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Greece Tour with the Helyers and Wiselys

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Day by Day

Chicago, Istanbul

Tour members are welcomed at O'Hare International Airport for our overnight departing flight to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

Istanbul, Thessaloniki

Today we arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our flight to Thessaloniki. Upon arrival we are met and board our bus for a transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Philippi, Kavala, Thessaloniki

Today a full-day excursion to Philippi and Kavala. Paul landed at Kavala (Neapolis) coming from Troas with Timothy and Silas. This ancient city was renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. At the ruins of ancient Philippi you will see the baptism site, a crypt where Paul may have been imprisoned, the Acropolis, the Marketplace, Basilica and the ancient theatre. At the Gangitis River the apostle preached to a group of women. Lydia, a merchant trading purple cloth, believed the Gospel and was baptized with members of her household. We return to Thessaloniki, birthplace of Aristotle, where time permitting we will have a short tour of the city before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Thessaloniki, Kalambaka

This morning we continue on to Vergina with the tombs of the royal dynasty, most notably King Philip II and a young prince who is identified as Alexander IV, the son of Alexander the Great. Continue on to Veria, or Berea, 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.

Kalambaka, Delphi

This morning we visit Meteora, a cluster of pillars of rock, and the “Hanging Monasteries” perched on top of rock cliffs. There were a series of 24 monasteries constructed upon the spires of stone. Most were abandoned and only 6 survive today, 5 of which are inhabited by monks and 1 by nuns. We continue our drive through the beautiful scenery of Greece. Imagine Paul walking with his followers and teaching them God’s word as they continued down the road. Our bus will take us through Larissa, Lamia and Trikala and on to Delphi for dinner and overnight.

Delphi, Athens

This morning in Delphi we visit the museum with the famous Bronze Charioteer and other items that date back to the time of Paul. We visit the Temple of Apollo, where Paul must have spoken to the people about the Living God, continue to the Theater, the Athenian Treasury and the Castalian Spring. We then follow Paul’s ministry south as we travel on the national highway through famous Thebes, Levadia and the village of Arachova. Continue to the hotel in Athens where we check in for dinner.

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.

Ephesus, Patmos

This morning our cruise arrives in the Turkish port of Kusadasi (Island of Birds) known for its marina and 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 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 splendor 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. Opposite Hadrian’s Temple lie the Houses of Koressus or Temple Houses. Here lived the rich families of Ancient Ephesus. 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 the Apostle John 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, 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 the Apostle John 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 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.

Heraklion, Santorini

This morning our cruise takes us to Crete, largest of the Greek Islands, and Heraklion, the largest seaport and capital of Crete. This morning we arrive in Heraklion, 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. Stop in Heraklion on the way back to the ship. If you are not into sightseeing, walk the city center where you can dine or shop. This afternoon we continue our cruise to Santorini 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.

Piraeus, Athens, Corinth

This morning we disembark our cruise ship and 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. This afternoon return to Athens and visit 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. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Athens, USA

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight back home. We arrive back in the US A and transfer to our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.

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Choose Dates & Pricing

* $500 deposit per person
Departure Date Mar 28 - Apr 7, 2020
Price / Person $4,764.00
Tour Number: 200338 (From Chicago)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864
Departure Date Mar 28 - Apr 7, 2020
Price / Person $5,019.00
Tour Number: 200338 (From Minneapolis)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864