Turkey: In the Footsteps of Apostle Paul


12 Days / 10 Nights



Istanbul, Adana, Antioch (Antakya), Tarsus, Perga, Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Colossa, Laodicea, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Izmir, Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelhia, Thyatira, Pergamum, Ayvalik, Assos, Troas, Canakkale



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: DEPART USA

Depart for Turkey on your overnight transatlantic flight.

Day 2: ISTANBUL

Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be met by your Homeric Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight. (D)

Day 3: ISTANBUL / ADANA

After breakfast, visit Hagia Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom and Topkapi Palace to view what is claimed to be the arm of John the Baptist given as a gift by the Romans to the Sultans. Other stops the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar. Afternoon flight to Adana. Dinner and overnight accommodation. (B,D)

Day 4: ANTIOCH (ANTAKYA) / TARSUS / ANTALYA

It was in Antioch that many Christians fled after the death of Stephen (Acts 11: 19-21). Apostle Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch for a year and assembled the church and taught many people (Acts 11:22-26), becoming the center from which Paul performed his missionary labors (Acts 13:1-5, 14-44, 14:26-28, 15:22-41, 18:22-23). It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians," and it was here that the first non-Jews were accepted into the early church. Visit one of the oldest churches, St. Peter which Paul (Acts 22:3) visited on his second and third missionary journeys. Drive to Adana for a flight to Antalya. Dinner and overnight in Antalya. (B,D)

Day 5: PERGA / HIERAPOLIS / PAMUKKALE

Morning drive to Perga, a Hellenistic city, where St. Paul preached (Acts 14:25). Visit the ruins, stadium, baths and tombs. Evidence of its former greatness. St. Paul and St. Barnabas visited here on their first journey. Drive to Hierapolis, blessed by hot mineral springs. Paul mentions Hierapolis in his Letter to the Colossians in saluting Epaphras, a fellow laborer, for his love of the brethren there (Colossians 4: 13). See the impressive theatre, the City Gates, column-lined streets and arches, known today as Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B,D)

Day 6: COLOSSAE / LAODICEA / KUSADASI

Drive to Colossae, receiver of St. Paul's Letter to Colossians. After visiting Aphrodisias, continue to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches (Rev. 3:14- 22), whose people were chastised for being lukewarm. "You are neither cold nor hot" (Rev. 3:15). In the scripture from Revelation (3:20-21), Jesus said to the Laodicean church: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock..." Continue to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day 7: EPHESUS / IZMIR

Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1:11). St. Paul visited Ephesus on three separate missionary tours - the last one included a three year stay (Acts 19:1 to 20:31). Luke's account of the worship of Diana appears in Acts 19:34-35. The Great Theatre mentioned in Acts 19:29-31 seats 24,000 people. See the Fountain of Trajan, the Library of Celsus. Visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, where the Third Ecumenical Council convened. Visit the Basilica of St. John, and the Museum of Ephesus. Overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

Day 8: SMYRNA / SARDIS / PHILADELHIA / IZMIR

Smyrna known today as Izmir, was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 2:8-11). Here you'll see the Agora, the colonnaded center. Continue to Sardis, another of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Jesus told Sardis, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead" (Rev. 3:1-6). Coins were minted and the dyeing of wool originated in Sardis. Visit the Temple of Artemis, by the synagogue. Visit the site of Philadelphia, also one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3:7-13). Christ told those who overcame that he would write upon them "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem". (Rev. 3:12) Return to Izmir for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day 9: THYATIRA / PERGAMUM / AYVALIK

After breakfast, depart for Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelations tolerated the false prophetess, Jezebel (Rev. 1:11, 2:18-29). Continue to Pergamum, another of the seven churches mentioned in Revelations (Rev. 2:12). It displeased the Lord because it tolerated the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes which Christ dismissed (Rev. 2:13-17). Dinner and overnight in Ayvalik. (B,D)

Day 10: ASSOS / TROAS / CANAKKALE

Today we tour Assos where Paul rejoined his companions after walking across the heartland on his own. Visit the ruins of the city. Then drive to Troas, where Paul received the "Macedonian call." This is where Luke's account changes from "They" to "we" (Acts 16:6-12), indicating that he joined St. Paul's team at Troas, returning from Macedonia during his third journey. Overnight in Canakkale. (B,D)

Day 11: ISTANBUL

Continue to Istanbul via the beautiful Dardanelles, visit the Church of St. Saviour in Chora, famous for its mosaics and frescoes. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

Day 12: ISTANBUL / USA

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

The itinerary may be modified and tailored to the specific requirements and budget of your group

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