While our trips are open and affirming, we know it can be tricky to sign up for a group trip as an LGBT individual - especially religious trips. For the trips listed below, we'll have many LGBT travelers and allies coming along. Some of our itinerary will focus on local LGBT issues while also of course seeing all the major sites and life changing experiences we always include in Andrew W Lyon Travel trips.

Two Opportunities - Israel April 2017 and Greece May 2017

Israel

No place in the world has quite so much historical prominence in the three major Western religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity as Israel. I remember when I traveled to Israel for the first time, I found myself baffled by the layers of history in each location we visited. The sheer scope of history each stone has witnessed is epic. As I attempted to take it all in, I found myself occasionally escaping to eat some of that famous Mediterranean cuisine - fresh salads, delicious hummus, amazing falafel, and more.

For being such a small country, the landscape is pretty varied, with big hills, stark deserts, lush green valleys, and calm rivers. Regardless of your religious persuasion, you'll find the pilgrimage to Israel becomes a deeply personal one, and as you ride camels, float in the Dead Sea, and walk the stones of so many pilgrims before, you'll find yourself forever changed. And maybe, like me, you'll find yourself traveling back again and again to unfold the narrative stone by stone.

Come with us to Israel!

-Andrew

Israel  - April 2017

TOTAL PRICE: $2,399.00 per person

INCLUDES ALL LODGING, TWO MEALS PER DAY (PLUS THREE LUNCHES), GROUND TRANSPORTATION, GUIDES, VISAS, ENTRANCE FEES TO SITES, TRANSFER TO/FROM AIRPORT, TIPS

NOT INCLUDING: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (estimated price $1,000-$1,300), FOUR LUNCHES (estimated total: $10-$20 PER LUNCH)

itinerary - april 2017 (exact dates tbd)

Day 1 - Depart USA

day 2 - arrive tel aviv; travel to hotel and rest

Day 3 - travel to nazareth/galilee via caesarea, seeing ancient cities and getting an overview of the various civilizations who have lived on this land over the millenia

day 4 - tour galilee, riding a boat on the sea of galilee, travel up to the golan heights and have a chance to be baptized in the jordan river

day 5 - travel to the dead sea via the quran caves and beit shean, a beautifully preserved roman city

day 6 - Swim in the Dead Sea and then travel to Jerusalem via the ancient fortress of Masada. Also visit a working Bedouin camp for a cultural experience and have a chance to ride a camel.

Day 7 - Tour Jerusalem including the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Wailing Wall, Dome of the Rock, Via Dolorosa, Holy Sepulchre, and more

Day 8 - Tour Jerusalem including the Holocaust Museum of Yad Vashem, the Garden Tomb, and a visit to Bethlehem to the Chruch of the Nativity

Day 8 - Spend some free time in the city of Jerusalem to visit the bazaar or revisit some of the sites from the day before. Head to the airport for an evening flight home.

Day 9 - Arrive in the USA


optional excursion - jordan (additional $1,000 per person)

day 9 - Depart for jordan overland, overnight jordan

day 10 - Explore the ancient walled city of Petra, taking an optional hike through the incredible views up to the Sanctuary.

Day 11 - Travel overland back to Israel and depart for USA. Arrive USA

 

 

 

 


Greece

Somehow, I keep finding myself in Greece and I'm so grateful. The seat of ancient democracy is as vibrant as ever, and even as Greece is in the news more often for a variety of reasons, there's been no better time to relax in one of the most peaceful beautiful places in the world. 

My first trip to Greece was just a quick stop in Athens and Santorini - if you're going to just catch a glimpse of the country, those are the two places to go for the Parthenon and sheer natural beauty, respectively.  Next, I took a slower jaunt backpacking my way through the Greek Islands, appreciating the slower pace of life and watching the sunset past the white-washed buildings over the water each night. I found myself touring the interior of the country later, and was awestruck by the sudden rock outcroppings of Meteora and the ancient and modern mix in Thessaloniki. 

I like to do Greece either primarily by boat or primarily by land, but we mix and match a little bit too. Think about adding some time in Turkey to your trip too - they're great compliments to a group trip.

Either way, you'll walk away mesmerized by the beauty, the amazing fresh food, the startlingly pleasant people, and the pervasive history of Greece.

-Andrew


Greece- May 2017

TOTAL PRICE: $2,399.00 per person

INCLUDES ALL LODGING, TWO MEALS PER DAY, GROUND TRANSPORTATION, GUIDES, VISAS, ENTRANCE FEES TO SITES, TIPS

NOT INCLUDING: INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE (estimated price $1,100-$1,400), FOUR LUNCHES (estimated total: $10-$20 PER LUNCH), TRANSFER TO/FROM AIRPORT (estimated $30-$40 each way)

Itinerary

DAY 1 - DEPART USA

DAY 2 - ARRIVE THESSALONIKI

WE’LL TAKE THIS DAY TO RECOVER A LITTLE BIT FROM THE LONG TRIP. AFTER ALL OF US ARRIVE WE WILL PROCEED TO THE SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF THESSALONIKI. WE WILL BE VISITING THE MEDIEVAL ACROPOLIS OF THE CITY, THE BASILICA OF ST DEMETRIOS, THE ROMAN AGORA AND DRIVING AROUND WE WILL SEE THE ROTONDA PALACE, THE WHITE TOWER, AND THE EGNATIAN AVENUE ONCE KNOWN AS VIA EGNATIA.

DAY 3 - PHILLIPI DAY TOUR, THESSALONIKI

WE WILL DEPART FROM THE HOTEL TO TRAVEL EAST TO REACH THE PORT OF KAVALA ONCE KNOWN AS NEAPOLIS THE PORT WHERE ST PAUL LANDED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON EUROPEAN GROUNDS. WE WILL SEE THE MOSAIC COMMEMORATING THIS EVENT AS WELL AS THE REMAINS OF THE TURKISH AQUEDUCT. THEN WE WILL TRAVEL NORTH WHERE THE ANCIENT CITY OF PHILIPPI WAS DISCOVERED THE PLACE WHERE, ACCORDING TO ACTS CHAPTER 16, PAUL BAPTIZED LYDIA, THE FIRST EUROPEAN CONVERT.WE WILL SEE THE LOCATION OF THIS FIRST BAPTISM AND THEN WE WILL WALK AROUND THE RUINS OF THE ANCIENT CITY. IN THE AFTERNOON WE WILL RETURN BACK TO THESSALONIKI.

DAY 4 - STOP AT VERGINA, METEORA

THIS MORNING WE WILL LEAVE THE CITY OF THESSALONIKI TRAVELING WEST AND IN AN HOUR'S JOURNEY WE WILL ARRIVE TO VEROIA, ALSO NAMED BEREA, IN THE ACTS CHAPTER 17 V.10-14. AFTER VISITING THE ALTAR COMMEMORATING PAUL'S VISIT AS WELL AS THE JUICE QUARTER WE WILL CONTINUE TO VERGINA THE PLACE IDENTIFIED AS THE FIST CAPITAL OF THE ANCIENT MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. IN 1976 THE ARCHAEOLOGIST DISCOVERED THERE THE TOMB OF KING FILIP II FATHER OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT. AFTER OUR GUIDED TOUR OF THE PLACE WE WILL TAKE THE WESTERN DIRECTION OF THE EGNATIAN MOTORWAY TO REACH THE TOWN OF KALAMBAKA WHERE WE ARE VISITING ONE OF THE BYZANTINE MONASTERIES OF THE METEORA ROCKS ONE OF THE GREATEST MONASTIC CENTRE OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WORLD.ADDITIONALLY WE WILL ENJOY THE UNIQUE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THIS SPECIAL AREA.

DAY 5 - METEORA, DELPHI, AND ATHENS

DEPARTING FROM KALAMBAKA WE WILL DRIVE TOWARDS THE SOUTH. ON OUR WAY TO DELPHI, ONCE BELIEVED TO BE THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD WE WILL ENJOY THE SCENERY AND A STOP BY THE HISTORICAL AREA OF THERMOPYLAE WHERE A LEGENDARY BATTLE HAPPENED BETWEEN THE GREEKS AND THE PERSIANS 480 B.C. AROUND NOON WE WILL ARRIVE TO DELPHI TO ENJOY A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH ONE OF THE UNESCO SITES IN GREECE. DELPHI IS THE HOME OF THE FAMOUS SYBILINE ORACLE. WE WILL ALSO VISIT THE MUSEUM WHERE FAMOUS MASTERPIECES ARE EXHIBITED. AFTER LUNCH WE WILL CONTINUE DRIVING TO ATHENS TO SPEND OVERNIGHT

DAY 6 - CRUISE, SAIL TO MYKONOS

WE’LL HEAD IN THE MORNING TO THE ATHENS PORT OF PIREUS TO EMBARK THE CRUISE SHIP.IN THE AFTERNOON THE CRUISE SHIP WILL ARRIVE TO THE PORT OF MYKONOS. WE’LL HAVE SOME TIME TO STROLL AROUND THE PICTORESQUE NARROW STREETS OF THE MYKONOS TOWN AND GRAB SOUVENIRS OR A LEISURELY CAPPUCCINO.

DAY 7 IN TURKEY EPHESUS AND PATMOS

IN THE MORNING THE SHIP ARRIVES TO KUSADASI TURKEY WHICH IS LOCATED ABOUT 25 KILOMETRES AWAY FROM THE ANCIENT CITY OF EPHESUS.(ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, CHAPTER 19 V. 19-38). THE GROUP WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT EPHESUS, THE HOME OF MARY, AND THE RUINS OF THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS - ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. JOHN THE APOSTLE AND MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUSRELOCATED HERE AFTER THE RESURRECTION AND IT BECAME THE EPICENTER FOR THE CHURCH. PAUL ALSO SENT PRISCA AND AQUILLA HERE TO SERVE BELIEVERS AND THECLA JOINED PAUL IN MINISTRY HERE.  THE CRUISE SHIP WILL REMAIN AT KUSADASI UNTIL NOON AND EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON WILL ARRIVE AT THE ISLAND OF PATMOS A FAMOUS GREEK ISLAND WHERE ST JOHN THE DIVINE WROTE THE BOOKS OF THE APOCALYPSE 1900 YEARS AGO. THE PASSENGERS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE GROTTO OF THE APOCALYPSE AS WELL AS ST JOHN'S MONASTERY IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF CHORA ON THE TOP OF THE HILL.HERE.

DAY 8 - CRETE AND SANTORINI

EARLY IN THE MORNING THE SHIP WILL ARRIVE AT THE ISLAND OF CRETE. IRACLION IS THE BIGGEST CRETAN TOWN. WE CAN CHOOSE TO EITHER VISIT KNOSSOS THE LEGENDARY KINGDOM OF KING MINOS AND ONE OF THE GREATEST ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN THE COUNTRY OR TAKE A CALM DAY TO STROLL AROUND THE STREETS OF THE HISTORICAL AREA OF IRACLION. AT NOON THE SHIP SAILS TO REACH SANTORINI THE MOST SPECTACULAR ISLAND OF THE CYCLADES ISLANDS AND ONE OF THE TOP DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD. WE’LL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO EXPLORE THE PHYRA TOWN AND ENJOY THE VIEW TO THE VOLCANO AND THE UNIQUE CALDERA CREATED BY IT'S ERUPTION THOUSAND OF YEARS AGO.

DAY 9 - DISEMBARK CRUISE, TOUR ATHENS AND CORINTH

EARLY IN THE MORNING AFTER DISEMBARKING THE CRUISE SHIP WE’LL DRIVE TO CORINTH. FIRST STOP OF THE TOUR WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE SPECTACULAR CORINTH CANAL. THEN THE TOUR CONTINUES TO ANCIENT CORINTH, ONE OF THE GREATEST GREEK CITIES OF THE ANTIQUITY ALSO IMPORTANT DURING THE ROMAN TIMES. THE VISIT WILL GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW ACTS CHAPTER 18. CORINTH IS THE SITE OF THE BEGINNING OF THE PARTNERSHIP IN MINISTRY BETWEEN PAUL AND PRISCA AND AQUILLA. WE WILL VISIT THE AGORA (MARKET) WHERE THEIR OPEN AIRY TENT SHOP WAS LIKELY SITUATED. AFTER LUNCH WE’LL HEAD BACK TO ATHENS FOR THE SIGHTSEEING TOUR THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY, THE PANTHENEAN STADIUM, HADRIAN'S ARCH AND THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPUS ZEUS. THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TOUR IS THE VISIT OF THE ACROPOLIS. IN THE END YOU WILL VISIT AREOPAGUS (MARS HILL) AND WILL VIEW THE AGORA PLACES MENTIONED IN ACTS CHAPTER 17 V.16-34, ALONG WITH THE PARTHENON. LATER IN THE EVENING WE’LL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY OUR LAST NIGHT IN GREECE.

DAY 10 - DEPART GREECE FOR USA


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