Day 1 Sun: Istanbul | Your representative waits to greet you as you land in Istanbul. After transferring to your hotel, welcome briefing.
Day 2 Mon: Istanbul | Your day begins with a guided tour exploring the ancient city with highlights to include: the magnificent Topkapi Palace (main residences of Ottoman Sultans), then walk across the Byzantine Hippodrome that was the scene of chariot races. In the afternoon we visit Saint Sophia Basilica, historic seat of the Byzantine church, built in 537 AD and now a museum whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been crafted to create an environment of breath taking beauty. A short walk through gardens takes us to the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet 1 built in 1616 that is famous for unequalled ceramic tiles. Overnight in Istanbul. B
Day 3 Tue: Pergamum – Thyatira – Smyrna (Izmir) | Early morning flight to Izmir and visit Pergamum (Rev. 2:12–17), and Aesculapiums, then continue to Thyatira (Rev. 2:18–29; Acts 16:14) a city of artisans’ guilds in St. Paul time. For evening we continue to Izmir (Smyrna, Rev 2:8–11) Homer’s birthplace on the Aegean Coast. B D
Day 4 Wed: Ephesus – St. Mary’s House – Izmir | This morning we explore Ephesus with its expansive synthesis of Greco-Roman and Christian remains (Ephesians; Rev 1:11: 2:1–7: Acts 18:19–28: 19:1–4), including the Church of Mary (The Council Church). It was the home of St. Paul between 54 & 57 AD. Nearby we visit Virgin Mary’s house on a wooded hilltop where it was miraculously discovered. In the evening, return to Izmir for overnight and dinner. B D
Day 5 Thu: Sardis – Philadelphia – Pamukkale | After breakfast we visit Sardis with its beautiful gymnasium and marble paved synagogue and the Temple of Artemis including ancient Christian Chapel of the 4th Century. Then continue to Philadelphia (Rev 3:7–13), a favorite city of Paul and John. In the evening, we continue on to Pamukkale, the Cotton Fortress, with white lime cascades formed by hot mineral springs. Visit ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis and enjoy a leisurely bath in the warm mineral waters of your hotel’s thermal pool. B D
Day 6 Fri: Hierapolis – Laodicea – Izmir | Morning visit Hierapolis. This was Philip the Evangelist’s home. We will tour the extensive necropolis, churches and baths then stop at nearby Laodicea (Rev. 3:14–22: Col 2:1: 4:13–16), afternoon continue to Izmir for Overnight and farewell dinner. B D
Day 7 Sat: Izmir – Return | Your escort will transfer you to the airport for the flight home. B