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Journey of Paul in Türkiye and Greece

Chistian Believers Pilgrimages

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Arrive at the Athens airport this morning, where your guide will meet you. Enjoy the rich architectural splendor of the ancient city of Athens as your guide introduces you to the world-renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erechtheum. Stand on Mars Hill as the Apostle Paul did when he proclaimed, "I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, he declares I unto you" (Acts 17:23). As you stroll the agora, the ancient marketplace, and center of Athenian public life, recall that this was where the Apostle Paul preached "Jesus and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also, see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Dinner and overnight stay in Athens.

Day 1: Arrive in Athens

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Journey to the city of Corinth, where the Apostle Paul met fellow tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla and received a vision from the Lord saying, "I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:  for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18: 10). As Paul spoke, Crispus (chief ruler of the synagogue) and many others believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8), establishing the church at Corinth to whom Paul later wrote his two epistles. Discover the archaeological museum, marketplace, and temples. As you walk among the ruins, stand on the Bema, where the Apostle Paul stood before Gallio to face charges brought against him by the Jews. Stop briefly at the port town of Cenchreae, from which Paul later departed for Syria (Acts 18: 12 -18). Return to Athens for dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Corinth & Cenchreae

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Fly from Athens to Thessaloniki this morning. Discover Thessaloniki, where Paul was accused of turning the world upside down with his preaching of Christ (Acts 17: 3 -6). As you explore St. George's Basilica, believed to be built over the synagogue where Paul preached, reflect on the two epistles the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church here. Stroll through the archaeological museum and the beautiful basilicas of St. Sophia and St. Demetrios. St. Demetrios is dedicated to a distinguished Roman proconsul martyred for his Christian faith. Along the Via Egnatia stands the Galerius Arch, and you can look out over the second-largest city in Greece from the Old City Ramparts, some dating back to Roman times. Follow the path of Paul when he fled Thessaloniki for the safety of Veria (Berea), where Jews and some honorable Greeks accepted the new faith (Acts 17: 10 -12)—dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Day 3: Thessaloniki & Veria

Follow in the footsteps of Paul and Silas to Amphipolis and explore the ruins of the many Christian basilicas there. Philippi is a baptismal site commemorating where God opened the heart of Lydia (a seller of purple from Thyatira) to hear the words of Paul (Acts 16:13 -15). Lydia and her household were the first Christian converts baptized on European soil. View the Roman-era crypt thought to have served as a prison for the Apostle Paul, and explore Philippi's famous Acropolis, marketplace, the Basilica of Paul, and theater. Today's last stop is Neapolis (Kavala), one of Greece's most picturesque mainland ports. Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. See the Roman Aqueduct and Acropolis before returning to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.

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Day 4: Amphipolis | Philippi & Neapoli

Today, you will cross the border into Turkiye. Upon arrival in Turkiye, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the Istanbul Airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

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Day 5: Journey to Istanbul

Explore Cappadocia's unique cone-shaped rock formations, which create a fairy-tale landscape. Even today, people make their homes on Cappadocia's cliffs and rock cones. It is estimated that over 3,000 rock churches exist in the region. You will visit the Rock Chapels of Goreme, the Cave Village of Avcilar, and the Monastic Complex of Zelve—dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

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Day 6: Cappadocia

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Before departing Cappadocia, you can have an early morning balloon ride (additional charge). Also, visit the underground city of Ozkonak. Explore Konya, the ancient Iconium, where Paul the Apostle and Barnabas invested much of their missionary efforts to preach the Gospel despite persecution. Dinner and overnight stay in Konya.

Day 7: Konya

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Ancient Antioch was the center of Hellenistic civilization in the region and home to a massive temple and oracle complex dedicated to the pagan God Apollo. Christian roots go deep into Antioch's soil. To Antioch, many Jerusalem Christians fled after the death of Stephen (Acts 11). Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch for a year, assembled with the church, and taught many people. Later, the city became the center where Paul performed his missionary labors (Acts 13: 1 -5, 14 -44; 14: 26 -28; 15: 22 -41; 18: 22 -23). It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians," and it was here that the first non-Jews were accepted into the early church. Stop at Tel Colossae, home of a Pauline Church. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 8: Antioch in Pisidia and Tel Colossae

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Ancient Antioch was the center of Hellenistic civilization in the region and home to a massive temple and oracle complex dedicated to the pagan God Apollo. Christian roots go deep into Antioch's soil. To Antioch, many Jerusalem Christians fled after the death of Stephen (Acts 11). Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch for a year, assembled with the church, and taught many people. Later, the city became the center where Paul performed his missionary labors (Acts 13: 1 -5, 14 -44; 14: 26 -28; 15: 22 -41; 18: 22 -23). It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians," and it was here that the first non-Jews were accepted into the early church. Stop at Tel Colossae, home of a Pauline Church. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 9: Laodicea & Hierapolis

Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1: 11). In ancient days, Ephesus was a bustling port town of 250,000, graced with wide, colonnade-bordered streets. Today, you will be impressed with the spectacular excavations of the major roads of ancient Ephesus. You will view the library and the vast agora. The Temple of Artemis was declared one of the World's Seven Wonders. Today, only a single column remains to mark the site. You will visit the Basilica of St. John, the traditional site of his grave. From the basilica, enjoy a commanding view of the area. You will see the Museum of Ephesus for an up-close look at artifacts from the ancient city. You will have time to explore this powerful city on your own and recreate some of the footsteps of Paul. Fly from Izmir back to Istanbul for dinner and overnight.

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Day 10: Ephesus

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The bejeweled capital of Istanbul sits between two continents and is home to 450 mosques. You will visit the famous Blue Mosque with its six minarets and sparkling interior. Walk through Hagia Sophia, the largest church in Christendom for 1,000 years, built by Justinian (532-537 AD). The church has 107 columns, fossil-embedded, white marble floors, and beautiful glass mosaics. Enjoy the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, thyme, and other exotic spices as you explore the Grand Bazaar. Over 4,000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold—dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 11: Istanbul

Return

Early morning departure to the Airport for our return home - the end of a most enjoyable journey.

Day 12: Return Flights

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