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Tour Programs

Seven Churches of Revelation including Istanbul (8 Days)

DAY 01 ISTANBUL

Arrival Istanbul airport. Meeting and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 02 ISTANBUL

Today will be dedicated to visiting this ancient and exciting city. Our tour will include the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Underground Cistern and the Church of St. Sophia with its world famous mosaics and architecture. After lunch at the Topkapi Palace complex, we'll continue our tour of the palace, one-time residence of the Ottoman emperors and now a world-famous museum housing extraordinary collections of jewellery, armor and imperial costumes. We'll complete our tour with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in our hotel.

DAY 03 ISTANBUL - IZMIR

Drive to the airport for our morning flight to Izmir. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Visit the Church of St. Policarp which is the oldest church in ancient Smyrna, it symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Then visit Alexander the Great's Velvet Castle overlooking the bay of Izmir. Dinner and overnight in Izmir

DAY 04 IZMIR - PERGAMON - THYATIRA IZMIR

Leave hotel for our visit of the ancient city of Pergamum (modern Bergama), and center of the Attalid dynasty. The oldest portion of the city is the acropolis that rises steeply to a height of nearly 1.300 feet above the plain of the Caicus River. The library on the acropolis became in the second century B.C. one of the great centers of learning of the ancient world. Here are also found the famous temples of Athena, Trajan, the famous Altar of Zeus, as well as the steepest theatre in the ancient world. At the base of the acropolis, we'll visit the Asklepion, an important center of healing in Asia Minor and dedicated to the god of healing Asklepios. Here the famous physician Galen was not only born but taught medicine early in his career. From Pergamum, we continue our trip southeast for Biblical Thyatira, which is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. St. Paul may have visited on his missionary journeys (Acts 19:10). Drive back to Izmir and check into the hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 05 IZMIR - SARDES - PHILADELPHIA - PAMUKKALE

Drive to Sardes which is one of the ancient cities of Turkey whose true history cannot be separated from myth. It was the capital of the Lydian Kingdom and known as the richest city of western Asia Minor.

Our tour of Sardes includes the famous temple of Artemis, the Byzantine Church, the Synagogue, and the famous Roman Gymnasium with it's beautiful facade.After lunch, continue to Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love and visit the Church of St. John. Walk the streets of Philadelphia, then proceed to Pamukkale. Pamukkale is famous for its medicinal pools and hot mineral springs that overflow so as to cover the rocks beneath with white deposits of lime that give the appearance of a frozen cascade. It is to these formations that the Turkish name Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) is probably due. We'll explore the ancient city of Hierapolis overlooking the Lycus river valley with its well-preserved theatre and large necropolis. The Martyrium of St. Philip the Apostle is also here. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

DAY 06 PAMUKKALE - LAODICEA - APHRODISIAS - KUSADASI

In the morning, we'll explore the ancient city of Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. From Pamukkale we'll journey through the famous Meander River Valley to the seacoast city of Kusadasi. En route we'll visit Aphrodisias dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Known for its white marble, Aphrodisias was the site of the most sophisticated school of classical sculpture in Asia Minor. We'll also visit a local museum dedicated to the preservation of artifacts from this ancient city, a famous and well-preserved stadium and the Temple of Aphrodite. Afternoon arrival at Kusadasi; dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 07 KUSADASI - EPHESUS - KUSADASI

Morning tour of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in Asia Minor. A major center of Paul's missionary activity, it was also the home of the Temple and cult of the goddess Artemis. During Paul's day, the temple was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Our tour of Ephesus includes the impressive Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre seating over 25.000 people, the Temple of Hadrian, the Marble Street and a special visit to the elegant Roman villas with their famous mosaics and wall painting. Time and circumstances permitting, we'll also celebrate a liturgy at the site of the ancient Basilica of St. Mary where the Third Ecumenical Council was held. We'll also visit the House of Virgin Mary, where according to tradition, she spent her last years. Following lunch at a local restaurant, we'll visit the Museum of Ephesus and the ruins of the Basilica of St. John. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Kusadasi.

Day 08 KUSADASI - IZMIR

Transfer to Izmir aiport. End of our services.

In the Footsteps of St. Paul (18 Days)

DAY 1 ANKARA

Arrive Ankara, the capital of Modern Turkey. Meet our guide and driver to transfer to our hotel. Day at leisure. Welcome cocktail and dinner at our hotel.

DAY 2 ANKARA - CAPPADOCIA

Full day visit of Ankara including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations which houses the richest collection of artifacts. These artifacts include pre-historical materials, Neolithic cave drawings, utensils from Catalhoyuk, the earliest known city in the world. We will see thousands of objects brought from different parts of the country that give us an overall picture of Hittite, Phrigian, Lydian and Urartian civilizations. Then we will proceed to the Temple of Augustus and the Mausoleum of the founder of Modern Turkey, Ataturk. After lunch, drive south to Cappadocia, the land of fairy-chimneys via the Salt Lake. In ancient times, inhabitants carved underground dwellings out of the soft volcanic rock which eventually grew to become entire cities. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

DAY 3 CAPPADOCIA

We continue for our full day tour of the region. Our first stop is at Goreme where we will see a lot of rock cut churches with beautiful frescoes. Then we will drive to see the Pashabagi Valley before we arrive at Zelve Open Air Museum which was one of the earliest monastic settlements in the area. Visit of the Pigeons' Valley and the Castle of Uchisar before we get to our hotel. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 04 CAPPADOCIA - TARSUS - ADANA

In the morning, drive to Tarsus, En route, we will visit one of the Underground cities of Cappadocia which was used in times of danger. Drive south crossing the famous Taurus Mt. range. Arrive Tarsus , the birthplace of St. Paul. Visit St. Paul's Well, the Gate of Cleopatra and recently excavated Roman street and marketplace. Drive to Adana for dinner and overnight.

DAY 05 ADANA - ANTAKYA - SELEUCIA PERIA - ADANA

Full day excursion through the Assyrian Gates to Antakya (the biblical city of Antioch) pleasantly situated on the Orantes River. Here, the early Christians established their first major Gentile community outside Palestine. Antioch was also the point of departure for Paul's missionary activity throughout Anatolia. At the Grotto of St. Peter, meeting place of the early Christian community, we may have a liturgy. Following lunch, we then visit the Hatay Archeological Museum to view the world famous mosaics from Daphne and surrounding area. Return to Adana for dinner and overnight at our hotel

DAY 06 ADANA - KONYA

Early departure to begin our drive over the picturesque Taurus Mountains and passage through the famed Cilician Gates. Crossing the Anatolian plateau, we come to the famed city of Konya (biblical Iconium). Although Paul was not successful in establishing a community here, Konya became world famous as the school and burial place of the Sufi mystic poet and teacher, Mevlana (Jalal-ud-Din Rumi). After lunch., we will visit the Mevlana Museum that houses the tomb of this famous spiritual leader that has become a sacred Islamic shrine and place of universal pilgrimage. From there we proceed to the Karatay Museum, ancient Islamic theological school and displays of exquisite Selcuk tiles of the 13th century. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Konya.

DAY 07 KONYA - PISIDIAN ANTIOCH - ANTALYA

En route to Antalya, we will visit the ancient Roman city of Psidian Antioch where Paul established one of his first communities in Anatolia. Time and circumstances permitting, we may celebrate a liturgy in his famed Greco-Roman city. Following lunch at a local restaurant, we will proceed south past beautiful Lake Egridir, through the scenic Taurus Mountains, to Antalya, one of the most famous resorts on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Antalya.
Aphrodisias was the site of the most sophisticated school of classical sculpture in Asia Minor. We'll also visit a local museum dedicated to the preservation of artifacts from this ancient city, a famous and well-preserved stadium and the Temple of Aphrodite. Afternoon arrival at Kusadasi; dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 8 ANTALYA

After a short day-trip from our hotel, in Aspendos, we will visit one of the best-preserved Hellenistic theatres in Asia Minor, built by the emperor Marcus Aurelius. From Aspendos we pass the impressive system of aqueducts used to bring water to the city before lunch. Following lunch at a local restaurant, we will tour Perge, a wealthy and beautifully decorated city from Hellenistic times. Its remains today are second only to Ephesus among the cities associated with the apostle Paul. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Antalya.

DAY 9 ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE

Leaving Antalya, we will journey northwest through the panoramic Taurus Mountains. En route to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Following lunch, we�ll explore the ancient city of Hierapolis overlooking the Lycus river valley with its well-preserved theatre and large necropolis. Pamukkale is famous for its medicinal pools and hot mineral springs that overflow so as to cover the rocks beneath with white deposits of lime that give the appearance of a frozen cascade. It is to these formations that the Turkish name Pamukkale (�Cotton Castle�) is probably due. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

DAY 10 PAMUKKALE TO KUSADASI

From Pamukkale we�ll journey through the famous Meander River Valley to the seacoast city of Kusadasi. En route we�ll visit Aphrodisias dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Known for its white marble, Aphrodisias was the site of the most sophisticated school of classical sculpture in Asia Minor. We�ll also visit a local museum dedicated to the preservation of artifacts from this ancient city, a famous and well-preserved stadium and the Temple of Aphrodite. Afternoon arrival at Kusadasi; dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 11 TOUR OF ANCIENT EPHESUS

Morning tour of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in Asia Minor.
A major center of Paul's missionary activity, it was also the home of the Temple and cult of the goddess Artemis. During Paul's day the temple was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Our tour of Ephesus includes the impressive Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre seating over 25.000 people, the Temple of Hadrian, the MarbleStreet and a special visit to the elegant Roman villas with their famous mosaics and wall painting. Time and circumstances permitting, we'll also celebrate a liturgy at the site of the ancient Basilica of St. Mary where the Third Ecumenical Council was held. We'll also visit the House of Virgin Mary, where according to tradition, she spent her last years. Following lunch at a local restaurant, we'll visit the Museum of Ephesus and the ruins of the Basilica of St. John. Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Kusadasi.

DAY 12 KUSADASI - IZMIR

En route from Kusadasi we'll visit the ancient city of Sardis, wealthy capital of King Croesus and the Lydian Empire. The look and atmosphere of the site, with its impressive Temple of Aphrodite and inaccessible acropolis, make it unique among the ancient sites of western Asia Minor. We'll also visit the oldest and most impressive synagogue in Anatolia, as well as a Roman gymnasium. Following lunch, we'll continue on for a short visit to the ancient city of Thyatria, home of Paul's famous convert, Lydia, and dealer of luxury purple dyes. Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Izmir.

DAY 13 IZMIR - AYVALIK

On our drive north from Izmir to Ayvalik we will visit the ancient city of Pergamum (modern Bergama), and center of the Attalid dynasty. The oldest portion of the city is the acropolis that rises steeply to a height of nearly 1.300 feet above the plain of the Caicus River. The library on the acropolis became in the second century B.C. one of the great centers of learning of the ancient world. Here are also found the famous temples of Athena, Trajan, the famous Altar of Zeus, as well as the steepest theatre in the ancient world. At the base of the acropolis, we'll visit the Asklepion, an important center of healing in Asia Minor and dedicated to the god of healing Asklepios. Here, the famous physician Galen was not only born but taught medicine early in his career. From Pergamum we continue our trip north. Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Ayvalik.

DAY 14 AYVALIK - CANAKKALE

As we continue our trip north we'll visit the ancient sites of Assos and Troas, two cities of western Anatolia associated with the missionary travels of the Apostle Paul.
In Assos, we'll visit the Temple of Athena built in the classical period and overlooking the famous island of Lesbos. From the harbor in Assos, Paul sailed northwest to Neapolis to initiate his missionary activity in Macedonia. We'll only make a short stop at Troas that is off the beaten track and not yet studied by archeologists. It was at Troas that Paul revived Eutychus after he had fallen from a window during one of Paul's long sermons. After lunch at a local restaurant we'll make a short trip to the ancient city of Troy - a place of mythology and legend. Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Canakkale.

DAY 15 CANAKKALE - ISTANBUL

Today, at Canakkale, we'll cross the famous Dardanelle by ferry and continue our journey eastward to the legendary city of Istanbul. For many centuries this city was the capital of the civilized world. Even though in 1922, Ankara became the capital of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic, Istanbul continued to be the Turkish metropolis. It is the country's largest city (approximately 12 million residents) and port, and the first destination for Turkish and foreign visitors alike. We will arrive at our hotel early, with the remainder of the day to be spent at your leisure. Dinner and overnight in our hotel.

DAY 16 ISTANBUL

Today will be dedicated to visiting this ancient and exciting city. Our tour will include the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Underground Cistern and the Church of St. Sophia with its world famous mosaics and architecture. After lunch at the Topkapi Palace complex, we continue our tour of the palace, one-time residence of the Ottoman emperors and now a world-famous museum housing extraordinary collections of jewellery, armor and imperial costumes. We'll complete our tour with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in our hotel.

DAY 17 ISTANBUL

We continue to explore more of Istanbul including the Chora Church (Kariye Camii), one of the most important monuments in Istanbul and famous for its religious mosaics. We'll also visit the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. After lunch, we'll drive along the ancient walls of Constantinople, before returning to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in our hotel.

DAY 18 ISTANBUL - DEPARTURE

At the appropriate hour we'll transfer to the Istanbul International Airport for your out going flight.