Turkey and Greece (10D9N)
from Istanbul to Athens
Day to Day Itinerary
DAY 01. ISTANBUL (---- / ---/ Dinner)
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Meet at the airport and we drive to the 'Old City' where we will visit the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles. Saint Sophia, this church - turned mosque - turned museum takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome. and visit the spectacular Topkapi Palace. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453-1852) and we will see the extravagant Treasury, the priceless Chinese porcelain. Then check-in to the hotel for overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 02. ISTANBUL / IZMIR / THYTERIA / SARDIS / PAMUKKALE (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner)
After an early breakfast, check-out from the hotel, transfer to the airport for domestic flight to Izmir at 08:00. On our way to Pamukkale, we will stop by Thyteria to see the remains of the church. This was one of the principle towns where Christianity spread quickly. Then we drive to Sardis which holds a prominent place in mythology. Sardis felt the influence of the Seven Churches of Revelation and highlights include the 3rd century A.D. Synagogue, Gymnasium, House of Bronzes, Temple of Artemis, and of course the Church. Next on our itinerary is Philadelphia which was an important Christian centre during Byzantine times. Overnight at Pamukkale.
DAY 03. PAMUKKALE / LAODICEA / KUSADASI (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
In the morning, we visit Hierapolis which was founded by Pergamon king Telephos and named after his wife Hiera. During the Byzantine period the city became the seat of diocese with a large Christian Church dedicated to St. Philip, martyred here in 80 A.D. Highlights include the Roman Baths, the Temple of Apollo and the Theater. Then we stop on to Laodicea Ad Lycum where the remains are found on a flat-topped hill. Christianity came to the area during the time of St. Paul, brought by Epaphras of Colossae. Laodicea became the seat of Bishopric and hosted an important Ecumenical Council in the fourth century A.D., it was named in the Revelations as one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Highlights will be the Water Tower, Stadium and the Council Chamber. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 04. KUSADASI / EPHESUS / KUSADASI (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
Then drive to Selcuk town, we will visit the famous ancient city of Ephesus, one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Highlights include the Library of Celcius, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Theatre. Then visit the Basilica of St John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. We will also stop by the House of Virgin Mary (on top of Mt Coressos). She was believed to have spent her last years in this area. On 18 August 1961, Pope John XXII proclaimed this place to be sacred.. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 05. KUSADASI / PERGAMON / ASSOS / CANAKKALE (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
Drive north to the hauntingly beautiful Pergamon. Among the impressive structures of this city, dating from 399 B.C., we will see the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Dionysus and the 200,000 volume library which was surpassed only by that found in Alexandria at the time. Then visit Troas and Assos. Troas was a busy port situated on the north-west coast of Asia Minor. During his stay in Troas, St. Paul had a dream in which he saw a vision of a man asking him to "come over to Macedonia and help us" after which he decided to go to Europe. Assos perched high on a cliff overlooking the Aegean and the Island of Lesbos is breathtaking. Its Acropolis carries the impressive Temple of Athena. Arriving at Assos on foot from Troas, St. Paul preached here and climbed down to the little port on the shore to board the boat on his return journey to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
DAY 06. CANAKKALE / GREECE BORDER / KAVALA (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Greece Border. Cross to Ipsala at around 11:30. Meet on the Greece side of the border and walk to the coach. Depart and drive via the first Greek town, Alexandroupolis. Continue along the coast to Kavala, Biblical Neapolis. Drive to and visit Philippi. See the remains of the Agora, the Octagon, the remains of the 2 Basilicas and St. Paul’s prison. Completing the tour, drive to Kavala. Dinner and overnight in Kavala hotel.
DAY 07. KAVALA – THESSALONIKI – KALAMBAKA (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
Breakfast at the hotel. If not done, visit Philippi. Continue along the coast to Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki. Proceed on tour. See the White Tower, (the symbol of the city), the Via Egnatia, the Church of St. Dimitrios, the Rotunda. Lunch at a local restaurant. Drive south, into central Greece, to Kalambaka, the town nestling at the foot of Meteora. On the way, visit the mountain town of Veria. See the spot from where St. Paul preached the gospel. Continue onto Kalambaka. Arrive in Kalambaka. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka hotel.
DAY 08. KALAMBAKA (METEORA) - ATHENS (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Meteora with its impressive scenery, visit 2 monasteries, suspended between earth and sky. Inside, see priceless historical and religious treasures. Lunch at a local restaurant. Depart to Athens via Trikala, Lamia and Thermopylae. Arrive in the evening and transfer to a local restaurant for dinner. After dinner transfer to the hotel and check in. Overnight in Athens Hotel.
DAY 09. ATHENS – CORINTH - ATHENS (Breakfast / ---- / Dinner )
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive west, along the coastal highway, the Apollo coast and stop to see the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean and the Ionian Seas. Continue to and visit Ancient Corinth. See the Bema, the Temple of Apollo, the remains of the Agora, and Pyrene Fountain. Lunch at a local restaurant. Drive back to Athens and proceed on your Half Day Athens Sightseeing Tour. See Syntagma Square, the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the National Library, see the Hadrian’s Arch, see the Temple of Olympian Zeus, stop at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896. On the Acropolis visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erectheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the Parthenon. Completing the tour, transfer to Plaka, the old part of Athens, for dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner transfer back and overnight in Athens Hotel.
DAY 10. ATHENS DEPARTURE (Breakfast / ---- / ----- )
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the Athens airport for your flight back home
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