Greece & Turkey: The Cradle of Christianity

June 04 - 19, 2021
- Dr. Mark R. Fairchild

Explore the origins of the church in Greece and Turkey. All three of Paul’s missionary journeys were centered in ancient Turkey and two of them ended in Greece. Moreover, the apostle John’s ministry was located in Ephesus where he wrote his gospel, three letters and the book of Revelation. Travel by deluxe motorcoach to the ancient cities of Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, Ephesus, Priene, Hierapolis and Assos. At these sites we will discuss the birth, growth, trials and development of the earliest Christian congregations as they struggled not only to understand their new faith in Christ, but also as they dealt with false teachers and hostile forces opposed to the church. At the end of the first century, John wrote letters to the seven churches of Revelation which were coping with similar problems of false teaching and persecution. Thus, we will also visit the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. We will include a tour of time–honored Istanbul, where you can enjoy its rich culture, historical sites and impressive archaeological museum.



June 5, Saturday: ARRIVE ATHENS
Upon arrival at the Athens Airport, our representatives will meet you after the customs and baggage claim with a sign “BAS – TUTKU” on it. Transfer to your hotel in Athens for diner and overnight. (D)

June 6, Sunday: ATHENS
Follow your guide to the world renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erectheum. View Mars Hill where the apostle Paul stood spoke to the Athenian people and shared the Gospel (Acts 17:15-34). See the Agora, the ancient market place and center of the Athenian public life, where the apostle Paul preached “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Overnight in Athens. (B,D)

In Corinth, see the ancient city where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla, the tent makers, and where the apostle spent eighteen months sharing the Gospel (Acts 18: 1-18). Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place and Temples. Walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood before Gallio facing charges brought by the Jews. Visit the ancient port of Cenchrea where Paul departed when he returned to Syria (Acts 18:12-18). Later we will visit the site of Eleusis where the sacred rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries were performed. Overnight in Athens. (B,D)

Travel to the scenic and historic oracle at Delphi, the religious center of the ancient Greek world. Walk the Sacra Via to the Athenian Treasury, the Theatre, and the Temple of Apollo where the oracle enacted its prophetic rituals. Visit the Museum at Delphi. Drive to Kalambaka to visit the rock forest of Meteora in western Thessaly and ponder the rough terrain through which the apostle Paul walked during his missionary journey. See the famous Byzantine monasteries perched precariously on the summits of soaring sheer cliffs. Visit one of these monasteries. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka. (B,D)

June 9, Wednesday: THESSALONIKI
We continue our journey to Thessaloniki, the city where Paul shared the gospel message and experienced much opposition (Acts 17: 1-9). Here Paul established a church to which he addressed his Thessalonian epistles. Visit St. George’s Basilica, which tradition claims is built over the synagogue where Paul preached. View the Old City Ramparts, and the Galerius Arch that rises over the Via Egnatia. Visit the Archaeological Museum and the ancient agora. See two of the most beautiful basilicas in the city, St. Sophia and St. Demetrios, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. (B,D)

Drive to Amphipolis, a city that Paul visited on his second mission. Continue to Philippi, where Paul met and converted Lydia, a woman from Thyatira who sold purple garments (Acts 16:13-15). Lydia was the first Christian to be baptized on European soil. See the theater, agora, latrines and several early Byzantine basilicas of the city. Also visit a cistern, which was thought to have served as a prison for the apostle Paul. Overnight in the Kavala area. (B,D)

Depart Kavala. Walk a portion of the Via Egnatia, the great Roman road traversed by Paul and Silas as they traveled from Neapolis to Philippi, Thesslonica and onward. Drive to the Greece-Turkey border. Transfer to your Turkish bus and guide, and continue to Istanbul (about 5 hours drive after the border) for dinner and overnight. Istanbul is the only city in the world spanning on two continents. Overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

June 12, Saturday: ISTANBUL
Full day Istanbul tour; visit the Roman Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque with its beautiful blue tiles, the Hagia Sophia, the great basilica built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels and a designated World Heritage site. Then visit the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Evening slide show of the major Biblical sites in Turkey. (B,D)

June 13, Sunday: ISTANBUL – TROY – ALEXANDER TROAS (Acts 16:8-11; 20:5, 6, II Tim. 4:13, II Cor. 2:12) – ASSOS
Drive to Çanakkale. Cross the Dardanelles Strait by car ferry. Proceed to Troy to see the legendary city of Homer’s Iliad. Continue to Alexandrian Troas, the important port founded by Alexander the Great. Paul visited here at least twice (Acts 16:8-11, 20:5-13). Dinner and overnight in Assos. (B,D)

June 14, Monday: ASSOS – PERGAMON (Rev. 1:11; 2:12) – BERGAMA
We will enjoy a morning tour of Assos and then leave for Pergamon where we will visit the Acropolis with the steepest theater of the ancient world and the Temple of Trajan. We will also visit the Red Basilica which was an Egyptian Temple, later converted to a church and the Asclepion, the ancient healing center. Dinner and overnight in Soma. (B,D)

June 15, Tuesday: BERGAMA – THYATIRA – SMYRNA (Rev. 1:11; 2:8) – IZMIR
Drive to Akhisar town to visit the remaining of the Thyatira Church. Then, continue to Izmir to see the Smyrna Agora and its latest excavations. We will also visit the graffiti section which is closed to public. Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

June 16, Wednesday: EPHESUS – IZMIR
Visit the famous ancient city of Ephesus (Acts 18:19-24; 19:1-35; 20:16-17; 21:29, 1 Cor. 15:32; 16:8, I Tim. 1:3 II Tim. 1:18; 4:12, Rev. 1:11, 2:1), with its spectacular Terrace Houses, Basilica of John, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and the ancient Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Dinner and overnight Izmir. (B,D)

June 17, Thursday: SARDIS (Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4) – PHILADELPHIA (Rev. 1:11; 3:7) – PAMUKKALE
Drive to Sardis, capital of the ancient Lydia where first coin of the world was invented. See the remains of another massive Artemis Temple. Continue to Hierapolis, a World Heritage site and site of the church mentioned in Colossians 4. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Pamukkale. (B,D)

June 18, Friday: HIERAPOLIS – LAODICEA (Col 2:1; 4:13-16, Rev. 1:11; 3:14) – COLOSSAE – IZMIR
Morning tour of Hierapolis. See the Philip’s Tomb. Drive to nearby Laodicea to see the latest excavations. Then, drive to Colossae to see the unexcavated site. Drive to Izmir for dinner and overnight. (B,D)



Dr. Mark R. Fairchild, Ph.D.

Dr. Fairchild received his Ph.D. from Drew University and is currently a professor and the chair of the Department of Bible and Religion at Huntington University. Fairchild has published several articles on research dealing with the ancient cities of Turkey in journals such as New Testament Studies, the Journal of Ancient Judaism and Biblical Archaeology Review. His book, Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor is currently available in its second edition (Hendrickson, 2017). Fairchild travels to Turkey every year for research and has visited over 400 ancient sites throughout Asia Minor. In addition to Turkey, he has traveled to several other regions in the eastern Mediterranean and has taken over 350,000 high resolution photographs of the Holy Lands. Fairchild has held lectures and seminars for tour guides in the Holy Lands and commonly leads tours to these places for various groups.


  • Roundtrip International Air from New York, Chicago, Houston, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or San Francisco – Athens & Izmir – New York, Chicago, Houston, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or San Francisco
  • Izmir–Istanbul domestic flight
  • 3 Nights at 5 star Divani Acropolis in Athens
  • 1 Night at 4 star Divani Meteora in Kalambaka
  • 1 Night at 4 star Grand Palace Hotel in Thessaloniki
  • 1 Night at 4 star Airotel Galaxy in Kavala
  • 2 Nights at 4 star Hotel Arcadia Blue in Istanbul
  • 1 Night at Assos Kervansaray Boutique Hotel in Assos
  • 1 Night at 4 star Ramada Hotel in Soma
  • 2 Nights at 5 star Mövenpick Hotel in Izmir
  • 1 Night at 5 star Doğa Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale
  • 1 Night at 5 star Mövenpick Hotel in Izmir
  • Daily breakfast and 14 dinners at the hotels
  • All transportation by private AC Bus
  • Easy border crossing
  • English Speaking, Government Licensed, Bible Oriented guides in Turkey and Greece
  • All Entry fees to the sites and museums
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Service charges and local taxes
  • Tips to Tour Guide and drivers
  • Turkish Visa Fee to be paid online prior to arrival
  • Lunches and Drinks (Bottled Water is included)
  • Personal Expenses (Laundry, phone calls, all kind of insurances, etc)
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel insurance is highly recommended. You are encouraged to apply within 21 days of our receipt of your deposit to obtain coverage from a Travel Insurance company. Best quality coverage occurs if applied for within 15 days of our receipt of deposit. We recommend, but you are not limited to, Visit them online or call them at 1-800-937-1387. Mention Code 32335.


  • Deposit (due by October 5, 2020): $200 per person
  • Land/Air (based on double occupancy): $5,290
  • Land only (based on double occupancy): $4,190
  • Single Room Supplement, Land/Air: $1,190
  • Balance due: April 15, 2021



If you are unable to fill out the electronic registration form, please contact the Travel/Study department at 1-800-221-4644 ext. 216.

To pay off your balance, click here.


For more information, contact:

Alicia Bregon
Biblical Archaeology Society
Email: [email protected]
800-221-4644, ext. 216 (Toll-free)
202-364-3300, ext. 216
5614 Connecticut Ave. NW #343
Washington, DC 20015