"For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land" Duet, 8:7
Meet at Mumbai Intl airport (Terminal 2) early in the morning on 1st Oct at 3.30 am. We start our Missionary Journey with 07 hours non-stop flight on Turkish Airlines, Dep 6.30 am from Mumbai to Istanbul and onwards 02 hours flight to Athens (Greece). We will arrive in Athens at 3 pm on 1st Oct.
Arrive Athens, (Acts 17:15) the capital city of Greece. After formalities at Airport we drive to the hotel for some rest. Evening after a quick get together with fellow group members we visit the nearby famous Plaka area for dinner.
Overnight stay in Athens. (Dinner)
After breakfast we depart to Corinth. Drive west, along the coastal highway, the Apollo coast and stop to see the Corinthian Canal, which connects the Aegean and the Ionian Seas. We stop at the canal for photographs. Continue to ancient Corinth, (Acts. 18:1-8) where the apostle Paul lived and preached. Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece and it played a major role in the missionary work of the Apostle Paul. He wrote his first and second letters to the Corinthians here. After lunch we return to Athens for our afternoon visit including amazing sights such as the famous Acropolis with visits to the Parthenon and Erechtheion. We also visit the Biblical famous Mars Hill (Areopagus) (Acts 17:22-34) where the Apostle Paul delivered his well known sermon. Later we visit the highlights of modern Athens: passing by the Syntagma Square, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, the Academy, the University and the National Library.
Overnight stay in your hotel in Athens. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we leave Athens and take the scenic 6 hrs drive towards Kalambaka,in Central Greece. This is a town nestling at the foot of Meteora. Visit Meteora with its impressive scenery, ageless Monasteries, suspended between earth and sky. Meteora Monasteries are famous for their Byzantine museums perched precariously on huge finger-like rocks, exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. The monasteries of Meteora represent a unique architectural achievement. Inside, see priceless historical and religious treasures. Later we drive to our hotel in the city of Kalambaka.
Overnight stay in your hotel in Kalambaka. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we drive to Vergina which was known in ancient times as Agai, the first capital of Macedonia. Here we visit the most important Tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the great. Later we drive to Berea
(Acts 17:10) one of apostle Paul's stops, to see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. After lunch we proceed to Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1), the second largest city in Greece. Tour the city with a drive to the upper part of the Old City Walls. Here we have excellent views of the City and the opportunity to take pictures. Continue on foot to visit the Vlatadon Monastery and a sightseeing drive of the city viewing the White Tower, the Triumphal Arch nof Galerius standing on the Egnatian Way and we see the Rotonda.
Overnight stay in your hotel in Thessaloniki.(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we drive east for 02 hours to visit Philippi, where Paul worked to see the river, where Lydia is said to have been baptized (Acts 16:14-15), the ruins of a Prison where Paul and Sylas were kept (Acts 16:16-40), the Agora, the 5th and 6th century Basilicas and the Theater. After the visits, we continue to Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11). Post lunch we drive back from Kavala towards Thessaloniki. En route we make a short stop at Amphipolis (Acts 17:1) Visit the Lion statue of Amphipolis for photos. Evening we return to Thessaloniki airport to take our one hour flight to Istanbul (TURKEY),Dep 9.30 pm. Arrive Istanbul at 11 pm and transfer to hotel.
Overnight stay at hotel in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast we start our city tour. Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia. Enjoy a full day tour of the Sultanahmet district, the UNESCO recognized heart of old Istanbul. Firstly we visit the magnificent Hagia Sofia. Built in 537 AD, this was the first large domed building in the world and the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 1000 years. We learn its history from our expert local guide and have a look at its golden mosaic decorations inside. Then we walk from here to the Blue Mosque, which owes its fame to the exquisite 17th Century Iznik Tiles which are adorning its interior. We then have a look at the Hippodrome, the horse chariots arena of the ancient Byzantine Empire where we see the Egyptian Obelisk from Karnak and the Snake Column from Ancient Greece which used to decorate here. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the famous Grand Bazaar. We have free time here, to browse its 1,200 shops. Later in the evening we finish our day with the memorable Bosphorus Cruise, sailing along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the boat excursion you will get the magnificent views of the Dolmabahce Palace, parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace, and Ciragan Palace, with 300 meters of its marble facade facing the shore. Dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight stay at hotel in Istanbul (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After early breakfast we depart on a one hour flight from Istanbul to Imzir ,the biblical Symrna.From Izmir we take a one and half hour drive to Pergamon. Pergamon located on the plains and foothills along the Caicus River in Western Turkey is one of the seven churches of Revelation. “The city, described as having the throne of Satan, is "praised for its martyrdom and perseverance but those who hold false teachings are criticized" (Rev.2:12-17). Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world with Cable Car. See the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the Throne of Satan in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 2,00,000. We also visit the Red Basilica (St. Johns Church). Then we drive for one hour visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another one of the Seven Churches. Thyatira, known for its textiles and dyeing trade. It is "praised for its increasing faith and service, but criticized for its tolerance of Jezebel an immoral women who calls herself a prophetess" (Rev. 2:18-29). It was a city famous for purple dyes. We visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Lydia, the seller of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira.Later we drive back to Izmir (former Symrna), nowadays a modern Turkish city. The church that would suffer persecution” (Rev. 2:8-11) In ancient times it was in a powerful trading position on the Aegean Sea known for its harbors, commerce, and marketplaces. We enjoy a panoramic ride of the city. We visit the famous Polycarp church (visit subject to permission from authorities of church)
Overnight stay at hotel in Izmir. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we depart early in the morning on a 02 hours drive to one of the most picturesque areas of the Seven Churches, Sardis, located on the banks of the Pactolus River in western Asia Minor. "The church of Sardis is described as dead, and it must wake up. However, there are some who have not "soiled their clothes." (Rev 3:1-6). Sardis, presently Sart, was the capital of the ancient Lydian Kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. Here we visit the Great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became a Byzantine Church. We will also visit the restored Gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We also see the last several meters of the Royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great.We continue our journey to Philadelphia, nowadays called Alasehir, another one of the Seven Churches. Philadelphia was known for its variety of temples and worship centers. "The church of brotherly love that endures patiently” (Rev 3:7-13) and the only church not censured. There we see the remains of a Byzantine Basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th century frescoes. After lunch we drive for one and half hour to proceed to the ancient healing City of Hierapolisz now a days Pamukkale. Here visit the world famous Travertens, the white cotton fortress where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea in 190 BC. The travertens are natural formations of limestone with small ponds at multiple levels. Enjoy your time at these thermal water pools.
Overnight stay at hotel in Pamukkale. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast drive to Laodicea located in the Lycus River Valley of Western Asia Minor, a primary trade route between the cultures of the West and East. "The lukewarm church with a faith that's neither hot nor cold" (Rev. 3:14-22). We see the ancient theatre, the remains of basilica and ancient stone water pipes. Visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the 2nd century AD Theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. Later we have a 3 hrs drive to the town of Selcuk, where we will visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a pilgrimage site for many people of all different denominations. It has also been accepted by the Vatican as a pilgrimage destination. After lunch visit to the Basilica of St. John which stands over the believed burial site of St. John, who is identified as the apostle, evangelist (author of the Fourth Gospel) and prophet (author of Revelation).
Overnight stay at hotel in Kusadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we drive to visit Ephesus which was the most influential capital city of Asia Minor on the Aegean Sea. "Ephesus receives praise for its perseverance, but criticism for forsaking its "first love"(Rev. 2:1-7). You will explore some of the best preserved theatres, fountains and buildings in the world. In the afternoon transfer to Izmir airport to take one hour flight to Istanbul Dep at 4 pm and onwards 6 hours flight to Mumbai. We arrive Mumbai at 5 am on 11 Sep. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Please note that the above itinerary is subject to change
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