Best of Turkey & Greece
Please join Ben Bryson on a:
12 Day Tour | March 31 – April 11, 2020
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Please join Ben Bryson on a:
12 Day Tour | March 31 – April 11, 2020
|March 31 – April 11, 2020||$3,797*||$755|
|*Includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, CA.|
Reservation Due: November 8, 2019
Final Payment Due: December 8, 2019
Flights from Los Angeles, CA including current air taxes, 3 nights lodging in Turkey 4 star hotel, 2 nights standard inside cabins on cruise, 5 nights lodging in Greek 4 star hotels, Breakfast and Dinner Daily (Buffet Style), Full time English speaking Turkish & Greece Tour Guides / Local Island Guides on Cruise, Porterage at Hotel (1 Bag), Port Taxes, Tips for Tour Escorts, Local Guides, Drivers, Cruise Assistant, Services of long distance deluxe motorcoach as appear on itinerary, All guides, entrances and transportation as appear on itinerary, 1 Group Arrival Transfer / 1 Group Departure Transfer
Lunches, Additional Arrival & Departure Transfers ($60.00 per person, per transfer), Optional Travel Insurance (US Residence Only)
Day 1: Departure from US (Tuesday – March 31)
Today we embark on our Journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history with an overnight flight to Izmir. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight… Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked!
Day 2: Arrival Izmir (Wednesday – April 1)
We arrive in Turkey late this evening and immediately transfer to our hotel south in the lovely port city of Kusadasi, for the next three evenings. Arriving late, we check in and immediately head to bed.
Day 3: Free Day Along the Aegean (Thursday – April 2)
Following our late night arrival last evening, we enjoy a restful day along the shores of the Aegean. Sleep in, rest along the shore, and enjoy the hotel amenities. This evening we come together for a welcome meeting following dinner.
Day 4: Ephesus (Friday – April 3)
We travel to the nearby town of Selcuk for a visit of ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was once a thriving port town of 250,000 people. Today you can still see the spectacular excavations of the major streets in this ancient city. We view the Library, Agora, theatre, colorful mosaics in the aristocratic Terrace Houses, and a panoramic outlook of the surrounding ancient port area (including a wealth of church history and cultural insight). Then we continue with a visit to the Basilica Church of St. John, which houses an immersion baptismal and is believed to be resting place of John. From here we have an excellent overview of the Ephesus harbor, the Mosque of Jesus, and see the site of the Temple of Artemis, which is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Isle of Patmos (Saturday – April 4)
This morning, we embark our cruise ship and sail for a visit to the beautiful Isle of Patmos, which is under statutory protection as a historic monument. Here we have a tour to see the fortified monastery of St. John and the cave claimed to be where John received the Revelation. Back on the ship, enjoy dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night.
Day 6: Crete and Santorini (Sunday – April 5)
Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. Take a tour to Heraklion and the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. This afternoon visit the island of Santorini which is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. We enjoy a panoramic bus tour viewing some of the most spectacular scenery of the Aegean. Travel through countless villages and settlements with delicate architecture and beauties eventually arriving in Oia. During your time in Oia, visit the many narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques. Upon returning to the ship, we view the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea, & Nea Kameni. We arrive at the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.
Day 7: Disembark Cruise – Corinth & Cenchreae (Monday – April 6)
We disembark the cruise this morning and travel west with a rest stop and photos at the Corinth Canal. We then travel to the ancient city of Corinth, another treat for the New Testament scholar. Corinth is the city that inspired many of Paul's most familiar letters. See the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. To enjoy a devotional in the midst of the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps, and public worship place where Paul preached will enhance your understanding and love of I & II Corinthians. The ruins of this important cultural center are fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern day. Our guide will be sure to show you the room dedicated to the medical care of that period. Before ending our day we visit Cenchreae, the ancient port region of Corinth. Acts 18:18, states the Apostle Paul stopped at Cenchreae during his second missionary journey, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow. We return to Athens for the evening.
Day 8: Athens (Tuesday – April 7)
Following breakfast this morning we tour Athens, the foundation of democracy. We visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and Erectheum before viewing Athens atop Mars Hill where Paul stood and preached the truth to the Gentile nation. From atop Mars Hill we view the Agora below, the ancient marketplace and center of Athenian public life. Additional sites viewed during our panoramic bus tour are, the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium, and Presidential Palace. An option later this afternoon is a visit to the famous Plaka with a multitude of shops and cafes.
Day 9: Meteora Monastery (Wednesday – April 8)
From Athens, our tour travels northward past Thermopylae where we learn of the famous Spartan battle of 300. We continue through the mountains to Meteora. Here we see the world famous Byzantine monasteries that are perched precariously on summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the cliffside caves then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, later transformed into monasteries. Our lodging this evening will be in Meteora.
Day 10: Vergina, Berea, Thessalonica (Thursday – April 9)
Traveling northward into Macedonia we visit King Phillip's (Alexander's father) tomb in Vergina, one of the most outstanding finds in all of Greece. A stop will be made in Berea to view the ancient synagogue where Paul spoke and the Bema surrounded by mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the "more noble" church. The New Testament books of I & II Thessalonians will come alive to us today as we arrive in the delightful harbor city of Thessalonica. En route to the hotel we will view the old city ramparts; the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church, an ancient Roman monument which was transformed into a church and the Galerius Arch which rises over the famous Via Egnatia. We spend two nights here.
Day 11: Thessalonica / Philippi / Kavala (Friday – April 10)
We begin the day by following the massive battlement Byzantine wall to the citadel for a panoramic view of the city. Next, we will visit Philippi and Kavala. Kavala is Greece's prettiest mainland port with a most elegant harbor. Paul landed here with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. Luke, the Evangelist, also came here from Troas. This ancient city of Neapolis was later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. Imagine walking on the same sod as these men of the Bible! We will see the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis in this beautifully located city, known since the 5th century as Kavala. Continue on to Philippi where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. We will view the baptismal site where Lydia surrendered her life to Christ and visit a crypt dating from the Roman period that is thought to have served as a prison for Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, Basilica, and the Theatre. We return to Thessalonica and visit St. Demetrius Basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert, before returning to the hotel for our final night.
Day 12: Depart for Home (Saturday – April 11)
We transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.