top of page
IMG_5002_edited.png

Itinerary
 

B= Breakfast

D= Dinner

66265726_10156072522351916_8458619024941
IMG_1492.jpeg
069fc8f7c297a56d26a87b7006775d9a.jpg
69891824-889D-4137-BAA8-B83002380AA8.jpg
IMG_5067.jpeg

SATURDAY, MAY 24
DEPARTURE FROM US

 

SUNDAY, MAY 25
ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
After our arrival and checking into our hotel, we will have a brief afternoon of touring.  We will visit the ruins of Constantinople’s ancient Roman hippodrome. We walk nearby to the Blue Mosque. Built in the early 1600s AD its cupola is supported by four massive columns and its exterior graced by six towering minarets. Overnight Istanbul (D)  

 

MONDAY, MAY 26
ISTANBUL HAGIA SOPHIA, MUSEUMS, BASILICA CISTERNS, GRAND BAZAAR
Our first site of interest will be the Hagia Sophia (“Sacred Wisdom”), the most renowned church of the Byzantine era in Istanbul. Commissioned by Constantine in A.D. 325, this church served as an architectural prototype for many Byzantine churches throughout the Empire. Next is the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Famous for its many artifacts from the Levant and the Holy Land, after a preview explanation you will be given free time to explore the public areas of the museum. Our next site is an Underground Cistern originally built by Constantine the Great during the years of 306-337 AD. We conclude our touring at the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul. (B,D) 

 

TUESDAY, MAY 27
ISTANBUL (ANCIENT CONSTANTINOPLE), TOPKAPI PALACE, BOSPHORUS CRUISE, SPICE BAZAAR
We visit the lavish and grand palace residence of the Sultans known as Topkapi Palace. This palace complex served the ruling monarchs (sultans) of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years.  We then travel to Istanbul’s waterfront for a 2-hour boating tour of Istanbul’s natural waterway – the Bosphorus, a 20-mile long but narrow body of water that separates the continents of Europe and Asia. We conclude our day at the Spice Market.  Overnight Istanbul. (B, D)

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28
TARSUS, ROMAN ROAD, CLEOPATRA'S ARCH, SAGLIKLI ROMAN ROAD, CILICIAN GATES
Early morning flight Istanbul-Adana.  After our arrival we begin our day with a bus tour of ancient Tarsus — the hometown of the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:11; 21:23).  Outside of Tarsus we visit a portion of the ancient Roman Road that led travelers northward. A narrow topographical pass through this range of mountains is known historically as the Cilician Gates. Paul certainly would have walked this northern Roman Road. Others of note passing through this geographical “gate” would include the Persian King Cyrus and later Alexander the Great as he and his army marched eastward in conquest. We continue to the region known as Cappadocia. Overnight Urgup. (B, D)

 

THURSDAY, MAY 29
CAPPADOCIA, GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM, MISCELLANEOUS SITES
Cappadocia is a region in Central Anatolia best known for its unique moon-like landscapes, underground cities, houses and churches carved into the soft native rock. During the Late Roman period many Christians found shelter from persecution by retreating to underground hideouts and living in several of the underground cities of Cappadocia. Goreme is a small city built around a collection of landscape features known as “fairy chimneys.” Underground churches still preserve decorative frescoes. Overnight Urgup. (B, D)

 

FRIDAY, MAY 30
CAPPADOCIA, DERINKUYU, DERBE, LYSTRA
Located 40 km from Goreme, Derinkuyu is the largest of the 36 underground cities of Cappadocia. Perhaps first settled in the 8th century BC, it reached its peak during the Byzantine period (5th-10th centuries AD) when it housed as many as 20,000 persons. We leave the uniqueness of Cappadocia and travel west to visit two cities Paul visited during his First Missionary journey – Derbe and Lystra. Both sites are unexcavated but important for placing the message and ministry of Paul within the context of the 1st century AD.
 After some exploration of the sites, we have a brief journey to modern Konya (ancient Iconium, also visited by Paul during his three missionary journeys). There are no ruins of Iconium to visit; however, in New Testament times it was located on a major road that led to both Ephesus and Rome, making it one of the major cities of the Roman province of Galatia and providing a network of roads by which the Gospel message could be spread. Overnight Konya.
(B,D)

 

 

85e90999c808bd7898b20d2594d4c6aa_large_e
iu-1_edited.png

Itinerary

B= Breakfast

D= Dinner

SATURDAY, MAY 31

ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA

Having recently visited the locales of three NT fellowships established by Paul and Barnabas, we turn our attention to the important biblical site of Antioch of Pisidia (modern Yalvac). Paul visited Antioch three times (Acts 13:13-52; 16:1-6; 18:23). Here Paul preached in the Synagogue and his discourses focused on Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  Our visit to Antioch (Pisidia) will include exploration of the Acropolis, Cardo, Theater, a Temple to Augustus, an Aqueduct and the local museum. The remainder of the day is spent in transit to Pamukkale. Overnight Pamukkale. (B,D)

SUNDAY, JUNE 1
HIERAPOLIS, LAODICEA, COLOSSAE 

We begin the day at nearby Hierapolis, a city founded during the 2nd century BC and mentioned briefly in Colossians 3:13 along with Laodicea. Hierapolis is noted for its cascading Hot Springs and extensive Necropolis (burial grounds). Although Paul himself probably did not visit Colossae, he challenged the city to keep the truth of the Gospel pure, not falling victim to the heresy of a syncretism of Judaism with pagan worship. Unexcavated, the site is rarely visited although some surface remains are noticeable, including the cavea of a theatre, and some walls of a Citadel atop the Acropolis. We continue to the site of Laodicea, the seventh church chastised in Revelation for being neither “hot” nor “cold” in matters of their faith, but “lukewarm” (3:14-22). We will see evidence of Laodicea’s greatness as we visit an ancient Aqueduct, a related Water Tower, a large Stadium, and a well-preserved Cardo. Overnight Pamukkale. (B,D) 

 

MONDAY, JUNE 2
APHRODISIAS, ST JOHN'S BASICLICA (EPHESUS)

We depart for ancient Aphrodisias, a city dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility (motherhood), equated with the Assyrian goddess Ishtar and the Persian goddess Astarte. Although not mentioned in the New Testament, the city has numerous restored buildings for our architectural benefit. The ancient Temple to Aphrodite was converted into a Christian Basilica in the 5th century AD. The intersection of two major streets is crowned with the restored Tetrapylon. After a visit we journey on to Ephesus, perhaps the most impressive of Turkey’s Hellenistic-Roman-Byzantine sites. Our primary visit to Ephesus will take place in two days. Today we finish the day with a visit to the Basilica of Saint John, located about 4 km from ancient Ephesus. Overnight Kusadasi. (B,D)

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 3
MILETUS, DIDYMA, PRIENE 
We begin our exploration today at ancient Miletus, a river port city. It was here that Paul boarded a ship at the end of his Third Missionary Journey (Acts 20:15-38) as he was hurrying back to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost (May-June). At Didyma is found the fourth largest temple in the Greek world. Didyma means twin and refers to the twins Apollo and Artemis, who were sons of Zeus. In our later visit to Priene Hellenistic life and times are brought to mind through well-preserved architecture. The oldest structure is a Temple to Athena (4th century BC), in part funded by a contribution from Alexander the Great, who later was co-worshiped here with Athena. Priene is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is likely that the early Christians of Miletus had contact with the city. Overnight Kusadasi. (B,D) 

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4
EPHESUS, SMYRNA FORTRESS 

Ephesus is often regarded as the most impressive of Turkey’s Hellenistic-Roman-Byzantine sites. Paul spent time here at the close of his Second Missionary Journey (Acts 18:18-22) and almost three years here during his Third Missionary Journey (Acts 19:1-20). In Revelation 2:1-7 Ephesus is the first of the seven churches in Asia Minor to receive spiritual admonishment. Restored architectural structures abound; too many to describe. Of special interest to our visit are the Roman Baths (1st century AD), the Temple to Emperor Domitian (1st century AD), and the Temple of Hadrian (1st century AD). Next is the Library (2nd century AD). We make our way along the street known as the “Marble Way” ending up at a 25,000 seat Theatre. After Ephesus drive to Izmir where we visit the acropolis and fortress of ancient Smyrna. Overnight Izmir. 
(B, D)

THURSDAY, JUNE 5

SMYRNA AGORA, PHILADELPHIA, SARDIS

The lower city of Smyrna is located within the confines of the modern city of Izmir. Smyrna was the second church of seven mentioned in John’s Revelation. Christians in Smyrna were frequently subject to persecution, slander and other acts of hostility. Revelation 2:8-11 offers encouragement to those that are undergoing persecution. The ruins of the Roman city are limited. Leaving Smyrna, we travel 74 miles (120 km) to ancient Philadelphia, the sixth church denounced in Revelation (Rev 3:7-13). There is not much to see of the early city. The only visible remains are the old acropolis, ruins of a 7th century AD Byzantine church, an unexcavated theater, and a length of the city wall and gate also dating from the Byzantine era. We travel 28 miles (45 km) west to ancient Sardis the fifth church condemned in Revelation (Rev. 3:1-6). Sardis was noted as being “dead” in faith and would be visited by the angel of the Lord as a thief in the night. There are two areas of Sardis to explore. The Greek city where remains form the Temple of Artemis are located and the township which has remnants of ancient shopping stalls, a 3rd century AD Synagogue (restored), and a Gymnasium. Overnight Izmir.(B, D)

FRIDAY, JUNE 6

THYATIRA, PERGAMUM

Thyatira is the fourth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 2:18-29). It is possible that Paul visited this early Christian community several times during his missionary travels in this area. Lydia, a woman converted by Paul at Philippi (in modern Greece) was from this city (Acts 16:13-15). Pergamum is the third church of seven mentioned in John's Revelation (2:12-17). It was an extensive city (30,000 acres) and famous for its grand Hellenistic architecture and its control of a major crossroads in antiquity. We will explore both the acropolis and the lower city. Buildings of interest include a Theater seating 20,000 occupants, a Library that housed 200,000 volumes, a Temple to Hadrian, an Altar to Zeus, and a large ancient medical complex dedicated to Asclepius – the patron god of medicine and healing. Overnight Izmir. Overnight Izmir. (B, D)

SATURDAY, JUNE 7

Early morning flight Izmir-Istanbul.  Transfer to international flights.

IMG_5056.jpeg
IMG_4937.jpeg
IMG_5021.jpeg
theodotus-inscription1_edited.png
roman-glass-vessels_edited.png
bottom of page