Day 1: Izmir
When you arrive in Izmir, we will meet you and transfer to your hotel for your first night..
Day 2: Izmir -Ephesus – Pamukkale
This day opens with a full day tour to the ancient city of Ephesus where St. Paul lived and preached for three years and to where he subsequently compiled his letter to the Ephesians.
We believe that this day will be the highlight of the tour. Here you see the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the theatre, the Double Church (The Church of Mary) where the third ecumenical council was convened in A. D. 431.
Then we visit the Basilica of St. John where St. John was buried, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, which was once one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. After lunch, we visit the Virgin Marys House, this is said by many to be a very uplifting experience. Finally we commence our journey to Pamukkale for our overnight stay. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 3: Pamukkale Laodicea Philadelphia – Sardis Izmir
We begin our day by visiting the ancient city of Hierapolis, A Roman ancient city where St. Philip was martyred during theSeven Churches of Asia Minor Tour – and the Philadelphia persecutions were ordered by Domitian.
Hierapolis is located on the top of a hill where you can see the famous natural wonder white cotton fortress. Next on our agenda is Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. The geographic location of the city explains why the Laodiceians were “neither hot nor cold but lukewarm” as it says in the Bible.
Our next visits are to Philadelphia and Sardis. Philadelphia “the city of brotherly love,” was the only church where John had no real criticism (Rev. 3: 7-13). After a short drive we reach Sardis. Sardis was the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia. We visit Roman gymnasium complex, the Byzantine shops and the latrines, Roman Avenue, the reconstructed synagogue, Temple of Artemis. . Even though the new faith appeared to have made rapid progress, St. John was not convinced that all was well and he admonished the Christians there to avoid temptation (Rev. 3: 1-6). Overnight in hotel in Izmir.
Day 4: Izmir Thyatira Pergamon Assos
In the morning we visit St. Polycarps Church in Izmir. Then we drive to Thyatira (Rev. 2: 18-29). Then, we proceed to Pergamum (Rev. 2: 12-17) to visit the Acropolis. Its grandeur makes up for the missing Altar of Zeus (in the Berlin Museum), which was referred to in the Bible as “Satans Seat.” Pergamum was a great centre of scholarship and learning.
Anthony took the library from here with its 200,000 rolls and transferred it to Alexandria as a present for Cleopatra. After the Acropolis we will visit the Asclepion, the ancient hospital. The ruins here are such, that walking among them one can almost relive the methods employed in this health centre from sacrifice to psychodrama !. Dinner and overnight in Assos.
Day 5: Assos Alexandria Troas Troy Istanbul
Today we drive to Alexandria Troas, founded by a commander of Alexander the Great . Paul visited here at least twice in his second and third journeys (16: 7-12; 16:8-10). We proceed to Troy home of the legendary Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse. Then we continue to drive to Istanbul for our overnight stay..
Day 6: Istanbul
Today we have a full day sightseeing of this impressive city. We visit the famous Topkapi Palace, the St. Sophia (which for 1000 years was the largest Church in Christendom and now a museum), the Blue Mosque (so-named from its decorative blue-shaded tiles, glass and gemstones), Hippodrome, the Church of St. Savior in Chora, and finally the Grand Bazaar . Dinner and overnight is in Istanbul.
Day 7: Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or continue to explore another destination.
INCLUDED in the Tour Price:
• Pick up and drop off to your hotel (on the European side of Istanbul only) & Istanbul cruise port
• Domestic flight tickets as per the itinerary
• 6 night in 4 Star hotel including breakfast and dinner
• Professional licensed English speaking guide during the tours
• Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch)
• Entrance fees mentioned by the itinerary
• Local taxes and service charges
• Hot Air Balloon Ride
• Tips to staff, items of a personal nature
• Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast)
• Travel insurance
• This is a regular group tour, but if requested at cost can be provided as a private tour
• The regular group tour has shopping stops included in the tour
• Vegetarian lunch option available upon request
• You can swim in the Antique pool in Pamukkale. However, please note that there is an extra charge that you will have to pay directly at your own expense before entry to the pools. This entrance fees to the pools is not covered as part of your tour. as Please note that you must bring your own towel, swimsuit etc. if you need to use the pools.
• The hot air balloon ride operates in optimum weather conditions. The decision for the flight to take off on any given day is decided by the local government at the last minute depending on weather conditions to ensure passenger safety. If your paid and scheduled hot air balloon ride gets cancelled by the tour company at the last minute for weather conditions, we will provide you with a refund of USD 219.00 for the hot air balloon ride if you have it booked with us.
WHEN TO BOOK?
• Book as soon as possible to guarantee availability, especially during public holidays and festivities.
• You can book up to 2 days before (Istanbul local time) if there are still places available. If less than 2 days before start of your requested tour date, please contact us by email or phone as it would be a last minute booking that will need to be checked for availability before your tour reservation is confirmed.