CHRISTIAN TURKEY

  • Duration:13 NIGHTS/14 DAYS
  • Highlights:“ Paul’s Ministry in Asia Minor & 7 Churches of the Revelation”
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare NYC – Istanbul – NYC
    • Flight Istanbul- Adana
    • Accommodations in first class hotels
    • Buffet breakfast and dinner daily
    • English speaking guide throughout
    • Comprehensive sightseeing as listed
    • Transportation by private air conditioned motor coach
    • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
    • Select International Travel Portfolio

DAY 1: DEPART USA

You’ll leave this evening on an overnight flight to Istanbul.

DAY 2: ISTANBUL

Welcome to Turkey. You are greeted at the airport by your guide and transferred to the hotel. You have time to explore this exotic city and become acclimated to a new time zone. Overnight Istanbul. (D.)

DAY 3: ISTANBUL

Situated on two continentals, Europe and Asia. Ancient Byzantium became Constantinopolis in the 4th century, the “New Rome” and Christian Capital of Eastern Roman Empire, lasting over a millennium. In 1453 from the most important Christian city, it passed to Islam under the rule of the Ottoman Sultans. Today you plunge into history and discover the principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Today we visit the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years. Built on the ancient location of the Byzantine Acropolis, you will see the splendid Porcelain Collection and the Sultan’s Treasury. Continue with a visit to the Church of St. Savior, the Byzantine Hippodrome, St. Sophia Church,  the impressive Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque. In the afternoon we have time to visit the Bazaar and have the opportunity to bargain for treasures. Overnight in Istanbul. (B.D.)

DAY 4: ANTIOCH

A morning flight to Adana begins a full day tour taking you past hilltop Crusader castles to Antakya ( Antioch ). It is here that the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Visit St. Peter’s Grotto, the first Christian Rock Church where early Christians used to meet. From here Paul and Barnabas set out on their first missionary journey. This city became the center of Paul’s missionary work. Overnight in Antioch. (B.D.)

DAY 5: TARSUS-CAPPADOCIA

Tour the birthplace of St. Paul, Tarsus, where you can drink from his well. Also remember the great lovers Anthony and Cleopatra as you view their arch. Continue through the beautiful Tarsus Mountains to Cappadocia, famous for its unique landscape. En route we visit a 13th century Caravan Inn. Overnight Cappadocia. (B.D.)

DAY 6: CAPPADOCIA

You’ll marvel at the Biblical Cappadocia and the wondrous landscapes of the underground cities built from volcanic rock. Full day touring of the moon like topography of the area. The unique landscape of Goreme with its rock Chapels carved by early Christians and decorated with frescoes, is an unforgettable experience. Visit the underground city where early Christians lived and prayed, in some places eight stories high. In the afternoon visit the village of Avanos, where the traditional pottery is still hand made, and Zelve, the Byzantine monastic complex. Overnight Cappadocia. (B.D.)

DAY 7: KONYA-ANTALYA

In the morning visit the early underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. Drive to Konya, where Paul addressed his letter to the Galatians. The order of the “Whirling Dervishes” was founded here by the 13th century poet Mevlana. See the Seljuk fortress with 150 towers and the Byzantine church. Overnight in Antalya. (B.D.)

DAY 8: ANTALYA

Tour Perge, Aspendos and Side with their ruins from the Roman and the Hellenistic period. In the afternoon visit Antalya, the gem of the Turkish coast. You see the Gate of Hadrianus, the Roman theater, the Old Quarter, the historic Ottoman houses and Marina, and the Archaeological Museum, where you can see a casket of bones reputed to be of St. Nicholas. Overnight Antalya. (B.D.)

DAY 9: LAODICEA- HIERAPOLIS- PAMUKKALE

Visit Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, here the Christians were chastised for being “neither cold nor hot”. This area known as Pamukkale is named for the limestone-laden hot springs which cascade form one white edged terrace pool to the next. Tour Hierapolis, Philip the Evangelist’s home. You also have the opportunity to swim in natural warm mineral waters. Overnight Pamukkale. (B.D.)

DAY 10: EPHESUS- MILETUS

Another of the Seven Churches, Ephesus, is home of the Temple of Diana, declared as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Here you see Mary’s House. Tradition tells us that Apostle John accompanied Mary to Ephesus where they both lived and died. You visit the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus Museum. In the afternoon visit Miletus where Paul predicted his own death. Overnight Kusadasi. (B.D.)

DAY 11: SMYRNA-THYATIRA-SARDIS-PHILADELPHIA

Continue to another of the Seven Churches, former Smyrna, now Izmir, where you see the Agora. Also visit Thyatira, another of the Seven Churches, famous for its hand made rugs. See the little village of Sardis, another of the Seven Churches. Philadelphia, is also one of the Seven Churches and was referred to as “ New Jerusalem”. This church remained the last bastion of Christianity in Anatolia, lasting until the 14th century. Continue to Pergamum for overnight. (B.D.)

DAY 12: PERGAMUM-TROAS

In Pergamum, the first Christians were executed by Romans. This was the most favored of the Seven Churches and Christianity came here very early. You will see the Temple of Zeus, and the Temple of Athena, the fabled Acropolis and the Royal Gate. Here parchment was developed replacing papyrus, also one of the foremost healing centers of the ancient world. A short distance away is Troas, where Paul had a vision in which he was called to Macedonia (Greece).Continue to Canakkale, the narrowest point of the Dardanelles for the evening. Overnight Canakkale. ( B.D.)

DAY 13: TROY- ISTANBUL

See the city made famous in Homer’s poems, as the center of the Trojan War, including the legendary Trojan Horse. In the afternoon cross the Dardanellas, where you see Gallipoli, the famous site of the bloody World War I battle, then drive along the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul (B. D.)

DAY 14: RETURN TO THE U.S.A.

Transfer to airport for your flight back home. (B.)

 

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