Day 1 (Istanbul)
Today, we arrive in Istanbul, where a transferman will meet us at the airport. We transfer to our hotel downtown, and have a brief orientation late in the afternoon.
This evening, we can discover any of the Turkish restaurants in the area as we enjoy dinner on our own.
Day 2 (Istanbul) B D
This morning we visit Hagia Sophia,
the "Church of Divine Wisdom
Completed under the Emperor Justinian in AD 537, the magnificent dome of the Hagia Sophia was once the pre-eminent architectural wonder of the Byzantine world. The massive building was a Christian church for almost a thousand years, until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when Mehmet the Conqueror claimed it for Islam. The building served as a mosque until 1934, when the revolutionary leader and founder of the Republic, Kemal Atatürk, proclaimed it as a museum. This impressive structure has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour of Istanbul including visits of St. Saviour in Chora
- (Kariye Museum)
Originaly formed the center of a Byzantine Monastery complex. Only the church section which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Saviour, has survived.Continue your tour with the visit of Taksim Squere
.We have lunch on our own, and then board the Old Tram for a ride down Istiklal Street to the heart of Art Nouveau Istanbul. Istanbul has many Art Nouveau buildings; several were designed by the Italian architect Raimondo Tommasso d'Aronco, the chief palace architect for the last Ottoman sultan, Abudulhamid II, who ruled from 1876 to 1909. D'Aronco drew heavily Ottoman and Islamic architecture and art, reinterpreting them through the lens of the then-popular
European Art Nouveau movement and its organic, floral forms. The results can be seen in the many beautiful palaces and grand private homes he designed for Istanbul's government and its elite citizens.
, Egyptian Bazaar built in the 17th century, this is the second largest covered bazaar in Istanbul. On to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, where the pungent and savory aroma of exotic oils, herbs and spices have perfumed the arched stone corridors for nearly 350 years. Now also proferring nuts, honey, dried fruits, traditional sweets and herbal remedies, the Spice Bazaar’s redolent wares will transform you into a veritable spice trader!.This afternoon, we take to the Bosporus cruise
You can look north to the “European” district of Galata, or east to the Asiatic side of the Bosporus and the Maiden’s Tower. In ancient times, the Golden Horn could be closed off to warships with a giant chain stretching from here to Seraglio Point We enjoy a dinner together in a local restaurant.Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 (Istanbul) B
This morning, we'll discover some of Istanbul's most famous sites on foot, including Topkapi Palace.
Mehmet the Conqueror started building this complex in about 1459 and it served as the royal palace of the Ottoman sultans until 1853. Today, it is one of the world's richest museums, with a staggering collection of jewels, arms, porcelain, sculpture, manuscripts, and more. Next, we stop at the classic Blue Mosque,
so-called for the shimmering blue tiles that line its interior. Flanked by symmetrical soaring minarets, it is one of the defining elements of the Istanbul skyline. This classic of Ottoman architectural design was constructed under the patronage of Sultan Ahmet I, from 1609-1616.Hippodromme,
center of sporting (chariots races,athletics)events and political activities of the old city.
The Blue Mosque,one of the famous mosgues of the Ottomans are known for it’s blue Iznık tiles and unique with its 6 minarets.Today lunch is on your own.After the lunch. Just a short walk across the square takes us to the Underground Cistern,
the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water. This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures—capital heads and columns-- that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at us from her watery home. The tour will end with the visit to the Grand Bazaar
, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry, and carpets. Dinner and overnight et hotel.
Day 4 ( Istanbul- Nicea, Bursa) B L D
Drive to Nicea through Bursa. At Nicea,
you will see remains of Constantine’s palace, now covered by the water at the shore of Lake Iznik. It was here in this palace chapel that the First Ancient Church Council convened in A.D. 325
to produce the Nicene Creed. Enjoy Nicea’s St. Sophia Church
, where the Seventh Church Council convened in 787.Than drive to Bursa,after lunch to visit Silk Bazaar constracted by Ottoman Sultan.then drive to hotel in Bursa for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 ( Bursa-Troy, Assos-Behramkale) B L D
This morning after breakfast we drive to Çanakkale.After driving four hours we arrive to
Troy to see the popular ruins of the ancient city of Troy,
the site of the mythological battle Homer immortalized in his Illiad. Archaeologists have proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement here dating back to 3,000 BC.Lunch is near Troy . Our last visit is Assos
ancient city. Assos was visited by St. Paul
during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor,which was between 53-57 AD,on his way to Lesbos. After leaving the platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle went to Assos where he was welcomed by King Hermiasand opened an Academy in this city.Than to our hotelfor dinner and overnight near Assos.
Dar 6 (Assos, Izmir) B L D
Then we drive to down the mountainous coastline of Turkey. . Our stop will be at the ancient Acropolis of Pergamum
, famous for its wealth of archaeological ruins where, from the
Temple of Trajan, you will take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.Pergamon is a place where, wrote St. Jhon to the Church of Pergamon,''Satan's throne is sited''.We also visit red-court in the city center
.We have lunch in a local restaurant.Than we drive to Thyatira
,and where the fourth of the seven Churches of Asia Minor to receive an epistle from the Apostle John. Drive to Izmir-Smyrna
fordinner and overnight.
Day 7 (Izmir, Pamukkale) B L D
After breakfast drive to Sardis,
.The church of Sardis had become dead in spite of its reputation.Twice beforthe citie's akropolis had fallen ,because Sardis had fallen asleep and let down her guard
.Than we drive to Philadelpia
.The church here stood at an important junction of the imperial post that run from rome through Troas, Pergamon, and Sarsis on through to Tarsus and the East. They had an open door through which to share the gospel.Next we to Pamukkale "The Cotton Castle" with its snow-white terraces formed by thermal waters cascading down the hillside.
At nearby Hierapolis
we will see the stadium and take a fascinating stroll through the tombs of the Necropolis.Before dinner take time to relax in the thermal pool or spa at your hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 8 (Pamukkale, Kusadasi) B L D
After breakfast this morning we drive to Leodicea
which is locatad in the Lycus River Valley of western Asia Minor,a primary trade rout between the cultures of the West and the East.The city known as a primary hub for the Roman aqueduct.The ''lukewarm '' church with a faith that is neither hot or cold.
Next we drive about 3 hours to a village which is close to Ephesue area. Lunch is in a local restaurant in a the village which is called Sirince
. It is also knowen as old Ephesus.Enjoy lunch today which is included. We also view the ruins of the sixth-century Basilica of St. John
, said to stand over the burial site of the
Apostle of Jesus, who is thought to have authored the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel of the Bible while in Ephesus.Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 (Kusadasi) B L D
After breakfast, we drive for less than an hour to the world-famous ancient Greco-Roman site of Ephesus,
one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk on the remarkably preserved wide marble streets, flanked by columns and temples. We see the Library of Celsus, a tiered façade decorated with exquisite statues. The amphitheater we’ll see is the same one where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians.
And there are also remarkably preserved baths. Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis,
one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. No longer standing, it was said to be one of the most colossal temples ever built.Lunch in a local restaurant,than . We also visit the nearby House of the Virgin Mary,
nestled high in the hills overlooking the city of Ephesus. Later this afternoon, we have the unique opportunity to get acquainted with the old turkish carpet
-making tradition of Anatolia, befor we drive to hotel in Kusadası.
Day 10 B
After breakfast transfer to Izmir airport for your flight out.