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Turkey & Greece with Pastor Alex Cui - March 2025

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A Journey to Turkey and Greece

We want to invite you on an unforgettable journey through Turkey and Greece, filled with ancient biblical history, culture, and spiritual blessings. We’ll visit places that witnessed events of decisive and enduring importance in the history of humanity.

This journey will provide you a deeper understanding of the scriptures as you travel through the lands of the Bible. There are more biblical sites in Turkey than in any other country, making it known as the second Holy Land. Not only will you visit the sites of each of the Seven Churches, but you’ll also visit the actual places that the New Testament letters were penned or received. Imagine being in Ephesus, site of so many teachings that establish our salvation, and picture yourself in biblical cities of Greece you’ve always read about - Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, Berea, and more.

You can read your way through the New Testament, or you can bring it to life with an all-inclusive trip to where it all took place. At the end of this tour, two things will most certainly be changed: you, and your understanding of the Bible.

Sincerely,

Pastor Alex Cui

What's Included

Our tours are all-inclusive. Always.

All-Inclusive Pricing
Handpicked Hotels
Entrance Fees
Guided Tours
Gratuities & Tips
Deluxe A/C Buses
Portable Listening Devices
Fuel Surcharges
Buffet Breakfasts & Dinners
International Airfare

Itinerary

Day by Day

  • 1
    Flight from New York
    Saturday
    USA / Istanbul

    Today we will meet at Seattle International Airport for our flights to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on-board.

  • 2
    Sunday
    Istanbul

    Upon arrival in Istanbul, our guide will meet and welcome us to the city that bridges two continents. We will transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • 3
    Monday
    Istanbul / Nicaea / Bursa

    This morning after breakfasts we board the bus and make our way to Iznik, formerly Nicaea, where we celebrate Christ in the Nicene Creed. The site of two ecumenical councils in the Byzantine period, Nicaea was later known for its tiles during the Ottoman Empire. Continue on to Bursa where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • 4
    Tuesday
    Bursa / Thyatira / Sardis / Philadelphia / Laodicea / Pamukkale

    Our first stop this morning is Thyatira (modern Akhisar) Lydia, Paul’s first convert in Europe, who accepted the Lord in Phillippi, was a seller of purple from Thyatira. Progressing onward, we make a brief stop at Alasehir (biblical Philadelphia), the city of Brotherly Love. We head for Sardis, a Lydian capital where we visit the largest Roman Synagogue yet discovered, the white marble royal road and the impressive gymnasium. Then, it is on to Laodicea, the site of the “luke-warm church,” with stunning new excavations. From here, we continue on to Pamukkale (biblical Hierapolis) a unique, magnificent, natural formation, sure to be a highlight of your trip. Over the Millenia, calcium rich water from underground, thermal springs, has flowed over the mountainside and slowly solidified, creating shallow white basins and travertine features. Christianity came to Hierapolis via Paul (Col 4:13). After dinner tonight why not relax in one of Pamukkale’s wonderful thermal baths!

  • 5
    Wednesday
    Pamukkale / Hierapolis / Colossae / Ephesus / Kusadasi

    We spend most of the morning visiting the stunning ruins of Hierapolis and in viewing the white cliffs. After a brief stop at the site of ancient Colossae (not yet excavated), and continue to wonderful Ephesus (Rev. 1:11), the largest city in the Mediterranean world, the crown jewel of the Seven Churches and one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. We will explore the massive scale of the Temple of Artemis / Diana, visit the Odeon, the marble street where Paul held daily discussions, the Library of Celcus, the Temple of Hadrian and the great theater where the preaching of Paul led to a riot of silversmiths. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians was first read in the house churches of this city. Note: Shopping Stop! Dinner and overnight.

  • 6
    Thursday
    Kusadasi / Smyrna (Izmir) / Pergamum / Canakkale

    The sun has already risen behind Mount Pagus and the citadel of ancient Smyrna dominates the skyline when we arrive at this landlocked harbor city. Here we will visit the Church of St. Polycarp, the oldest church in ancient Smyrna (now Izmir). Then, it is on to today’s primary stop, Pergamum, modern Bergama. We visit first the majestic acropolis and remarkable Graeco-Roman Theater, steepest in the world. Then, it is the famous Aesculapium, antiquity’s equivalent to a modern general hospital. We journey on to Canakkale for dinner and overnight.

  • 7
    Friday
    Canakkale / Troy / Istanbul

    Today’s included excursion is Troy (think Homer and the “Iliad”!), one of the oldest sites discovered in Asia Minor with its 9 different settlements and related 30 cities. Troas, the city where Paul had the dream to travel to Macedonia is nearby. We will cross the bridge and then drive to Istanbul. Upon arrival we will visit the renowned Grand Bazaar, a shopper’s paradise. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  • 8
    Saturday
    Istanbul

    Our target today is Istanbul where we explore the Hippodrome and the Basilica of St. Sophia, which has inspired architects and religious leaders for over fifteen hundred years. Constructed originally in 326 by Constantine the Great, it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and now a museum. This afternoon we explore the famous Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace once home to the sultans. The palace is filled with treasures and antiquities including the famous, bejeweled Topkapi Dagger. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

  • 9
    Sunday
    Istanbul / Kavala

    This morning we board our bus and make our way to the border where we cross into Greece. Continue on to the modern city of Kavala, sea port for Philippi, called Neapolis in Acts 16. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • 10
    Monday
    Kavala / Philippi / Thessaloniki

    This morning we visit Philippi, named after Philip of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. In Philippi, the Apostle first proclaimed the Gospel in Europe and was thrown in Prison (Acts 16). We’ll visit the prison, theater, Forum and Lydia’s Baptistery. The Epistle to the Philippians was written to the people of this city. We proceed to Thessaloniki, birthplace of Aristotle, where we see the Rotonda, Triumphal Arch of Galerius, the sea front and the White Tower. We continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • 11
    Tuesday
    Thessaloniki / Kalambaka

    This morning we continue on to stunning Vergina, the first capital of the Macedonian Kingdom, where we see the Tombs of the Kings. It was here that the remains of King Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, were found. We will see many tombs and many of the golden items used during that period. Continue on to Veria, or Beroea, where Paul found people who eagerly received his message, “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were true” (Acts 17:11). Continue our drive to Kozani and on to Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.

  • 12
    Wednesday
    Kalambaka / Athens

    This morning we visit Meteora, a cluster of pillars of rock, and the “Hanging Monasteries” perched on top of rock cliffs. There are 13 monasteries here, only 4 of which are inhabited by monks. We will visit one of the Monasteries and have time to explore and climb among the rocks. Continue our drive through the beautiful scenery of Greece, imagining Paul walking with his followers and teaching them God’s word as they continued down the road. We will continue to Athens for dinner and overnight.

  • 13
    Thursday
    Athens / Corinth

    This morning we start our tour of Athens by visiting the important modern and archaeological sites in the city of Athens, the Acropolis and neighboring monuments. While driving through the main streets of Athens, we have an opportunity to see other places of interest such as the University, the Academy, the National Library, the Temple of Zeus, the Panathenian Stadium, Omonia Square, Constitution Square and the Royal Palace. This afternoon we drive along the coastal road to Corinth. Continue along the wonderful beach of Kinetta, make a brief stop at the Corinth Canal, then on to ancient Corinth to visit the Museum, the Bema of St. Paul, the Doric Temple of Apollo, the Askeleion, Agora, Lechaion Road, and the Peirene Fountain. Return to our hotel for dinner overnight.

  • 14
    Friday
    Athens / USA

    Today we say goodbye to Athens as we drive to the airport for our flight back home, filled with great memories of our time in Greece.

Post-Tour: Aegean Cruise with Pastor Alex Cui ($1,925)

Day by Day

  • 1
    Friday
    Athens / Piraeus / Mykonos

    This morning we are taken to Piraeus to start our Aegean cruise. Late this afternoon we arrive at our first stop, Mykonos. Imagine a hilly, rock-ribbed island of 29 square miles, dotted with more than 350 tiny chapels built by 19th-century pirates for the protection of their patron saints. Picture dozens of quaint windmills and a small town of houses set neatly along narrow winding paths. Visit a fishing harbor with shops and boutiques selling handmade sweaters, dresses, fabrics, jewelry and other items at bargain prices. Time on your own to explore before returning to the ship for overnight and resume sailing.

  • 2
    Saturday
    Ephesus / Patmos

    This morning our cruise arrives in the Turkish port of Kusadasi (Island of Birds) known for its marina and its colorful bazaar. Here visitors can find a wide selection of hand-made carpets, leather bags and local products. But mostly, Kusadasi is known for its proximity to the ancient ruins of Ephesus, and its Terrace Houses, one of the world’s largest open-air museums, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Our included Ancient Ephesus bus tour is a journey through the golden ages which shaped a pivotal center of commerce and spirituality. Built 3,000 years ago, Ephesus shaped the history of Greek, Turkish and Christian civilizations from its privileged location, chosen (according to legend) by the oracle of Delphi. A site of pilgrimage, due to its proximity to the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 Wonders of the World) and the presence of major Christian figures (the apostles Paul and John and the Virgin Mary) within the city walls, Ephesus is currently one of the largest Roman archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. The splendour of its golden age is visible throughout its streets and exceptionally well-preserved ruins. As we explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site you will have the opportunity to breathe in the centuries of cultural effervescence, visible in the Ephesus Agora, Odeon, the Houses of the Patricians, the beautiful Temple of Hadrian and the astonishing Library of Celsus. You will also have the opportunity to bargain and shop local merchandise such as carpets, leather goods, souvenirs etc.

    This afternoon our ship takes us to Patmos, a beautiful verdant island where Saint John the Evangelist wrote the book of Revelation in a mountainside Grotto, after hearing the voice of God. Atop its highest hill, within the halls of Hora stands the monastery founded in his honor in 1088. This island apart from its great significance to Christians all over the world, is now turning into a cosmopolitan destination. Included is a shore excursion to St. John’s Monastery and Grotto of the Apocalypse. After leaving the port of Scala, we will reach the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, a rare example of monastic, fortified architecture which survived the pillaging of pirates and various Aegean conquerors. In 1088, a gifted monk called Christodoulos established a Monastery in honour of St. John the Evangelist and transformed the Cave of the Apocalypse into a sacred place. We will then enjoy the town of Patmos (Chora) with its contrasting mixture of old magnificent mansions and most humble homes built around the wall of the Monastery. Use your free time to enjoy all the town has to offer including unparalleled views of the sea -- equally fascinating at sunrise or sunset – and its charming boutique shops and cafes. Our final stop is the Cave of the Apocalypse, an important place of pilgrimage for Christians around the world. The rock is ragged with three small fissures which symbolize the Holy Trinity, and it is said that in this place the voice of God dictated to St. John the text of the Revelation. The cave was transformed into a devotional site by the founder of the Monastery of Patmos Island, Saint Christodoulos.

  • 3
    Sunday
    Heraklion / Santorini

    This morning we arrive in Heraklion. The capital of Crete is a former Venetian harbor with representative architecture and art and an Archaeological museum with invaluable treasures. Our included tour of the city takes us on a short drive to the Minoan Palace of Knossos, home to Europe’s oldest civilization. If you are not into sightseeing, walk the city center where you can dine or shop.

    This afternoon we continue our cruise to Santorini is one of the most renowned places of the world. People travel thousands of miles in order to admire its unique geography, a result of an earthquake that took place many centuries ago. Our included shore excursion takes us to the picturesque village of Oia located on the caldera rim, 300 meters above the sea.

  • 4
    Monday
    Piraeus / Cape Sounion / Athens

    After disembarkation we head along the coastal road, enjoying the spectacular views of the Saronic Gulf as we make our way to Cape Sounion. Upon arrival we will visit the Temple of Poseidon, a splendid construction founded in the fifth century B.C., built on a 60-meter high promontory surrounded by the sea. Return to Athens where we check in to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon will be free to explore the Plaka, to shop, or to relax at the hotel before dinner.

  • 5
    Tuesday
    Athens / USA

    Today we say goodbye to Athens as we drive to the airport for our flight back home, filled with great memories of our time in Greece.

Departure Date
Mar 22 - Apr 04, 2025
Price / Person
$4,179.00
Tour Number: 250334

From Seattle with Pastor Alex Cui

Optional Aegean Cruise Post-Extension

* Wait listed. Must call before signing up. (602) 788-8864

Questions on starting your

Spiritual Journey

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Romans 10:9 "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."