You are invited to join faculty and students from Wartburg Theological Seminary in a pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey to visit sacred spaces of biblical significance and to encounter countries and people of rich and diverse cultural traditions today. Visit places where the Apostle Paul traveled as part of his ministry journeys. See and experience aspects of Orthodox Christianity in Greece and Islam in Turkey. Our group's mixture of students, alumni, and friends will make for an experience of seminary life on the road in two of the most fascinating countries in the world. 

Please contact the group leader Professor Troy Troftgruben if you have any questions regarding the tour ttroftgruben@wartburgseminary.edu 


  • The tour departs on January 7, 2025, and returns on January 18, 2025

  • Departure Airport: Chicago, IL (ORD) (Other cities are available) 



  • $3,990 per person based on double occupancy - space is limited
  • Single room supplement: $890
  • Land only (if booking your own flights) - $2,990 

  • Download the Registration Form


  • $300 per person with registration to secure space
  • Balance due on or before October 1, 2024



  TK 006    07JAN   ORD - IST   830P  405P 08 JAN  
  TK1893   08JAN   IST - SKG    840P  900P 08 JAN  

  TK 005   18JAN    IST - ORD     320P  610P 18 JAN



* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.


January 7 - 18, 2025 07 Jan Greece

What is included in the tour

  • Airfare from Chicago, IL (ORD) (Other cities are available) 
  • 11 nights in 4-star hotels (double occupancy)
  • Breakfast and Dinner Daily 
  • Entrance fee to all sites
  • All ground transportation in a private tour bus

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Gratuities for guide and driver
  • Lunch
  • Personal Expenses
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is required and not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through *Travelex Insurance Services. For questions, quotes, or to purchase travel insurance, visit Travelex Insurance or call (800) 228-9792 and use the code 26-0057 for Elias Tours.


Day 1 -  January 7: Departure from the USA

Depart from Chicago, IL (ORD) for an overnight flight to Thessaloniki, Greece. Meals and overnight on board.

Day 2 - January 8: Into the Footsteps of Paul - Thessaloniki

With our arrival in Thessaloniki, we have entered into the world of the New Testament where St Paul and his companions established the first Christian communities. On arrival, we will be met at the airport for a transfer to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Day 3 - January 9: Thessaloniki - Kavala - Philippi

Follow the Via Egnatia, a remnant of Rome’s highway system, viewing Roman and Greek tombs and ruts of ancient chariot wheels. Next, stop in Philippi, where Paul preached his first sermon in Europe and baptized the first Christian convert on European soil. Among the ruins located on the rocky ledge above the town’s main road is the prison into which Paul and Silas were thrown. It was in Philippi that Octavian and Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius in 42 BCE. Free time in the old city of Kavala Port where Paul came to the city, Return to Thessaloniki to explore the ancient city where Paul planted a church that would later receive two New Testament epistles. View one of the most beautiful basilicas in the city, St. Demetrius. Continue along the waterfront to the massive White Tower and nearby triumphal Arch of Galerius. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.

Day 4 - January 10: Kalambaka - Meteora - Delphi

We spend some time today marveling at this unique phenomenon of nature – 24 perpendicular rocks where 600 years ago Byzantine monks chose to worship God and build their cave-like Monastic community of Meteora. Take in the striking monasteries that crown the summits of these pinnacles with their wooden galleries and corniced rooftops. Dangerously hanging over the stunning abysses, these primitive dwellings compose one of the most fascinating sites on earth. A special treat awaits with a visit to two of these timeless monasteries to see the exquisite specimens of Byzantine art on display.  Drive to Delphi to stay overnight.

Day 5 - January 11:  Delphi - Athens

Breakfast at the hotel and we begin our exploration of the ancient site of Delphi. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the site of the omphalos, the 'navel of the world'. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious center and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world. We then travel directly to the center of Athens. free time for the rest of the day. Overnight Athens. 

Day 6 - January 12: Full-Day Tour in Athens - Areopagus and the Acropolis

Start our day with worship at a local Orthodox church. Full-day tour of Athens, which gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that comprise Athens. Start with the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, which is not far from the Acropolis and Agora (marketplace). Climb up the Areopagus (Mars Hill), which served as the meeting place for the Areopagus Court, the highest court in Greece, and is the location of one of Paul’s most important presentations at the time of his visit to Athens during his second missionary journey (Acts 17:16–34). It was where he addressed the religious idolatry of the Greeks who even had an altar to the “Unknown God." Visit the ancient Roman agora. On the world-renowned Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and, finally, “the harmony between material and spirit,” the Parthenon. Conclude our tour with a visit to the Acropolis Museum.  Walking Tour in the Local Market. Walking tour of the Parliament Building/Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Plaka, and the Metropolitan Cathedral.  traditional Greek dinner. Overnight Athens.      

Day 7 - January 13: Corinth

Depart for a full-day tour to Ancient Corinth, a center of trade for many centuries. Our first stop will be the Isthmus of Corinth where the Peloponnese and central Greece meet, as well as the Aegean and Ionian seas. The canal that crosses it was completed at the end of the 19th century and saves ships the more than 250 miles it takes to go around the Peloponnesian peninsula. We will visit Ancient Corinth with its amazing artifacts, some of which date back to 6000 B.C., and are housed in the museum. The remains of the city, which include the agora (market) and the temple of Apollo (6th century BC) clearly show how rich and important Corinth was in antiquity. The Romans rebuilt the city in 44 B.C. to later make it the provincial capital of Greece. On our way back to Athens, Free time in Athens. Overnight in Athens.

Day 8 - January 14: Athens - Izmir  

Depart Athens mid-morning, arriving in Izmir. Visit the archaeological site of ancient Smyrna (one of the seven churches of Revelation). Drive to and overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 9 - Januray 15: Kusadasi - Ephesus

Visit Ephesus (a major focus of the Apostle Paul and one of the seven churches of Revelation) for an in-depth visit of the archaeological site, including the museum. Visit the Basilica of St. John and the Temple of Artemis / Diana (little remains of either). As time permits, visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 10 - Januray 16: Izmir - Istanbul

Depart Izmir this morning for Istanbul. Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a full-day tour with lunch, and visit the Grand Bazaar, then we will visit Suleymaniye Mosque, Pierre Loti Hill,  Today's Istanbul honors and preserves the legacy of its past while looking to its modern future. The variety of this city fascinates its visitors, for its museums, churches, palaces,  mosques, and bazaars. Meet with a Muslim Professor. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 11 - Januray 17: Istanbul

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, depart from the hotel to visit the ancient city. Visit the Museum of the Ancient Orient then We visit the Blue Mosque, well known for its interior decorations. Next, we visit the Hippodrome from the Byzantine period and then the Aya Sophia church from the 6th century. After lunch, we will visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, famous for its excellent collection of jewelry and porcelain. Free time for the rest of the day! Overnight Istanbul. 

Day 12 - January 18:  Return to the US

Check out and transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.



NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to various factors and at your Tour Leaders’ and Guide’s discretion.



Tour Location