Multicountry Tours - Greece & Turkey - 15 Day Tour

The Seven Churches of the Revelation in Turkey and Paul’s Missionary Journey in Greece (15 days)
Istanbul – Izmir – Ephesus – Kusadasi – Aphrodisias – Laodicea – Pumukkale – Philadelphia – Sardis – Izmir – Pergamon – Thyatira – Kusadasi – Patmos – Rhodes – Crete – Santorini - Athens

Experience the best of biblical sites in Greece and Turkey, fantastic city tours, and a cruise to the Greek islands. This marvellous itinerary, a combination of the “Seven Churches of the Revelation” and the “In the Footsteps of Paul” tours, with an added 3-day cruise to the Greek Islands, will leave you awe-inspired and spiritually rewarded.

Day 1 – Istanbul:
Upon arrival at Istanbul International Airport in Istanbul, a representative of Aristotle Travel will meet and assist you with your transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2 – Istanbul:
First on the itinerary is a full day of sight-seeing in Istanbul, starting with the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue Iznik tiles, the Roman Hippodrome, and Topkapi Museum, the imperial residential palace of the Ottoman sultans between the 16th and 19th centuries, one of the oldest and largest remaining palaces in the world. Following is a visit to Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine jewel built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, considered one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels. The tour concludes with a visit to the world famous Grand Covered Bazaar, housing thousands of vendors offering textiles, spices, carpets and edible delights.

Day 3 – Izmir, Ephesus, Kusadasi:
Transfer today to Istanbul International Airport for the flight to Izmir, departing for Ephesus upon arrival. Enjoy a full day tour of the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St. John (who accompanied the Virgin Mary to Ephesus), the Celsus Library, the marble paved Arcadian Road, the Brothel, the Roman Baths, the Theatre where St. Paul preached, the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), and see the statue of Ephesian Artemis while touring the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in Selcuk. Enjoy free time for exploration afterwards, or shopping in the bazaar before transfer to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 – Aphrodisias, Laodicea, Pumukkale:
First on the itinerary today is a visit to Aphrodisias, the city of the Goddess of Love, where you will see the well preserved Stadium, The Temple of Aphrodite, the Odeon, the theatre, the Agora and the Hadrian Bath, followed by a stop at Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16). Next on the tour is a stop at Hierapolis (Col. 4:13), now called Pamukkale, where main attraction is a vast cliff of large deposits of calcium carbonate, shaped like small castles. Here you will also visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip, the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the ancient theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis, followed by a tour of the ancient city of Hierapolis.

Day 5 – Philadelphia, Sardis, Izmir:
The tour continues to Philadelphia, where you’ll visit another one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation (Rev 1:11; 3:7). Afterwards the tour departs for Sardis, one of the most picturesque sites of the Seven Churches of the Revelation (Rev 1:11; 3:1-4) and the capital of the ancient Lydian Kingdom during the 6th century B.C. Here you will visit the Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Cybele, ancient Lydian houses, the restored gymnasium and the reconstructed Synagogue before returning to Izmir for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6 – Pergamon, Thyatira, Kusadasi:
Next on the itinerary is a journey to Pergamon, also one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation (Rev. 1:11; 2:12). Here you’ll visit the Acropolis, perched high upon a hill overlooking the Bergama Plain, followed by a tour of the “Steepest Theatre of the Ancient World”. Transfer afterwards to Thyatira, where you’ll visit another one of the Churches of the Revelation (Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14) before travelling to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7 – Patmos (Greece):
Today you will arrive at Patmos, the beautiful island where the apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation in exile. Here you will visit the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist and the Grotto of the Revelation, before boarding the ship for Rhodes.

Day 8 – Rhodes:
Arriving at Rhodes today, you will visit the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. An optional half-day excursion will take you to the Temple of Athena on the majestic rocky Acropolis of Lindos.

Day 9 – Crete, Santorini:
Following arrival in Crete you will visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, legendary home of the Minotaur (half bull and half man) followed by a brief tour of Heraklion, the capital city of the island. Santorini, also included on the itinerary, is famed for its volcano, which erupted in 1600 B.C. literally burying the Bronze Age civilization at that time. Enjoy a visit to the white-washed town of Thera, perched high on the volcano, arriving either by mule or by cable car, offering a spectacular view of Akrotiri, the excavation site remaining as a testament to the island’s remarkable history. Following our visit to Santorini, we set sail for Athens.

Day 10 – Athens:
The itinerary in Athens today features a tour to the famous Parthenon, the Erechteum, and a visit to Mars' Hill (or Areopagus) (Acts 17:22), where Apostle Paul delivered his well-known sermon. The tour concludes with the highlights of modern Athens: the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus and the National Library.

Day 11 – Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Epidaurus:
The tour continues with a journey to Corinth via the famous Corinthian Canal, followed by a tour of the church established there by Apostle Paul. Other sites in Corinth include the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema, and Gallio's Seat. Next stop is a visit to the Archaeological museum and a tour of the ruins of a 5th century Christian basilica at the Ancient Port of Cenchreae. Following is a tour of the ancient remains in Mycenae, including the prehistoric citadel, the Lioness’ Gate, the Mycenaean Palace, and the tomb of Agamemnon, before continuing to Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece. Following our tour of Nafplion is a visit to Epidaurus, where you will see the Sanctuary of Asclepeios, the best-preserved ancient theatre in Greece, before returning to Athens for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 12 – Delphi, Kalambaka:
The following day will take you north to Delphi, capital of the Ancient world. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty and majesty, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. Following the tour of Delphi is a visit to the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the Archaeological Museum. The tour then continues towards Kalambaka for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 13 – Meteora, Vergina, Thessalonica:
Next on the itinerary is a journey to the spectacular region Meteora where you will see thousand-year-old breathtaking beautiful Byzantine monasteries perched high on colossal gray and reddish boulders. First built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation, they now exhibit superb icons, old manuscripts, unique mosaics and frescoes. The tour then continues to Vergina, the first capital of Macedonia, where we will visit the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Next on the tour is a stop at Berea to view the marvellous mosaic commemorating the preaching of Apostle Paul, followed by the journey to Thessalonica for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 14 – Thessalonica, Philippi, Kavala:
The final leg of the tour takes you to Thessalonica, where Apostle Paul preached and sent his first and second letters to the Thessalonians. Here you will see the Egnatian Road, the Galerius Arch, the Citadel and the Archaeological Museum, before continuing to Philippi, where Paul established the first church in Europe. Here you will see the river where Lydia and possibly the jailer were baptized and the ancient Forum and jail where Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Following is the drive the beautiful city of Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis for a brief tour and overnight stay.

Day 15 – Thessalonica departure:
Transfer to Thessalonica International Airport for departure flight.