Day 1 Departure - Wednesday
Today we depart from Johannesburg to Athens
Day 2 Arrival in Athens - Thursday
We arrive in Athens, where we are met by our representative and will be transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Athens – Friday
In the morning, admire the architectural miracles of ancient Athens, as we follow our guide to the world famous Acropolis, to see the Propylea, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. We visit Mars Hill where Paul, delivered his speech on the (Unknown God). View 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 that will follow, 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. Continue your trip to Ancient Corinth. This is the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Gospel. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples and the famous Bema, where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Then, drive to Cenchreae, the little harbor from where Paul sailed back to Asia, thus ending his second missionary journey. Back to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Meteora Saturday
We journey through the mainland of Greece begins with the drive from Athens to Kalambaka, in central Greece. Here we find scenery of unique and striking beauty: on top of huge granite pinnacles, see the ageless Meteora Monasteries full of treasures of Christian art. Visit one of them and drive to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Veria , Thessaloniki - Sunday
Early morning we get a taste of the beautiful countryside of Central and Northern Greece, as we drive from Kalambaka to Veria, visit the Bema of the apostle Paul. Continue to Thessaloniki and get acquainted with the city of Jason and Paul; see the White Tower, the Rotonda, the Roman Arch of Galerius, the Byzantine Acropolis and visit the most famous church of Thessaloniki, the Basilica of St. Demetrius. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 6 Philippi , Kavala (Neapolis)- Monday
Follow the route of the Via Egnatia and visit, as Paul and his companions had done once, the area of Amphipolis. There we will see the famous funerary Lion of Amphipolis, the site of Philippi and also visit the Baptistery of Lydia near the river the place where Paul baptized her. Lydia was the first convert of Paul on European soil and the next was the jailer. Also, visit the ruins of the Forum of Philippi, the Christian Basilicas, the (Prison of Paul) and the Theater. Drive to Kavala (Neapolis), a picturesque city-port and view the Byzantine Castle and the Roman Aqueduct. Dinner and overnight in Kavala.
Day 7 Istanbul - Tuesday
Depart from Kavala and drive through the Greek part of Thrace, passing by the towns of Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupolis. Arrive at the border of Turkey and cross over to the Turkish part of Thrace. Our final destination is Istanbul (Constantinople), the city which straddles two continents. This city was the capital of the Byzantine Empire for more than one thousand years and of the Ottoman Empire for more than five hundred years. Istanbul is famous for many beautiful places and museums, which we will have the opportunity to see the next day. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 8 Istanbul – Wednesday
Today our (Istanbul City tour) will start with the Blue Mosque, in the city, distinguished by the six slender minarets and the interior decorated with blue Iznik tile. Continue with a walk through the Hippodrome, the center of Byzantine civic life housing three ancient monuments; The Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Visit St. Sophia, one of the greatest churches in the world, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. After the conquest of the city in 1453, it was transformed into a mosque in 1934 and turned into a museum by Ataturk. In the afternoon, visit the famous Topkapi Palace, where the rich collection of Ottoman Treasures can be seen. The palace with a base area of 700.000 sq. m is spread over the promontory called the Seraglio Point; once the acropolis and from there enjoy a splendid view the Bosporus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. This legendary maze of buildings was the residence of the Ottoman sultans and the administrative heart of the Empire. Nowadays, it is one of the world s greatest museums. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 9 Izmir – Thursday
Early in the morning we take our flight to Izmir. We visit St. Polycarps Church and afterwards, drive north to Pergamum, which was one of the principal political and cultural centers of the Hellenistic and Roman world, as well as home of one of the Seven Churches. Among the most impressive structures of this city is the Altar of Zeus, the Temple and the great Library, which was the second best of ancient times after the one in Alexandria. The Asclepieion of Pergamum was a famous healing center, where methods of treatment included blood transfusions, music therapy and meditation. On the way back to Izmir, visit the city of Thyatira, to see the remains of the Church, which was as well one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 10 Sardis , Philadelphia , Pamukkale – Friday
Today we visit Sardis, a place which holds a prominent place in the heart of the Christians, since this as well was one of the Seven Churches which you will visit. In Sardis we visit a Synagogue dating back to the 3rd century A.D. We see the Gymnasium and the Temple of Artemis. Our itinerary will continue to Philadelphia, another one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation, which was a very important center during Byzantine times. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 11 Laodicea , Aphrodisias , Kusadasi – Saturday
Early morning we drive to Laodicea, where the remains of the city are found on a flat-topped hill. The Gospel was introduced to this area during the time of Paul, by Epaphras of Colossae. Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation, became the seat of a Bishop and hosted an important Ecumenical Council in the 4th A.D. Highlights are the Water Tower, the Stadium and the Council Chamber. Our next stop will be Aphrodisias, named after and dedicated to the (goddess) of beauty and love. The city was known as a center of art, science, sculpture and festivals, this city boasts well preserved ruins, among which are the Theater, the Stadium, the Baths and the (Bishop’s Palace). Dinner and overnight will be in the seaside town of Kusadasi.
Day 12 Ephesus , Flight to Athens – Sunday
In the morning, we drive to the ancient city of Ephesus, where Paul spent three years during his 3rd missionary journey. The impressive remains of Ephesus include the Agora, the Theater (in which Paul preached), the Stadium, the Library of Celsius, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World ) and many more. We are transferred to Izmir airport from where you will take your flight to Athens. Upon arrival in Athens you will be met and taken to your hotel where later on we will enjoy our farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 13 Departure – Monday
Today you fly back home having a new insight into Pauls life and teachings.
Day 14 Home - Sunday