Key Information about Birth of Christianity, Turkey Tour
Tour Duration: 15 nights / 16 days
Days of Operation: Private Tour – Regular Tour
Destinations: 3 nights in Istanbul, 1 night in Antakya, 1 night in Tarsus, 2 nights in Cappadocia, 1 night in Konya, 2 nights in Antalya, 2 nights in Pamukkale, 1 night in Bergama, 2 nights in Kusadasi.
Hotel’s Class: 5 Star Hotels
Season: All Year
Tour Customizable: Yes
When you arrive in Istanbul, you will meet your highly experienced tour guide and he will transfer you to the hotel. You will stay overnight in Istanbul.
After the breakfast, we will visit Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet. And then, lunch time will start. After lunch, we will go to Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. Overnight in a 5 star hotel in Istanbul.
Flight to Adana in the morning, then travel to Antakya (ancient Antioch). The city was one of the early centres of Christianity, serving as the headquarters of St. Paul for his missionary journeys between 47 and 55 A.D., and is located near the mouth of the Orontes River. Visit the Mosaic Museum and St. Peter’s Grotto, a cave church where St. Peter is said to have prayed and the word “Christian” was started to be used. Overnight in Antioch.
Visits to Titus Tunnel, Seleuceia ad Pierea, Antioch’s ancient port near Samandag, and St. Simeon, Stylites the younger’s 6th century monastery. Then it’s on to Tarsus, where St. Paul was born. Paul boasts about his city in Acts 21:39, saying, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a resident of no ordinary city.” Tarsus will be destination for dinner and the night.
We will drive to the city of Nigde where Cappadocia is located and we will visit Eskigumus Monastery which is one of the greatest pilgrimage structures with an intact fresco of Mary posing with her infant Jesus. Next, we will see Derinkuyu which is the deepest underground city with its eight layers. Overnight will be in Cappadocia.
Visits to the Goreme Open Air Museum, Zelve Valley, Avanos, and Uchisar on a full-day tour of Cappadocia. The area, which has an atmospheric elegance, was a Roman province and a sanctuary for persecuted Christians in the early days of the Roman Empire. Cappadocia is known for its rock churches dating back to the persecution period, as well as its underground settlements, which are highly complex tunnel networks. Overnight in Cappadocia.
We will visit the Ihlara Valley, where there were previously more than a hundred churches. Then on to Sultanhan Caravanserai and Lystra, where Paul was stoned by the citizens during his first trip. And then, we will drive to Konya, the ancient capital of Iconium. In the hotel, there is an option to see a Whirling Dervish show. In Konya, have dinner and stay the night.
We will visit the Mevlana Museum, which was once the cloister of Mevlana, a popular 13th-century mystic philosopher, and Mevlevi, the Whirling Dervishes. Drive to Yalvac and visit Pisidian Antioch, where St. Paul gave the first recorded preach in a synagogue on the Sabbath. Later, the synagogue was turned into a basilica devoted to St. Paul. Antalya is where you will spend the night.
Perge colonnaded lane Perge and Aspendos visits Paul and Barnabas started their first missionary journey in Asia Minor in Perge. A theatre, a stadium, two basilicas, and an agora are among the most prominent ruins. During the Roman era, it was known for its sculpture colleges. The ancient Pamphylian city of Aspendos is known for its Roman ruins, which include an aqueduct and a Roman theater, which is carved out of the north – eastern flank of a hill and is possibly the best in the world. In the afternoon, you have free time to walk around Antalya’s old harbor. Dinner in town, followed by an overnight stay in Antalya.
We will visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum, where a diverse array of objects from the region, dating from the upper Paleolithic to Ottoman times, gives insight into the region’s long past. Next, there will be a drive to Pamukkale and visitation to Laodiceia, known for its lukewarm people, like the water of the region, and Colossae, mentioned by Paul in his letter. Pamukkale is where we’ll have dinner and spend the night.
We will visit Pamukkale. Its hot springs have been used for medicinal purposes since Roman times. Mineral deposits formed up over thousands of years have culminated in incredible forms of white stalactite, cataracts, and basins. And then, Aphrodisias which is known as the city of Aphrodite will be our next destination as well as her temple which was converted to a basilica. Overnight in Pamukkale.
We will drive to Pergamum and stop to see the Book of Revelation’s Seven Churches: Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia. Sardis, the Lydian Empire’s capital and the city of King Croesos, was where the first coins were struck. We will stay in Izmir for the night.
We will go to Kusadasi to visit Ephesus and environs. Sites include the Temple of Artemis, the Basilica of St. John (optional), and the Church of the Virgin Mary. In Ephesus, St. John preached and lived. After Christ’s crucifixion, he is said to have carried the Virgin Mary to Ephesus, where she spent her final days in a small house constructed for her on Mt. Koressos (Bulbuldagi). Dinner in area, then on to Kusadasi for the night.
We will visit Ephesus and the surrounding area. The Temple of Artemis, the Basilica of St. John (optional), and the Church of the Virgin Mary are among the attractions. In Ephesus, St. John preached and lived. After Christ’s crucifixion, he is said to have carried the Virgin Mary to Ephesus, where she spent her final days in a small house constructed for her on Mt. Koressos (Bulbuldagi). Dinner in town with an overnight stop in Kusadasi.
Drive to Izmir to take a flight to Istanbul in the morning. Visit the Holy Saviour (Chora) Church, which houses some of the finest mosaics and frescoes in Byzantine Christian architecture. At the Grand Bazaar, you’ll have some spare time. Overnight in Istanbul, dinner on your own.
Our driver will transfer you to airport for return flight and the tour is over.