Day 1.: USA – TEL AVIV
Day 2.: TEL AVIV - TIBERIAS
Upon your arrival at Tel Aviv airport, you will be met and assisted by our representative and guide. Transfer to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: CANA – NAZARETH – HAIFA
After breakfast, leave to Cana of Galilee: the place of the first miracle of Jesus. Continue to Nazareth and start a walking tour from Mary's Fountain till the Basilica of the Annunciation for a visit to Mary's House, the Upper Basilica, the Museum and the Church of the Holy Family. In the afternoon, leave to Haifa, capital of the industry and the major port. Ascend to Mount Carmel passing by the Persian Gardens of the Bahai sect. Visit the Church of Stella Maris, the birthplace of the Carmelite Order which contains a natural grotto of the Prophet Elijah. Back to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: THE SEA OF GALILEE – MOUNT TABOR – RIVER JORDAN
After breakfast, leave to Mount of Beatitudes to recall the Sermon of the Mountain. Continue to Tabgha
(Heptapegon) for a visit to the Church of the Multiplication of Fish and Loaves, admiring the well conserved Byzantine mosaic from the fifth century. Then visit the small chapel of the Primacy of St. Peter before heading to Capernaum, the Town of Jesus for a detailed visit of its ruins: the remains of the House of Peter, the "Insula Sacra" and the White Synagogue. Then, you will experience a boat ride crossing along the Sea of Galilee. In the afternoon, ascend to Mount Tabor and visit the Basilica of the Transfiguration, built of on the ruins of two earlier sanctuaries: Byzantine and Crusader. Descend and continue to River Jordan where we will have the opportunity to renew your baptismal vows. Back to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: JORDAN VALLEY – JERICHO – DEAD SEA – QUMRAN – BETHLEHEM
After breakfast, drive through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the oldest city in the world for a visit to Tel El-Sultan, the site of the biblical Jericho and view of Mount of Temptations. Enjoy a bath in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. In the afternoon, continue to Qumran for a visit to the ruins of the Essenes Monastery and view the Caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then drive through the Judaean Desert, passing by the Good Samaritan Inn to Jerusalem for a first contact with the Holy City from Mount Scopus. Arrive to your selected hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: BETHLEHEM – SHEPHERDS' FIELD – OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
After breakfast, start a detailed visit to the Basilica of the Nativity: the Grotto of Nativity, the Manger, St.
Catherine Church, St. Joseph and St. Jerome Chapels. Continue to the village of Beit Sahour to visit the Shepherds' Field with the natural grottos and the remains of the Byzantine churches and monasteries.In the afternoon, transfer to the Lions' Gate and enter the Old City for a visit to St. Anne Church and the Pool of Bethesda. Continue then walking through the Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross) to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher for a detailed visit to Mount Calvary, the Holy Tomb and St. Helen Chapel. Back to your hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: MOUNT OF OLIVES AND MOUNT ZION
After breakfast, drive to Mount of Olives for a visit to the Ascension Chapel and then to Pater Noster Church. Walk down to the small Chapel of Dominus Flevit and enjoy a panoramic view of the Holy City with all its major shrines. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane for a visit to the Church of Agony (called also of All Nations) and Mary's Tomb in the Josaphat Valley. In the afternoon, explore Mount of Zion: St. Peter in Gallicantu, David's Tomb, the Last Supper Room (The Cenacle) and the Dormition Abbey. Then entering Zion's Gate, walk through the Cardo Maximum and the Jewish Quarter to the Wailing Wall. Continue in a panoramic tour through the new city of Jerusalem for a visit to the Shrines of Ein Karem: The Visitation and St. John the Baptist churches. Back to your hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: TEL AVIV – ISTANBUL – IZMIR
Breakfast and transfer to Tel Aviv airport. You will be met by our representative and assisted in the check-in procedures to board your flight to Istanbul. Arrive at Istanbul International Airport, connect to your domestic flight to Izmir. Arrive Izmir, transfer to your hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight .
Day 9: EPHESUS
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Ephesus. Visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then proceed to the Ancient City of Ephesus where you will explore some of the best preserved theatres, fountains and buildings in the world. A definite must while in Turkey. Then, not to be forgotten is the House of the Virgin Mary on top of Mountain. A pilgrimage site for many people of all denominations. Dinner and overnight at Kusadasi.
Day 10: SMYRNA - PERGAMON / (Pergamum).
Early depart from hotel after breakfast for Pergamon via Izmir. Red Hall, Asclepieon and Acropolis are the sites to be visited at Pergamon. In the afternoon, depart for Izmir. We will visit St. Polycarp Church at Izmir (Smyrna). Dinner and over-night at Kusadasi.
Day 11: THYATIRA – PHILADELPHIA – SARDES.
After breakfast, depart from Selcuk to Thyatira whose remains include a temple and large church. Visit Philadelphia with its famous church of Philadelphia which was an important place for the spreading of the Christian faith. In the afternoon, continue on to Sardes, the wealthy capital of the ancient Lydian Empire and one of the most amazing sites in Turkey. After our visits at Sardes, we will head to Pamukkale, where we will spend this night. Dinner and over-night at Pamukkale.
Day 12: LAODICES – DENIZLI – ISTANBUL.
Breakfast is served at the hotel. Depart from the hotel and visit what remain of the Ancient City of Hierapolis and the travertens. In the afternoon, drive to Laodicea which is mentioned in Revelations by St. John and in ancient times was known as "The City of Compromise". After visiting Laodicea, transfer to Denizli Airport to take your domestic flight to Istanbul.
Day 13: ISTANBUL
After breakfast, a full day dedicated to explore the capital city of Turkey and its major monuments:
The Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 14: ISTANBUL – ATHENS
After breakfast, transfer to Istanbul airport to board your flight to Athens – Greece. Upon arrival at Athens airport, you will be met by our representative and escort. Transfer to your hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight. (if time allows and the arrival is before noon time, then a city tour of Athens will be given to include all important monuments of the Greek Capital: the Acropolis where stood once St. Paul to preach about the unknown God. The tour will pass also by the Parliament, the Arch of Hadrian, the Olympic Stadium, the Syntagma Square with possibility to walk through the typical Plaka quarter.)
Day 15: ATHENS – ANCIENT CORINTH
After breakfast, leave to Ancient Corinth. Stop first at its famous canal, a project that started back in the 7th. Century BC but could be completed only in the 19th. Century AD. It connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Aegean Sea. Then visit to the ruins of ancient Corinth, where St. Paul lived for almost two years, getting acquainted there with Priscilla and Aquila and dedicated two of his extraordinary epistles to the people of Corinth. Walk through the remains of the city, namely the cardo, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Fountain and visit the museum which contains valuable findings of several periods from the long history of this city. Back to our hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight. (in case that the city tour of Athens was not done on day 15, then it will be realized in the morning before leaving to Corinth.)
Day 16: CRUISE TO THE ISLANDS OF THE SARONIC GULF
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the Piraeus Port to board our ONE DAY CRUISE boat to the picturesque islands of the Saronic Gulf: HYDRA, POROS & AEGINA. Each one with a unique character and atmosphere. We will be served a lunch on board. Back to the port around 0700 pm and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 17: ATHENS – USA
After breakfast, transfer to Athens airport to board our flight back home.