Turkey – Grand Christian Tour (16 days)

Feb 14, 2019   //   by admin   //   Suggested Itineraries, Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Turkey – Grand Christian Tour (16 days)

DAY 1 – UK – Turkey
On arrival to Istanbul International Terminal, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the domestic terminal to board the flight to the city of Adana. In the city of Adana, you will be taken to your hotel for check – in.
Dinner and overnight stay in Adana

 

DAY 2 – Adana – Antakya – Seulecia Pieria – Adana
After breakfast, we will drive to Antakya, the ancient Antioch on Orontes River. This was the city where St. Peter “The Rock” had established a church and for the first time in the church’s history, Gentiles were welcomed into the church. The word “Christian” was used for the first time in history there. Also St Paul and Barnabas had set sail to Cyprus from there. Following our arrival in this city, we will visit the church of St. Peter. After this visit, we will head to the fascinating and colossal Mosaics and archaeology Museum, which was built in 2015. After visiting this museum, we will return to Adana.
Dinner and overnight stay in Adana

 

DAY 3 – Adana – Tarsus – Cappadocia
After breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and drive to the town of Tarsus. This city was hometown of St. Paul. We will visit the grounds of the House of St. Paul, where he was born. We will have a short stop at the Cleopatra Gate from where she and Mark Anthony had entered the city. After the short stop, we will set off for Cappadocia. We will have lunch en-route and then drive to our hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia

 

DAY 4 – Cappadocia
Today we will spend a full day in the fascinating region of Cappadocia. This location is unique in the world with its natural rock formations. Christianity came early to Cappadocia. In the book called ‘The Acts of Saint Hieron’ it was mentioned that St. Hieron disappeared into a rock while being chased by persecutors. It was therefore convenient to establish small chapels and churches in hollowed out rocks. We will visit Goreme Valley with its Troglodyte churches and explore the underground City of Kaymakli, which was a place for Christians to be safe from persecutors. We will have lunch at a local restaurant there. Then we will visit Zelve and Avanos with their red-coned monastic complexes.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia

 

DAY 5 – Cappadocia – Derbe – Lystra – Konya
After breakfast we will start driving to Konya. On the way we will stop at Derbe, where St Paul and Barnabas had preached and converted many people. After Derbe we will continue to Lystra, another place that was visited several times by St. Paul. Upon arrival in Konya, we will check into the hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay in Konya

DAY 6 – Konya – Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvac) – Antalya
After breakfast we will spend half a day in Konya (formerly known as ancient lconium, a city where St. Paul and St. Barnabas were in the synagogue). First we will visit the Museum of the Whirling Dervishes, which is also the site of the Mausoleum of Mevlana (Rumi). After having lunch as a local restaurant in Konya, we will drive to the ancient city of Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvac), the city where St. Paul preached his first recorded sermon and was later expelled. Among the ruins, we will see the remains of two basilicas. We will continue driving southwest and finally arrive in Antalya.
Dinner and overnight stay in Antalya

 

DAY 7 – Antalya – Perge (Perga) – Aspendos – Antalya
After breakfast we will drive east to the ruins of Perge (another site where St. Paul had preached). There we will visit the theatre and the stadium. After Perge, we will head to Aspendos, which is famous for its theatre. Following lunch, we will drive back to Antalya city centre and visit the Archaeological Museum.
Dinner and overnight stay in Antalya

 

DAY 8 – Antalya – Myra – Antalya
After breakfast we will drive west to Myra, a town visited by St. Paul, St. Luke and St. Aristarchus. This town is well known as being the seat of St. Nicholas, the bishop of the Mediterranean city during the 4th century. We will get to see the many rock tombs there that overlook the ruins splendid theatre. After lunch return to Antalya.
Dinner and overnight stay in Antalya

 

DAY 9 – Antalya – Colossae – Laodicea – Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
After an early start we will drive to Colossae (famous for St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians) to see the Byzantine walls around the site’s other remaining ruins. After the visit of Colossae and lunch, we will continue to Laodicea, one of the Seven churches. Laodicea has been non-stop excavated all year round since 2009. An unbelievable amount of artifacts, temples and buildings have been exposed to daylight. This is today the only one among the Seven Churches where we actually know the exact location. After this visit we will continue the out hotel in Pamukkale.
Dinner and overnight stay in Pamukkale

 

DAY 10 – Pamukkale – Philadelphia – Thyatira – Sardis – Kusadasi
After breakfast we will visit the ruins of Pamukkale with its necropolis, baths, theatre and the site of the martyrdom of St. Philip. After that, we will drive to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, founded during the reign of Attalus ll, and a city that was also one of the Seven Churched of Revelation. Next, our drive will take us to Thyatira, another one of the Seven Churches. According to the letters, the members of this church were commended for their steadfastness against libertarianism. After lunch, we will continue to Sardis, the capital of ancient Lydia, which was one of the Seven Churches too. There we will visit the Diana (which later became a church), a beautiful synagogue, and the gymnasium. After this visit, our ride will take us to the port town of Kusadasi.
Dinner and overnight stay in Kusadasi

 

DAY 11 – Kusadasi – Ephesus – Miletus – Kusadasi
After breakfast, we will visit the extensive ruins of Ephesus, which was one of the Seven Churches. There, we will see the theatre where St. Paul had preached to the Ephesians. We will take a stroll through the library, Odeon, Virgin Mary Church where the Third Ecumenical Council was held in 431, and the Marble Road. We will leave the ruins of Ephesus to visit St. John’s Basilica and the nearby House of the Virgin Mary. After lunch, we will drive to Miletus, which was one of the principal lonian cities and the home of Thales, the geometrician. There, we will visit the very well preserved theatre, the Byzantine Fortress, the Delphinium, the Nymphanion, the Bouleterium, and the Fasutina Baths. At the end of the day, we will return to the town of Kusadasi.
Dinner and overnight stay in Kusadasi

 

DAY 12 – Kusadasi – Izmir – Pergamon – Assos – Ayvalik
After breakfast, we will drive to Izmir where Homer of Iliad was born. This city is among the Seven Churches of Revelation. The church there stood for the longest time among all the churches. We will also visit Mount Pegus, the site where St. Polycarp was martyred. After this visit, we will make our way to Pergamum to visit the Asklepion and the Acropolis, the theatre, the Temple of Athena, and the Altar of Zeus, which John denounced to Pergamim church members as the Throne of Satan. After lunch, we will visit the Asklepion, the medical centre of the ancient world. At the end of the day, we will drive to Ayvalik town.
Dinner and overnight stat in Ayvalik

 

DAY 13 – Ayvalik – Troas – Bursa
After breakfast, we will visit the legendary site of Troy. Following lunch, we will continue our journey to Alexandria Troas, which was visited as least twice by St. Paul. In his third journey, we know that St. Paul also travelled by land from Alexandria Troas to assos. In Troas, we will visit the theatre, the temple of Athena and the Agora. From there we will drive to Bursa.
Dinner and overnight stay in Bursa

 

DAY 14 – Bursa – Nicaea – Istanbul
After breakfast, we will explore Bursa by visiting the Grand Mosque, the Green Mausoleum and the old silk market in the covered bazaar. After lunch in Bursa, we will drive to Nicaea. The importance of Nicaea in Christian history is the Nicene Creed, which was taken during the first Ecumenical Council of 325. The seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 was held there as well. In this fascinating town we will visit the museum that was formerly the Church of Divine Wisdom. We will leave Nicaea to drive to Istanbul.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul

 

DAY 15 – Istanbul
After breakfast, we will start our full day sightseeing tour of Istanbul. First we will visit the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue Iznik tiles and unique with its 6 minarets. After the blue mosque, we will walk to the Hippodrome, which was the centre of sports events and political activities in the old city. From the hippodrome, we will walk to Hagia Sophia which is right across from the Blue Mosque. Built as the church of divine wisdom, it is still one of the greatest marvels of architecture in the world. The byzantine Emperor Justinian constructed it as a basilica in the 6th century. After that, we will continue with a tour of the Topkapi Palace Museum, which was the Imperial residence of ottoman Sultans. Today in the rooms of this palace there are exhibits of the Imperial treasury, Chinese porcelain, weapons and holy relics – the sword of King David, the staff of Moses, the Turban of Joseph and Relics of St. John the Baptist. In the afternoon, we will visit Chora Church (famous for Byzantine mosaics) and the Grand Bazaar. It is the biggest oriental bazaar in the world with around 4,000 shops which sell antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets and leather.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul

 

DAY 16 – Istanbul – UK
After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport for our departure flights.

 

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