Greece & Turkey Pilgrimage
Moderate – High
Join Deacon Alex Valdez on a Pilgrimage to Greece & Turkey
Book With Confidence
All new travel bookings automatically come with our Book with Confidence Travel Plan*—free of charge. This plan gives pilgrims the ability to move their booking to another destination or simply a different available departure date in our vast travel portfolio, no questions asked. They just need to let us know 120 days* before departure and we’ll waive all penalties and get them booked on a new pilgrimage.
*The Book with Confidence Travel Plan allows for any new booking made with Holy Land Travel Center to be changed to a different destination or to another available departure date. Notice of change in travel plans must be given 120 days before departure; standard cancellation penalties will apply for full cancellation without rebooking or changes made within 120 days to departure. Applicable price and eligible promotions for the new tour will apply; if new trip is less expensive, a future travel credit will be issued for the difference in price. Cannot be applied to Passion Play Pilgrimages. No cash value. Credit is fully transferable. Offer reliant on space availability. Effective 10.7.2020. May be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details.
Welcome to Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople! Upon arrival, we are welcomed by our Holy Land Travel Center representative. After visa formalities, we head to our hotel for a welcome reception. Overnight: Istanbul (Dinner)
This morning we head to the Sultanahmet district. This World Heritage-listed district is crammed with historic buildings and enough magical atmospheres to keep you enthralled for days. Full day visits to the Topkapi Palace; overlooking the Sea of Marmara and containing numerous chambers, courtyards and royal treasures; the Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque, with its six minarets and thousands of blue tiles; and the Basilica of St. Sofia (Church of the Sacred Wisdom), now a museum, converted to a mosque from a Christian basilica after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Next, we see the Hippodrome and the Obelisk brought from Egypt. Overnight: Istanbul (Breakfast, Dinner)
This morning we will have time to visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. The Grand Bazaar is an amazing place – literally a maze of streets. It is one of the largest undercover bazaars in the world and is even divided into areas like the leather section, or the rug section. We have an evening at leisure. Overnight: Istanbul (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today we visit Kavala, which occupies the site of ancient Neapolis and Philippi (Acts 16:12-40, Phil.), that today lies as a major archaeological site near Krinides where St. Paul and St. Silas were imprisoned after St. Paul’s first sermon in what we
This morning we visit the Rotonda, St. George Church, one of the oldest constructions in the city, the church was built at the end of the 4th century by the roman emperor. We will read today from the Acts 17:1-9 and “Letter to the Thessalonians”. This time period will become more alive to us as our visit will include the Galerius Arch, built a little before 305 AD in commemoration of Galerius’s victory over the Persians in 297. Next is the most beautiful basilica in the city St. Demetrius where Saint Paul was imprisoned, tortured and buried. We then visit Veria, one of Paul’s stops, where a Byzantine mosaic commemorates his preaching. We check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Veria (Breakfast, Dinner)
Veria/ Kalambaka/ Athens
This morning we leave Veria and continue to Kalambaka, a town near the Meteora Monastery. Later this afternoon we will visit the Grand Meteoran Monastery (Transfiguration of Christ), the most beautiful Byzantine monastery. The word Meteora means literally ‘hovering in the air’ as all the monasteries were built on top of the high rocks. Monks have been recorded living in these caves since the 11th century. The Church of the Transfiguration is the best known of the Monasteries and is built upon the highest rock, founded by Athanasios the Meteorite, a well-known figure in Orthodox monasticism. We continue to Athens for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Athens (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today we’ll leave Athens early in the morning for Piraeus and at 11:00 a.m. sail into the Aegean Sea. Our first island is one of the islands belonging to the Cyclades group of islands. This mountainous island of Mykonos has about 400 churches and is famous for its picturesque white houses and the island’s trademark, the charming windmills. Mykonos has a unique architecture of Byzantine and Western characteristics. Next, we will visit Our Church of the Virgin Paraportiani, on the main square Cathedral and an old Catholic Church and many boutiques and taverns along tiny paved streets. Return on board of the ship. Overnight: Cruise (Breakfast, Dinner)
Cruise Kusadasi Port & Patmos Port
This morning you will arrive at the Turkish port city of Kusadasi. From here you will travel to Ephesus, where the Blessed Virgin Mary lived with St. John in a small house on the hill behind the city. Here you will have Mass before traveling down to the ancient city where you can walk the marble roads rutted by wheels of countless chariots and pass the ruins of architectural masterpieces. It is here that St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and where he was arrested and cast out of the city. In the afternoon you will visit the island of Patmos, where St. John wrote the apocalyptic Book of Revelations. On our excursion we will visit the cave where he lived, now the site of a monastery housing priceless icons and manuscripts. Overnight: Cruise (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today on the last day of the cruise group will enjoy on their own visiting Heraklion on the island of Crete and visit to Fira town on the island of Santorini – optional excursion on Crete to Knossos Palace is offered for those interested on more activities on the last cruise day. Overnight: Cruise (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today we disembark our cruise ship and we will be visiting and exploring the city of Athens (Acts 17: 16-34). Acropolis with Parthenon the greatest monument of antiquity, dedicated to the goddess Athena, from here one can see Areopagus (Areios Pagos = Hill of Ares) visited by Pope John Paul ll same hill where St. Paul gave his famous sermon of “Unknown God”. Our pilgrimage will continue with a drive to Corinth first across the Corinthian Canal, started by roman emperor Nero and then to one of the oldest towns of Greece, where St. Paul came after he left Athens and after a stop at the ancient Corinth (18: 1-18; Cori.) we again meet with St. Paul, here he remained for one and a half-year. We will be visiting a marketplace where the Apostle preached to the Corinthians, the Temple of Apollo and the Corinth Museum. Overnight: Athens (Breakfast, Dinner)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
We recommend that all travelers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect themselves and their trip investment. Travel protection plans can provide coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical expenses and emergency evacuation/repatriation, trip delay, baggage delay, and more. Please go to the link below to learn more Click here for Travel Insurance Details.
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