Turkey Biblical Tour 3, Best Sites in 11 Days

DAY 1-ISTANBUL

Istanbul


Welcome to the paradise of two continents. Tour representative will meet you in Atatürk Int'l Airport. We’ll transfer to the hotel located in the heart of the city. Just relax and get acquaintance with Istanbul. We'd like to give a welcome cocktail and briefing about the entire tour. Rest of the night is at your perfunctory exploration around the hotel located in the center of the city. [D]

DAY 2- ISTANBUL

Today's first visit is The Blue Mosque which is famous for blue and white Iznik tiles was built between 1609-1616. We’ll proceed for the ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life, stands in the open space next lunch at Konyali one of the well known restaurants in Topkapi. Time to visit Topkapi Palace having the galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of gorgeous crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain of Ottoman era. Visiting Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, charms visitors, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts. Hagia Sophia, one of the finest buildings of all time built by Emperor Justinian now Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s Mosque. Exploring the majestic serenity and the fine Byzantine mosaics of the building. After St. Sophia we’ll proceed for Sunken Palace also known as Basilica Cistern from Justinian era with its 336 marble columns. Time to proceed Chora, St. Savior, originally a Byzantine monastery, dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, survived with fantastic mosaics and frescoes, portraying scenes from the Bible, the life and miracles of Jesus in here. Dinner will be held in hotel.  [B] [L] [D]

DAY 3 - DOMESTIC FLIGHT TO ADANA - ANTIOCH

Transferring the group for Atatürk Airport for your domestic flight to Adana just before we'll pass the city walls in historic peninsula. Arrival to Adana, c/in and relax at the hotel. We'll visit ancient Antioch: Acts 6:5, 11:19-20, 11:26, 13:1-3, 15:1-2, 22-25) which lies on the Asi River (Orontes) on a fertile plain surrounded by the grant mountains. Once the capital of the Seleucid kings, it was notorious for its wealth and luxury In Roman times, the city continued to thrive with commerce and culture. It featured prominently in early Christianity and St. Barnabas, St.Paul and St. Peter all visited & preached here. Apostles’s The New Testament Book of Acts that declaring Jesus’s followers were called Christians, caved church where St. Peter first celebrated mass. You’ll enter Antioch thru actual gate called Iron Gate situated at southbound of the church. In 1983 the St. Pierre Church was declared a holy site by Vatican. Time to visit Roman mosaic Museum that is considered one of the best in world. Return to Adana late at dusk. Dinner will be served at the hotel. [B] [L] [D]

DAY 4 - TARSUS TO ALANYA (Tarsus: Acts: 9:11, 30, 11:25, 21:39, 22:3, 25-29)

In the morning we’ll depart for Tarsus situated East of Mersin, on the edge of fertile Cukurova Plain, as the birthplace of St. Paul. Of ancient origin, the city was invaded and destroyed on several occasions and only a few monuments of particular interest remain: The Cleopatra Gate thru which Mark Anthony and Cleopatra passed when they came to Tarsus to meet, an ancient church, and the Ottoman Ulucami. You’ll get the feel of bygone days by walking thru narrow streets past old houses to find St. Paul’s well. En route Eski Gumus Monastery and arriving Tarsus. Visiting the birthplace of St. Paul and in order to make this trip spiritual, drink the holy water at that point. Time to proceed Alanya, en route Kanlidivane (Kanytelis or Neopolis) settled around huge hole. Listen to the story of this ditch and see the well preserved Byzantine basilica. On the shore you'll see Korykos Castle island composing 2 different construction. Armenian kings made this castle to build for the defense of the Korykos city on the 12nd century. It's the symbol of Eastern Mediterranean. In the afternoon we'll arrive Alanya, check-in at the hotel. Rest of the night is at your perfunctonary exploration in the city center. [B] [L] [D]


 

Alanya

DAY 5 - SIDE, ASPENDOS, PERGE AND ANTALYA

Our first visit we'll start with the ancient city Side dated back 7th century B.C. We'll enter here passing by the city walls. Columned street, the basilica, the museum and the 15000 spectator capacity stunning theater and the temple of Dionysus await us. When we'll reach the harbor we'll see temples of Athena & Apollo.  After Side we'll stop over Aspendos that is the best preserved amphi-theater in Turkey. Now it is still being used for the festivals and concerts with its 30000 spectator capacity. The basilica on the Acropolis and the best preserved Roman aqueduct are still glamour. Time to move towards to Perge which is another important ancient city dated back 12-13th century B.C. This Pamphilian city is considered as the greatest and the most glorius. The 15000 spectator capacity theater is still under construction then we'll visit well preserved and the impressive stadium. The Roman baths, the church, agora, the street having shops and the acropol are places for our visit.   [B] [L] [D]  

 

Side

DAY 6 - ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE, LAODICEA (3:14-22),HIERAPOLIS

 

Pamukkale

Early in the morning we'll depart for Pamukkale magical and spectacular natural site, unique in the world, that declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, arriving Pamukkale (Hierapolis: Colossians 2:18, 4:13, Colossae: Colossians),  is a fairyland of dazzling white, petrified castles. Thermal spring waters laden with calcareous salts running off the plateau's edge have created this fantastic formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The hot springs have been used since Roman times for their therapeutic powers. Check-in at the hotel and just relax. After lunch join us to explore the region. Lukewarm Laodicea Church (Revelation 3:14-22), one of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Hierapolis, the antic city and as well as its museum will be the places of interests of our visit today. Dinner will be served at the hotel.

DAY 7 - EPHESUS, IZMIR

First visit of today will start with in Ephesus (Revelation 1:11, 2:1-7, Acts 18:19-28, 19:1-41, Ephesians) once the commercial center of the ancient world is a highlight of Turkey. The third Ecumenical Council was held in Ephesus in 431 under Emperor Theodosius II (grandson of Theodosius the Great). 200 Bishops were present here. Ephesus was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple, once considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and rebuilt several times. St. Paul and St. John preached here!. Heracletes Gate, Curates Street, Scholastic Baths, Celcus Library, Marble Road, Great Theater, Arcadian way, (Harbor Street), The Basilica of St. John, Virgin Mary’s House that was visited by both Pope VI Paul and Pope Jean Paul. Time to visit Ephesus Museum with it's priceless collections. Just before passing Izmir, we'll pop-in art school supported by the Ministry of Culture displaying the traditional Turkish carpet weaving art, here you'll be informed by the demonstrations during the lecture.. Overnight in Izmir [B] [L] [D]


 

Izmir

DAY 8 - SARDIS (3:1-6), PHILADELPHIA (3:7-13)

In the morning we’ll depart for Sardis, capital of the Lydian realm of Croesus, lying on the Sart Cayi (Pactole River). Here you’ll face the inventions of mankind. The first coins were minted in Sardis, did you know that? We’ll enter from the marble way passing by the old Byzantine shops. Another must to see is old Synagogue (3rd A.D.) with its dazzling decoration and style. Next to that there is a gymnasium restored for the visitors. Further down The Temple of Artemis meets you with a few columns however it’s still impressive, next you’ll see the Altar that was restored by Alexander the Great and Romans. Odun köfte (wooden grill meat balls) is a special dish in Salihli. Join us to have this delicious lunch. After lunch we’ll proceed for Philadelphia (not only in Pennsylvania State but also in Turkey) We’ll walk thru the streets of Philadelphia in Alasehir. After Philadelphia we'll turn back to Izmir. Dinner will be served at the hotel.. [B] [L] [D] 

DAY 9 - SMYRNA (2:8-11), THYATERIA (2:18-29 Acts 16:14)

This morning we'll depart for Thyateria, (Akhisar), the temple that is dedicated to St. John was converted into a basilica and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. We’ll explore the remains of Basilica. Later we’ll turn back to Izmir passing by Manisa reflecting the great architecture from Ottoman Empire time. A lunch break at Manisa, arrival to Izmir, next Bayrakli which was originally established in the 3rd millenium BC. then we’ll proceed for Alexander Great’s Velvet Castle & agora, watch the spectacular view of Izmir Bay from here. Ethnography Museum where you can find simply everything related to the Turkish culture as well as the culture of Aegean people. Those guests willing to stroll in the historc street of Kemeralti are all welcome to visit grand Kemeralti bazaar with many historical buildings such as churches, mosques, ancient shops, fountains, and synagogues.. Later we’ll serve you a traditional Turkish coffee or your favorite apple tea in ancient Kizlaragasi Caravenserai. Dinner will be served at the hotel. [B] [L] [D]

DAY 10 - PERGAMUM (2:12-17) – CANAKKALE (Dardanelles)

 

Canakkale

Today we'll depart for Canakkale en route Pergamum, first an ancient Kingdom dated back 323 B.C. This Hellenistic city was the center of culture, commerce and medical with its philosophers, scientists and artists like Galen (131-210 AD). Acropolis, remains of celebrated library, an impressive Hellenistic style 10000 spectator capacity theater, marble columned temples of Trajan and the Temple of Dionysus, the Temple of Athena, library of Pergamum once catered 200.000 volumes, (It’s not hard to guess the first parchment paper was invented here) the sanctuary of Demeter, Zeus Altar one of the grandest monuments; Satan’s Throne caused the Christian church criticized by St. John and great medical treatment center Asclepion where the symbol of modern medicine came from. After lunch we’ll proceed another Christian community mentioned in the book of Revelations. Thyatira (Akhisar), the temple that is dedicated to St. John was converted into a basilica. We’ll explore the remains of Basilica. Later we’ll proceed for Canakkale for overnight in the city center. [B] [L] [D]

DAY 11- TROY - ISTANBUL

Today we'll visit Troy dated back to 3rd century B.C., The Trojan War took place between Greek & Trojan people for the honor of Helen, Just pay attention to the story of Wooden Horse in here. You’ll love this. After Troy we’ll reach honored Dardanelles (Canakkale) that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean. Since Canakkale has a strategically importance, the castles in here barely visible at both Asian and European sides. Cross the Gallipolli by car-ferry, here you can take the picture of World War I Memorial of Dardanelles, along the Thrace & Marmara Sea and passing thru Saroz Bay, we’ll arrive in Istanbul and at the hotel close to the airport. [B] [L] [D]

 

Istanbul

DAY 12 - END OF OUR SERVICE

After breakfast, depart for your hometown to say home sweet home. Transfer to Ataturk Airport via special bus service. Time to have your present in order to make this trip memorial. It’ll be pleasure to host you in Turkey again as there are so many things to see. Thanks for choosing the right agency and have a safe journey home.   [B]



Biblical Tours in Turkey

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