Journey of St Paul (12 Nights/13 Days) Tour Itinerary:
Day 1: Istanbul.
We are so glad to meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (D)
Day 2: Istanbul.
A full day city tour of Istanbul,the biggest and greatest city in Turkey. After visiting the Hippodrome, you will visit the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet. Beautifully decorated with 21, 000 blue Iznik tiles, it is commonly known today as the “Blue Mosque”. The next visit is to the world famous Hagia Sophia, the church of Divine Wisdom and once the biggest church of the Christian World. You will certainly be astonished by the unique mosaics and marble decorations. Right after lunch the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans, will be waiting for you. Do not ever miss the “Spoon maker’s Diamond” in the treasury section. Overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Istanbul–Adana-Antakya (Antioch)-Adana.
Following a relaxing breakfast, you must be ready for a flight to Adana. A ride to Antakya (Antioch) where the people of The Way were first named Christians, is bound to make you feel home, in the heart of holliness as Antakya served as the home base for St. Paul’s missionary journeys. Peter was the first to establish a church in Antioch(Acts 9:32 and Galatians 2:1 1.) Visit the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated mass. Enjoy the Hatay Museum, which is the home for the richest, most varied collection of Greek and Roman mosaics. Then continue to Seleucia Peria mentioned in the New Testament as the port, from which Paul and Barnabas set sail for Asia Minor on their first missionary journey. Overnight in Adana. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Adana-Tarsus-Cappadocia.
After breakfast and a short drive to Tarsus, where St. Paul was born, pay a meaningful visit to St. Paul’s well, believed to have healing properties. After a short visit to the gate of Cleopatra, continue to Cappadocia for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Cappadocia.
Full day sightseeing of the villages of, Uchisar with panoramic views of the Cappadocian valleys, Zelve-the valley of the fairy chimnies, and the Goreme Valley. There are several hundred churches in this area, some of which are decorated with inscribed frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible or the Apocrypha. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Cappadocia – Konya.
Visit the underground city of Kaymakli, created for defensive purposes by the early Christians. Drive to Konya. Paul preached here on his first missionary journey. Konya today is famous for its Mevlevi Dervishes (Whirling Dervishes). Visit the Mevlana Mausoleum and museum. Overnight in Konya. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Konya-Antioch of Pisidia-Pamukkale.
After breakfast drive to Antioch of Pisidia. Paul and Barnabas visited Antioch on their first missionary journey, going to the synagogue on the Sabbath (the Jewish day of worship), and Paul was asked to speak to the congregation. In the Bible this is Paul’s first recorded sermon. Visit the Church of St. Paul, the Roman Bath, Temple of Augustus, and museum. Continue to Pamukkale for overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Pamukkale–Laodicea–Philadelphia-Sardis–Izmir.
Wake up to the sounds of birds and don’t miss a morning swim in the hotel’s thermal pool before visiting the ancient city of Hierapolis, an ancient Roman city, where St. Philip was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Hierapolis is located on the top of a hill where you can see the famous natural wonder white “ cotton fortress”. Your next stop is Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. When you see the city of Hierapolis from a distance, you may have an idea why the Laodicians were “neither hot nor cold but lukewarm” as it reads in the Bible. Following this nice little isolated old town, visit Philadelphia and Sardis. Philadelphia “the perfect church,” was the only church which John had no real criticism (Rev. 3: 7-13). After a short drive we reach Sardis-the dead church. Remember ‘you seem alive but you are actually dead’. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Izmir-Ephesus-Izmir.
St Polycarp Church will be the first to host you this morning. In an hour’s time you will be ready,after a short visit to traditional house of the Virgin Mary, to visit the ancient city of Ephesus where St. Paul lived and preached for more than two and a half years and to where he subsequently sent his letter to the Ephesians. We see the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the theater, the Double Church (The Church of Mary) where the third ecumenical council was convened in A. D. 431. Then we visit the basilica of St. John where St. John was buried, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, which was once one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Overnight in Izmir. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Izmir–Thyatira–Pergamon–Assos.
In the morning we drive to Thyatira, which is known as the tolerant church. Then, we proceed to Pergamum (Rev. 2: 12-17) to visit the Acropolis. With its several temples this is the place referred in the Bible as the place where ‘Satan dwells’. Pergamum was a great center of scholarship and learning. Anthony took the library from here with its 200,000 rolls and transferred it to Alexandria as a present for Cleopatra. After the Acropolis visit the Asclepion, the ancient hospital. Dinner and overnight in Assos. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: Assos–Alexandria Troas–Troy–Istanbul.
We drive to Alexandria Troas founded by a commander of Alexander the Great; Paul visited here at least twice in his second and third journeys (16: 7-12; 16:8-10). We proceed to Troy- home of the legendary Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse. Then we drive to Istanbul for overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: Istanbul.
Enjoy the bussy streeets of Istanbul at your leisure.Includes: (B).
Day 13: Istanbul.
Fly home or continue to explore another destination. Includes: (B).
Notes: Airfare is not included in the tour price.
(B), (D); B= Breakfast, D= Dinner
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