01 Sept. 12, Friday ISTANBUL
Arrival in Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
Transfer to Hotel Ayasofya. Please
check arrival info for details.
Arrival in Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Transfer to Hotel Ayasofya. Hotel
Ayasofya is located in the Old City, where most houses remain as
they were 200 years ago . The hotel is situated within walking distance
of all the must-see places in Istanbul. Following check-in and a brief
rest, tour will start at 5.00 pm. After a brief introduction, we will
begin by visiting the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque).
Dinner will be served at the Blue House, also in the Old City.
From the terrace,we can see a magnificent view of Hagia Sophia, the Blue
Mosque, and the Asian coast of Istanbul. For dinner, we will have a
typical sampling of Turkish food.
Sept. 13, Saturday ISTANBUL
the morning, we will visit the Byzantine Cistern and the Turkish
Islamic Art Museum.
The visit to the Turkish Islamic Art Museum, especially the ethnographic
section, makes a perfect introduction to what we will see in the
countryside. After lunch visit Hagia Sophia, the grandest
standing monument from 1500 years before our time; the
Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1453-1856. At 06:30 PM we will have a group meeting at the
lobby of the hotel to go over
the tour and to answer the possible questions of the tour members. Dinner
will be served at Kumkapi, a very colorful quarter of Istanbul, where
the ambiance is just as memorable as the food we will be served in this
seafood restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya ISTANBUL
Sept. 14, Sunday ISTANBUL
we will begin by visiting the Church of St. Savior in Chora (Kariye
a beautiful 6th c. Byzantian Church, decorated with 11th
c. wall paintings depicting scenes from the Bible. Next, we will visit the hub of Istanbul’s trade activity for 5 centuries, the Grand Bazaar (Kapali
Carsi). After lunch, we will see one of the masterpieces of the 16th
c. chief architect, Mimar Sinan. The mosque he built for Sultan Suleyman the
Magnificient, The Suleymaniye Mosque, is one of the landmarks of the Istanbul skyline with its four minarets and cascading domes.
Next, we will
visit the See of Greek Orthodox Christianity, the Patriarchate in Fener
on the shores of the Golden Horn. Lastly, we will take a walk under the
500-year old domes of the Spice Market (Misir Carsisi).
We will relax
and enjoy the beautiful sky line of Istanbul in a private tour boat that
will take us up and down the Bosphorus, on the shores of which we
will see magnificent palaces, private kiosks, castles, etc. Dinner will be
served at a wonderful place where we will enjoy the moon light dancing
on the waters of Bosphorus
Sept. 15, Monday ADANA & ANTAKYA
MORNING FLIGHT TO ADANA Antioch of Cilicia (Antakya) is
where St. Stephan and Barnabas organized the first followers of Christ.
This is also where St. Paul met Barnabas for the first time, after his
epiphany on the road to Damascus, and his proselytizing work in Namibia
and in Damascus. St. Peter also traveled here from Jerusalem to resolve
the disputes between the Jerusalem fathers and the “Greek School” led by
St. Stephan. This is also where the followers of Christ were called
Christians for the first time.
We will visit the mosaic Museum of Antakya which reveals the wealth and
grandeur of the Roman city at St. Paul's time. OVERNIGHT IN
ANTAKYA at Antik Beyazit Hotel
Day 05 Sept. 16, Tuesday
St. Peter's church. Drive to the
Monastary of St Simon
Drive to Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul.
Dinner by a water fall. Overnight in
Day 06 Sept. 17, Wednesday
Drive from Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul.Drive through the Cilician Gates, just like Paul and Barnabas did on
their first journey into Galatia “to deliver unutterable expressions into a
strange land” (II Cor 12:2-4). At Nigde, we will see the oldest known
Madonna and the Child scene on a wall of a 1,100 year old church. We will
continue to where St. Gregory was born and established the oldest monastery
on earth. In the beauty of the Monastery Valley, one can imagine the
monks contemplating to find the best way of passing the word of God to the
fire worshippers of the region. OVERNIGHT AT HOTEL KARBALLA in GUZELYURT
. For those who might be interested in home stay we can arrange a home
stay with a mother and a daughter.
Day 07 Sept 18 Thursday Uchisat
From Guzelyurt, we will driv to Cappadocia, where we
will visit the underground city of Kaymakli and
the oldest Monastary of Turkey.The
the first through
century had to hide away from the Romans who were persecuting Christians .
The underground cities were excellent refuge for those who were determined
not to convert. After christianity was accepted as a state religion, the
same underground cities were used to hide from the Arab invaders. We will visit the locals in their natural homes, carved out of the
peculiar land formations in the volcanic ash, called
Fairy Chimneys.Overnight at
Day 08 Sept. 19,
Friday UCHISAR (CAPPADOCIA)
Cappadocia, Creator and man competed in creating the most unusual and
the most beautiful. Enjoy the moon-like landscape with endless forms of
work of art, natural and man-made.
The colors of the frescoes of the twelve hundred year old churches are just
as fresh as the colors of the carpets woven in the region. The rock
formations are just as striking as the local pottery made of the clay
obtained from the old river beds. St Paul visited the region, called
Caesarea, on his 1st Missionary Journey. As one visits the
colorful "churches" of Cappadocia and admires the surrounding forms of thrilling art buried in
nature, it becomes easier to imagine how the ideas and teachings of St. Paul
sprouted into life and affected the Cappadocians for two thousand years. We
will visit the carpet cooperative to learn more about the Turkish carpets,
which are inseparable part of the Turkish life. Dinner & Overnight at Museum
Hotel. In the morning easy
hike to Zelve to see the 10-11th century churches, monasteries and
houses carved in the rocks. Visit villagers at their rock dwellings. We will
visit the astonishing Goreme Open Air Museum, with its numerous
monasteries and see how each monk had interpreted, in their wall paintings,
the history of Christianity. Overnight at Lalesaray HOTEL,
Day 09 Sept. 20, Saturday KONYA
We will begin our day with a visit to Avanos, on the banks of the Red
River, to see how the potters perform the
thousand-year old tradition of
ceramics. After lunch , we will continue to Konya (Iconium) on the
old silk road.
Following the foot steps ofSt.Paul we will appreciate the distances that St
Paul had to cover on foot or on his donkey.
En route, we will make a couple of stops at the
Caravanserais, where Camels used to take a break on their long journey
from China to the
Dinner and overnight
at hotel BAYKARA in Konya
10 Sept. 21, Sunday ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA /PAMUKKALE
Start the day with a visit to the Museum of
Mevlana (Rumi) in Konya, known as the ancient city of Iconium. After
lunch drive to Antioch of Psidia where St. Paul had visited twice. At
the Temple of Agustos where St Paul was not allowed you can now have
your service. Drv e to Pamukkale via Collesea ( region) where two of St.
Paul's letters were addressed.
Stay overnight at Pamukkale Thermal Hotel.
11 Sept. 22, Monday MILETUS/KUSADASIPamukkal
The most unusual natural pheno
menon of Turkey, formed of snow-white calcite deposits,
cascading down hundreds of feet and washed by mineral-rich hot springs. in Pamukkale.
For those who want to have a early morning hike at the ancient site, we
will leave at 07:00 am before it gets crowded and hot while those who
choose to have a late morning can wait for the hikers to return.
Visit Miletus (Act 20:13-17), which was the major rival of Ephesus, until
the silt carried by the River Meander slowly
filled the Ephesian harbor
and pushed Miletus to prominence.
Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 12 Sept. 23, Tuesday
Today, we will visit the ancient site of Ephesus, the Ephesus Museum and
the house of the Virgin Mary. Ephesus was the 4th
largest city of the Roman Empire, after Rome, Alexandria and Antioch of
Cilicia. Today, Ephesus is the largest Roman excavation site in Turkey.
The grand avenues and intact social buildings help one build the city in
their imagination with not too much of an effort. As one walks in the
theater, which had a seating capacity of 24,000, the sounds of the enraged
Ephesians, led by Demitrius the silversmith, can almost be heard.
According to Acts 19 St Paul, who visited Ephesus twice, was never given
an opportunity to speak in this theater when the Ephesians were reminded
that St Paul and his teachings were a threat to the way they made their
living. So Paul wrote everything he had to say to the Ephesians in his
letters. Thus Ephesus is mentioned not only in Acts but there is a whole
big chapter in the Bible named the ''Epistle of Apostle Paul to the
Ephesians.'' Overnight at
Kismet hotel in Kusadasi
Day 13 Sept. 24, Wednesday PERGAMUM/AYVALIK
We drive north along
the Aegean Sea to Pergamum, which reached its zenith in the second
century B.C.E. and equals Ephesus in importance. Pergamum wasone of the
Seven Churches of Revelation. Here we visit the Acropolis; the library
that rivaled Alexandria; and the Asclepion, a great medical center that
peaked under the celebrated physician Galen, who was born here. We
continue our drive through a pine nut forest and mountain villages to
Ayvalik, Overnight at Ayvalik