13 Days Pilgrimage to Rome and Turkey and Greece
D1/APR18 CEBU - MANILA - DUBAI
Depart from Cebu to Manila bound for Dubai.
D2/APR19 DUBAI - ISTANBUL
Depart Dubai to ISTANBUL. Arrive Istanbul 1455H. Have our lunch then celebrate a Holy Mass at St. Anthony’sChurch. Get ready to experience the Bosphorus River Cruise before we proceed to our for accommodation and overnight. (L/D)
Today's sightseeing begins with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace. Once home to the great Sultans, it is filled with treasures and antiquities including twelve thousand pieces of fine Chinese porcelain. Then explore unique Blue Mosque built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet. The interior walls are covered with twenty thousand blue Iznik tiles. Also visit Chora Church. Next stops are Hippodrome and Basilica of St. Sophia, which has inspired architects and religious leaders for over fifteen hundred years. Constructed in 326 by Constantine the Great, it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and now a museum. Shopping.(B/L/D)
D4/APR21 ISTANBUL-GALLIPOLI-CANAKKALE-TROY- ALEXANROUPLOLI-ASSOS
We drive to Istanbul (ancient Constantinople) for an orientation tour of the city referred to as “Earth’s Pearl. Today we cross the Dardanelles by ferry to European Turkey, with a brief stop in Gallipoli on the northern end of the Dardanelles. Proceed to Canakkale here we will visit a small Archaeological Museum which houses such 4th century treasures as gold laurel wreaths and precious jewelry. ” We will stop and visit TroyAssos and Alexander Troas. Homer’s ILIAD relates the legendary story of the Trojan War (1200 BC). Overnight in Assos.(B/L/D)
D5/APR22 ASSOS-GREEK BORDER- KAVALA- PHILIPPI
Continue to the Greek - Turkish border. After a short stop for the formalities we cross the Turkish border gate to board our motorcoach. Tour to Kavala(biblical Neapolis) where Paul, Timothy and Silas first landed on European soil. Upon arrival in Kavala, located like an amphitheater by the sea, we will have the rest of the afternoon to explore this historical city. From there, visit Philippiwhere Paul preached and was imprisoned and the Baptistery of Lydia (the first European convert). (BLD)
D6/APR23 PHILIPPI- THESSALONIKI-VERIA- KALAMBAKA
We depart east to Philippi, we continue on to Thessaloniki. En route, we stop in Veria, one of Paul's stops, where a Byzantine mosaic commemorates his preaching. In Thessaloniki, enjoy a panoramic tour of the city dominated by the massive walls of Theodosius. Paul preached in Thessaloniki and wrote the letters to Thessalonians. We will see the famous white tower, the Roman market, the Arch of Galeriousand we will visit the impressive Basilica of St. Dimitrios.En route, we shall stop in Amphipolis (visited by Paul) and see the impressive Lion statue, proceed to Kalambaka.(B/L/D)
Today, we head north we visit two of the monasteries before we depart to the town of Larissa to the town of Kalambaka. Visit to Meteorawhere Byzantine monasteries are perched high on top of gigantic rocks. Dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)
D8/APR25 ATHENS- CORINTH- ATHENS
Enjoy a panoramic tour of Athens, passing by the House of Parliament, the tomb of the Unknown soldier, the Presidential Palace, Panathinaikon stadium, Hadrian's Arch, and other main landmarks. Visit the ruins of Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Propylaea, and stop at Mars Hill where Paul delivered his well-known sermon. After some free time in Plakafor lunch we depart following the coastal road along the Saronic Gulf towards the Corinth canal. Continue to the site of Ancient Corinth where Paul lived for at least two years and wrote the first and second letters to the Corinthians. Under the Acropolis of Corinth (Akrocorinthos) we visit the ruins of the ancient city where Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla, the agora (market) where Paul’s trial by Gallio took place, the temple of Apollo and the fountain of Peirene. Continue with a short drive to Lechaion and Cechreaethe ancient port from where Paul sailed away from Corinth. Return drive to Athens to arrive late in the afternoon. Overnight in Athens.(B/L/D)
D9/APR26 ATHENS-ROME (FLY)
Hotel check out, proceed to the airport for your flight to Rome. Upon arrival explore this eternal city and prepare for tomorrows event.(B/L/D)
D10/APR27 ROME (CANONIZATION EVENT)
Early morning 5:00am transfer to Vatican to witness the historic Canonization of Blessed Pope john Paul II at the Saint Peter’s Square by His Holiness, Pope Francis I. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Rome on your own. (B/L/D)
D11/APR28 ROME- CLASSICAL W/ VATICAN MUSEUM
Enjoy our whole day in Rome visiting the Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Spanish Steps, Basilica of St. Paul the Santa Croce in Gerusalemethen we will also continue to see Rome’s classic Churches such as the impressive Basilicas of San Giovanni de Laterano(nearby is the Scala Santa or Holy Stairs), Santa Maggiore, Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Back to the hotel.
Continue your city tour in Rome that includes your visit to Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, Piazza de Venezia, Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain. Proceed to the airport for your flight back home.(B)
D13/APR30 DUBAI - MANILA-CEBU
Connecting flight to Cebu.Arrive in Cebu. HOME SWEET HOME!