The Pilgrimage Of Saint Paul

A 15 Days / 14 Nights Christian Tour In Greece & Turkey

Itinerary

DAY 1, Sunday: Istanbul

The trip will start with your arrival in Istanbul where we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

DAY 2, Monday: Istanbul

Breakfast and full-day city tour of Istanbul. Visits include monuments of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empire, the Roman Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar with over 4000 shops. Lunch will follow at a local restaurant and we will return at dusk.

DAY 3, Tuesday: Istanbul / Antioch / Adana

Breakfast and transfer to Antioch, to explore the third largest city of the Roman Empire and the headquarters of Saint Paul’s Missionary Journeys. The city became an important center of Christianity when it was visited by St. Barnabas, St. Peter and Saint Paul. We will have lunch and visit the cave of St. Peter, where it is assumed that the early Christians hid as well as the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated Mass. South of this church, the Iron Gate was one of the actual entrances of biblical Antioch, where you will get to walk on the same streets as the Saints did. Then we will move on to the Mosaics Museum of Roman times. We will transfer to Adana for dinner and stay overnight.

DAY 4, Wednesday: Adana / Tarsus / Cappadocia

Breakfast and departure towards Tarsus. We will visit the ancient ruins of the city where Paul was born. His missionary work focused on their homeland. We will also drink water from the blessed water. We will move to the airport of Adana and catch a flight to our next destination; Cappadocia. Transfer at the hotel, dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

DAY 5, Thursday: Cappadocia

Breakfast and visit at the spectacular region of Cappadocia, unique for its fascinating and original landscape formed by lava of the volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan three million years ago. Visit the numerous monasteries and chapels of Goreme, dug into the rocks and decorated with frescoes of the 10th century (Some of them very well kept). In Üçhisar we will pass by the fortress and the Avcillar Valley. We will have lunch and visit the underground city of Saratli or Ozkonak, or one of 36 underground cities of Cappadocia that served as a refuge for Christians. At the end of the day we will return to Cappadocia for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6, Friday: Cappadocia / Konya

Breakfast and departure to Konya (known as Iconium during the ancient time), which is the capital of the Seljuk sultans in the 11th century and which was visited by the Saint Paul on his missionary journeys (Acts 14.1-5). Then we will visit Caravansarai of Sultanhan, where the camel caravans on the Silk Road once stopped. We will have lunch on the way. We will also visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, who was a poet, philosopher and founder of mystical sect of the Whirling Dervishes. Dinner and overnight in Konya.

DAY 7, Saturday: Konya / Yalvaç / Pamukkale

Breakfast and move towards Pamukkale. On our way we will pass by the biblical city of Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvac). This was a major Roman colony that was visited by Saint Paul on his First Missionary Journey. Pisidian Antioch marked an important turning point in Paul’s ministry, as the city became the first to have a fully Gentile Christian community. Visit the remains of the Church of Saint Paul. This Byzantine church is the traditional location of the synagogue that Paul preached in (Acts 13:14- 52). Transfer for dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

DAY 8, Sunday: Pamukkale / Hierapolis / Kusadasi

Breakfast and exploration of Pamukkale, a trully unique place in the world, beautiful for its white cascades and natural pools. Then we will move on to the ancient Hierapolis, mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Colossians (Col 4:13), meaning “Holy City”, a UNESCO world heritage site, classified for its hot springs and the ruins of the ancient capital of Phrygia, where Saint Philip is buried and Colossus (now known as the village of Honaz), whose church was mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians. We will then visit Cleopatra’s pool and after lunch continue to Aphrodisias, the ancient Greco-Roman city, dedicated to the goddess of love Aphrodite. Then we will move to Kusadasi where we will enjoy dinner and spend overnight.

DAY 9, Monday: Kusadasi / Ephesus

Breakfast and move to Ephesus. Ancient Ephesus was the Roman capital of Asia Minor and an important center for Christianity from AD 50s. During AD52-54 Saint Paul lived here working with the congregation and organizing his missionary activity and taught the Word of God (Acts 20:31) and this is where he wrote the Epistle to Corinthians I. Additionally this was one of the seven cities found in the Book of Revelation(Acts 2:1-7), indicating a strong church. We will visit the house of Virgin Mary where she lived with John, on the hill behind the city. After this amazing experience we will have lunch and then visit the Basilica of St. John as well as the ruins of the famous Diana’s temple with the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Odeon, the Arch of Hercules, the Temple of Hadrian, the Agora and the Greco-Roman theater. The day will conclude with dinner and we will stay overnight in Kusadasi.

DAY 10, Tuesday: Kusadasi / Patmos

After breakfast, transfer to the port to board the cruise in the Greek islands. During lunch, the ship will head to the island of Patmos, a beautiful and spiritual island where in 95 AD, St. John the Theologian - one of the twelve disciples of Jesus - was sent into exile. St. John remained on the island for eighteen months during which time he lived in a cave below the hilltop temple of Diana. In this cave exists a small hole in the rock wall, from which derived a series of oracular messages that Prochoros, a disciple of St. John, transcribed as the Biblical chapter of Revelations. During his time in the sacred cave, now known as the Holy Grotto of the Revelation, St. John also composed the Fourth Gospel. During our time there we will visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will see the Holy Grotto as well as priceless icons and manuscripts.

DAY 11, Wednesday: Rhodes

The ship arrives in Rhodes, known as the island of Roses, where it will stay all day. To the south, the town of Lindos, with its ancient Acropolis on the mountain, and below, the beautiful bay of Saint Paul, which was the place where Saint Paul arrived on the island for the first time. Take the opportunity to visit the medieval city of Rhodes, famous for the Castle Knights; Knights of the Crusades that were left to fight against the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Mosques, minarets and Turkish baths mark the presence of the Ottomans in place throughout history.

DAY 12, Thursday: Heraklio (Crete) / Santorini

Breakfast on board and arrival at the port of Heraklion on the island of Crete. In Heraklion Paul met the owner and captain of the ship, who warned him about continuing his journey to Rome. You can take a tour (optional) to the Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan civilization. After lunch, the ship will travel to the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea known as the “Black Pearl of the Aegean”, the volcanic Santorini where we will enjoy the breathtaking Panoramic View. Latest excavations have suggested that Santorini might be the lost sight of Atlantis.

DAY 13, Friday: Piraeus / Athens City Tour

Breakfast and early morning disembarkation at the port of Piraeus. After disembarking, in Athens, the city tour will visit the main points of interest in the city: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Royal Palace, Pan-Athenian Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and visit the world famous Acropolis, with its new Museum as well as Monastiraki (the Old Flea Market) and Mars’ Hill (Areopagus) where Paul preached the truth to the Gentile Nation. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Athens.

DAY 14, Athens / Corinth / Cenchrea

Breakfast and trip continues towards ancient Corinth (Acts 18.1-18). It was in ancient Corinth where Paul came and worked, established a thriving church and writing two of the epistles, which are now part of the New Testament. We will see all the sites that are associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s seat, the pillars, stairs, and the place of public worship, where Paul preached. All these visits will certainly enhance the understanding of Corinthians I and II. Before ending the tour and return to Athens, we will visit the ancient Greek port of Cenchrea (Acts 18:18) where Paul was during his second missionary journey and the ruin of the early Christian 5th Century basilica. Return to Athens, dinner and overnight.

DAY 15, Sunday: Athens Airport

According to the schedule of your flight you will be transferred to Athens Airport.

istanbul antioch cappadocia pamukkale hierapolis ephesus patmos athens corinth cenchrea

Biblical Readings

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Acts 13:14,15
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra ; what persecutions I endured : but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 2 Timothy 3:10,11
And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus : for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Acts 9:11,12
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not ? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:32,33
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:9
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill [or, the court of the Areopagites], and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions [or, gods that ye worship], I found an altar with this inscription, To the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. Acts 17:22,23
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1,2,3