St. Paul Tour
+ Day 1 / Istanbul
Relax and enjoy your overnight flight to Istanbul on wide-bodied jets.
+ Day 2 / Istanbul
Your representative awaits to greet you as you land in İstanbul. After transferring to your hotel, the remainder of the day is free. Dinner and overnight in İstanbul.
+ Day 3 / Antioch
A short morning flight to Adana begins a full day tour taking you past hilltop Crusader castles and the port of ALEXANDRETTA (now called İskenderun) to Antakya, site of ancient Antioch. Here we visit the cave church where St. Peter led worship, sponsoring church of Paul 6 Barnabas’s missionary journeys. You also see a world-class museum of Roman mosaics from nearby ruins before returning to Adana for overnight.
+ Day 4 / Tarsus, Cillician Gates, Cappadocia
Begins the day visiting the birthplace of St. Paul, Tarsus where you may drink from his well. Drive through the beautiful Tarsus Mountains to the Anatolian Plateau. Continue to Biblical Cappadocia, famous for unique landscapes, underground cities as well as towns carved from the region’s soft volcanic rock. En route we visit the 13th century Caravan Inn of Agzikarahan.
+ Day 5 / Cappadocia
A full day touring the “Moon-Like” topography of Cappadocia. The absolutely unique landscape of Goreme with its rock chapels carved by early Christians and decorated with Frescoes dating from 6th to the 10th century, is an unforgettable experience. In the morning we visit the underground city of Derinkuyu or Kaymaklı where thousands of early Christians lived concealed from their persecutors in an eight-story complex of subterranean dwellings. In the afternoon we visit the pottery making village of Avanos and the Byzantine Monastic Complex of Zelve before returning to our hotel to enjoy the picturesque of this ancient historic land.
+ Day 6 / Iconium, Antalya
It is planned a morning drive across the rolling steppe land of central Anatolia to Konya (lconium of Bible), the capital of the mighty Seljuk Empire from 1078 to 1307. This afternoon we visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, founder of the order of Whirling Dervishes (an unusual ecstatic Muslim sect) and then continue through the Taurus Mountains to the City of Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea where Paul preached several times. This area is often called the “Turquoise Coast” because of exquisite blue colored water.
+ Day 7 / Perge, Aspendos
A full day of exploring includes a tour of the Antalya Archeological Museum with a number of artifacts and statues from nearby ancient sites. Then you tour ancient PAMPHYLIAN, HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN CITIES, the unsoiled ruins of Perge with its colonnade street where Paul preached an early missionary sermon, and Aspendos with its huge theater, the best preserved one in the Mediterranean area having a capacity of 15,000 spectators and still in use for special events.
+ Day 8 / Antalya, Leodicia, Pamukkale
We drive north through the mountains to Pamukkale, in Turkish the name refers to the “Cotton Fortress” appearance of the spectacular white lime cascades formed by the hot mineral springs. Then visit the vast ruins of the Roman spa of Hierapolis. This was Philip the Evangelist’s home. We tour the extensive necropolis, churches and baths, then stop at nearby Laodicea to gain understanding of the “neither hot nor cold” water. Enjoy a leisurely bath in the pool of your hotel’s hot mineral spring bath.
+ Day 9 / Ephesus, St. Mary's House, Smyrna
This morning we head across the fertile MENDERES VALLEY to the ruins of glorious Ephesus, capital of Roman Asia Minor, where was the home of St. Paul between 54 and 57 AD. Explore the unforgettable expanse of Greco-Roman and Christian remains include 2,000-years-old marble streets, a huge theater, the library of Celsius, a gymnasium and the temple of Hadrian. In the afternoon, visit the nearby BASILICA OF ST. JOHN where he was first buried as well as the VIRGIN MARY’S STONE COTTAGE. Overnight in İzmir, Homer’s birthplace on the Aegean Coast.
+ Day 10 / Pergamum, Troy, Canakkale
The first stop on your northbound journey is the Acropolis of ancient Pergamum, famous for work done by the great Physician, Galen. Sights include the altar of Zeus, and Asklepieion, a famous Roman medical center. Continuing north we visit the ruins of Troy where Greek and Trojan heroes fought in the “Trojan War” for the honor of beautiful Helen. Also visit its legendary walls, buildings and a replica of the famous wooden horse. Overnight in Çanakkale.
+ Day 11 / Gallipoli
After breakfast we across the Dardanelle waterway to the Gallipolu Peninsula to see Anzac cove and visit Lone Pine cemetery. Then drive along the Marmara Sea to İstanbul. Upon arrival we visit the BLUE MOSQUE OF SULTAN AHMET І built in 1616, famous for unequaled ceramic tiles. Then the Byzantine Hippodrome which was used for chariot races. For a taste of Turkish Night Life join our optional dinner and enjoy an evening of Turkish belly dancing and folk dancing entertainment.
+ Day 12 / Istanbul
Your day begins with a guided tour exploring the ancient city with highlights including the magnificent TOPKAPI PALACE (main residence of Ottoman Sultan), and the unusual large underground cistern used in “007” movie scenes. In the afternoon, visit SAINT SOPHIA BASILICA, ancient seat of the Byzantine Church built in 537 AD and converted to a mosque in 1453. Saint Sophia is now a museum whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been carefully fashioned to create an atmosphere of breath–taking beauty. Finally the GRAND BAZAAR with 3,000 exotic shops along covered lanes and alleyways. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with your tour companions.
+ Day 13 / Istanbul
Your representative escorts you to the airport for the flight back.