Greece & Turkiye: Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Paul with Father Leonard Smith | Feb 5, 2025

13 days
Greece & Türkiye
Starting from $5196* Taxes & Fees Apply

Celebrate the Holy Year with Father Leonard Smith on a Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Paul in Greece & Turkiye starting at $5,196* from Charleston, West Virginia on February 5, 2025. You will see Athens, Corinth, Cenchrae, Thessaloniki, Veria, Amphipolis, Philippi, Neapoli, Istanbul, Nicaea, Troy, Pergamum, Thyatira, Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia, Colossae, Laodicea, Hieropolis, Ephesus, and much more!

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by March 5, 2023
$125 by April 5, 2024
$100 by May 5, 2024
$75 by June 5, 2024
$50 by July 5, 2024
$25 by August 5, 2024
Full deposit required. Savings deducted from balance.

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What’s Included

  • All Inclusive Pricing
  • Breakfast and Dinner Daily
  • Deluxe A/C Motor Coaches
  • Domestic Airfare
  • Entrance and Program Fees
  • First Class Hotels
  • Fuel Surcharges and Gov't Taxes
  • Guided Tours
  • Hotel Gratuities
  • International Airfare
  • Administrative Fee

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 February 5 – Depart the USA

Depart the USA

Day 2 February 6 – Arrive in Athens

Arrive at the Athens airport this morning, where your guide will meet you. Enjoy the rich architectural splendor of the ancient city of Athens as your guide introduces you to the world-renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erectheum. Stand on Mars Hill as the Apostle Paul did when he proclaimed, “I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). As you stroll the agora, the ancient marketplace and center of Athenian public life, recall that this was where the Apostle Paul preached “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also, see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Dinner and your overnight stay are spent in Athens.

Day 3 February 7 – Corinth & Cenchrae

Journey to the city of Corinth, where the Apostle Paul met fellow tentmakers Aquilla and Priscilla and received a vision from the Lord saying, “I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city” (Acts 18: 10). As Paul spoke, Crispus (chief ruler of the synagogue) and many others believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8), establishing the church at Corinth to whom Paul later wrote his two epistles. Discover the archaeological museum, marketplace, and temples. As you walk among the ruins, stand on the Bema, where the Apostle Paul stood before Gallio to face charges brought against him by the Jews. Stop briefly at the port town of Cenchreae, from which Paul later departed for Syria (Acts 18: 12-18). Return to Athens for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 4 February 8 – Thessaloniki & Veria

Fly from Athens to Thessaloniki this morning. Discover Thessaloniki, where Paul was accused of turning the world upside down with his preaching of Christ (Acts 17: 3-6). As you explore St. George’s Basilica, believed to be built over the synagogue where Paul preached, reflect on the two epistles the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church here. Stroll through the archaeological museum and the beautiful basilicas of St. Sophia and St. Demetrios. St. Demetrios is dedicated to a distinguished Roman proconsul martyred for his Christian faith. Along the Via Egnatia stands the Galerius Arch, and you can look out over the second-largest city in Greece from the Old City Ramparts, some dating back to Roman times. Follow the path of Paul when he fled Thessaloniki for the safety of Veria (Berea), where Jews and some honorable Greeks accepted the new faith (Acts 17: 10 -12). Dinner and your overnight stay are in Thessaloniki.

Day 5 February 9 – Amphipolis, Philippi & Neapoli

Follow in the footsteps of Paul and Silas to Amphipolis and explore the ruins of the many Christian basilicas there. Philippi is a baptismal site commemorating where God opened the heart of Lydia (a seller of purple from Thyatira) to hear the words of Paul (Acts 16:13 -15). Lydia and her household were the first Christian converts baptized on European soil. View the Roman-era crypt thought to have served as a prison for the Apostle Paul, and explore Philippi’s famous acropolis, marketplace, the Basilica of Paul, and theater. Today’s last stop is Neapolis (Kavala), one of Greece’s most picturesque mainland ports, where Paul landed with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. See the Roman aqueduct and acropolis before returning to Thessaloniki for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 6 February 10 - Journey to Istanbul

Today, you will cross the border into Turkiye. Upon arrival in Turkiye, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to Istanbul. Dinner and your overnight stay are in Istanbul.

Day 7 February 11 - Istanbul

The bejeweled capital of Istanbul sits between two continents and is home to 450 mosques. You will visit the famous Blue Mosque with its six minarets and sparkling interior. Walk through Hagia Sophia, which was the largest church in Christendom for 1,000 years, built by Justinian (532-537 AD). The church has 107 columns, fossil-embedded, white marble floors, and beautiful glass mosaics. Enjoy the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, thyme, and other exotic spices as you explore the Grand Bazaar. Over 4,000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold. Dinner and your overnight stay are in Istanbul.

Day 8 February 12 - Nicaea and Troy

Today, you will travel to the lakeside town of Iznik, known in Byzantine times as Nicaea and the site of two ecumenical church councils. The year 2025 marks the 1700th anniversary of the Nicene Council. The ancient name is associated with the Nicene Creed which many Christians can recite from memory. You will see the ancient walls and the ruins of the Basilica of St. Sophia, the Baptistry, and the Christian Tombs on the outskirts of town. Continue for a stop at the legendary Troy, which is immortalized in Homer’s Iliad. Walk the archaeological site and experience the saga of Troy’s siege. See the 46 levels of occupation and 9 cities, including a replica of the famed Trojan Horse. Check into your hotel overlooking the Dardanelles for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 9 February 13 - Pergamum, Thyatira

Explore ancient Pergamum, the bright light of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Behold the fabled acropolis, which towers 1,000 feet over the town and has a spectacular panorama view. Enter the Royal Gates to the Great Altar of Zeus (mentioned in Revelation 2:13), the Temple of Athena, and the ruins of the library, which once held over 200,000 parchments. Ponder the remains of the Temple of Trajan, the grand theater, the gymnasium, and the renowned Asclepeion, the most famous hospital in antiquity. Visit Thyatira, located on a trade route southeast of Pergamum. Thyatira was home to Lydia (Acts 16). Continue to Izmir and check into the 5-star Radisson Park Inn Hotel for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 10 February 14 - Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia, Colossae

Smyrna, Sardis, and Philadelphia are three of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Ancient Smyrna is modern Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkiye. Visit the agora, still adorned with colonnades and Roman statues. Next, travel to Sardis, the capital of the Lydian empire and one of the greatest cities of antiquity. Take in the massive Temple of Artemis, the white marble Royal Road, and the gymnasium and synagogue. Next, ponder the extant ruins of Philadelphia, including the basilica and old city walls. Our last site is Colossae, the recipient of two of Paul’s letters. Much of the ancient city is still buried in obscurity, though traces of the theater, necropolis, and basilica are visible. Retire for the day in Pamukkale, where we will have dinner and overnight at the 5-star Doga Thermal Health & Spa Hotel.

Day 11 February 15 - Laodicea & Hieropolis

Discover the newly restored ruins of Laodicea, the most infamous of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Walk along the agora, with its columns and frescoes. Explore the Hellenistic and Roman theaters, stadium, town hall, water tower, gymnasium, baths, necropolis, and church. Next, behold the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hierapolis. Enjoy the beautifully preserved Roman ruins, including the city gates, colonnaded streets, amphitheater, and necropolis. End the afternoon with a plunge into the hot mineral springs. Check into your hotel in Kusadasi along the coast for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 12 February 16 - Ephesus

Begin the day with a tour of the archaeological treasure of Ephesus, the city where Paul spent two years. The restored city is stunning. Stand in the Great Theater, scene of the riot in Acts 19. Stroll through the colonnaded agora toward the magnificent façade of the Library of Celsus, the third-largest in the ancient world. Peek into the beautifully frescoed terrace houses of the wealthy. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where the Lord’s mother spent her last days. Explore Justinian’s 6th-century Basilica of Saint John, where John the Apostle was once buried. Enjoy a visit to a Turkish carpet factory, where you can buy some of the most beautiful carpets in the world. Return to Izmir and fly to Istanbul for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 13 February 17 - Return Home

Return Home

Departure Dates

  1. Wednesday, February 5, 2025
    From $5196* Register Now!
*A 3.5% surcharge will be added to all credit card transactions.