|Duration : 14 Nights
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Day 1 (Welcome to Adana, Turkey)
- You will be greeted at Adana airport and transported to Antioch (known as Antakya in Turkish) where, before diner, your English-speaking guide will brief you the programs of your tour in Turkey.
- Overnight stay in Antakya.
Day 2 ( Antioch )
Antakya, (Antioch on the Orontes). The city was once called “the fair crown of the Orient.” Antioch, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire and Byzantium, played an especially important role in Christian history: it was the base for Paul the Apostle Missionary journeys, where Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26) and where the Gospel of Matthew was probably written. It was a key location of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the rise of Islam, and the Crusades and was outsized only by Rome and Alexandria. St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Barnabas and St. Timothy all preached in this place.
Today’s program includes visiting:
- Cave Church of St. Peter (also known as Grotto of St. Peter) is an ancient cave church with a stone facade which was built by Crusaders. It is regarded by tradition as on the spot where he first preached the Gospelin Antioch. The Iron Gate, south of the church, was one of the actual entrances of Biblical Antioch.
- Seleucia Pieria is most notable as the precise point of embarkation from which the Apostle Paul [in 45 CE] and Saint Barnabas sailed from this port on their first missionary journeys, as chronicled in the Bible (Acts 13:4).Visit the Temple of Zeus for a bird’s eye view of the harbor,
- Titus Tunnel is about 1350-1400m long, dug to divert the nearby river and prevent the harbour from silting up with time as well as to help reduce flooding caused during heavy winter rains
- Museum of Antioch has the second largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world.
- St. Peter’s Grotto-Cave Church is one of Christianity’s oldest churches, its founding can be traced to the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles (11:25-27) where it is related that Barnabas travelled to Tarsus to bring Paul the Apostle there.
• Overnight stay in Antakya.
Day 3 ( Tarsus and Cappadocia )
- Driving from Antakya to Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul the Apostle (Acts 9:11) and the scene of the first meeting between Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, where you will visit St. Paul’s Church and the well (now a museum) that is believed to have been within the grounds of his home.
- Continuing to Cappadocia for overnight stay.
Day 4 and 5 ( Cappadocia )
Cappadocia is a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by unusual rock formations called “fairy chimneys” and unique historical and cultural heritage. Early inhabitants carved the soft volcanic rock to create under ground dwellings, that eventually grew to become entire cities where as many as six thousand Christians hid to escape persecution. Over a thousand of laborate churches were also carved of the porous rock, and lavishly decorated with frescoes; many of these 9th-11th century art works still remain.
Scheduled visits are:
- Overnight stay in Cappadocia.
- Overnight in Cappadocia.
Leaving Cappadocia for Konya where you will visit;
- Mevlana Museum, was the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi as well as the dervish lodge (better known as the whirling dervishes.) and was turned into a museum in 1927 and renamed as Mevlana Museum in 1954.
- Whirling Dervish Monastery
- Drving to Antalya after lunch where you will stay overnight.
Day 7 (Myra “Demre” and Pamukkkale )
- From Antakya you will leave early in the morning for Demre, (Myra). It was one of the six great cities of the Lycian civilization dated to the 5th century BC. The city is well known for its amphitheatre (the largest in Lycia) and the plethora of rock-cut tombs carved in the cliff above the theatre. The best known tomb is the “Lion’s tomb,”also called the “Painted Tomb.” You will also see Church of St.Nicholas a ruined Byzantine church which contains the tomb of Saint Nicholas, a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas.
- Next we will continue to Hierapolis where we will visit the Martyrium of St.Philip amidst the site’s extensive ruins.
- Overnight stay in Pamukkale.
Day 8 ( Hierapolis and Laodicea )
- Leave the hotel in the morning to complete the tour of Hierapolis, located in Turkey’s Denizli Province, which is an ancient city on hot springs, and to see the adjacent modern Pamukkale (cotton castle) famous for its travertine terraces.
- After lunch we will see Laodicea, situated in the Lycus River Valley and benefiting from its advantageous position on a trade route, was one of the most important and flourishing commercial cities of Asia Minor. A quote in the Book of Revelation described its status in Christianity : The ‘ lukewarm’ church with a faith that is neither hot nor cold (Rev. 3:14-22).
- Overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Day 9 ( Ephesus )
- A full-day tour includes visits to the House of Virgin Mary, accepted by the Vatican as a pilgrmage destination, is believed to be where she lived out her final days after the death of Christ.
- Ephesus, the most influential capital city of Asia Minor in the Aegean Sea in Roman Period, is where you will explore one of the best preserved Great Theater, the Celsus Library, Terrace Houses as well as fountains and temples in Asia Minor.
- Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- The Basilica of St. John, a great church outside Ephesus city, is believed to be built over the burial site of St John the baptist.
- Overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Day 10 ( Sardis and Philadelphia )
Today’s program includes;
- Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp,
- Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, located on the banks of the Pactolus River in Manisa province. The Church of Sardis appeared to be alive but was spiritually lifeless. G.R. Beasley-Murray says: “The appearance of the Sardis church is that of a beautifully adorned corpse in a funeral parlour, and the Lord is not deceived” (Revelation, p. 95). The church needed to stir up the living Spirit of God in order to come to life.
- Philadelphia, the city perhaps best known as the site of one of the seven churches of Asia, “The church of brotherly love that endures patiently” in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3 :7-13). Alaşehir is the Turkish name of Philadelphia, is famous for its many temples and worship centers.
- Overnight stay in Pergamon.
In Pergamon you will visit;
- Depart to Pergamon to see the Santuary of Asclepion, the god of healing, was the ancient medical center for the Roman Empire,
- The Acropolis, the church at the site of ancient Serapium,
- The Red Court dedicated to St. John
- Overnight stay in Bursa.
- Leaving Bursa in the morning forIznik (ancient Nicea) where two ecumenical councils were held: the First Ecumenical Council of 325 and the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 which was held in of the St. Sophia Church.
- Driving to Istanbul in the afternoon.
- Evening at leisure; overnight stay in Istanbul.
Day 13 – 14 ( Istanbul )
A full-day sightseeing in Istanbul includes:
- The Blue Mosque with its beautiful blue tiles,
- The Roman Hippodrome,
- Topkapi Palace, the Imperial Residential Palace of the Ottoman sultans between from the 16th till the 19th centuries and the oldest and largest of the remaining palaces in the world where priceless world-class collections of jewelry, porcelain and costumes of the sultans are displayed.
- A boat trip through the Bosphorus Strait in the afternoon,
- Evening at leisure.
The morning program:
Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels and a designated World Heritage site, was built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century.
The afternoon program:
- The evening program: a farewell dinner.
Day 15 (Farewell)
- The pickup and transfer to the Istanbul Ataturk Airport is scheduled after breakfast. Have a safe journey back home !
- 14 nights hotel accommodation (4* & Boutique Hotels).
- Services of professionally licensed guides on local tours.
- 41 Meals (14 Breakfasts + 14 Lunch + 13 Dinner)
- All domestic flights mentioned in the itinerary.
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coaches on local tours and transfers.
- English speaking guided tours mentioned in the itinerary.
- Inbound and outbound airport transfers to/from your hotel.
- All taxes, entrance & museum fees, baggage handling.
- Optional: Add a daily trip to Patmos.
- International airfares.
- VISA needed for Turkey
- Tips to guide, driver, hotel staff etc.
- Items of a personal nature
- Harem and Treasure room entrance fees in Topkapi Palace
- Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast)
- Travel Insurance and medical services