1st Day : ISTANBUL
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
After customs clearance, reception of the group, then transfer to hotel in Istanbul.
In the afternoon, 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.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Istanbul
2nd Day : ISTANBUL
Plunge to the heart of the history of Constantinople/Istanbul and discover its principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments: St. Sophia 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 hotel for dinner and overnight.
3rd Day : ISTANBUL –NICEA - BURSA
Take the ferry from Eskihisar to Topcular and cross the Marmara Sea. Drive to Nicea (Iznik), the site of the First and Seventh Ecumenical Councils. Visit Nicea.
Continue to Bursa the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire, located on the slope of Uludag Mountain. A new style in Ottoman art was born in Bursa with the Green Mosque and Mausoleum complex. See the the Great Mosque of Bursa and the covered bazaar where silk products are still for sale.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Bursa.
4th Day : BURSA - TROY - ALXANDRIA TROAS - AYVALIK
Departure to Troy, where Greek and Trojan heroes fought for the beautiful Helen. In many ways, a visit to Troy is also a spiritual pilgrimage to the beginning of Western literature.
Continue to Odun Iskelesi (Alexandria Troas) where St.Paul met Luke.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Ayvalik.
6th Day : AYVALIK – PERGAMUM – THYATIRA – SMYRNA (IZMIR)
Depart south to Bergama to visit the Acropolis of Pergamum where we will see its famous ancient library, the Trajan temple, the theatre and the foundation of the altar of Zeus.
We will also see the healing center at the Asclepium.
Then proceed to Akhisar, the site of ancient Thyatira.
Continue to Izmir for dinner and overnight at hotel.
7th Day : IZMIR - SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA - SMYRNA (IZMIR)
Departure to Sardis, the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia, where first coin of the world is invented. See the ruins of the 1st century.
Continue to Phialadelphia (Alasehir) to see the 1st century Church which is another one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. Return to Izmir, visit St. Policarp Church.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Izmir.
8th Day : IZMIR - EPHESUS - KUSADASI
Drive to Ephesus. Full day excursion to the ancient site of Ephesus and its surroundings. Ephesus where St. Paul spent nearly three years during his third journey is considered to be the best-preserved classical city of Turkey. At Ephesus we will see the Domitian temple, the Temple of Hadrian, Celsus Library, and a theatre
Then we will proceed to Selçuk to visit the archaeological museum and the Baslica of St. John.
We will end today’s visits with the House of Virgin Mary.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Kusadasi.
9th Day : KUSADASI – APHRODISIAS – LAODICEA – PAMUKKALE
Departure to Aphrodisias, This recently excavated city is still not very well known in the world. However, its ruins are as impressive as those of Ephesus. The Temple of Aphrodite, the marble stadium, the theatre, the odeon, the agora and the Roman baths are very well preserved
After the visit of Aphrodisias proceed to Laodicea, then departure to Pamukkale.
Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis that features the largest necropolis in Turkey. Near the theatre of Hierapolis we will see the martyrium of St. Philip.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Pamukkale.
10th Day : PAMUKKALE – PISIDIAN ANTIOCH - ICONIUM (KONYA)
Drive to Yalvaç to visit Pisidian Antioch and its Museum. St.Paul preached his first sermon in Acts here.
Continue to Konya ancient Iconium. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Konya.
11th Day : KONYA - CAPPADOCIA
Follow the old silk road to Cappadocia where the remains of old caravansaries dot the road. These monumental constructions offered protection to traveling merchants and served as hotels. Stop to explore Sultanhan, one of the most beautiful caravansaries in Turkey.
Start exploring Cappadocia 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.
Visit rock carved churches at the Open Air Museum of Goreme Valley , hike Zelve Valley, inhabited until 1950 and now a ghost town.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Cappadocia.
12th Day : CAPPADOCIA
Continue exploring Cappadocia with Uchisar Village clustered around a rock pinnacle with a splendid view of the entire region, Cavusin village, and the pottery village of Avanos, famous for its hand-made red clay pottery. Enjoy a demonstration of pottery making here. The visits of Cappadocia will end by the Underground city of Kaymakli.
Dinner and second overnight at hotel in Cappadocia.
13th Day : CAPPADOCIA - TARSUS - ANTIOCH ON THE ORONTES (ANTAKYA)
Departure to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, Visit the St.Paul Church and
Continue to Antakya (Biblical city of Antioch on the Orontes) where St. Paul and St. Barnabas stayed. Overnight in Antakya.
14th Day : ANTIOCH ON THE ORONTES - ADANA – FLIGHT TO ISTANBUL
Visit the Museum of Antioch with its famous mosaics and St. Peter’s Grotto, the Cave Church where early Christians met in secret.
Drive to Adana airport for late afternoon flight to Istanbul. Transfer to hotel, for dinner and overnight.
15th Day : DEPARTURE
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for departure. End of our services.