Day 1: Istanbul
Istanbul airport transfer to the hotel. The evening meeting with dinner for the group orientation and discussions in a traditional restaurant.
Day 2: Antakya
Morning flight to Adana and drive to the Biblical city of Antioch on the Orontes where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. It was from the church in Antioch that Paul and Barnabas set out on their first journey. Passing over the old Rman Bridge which is still in use and Visiting one of the biggest mosaic museum of the world with the collection of late Roman and Byzantine mosaics found in ancient Daphne. Drive to the Grotto of St. Peter where the Christians of Antioch met secretly in this church for prayer and worship. Overnight in Antakya.
Day 3: Konya
Early departure for Tarsus, home of St. Paul who was born there about the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem. View Cleopatra Gate on the way. Driving to Konya via Lystra where St. Paul was stoned. Visit the Mevlana Tekke, a dervish convent that has been converted into a museum. It contains the tomb of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the mystic philosopher and theologian who founded the Mevlevi order(Whirling dervishes). Overnight in Konya.
Day 4: Antalya
Drive to the site Pisidian Antioch the city mentioned in the New Testament. The first mention of Pisidian Antioch in Acts (13:14) is when Paul on his first missionary journey arrived there from Perge and addressed the congregation in the synagogue on the Sabbath with his first recorded sermon. After visiting the site we drive to Antalya. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 5: Aspendos - Perge - Antalya
After breakfast we will drive to east to see the finest theater in all of Turkey, Aspendos. Built by the Romans, maintained by the Seljuks, it was restored by the order of Ataturk. Lunch at a local trout restaurant. Drive to Perge, the major trade city of ancient Pamphylia. Greek settlers journeyed to Perge following the Trojan War. Paul and Barnabas went through Perge on their way to and from Antioch on their first journey. (Acts 13.13,14.25). We return to Antalya early evening and have time to visit Antalya Museum. Overnight and dinner in Antalya
Day 6: Myra - St. Nicholas – Kas
Drive to Demre (ancient Myra) to visit the Lycian city, rock cut tombs and a Roman theater are the spots. We visit the Church of St. Nicholas, bishop of Demre in the 4th century. The legends that surround St. Nicholas, particularly of the miracles he performed in his lifetime, have left him identified today as Santa Claus or Father Christmas. Continue to the birthplace of St. Nicholas, the ancient Lycian city of Patara. Overnight in Kas.
Day 7: Laodicea – Pamukkale
Drive to Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) and after visiting this rich city we arrive to Pamukkale the dazzling white plateau rising 400 feet in a curtain of stalagmites and shallow ponds. Check in to our hotel which is built on the edge of the cliffs created by the Pamukkale’s calciferous waters, spend and enjoy the rest of the day in our hotel. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Pamukkale.
Day 8: Priene - Didyma – Selcuk
Morning departure for the fabulous Hellenistic ruins of Priene. Unlike many ruins in Turkey that were originally built by the ancient Greeks. Priene had a minor important and left alone by the Romans. It is an intimate place and above all, a Hellenistic city that has changed little since the 4th century BC. We will continue to south and arrive Didyma. We stop for lunch in front of Apollo of Didyma the impressive temple of the region. In size it is hardly exceeded by any temple of the Ancient World. Overnight Selcuk
Day 9: Ephesus - Virgin Mary - Seljuk
Early morning departure from our hotel to Ephesus, the fabulously preserved city where St. Paul and St. John lived. Ephesus allowed freedom for its inhabitants during its history, which included those who followed the Jewish, Anatolian, Roman or Egyptian faith, as well as the first traces of Christianity. The result was a wonderful mixture of cultures.
Ephesus was once ancient Ionia, a center for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under the influence of the Ionians Cybele became Artemis and a fabulous temple was built to honor her. One of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world; The Temple of Artemis. After lunch, we visit the House of Virgin Mary, built in the first century which was believed to be her last dwelling place. Our other spot will be the Basilica of St. John where the disciple spoke. Overnight and dinner in Selcuk.
Day 10: Pergamum - Canakkale
Driving north through a lovely landscape of pine forests and groves of oaks and olive and we stop to visit Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) perched on the top of a hill. Pergamum was a Hellenistic city, and was renowned center of culture. The extensive ruins of various temples, royal palaces and the library. We continue driving north and arrive Canakkale, very close to the world famous ruins of Troy.Overnight in Canakkale.
Day 11: Troy - Istanbul
Early departure in the morning to the ancient city of Troy. There is no dramatic reconstruction of monumental buildings here, but the thrill of being on the site of Homer s Troy is pretty dramatic itself. A short trip by ferry across Dardanelles and scenic drive through Thrace will bring us back to Istanbul. We will stay in a special licensed hotel in Sultanahmet.
Day 12: Istanbul
Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul, Sultanahmet, full day classical Istanbul Tour. Dinner in a traditional Turkish restaurant.
Day 13: Chora - Suleymaniye
The Chora Museum will be our first spot where the mosaics and frescoes inside are masterpieces of the Byzantine art. The mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent will be our next spot. Suleymananiye is considered one of the finest creation of Sinan, the pre-eminent Ottoman architect. Lunch in a classic Ottoman restaurant. The rest of the afternoon some free time to see the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. We meet in the evening for our Farewell Dinner at the colorful Kumkapi district, accompanied by Gypsy music.
Day 14: Departure
Tour ends after breakfast, airport transfer arrangements according to the requests.
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