12 Days / 11 Nights
İSTANBUL • ADANA • TARSUS • ANTIOCH (Antakya) CAPPADOCIA • ICONIUM (Konya) ANTIOCHIA (Yalvaç / Isparta) • HIERAPOLIS (Pamukkale) • LAODICEA (Denizli) APHRODISIAS (Geyre / Aydın) • EPHESOS & HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY (Kuşadası) SMYRNA (İzmir) • SARDES (Salihli) • THYATEIRA (Akhisar) PERGAMON (Bergama) • ASSOS • TROY (Dardanelles) • NICEA (İznik) • İSTANBUL
Meeting at İstanbul Airport. Transfer to hotel.
Departure after breakfast for a full day tour, including lunch
Morning BYZANTINE & OTTOMAN RELICS : Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque • Hippodrome • Obelisk of Theodosius • Serpentine Column German Fountain. Lunch at a famous Turkish Cuisine Restaurant.
Afternoon Golden Horn: Orthodox Patriarchate of Fener Virgin Mary’s Church • City Walls • St. Savior in Chora (Kariye).
Morning flight to Antakya (Antiocheia) whose wealthy community financially contributed to early Christians in Jarusalem and coined the word “Christians” first in the world. Visit the Mosaic Museum. Unique with the world’s largest single-floor mosaics at 1050 square meters featuring 162 different color tones of plant dyed stones. Visitors come to Antakya as pilgrims to the St. Pierre, the oldest church in the world. Lunch of famous Antakya Cuisine. Issos Ruins from the battle between Alexander The Great and the Persians. Drive to Adana, ancient Cilicia. A short panoramic tour of the city, dinner and overnight.
Departure after breakfast drive throught Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul and meet-point of Cleopatra and Antonius. Drive to Cappadocia. Visit to the Underground Cities used by the early Christians hiding from Roman and Byzantine persecution. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
Departure after breakfast.Visit to the “Patrified Valley” of Uçhisar, Göreme Valley, the open-air museum with “Fairy Chimneys”, Zelve with painted churches, Paşabağ (Monk’s Valley), the villages of Çavuşin and Avanos. Dinner and overnight.
Departure after breakfast for Konya, ancient Iconium, first city to be found after the flood, important after St. Paul’s preachings.Visit to the Museum and the Tomb of Mevlana, world famous poet and theolog of the “Whirling Dervishes”. Continue for Hierapolis (Pamukkale), via Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvaç / Isparta). Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Visit Hierapolis, ruins of the biggest Necropolis Graveyard of the ancient world also famous with its thermal springs and unique formation of petrified calcium cliffs and stalactites, visit to Philip’s Tomb who was martryred in Hierapolis. Drive to Laodicea (Alaşehir), one of the Seven Churches and a short visit to Colossae Antique City. Continue to Aphrodisias (Geyre /Aydın), well preserved Greco-Roman settlement dedicated to “Aphrodite”, Godess of Love and visit the site. Dinner and overnight in Kuşadası.
Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus and visit The House of Virgin Mary, St. John Basilica, Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and visit the Selçuk Museum. Dinner and overnight in İzmir.
Early departure after breakfast visiting St. Polycarp Church a short panoramic tour of İzmir viewing Agora and drive to Sardes (Salihli). Philadelphia (Alaşehir) one of the “Seven Churches of Revelation” and Thyateira (Akhisar). Continue to Pergamon, visit the Aesculapium, Acropolis, Athena and Trajan Temples, Temple of Zeus, Gymnasium, Odeon, Library, Agora. Dinner and overnight in Assos.
Early departure after breakfast. Visit to Alexandre Troas, Assos and Legendary Troy with Trojan Horse. Drive to Bursa, old Ottoman Capital, and a short tour of the city. Dinner and overnight in Bursa.
Departure after breakfast and drive to Nicea (İznik), the meeting place of the first Ecumenical Council at 325 AD. İznik city tour. Evening arrival at İstanbul.
Transfer to İstanbul Airport for return flight.