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Footsteps Of St Paul

Tour Code: TRBIBLICAL166 | Package Tours | Duration: 14 days / 13 nights | Departure: Everyday

Highlights: Istanbul-Adana-Tarsus- Selucia- Antioch- Cappadocia- Aksaray-Lystra-Iconium- Pisidian Antioch-Colossea-Pamukkale- Hierapolis-Philadelphia-Sardis- Smyrna-Miletus-Didyma-Ephesus- Thytira-Pergamon- Troy-Alexandra Troas- Assos- Bursa- Nicea

itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2: Full-Day Istanbul Classic City Tour (Breakfast)
Pick up from your hotel. Explore the main attractions of Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire until 1923, on this full-day tour. Visit Hagia Sophia, a magnificent Byzantine structure showcasing unique Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, one of Istanbul's largest mosques from the 17th century, is famous for its blue tiles and six minarets. Explore the Ancient Hippodrome, once the site of chariot races, featuring the impressive Egyptian obelisk carved in 1,500 BC and brought to Constantinople in 390 AD. Continue the tour with a visit to Topkapi Palace (closed on Tuesday), the former residence of Ottoman sultans and their harem. Conclude the tour with a short drive to the exotic Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays and during Feast days). Return to your hotel for an overnight stay in Istanbul.

Day 3: Istanbul - Adana / Tarsus / Selucia / Antioch (Breakfast)
Early morning pick-up from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Adana, the fourth-largest city in Turkey. After check-in at your hotel, drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. Explore the Apostle Paul's well, the Gate of Cleopatra, and the latest excavations. Visit the archaeological remains of Seleucia, the port from which Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark departed from Antioch on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). Drive to Antioch and stay overnight.

Day 4: Antioch / Cappadocia (Breakfast)
Antioch, a significant location in Christian history, served as the base for the missionary journeys of Paul. It is where followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). Explore the mosaics in the Hatay Archaeological Museum and the Cave Church of St. Peter, potentially the oldest church in the world. After the tour, drive to Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 5: Full Day Cappadocia Tour (Breakfast)
We will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning to visit Devrent Valley. Devrent Valley was submerged under water 20 million years ago; it emerged after volcanic eruptions. Over time, the rocks formed into a variety of different shapes. Next, we will visit Pasabagi, also known as Monks Valley (Rahipler Vadisi), where you can explore special housing and living areas unique to this region. After lunch in Avanos, we will visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum. Then, we will continue to Esentepe, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Goreme Valley and Goreme Village with fairy chimneys, different rock formations, and cave houses. Finally, we will visit the natural rock castle in Uchisar, featuring many rooms connected to others with stairs, tunnels, or passages. At the end of the tour, return to your hotel for an overnight stay in Cappadocia.

Day 6: Aksaray/ Lystra/ Iconium (Breakfast)
After breakfast, depart for Aksaray to visit Sultanhan Caravanserai, a large Seljuk Caravanserai built in 1229 during the reign of the Seljuk sultan Kayquba. It stands as one of the best examples of Anatolian Seljuk architecture. Continue to Lystra, located 30 kilometers south of the city of Konya. Lystra is the ancient name of the village where the Apostle Paul visited and preached the gospel during his second journey (Acts 16:1-3) after persecution drove him from Iconium. Depart for Iconium, one of the missionary destinations of St. Paul, the site of one of the first church councils, the capital of the Seljuk Empire from 1150 to 1300, and the home of Rumi (Mevlana), the Sufi saint who founded the Whirling Dervishes. Overnight in Konya.

Day 7: Pisidian Antioch/Colossae/Pamukkale (Breakfast)
After breakfast, drive to Pisidian Antioch (also called Antioch-of-Pisidia), a major Roman colony visited by St. Paul on his First Missionary Journey. Pisidian Antioch marked a crucial turning point in Paul's ministry, becoming the first city to have a fully Gentile Christian community. The ruins of Pisidian Antioch lie about a mile north of the modern town of Yalvac, 110 miles west of Konya. Highlights of the visit include the substantial archaeological site and the Yalvac Archaeological Museum. Drive to Colossae, located 120 miles east of Ephesus. Colossians is one of the most Christ-centered books in the Bible, written to the church at Colossae (1:2) but intended to be read at Laodicea (4:16). Continue to Pamukkale (meaning cotton castle), one of the most important highlights of Turkey. Enjoy the dazzling white calcareous castles formed by limestone-laden thermal springs, creating unbelievable formations of stalactites, potholes, and cataracts. The waters in the terraces contain sediments from the springs with calcium bicarbonate at 33°C, consisting mainly of calcium salts and carbon dioxide. Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 8: Hierapolis /Philadelphia /Sardis /Izmir (Breakfast)
In the morning, you will explore Hierapolis, including the Necropolis (cemetery), one of the largest ancient cemeteries in Anatolia with 1,200 graves. Visit the Roman Bath, the Domitian Gate, the Main Street, the Byzantine church, the Great Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Plutonium, once referred to by pagan cults as the entrance to hell. Examine the intriguing sites of the Churches of Revelation. Continue to visit ancient Philadelphia, listed among the seven churches by John in the Book of Revelation (the sixth church of seven). Philadelphia was known for its variety of temples and worship centers. Today, Philadelphia is known as the Turkish city of Alasehir. Due to a series of ancient earthquakes, there isn't much left of ancient Philadelphia, and archaeology is limited to foundation stones and a few Roman columns. Proceed to Sardis, once the capital of the Lydian realm of Croesus, where the first coins were minted. Overnight in Izmir.

Day 9: Smyrna /Miletus /Didyma /Kusadasi (Breakfast)
After breakfast, visit ancient Smyrna. In the first century AD, Smyrna became one of the earliest centers of Christianity and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Both Revelation and the Martyrdom of Polycarp indicate the existence of a Jewish community in Smyrna as early as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The letter to the church at Smyrna in Revelation indicates that the Christians were spiritually “rich” and apparently in conflict with the Jews: “I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” (2:9). Explore Miletus, where you will see the theatre, Harbour monument, Roman baths, Delphinion, sacred way, sacred gate, north agora, stadium, Temple of Serapis, and Ilyas Bey mosque. Miletus was the oldest and most powerful of the twelve Ionian cities in Asia Minor. Continue to Didyma to visit the Temple of Apollo and the remains of the ancient city. Didyma, located in the southwest part of modern Turkey, was an important religious site of ancient Ionia. It was home to a large temple dedicated to Apollo, called the Didymaion, built at the end of the 8th century BC. Continue to Kusadasi and stay overnight.

Day 10: Ephesus and Virgin Mary Tour (Breakfast)
Depart from your hotel for a 25-minute drive to the House of the Virgin Mary. After a 45-minute visit, drive down to the Upper Gate of Ephesus Ancient City. Explore the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the five terraces of apartment houses, the stream baths of Scholastika, the Temple of Hadrian, and the impressive Library of Ephesus adorned with columns and statues. The Grand Theater, where Saint Paul preached, is the largest in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. Return to the bus through the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. Drive to St. John Basilica, once a great church built on a 2nd-century tomb thought to hold the remains of St. John. While the church is now in ruins, many frescoes, mosaics, and graceful columns attest to the glory that marked the place where St. John, the Evangelist, lived and died. The next visit is to the Museum of Ephesus, one of the most important museums in Turkey, exhibiting pieces found in and around Ephesus since the 2nd World War. The visit to Ephesus Open Air Museum takes nearly 2 hours. After the tour, drive back to Kusadasi.

Day 11: Thytira/ Pergamon (Breakfast)
After breakfast, depart for Akhisar to explore the ancient site of Thyatira, an early center of Christianity. Apostle Paul visited the city on multiple occasions during his missionary travels. Lydia, the woman converted by St. Paul at Philippi, hailed from Thyatira (Acts 16:13-15), and the church at Thyatira was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Continue to Pergamon and visit the Acropolis. Home to the renowned physician Galen, witness the remains of the great library, once housing over 200,000 scrolls, and the restored theater built into the hillside seating 10,000. Visit the Asclepion, among the earliest and greatest medical centers globally, with a panoramic view of the Acropolis from the Asclepion site. Overnight in Canakkale.

Day 12: Troy /Alexandra Troas /Assos (Breakfast)
After breakfast, embark on the Troy tour, exploring the famous mythological site of Troy, home to the Trojan Horse and Helen of Troy. Proceed to Alexandra Troas, mentioned six times in the Bible, where Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia (Acts 16:9). It was the place where Paul first preached the gospel in Europe. After visiting Alexandra Troas, Paul journeyed to Assos on foot (Acts 20:13). Assos, where Aristotle, Plato's renowned student, lived and taught, boasts an Acropolis 238 meters above sea level. The Temple of Athena, constructed in the 6th century B.C., crowns this site. Drive to Bursa and stay overnight.

Day 13: Bursa / Nicea /Istanbul (Breakfast)
Explore Bursa, the fourth largest city in Turkey, nestled on the slopes of Mount Uludag. Bursa served as the Ottoman State capital between 1326 and 1365. Visit The Great Mosque (Ulu Cami), showcasing early Seljuk Turkish mosque architecture, the Green Tomb, a mausoleum of the fifth Ottoman Sultan, and the Green Mosque. Explore the Silk Bazaar, reflecting Bursa's historical significance in the silk trade. Enjoy free time for shopping. Continue to Nicea, where the Council of Nicea took place in 325 AD. Marvel at well-preserved monuments from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman eras, including Nicea's extensive city walls and the ruins of the 4th-century St. Sophia Cathedral, the venue for the Seventh Church Council in 787. Drive to Istanbul and stay overnight.

Day 14: Departure (Breakfast)
Transfer to Istanbul airport for your homeward flight. End of our services.

 No extra hidden cost..!

What is included

What’s Included
13 nights accommodation according to your selection as 3, 4, or 5 star.
All mentioned transfers in the program.
All mentioned ( group ) tours in the program including transportation with air-conditioned buses, guidance, and entrance fees.
English-speaking guide during the tours.
(You can ask for other language options for groups).
All local taxes.

What’s Not Included
Tips (optional).
International flight tickets.
Domestic flight tickets.
Meals such as Lunches and Dinners.
Visa (if needed).
Travel insurance.
Personal expenses.

No extra hidden cost!

Map

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