Celestyal Cruises - Steps of Paul Excursions - USD

excursions 2023 steps of paul

AUTHENTIC ENCOUNTERS EXPERIENCES JUST FOR YOU AND A FEW Short or no walking involved. Easy walking: General walking over an even surface. Moderate walking: Moderate amount of physical activity such as walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. Might not be recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Hard walking: High amount of physical activity for extended periods of time. Recommended only for sporting guests with good physical health. Includes visits to religious sites, knees and shoulders must be covered. It is recommended to bring your swimming suit and a towel. Shopping with an experienced guide. Meal included on this excursion. Refreshments included on this excursion. Please be advised it is recommended that you take a bottle of water for your journey. Panoramic, nature, landscapes. Cultural experience: This tour will feature art, architecture, history and religion. Folklore: We focus on local habits, traditions, food and tasting. Adventure and fun. Suitable for families travelling with children. GUIDE TO SYMBOLS Half day - up to 5 hours Full day - 6 hours and above All timings and order of visits are subject to change depending on traffic congestion of the sites and weather conditions. Operation of tours may be subject to the time of the year - please check at time of booking. Normal excursions require a minimum participation as per terms and conditions. Please be aware of the dress code in order to enter the monasteries; legs and shoulders should be covered, no shorts, long skirts (below the knee). Terms and conditions are available at: www.celestyalcruises.com/shorex-conditions WHY BOOK A CELESTYAL EXCURSION Although we say it ourselves, the destinations on a Celestyal cruise are rather special. In fact we think they are among the most exciting, historic, iconic and evocative in the world. And they lend themselves to incredible tales, some true, some fable but all an integral part of our storytelling. You can immerse yourself in ancient civilisations, follow in the footsteps of great figures from history, live and breathe the myths and legends of Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean and journey to places where some of the Seven Wonders of the World once stood. One of those names from history is St Paul, one of Apostles and generally regarded as the second most important figure in Christianity after Jesus He was one of the first to spread the word of Christianity far and wide and was born in the year 5 AD in the Roman city of Tarsus in what is now Turkey. On this remarkable and awe-inspiring historical and religious journey across the eastern Mediterranean, we follow in his footsteps from Athens to Corinth and then to Thessaloniki, Kavala, the incomparable Istanbul, Dikili, Kusadasi which is the gateway to historic Ephesus and finally Patmos. Our specially designed excursions are central to your Celestyal experience with our expert guides taking you step by step through your voyage and really bringing history alive. We really mean it when we say ‘every moment is a destination’ and ‘every destination is a wonder’. 04 Thessaloniki 10 Kavala 16 Istanbul 24 Dikili 26 Kusadasi 32 Patmos 38 Athens CONTENTS

4 St Paul Orthodox Church THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS

5 Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 05 Vibrant, colourful and imbued with history, Thessaloniki is the second city of Greece. Our first stop on this stage of our remarkable journey is by air conditioned coach to the Citadel and the impressive Vlatadon Monastery which has magnificent views to the city. It was here that St Paul preached on his Second Missionary in 49 AD. From here we travel through the countryside to Veria (Berroia in the Bible) as did St Paul, where he preached to the city’s ‘noble Jews’. At the traditional Tribune we will be able to see the recently completed mosaic of St Paul that commemorates this sermon. Veria may have been inhabited as early as 1000 BC and St Paul is its patron saint. The city was named for one of the daughters of the mythological King Veris. Established in the foothills of Mt. Vermion, fortified Veria flourished behind its massive walls. It was one of the first cities to surrender to the Romans in 168 BC and became the area’s second most important city after Thessaloniki. VERIA (BERROIA) During the Byzantine era many small, delicate, frescoed churches were built in the city, which came to be known as “Small Jerusalem.” We visit one of these immaculate churches, the Church of Christ, built in the early 14th century and is home to masterworks by the most famous painter of the era, Kalliergis. Under the Ottomans, Veria was an important commercial and cultural centre. Many mosques, mansions and the old market were constructed in this period. We have time to wander, explore and shop in this marvellous ancient city. Vlatadon Monastery THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS St Paul CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

6 Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 03 This is a fascinating half-day excursion to Thessaloniki’s most popular landmarks. Our first stop is for photos at the White Tower on the seafront promenade, the paralia. The tower is the city’s most famous monument, was built in 1430 and houses Byzantine icons and historical displays on its several floors. It is a majestic symbol of Thessaloniki. We then have an hour to explore the Byzantine Museum, an incredible collection of artifacts from the early Christian period onwards, including sculpture, mosaics, painted tombs, embroidered fabrics and religious icons. Our itinerary then takes us past the International Trade Fair grounds and the Aristotelion University toward the Citadel, where we have a superb panoramic view of the city, Mt. Olympus and Thermaic Gulf beyond. From here we drive to the 5th century Basilica of St. Demetrius, the largest church in Greece, which houses an impressive display of mosaics and the crypt where Demetrius was confined. On our return to the ship we drive past the Arch of Galerius and St. George’s Rotonda. The arch was built in 303 to commemorate the victory of Galerius over the Persians in 297 A.C., and it is chiseled with scenes of the battle. Just north of the arch stands the massive Rotonda, which historians believe was constructed as a mausoleum for Galerius. St Paul arrived in Thessaloniki to preach on his Second Missionary in 49 AD. And his letter to Thessalonians was addressed to a church here the following year. HIGHLIGHTS OF THESSALONIKI The White Tower Rotunda of Galerius THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 02 This a fascinating half day, step back time. Vergina was the first ancient capital of the Greek Kingdom of Macedonia and we have the privilege of visiting the Royal Tombs. The most important tomb is that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. We will be accompanied into the museum by our guide to look at some of King Philip’s most important possessions, including the king’s shield and goldtrimmed breast plate. Legend has it that the golden chest containing the king’s bones was washed with wine and wrapped in purple cloth. We will find out how this was unearthed before being able to discover it for ourselves. Also on display are gold diadems of unparalleled artistry, lavish wall paintings and a golden wreath of oak leaves. This is also the site of an extensive royal palace and one of the most important museums in Greece. The area was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilisation.” THE ROYAL TOMBS OF VERGINA The Golden Chest The Royal Tomb King Philip II tomb 7 THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Duration: Half day Tour code: THS - 06 Thessaloniki is the second city of Greece and the capital of Macedonia. It has a fascinating and colourful history with evidence of Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman remains and it was the richest city in the Byzantine Empire. It is a glorious blend of beauty, history, and culture, framed by vast and stunning sea views and is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. Our panoramic tour begins along the waterfront boulevard to Aristotelous Square, named for Macedonia’s leading philosopher Aristotle. We will see Thessaloniki’s most famous sight, the White Tower, part of the lower city’s original fortification which has also served as a prison. We hear the fascinating narrative by our guide as we take in many of the city’s highlights including, the Gallerius Arch, the Rotunda, and numerous neoClassical buildings. We visit the 5th century St. Demetrius’ Cathedral as well and stop up to the Upper Town for sweeping views of the city with Mount Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf in the background. Aristotelous Square The White Tower PANORAMIC THESSALONÍKI The Arch of Galerius THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS 8 CHILD US$51 ADULT US$76

Duration: Full day Tour code: THS - 04 This is a remarkable, historic, full-day excursion combining the glories of Pella with those of Vergina, and it includes lunch overlooking the stunning Aliakmon Valley. We begin with a 45-minute drive by air-conditioned motor coach to Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great and the second capital of ancient Macedonia. Alexander, Emperor in the 4th Century BC, was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history’s most successful military commanders. For 250 years Pella was the cultural centre of the Ancient Greek world and as the seat of the royal family, enjoyed its greatest prosperity during the reign of Alexander. Archaeological excavations have uncovered public buildings and luxurious private homes with intricate marble-floor mosaics along with a plethora of delicate clay figurines and vases. Our next stop is Vergina, where we visit the tomb of King Philip II of Macedonia. Dating from 335 BC, the bones of the king are covered with a golden wreath of oak leaves. Also here are the king’s iron helmet and a cache of weapons. As well as King Philip’s tomb and personal effects, we will see well-preserved examples of large-scale classical painting and numerous carved, painted steles of ordinary citizens. We have an hour’s drive by coach back to the ship. Pella’s mosaics Painted gravestones inside the Royal Tomb LAND OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT Ancient Pella THESSALONIKI EXCURSIONS 9 CHILD US$92 ADULT US$131

10 Philippi KAVALA EXCURSIONS

Duration: Half day Tour code: KAV - 02 As you get to know Xanthi, you’ll quickly understand why locals call it the city of the thousand colours. Having been destroyed, rebuilt and expanded time and again, due to raids, civil war and earthquakes, to say Xanthi is rich in diversity would be an understatement. In the Old Town, no two houses are the same. And as you listen to stories of Thracians and Ottomans, you’ll see their lingering influence in the architecture around you. Then on the outskirts of town, time skips forward to the late industrial age. Tobacco trading helped Xanthi bloom in the late 19th Century, and the tobacco warehouses here tell a vivid story of the path to prosperous times. Other highlights unique to Xanthi include the Foundation of Thracian Art and Tradition, the Castle of Xantheia, and the home of Greek composer Hadjidakis. Crossing the abundant Nestos On our way to Xanthi, we’ll stop to marvel at the Nestos River, the ecological pride of North Eastern Greece. We cross at the boundary between the Kavala and Xanthi prefectures, where tree-lined banks and cliffsides teem with life. Pausing our journey to take it all in, this is the ideal place to share a restorative moment with nature or take a few scenic selfies. NESTOS RIVER AND THE COLOURS OF XANTHI Xanthi Xanthi 11 KAVALA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

12 Duration: Half day Tour code: KAV - 05 Overlooking the bay and coastal plain of Kavala is the hilltop town of Philippi, a significant site for the success of growing empires. It was here that King Philip II of Macedon celebrated success in the neighbouring gold mines, renaming the conquered settlement after himself. It was here too that Rome truly became an empire, when Julius Caesar’s Republican assassins made their final stand – a staggering defeat – against Mark Antony and Octavian Caesar. As we discover the archaeological city on your guided tour, you meander through the ruins of a wellpreserved Roman forum, early Christian basilicas, and the Theater. We also get a taste of everyday ancient life in the form of public baths, latrines and gymnasiums. Apostle Paul’s journey brought him to Philippi during his first mission, and your guide is a fountain of knowledge on the subject. They’ll show you where he preached, where he spent time in jail, and after a short coach ride to St. Lydia’s Baptistery, where he is said to have performed the first European conversion. Guests often tell us they can still feel the holy aura of the site today, thousands of years later. Free time to explore Kavala On our return to Kavala, we may have time for you to break off on your own to wander, shop or eat like a local. Follow your senses on a stroll along the promenade or follow your stomach to enjoy a local snack and glass of ouzo. This bayside city on the slopes of Mount Symvolo is a sight to behold. NEAPOLIS AND PHILIPPI ?????????? KAVALA EXCURSIONS Philippi Philippi CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Duration: Half day Tour code: KAV - 06 Neapolis, then Christoupolis, now Kavala. Over the centuries, this bayside city on the slopes of Mount Symvolo has gone by many names… Accompanied by a local expert whose passion for the city is infectious, you’ll hear stories of how this modern metropolis was always destined for greatness. The earth, laced with gold and silver, first attracted settlers from Thasos, and later Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II of Macedon. The Romans built their Via Egnatia road through the city, the Byzantine’s built fortifications, the Ottomans spent 500 years adding their own touches, and now it’s your turn to take to the streets. Our tour will mostly take place in the lower level of the city, without heavy hiking to the peaks. From here, we’ll have fantastic views of the Byzantine castle that sits atop the city, while exploring all the wonders at sea level. Marvel at the two-story aqueduct built by the Turks. Explore the Archaeological Museum and Tobacco Museum which trace civilisation in the area through to modernity. And get a taste of life for everyone from local fisherman at the old port to the founder of the Egyptian empire at Mehmet Ali’s birthplace. 13 Wander, shop or eat like a local Your morning in Kavala doesn’t have to end when you say goodbye to your guide. You have some free time before you need to return to the ship, so follow your senses on a stroll along the promenade or follow your stomach to enjoy a local snack and glass of ouzo. Your guide will be happy to give you suggestions. KAVALA UP CLOSE: WALK THROUGH THE AGES Kavala KAVALA EXCURSIONS Kavala CHILD US$26 ADULT US$43

14 Duration: Full day Tour code: KAV - 07 “The relationship between vine and man is dynamic, evolving over time,” say the winemakers at the 300acre Oenogenesis winery. “That’s why every year our cultivation techniques are enriched. Only love, care and respect for man remain fixed values.” Our half-day tour takes us from the ruins of Philippi, to the site of the first European baptism, to the vineyards of Drama, tracing the evolution of a region and the civilisations which called it home. We begin in Philippi, where King Philip II of Macedon celebrated success in the neighbouring gold mines, and where Rome truly became an empire after wiping out the last of the Republicans. From here it’s a short drive to St. Lydia’s Baptistery, where we follow the footsteps of Paul the Apostle. Then for the rest of our morning we uncover the secrets that go into your favourite Greek bouquets, including Asyrtiko, Xinomavro and Moschato. Naturally, there will be samples, along with cold cuts, cheese and sommelier stories. Free time to explore Kavala On our return to Kavala, we may have time for you to break off on your own to wander, shop or eat like a local. Follow your senses on a stroll along the promenade or follow your stomach to enjoy a local snack and glass of ouzo. This bayside city on the slopes of Mount Symvolo is a sight to behold. GREEK WINE AND HOLY WATER: PHILIPPI AND BEYOND St. Lydia’s Baptistery Philippi KAVALA EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

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ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS Topkapi palace 16

17 Duration: Full day Tour code: IST - 08 Istanbul is unique and unforgettable. Our full day excursion will immerse you in this vibrant, colourful and fascinating city at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Many empires have held power in the place once called Constantinople including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottomans. The historic heart of old Istanbul is the Sultanahmet district and our starting point is the Byzantine Hippodrome where horse and chariot racing once drew crowds of 100,000 or more. Nearby is the Kaiser’s German fountain, the bronze Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII. Recognised across the globe is the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the stunning hand painted blue tiles inside. It is well worth taking a few minutes just to gaze and let the amazing beauty sink in whether you are inside or outside. HIPPODROME, ST. SOPHIE, TOPKAPI GRAND BAZAAR, MASS AT HOLY SPIRIT CATHEDRAL Across the square sits the imposing Church of the Holy Wisdom of God or Hagia Sophia, once a church, then an Ottoman imperial mosque, followed by a museum, and has now returned to being a mosque. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. We then visit the incomparable Topkapi Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where we have lunch at the Konyali Restaurant enjoying a view over the Bosphorus. If all this still leaves you with a thirst for more discovery you can do no better than explore the sights, sounds and colours of Istanbul’s incredible Grand Bazaar, with 4000 shops and stalls, 58 streets under one roof, 400,000 visitors daily and millions of things for sale. Hagia Sophia ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS The Blue Mosque CHILD US$92 ADULT US$142

18 Duration: Half day Tour code: IST - 04 The mighty Bosphorus, like Istanbul itself, belongs to two continents. It flows between Europe and Asia and connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The two parts of Istanbul are linked by the Galata Bridge and the Ataturk Bridge, named after the father of modern Turkey. There are many vantage points for experiencing a wonderful Istanbul perspective and the water is most definitely one of them. Our excursion features a private tender boat gliding along the busy Bosphorus (which comes from a Thracian word meaning ‘passage of the cow’) the Occident to one side and the Orient on the other. There is plenty to see on land and on the sea. We pass the palaces of Dolmabahce and Cirgan. Our excursion finishes with a distinct change of pace. After the calm of a river journey we head for the hustle and bustle of the spice market, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. BOSPHORUS CRUISE AND THE SPICE MARKET Beyleybeyi Palace Bosporus Cruise Spice Market ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

19 Duration: Full day Tour code: IST - 03 There is no place on earth like Istanbul and our nine hour excursion will immerse you in this vibrant, colourful and fascinating city straddling the Bosphorus, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Many empires have held sway in the place once called Constantinople including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottomans. The historic heart of old Istanbul is the Sultanahmet district where we will find remnants of the Byzantine Hippodrome where horse and chariot racing once drew crowds of 100,000 or more. Nearby is the Kaiser’s German fountain, the bronze Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII. Recognised across the globe is the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, perhaps more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the stunning hand painted blue tiles inside. It also has six minarets. Whether you are inside or outside it is well worth taking a few minutes just to gaze and let the amazing beauty sink in. The grave of Sultan Ahmet lies inside the mosque. Across the square sits the imposing Church of the Holy Wisdom of God or Hagia Sophia, once a church, then an Ottoman imperial mosque, a museum and now back to a mosque. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND BYZANTINE LEGACY TOUR After lunch we will visit the incomparable Topkapi Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If all this still leaves you with a thirst for more discovery you can do no better than explore the sights, sounds and colours of Istanbul’s incredible Grand Bazaar, with 4000 shops and stalls, 58 streets under one roof, 400,000 visitors daily and millions of things for sale. Not least carpets, rugs, jewellery and leather. This excursion will give a taste of Istanbul you are unlikely to forget. A gentle walking tour is available for this itinerary - please contact us for more information. Hagia Sophia Istanbul - Topkapi Palace ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS CHILD US$92 ADULT US$142

Duration: Half day Tour code: IST - 13 The Blue Mosque is known the world over and is arguably the most iconic site in Istanbul (and there are many jostling for that accolade.) The stunning hand painted blue tiles adorning the interior lend it the name. But it is officially the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, built on the orders of the 20-year-old Sultan Ahmet 1. His final resting place is inside. The Blue Mosque is not the only treasure in the Sultanahmet district. We cross the square to the Church of St Sophia - the Hagia Sophia. This is the enduring symbol of Constantinople, the historical name for Istanbul. The Byzantine Church of the Holy Wisdom of God was the Orthodox cathedral of Constantinople. After the Ottoman conquest, the church became a mosque and then a museum in 1934. From here we discover hidden Istanbul as we enter a whole new world beneath the city. The Cistern of Philoxenos or the ‘Sunken Palace’, the water reservoir of Emperor Justinian was constructed in 535AD. There are 338 Doric, Ionian and Corinthian columns of marble, some 30 feet high. At the end of the chamber we will find two carved column bases featuring the head of Medusa, the winged creature of mythology with venomous snakes in place of hair. Above ground and below it, this is a fascinating glimpse into the past of a great city. A gentle walking tour is available for this itinerary - please contact us for more information. DISCOVER THE HIDDEN SECRETS OF SULTAN AHMET SQUARE The Cistern of Philoxenos Head of Medusa The Blue Mosque ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS 20 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

ISTANBUL EXCURSIONS Duration: Half day Tour code: IST - 16 No visit to the incomparable city of Istanbul can be really complete without a visit to the Turkish baths. These are an integral part of Istanbul life as they have been for centuries. Situated between Constantine 1st’s Vezirhan monument and the Köprülü Mahmud Pasa mosque, school and tombs, Cemberlitas Hamami is definitely worth experiencing. Faithfully restored, the Hammam was originally built in 1584 for Nurbanu Sultan. As you walk through the arches you get a real sense of the historical importance. Traditionally, Turkish baths follow a three-step process, including a sauna and steam, a full body wash and finally a massage. This opens up all your pores, increases your blood circulation and removes all dead cells. The result is invigorating. There are separate female and male sections in traditional hammams. TURKISH BATHS Traditional Turkish Hammam 21 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

Duration: Half day Tour code: IST - 17 Sampling the delicious and diverse street food of Istanbul is another experience not to be missed. The Turkish phrase for Bon Appetit (Afiyet Olsun) may become a battle cry as you catch the public ferry for a ride across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of Istanbul. First stop is the colourful and chaotic Kadikoy Market. Crammed with all manner of culinary delights - from olives to bread to stuffed grape leaves - the market is bursting with fishmongers, fruit sellers, butchers and gourmet food shops. Lamb-topped Turkish pizza, sugar-coated sweets and kebabs are all musts. You can then stroll across the low-lying and much photographed Galata Bridge where fishermen have been pulling in the daily catch for generations. The bridge is also home to countless stalls selling everything from jewellery to simits (Turkish bagels). As you cross to the other side, you’ll find yourself in the Beyoglu district and the famous Karakoy Gulluoglu, purveyor of the best baklava in Istanbul. Famous the world over, this Turkish pastry is made from several layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey. The walk continues up the hill to Galatasaray, a neighbourhood that is home to one of Turkey’s most famous football teams of the same name. And if you need a rest, you can hop on the tram on Istiklal Caddesi, the city’s grand bustling boulevard lined with shops and restaurants, as well as famous landmarks. A TASTE OF ISTANBUL: STREET FOOD TOUR Kadikoy Market Kadikoy Market Kadikoy Market 22 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

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24 Pergamon DIKILI EXCURSIONS

25 Duration: Full day Tour code: DKL - 04 Turkey’s port city of Dikili is where we stop off for the ancient city of Pergamon. This was the location of the northernmost of the seven churches of Asia Minor according to the book of Revelation in the New Testament. Pergamon means fortress or acropolis. The city was at the heart of a powerful kingdom and held the reputation as a political and cultural centre in the Byzantine era. We drive to the remains of the Asklepion, one of the world’s first hospitals. It’s a complex of mostly openair buildings connected by porticoes dedicated to the god of Healing, Asclepius. Excavations date the construction of the temple to the 4th century BC, but it mainly flourished during the Roman period, thanks to the efforts of Hadrian. As well as facilities for the care of patients, the Asklepion also included a theatre for up to 3,500 spectators, lecture halls and a library. After our tour of the Asklepion, we return the port of Dikili and to the ship. ANCIENT PERGAMON Pergamon DIKILI EXCURSIONS Asklepion Asklepion CHILD US$70 ADULT US$98

26 Kusadasi KUSADASI EXCURSIONS

27 Duration: Full day Tour code: KUS - 08 This is a truly spectacular day. We leave the port city of Kusadasi for Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionia. This is a stunning marvel in the hills above the Aegean and one of the world’s largest and important open-air archaeological museums. It was also the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus was founded by the Ancient Greeks around 2000 BC. It was the wealthiest of the Ionian cities and became one of the key cultural centres in the Mediterranean. The city was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The temple built in her honour took 120 years to complete. Ephesus later became the second largest city in the Roman Empire and is rivalled only by the Forum and the Acropolis as one of the most complete classical cities in Europe. Even so, only 13 per cent of Ephesus has been uncovered. We wander through the Odeon and the Prytaneion, stroll the marble colonnades of Curetes Street to visit Trajan’s Fountain, Hadrian’s Temple, Scholastica Baths and the astonishing Terrace Houses. Nearby is the spectacular Library of Celsus, almost entirely reconstructed, and the Agora. The Great Theatre of Ephesus where St Paul once preached, held crowds of up to 24,000. Today it still hosts concerts and other performances. On the way we will have a stop to do some souvenir shopping, carpets, jewellery, leather etc and enjoy a light lunch. We then head for the ancient coastal city of Miletus, another of the greatest and wealthiest cities in Ancient Greece and one of the first to mint coins. Homer mentioned Miletus in The Iliad and Paul preached here on the way back to Jerusalem. There are many well preserved ruins here, including the Temple of Apollo and a Byzantine church. ANCIENT EPHESUS & MILETUS The Great Theatre of Ephesus Temple of Artemis KUSADASI EXCURSIONS CHILD US$70 ADULT US$103

Duration: Half day Tour code: KUS - 01 We say with Celestyal every moment is a destination and every destination is a wonder. That’s more than just a figure of speech. In some cases it’s literally true. So our visit to Ephesus brings us near to the site of one of the lost Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus was an Ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia. It’s now in Turkey. The temple, with more than 100 marble pillars each standing 56 feet tall took 120 years to build and it earned the city the name ‘Servant of the Goddess.’ A single solitary pillar remains standing on the site, found during an excavation in the 1870s. As with so many places in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus changed hands many times over the centuries. But it remains one of the largest Roman archaeological sites in the region. You will be in awe of this incredible historic complex and the ruins you explore still give some idea of the original splendour of Ephesus. Among the sights to be admired still are the iconic and instantly recognisable Library of Celsus, the Gate of Augustus, Magnesian Gate, the Agora, Odeon, the Houses of the Patricians, the Great Theatre, Hadrian’s Temple and the House of the Virgin Mary. HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY & ANCIENT EPHESUS One legend suggests Mary may have spent her last years here following Jesus’ instruction to St John the Evangelist to look after his mother. Many consider it to have been her final home and it has become a place of pilgrimage. In 1957 the Vatican formalised this recognition. Three Popes have visited. Another reason why Ephesus is important in Christianity is that the apostle Paul lived, preached and wrote extensively here including his Letter to the Corinthians. Our tour includes time to shop for souvenirs, carpets, jewellery, leather and other goods. Ephesus is one of the largest, most fascinating and most inspiring open-air archaeological museums in the world. This is an excursion you are unlikely to forget. City of Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary KUSADASI EXCURSIONS 28 CHILD US$70 ADULT US$98

Baths of Scholastica The Temple of Hadrian Trojan’s Fountain Duration: Half day Tour code: KUS - 02 This is a wonderful journey through some of the most important and formative periods of history and we hope you will be enthralled by the stories of the Hellenes, Romans and of Christianity in our fascinating exploration of Ephesus. This marvellous city, sitting on the hills outside Kusadasi is a fabulous open air archaeological wonder founded by the Greeks around 2000 BC. It was one of the most important cities of the region and was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The Temple built in her honour was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It had more than 100 marble pillars each standing 56 feet tall and it earned the city the name ‘Servant of the Goddess.’ A single pillar remains standing on the site, found during an excavation in the 1870s. We will be able to see the Agora, Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marvel-paved Main Street of Curetes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Temple of Hadrian and the Houses of Koressus, where the wealthy families of Ancient Ephesus lived. Only 13 per cent of Ephesus has so far been uncovered. The finds from the excavations made so far are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in the city of Selcuk. We have time for shopping for carpets, jewellery, leather and other souvenirs at the end of our tour. ANCIENT EPHESUS THROUGH THE AGES - HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN KUSADASI EXCURSIONS 29 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

Library of Celsus Main Street of Curetes Ancient Roman Mosaics from Terrace Houses Duration: Half day Tour code: KUS - 07 Every step we take in Ancient Ephesus brings us closer to the Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian eras. We will enjoy a truly exceptional experience in one of the most important and complete classical cities in Europe, even though only a fraction of it has been uncovered. We pass through the Magnesian Gate and wander through the Agora, Odeon, the magnificent and restored Library of Celsus, the marble-paved Main Street of Curetes, Baths of Scholastica, The Great Theatre, Trajan’s Fountain, the Houses of the Patricians, Prytaneum and the Temple of Hadrian. Opposite Hadrian’s Temple, at the foot of the Bulbul Hill and the covered part of the archaeological site, protected from the heat and natural elements, lie the Houses of Koressus or Terrace Houses. It was here that the wealthy families of Ancient Ephesus lived. These villas are excellently preserved, especially the interior decor. The oldest houses so far unearthed date from the 1st Century BC, were built on two storeys and even had hot and cold water and a heating system, clay pipes under the floor. They were even constructed to a city plan in which roads intersected with each other at right angles. Ephesus, which became the second largest city in the Roman Empire, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis and the magnificent temple built to honour her took 120 years to complete. It is one of six of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that have long gone. Our tour includes time to shop for souvenirs, carpets, jewellery, leather and other goods. ANCIENT EPHESUS AND THE TERRACE HOUSES 30 KUSADASI EXCURSIONS CHILD US$70 ADULT US$98

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St John’s Monastery PATMOS EXCURSIONS 32

Duration: Half day Tour code: PAT - 01 This excursion takes us to a small but fascinating island with connections to the Bible and to the Gods. Patmos in the Aegean is among the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese. It is has a long been a place of pilgrimage because Patmos is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible. It records that St John the Evangelist received a vision from Jesus here. Visitors can see the location where John is said to have had the revelation, the Cave or Grotto of the Apocalypse. Meanwhile a number of churches are named after the apostle and we are able to call at the Monastery of St John. The picturesque alleyways wind up to the Monastery which was founded by St. Christodoulos in 1088. We are able to enter the yard, where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is our tour of the Byzantine Church of St John, adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods of history. Next we stop at a small museum which is home to priceless religious treasures including manuscripts, medieval textiles and vestments. RELIGIOUS VISIT TO ST JOHN’S MONASTERY - GROTTO OF APOCALYPSE Behind the chapel of St Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. We will see the cross engraved by St John and the triple fissure in the wall where John is said to have heard God telling of the Apocalypse. You may feel the historical and religious enormity of this special moment. In Greek mythology Patmos originally existed at the bottom of the sea but Zeus was persuaded to allow it rise from the waters. The sun dried the land and people from the region began inhabiting the island they named Letois after the goddess Artemis. St John’s Monastery St John’s Monastery 33 PATMOS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

34 Duration: Half day Tour code: PAT - 02 The lovely island of Patmos is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Our panoramic excursion begins in the port of Skala, heading to the centre of the island and the capital of Chora. Here we see the Monastery of St John the Evangelist and visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse. This is where, according to the biblical account, Jesus spoke to John and told him of the Apocalypse. It is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible. It’s no surprise then that many people make their way to Patmos each year for pilgrimage. In the central area of Chora we find the silent windmills which stand sentry-like over the capital. Our tour continues as we head to some of the more desolate landscapes of the island, typical of the Dodecanese. Rocky hills, barren soil and promontories jutting into the sea creating dozens of coves and bays making up an intricate coastline. Here you might reflect on the legend of how the island lay at the bottom of the sea and how Zeus was prevailed upon to allow it to rise from the water. Which he did. We end our exploration back at Skala. Coffee and other refreshments await you at the atmospheric cafe Arion. COUNTRYSIDE TOUR WITH CHORA AND THE GROTTO OF APOCALYPSE Stunning scenery Skala St John’s Monastery in the background PATMOS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Duration: Half day Tour code: PAT - 05 This gastronomic trip features an unforgettable feast served in a traditional Patmos taverna. Your welcoming hosts are keen to show you the traditional dishes of their beautiful island in one of the loveliest classic hillside villages, We begin at the port of Scala for the scenic coach ride to the hills. The island, one of the northernmost in the Dodecanese, is made up of three mountainous parts, linked by two isthmuses at the centre. Patmos feels off the beaten path and esoteric, thanks to its unspoilt natural beauty, picture postcard villages, stunning vistas and sacred sites. We drive through numerous fabulous villages - but be sure to look down for incredible views of the Aegean, from which Patmos rose on the orders of Zeus. At least that’s according to Greek mythology and who are we to argue? Greeted by the scent of wildflowers we take a short stroll to the taverna where the tables are overflowing with traditional Patmian fare. Local musicians and a dance troupe perform as we enjoy a wonderful meal. We experience the authentic heart of the Patmos countryside. TRADITIONAL FEAST IN PATMOS Typical Greek Taverna Hillside villages PATMOS EXCURSIONS 35 CHILD US$47 ADULT US$67

Duration: Half day Tour code: PAT - 06 Our Greek Odyssey has an undoubted spiritual dimension. Perhaps this is no surprise when you consider how important the history of Christianity is to the places we visit of our voyage of discovery. This certainly true of Patmos, one of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese and a significant Christian pilgrimage site. You can almost feel its strong spiritual character and you may find your time here a truly moving, soulful experience. The Cave of the Apocalypse is where John of Patmos or St John the Theologian is said have received the visions he wrote of in the Book of Revelations. A fortresslike, 11th-century monastery dedicated to John overlooks the whitewashed houses of the hilltop capital, Hora (also known as Chora). In Chora, next to the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, is the unique 1625 mansion of Simandiri, which is where we are headed. The mansion has been converted into a folklore museum, a genuine cultural gem and monument. It has been beautifully preserved for eight generations now, the second oldest building in the town. The lady of the house, Morfoula Simantiri is our host and guide, gracefully presenting her precious handmade embroideries. She is a member of the eighth generation. Here you can step back in time in the intimate setting and glimpse everyday life in Patmos during the past centuries through furniture, paintings, photographs, traditional tools and everyday objects. We hope you will be enthralled by this beautiful home, constructed by craftsmen from Asia Minor. You will be able to admire the traditional architecture of Patmos in the vaulted ceilings in an open ground floor swept by stunning arches. Discover in the rooms antique furniture and silverware from 17th Century Russia, valuable artwork and icons from the 15th to 17th centuries. The mansion is veritable treasure trove and time machine which intrigues and fascinates. CAPTURING THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHORA Mansion of Simandiri Mansion of Simandiri 36 PATMOS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$87

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ATHENS EXCURSIONS 38 Corinth Canal

39 Duration: Half day Tour code: PIR - 01 A walk with us through the very heart of Athens brings us to one of most recognisable, historic and most photographed sites in the world, the famous Acropolis with the Parthenon at its summit. It is a reminder of Ancient Greece’s powerful civilisation and the greatest architectural complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity. The monuments on the Acropolis (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) have survived for almost 25 centuries. On this hill that still dominates Athens, democracy and philosophy were born so it is little wonder that a visit to Classical Athens is quite simply awe-inspiring. The Parthenon is dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the city. At the foot of the Acropolis and its ancient temples lies the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, Plaka. Visitors are mesmerised and charmed by its beautiful houses, cobblestone streets and tiny shops, architecture, elegant atmosphere and neo-classical colours and the well preserved gardens and Byzantine churches. ATHENS MONUMENTS AND THE ACROPOLIS As we head away from the Acropolis and Plaka, we pass the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament with the familiar sentries or Evzones, synonymous with the city. No visit to Athens can be complete without a stop at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. We also see the ‘Trilogy of Athens’ which comprises the University of Athens, National Library and the Academy of Athens. Our three hour odyssey through ancient history ends appropriately at the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma, the very centre of modern day Athens. Panathenaic Stadium Acropolis ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

Duration: Half day Tour code: PIR - 03 A visit to the central of Athens and a walk on the historical hill of the Acropolis which carries the renowned Parthenon atop its shoulders, which is dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the city of Athens. Its inauguration took place in 438 B.C. at the Great Panathenaea. Below the Acropolis hill lies the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, Plaka. Plaka resembles a picturesque little village within a busy big city. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the houses with neoclassic colours, the architecture, the well-preserved gardens and Byzantine churches, the elegance and the atmosphere of the whole area. Leaving the historical hill of Acropolis, you will pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Greek Parliament Building. A stop at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, is necessary. Next follows the stylish “Trilogy of Athens”, which was constructed at the end of the 19th century: the old building of the University of Athens, the National Library and the Academy of Athens. The excursion comes to an end with a trip through the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma, the heart of modern Athens. CLASSICAL ATHENS AND ITS MONUMENTS Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Parthenon Plaka 40 ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$65 ADULT US$83

Duration: Half day Tour code: PIR - 07 We head to central Athens for a panoramic tour of the city named after the goddess of wisdom and warfare. First we see the magnificent Temple of Zeus, standing at the south east of the Acropolis. The Temple is dedicated to the father of the 12 gods. We continue past the Greek Parliament Building and stop at the Panathenaic Stadium which staged the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. We arrive at the “Trilogy of Athens”: three 19th century buildings, influenced by classical architecture, on Panepistimiou Street. A trip through Omonia Square and Syntagma Square, the epicentre of modern Athens, will bring us to the beautiful, picturesque preserved quarter of Plaka, beneath the Acropolis. Our final destination is the modern, bright and imposing Acropolis Museum. Opened in 2009 and on multiple levels, it houses a whole host of exhibits of classical antiquity and is thematic. It’s the perfect way to draw everything together and give context to the wonderful structures you have just seen. At the end of our journey we hope you will have a full appreciation of the glories of classical Athens and a sense of one of the most historically important capitals in the world. ATHENS TOUR AND THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM Acropolis The Hellenic Parliament building in Syntagma Square ATHENS EXCURSIONS 41 CHILD US$65 ADULT US$92

Duration: Full day Tour code: PIR - 08 Our starting point for this truly monumental tour is the Acropolis, which means ‘high city.’ At the end of our journey we hope you will have a full appreciation of the glories of the very heart of Athens. This historic hill is the home of the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, and a number of other monuments. They include the Propylaea, originally part of Pericles’ great rebuilding programme and the Temple of Athena Nike. This once contained a wooden statue of Athena. It was wingless signifying she would never leave Athens. Meanwhile, the Erechtheion and its marble edifice is an Ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis. The eastern part is dedicated to Athena Polias and the western part to Poseidon-Erechtheus. From the hill you can marvel at the glorious stone theatre structure of the Odeon Herodes Atticus on the southwest slope. To bring us up to date, many of the world’s biggest names have performed here including Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and of course Nana Mouskouri. The modern, bright and imposing Acropolis Museum is our next stop. Opened in 2009 it houses a whole host of exhibits of classical antiquity and is thematic. THE ACROPOLIS & THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM It’s the perfect way to draw everything together and give context to the wonderful structures you have just seen. We leave the high city and pass the Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We make a stop at the site of the first modern Olympiad in 1896, the Panathenaic Stadium and then visit the stylish ‘Trilogy of Athens’, the old building of the University of Athens, the National Library and the Academy of Athens. We end our day with a trip through the epicentre of modern day Athens, the Squares of Omonia and Syntagma. This is a monumental excursion of discovery, literally and figuratively. New Acropolis Museum Odeon Herodes Atticus 42 ATHENS EXCURSIONS CHILD US$76 ADULT US$103

Duration: Full day Tour code: PIR - 10 Athens is the world’s ancient capital. St Paul preached at Mars Hill near the Acropolis and the ancient Agora was one of his many meeting places. We travel further afield as he did, to Corinth where we will first stop for a photo opportunity at this amazing feat of engineering, the Corinth Canal. We’ll enjoy a great view. Built between 1881 and 1893, the fourmile-long waterway cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth and follows much the same line as a canal planned in Roman times. The waterway is 70 feet wide, 26 feet deep and 170 feet high. We head for ancient Corinth where St Paul lived, preached and wrote around 50-52 AD and we will visit a number of the sites associated with his stay. He established a church and wrote two epistles to the Corinthians. During the 6th century BC, it was one of Greece’s richest cities. Located in the northeast corner of the Peloponnese and at the head of the Gulf of Corinth, the city controlled the narrow Isthmus and the two seas on each side. Excavations, begun in 1896 and still ongoing, revealed the Temple of Apollo and Roman ruins. Paul spent 18 months in the city before the Jews of the city charged him with breaking the law and brought him before the proconsul Gallio at the city’s place of judgment (Bema). He dismissed the charges. In Corinth Paul met Aquila and Priscilla, Jews recently expelled by Emperor Claudius from Rome. They became faithful followers. The three of these were tentmakers (or leather workers) and may have had their place of business in the city’s commercial marketplace, the agora. This would have given Paul numerous opportunity to speak with customers and passers-by about the resurrection of Christ. All three later sailed to Ephesus to continue their missionary work. No canal boat crossing. CORINTH CANAL, ANCIENT CORINTH, BEMA OF ST. PAUL Temple of Apollo ATHENS EXCURSIONS 43 CHILD US$87 ADULT US$114

For more information and bookings please visit celestyal.com or your local travel agent We can’t wait to share the beautiful Blue. All we’re missing is you! YOUR GREEK WELCOME IS WAITING!

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