Day 1 - Istanbul to Ephesus then to Pamukkale
Very early in the Morning we will provide a transfer to domestic airport and put you on a 1 hour flight down to Izmir, As soon as you arrive then we will continue on the full day tour
We will visit Turkey's most impressive Roman and Biblical site today, in what may well be one of your most memorable days in Turkey. We will also visit other significant sites of the area.
Sites you'll see today
*Ephesus is one of the best preserved cities from Roman times. At the time St. Paul lived in Ephesus in the 60's AD, it was at it's Roman heyday with a population around 250,000. Ephesus was a great ancient city and much of it has been preserved for you to see. More than any other site, you can walk the streets, stand in the great theatre, wander in the library, see the ancient Roman toilets and baths, and feel that you are walking back into ancient history.
* Temple of Artemis Artemis was a Greek goddess, the virginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon
*The House of The Virgin Mary is where it is believed St. Mary came to live with St. John in the last years of her life.
* Church of St. John was erected by Emperor Justinian in memorial to St. John whose tomb is within it's walls. St. John came here towards the end of his life with the Virgin Mary whom he cared for. He wrote the gospel of St. John and his other letters during the last years of his life here.
After the tour we will depart from Ephesus to Pamukkale, and after arrival we will check into our hotel and have a free day to relax and enjoy a nice dinner before we get a good night sleep. Overnight stay in Pamukkale.
>>>>>>Scriptural Significance for today: Book of Ephesians; Revelations 2:4; Acts 18: 18-20:1, 17-38 Among many things St. Paul taught in Ephesus, he made a stand against idolatry. This made all of the Ephesian street peddlers and craftsmen extremely upset, as their livelihood depended on making and selling idols of fertility. After St. Paul's speech, a slump in idol sales made one silversmith, Demetrius, so upset that he led a group that made claims St. Paul was disrespecting the goddess Artemis, a local cult religion. At one point St. Paul was banished to a nearby hill prison. The Ephesians gathered to protest St,. Paul at the great theatre and all chanted "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" St. Paul of course wanted to address this protest, but was persuaded not to by his disciples, who feared for his safety in such a riled up mob. Soon after this uproar, St. Paul left for Macedonia and later wrote a letter back to the Christians in Ephesus that would become Ephesians, one of the most read and loved books of the New Testament.
Day 2 - (B/L/D) Pamukkale
After breakfast we will depart from Kusadasi to Pamukkale, as soon as we arrive we will continue onto guided tour of Pamukkale and Hiarapolis.
*Pammukale means cotton castle in Turkish. It is the result of limestone formations built over thousands of years. Warm calcium rich mineral water flowed over the cliffs and as it cooled it deposited the calcium into the formations that are seen today. Pammukale is now a world heritage site.
*Hierapolis was founded as a healing care centre in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral
waters in the area. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire. After the tour you will spend the night in Pamukkale
*Laodicea is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation written about by St. John.
*Colossae was the church that St. Paul wrote to in the book of Colossians. This site will be a good experience of seeing what a ruin site is like before much excavation is done. We will be able to see an ancient church and other remnants of the once teeming city.
>>>>>>Scriptural Significance for today: Revelations 3:14-22 It is interesting to note how St. John wrote to this church with references to local customs. He reproved the church saying that spiritually it was neither hot nor cold but rather lukewarm. This reference would have significance to the people because archeological findings show that it's water may have been literally lukewarm. Surviving pipes are choked with lime deposits and it is quite possible the water came from hot springs in the south and cooled to lukewarm by the time it reached Laodicea. Furthermore, St. John writes that it was rich and in need of nothing and that it didn't know that it was poor, blind and naked. He said it should buy gold of the risen Christ refined by fire, white garments and salve for the blind eyes. Again, these references bear local allusions because it was rich and famous for garments made of it's famous black wool. Another allusion points to the need for them to buy salve for their eyes. This area was also famous for it's Phrygian powder which was used for diseases of the eyes. The book of Colossians was a letter written to the Christians of Colossae while Paul was either in Ephesus or Rome. Paul says that the Colossians learned their faith from the messenger Epaphras who was a Colossian (Col 1:7; 4:12 Philemon 23). He also took the Good News to the cities of Hierapolis and Laodicea. (Col 4:12-13) It is interesting to note that the kind of heresy that was mentioned in Paul's letter is confirmed by an inscription on the theatre wall of Miletus, a nearby ancient city that we will visit tomorrow.
Day 3 - (B/L) Pamukkale to izmir
After breakfast you will visit
*Philadelphia is another of the seven Revelation churches. It was once called 'Little Athens" during the Roman period. Today we will see remnants of the surrounding wall that once encircled the entire city, and the Church of St. John.
*Sardis is the place that historians believe coinage was invented. It was a rich Lydian city that was known for it's gold. Today, we will look at the remains of several churches that St. John wrote to, as well as an ancient synagogue. Known as Sepharad in Aramaic, this site dates back to mention of it in the Old Testament book of Obadiah
*Smyrna, known today as Izmir, once was a place where more Christians and Jews lived than Muslims. Thousands of foreign diplomats, traders, merchants and sailors were based here. We will see the ancient agora and the Church of St. Polycarp. St. Polycarp was Smyrna's first bishop who served the city for over 50 years. When the Roman proconsul ordered St. Polycarp to renounce his faith, he refused and was burned at the stake.
Evening Arrival in Izmir, check in the hotel & Overnight stay.
>>>>>>Biblical Significance for today: Revelations 2:8-11 The Christians of Smyrna lived in one of the Roman cities where they were killed by being thrown to wild animals or were burned alive. They would have taken comfort with the words of St. John that said "Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer....Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." ; Sardis is mentioned in Obadiah 20 and also in Revelations 3:1-6 St. John said that the Sardis Christians had quite a few problems. "I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.....I have not found your works complete in the sight of God." A few faithful did live and St. John praises them..."you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy." To the church of Philadelphia, St. John said that they had kept the word even though they had limited strength. St. John further told them that because they had kept their endurance that they would be kept safe in the times of trial that was coming. Except Smyrna, Philadelphia is the only church among the seven that he did not say words of condemnation to. Revelations 3:7-13
>>>>>>Christianity Significance for today: If the tour members would like, we will provide the supplies for a communion service to be held this evening at a fitting outside sight. This could be a nice time for members to come together and share their feelings and what they have learned during their stay in Turkey. It would also be a wonderful time to pray for the salvation of Turkish hearts that do not know Jesus. This nation is one that is 98% Muslim.
Day 4 - (B/L) Izmir to Istanbul
After breakfast you will visit ;
*Thyateria is another of the seven churches of Revelation.
*Pergamum is one of the seven churches of Revelation. At the time that Christianity traveled along the Asian Minor caravan routes and trade ships, it was one of the largest cities of the area. It was rivaled only
by Ephesus in its wealth, temples, and beauty. The ancient acropolis dominates the view from all around. Most memorable to you will probably be Pergamum's ancient theatre. Carved straight out of the high hill-side, it is one of the steepest ancient theatres in the world--and the view is amazing. Sites in Pergamum to see include the acropolis, asclepion, and red basilica.
After Pergamum we will provide a transfer to Izmir Airport and put you on a 1 hour flight back to Istanbul.
After arrival we will provide a transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Overnight stay in Istanbul.
>>>>>>Biblical Significance for today: Acts 16:11-5; Revelations 2:12-29 The Christians of Pergamum were praised for not having given up their faith although St. John said they lived where Satan's throne was. As you walk around the ancient city and see the temples built to worship the local cults, you will understand what St. John meant. Even some of the Christians were being tempted into practicing the heresy of Balaam in Pergamum, and St. John gives a direct warning to them. In Thyateria, St. John warned the Christians of their tolerance of the prophetess Jezebel, who was probably a priestess of the Sibylline oracle of the city. To those oblivious to this woman, he praises their works, love, faith, service and endurance. One specially noted woman that came from Thyateria was Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. Lydia met Paul and was instructed by him while in Philippi.
Total cost: $_______ per person in a double room & $_______ in a single room.
Contact us for available departure dates and private tour options.
* All of the hotels ( Each of them individually chosen )
* All of the land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* All of the meal mentioned in the itinerary ( B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner )
* Professional English speaking tour guides
* Domestic flight tickets from Istanbul to Izmir
* Domestic flight tickets from Izmir to Istanbul
* All of the addmisions to the ancient sites
* All of the TAX and service charges
* International flight tickets to Istanbul
* Drinks with meals