Catholic Greece & Turkey Land & Cruise Tour

A tour to discover the Seven Churches of Revelation

Welcome to the Catholic Greece & Turkey Land & Cruise Tour! This tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of Greece and Turkey while also experiencing the Catholic heritage of these countries.

Your Journey begins in  Asia Minor, modern-time Turkey. After touring in Istanbul, your Biblical tour will take you to the Pergamum; see the Red Basilica, which housed the 1st Century Christian Church referred to by John in Revelation. The following day you will continue to see St. Polycarp in Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis & Philadelphia. You conclude your trip through Asia Minor by visiting Ancient Ephesus a city that Paul visited in his 2nd & 3rd Missionary Journeys.

During the cruise portion of your trip, you will visit the holy island of Patmos. Having seen the Churches of Revelation, now you will visit the place where John had the Revelation, called the Grotto or the Holy Cave of Apocalypse. Your cruise will then take you to some of the most amazing Greek Islands in the Aegean. The medieval island of Rhodes, Crete & Santorini.

Your tour is wrapped up with Athens and Corinth, visiting the Parthenon, Mars Hill where Paul preached, and Ancient Corinth, which he visited and preached at the Bema and wrote to in his Epistle to Corinthians.

Throughout the tour, we’ll also visit several Catholic churches and shrines, including the Catholic Cathedral of Athens, the Church of St. John in Ephesus, and the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Istanbul. Our knowledgeable guide will provide insight into the history and significance of these religious sites and the role they played in the development of Catholicism in Greece and Turkey.

We’ll also have the opportunity to attend Mass at several of these churches, providing a unique opportunity for reflection and spiritual growth.

  • Destination

  • Departure

    Istanbul, Turkey / Athens, Greece
  • Included

    Our Deluxe Motorcoaches
    Our Experienced Tour Director
    Our Expert Guides
    Our Unsurpassed Service

Day 1: Departure USA


Day 2: Arrival Istanbul

Arrival in Istanbul; depart from the airport for an overview of the city of Istanbul which was the capital of two major Empires. Drive over Galata Bridge. Get on board a Bosporus Cruise the best way to have a view of the city; An amazing cruise between the two continents, EUROPE and ASIA, along the Bosphorus by the Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi Palaces, wooden villas and mansions. Dinner and overnight at your Hotel

Day 3: Istanbul

Our tour starts with the Hippodrome, the center of activities during the Byzantine era and Ottoman Empire time for four hundred years. Here the chariots thundered the skies and grounds had been the scene to countless military and political dramas. See the Constantine Obelisk, the Serpentine Column which was a memorial, was brought from Greece and Egyptian Obelisk which was once located at the Karnak Temple in Luxor. Enter to the Blue Mosque (The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I), world-renowned for the thousands of blue glazed tiles covering the walls. See the grandeur of a 17th Century old masterpiece. Later walk to St. Sophia which was a mighty church at the center of Byzantine Constantinople. The building dates back to 535 AD and was built by Emperor Justinian. It was converted to a Mosque in 1452. Today it is a museum . See the largest cupola and fine Byzantine mosaics of the Church. Visit The Basilica of St Anthony of Padua ,the most prestigious Catholic Church in Istanbul. An imposing red brick building, it was originally built on this site in 1725, but was demolished in the early 20th Century, in order to make way for a tramway. However the church was rebuilt by the architect, Giulio Mongeri and completed in 1912, and stands as a fine example of the Italian neo-Gothic and Tuscan-Lombard styles. We may celebrate Mass here. Later we visit Topkapi Palace, a huge walled complex hugging the Bosporus. Built in 1468 by Mehmet the Conqueror, the imperial residence of Ottoman sultans is now a museum that houses the artifacts dating back six centuries. The extraordinary collection includes the imperial treasury, weapons, calligraphy, Chinese porcelain, art, artifacts and jewels Dinner and overnight at our Hotel

Day 4: Istanbul-Canakkale

Morning drive thru Golden Horn and visit Church of Chora. The first Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (as it was originally known) was built during the reign of Justinian (527-565) on the site of a former chapel that was located just outside the first city walls (but within the Theodosian Walls that still exist today) that surrounded the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. The word chora is the ancient Greek word for countryside – a reference to the fact that the original chapel was outside the city walls, in what would have been fields. The mosaics of the former Chora Church tell biblical stories, which can be followed like a graphic novel. On the North wall of the inner narthex there are 17 images depicting the life of the Virgin Mary, including her birth, first steps, and marriage. Visit Cathedral of Holy Spirit ;the Cathedral, built in Roman style in 1845-46, has been the See for ten years, from 1934 to 1944, of the Apostolic Delegate Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who later became Pope with the name of John XXIII. and in 2016 has been canonized. His portrait, on the left of the cathedral was painted in 2000, when his name was given to the street behind our cathedral. This cathedral is the main spiritual center for the Latin Catholics of the Vicariate of Istanbul, who is the Pastor (Apostolic Vicar – Bishop) of the Latin Community. The Holy Spirit Cathedral gave a warm welcome to four popes, whose names are written on the commemorative plaques on the church walls. We may celebrate Mass here. Afternoon we drive to Canakkale for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Pergamum-Kusadasi

Short stop at legendary Troy and Biblical Troas where St Paul received 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 6: Ephessus

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). We visit the Basilicaof St. John, the museum of Ephesus, and then to the House of Mary where we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B, D)

Day 7: Cruise Embarkation & Patmos

This morning we embark on our cruise ship and sail to Patmos Late afternoon our ship will dock in Patmos, which was considered sacred and often called the Jerusalem of the Aegean. It was here that John the Evangelist received the inspiration to write the Apocalypse. We will have a private included excursion to visit the island of Patmos, including the Monastery of St. John, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, and the grotto where tradition says that John wrote the Book of Revelation. We will have a prayer service on the island together. Overnight on board.

Day 8: Rhodes, Greece

This morning our cruiseship docks in the island of Rhodes where the legend of Colossus meets the glories of the Knights! Our included shore excursion takes us to Lindos, visit the Acropolis of Lindos, and view the Bay of St Paul where St Paul docked on his way to Jerusalem. Afternoon we celebrate mass at Santa Maria Catholic Church of Rhodes Evening Sail.

Day 9: Crete & Santorini

This morning we dock at the legendary island of Crete,land of Minoan civilization,home of Zorbas the Greek AN OPTIONAL 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! St Paul arrived in Crete with Titus and established the local church. Afternoon call at the volcano island of santorini;take the cable car on your own to visit the top of the island ane enjoy the panoramic view of the famous Caldera.

Day 10: Disembarkation & Athens Tour

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 Evzones 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”- We may celebrate Mass at St Dennis Catholic Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Athens

Day 11:Corinth Tour

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 artefacts. 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. You may celebrate Mass at the Bema of St Paul. Dinner & overnight at our hotel in Athens.

Day 12:Departure

Breakfast at our Hotel and transfer to the airport in time for our morning flight home.