A visit to Turkey and Greece is a wonderful extension to a Bible Lands tour, giving a deeper appreciation for the birth of the Christian church and it’s spread through Asia Minor. Books of the Old Testament that have their roots in this part of the word are Acts, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation. Join us as we delve into the world of Paul and the early Christians, and gain a deeper appreciation of how churches today echo the struggles of churches such as those in Corinth and Laodicea.
An added bonus of this tour is visiting the heartland of the human quest for spirituality – join us as we visit the ruins of Delphi, the ancient centre of mystical religion, and the monasteries built by monks reaching for the heavens in Meteora.
This tour also has the option of a two day add-on excursion to Patmos.
Tour commences at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey, and concludes at Athens International Airport, Greece.
Following directly after Israel & Jordan Worship Tour
This morning we arrive at Istanbul International Airport, Turkey where we are met by our local tour guide. We commence a sight-seeinig tour of this fabulous ancient city—exploring sites such as the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
Overnight – Istanbul, Turkey.
After breakfast we finish our exploration of Istanbul and then head to the airport where we board our flight for Izmir, which encompasses the ancient city of Smyrna. Here we visit the ancient ruins of our first Revelation city—noted as the poor and persecuted church which refused to worship the Roman Emperor. We explore the Agora and Ascelepion, before travelling onto Pergamum.
Overnight – Pergamum, Turkey
First up we explore our second Revelation city of Pergamum and the Pergamum Acropolis, before heading on to Thyatira, and then Sardes with its massive Temple of Artemis, the white marble Royal Road, gymnasium and synagogue. Last is Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love that endured patiently.
Overnight – Pamukkale, Turkey
Today we start at Laodicea, the church that was chastised for being lukewarm and too comfortable with the world. There are many acres of ruins to explore here. Next we stop at Hierapolis (modern day Pamukkale) which was mentioned in the book of Colossians. Here we visit the hot water springs with their shallow pools of calcium rich water and their snowy white waterfalls of white stone, one of the natural wonders of Asia.
Ephesus is our last stop today—once a bustling port town of 250,000 people, it was the place where the church lost its first love. It was also visited by Paul, and was the place of the riot mentioned in Acts. Today it is a huge city of ancient ruins to explore, complete with streets, arches, amphitheatre, temple and many ruins.
Overnight – Izmir, Turkey
This morning we fly first to Athens in Greece, and then north on to Thessaloniki, where Paul preached, and to whose church Paul wrote two letters now found in the New Testament. We explore the ancient ruins and then spend the night here.
Overnight – Thessaloniki, Greece
Leaving Thessaloniki we head to Veria, the location of the Biblical city of Berea. The Christians at Berea were commended by Paul for examining the Scriptures daily. After our visit here we head south to Kalambaka, the home of the monasteries in the sky, Meteora.
Overnight – Kalambuka, Greece
Another highlight awaits us today—the Meteora Monasteries perched on top of the cliffs looking as if they are suspended in mid-air. They were built in the 1500’s by monks who wanted to be closer to God. We enjoy Sabbath worship in the grandeur of this place, and then explore some of the monasteries.
Overnight – Kalambuka, Greece.
Leaving Meteora we head to Delphi, the place that was considered the centre of the Ancient world. This fascinating place was once the heartland of pagan worship, famous for it’s oracle, an elderly priestess through whom the gods spoke, and the Temple of Apollos.
After we explore Delphi we head to Athens, where we begin to explore this ancient city dating back to more than 700 years before Christ. We visit the centre and then proceed to the Acropolis, ascend Mars hill and view the Agora (the ancient market place where Paul spoke to the Athenians).
Overnight – Athens, Greece.
Today we head to the ancient ruins of Corinth, the place of the church to which Paul wrote at least four letters, and where he lived and worked for two years. We see the remains of first century shops, the agora where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place, and the temple of Apollo among other sites.
This evening marks the formal end of this tour. Those who wish head to the Port of Piraeus to journey overnight to Patmos on the optional extension tour, while the remainder say good-bye to head home or other destinations.