|Purpose:||Faith, Art, History, Culture, Fun|
|No. of days:||9 days - 7 nights|
|First & Last Cities:||Istanbul|
|Other cities:||Izmir, Smyrna, Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale, Laodicea, Aphrodisia|
|Starting cost:||On Request|
Your Tour includes:
Tour does not include:
Hotels in your Tour:
CATEGORY: The hotels provided may be 3, 4 or 5-star hotels, except during the 5-night walk where accommodation will in rural hostels
LOCATION: The location will normally be in the center of main cities
MEAL PLAN: Normally we include daily breakfast and dinner for all groups. However the meal plan may vary depending on the organizer's request
All hotels will be requested after discussion with the group Organizer
The Itinerary may be changed to accommodate the desires of the Group Organizer and the number of days may be increased or reduced to fit particular needs.
“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea” (Revelations, verse 11).
Day 1: USA, Istanbul
Board your overnight international flight to Istanbul. Dinner and breakfast are served on board.
Day 2: Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul you’ll be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel for check- in. Leisure afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. [D]
Day 3: Istanbul
Full day guided sightseeing in Old Istanbul including Sultan Ahmet Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. [B/D]
Day 4: Istanbul
Guided Bosporus Cruise including Dolmabahçe Palace. Visit to the exotic and aromatic Egyptian Spice Market, cross over to Asia, to Camlica Hill, for a view of Istanbul. During the cruise, view of Ottoman seaside mansions, marble palaces and small fishing villages. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. [B/D]
Day 5: Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), Pergamum
Morning transfer to the airport for a short flight to Izmir where you’ll be picked-up and depart for the visit of ancient Smyrna. The city was the last stronghold of Christianity in Asia Minor and home of the great second century Bishop Polycarp who was burned alive at the age of eighty-six. Continue to Pergamum with its acropolis and Great Theatre, the steepest of the ancient world. Revelation 2:12-16 describes the city as "where Satan's seat is", a reference to the altar of Zeus, where we pause for reflection on the fulfillment of Scripture. Then, visit the Red Basilica, once a pagan temple and later converted to a Christian church. Finally, walk through the Asclepius, the famous medical center of antiquity. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Izmir. [B/D]
Day 6: Izmir, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale
After breakfast depart for Thyatira, once a busy trading center and famous for the dyeing of purple clothes. Thyatira is one of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelations that tolerated the false prophetess, Jezebel (Rev. 1: 11; 2: 18-29). Then, travel to Sardis, another of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Jesus told Sardis, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead" (Rev. 3: 1-6). Coins were minted and the dyeing of wool originated in Sardis. The massive scale of the Temple of Artemis with its white marble columns, Royal Road, gymnasium and synagogue will no doubt impress you! Continue to Philadelphia another one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3: 7-13). Christ told those who overcame that He would write upon them "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem." (Rev.3: 12) Today, not much is left to mark the spot. You will see an ancient wall and the remains of a Byzantine basilica. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. [B/D]
Day 7: Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Kusadasi
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for the visit of Hierapolis, or "Holy City", evangelized by Paul and Epaphras. The Apostle Philip lived and is believed to be buried here. Continue to Laodicea, another church of the Revelations (Rev. 3: 14-22). The Christians of Laodicea were chastised for being lukewarm, "You are neither cold nor hot" (Rev. 3: 15), and for being too comfortable incorporating pagan and Christian beliefs. In the famous scripture from Revelation (3: 20-21), Jesus says to the Laodicean church: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...". Today, there are many acres of ruins to see, including the stadium and columned streets and a chance to witness the newest excavations in Laodicea. Continue to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. [B/D]
Day 8: Kusadasi (Ephesus)
Full day tour of Ephesus the last of Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1: 11). In ancient days, Ephesus was a bustling port town of 250,000, graced with wide, colonnade bordered streets. St. Paul's first visit to Ephesus during his second missionary tour (Acts 18:19-21) was brief. His second visit, during his third missionary tour, lasted about three years (Acts 19:1 to 20:31). Luke's account of the worship of Diana appears in Acts 19:34-35. The Great Theatre (stadium) mentioned in Acts 19:29-31 could seat 25,000 people. Walk the marble-paved street with grooves made by chariot wheels, see the Fountain of Trajan, the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theatre. Visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary (Double Church), where the Third Ancient Council convened. Continue to visit the Basilica of St. John. Early tradition associated John, the disciple of Jesus, the author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation with the city of Ephesus. As early as the 4th or 5th century a Christian church was built over a simple grave, supposedly the grave of St. John. In the 6th century Emperor Justinian had an impressive domed basilica built to replace the earlier church. This church, known as the Church of St. John the Theologian, is located on Ayasuluk Hill, which can be reached by a street leading up from the center of the town called Selcuk. Visit the Museum of Ephesus for an up-close look at artifacts from the ancient city. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. [B/D]
Day 9: Kusadasi, Izmir, Istanbul
It is now time to say goodbye to Turkey. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and be ready for your transfer to Izmir airport where you’ll board your connecting flight back home. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [D] = Dinner | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner
The price for the group will be quoted based on the number of passengers, season, hotel type and meal plan.
Group organizers always travel for free if the group has 15 or more paying passengers.
Inclusion of tour conductors maybe considered at time of request.
Tour Code: IT08IST17BST