Turkey – The footsteps of St.Paul (13 days)

Feb 21, 2019   //   by admin   //   Suggested Itineraries  //  Comments Off on Turkey – The footsteps of St.Paul (13 days)

DAY 1 – UK – Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. After check – in our tour guide will give a briefing about the tour.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul


DAY 2 – Istanbul
After breakfast, we will set off on a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul. We will start with a visit to the renewed Sultanahmet Mosque, known popularly as The Blue Mosque and incredibly beautiful mosque known for its blue Iznik tiles are unique for the fact that it has six minarets. We continue on to the Hippodrome, once the vast arena that functioned as the heart of sporting events and political activities of the old city. We continue our tour with the visit to the Topkapi Palace. This visit to the imperial palace of the Ottoman Sultans will include tours of the imperial treasury, the Chinese porcelain section, the calligraphy section and many more. Visit Hagia Irini Church built on the site of a Pagan temple to Aphrodite, Constantin the Great in 324 AD dedicated it to peace. The tour will ned with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4,000 shops of antiques, jewellery and carpets.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul


DAY 3 – Istanbul
After breakfast, we set off on a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul. We continue on to the Holy Saviour In Chora, originally built as the primary structure of a Byzantine monastery complex, and is a fascinating exploration of the only church dedicated to Jesus Christ the Saviour. Today, visitors flock to see its exquisitely beautiful frescoes and breathtaking mosaics. From here we go on to the Egyptian spice market, an arched complex of shops that have long and traditionally specialized in spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Continue our tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus on a private boat. We’ll cruise up Istanbul’s winding straits and relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent yalis. You’ll see Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ottoman summer mansions, the Ortakoy Mosque, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges all while passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships and tankers. The tour will end with a visit to the Hagia Sophia – the Church of Devine Wisdom. Ranking as one of the greatest marvels of world architecture, this awe-inspiring building was constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul


DAY 4 – Istanbul – Nicea – Bursa
After breakfast, we drive to Nicea. The importance of Nicaea in Christian history is in the two major Christian meetings that were held here – the first Ecumenical Council of 325 and the seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. In this fascinating town we will visit the museum that was formerly the Church of Divine Wisdom. We leave Nicea to drive to the old silk market in the covered bazaar.
Dinner and overnight stay in Bursa

DAY 5 – Bursa – Canakkale – Ayvalik
After breakfast, we drive to Canakkale. We visit the legendary Troy. We continue our journey to Alexandria Troas, which was visited at 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 visit the theatre, the Temple of Athena and the agora.
Dinner and overnight stay in Ayvalik


DAY 6 – Ayvalik – Pergamon – Thyatira – Izmir
After breakfast, we will drive to Pergamon to visit the Asklepion and the Acropolis, the theatre, the temple of Athena and the Alter of Zeus, which St. John denounced to Pergamon church members as a ‘Throne of Satan’. We continue our drive towards Thyatira, whose church members were commended for their steadfastness against libertarianism, which was views as a constant threat to the Christian church.
Dinner and overnight stay in Izmir


DAY 7 – Izmir – Ephesus – Miletus – Kusadasi
After breakfast, drive up to a scenically wonderful coastal road before you reach the ancient city of Ephesus. Our first stop will be the House of Virgin Mary. The belief is that Virgin Mary had spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus. Short drive to Ancient Ephesus, which was the trade centre of the ancient world, a religious centre of early Christianity. Our next stop will be the St. John Basilica. It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. From here continue our drive to the Ancient City of Miletus, which is considered the greatest and wealthiest of Greek cities.
Dinner and overnight stay in Kusadasi


DAY 8 – Kusadasi – Sardis – Hierapolis – Pamukkale
After breakfast, we continue our drive on to Sardis, the capital of ancient Lydia which also ranked as one of the Seven Sister Churches and as a centre of importance for various religious groups. Here we visit the temple of Cybele and Diana (which later became a church) the beautiful synagogue and the gymnasium. From Sardis we continue on to Laodicea where we visit its theatre, Odeon and gymnasium. The day will end with visit of Hierapolis with its necropolis, baths, theatre and the site of the martyrdom of St. Philip.
Dinner and overnight stay in Pamukkale


DAY 9 – Pamukkale – Pisidian – Konya
After breakfast, we drive to Konya (ancient Iconium) a city in which St. Paul and St. Barnabas used the synagogue as their forum. We will visit the museum complex of the Whirling Dervishes. Which is also the site of the Mausoleum of Mevlana (Rumi). Continue our tour to the Antioch of Pisidia, the city where St. Paul preached his first recorded sermon and was later expelled. Among the ruins we also visit the remains of two basilicas.
Dinner and overnight stay in Konya

DAY 10 – Konya – Lystra – Derbe – Cappadocia
After breakfast, we begin our drive to Cappadocia. On the way we stop at Lystra, also a place that was visited several times by St. Paul. From there we continue on to Derbe, where St. Paul and St Barnabas preached and won many converts. Arrive in Cappadocia and check into the hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia


DAY 11 – Cappadocia
After breakfast, we begin our explorations of the famous and intriguing valley of Cappadocia, a unique region in which nature has created and incredibly strange and colourful world of cones, columns and needles that were shaped by the wind and water erosion of the area’s volcanic tuff. Some of these strange shapes are as tall as 100 ft. But it is not only the natural landscape that is unique here. Our forefathers used the soft features of the stone to carve out the fantasy – like environment into homes, stables, shops, churches and hospitals. Many early Christians painted the walls of their chapels with their own renditions of Bible stories. Some of these frescoes are incredibly beautiful, attesting to the skills and religious fervor of the faithful. Among the places we will visit are Open Air Museum of Goreme, Underground City of Kaymakli and Zelve Valley.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia


DAY 12 – Cappadocia
After breakfast, we will have a private mass at one of the oldest churches in Cappadocia dating back to the 4th century A.D. Continue our tour with a visit to the Devrent Valley to see the unique fairy – chimneys. Then drive onto Pasabag (Monk’s Valley) to see the most interesting mushroom shaped pinnacles. In the afternoon we will continue our visit to the Uschisar, a pretty village situated at the highest point in Cappadocia. Visit Uchisar Castle which offers magnificent panoramnic views surrounding area with Mount Erciuyes in the distance. The castle features many rooms hollowed out from the room connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. Today most of the rooms on the north side of the castle have become home to flocks of pigeons End the day with a visit to a historic cave house and experience how the inhabitants use to live.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia,


DAY 13 – Cappadocia – Istanbul – UK
After breakfast, departure transfer from our hotel to Kayseri Airport for our departure flight to Istanbul. Continue onto connection flight from Istanbul to UK


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