ISTANBUL & 7 CHURCHES OF THE REVELATION

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7 days

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Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Departure: Everyday
Route: Istanbul-Izmir-Pergamon-Smyrna-Thyatira-Sardis-Philedephia-Hierapolis-Pamukkale-Laodicea-Ephesus-Kusadasi.


Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Istanbul (no meal)
Arrive in Istanbul Ataturk airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2 : Full Day Istanbul Classic City Tour (breakfast -lunch)
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 Egyptian 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. End of the tour return to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 3 : Half Day Bosphorus Cruise / Istanbul-Izmir (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
Pick-up from your hotel. Our first stop is Rustem Pasa Mosque then walk through the Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Market). You will find here mystical smells of different aromas of various spices and many shops selling vegetables, fruits, fish and flowers. The Bosphorus cruise takes about 1.5 hour. The Bosphorus strait connects the sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe and Asia. During this excursion you will see the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Maidens Tower, Bosphorus bridges, Rumeli and Anadolu fortresses and Ottoman Residences. After the tour, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Arrive in Izmir and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Izmir.

Day 4 : Pergamum / Smyrna (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
Early depart from hotel for Pergamum. Visit the Asclepieion; one of the major healing centres of antiquity and Acropolis where the monumental buildings or herons donated by the kings of Pergamum during the Hellenistic period. The Temple of Serapis, built for the Egyptian Gods in the 2nd AD. and called as the Red Courtyard and dedicated to St John. After lunch, depart for Izmir. We will visit St. Polycarp Church at Izmir(Smyrna). Stay overnight in Izmir.

Day 5 : Thyatira / Sardis / Philadelphia (breakfast lunch-dinner)
Depart early in the morning and drive to Thyatira to see the unique remains include a temple and large church. 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. Then continue to Sardis, the wealthy capital of the ancient Lydian Empire and one of the most amazing sites in Turkey. Here the first coins were minted . After lunch at Sardis, we will visit Philadelphia with its famous Church of Philadelphia, an important place for the spreading of the Christian faith. Philadelphia is the sixth church of seven. After finishing our visits at Philadelphia, drive to Pamukkale. Check-in to your hotel and stay overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 6 : Hierapolis and Pamukkale / Laodicea (breakfast-lunch-dinner)
In the morning 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. Lunch in Pamukkale. After lunch we continue our visit toLaodicea which is mentioned in Revelations by St. John and in ancient times was known as “The City of Compromise”. After visiting Laodicea, drive to Kusadasi.Stay overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 7 : Ephesus and Virgin Mary Tour (breakfast-lunch)
Today, we will visit the spectacular city of Ephesus and it surrounding environments. Firstly we visit the House of the 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 visit the Basilica of St. John, and Ephesus museum. End of the tour, transfer to Izmir airport (flight from Izmir to Istanbul is not included).

What’s Included

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

What’s Not Included

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