Istanbul including St. Sophia Church, the Blue Mosque, Chora Church; Bursa Grand Mosque, St. Sophia Church and two more 7 Churches of Revelation tour is specially made for the ones interested in stories from the religious diversity of Turkey.
Do & Don't in Istanbul
- +Watch a belly dancing show
- +Visit nearby Black Sea towns
- +Get pampered with a scrub and a foam massage in a traditional Turkish Bath
- -Do not enter the houses with shoes
- -Do not be shy with locals
- -Do not trust the taxi drivers, check the meter as you are getting on
Day 1 ISTANBUL/Arrival
Day 2 ISTANBUL
After breakfast visits in Istanbul including St. Sophia Church, the largest church of its era and the architectural glory of Byzantine architecture; the Blue Mosque, famous for its six minarets as well as its interior blue tiles; the Byzantine Hippodrome, where the chariot races were held; the Topkapi Palace, imperial resident of Sultans; and the Chora Church, one of the first churches of Byzantine Empire famous for its golden frescoes.
Day 3 ISTANBUL /Iznik (Nicaea) /BURSA
Following the breakfast drive through the Intercontinental Bosphorus Bridge, crossing Izmit Bay by ferry arrive Bursa, the first capital of the ottoman Empire, including the Grand Mosque, Silk Bazaar, and the Green Mausoleum. Continue to Iznik. Lunch upon arrival. After lunch visits in Nicaea, the most important city of Bithynia at the time of Paul’s visit, and where the two church meetings -the First and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, were held. Visits include the St. Sophia Church, the place of the latter meeting; and the St. Tirifon Church. Dinner at hotel in Bursa.
Day 4 BURSA /Sardis/Philadelphia/Hierapolis/ PAMUKKALE
After breakfast departure for Sardis, one of the most picturesque sites of Seven Churches; visits to the
Artemis Temple, the Byzantine Church, and the Acropolis. Continue to Philadelphia where the church
was not strong but the members were loyal. After lunch continue to Pamukkale for which John Paul said:
“I know all your ways, you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were either hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-17). Continue to hotel. Near Pamukkale visit the antique city of Hierapolis famous for its early Christian remains, where Apostle Philip was martyred and which was the hometown of Papias, a disciple of St. John. Dinner at hotel in Pamukkale.
Day 5 PAMUKKALE / Ephesus /IZMIR
Following the breakfast departure for Ephesus, en route for a brief visit to Laodicea. Then proceed to the Shrine of Virgin Mary, where she lived in her last years; the Basilica of St. John; and the antique city of Ephesus, where St. Paul stayed and taught for two years (Acts 19:10), and where he promised on his second journey, “I shall come back to you if it is God’s will” (Acts 18:21). Proceed to hotel in Izmir. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Izmir.
Day 6 IZMIR / Thyatira / Pergamum/ ASSOS -OR- CANAKKALE
After breakfast depart for Thyatira; visits to the remnants of Christian Church, and the Temple then proceed to Pergamum Antique City; visit the Asklepium Sanctuary and the Acropolis including the Altar of Zeus, which is said to be “the place where Satan has his throne” (Revelation 2:13); the Trojan Temple; the world’s steepest theater; and the Red Basilica, which was originally a center of pagan worship and afterwards used as a church dedicated to St. John. Then a visit to Assos, where Paul is said to have walked from Alexandria Troas on his third journey (Acts 20:13-14). Stay in Assos or continue to Canakkale. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Assos/Canakkale.
Day 7 CANAKKALE / ISTANBUL
After breakfast depart for the antique city of Troy; where the mythological Troyan war took place. The excavations are being carried on since 1872 and several layers of cities built on top of each other have been brought under daylight. Later proceed to Istanbul. En route cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry to the European continent. Night at the hotel in Istanbul.
Day 8 ISTANBUL/Departure
After breakfast transfer to the airport. End of the services.
This is a private tour program and will be priced according to request.
Oriental Istanbul is a wonderful company. They are welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable and very accommodating. I would recommend them without hesitation! - Artemis Mourat / 2013, Teacher
Wonderful and unforgettable experience, loved every moment! Will definitely return to Istanbul! hoping to see you all again! - Itsumi Suganuma / 2012, Student
If you are a dancer at heart that appreciates beauty, history and colorful culture this is the perfect trip to embark on. With knowledgeable and kind hosts that will take care of you and welcome you to their home town you will be delighted by what they have planned for you. A beautiful trip to bring a friend along and to make new ones! I would return in a heartbeat. - Bozenka / 2013, Teacher
I always have a great time with Oriental Istanbul tours as guest teacher, knowing my students will be hosted very well in stunning parts of Turkey and its makes my work so easy and pleasureful.. One of the best and warmest organizers I ever worked internationally. Strongly Recommended! - Ozgen / 2011, 2012, 2013 Teacher
THE perfect tour: very rare & unique - detailed instruction by Ozgen, real roman by Reyhan + local festival in Edirne. How can be better than that! Really appreciate the flexibility about stay & activities. All people in the tour are nice, friendly and helpful - pleasurable all the time. Most of all Burcu and Yoko did such a great job organizing & leading us - easy going yet professional, they know tourism and dancing well. Plus, Ozgen is the great instructor as well as our travel buddy - fun & positive energy, multi tasking (waiter, guide, entertainer etc.. ;) ) Can't wait for the next year! - Akiko Tanikawa / 2012 & 2013, Student
When we mentioned to longtime friends we were visiting Istanbul they told us our enjoyment would be increased substantially if we hired Trici as our guide.They told us the truth.When we contacted Trici she told us that she emphasized the art of Istanbul and we said we approved.She also told us the truth.What neither friends nor Trici told us was that she is a worldclass artist who devotes her art to capturing the obvious and the offbeat sides of that mysterious city.And that’s the truth.
Ian D. Lanoff
I have never been to Istanbul, but I do have extremely vivid, colorful and imaginative images of Istanbul in my mind through the stunning art that Ms. Venola has drawn and the imaginative prose she has written during the years that she has lived there. She is a wonderful ambassador for your city.I can only say that I wish I -could- have the opportunity to have her lead me on a tour of Istanbul: I know it would be magical, thrilling, awe-inspiring. Truly a never-to-be-forgotten experience!
Charles Richard Lester
I can think of no better tour guide when visiting Istanbul than Trici Venola. Her passion for the city is only exceeded by her knowledge of it's history. The fact that she is an artist and an avid urban sketcher makes her insights that much more astute.
Her warmth, compassion and humor make her a wonderful guide and teacher. Trici knows Istanbul -- its nooks and crannies as well as its majestic sites-- better than most natives, much better!! I recommend her highly.
Fine Artist and BFA Faculty, School of Visual Arts, NY, NY-----------------------------------------------------------------
From "commando santas" rappelling down buildings around the city, to colorful mannikins, to workshops and alleys and a million cats, Trici Venola has an insiders awareness of a wonderful assortment of "off the tourist trail" discoveries to share.
Ken Brown NYC.-----------------------------------------------------------------
Spending a day with Trici is like your best Indiana Jones fantasy come true! You duck behind a coke machine in a hole in the wall food store and there you have it, the OTHER cistern (that no one ever sees!) A guide will real passion and joy. The best knowledge I have found so far on Byzantium, Turkey and Istanbul. Not only that she is great fun!
John D S Kelly NYC
- What can I say?? Thanks Burcu and Oguz for making our trip so special and unforgettable. We loved your country. Baloon ride in Cappadocia was such a great experience. Oguz has been fun, helpful and informative all along the way. Also thanks to our driver Mehmet for taking us around safe & sound. Angie & Conor Cogan / USA-Florida