Day 1 – October 16, 2017: Departure
Today we embark on our Journey to the lands of ancient treasures and Christian history with an overnight flight to Turkey. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…Tomorrow you will be walking where the apostles walked!
Day 2 – October 17, 2017: Antalya
Meet the group at Antalya airport and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
Day 3 – October 18, 2017: Antalya/Konya
After breakfast sightseeing in Antalya "Attalya" from where St. Paul sailed about AD 48 on his return to Antioch on the Orontes after his first journey. Visit Perge which is one of the cities that Paul in 47 or 48 AD with Barnabas and his cousin John Mark on their first missionary journey. It was in Perge that John Mark left others to return to Jerusalem. Perge is typical of the first century cities of its region. You will visit the ruins of a colossal theatre, a stadium and Hellenistic and Roman gates. Continue to Aspendos which was a port city in its early history. The outstanding structure in Aspendos is the roman theatre which is the best preserved in the world. In the afternoon drive to Konya ancient Iconium where Paul preached on his first missionary journey. We will then stop at biblical Lystra for a devotional. Dinner & overnight at hotel in Konya.
Day 4 – October 19, 2017: Konya/Pamukkale
After breakfast we drive to Pamukkale. Enroute we will stop and visit biblical Antioch of Pisidia. You will visit St. Paul’s basilica, the aqueducts, the temple of Augustus, the theatre and the public baths. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Pamukkale.
Day 5 – October 20, 2017: Pamukkale
Start the day with the opportunity to visit Pamukkale ‘‘Cotton Castles’’, fantastic white limestone terraces formed by travertine deposits from warm springs over the chalk cliffs. Thereafter visit Hierapolis with its rich Roman and Christian remains, its extensive well-preserved Necropolis and some Church ruins. Time permitting we will visit Philip’s Tomb in the hill of Hierapolis ruins. And then to Laodicea, one of the seven churches addressed by John in the Book of Revelation. Next we will visit the site of Colossae which is well-known throughout Christian circles as the receiver of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Today, the town has fallen into obscurity and nothing remains. Dinner at hotel.
Day 6 – October 21, 2017: Pamukkale/Izmir
In the morning depart for Izmir. Our first stop will be in Alasehir. Visit the site of Philadelphia, the youngest of the Seven Churches. See part of the city wall and the remains of the early Church. Continue to Salihli, ancient Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. The temple of Artemis and the restored gymnasium testify to the city’s past splendor, as does the important third century AD Synagogue. Upon arrival to Izmir (ancient Smyrna), we see the impressive ruins of the castle and its walls before visiting the Hellenistic ruins of Ancient Agora (market place). Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 7 – October 22, 2017: Izmir
In the morning drive to Miletus which was a port in ancient times situated at the mouth of the Meander River. St Paul visited Miletus in spring - possibly in AD 59, as he completed his third missionary journey. For Paul and his listeners, it was an emotional visit. Near the statues of lions that still guard the former harbour, he said goodbye to his friends and to his work in Asia. Visit the great theatre, roman baths and the agora. From here proceed to Ephesus, once the commercial centre of the ancient world, where St. Paul spent some years. We will walk down the paved main street, past the amazing remains of the temples, houses, shops, latrines and market-places, the Library of Celsus and the enormous theatre where the riot took place (Acts 19), and the St. Mary Church, where a Council of the Early Church was held. See where stood the Temple of Artemis of the Ephesians, the city’s patron goddess, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We will also visit the Hellenistic ruins of Ancient Agora Market Place. End the day’s tour with a visit to the Basilica of St. John and his tomb and the Ephesus museum. The day will not be complete without a visit to a local Turkish Rug cooperative. Dinner at hotel.
Day 8 – October 23, 2017: Izmir/Canakkale
We will have an early morning start this morning. Our first stop will be in Akhisar, which is now situated on the site of Thyatira, and famous as a "seller of purple". The only remains visible are the ruins of a Temple, thought to be Apollo. Our next visit of the day is Pergamum. Once a busy trading center, the most favored of the Seven Churches, the church of Pergamum was praised for its forbearance (Rev. 2:12-17). It was here that the first Christians were executed by Rome. We'll visit the fabled Acropolis, pass through the Royal Gates, view the foundations of the Temple of Zeus and visit the ruins of the library, which once held 200,000 volumes. Drive to Canakkale. This afternoon will visit the area known as Troas, where Paul had a vision during his second missionary journey and was called to Macedonia (Acts 16:8-13). Paul later spent a week in Troas preaching here and Eutychus was resurrected (Acts 20:6-12). Visit ancient Troy, which is well known for its 3rd and 4th Century BC excavations. Don't forget to have your picture taken from the top of the Trojan Horse. Dinner at hotel.
Day 9 – October 24, 2017: Canakkale/Istanbul
After breakfast drive to Istanbul by crossing the Dardanelles strait. In the afternoon arrive to Istanbul and the Blue Mosque - the most famous monument in both the Turkish and Islamic world and the only mosque with 6 minarets, interior is decorated with famous Iznik tiles. Then visit Saint Sophia Museum built between 325-360 AD, the largest imperial church in the city. See the Hippodrome, the former center of sportative and political activities of Constantinople. Dinner at hotel.
Day 10 – October 25, 2017: Homeward Bound
We transfer to the airport for our flight back home.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.