FOOTSTEPS OF ST.NICHOLAS

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9 days

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Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Departure: Everyday
Route: Istanbul – Izmir – Pergamon – Thyatira – Ephesus – Sardis – Philadelphia – Pamukkale – Laodicea – Antalya – St. Nicholas Church


Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Istanbul (no meal)
Pick-up from airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2 : Istanbul Classic City Tour/ Istanbul-Izmir (breakfast lunch-dinner)
Pick-up from your hotel. You will visit the main attractions of Istanbul (capital of the Ottoman Empire untill 1923) by this full day tour. Hagia Sophia; magnificent Byzantine church and the unique sample of Byzantine architecture, Blue Mosque; one of the biggest mosque of the Istanbul from 17th century and famous for its blue tiles and 6 minarets,The Ancient Hippodrome where once chariot races were held. The main monument left today is the impressive granite obelisk, carved in Egypt around 1,500 BC and brought to Constantinople in 390 AD. Our tour will continue with a visit to Topkapi Palace; it was once the residence of Ottoman sultans and their harem. We will finish the tour with a short drive to the exotic Grand Bazaar. The oldest and largest market place in the world with the unique collection of handmade carpets, jewellery, leader and souvenirs. Today you will be transfered to the airport according to your flight time for your flight to Izmir. Arrive in Izmir and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Izmir.

Day 3 : Pergamon / Thyatira (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
We will depart early in the morning for Pergamon and visit the Acropolis. Home to the famous physician Galen,you will see the remains of the great library that once housed over 200,000 scrolls and the restored theatre built into the hillside that seated 10,000. Then we will visit the Asclepion which was among the earliest and greatest medical centers of the world.The view of the Acropolis from the Asclepion site is really worth seeing. Continue to Akhisar to visit the site of ancient Thyatira. Thyatira became an early center of Christianity. The apostle Paul visited the city on a number of occasions during his missionary travels. Lydia, the woman converted by St. Paul at Philippi, was from Thyatira (Acts 16:13-15), and the church at Thyatira was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.Overnight in Izmir.

Day 4 : Ephesus and Virgin Mary Tour (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
Visit the Church of St.Policarp which is the oldest church in ancient Smyrna, it symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and drive toEphesus for visiting House of Virgin Mary on top of Bulbul Mountain, a pilgrimage site for many people of all denominations. Then proceed to the Ancient City of Ephesus where you will explore some of the best preserved theatres, fountains and buildings in the world. After lunch you will visit the Basilica of St. John and Ephesus museum. End of the tour return back to your hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 5 : Sardis / Philadelphia (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
Today you’ll be able to visit Sardis; once the capital of the Lydian realm of Croesus. Here the first coins were minted. Then visit the ancient Philadelphialisted among the seven churches by John in the Book of Revelation.Philadelphia is the sixth church of seven. After visit we will head to Pamukkale. Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 6 : Hierapolis/Pamukkale/Laodicea/Antalya (breakfast lunch-dinner)
After breakfast, you will visit the Hierapolis ; Necropolis (cemetery) of Hierapolis which is one of the biggest ancient cemeteries in Anatolia with 1,200 graves, Roman Bath, Domitian Gate, the Main Street, Byzantian Gate. Then, you walk to the natural warm water terraces which were formed by running warm water that contains calcium. After visiting Pamukkale we will drive to Laodicea. Explore the recently excavated theater of Laodicea. The Laodicean church was established in the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the seven churches addressed by name in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3.14-22). Drive to Antalya and stay overnight.

Day 7 : St.Nicholas Church (breakfast lunch-dinner)
Depart early in the morning for Demre (Myria), 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. Overnight in Antalya.

Day 8 : Full Day Antalya Tour (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
Full day excursion to the ancient Pamphylian,the largest city on the turquoise coast. Visit the Hellenistic and Roman cities of Perge and Aspendos. Perge being an important trade route which is also famous by the fact that; when St. Paul started his journeys. He visited Perge in 46 A.D. and preached his first sermon here. Aspendos famous for its best-preserved theater of antiquity built in the 2nd c. AD with a capacity of 20,000 people, still used today for performances. Visit the remains of a basilica, agora and one of the largest aqueducts in Anatolia. Enjoy acropolis of the city with a wonderful view of the river. Visit the award winning Antalya Archeological Museum and finally Antalya Old town. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.

Day 9 : Departure (breakfast)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to home. End of our services.

What’s Included

  • 8 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels.
  • All mentioned transfers in the program.
  • All mentioned tours in the program including transportation with air-conditioned buses,guidance and entrance fees.
  • All meals as described in the itinerary.
  • Flight tickets from Istanbul to Izmir.
  • All local taxes.

What’s Not Included

  • Tips (optional).
  • International flight tickets.
  • Visa (if needed).
  • Travel insurance.