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.
Day 1 ISTANBUL/Arrival
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, transfer to hotel after a brief orientation tour. Dinner at hotel.
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.