Biblical Turkey Sites (12 Nights/13 Days) Tour Itinerary:
Day 1: Istanbul.
Arrive Istanbul. Meet and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon orientation tour in Istanbul, if times permits (according to the arrival time). Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Istanbul.
St.Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, St. Irene and St. Chora Museum. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Cappadocia.
Flight to Cappadocia-Kayseri Airport and drive to Hotel. Leisure Day.
Day 4: Cappadocia.
Full day exploring Cappadocia. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos, the pottery making town, the natural Citadel of Uchisar and the monastic Zelve Valley.
Day 5: Cappadocia.
Visit the Ihlara Valley including painted cave churches, Guzelyurt (Karballa), the birthplace of St. Gregory of Nazianzus and the underground city of Kaymakli. Return to hotel for overnight.
Day 6: Cappadocia – Konya – Antalya.
Early departure to Konya. Visit the Mevlana Museum and the 13th century Whirling Dervish Monastery. After lunch, drive to Antalya.
Day 7: Demre – Hierapolis – Pamukkale.
Early departure to Demre, one of the six great cities of the Lycian civilization which was first settled in the 5th century B.C. The rock tombs, theater and Church of St. Nicholas commemorate the life and work of this Fourth Century Bishop. Saint Nicholas provided the dowries for three poor girls who would not have been able to marry otherwise, the beginning of our tradition of Christmas giving. Continue to Hierapolis, where we will visit the Martyrium of St. Philip amidst the site’s extensive ruins. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 8: Pamukkale – Hierapolis – Laodicea.
Complete the tour of Hierapolis, see the wonderful formation of stalactites in Pamukkale (Cotton Castle), the Roman Bath which later became a church, then visit Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, continue to Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 9: Kusadasi.
Today we will visit Saint John Basilica,Virgin Mary House and Temple of Artemis. Return to Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 10: Ephesus – Izmir.
Depart for Ephesus, cradle of the early Church.,ancient Ephesus, the Archaeological Museum, Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 11: Sardes – Philadelphia – Izmir.
After Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp, travel to Sardes, the capital city city of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, and the church which was built on the foundations of the Temple of Artemis. After traveling to Philadelphia, return to Izmir. Balance of the afternoon is free to explore the city and its ancient bazaar. Overnight in Izmir.
Day 12: Pergamum – Bursa.
Depart to Pergamum to see the Asclepion, the ancient hospital whose approach to medicine was remarkably modern, the Acropolis, the church at the site of ancient Serapium, and the Red Court dedicated to St. John. Continue to Bursa; visit the Green Mosque and the Green Mousoloum. Overnight in Bursa.
Day 13: Bursa – Nicea – Iznik – Istanbul.
Drive to Iznik (ancient Nicaea) via the beautiful Iznik Lake road. Two ecumenical councils were held here: the First Ecumenical Council of 325 and the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. Visit the ruins of the St. Sophia Church where the Seventh Ecumenical Council was held. In the afternoon, drive to Istanbul, the only city in the world spanning two continents, transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure.
Notes: Airfare is not included in the tour price.
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