Sunday: Apr 28 : Depart USA
Monday: Apr 29 : İstanbul
Arrive in İstanbul Airport, meet with your guide and transfer to visit Hagia Sophia, which was Christendom’s greatest church built by the emperor Justinian, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Continue to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday: Apr 30 : İstanbul/İzmir flight - Pergamon – İzmir
In the morning transfer to the airport for a short flight to İzmir. where is ancient Smyrna which is one of the seven churches (Rev 2: 8-11). St. Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna, one of the disciples of St. John.
Drive to Bergama ; ancient Pergamon (Rev 2:12-17). Early Christian martyr Antipas was tortured to death here. Pergamon was the site of many temples to pagan Gods. Yet Christianity took a stronghold here as early as 2nd century, attested by the monumental size of Basilica of St. John.
Pergamon was the capital city of Hellenistic Kingdom of Pergamon. Pergamenese Library was the second richest library of the ancient world after the library in Alexandriapolis, Egypt. The city of Pergamon was also where parchement paper was invented. Here you will visit the temples of Zeus and Emperor Trajan, the Hellenistic theatre and the library site.
Return to İzmir for checking in to your hotel, dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Wednesday: May 1 : İzmir – Sardis – Philadelphia – Pamukkale
Following the visit to St. Polycarp Church of Smyrna, drive to Sardis (Rev.3:1-6), the capital city of Lydian Kingdom. Sardis was one of the very rich metropolises of Asia Minor with crowded populations of Jews which might have enabled the Good News to be heard at a faster . The site is presently under the excavation of Harvard and Berkeley Universities. The city was where the richest man on earth, King Croesus enjoyed an incredible power and wealth. Lydians invented and minted the first coins in the world.
Visit one of the oldest synagogues of the world which was later converted into a church.Also visit the monumental Artemis Temple and the impressively restored Roman Imperial Hall.
En route you will have a short visit at ancient Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13) to see the remaining walls of a monumental church. Philadelphia together with Symrna was one of the two seven churches of Asia Minor which did not receive any critisizm about applications of Christianity.
Continue to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)
Thursday: May 2 : Pamukkale – Hierapolis – Laodicea - Kuşadası
Morning visit to Hierapolis where Apostle Philip came to spread the Christianity, and is believed to have lived and martyred here. Hierapolis is mentioned in St. Paul's epistle to the Colossians (Colossian 4:13). Explore one of the richest cemetery grounds of the ancient world, the main Domitian Gate and the main avenue.
Visit the white travertine cascades of Pamukkale. Pamukkale is a unique site in the world, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO Cultural Department.
Then get on the road to visit Laodicea which was one of the seven churches (Rev 3:14-22) where John called its Christians Lukewarm. Recent Turkish excavations on the site are revealing the walls of a what might have been a monumental church.
Drive to Kuşadası for overnight.
Friday: May 3 : Ephesus
Today visit the glorious city of Ephesus (Rev 1:11, 2:1-7) (Acts 18:19-28, 19:1-41 Ephesians).
Ephesus was the capital city of Roman Province of Asia Minor; the site of One of the Seven Wonders of the World; Temple of Artemis, and the site of the third richest library of the ancient world; Celsus library.
St. Paul came to Ephesus in 54 AD and stayed for three years. He preached the Gospel, gained followers and also established the church of Ephesus.
Proceed to visit the Basilica of St John (author of Revelations according to the New Testament) also spent his last years in Ephesus and believed to have been buried within the Basilica of St John.
A strong tradition in the Catholic Church claims that St. John brought Virgin Mary to Ephesus and she ascended to heaven from Ephesus.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Kuşadası (B,D)
Saturday: May 4: Board on the cruise ship - Patmos
After having breakfast transfer to Kuşadası pier for boarding the cruise ship and sail to the island of Patmos where St. John was exiled prior to writing the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:9)
Visit the island with its 11th century monastery of St. John the Theologian and the traditional cave of Apocalypse. Arrive and get on the bus for the picturesque alleyways wind upwards, towards the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, founded in 1088 by St. Christodoulos. The visit will open the doors for you of the Monastery’s yard, the place where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is the tour of the Byzantine Church of St. John, which is adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods, with both mosaic and other icons.
Next stop, the small museum which hosts religious treasures of inestimable value, like manuscripts, medieval textiles, sacerdotal vestments and others.
Walking down the stairs, the religious energy that you will experience is soul touching. Behind the chapel of St. Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. You will see the cross engraved by St. John the Evangelist, according to tradition, the triple fissure in the wall of the cave, from where
St. John heard God dictating
to him the Apocalypse. And also the spot where he lay down to sleep.
After finishing visits board on back to your boat.
Dinner and overnight on the cruise ship. (B,L,D)
Sunday: May 5: Greek Isles Cruise/Islands of Crete and Santorini
Sail to the island of Crete, home of the great Minoan civilization and the 4,000 year old Knossos Palace. The palace of Knossos spreads around the large Central Court. You will reach the awe inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the “Prince of the Lilies”, the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen’s Megaron in the east.
We will stop in Heraklion on the way back to the ship. Heraklion was founded in 824 and is an important homeland of many contributors to Literature and Art, some examples of which are the Nobel winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the Renaissance painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
Continue sailimng to the island of Santorini. This island sits on the rim of an ancient volcano that erupted in 1500 B.C.
First you head up to Megalochori village, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island with its distinctive architecture and character.
We will continue on to the east, in the background, you will have settlements like Kamari and Monolithos, while you will pass through Fira, the small traditional villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli with delicate architecture and beauties, to eventually arrive at the settlement of Oia. In Oia you will have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, to gaze at the adorably cute shops, to take pictures, to become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks and the unusual captains’ manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera… After your curiosity has been sated of the area which is characterized as being of “exceptional natural beauty”, your return begins. Dinner and overnight on the cruise ship. (B,L,D)
Monday: May 6 : Lavrio – Thermopylae – Meteora - Kalambaka
This morning we disembark the ship and depart Athens for Kalambaka ; enjoy beautiful landscapes while crossing Central Greece. Stop at the heroic monument of Leonidas, King of Sparta in Thermopylae. This small monument commemorates the battle in 480 B.C. in which a small band of about Spartan soldiers held off a huge Persian army for three days. The delay was long enough to allow for the successful defense of Athens against the Persians. Continue to see the World famous Byzantine monasteries of Meteora that are perched precariously on summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied and beautiful shapes. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refugee in the cliff-side caves. Then they fled higher to build original wooden shelters, which were later transformed into monasteries. After visiting couple of monasteries check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Tuesday: May 7 : Kalambaka – Thessaloniki
Today our first stop is Veria, visiting St.Paul’s Bema ; it was here that Paul planted a church where studied the Scriptures on a regular basis.
Continue to Thessalonica ; the New Testament books of I & II Thessalonians will come alive to us today. En route to the hotel we will view the old city ramparts; the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church, an ancient Roman monument which was transformed into a church and the Galerius Arch which rises over the famous Via Egnatia. We will see St. Demetrius basilica, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert before arriving at your hotel in Thessalonica for check-in. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thessaloniki. (B,D)
Wednesday: May 8 : Thessalonica-Philippi- Thessalonica/Athens flight
Early morning departure to Philippi where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians on Europe. We will view the baptismal site where Lydia surrendered her life to Christ and visit a crypt dating from the Roman period that is thought to have served as a prison for Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, Basilica, and the Theatre.
Travel to the coastal town of Kavala where Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke and Timothy, first set foot on European soil.
Return to Thessalonica airport for a short flight to Athens. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Thursday: May 9 : Athens
Start the day with a visit to the Acropolis on which stands the Parthenon. The entrance to the top of the hill is through the Propylea, the gates through which the Panathinea Processions used to enter.Visit the Temple of Erectheion, then we get to Mars Hill where St. Paul preached to the Athenians and visit the Agora. Continue the day on a comprehensive city tour ; begin by driving past the Templeof Zeus, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the Evzones, dressed in their traditional costume, the Parliament and the Panathenian Stadium where the first Olympics of modern tims were held in 1896. The whole stadium is built of pure white marble. The tour then passesby Omonia Square, the commercial center of the city and Syntagma Square which is the business and cultural center. Visit the new Acropolis Museum. Finally, for those who choose, there will be free time in the old part of the city called Plaka. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Friday: May 10 : Athens
Today drive to ancient Corinth. Here, under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, St.Paul preached and lived for two years. The vigorous and mostly Gentile Church he founded here in 50 AD caused him much grief and prompted him to write, at least, four letters to them. Visit the ruins of the ancient city where St. Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla. See the remains of the 1st century shops, the agora where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place, the Fountain of Peirene, Temple of Apollo and the Bema. Today’s other highlights are having a stop by Diolkos trackway, the road built around 600BC and Cenchrea which was the port for Corinth on the eastern side of the isthmus, and remains of the ancient harbor are visible in the water today. Paul had his hair cut here because of a vow, and then he set sail from the harbor, concluding his 18-month stay in Corinth (on his second journey; Acts 18:18) Return to Athens for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Saturday: May 11 : Transfer to the airport for return flight back home
Flights from the USA
April 28, 2024
British Air #216
Departs Dulles at 6:00 PM, Arrives at London at 6:20 AM next day
April 29, 2024
Departs London at 10:25 AM, Arrives at Istanbul at 4:35 PM
Flights from Greece
May 11, 2024
Departs Athens at 12:55 PM, Arrives at London at 2:50 PM
Departs London at 5:10 PM, Arrives at Dulles at 8:20 PM
DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS: A non-refundable deposit of $300 is required from each traveler along
with their reservation form to guarantee the booking as soon as possible. The remaining balance is
due in 3 payments.
• The first payment of $2,300 is due on November 28, 2023.
• The second payment of $2,300 is due on January 28, 2024.
• The final payment of $1,149 is due on March 28. 2024.
• A supplement of $1,355 for single occupancy must be paid in full with the final payment.
For those traveling on the land package only, air travel not included, the total is $4,689 including the
$300 non-refundable deposit. The first payment of $2,300 is due on November 28, 2023. The second
payment of $2,089 is due on January 28, 2024
If using a credit card, a convenience fee (from 3.6% to 4%) will be added to the total.
Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be made in writing to Yosher Tours. See Terms and Conditions for cancellation fees and policies.
Health Insurance: Travel insurance is also highly recommended and available at AIG: Travel Guard.
Passports: You must provide Yosher Tours a copy of your passport by January 15, 2024. The US State Department requires that your passport have an expiration date not less than 6 months after your date of departure from Israel (expires after October 13, 2024).