After arriving at the port of Piraeus near Athens, we will travel to the ancient Corinth. Here, under the shadow of the towering Acropolis, St. Paul preached and lived for eighteen months, sharing the good news of the gospel. The mostly Gentile Church he founded caused him much grief and prompted him to write at least four letters to them during the course of his ministry. We will see the ruins of the ancient city shops where Paul would have worked with Aquila and Priscilla, as well as agora where Paul's trial before the governor Gallio took place, and the Temple of Apollo.
After lunch we travel to Mycenae. Although not a Biblical site, Mycenae has an interesting history that does have a connection to the ancient Israelites. Mycenae was once a mighty kingdom of Ancient Greece. According to the Greek poet Homer, the city's greatest ruler was Agamemnon. It was here, as the story goes, that beautiful wife of his brother Menelaos, Helen, was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris around the year B.C. 1200. In retaliation for this crime, Agamemnon lead a coalition of Greek soldiers against the Trojans--and the rest is history. While scholars doubt some of the details of the story, Mycenae is an amazing site to visit. The Philistines appear to have been originally been part of the Mycenaean civilization. When the Mycenaean civilization collapsed, they migrated to the coast of Israel, where they became the enemies of the Israelities. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a full day tour of Athens. We will the visit the famous Acropolis, where we will see the ruins of the Parthenon, Erectheum and Propylae. We shall also ascend Mars Hill, view the Agora where Paul spoke to the ancient Athenians. We will also have some time to shop for some souvenirs. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
After a free morning in Athens, we transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Istanbul and a connecting flight arriving in Amman, Jordan at the Queen Alia International Airport at 10:00 pm. Dinner and overnight at the Cham Palace Hotel.
Today we travel south toward the famous city of Petra. Along our way we will make several interesting stops. Our first stop be to the city of Madaba. Once a Moabite border city (mentioned in Numbers 21:30 and Joshua 13:9), Madaba is well known for the remains of a famous mosaic map called the Madaba Map. The map dates to the 6th-century and contains the earliest extant representation of Jerusalem, labeled the "Holy City". The map has been a major key in developing scholarly knowledge about the physical layout of Jerusalem after its destruction and rebuilding in 70 AD.
From here we travel to Mount Nebo, a 3,300 foot high mountain located 6 mi NW of Madaba in Jordan, and opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. According to ancient tradition, this is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. Because of its connection to Moses, Mt. Nebo has long been an important place of Christian pilgrimage.
Next we visit Machaerus. Machaerus is one of the desert fortress palaces occupied by Herod the Great. It is also the place where Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, imprisoned John the Baptist, and Herodias' daughter Salome danced and demanded John's head on a platter. Dinner and overnight at the Petra Palace Hotel.