Key Information St. Paul’s Missionary Journey + Istanbul and Cappadocia Tour
Tour Duration: 14 nights / 15 days
Days of Operation: Private Tour – Regular Tour
Destination’s: 3 nights in Istanbul, 1 night in Ankara, 2 nights in Cappadocia, 1 night in Adana, 1 night in Mersin, 1 night in Alanya, 1 night in Antalya, 1 night in Pamukkale, 2 nights in Kusadasi, 1 night in Pergamum.
Hotel’s Class: 5 Star Hotels
Season: All Year
Tour Customizable: Yes
Greetings from Turkey. When you arrive at Istanbul Airport, you will be greeted by your guide and taken to your hotel. Meet in the lobby after checking in for a welcome and info drink. In Istanbul, spend the night.
Our journey starts in Istanbul, the world’s only city that spans two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul are three names for a city that has existed for over 2600 years, almost 1600 of them as the capital of two of the world’s largest empires, the Byzantine and Ottoman. After we wander Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet, we go to Topkapi Palace, which includes the Treasury portion, the Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, which hosted chariot races and Byzantine riots. And then, free time in Grand Bazaar with its more than 3500 shops. Overnight in Istanbul in a 5 star hotel.
We will drive to Ankara after breakfast at the hotel. After arriving Ankara which is Turkey’s capital, we will take a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Anatolian Civilization Museum, the Augustus Temple, and Ataturk’s Mausoleum. After wondering these places, drive to our hotel in Ankara for dinner and an overnight stay.
We will continue our tour with Cappadocia after breakfast at the hotel, and then stop for lunch/rest in Aksaray before a quick trip to Ihlara Valley to see the spectacular Byzantine rock carvings and frescoes. In Cappadocia, you will enjoy fairy chimneys and your dinner. Overnight stay in Cappadocia.
Full-day Cappadocia excursion to see the incredible landscapes of volcanic ash created 3 million years ago: stunning red rock cones, troglodyte churches and homes dated from 4000 BC, then Avanos to visit one of its renowned pottery workshops. You will go back to your hotel via VIP car for an overnight stay later.
Kaymakli is a one-of-a-kind underground city. Then drive to Tarsus, where St. Paul was born. St. Paul’s Well, Cleopatra’s Gate, and the ancient city are all worth seeing. A Great Fish “vomitted out Jonas upon the dry ground” close here. Next to Adana for dinner and an overnight stay.
After 2.5 hours drive, there will be Antakya excursion for the whole day (Antioch). The disciples of Jesus were first referred to as Christians here (Acts 11:26) Here, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas preached. Visit the magnificent Mosaic Museum and St. Peter’s Grotto. Before returning to Mersin for dinner and an overnight stop, tour the old city of Iskenderun.
We will departure west along the Mediterranean coast on a well-known coastal path. In Anamur, take a break for lunch. See Seleucia, City of the Monophysite Archbishop. Alanya is where you will spend the night.
We will continue our tour with the ancient city of Side which is the old port where Paul, Mark arrived on their missionary journey. After that, go to Perge, where St. Paul preached when he arrived from Cyprus (Acts 13-14), and Aspendos, which has a splendid theatre. Then it’s on to Antalya for dinner and a night’s stay.
W will continue with Laodicea, which St. John condemned in Revelation Acts (4:15), after the breakfast. Drive to Hierapolis Pamukkale, where St. Philip was martyred in the first century AD. Take a stroll through the Necropolis and the popular Avenue of Tombs. Stay here for the night.
Visit one of the Apocalypse’s seven temples, as well as the ruins of the Cathedral. Continue to the ruins of a church in Alasehir. Visit the ancient Lydian capital, which includes the temples of Cybele and Diana, which later became churches, as well as the royal road. Proceed to Kusadasi. At the hotel for dinner and the night.
Take the road to Selcuk. Visit St. John’s monastery and Ephesus, the world’s most preserved city. The Celsus Library, a Stadium where Paul preached (Acts 19), and the Theatre are all worth seeing. Make your way back to Kusadasi. Then it’s time for dinner and an overnight stay in a 5 star hotel in Kusadasi.
Take a scenic drive to Izmir (ancient Smyrna) this morning. After visiting the St. Policarp church in Izmir, proceed to Akhisar, an ancient commercial center linked to Troy and Sardes. and go to Bergama (Pergamum) to see the Acropolis, which is located well above the plain. See the pagan temples and the Zeus Altar. Pergamum is where we will be spending the night.
After breakfast, there will be a long drive to Istanbul through Iznik (Nicea) where the Nicean Creed was formed. Depart for Istanbul. Overnight stay in Istanbul.
Drive to the airport today for your return flight home, returning with new memories, souvenirs, and a revived interest in Turkey, the land of history, religion, and mystery.