DAY 1 | ATHENS
We begin our journey in the world’s ancient capital, the cradle of western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy. St Paul himself is likely to have arrived by ship at the port of Athens and he preached at Mars Hill (Aeropagus) near the heart of the city, the Acropolis. The Ancient Agora in the Plaka district was one of the many meeting places of the Apostle.
DAY 2 | THESSALONIKI
Full of history, culture and beauty, this is Greece’s vibrant second city. St Paul arrived here to preach in 49 AD on his Second Missionary. His First Letter to the Thessalonians was addressed to a church in the city the following year. In a day of wonder, we see the Citadel and Vlatadon Monastery where Paul visited. Then we drive to Veria (Berroia in the Bible) where he preached to the noble Jews. Saint Paul is the patron saint of Veria.
DAY 3 | KAVALA
Saint Paul came to this northern city and nearby ancient Neapolis on his first journey to Europe. At ancient Philippi he baptised the first Greek and European Christian convert, Lydia. A church and open air baptistery stand on the very site. He gave his first sermon and we visit the archaeological site here including the prison where Paul and St Silas were held. St Paul’s Monument is also on our itinerary.
DAY 4 | ISTANBUL
The Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottomans have all held sway over this city straddling Europe and Asia across the mighty Bosphorus. You will see the stunning Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque, Hippodrome, Church of Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Galata Bridge and of course the incomparable Grand Bazaar. This only touches the surface of the place once known as Byzantium and Constantinople. St. Paul travelled through the nearby city of Troas many times.
DAY 5 | DIKILI
The port city of Dikili in Turkey is our stopping off point for Ancient Pergamon, once one of the most powerful Greek cities. Here was the northernmost of the seven churches of Asia Minor as cited in the New Testament Book of Revelation. After a visit to the Acropolis, we will visit the remains of Asklepion, a healing temple and the forerunner of what we would know as a hospital.
DAY 6 | KUSADASI
A complimentary excursion is included to Ephesus and Miletus. Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, once the second largest city of the Roman Empire and of course the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It’s believed that Paul wrote his Letter to the Ephesians here and preached at the Great Theatre of Ephesus, carved into the side of Mt Pion. It is still renowned for its wonderful acoustics. Our day also features the ancient city of Miletus where Paul stayed on his way back to Jerusalem.
DAY 7 | PATMOS
Patmos is one of northernmost islands in the Dodecanese and one of the smallest, most charming and most spiritual. It has an atmosphere of sacred grandeur. Patmos is most famous for being the supposed location of the vision to John the Baptist in the Book of Revelations and where it was written. When John was banished by Rome to Patmos near the end of his life, he was the last remaining of the 12 Disciples. We visit St John’s Monastery and the Holy Grotto of the Apocalypse, both of which have drawn pilgrims for centuries.
DAY 8 | ATHENS
Our return to the Greek capital after our breathtaking voyage of discovery.