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Steps of St. Paul

Rekindle St. Paul's vigour to spread the Gospel spent in his missionary journey by travelling the lands where he encountered endless difficulties.

OTHER FEES

USD$ 120.00 – Mandatory tips for driver and guides
US$ 60.00 – Turkey visa (apply online)
US$180.00 – Schengen visa fee with assistance (applicable for Philippine passport holders)

STEPS OF ST. PAUL

Tour Cost:

will run on guaranteed 20 full paying pax

USD $ 4,590 /pax*

USD $ 4,100 /pax**

September 11 to 24, 2019

 

*return SYDNEY with airline and port taxes

**return MANILA with airline and port taxes

INCLUSIONS

  • Return economy class airfare
  • Accommodation on First class hotels
  • Full Board meals (B/ L/ D)
  • Guided tours with entrance fees included
  • Cruise Kusadasi to Piraeus, inside cabins
  • Patmos Shore excursion
  • Services of Air-conditioned coach
  • Services of Pilgrimage Chaplain
  • Pre-departure briefing with EPHESUS travel kits

ITINERARY

Day 01 / September 11: Sydney or Manila -Doha
Depart Manila in the evening via one of the best airline and take connecting flight to Athens.

Day 02 / September 12: Doha – Athens -Meteora
Arrive Doha in the morning and take connecting flight to Athens. Upon arrival and after airport formalities, take a scenic drive to Meteora, Transfer to our hotel for dinner and accommodation.

Day 03 / September 13: Meteora – Veria-Thessaloniki
After breakfast, we will follow the road towards Meteora. Visit the first great monastery of Varlaam. The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in the Metéora complex. It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548 and located on the top of a rock at 380m height! A church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious exonarthex is surrounded by a dome. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, the old refectory is used as a museum. See the other monasteries and nunneries around the complex. After the visit of this monastery we will drive towards Veroia. Veroia is a very well-known ancient city where Apostle Paul passed from. Apostle Paul famously preached in the city, and its inhabitants were among the first Christians in the Empire of Alexander the Great and later the Roman Empire. Continue to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.

Day 04 / September 14: Thessaloniki -Philippi – Alexandroupolis
Tour Thessaloniki the places Paul lived and preached. Continue to Philippi with a stop near the harbor of Kavala (biblical Neapolis), St. Paul’s gateway to Europe – a busy port with striking castle and an imposing aqueduct built by Suleyman the Magnificent. See the Greek Orthodox seaside church (Agia Sofia) that marks Paul’s landing spot. From here we will drive to Philippi – As a prosperous Roman colony, Philippi had a spacious forum and Agora and a theater, which was also a gladiator arena. Nearby there is a crypt, which has been honored since the fifth century as the place of St. Paul’s first imprisonment, where Paul and Silas sang hymns and an earthquake set them free. Philippi is the place where the Apostle Paul arrived on the mainland of Europe in response to the vision of a Macedonian he saw at Troas. Here in Philippi St. Paul first preached the Gospel in Europe. Visit Lydia Springs, the Baptismal Site. Outside the ancient city, the River Gangites still flows through quiet countryside, where St. Paul addressed his first European congregations and the businesswoman, Lydia – a “seller of purple,” who was the first to be baptized. There is a fine chapel commemorating this event. Later we drive on to the beautiful seaside town of Alexandroupolis.

Day 05 / September 15: Alexandroupolis -Borders – Istanbul
After breakfast, prepare for a long drive as we cross the Greek/Turkish borders and drive to Istanbul (formerly called Constantinople). Start exploring the city that connects East and West; Visit Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, two of the wonders of the world. A quick stop at the Grand Bazaar, the biggest of its kind with 4000 tiny shops, cafes and teahouses. Dinner and Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 06 / September 16: Istanbul – Canakkale
This morning take on a delightful cruise along the Bosphorus. By private boat we cruise along the Bosphorus – the winding strait separating Europe & Asia. Along the shores is a delightful mixture of the past and the present, as well as the grand splendor and quaint beauty of the modern hotels, ancient wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses and small fishing villages. After lunch cross Dardanelles and drive to Canakkale. Dinner and Overnight in Canakkale

Day 07 / September 17: Troy-Troas-Pergamum – Kusadasi
Visit ancient Troas (Troy), the perfect place to brush up on Homer’s Trojan War and Biblical Troas where Paul had the Vision . Our journey today continues on the road to the ancient city of Pergamum. See the Red Basilica which housed the 1st Century Christian Church referred to by John in revelation. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum designed to imitate the one in Athens and the Asclepeion Temple once dedicated to the Greek god of healing. Revelation 2:12-17 records the letter written to the Christian church of Pergamum; verse 13 of this passage speaks of “Satan’s seat” being here (Pergamum was a center of idolatry). Paul was not allowed to preach here. Proceed to KUSADASI for dinner and overnight.

Day 08 / September 18: Kusadasi – Ephesus
Visit the most impressive biblical site of our trip: Ephesus where Paul first came on his 2nd journey (Acts 18:19-21). Ephesus was one of the most beautiful cities of ancient world and its former glory can still be appreciated today from its well- preserved streets, temples, fountains, public baths, terraced houses and theatres. Paul returned to Ephesus on his 3rd journey, staying and preaching for a period of about two years, where “special miracles” were wrought (Acts 19:120, 20:20). . Visit the House of Virgin Mary, the place where Mother Mary spent her last years and have our Eucharistic celebration in this special place. Dinner and overnight.

Day 09 / September 19: ON CRUISE Kusadasi – Patmos
Embark our cruise ship, early afternoon arrival on the island of Patmos; considered a holy island for the Christian religion. It was here in Patmos where John the Divine, while in exile, wrote the Apocalyptic Revelations, which constitute the last part of the New Testament. Disembark and meet with our Guide and bus for the Shore excursion on Patmos Island. The tour takes you to the monastery of St. John, which still keeps its character of a medieval fortress. Inside the walls you will be able to admire the Byzantine wealth of the Christian Orthodox religion while from its high ground you will have the most stunning panoramic view of the luminous sea. After the visit of St. John Monastery we proceed to the Grotto – the Holy Cave of Apocalypse where St John is said to have had the vision of fire and brimstone and dictated the book of Revelation. Return to the Port of Patmos – free time. Sail

Day 10 / September 20: Cruise. Heraklion Crete / Santorini
This morning we dock at the legendary island of Crete,land of Minoan civilization, home of Zorbas the Greek; A shore excursion is available to take us to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, where King Minos lived and where the Labyrinth and the Minotaur was located! Afternoon call at the volcano island of Santorii; take the cable car on your own to visit the top of the island and enjoy the panoramic view of the famous Caldera. Back to the port for our next destination.

Day 11 / September 21: Piraeus – Athens
This morning, after breakfast disembarkation and you will enjoy a City Tour of -Athens – the birthplace of democracy. See Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the University, the Academie and the National Library. Driving down Herodes Atticus Street and the Avzones in their picturesque uniforms and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896), the Temple of Olympia Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. On the Acropolis mount, you will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylee, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon – the monument that “puts order in the mind” and “is harmony between material and spirit”. Dinner and overnight in Athens.

Day12 / September 22: Athens – Corinth – Athens
Today we will visit Corinth, where St. Paul arrived in A.D. 50-51 to preach Christianity. Stop at the archeological site housing many statues and artifacts. The site includes the Temple of Apollo; the Roman Agora; the Bema Courthouse, where his enemies brought the Apostle before Gallio; the pavement inscription of Erastus; the Roman Lechaion Road and the lower Fountain of Peirene. It was in Corinth that St. Paul wrote First Thessalonians and also, most likely, his Epistle to the Romans. Also, it was here that Paul encountered a multiple of problems in the congregation that seem to continue in today’s churches. Dinner & overnight at our hotel in Athens.

Day 13 / September 23: Athens – Doha
Depart Athens for return flight home or onward flight to your chosen extension tour

Day 14 / September 24: Doha – Sydney or Manila
Arrival to home destination. HOME SWEET HOME!

EXTENSION TO MALTA

AFTER STEPS OF ST. PAUL

Strictly for minimum 10 paying passengers

USD $ 1,530 /pax

INCLUSIONS

  • Hotel accommodation on good 4* hotels
  • One way ticket Athens-Malta (for Malta Extension)
  • One way ticket from Athens to Madrid (for Marian ext)
  • Half board meals
  • Guided tours with entrance fees included
  • TGV train from Lourdes to Paris (for the Marian extension)
  • Airport transfers and private coach

ITINERARY

Day 13 / September 23: Athens – Malta
Breakfast at our Hotel and transfer to the airport for onward flight to Malta. Have orientation tour and check in at hotel for dinner and overnight. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 14 / September 24: Medina
This morning we drive to Medina. We visit St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s catacombs and the grotto where St Paul is said to have lived and preached after his shipwreck. Medina is the Roman capital of Malta and predated Valetta by several centuries. Medina is co-cathedral with St John’s in Valetta. It is believed to stand on the site of the Palace of Publius, who was Roman Governor at the time of St Paul’s visit, who subsequently became the first Bishop of Malta. We can have a superb view of the islands from the ramparts of Medina. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Day 15 / September 25: Medina-Valetta
We start the day by driving to St Paul’s Bay, where the apostle came ashore after being shipwrecked. Nearby is Ghajin Razul (the Apostle’s Fountain), where St Paul struck a rock which is said to have miraculously brought forth water. We also visit the church of St Paul built over the spot where St Paul is said to have lit a fire and thrown the viper which had attacked him, onto it. This afternoon we visit Malta’s capital city, Valetta. We concentrate on visiting the churches. Firstly, St Paul’s Shipwreck Church, one of the oldest churches in Valetta. We may view the vault paintings of Attilio Palumbi, portraying episodes in the life of St Paul, as well as two important relics, an arm-bone of St Paul and a piece of the column on which he was beheaded. We will visit St John’s Cathedral, where Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Beheading of John the Baptist hangs in the Oratory. Back to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 16 / September 26: Malta – Dubai
Whole day free until transfer to airport for flight back home via Dubai

Day 17 / September 27: Arrive HOME
Arrive Dubai in the morning and take connecting flight back home.

HOME SWEET HOME!

MARIAN PILGRIMAGE EXTENSION TOUR

Strictly for minimum 10 paying passengers

USD $ 2,560 /pax

INCLUSIONS

  • Hotel accommodation on good 4* hotels
  • One way ticket Athens-Malta (for Malta Extension)
  • One way ticket from Athens to Madrid (for Marian ext)
  • Half board meals
  • Guided tours with entrance fees included
  • TGV train from Lourdes to Paris (for the Marian extension)
  • Airport transfers and private coach

ITINERARY

Day 13 / September 23: Athens – Madrid
Breakfast at our Hotel and transfer to the airport for onward flight to Madrid. After airport formalities, transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 14 / September 24: Madrid – Fatima
Long distance transfer to reach one of the world’s major pilgrimage centers, FATIMA. Arrive in the afternoon and begin our tour of Fatima, where we will experience the beauty of this spiritual town. Visit the Shrine and Basilica of our Lady and celebrate our mass at the Chapel of Apparitions. In the Basilica we visit Francesco and Jacinta’s graves, see the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s appearance after the children’s return from prison. Experience Christ’s love as you walk and follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous well. Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Time for private devotions before dinner and a restful night’s sleep.

Day 15 / September 25: Fatima
Visit some of the highlights of Fatima including the Capelinha (also known as the “Chapel of the Apparitions”) as well as the Basilica. This Basilica contains, among other things, the tombs of two of the children of Fatima, Jacinta and Francisco, as well as Sr. Lucia. After lunch on your own, free time for private devotions. You may participate once again at the evening procession after dinner.

Day 16 / September 26: Fatima – Salamanca – Burgos
After breakfast prepare for check out and depart to Burgos. En route stop in Salamanca to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Continue to Burgos for dinner and overnight.

Day 17 / September 27: Burgos – Loyola – Lourdes
Depart Burgos to Lourdes. En route stop in Loyola, to visit the Sanctuary of St. Ignatius. Continue to Lourdes. Dinner and overnight.

Day 18 / September 28: Lourdes
After breakfast, participate in the walking tour of Lourdes where we will visit the places associated with the life of St. Bernadette. These places include the Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born, the “Cachot” formerly used as a jail where she lived at the time of the Apparitions; the Chapel where St. Bernadette received her First Holy Communion; and the Parish Church containing the Baptismal Font where she was baptized. Also, enjoy a brief orientation tour of the Basilica and orientation film on Lourdes. Once again, after dinner, please feel free to participate in the Candlelight Procession. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.

Day 19 / September 29: Lourdes – Paris
Depart early morning for Paris via the high-speed TGV Train. Upon arrival in Paris, proceed to Rue du Bac and have our final thanksgiving Sunday mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal where the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure is still lying in state. Gain merciful blessings and healing as we pray to our dear saint. Continue to visit and view the beautifully lighted Sacre Coeur Church on Montmartre, inspired by the Sacred Heart Devotion which began in Paray-Le-Monial by St. Margaret-Mary. Dinner and overnight in Paris.

Day 20 / September 30: Paris -Lisieux – Paris – Dubai
This morning depart for Lisieux. Enjoy an orientation tour of Lisieux with visits to the places associated with the life of St. Therese including the Great Basilica dedicated to her, the Carmelite Convent where you can view her incorrupt body and to the Buissonets (home of the Martin family). Lunch en route and return to Paris for transfer to airport.

Day 21-22 / October 1-2: Dubai – Sydney
Arrive Sydney the morning of October 2

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