In The Footsteps Of St.Paul ALT 1

1st Day : Istanbul – Flight to Hatay - ANTAKYA
Arrive to Istanbul and take the connecting flight to Hatay. Transfer to your hotel in Antakya.

2nd Day : Antakya (Antioch on the Orontes) – Seleucia Pieria - ADANA
Departure to Seleucia Pieria (Samandag). Visit the tunnel of Titus. Return to Antakya to discover Antioch on the Orontes(Acts 11:19-27; 13:1; 14:26, 15:22-35, Gal. 2:11, II Tim. 3:11). Visit St. Peter’s cave church. Local tradition claims that this cave was the meeting place in secret for the early Christians of Antioch, including Peter, who supposedly preached and taught here.Its current form was rebuilt in the 19th century. Continue with the famous Mosaics Museum. In the afternoon departure to Adana.

3rd Day : Adana – Tarsus - Eskigumus Monastery - CAPPADOCIA
Drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of St.Paul. The book of Acts several times names Tarsus as Paul’s hometown (9:11, 30;11:25; 21:39; 22:3). According to Acts, Paul left Tarsus and was educated in Jerusalem, studying under the famous Jewish teacher Gamaliel (22:3). After his conversion to Christianity, he returned to Tarsus for a brief period prior to becoming the important missionary of the Christian church. Visit the St.Paul Church and St. Paul’s Well.Tradition claims that Paul used this well frequently and that it has special curative powers. Continue to Cappadocia On the way visit the monastery of Eskigumus in Nigde and the underground city of Derinkuyu in Cappadocia.

Cappadocia is a region that is as inspirational as it is awesome. Fairy chimneys formed by wind and water, magnificently painted churches carved into the rock and breathtaking panoramas are everywhere. Take in the colors of Goreme churches, hike Zelve Valley, inhabited until 1950 and now a ghost town and explore Uchisar Village clustered around a rock pinnacle with a splendid view of the entire region. Visit Cavusin village, and the pottery village of Avanos, famous for its hand-made red clay pottery. Enjoy a demonstration of pottery making here.

5th Day : Cappadocia – KONYA
Departure to Konya. On the way visit the Seljuk Caravanverai of Sultanhani. Continue to Konya – Iconium. Although mentioned in the New Testament as one of the cities visited by the Apostle Paul, the ancient city of Iconium(Acts 13:51; 14:1-21; 16:2, II Tim. 3:11). is more famous today because of its Muslim mosques, its theological schools, and its connection with the great Sufi mystic known as Mevlana. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana.

6th Day : Konya – Pisidian Antioch – Hierapolis - PAMUKKALE
Drive to Yalvaç to visit Pisidian Antioch and its Museum. Antioch of Pisidia was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:14).
Continue to Pamukkale for visiting Hierapolis. Hierapolis is a great place to visit, both for its archaeological finds and for its natural wonders. For both of these assets, Hierapolis/Pamukkale has been designated one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the Bible. In Colossians 4:12–13, Epaphras, a Christian from Colossae, is praised for his faithfulness and hard work. The Colossians are told, “He has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.” Epaphras was likely the primary person responsible for spreading the Christian faith in the Lycus River valley and starting churches there, including in Hierapolis. Hierapolis has the largest necropolis in Turkey. Near the theater of Hierapolis, you will see the martyrium of St. Philip as well.

7th Day : Pamukkale – Laodicea - Colossae – PAMUKKALE
Visit Colossae (Col. 1:2) ,and Laodicea (Col 2:1; 4:13-16, Rev. 1:11; 3:14). The ancient city of Colossae is remembered today primarily because one of the letters in the New Testament is addressed to “the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae” (Col 1:2). Aside from this one reference, the city of Colossae does not appear in the New Testament.
Then visit Laodicea. Because of the extensive archaeological and reconstruction work, Laodicea changes dramatically every year as newly discovered or rebuilt structures are open to visitors. Laodicea is mentioned in two New Testament writings, Colossians and Revelation. St. Paul apparently had not visited either Colossians or Laodicea., since Colossians 2:1 states, “For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face-to-face.” Rather than Paul, a man named Epaphras was the leader and likely founder of the Colossian church (1:7), as well as one who had “worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis” (4:13).
Return to Pamukkale. Free time in the afternoon for benefiting from the thermal baths of your hotel.

8th Day : Pamukkale – Afrodisias – Didyma – Miletus - KUSADASI
En route, first we will visit one of Turkey’s most successful excavation sites, Aphrodisias. Named after the goddess Aphrodite, the city was an excellent example of a Roman-Hellenistic city. The ruins of the city are still spectacular. We do not need much imagination to envision the splendor of ancient Aphrodisias. Especially noteworthy are the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, the agora, the theater, the colonnaded street, the Odeon, the baths, and the stadium. The stadium, with a capacity of approximately 30,000 spectators, is one of the largest and best-preserved stadiums from the ancient world.
Then we will drive to West to visit the Temple of Apollo in Didyma and Biblical city of Miletus.
The two cities of Miletus and Didyma were connected by the Sacred Road, portions of which have been excavated. Impressive statues and monumental tombs of notable personages lined the way, which was approximately 10 miles long and 15 to 20 feet wide. In the spring of each year many pilgrims traveled from Miletus to the Didymaion (Temple of Apollo) to celebrate the annual festivities. This shrine was a notable rival of the famous Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where the oracle of Delphi was famed for her pronouncements. The same type of oracular prophecies brought thousands of pilgrims to Didyma to find answers to their future and also brought fame and enormous wealth to the Temple of Apollo.
We will drive to Miletus a city visited by St. Paul before he returned to Jerusalem. Here he summoned the elders from the church at Ephesus to meet with him and delivered a lengthy and poignant farewell speech to them (Acts 20:17–35). At the conclusion of this address he quoted an otherwise unknown saying of Jesus that has become famous, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Among many other impressive monuments in Miletus we will visit the theatre where St. Paul spoke to the Elders.
Then continue to Kusadasi.

9th Day : Kusadasi - Ephesus – KUSADASI
Full day tour to Ephesus (Acts 18:19-24; 19:1-35; 20:16-17; 21:29, 1 Cor. 15:32; 16:8, I Tim. 1:3 II Tim. 1:18; 4:12, Rev. 1:11, 2:1) . Ephesus was the biggest and most famous site in the ancient world. This city offers us a chance to witness the splendor of Asia Minor in the Roman Era. Among its numerous monuments, you will see its famous Arcadian Street, its big Hellenistic Theatre, the Celsius Library, and the magnificent facade of the Hadrian Temple in Corinthian style ( 2nd Century).
Then visit the house of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John; The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in Ephesus, where he died and was buried. .

10th Day : Kusadasi - Izmir – Pergamum – Thyatira - AYVALIK
Departure to Ayvalik. On the way, stop in Izmir to visit the agora of Izmir (Biblical Smyrna). The church founded in Smyrna was one of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelations (Revelation 2:8-11). The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna. Here he suffered artyrdom, A.D. 155.
Continue to Pergamum (Bergama) .One of the “seven churches” was planted here (Revelation 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, insomuch that “Satan’s seat” was there. The church of Pergamum was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Parchment was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city. Visit the Acropolis with the steepest theater of the ancient world and the Temple of Trajan. Then visit the Red Basilica, which was an Egyptian Temple, later converted to a church in the 1st century.
Then proceed to Thyatira. Here was one of the seven churches (Revelation 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this city (Acts 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.Continue to Ayvalik.

11th Day : Ayvalik – Assos - Alexandria Troas - Troy - ÇANAKKALE
Departure to Çanakkale. On the way, visit Assos; St. Paul came hither on foot along the Roman road from Alexandria Troas (Acts 20:13, 14).
Then proceed to Alexandria Troas (Odun Iskelesi), a city named after ancient Troy, which was at some little distance from it (about 4 miles) to the north. Here St.Paul, on his second missionary journey, saw the vision of a “man of Macedonia,” who appeared to him, saying, “Come over, and help us” (Acts 16:8-11). He visited this place also on other occasions, and on one of these visits he left his cloak and some books there. Acts 16:8-11; 20:5, 6, II Tim. 4:13 II Cor. 2:12).
Proceed to Troy to see the ruins of the legendary city. Troy is also a spiritual pilgrimage to the beginning of Western literature. Continue to Çanakkale.

12th Day : Çanakkale – Dardanelles - ISTANBUL
Take the Ferry across the Dardanelles Strait to the European side. Cross the Thracian plain, the European land part of Turkey as you head for Istanbul. Visit St. Savior in Chora Museum with its beautiful mosaics in the afternoon.

13th Day : ISTANBUL
Plunge to the heart of the history of Constantinople/Istanbul and discover its principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments: St. Sofia Museum, the sixth-century church built by the Emperor Justinian crowned with its awesome dome, the Ancient Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque named for the beautiful blue Iznik ceramic tiles, and Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman sultans. Return to the hotel.

14th Day : ISTANBUL
Visit the Spice Bazar. Excursion on a private boat along the Bosphorus visiting both Asian and European shores of Istanbul. Enjoy views of the impressive geography of the straits separating Asia and Europe, passing the impressive castle of Rumeli that Mehmet built to conquer the city.
In the afternoon, visit the Grand Bazaar. Return to the hotel.

15th Day : DEPARTURE
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for departure. End of our services.