DAY 01/ ISTANBUL – ARRIVAL
Your will meet you at the Istanbul airport and you will be transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 02/ ISTANBUL – AYVALIK
This morning, we travel from Istanbul to Ayvalik, Then, we cross the Sea of Marmara by way of ferry and head to Troy. We can enjoy a panoramic view over the Aegean while we learn about Paul’s missionary efforts here. Afterwards, we continue on to the legendary city of Troy. Settled as early as 3,000 BC, Troy was made famous by Homer’s Iliad, the epic poem chronicling the Trojan War. Dinner and Overnight in Ayvalik.
DAY 03/ AYVALIK – PAMUKKALE
Drive to the ruins of Pergamon. The city, described as being the throne of Satan, was “praised for its martyrdom and perseverance but those who hold false teachings are criticized” (Rev. 2:12-17). Here you will see the Acropolis, Greek & Roman Temples and large ancient theatre built into the steep hillside.
Then we head to Sardis, located on the banks of the Pactolus River in western Asia Minor. “The church of Sardes was described as dead, and it must wake up. However, there are some who have not “soiled their clothes.”” (Rev. 3:1-6).
End the day with a visit to ancient Philadelphia that was known for its variety of temples and worship centres.“The church of brotherly love that endures patiently” (Revelation 3:7-13). Drive to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
DAY 04/ PAMUKKALE – LAODECIA – COLOSSAE –PAMUKKALE
After breakfast, visit the ancient City of Hierapolis as well as the world famous travertine of Pamukkale. Then take an enjoyable drive to Laodicea located in the Lycus River Valley of Western Asia Minor, a primary trade route between the cultures of the West and East. “The “lukewarm” church with a faith that’s neither hot nor cold” (Rev. 3:14-22). Further you will visit the Colossae where you can see little of ruins because this city was not excavated by now. . Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
DAY 05/ PAMUKKALE – EPHESUS – ST. JOHN BASILICA – HOUSE OF MOTHER MARY – KUSADASI
This morning you will join Mass held in the House of the Virgin Mary (Only available on Sundays). We then visit Ephesus, which was the most influential capital city of Asia Minor on the Aegean Sea. “Ephesus receives praise for its perseverance, but criticism for forsaking its “first love”” (Rev. 2:1-7).
You will explore some of the best-preserved theatres, fountains, and buildings in the world. Finally visit to the Basilica of St John, which stands over the believed burial site of St. John, who is identified as the apostle, evangelist (author of the Fourth Gospel), and prophet (author of Revelation). Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 06/ KUSADASI – DIDIM – KUSADASI
The tour starts with Priene, the first grid-system planned city of the ancient World, built on hillside. We will be walking in between the theater, the temple of Athena, the Bouleterium, the Agora, and the Altar of Zeus and Cybele.
Later on departure to Miletus, the home of the Thales (who is according to Herodotus, and Eudemos May 28, BC 585 are assumed to have occurred) has reported forecasted solar eclipse. He has been dealing with astronomy and solstices as one of the first astronomer to calculate in advance. And a principle Ionian city. See the remains of Ancient Miletus, Delphinium, the Nymphanion, the Teather, and the Faustina Baths.
Keep driving to Didyma for lunch, continue to Didyma Apollo Temple to visit its gigantic columns, it is the biggest Oracle Center of ancient Turkey. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 07/ KUSADASI – THYATIRA – ISTANBUL
Then begin the tour with Smyrna, nowadays a modern Turkish city of Izmir. After visit Saint Polycarp church. Drive to Thyatira that was “Praised for its increasing faith and service, but criticized for its tolerance of Jezebel, an immoral woman who calls herself a prophetess” (Rev. 2:18-29). Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 08/ ISTANBUL – CITY TOUR
You’ll drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to view the best of Istanbul’s stunning architecture and attractions. The impressive Roman Hippodrome was once used for chariot races and today is your first stop. You visit the beautiful Blue Mosque which is named for the vivid Iznik tiles lining its interior. With the full day tour, you are certain to hear the calls to prayer as they echo throughout the city centre five times a day.
Next, you will walk through the amazing Topkapi Palace. This large complex of buildings was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans and includes the courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a treasury. In the Sultan’s chapel, you can hear the Imam reading continually from the Koran.
After a stop for lunch, you visit the jewel in Turkey’s Byzantine crown, the Museum of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia). This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 4th century AD as a Christian Basilica and later was converted to a Mosque. It was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of this glorious city astride two continents.
Later this afternoon you’ll visit the Grand Bazaar which houses more than 4,000 stalls selling local goods. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul
DAY 09/ ISTANBUL – TRANSFER TO AIRPORT
Today, we are off to the Church of Saint Saviour in Chora. This church is an exquisite example of Byzantine architecture that is embellished with colorful frescoes and gold-gilded mosaics. Afterwards we will have a boat trip along Bosphorus. Transfer to Istanbul airport.