12 Days / 9 Nights Pilgrimage - Athens to Gallipoli
Countries: Greece and Turkey
The Acts of the Apostles come alive as we traverse the ancient paths of St Paul and unearth the origins and emerging faith of the first Christian communities.
Highlights: Fly into Athens / Athens (2) – Acropolis & Agora / Ancient Corinth / Meteora Rock Monasteries / Kalambaka (1) / Island of Patmos (2)– St John / Kusadasi (2) / Ephesus Pilgrimage / Pergamon Church of Revelation / Biblical Assos / Canakkale (2) / Gallipoli Pilgrimage / Fly Ex Istanbul Same Day
DAY 1: DEPART FOR GREECE
DAY 2: ARRIVE ATHENS
Athens today is the thriving capital of Greece, but, more importantly, we have entered into the world of the New Testament where St Paul and his companions established the first Christian communities throughout his four missionary journeys.
On arrival in Athens we will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel.
Athens overnight (D)
DAY 3: ATHENS & CORINTH
When St Paul first came to Athens it was predominantly a city which worshipped pagan gods. St Paul was taken before the city council at the Areopagus Hill, a rough outcrop of limestone rock from which he preached the Gospel message to the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:16-21).
We begin our pilgrimage with a tour of Christian Athens including the Acropolis; the Areopagus where St Paul preached about the "the Unknown God" (Acts 17:15-34); the Ancient Agora; the Plaka (Old Greece), and the Parthenon. Also see the Kallimármaro Stadium, dating back to 330BC.
Journey out to Ancient Corinth where the apostle Paul lived for almost two years, teaching the people the Word of God and converting many. We celebrate an outdoor Mass here and visit the ancient ruins where he preached the Gospel from the Rostrum. See the Peirene fountain, and the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo before an outdoor Mass in this stunning pilgrimage setting. Finally we come to Cenchreae, the ancient port from where St Paul said farewell to the believers and departed for Ephesus (Acts 18:18).
Athens overnight (BD)
DAY 4: ATHENS TO METEORA
Travel north by coach today to the small town of Kalambaka built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of Meteora.
Marvel at the 24 perpendicular rocks where 600 years ago Byzantine monks chose to worship God and build their cave-like Monastic community of Meteora. Our visit to some of these living monasteries will make this a remarkable afternoon.
Kalambaka overnight (BD)
DAY 5: VIA ATHENS TO PATMOS
We return south this morning by coach to the Athenian port of Piraeus to embark our deluxe boat transfer to the Dodecanese island of Patmos, where St John the Beloved wrote the Book of Revelation.
Patmos overnight (BD)
DAY 6: PATMOS DAY
Lying between the islands of Leros and Ikaria is the 'ascetic shaped' Patmos, called the ‘Jerusalem of the Aegean’ due to the overwhelming atmosphere of the island during the great celebrations of Christianity.
We begin our day with a walking tour of the main square of the village of Chora. This is the traditional settlement and capital of Patmos, where the narrow streets were designed to ward off pirates over the centuries. Ascend to the Monastery of St John the Beloved, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, for a visit and celebration of Mass. Our exploration of this living monastery will culminate with time in the actual Cave of Revelation where God chose to reveal to St John the mysteries of the last book of the Bible - the Apocalypse. The cave is now at the foot of the monastery, which houses priceless icons and manuscripts, sacred relics, vestments embroiled with silver or gold threads and bejeweled with precious stones.
Later continue to the active Convent of Evangelismos (Annunciation) built by the hieromonk Nikiphoros who was cured from the plague after praying to St Luke the Evangelist. Visit the Convent of Zoodochos Pigi with icons dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Finally we will enjoy a short scenic tour of the island.
Patmos overnight (BD
DAY 7: PATMOS TO KUSADASI
Depart Patmos this morning by private Charter Vessel to Kusadasi, doorway to Ephesus, the Churches of Revelation and Gallipoli.
On arrival in Kusadasi we will be met and transferred by coach to our centrally located hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.
Kusadasi overnight (BD)
DAY 8: EPHESUS DAY
We travel directly to Ephesus this morning, the most famous of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev 2:1-7) where St Paul spent more than two years in the course of his third missionary journey. It was to the Christian community of Ephesus that St Paul wrote his greatest and most challenging letter (the epistle to the Ephesians) and also succeeded in converting many away from worship of the god Artemis.
Our visit today will include the ruins where St Paul lived and preached. See the prison of St Paul; walk through the ancient marble streets founded in the 10th century BC and see this most 'complete’ Roman city providing us with an excellent window into Imperial Rome. Pass the Temple of Hadrian, the Library of Celsus, the enormous amphitheatre (Acts 19:29-31), and finally come to the ruins of the Christian Basilica where the Third Ecumenical Council took place in 431AD, and where Our Lady was proclaimed "Mother of God".
We ascend the hill to the House of the Virgin Mary where it is said Mary spent the later years of her life. We celebrate our group Mass here in one of the chapels. Finally we visit the restored remains of the 6th century Basilica of St John at Celcuk where a small church was originally built over the tomb of St John the Evangelist.
Kusadasi overnight (BD)
DAY 9: PERGAMUM AND ASSOS
This morning we set out north towards Pergamum, one of the most impressive classical sites in Turkey and another of the Churches of Revelation. Once described by St John as the place "where Satan has his throne", (Rev 2:13) this too was the site where the first Christians were martyred by Rome (Rev 2:12-17). On arrival we will view the region's longest building, the Red Basilica dedicated to St John the Apostle.
Continue north to Assos. Here St Paul had arranged to rejoin his companions before sailing onto Miletus (Acts 20:13). Explore the remains of the Council Chamber and the 6th century BC Temple of Athena. Also see the impressive Acropolis and experience the brilliant acoustics of the Amphitheatre.
Reboarding our coach, we continue north, finally arriving in Canakkale.
Canakkale overnight (BD)
DAY 10: ANZAC COVE & GALLIPOLI
This morning we board a private charter vessel for an inspired journey along the Gallipoli Peninsula where 7,594 Australian and 2,431 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives in battle during World War I. See the Anzac Cove coastline emerge before our very eyes, giving a rare waterside perspective of the troops landing on 25th April 1915. After disembarking, we visit Anzac Cove where we will take some time to reflect. We then drive past Courtney’s and Steele’s Post and Quinn’s post. Visit the Nek, Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand Monuments and Lone Pine Cemetery where we will celebrate a touching Eucharist, coming in faith to pay tribute and pray for the souls of the heroes of those tragic months of 1915.
Canakkale overnight (BD)
DAY 11: DEPART TURKEY
Today we travel by coach to Istanbul airport for our homebound or onward flight connections.
MALTA EXTENSION 4 day itinerary (After Lands of St Paul)
DEPARTS: After Lands of St Paul
DAY 1: ISTANBUL TO MALTA
Upon arrival at Malta International Airport we will be met and transferred to our hotel for check-in.
Christianity has existed almost 2,000 years in Malta, brought to the island by no less than the Apostle Paul himself in 60 AD.
Malta overnight (D)
DAY 2: ST PAUL’S ISLAND – RABAT – MDINA
Today we proceed to St Paul’s Bay where a short boat trip takes us to the island where the Apostle was shipwrecked. After some time here we return to the mainland where we view St Paul’s Bonfire Church.
En route to Rabat visit the miraculous Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Mosta where during World War II a 500 kilogram bomb penetrated the dome and hit the inside of the church. Continue to Rabat to enter St Paul’s Grotto where St Paul lived during his short stay in Malta. We celebrate Mass here and visit the catacombs dedicated to him.
After a short walk into Mdina,visit St Paul’s Cathedral which will be another highlight of our day’s trip.
Malta overnight (BD)
DAY 3: GOZO DAY
Travel by ferry to the sister island of Gozo. Visit the Church of St John La Rotunda, and walk up the steps to the Gozo Citadel which is a medieval city and the capital of Gozo.
Visit St George’s Basilica, then on to the miraculous Ta’Pinu Shrine for Mass.
Malta overnight (BD)
DAY 4: VALLETTA – DEPART MALTA
Today we visit Valletta. After a drive round the city to admire its bastions, we enter the city by foot and see the Auberges built by the Knights and St John. We enter St John’s Co-Cathedral, and view the impressive and miraculous Crucifix at Ta’Giezu Church.
Continue to the St Paul Shipwreck Church where we will view two relics of St Paul.
Transfer to the airport for our homebound or ongoing flight connections. (B)
DAY 6: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
2017 DATES AND PRICES
Single Room Supplement: $670
NB: An additional mandatory prepaid tipping fund of $15 per day per person will be invoiced in advance by Harvest to avoid regular inconvenience to pilgrims on tour.
Full package based on departure from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth including all airline taxes and levies (subject to change). Tour Only costs include local internal airfares between Start/End dates. Refer to our full price inclusions and Booking Procedures for more information.