palaces of Ottomans, The Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi, as well as 19th and 20th century, beautiful wooden Kiosks. Mansions and modern villas which form the elegant section of the city. Enjoy the scenery. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. DAY 3 – Wed. – ISTANBUL – Gallipoli – CANAKKALE Proceed through the commercial area passing Ottoman monuments to the famous Egyptian Spice Bazaar for a short visit. Continue to the amazing Topkapi Palace-official residence of the Ottoman Sultans-with courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a treasury. Afterwards drive to Gallipoli. After a brief visit to the WW1 battlefields of Galliopoli. Cross Dardanelles to Asia. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale. DAY 4 – Thu. – CANAKKALE – Troy – Troas – Assos – AYVALIK Morning visit the site of Troy, the homeric city. Drive to Troas from where Paul set sail to Neapolis on his second journey. Later visit Assos where Paul rejoined his companions. Continue to Ayvalik, surrounded by groves of olive trees which produce much of Turkey’s best olive oil, Stroll between the old Ottoman Greek houses, and orthodox churches now converted to mosques. Dinner and overnight in Ayvalik. DAY 5 – Fri. – AYVALIK – Pergamum- Thyatira – SMYRNA (Izmir) Morning drive to to Pergamum to visit the Acropolis of Helenistic Pergamum. Among its buildings are the Altar of Zeus and the temples of Trajan & Dionysus. After visiting the Asclepion, the earliest health center of Asia Minor. Continue to Thyatira. The church at Thyatira had tolerated the works of Jezebel. Dinner and overnight in Smyrna (Izmir) DAY 6 – Sat. – SMYRNA – Sardes – Philadelphia – HIERAPOLIS In the morning proceed to Sardes another of the Seven Churches. Continue on to Alasehir, Philadelphia the church of “brotherly love” of the apocalpsel. Afterwards drive to Hierapolis (Pamukkale) for dinner and overnight. DAY 7 – Sun. – HIERAPOLIS – Laodicea – Miletus – Didyma – KUSADASI After a visit to Hierapolis ruins and St. Philip`s martyrdom, drive to Loadicea. The church at Laodicea was an extension church of the church at Ephesus, as were the churches of Hierapolis and Colosea. Continue to Miletos, with one of the largest amphitheatres in Asia Minor. It was in Miletos that Paul stopped at the end of his third journey and predicted his imprisonment. Later in the day visit Apollo Temple at Didyma. Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. DAY 8 – Mon. – KUSADASI – Ephesus – KUSADASI Morning departure to Ephesus. St. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years. The still standing amphitheatre is the witness of the riots against St. Paul. The very first church dedicated to Virgin Mary was built in Ephesus after visiting Hadrian Temple, Celcus Library, St. John`s Basilica, House of Virgin Mary and Temple of Diana, Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. DAY 9 – Tue. – KUSADASI – Cruise – PATMOS In the morning embark your cruise ship. DATE PORT ARRIVES DEPARTS DAY 9 – Tue KUSADASI 07:00 12:00 DAY 9 -Tue PATMOS* 16:00 21:00 DAY 10 – Wed. RHODES 07:00 18:00 DAY 11 – Thu. HERACLION 07:00 11:30 DAY 11 – Thu SANTORINI* 16:30 21:00 DAY 12 – Fri PIRAEUS 06:00 — DAY 12 – Fri. – Disembark cruise – PIRAEUS – ATHENS Disembark cruise in the morning. Transfer to your hotel in Athens. Rest of the day at leisure. DAY 13 – Sat. – ATHENS – Corinth – ATHENS Breakfast at hotel and drive to Corinth. Visit ancient Corinth. After lunch return to Athens for a sightseeing tour and a visit to the Acrapolis and Mars hill. Dinner and overnight in Athens. DAY 14 – Sun. – ATHENS – Meteora – KALAMBAKA After breakfast, drive and visit two monastries in Meteora. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka. DAY 15 – Mon. – KALAMBAKA – Veria – THESSALONIKI In the morning depart hotel for Veria (Beroia) and visit the Berna of St. Paul. Lunch in Veria. Afterwards continue to see highlights of Thessaloniki (possibly of visiting 2 Byzantine churches). Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. DAY 16 – Tue. – Departure After breakfast drive to the airport for your departure flight.