and Sandals Tours Christian Pilgrimages to Turkey
the Footsteps of St Paul. Turkey 16 nights. Code 10
THE FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL - 7 EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES OF REVELATION
01 Friday / ANKARA Arrive in Ankara and transfer to the
hotel. Overnight in Ankara (D).
02 Saturday / ANKARA Free in the morning. In the afternoon
visit to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum at which numerous
remnants from Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians,
Phrygians and many others are on display; Mausoleum of Ataturk,
the burial place of the national hero who founded modern Republic
of Turkey. Overnight in Ankara (B, L).
03 Sunday / ANKARA-HATTUSAS-CAPPADOCIA In the morning
departure for 208 km bus ride to Hattusas, long time capital
of the Hittites. Before visiting the main capital proceed
to Yazilikaya to see the open air sanctuary as the direct
sun light best reflects on the bas-reliefs direct in the morning.
Then lunch in a small restaurant in the town nearby. After
lunch visit to the capital of Hattusas with Lion's Gate, Tunnel,
King's Gate, Citadel and Grand Temple. Drive to Cappadocia
and overnight (B, D).
04 Monday / CAPPADOCIA Optional balloon tour at sunrise.
Depart from the hotel at 09.30-10.00 depending on the arrival
time of the balloon participants and drive to Kaymakli Underground
City, a place where early Christians hid from persecutors.
Continue on to Pasabagi in Zelve, an area where monks used
to live in seclusion in rock cut rooms. Proceed to the pottery
town of Avanos where the meandering Kizilirmak (Hallys), the
longest river of Turkey, deposits the red clay on its banks
that has been the raw material of pottery for centuries. After
lunch break visit to Open Air Museum in Goreme with the early
Christian churches decorated with unique frescoes depicting
various Biblical scenes, and the Pigeon Valley near Uchisar.
Shopping time for the well-known merits of the area. Overnight
in Cappadocia (B, D).
05 Tuesday / CAPPADOCIA-NIGDE-ANTAKYA Drive to Antakya
via Gumusler Monastery near Nigde and through Cilician Gates
(Gulek Bogazi). Continue on to Antakya (Antioch) for overnight
06 Wednesday / ANTAKYA-TARSUS-KIZ KALESI Visit Antakya
Mosaic Museum which houses one of the best collections of
Roman mosaics in the world; and St. Peter's Grotto, the earliest
Christian church ever built. Continue to Tarsus, the birth
place of St. Paul, to see the St. Paul's Well and Cleopatra
Gate. It was also here where Marcus Anthony reputedly met
Cleopatra. Drive on to Kizkalesi for overnight (B, D).
07 Thursday / KIZ KALESI-SILIFKE-KONYA Drive on to Konya,
ancient Iconium, via Silifke Castle and Alahan. Overnight
in Konya (B, D).
08 Friday / KONYA-YALVAC-PAMUKKALE After visiting the
Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic. In the
afternoon drive to Yalvac, Antiochus in Pisidia, and visit.
Continue to Pamukkale for overnight (B, D).
09 Saturday / PAMUKKALE-LAODECIA-COLOSSAE-PAMUKKALE Late
morning visit ancient Hierapolis with the Theatre, Apollo
Temple and magnificent Necropolis, the graveyard. In the afternoon
visit to the recently excavated Roman city Laodicea and Colossae,
ancient city mentioned in the New Testament book of Colossians.
Drive back to the hotel for overnight. (B, L, D).
10 Sunday / PAMUKKALE-PHILADELPIA-SARDIS-IZMIR Drive to
Sardis, the capital of Lydian Kingdom which houses one of
the seven churches, and see the ruins of the largest synagogue
ever excavated. Continue to Alasehir (Philadelphia) to see
the Church of St. John. Arrive in Izmir and visit to the Church
of St. Polycarp, the oldest church in ancient Smyrna, and
the Agora. Overnight in Izmir (B, D).
11 Monday / IZMIR-EPHESUS-IZMIR Departure in the morning.
Visit Ephesus Antique City*, the most visited ancient Biblical
site of Turkey with many acres of carefully excavated ruins,
also sites of the palace and the temple of Domitian, the Caesar
who exiled John the Revelator to Patmos, and amphitheater
where the crowd rioted because of the success of Paul's evangelism
for Pergamum; House of Virgin Mary where she reportedly spent
her last years together with St. John (John the Revelator);
Ephesus Archaeological Museum; St. John's Basilica and the
Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient
world. Return to Izmir for overnight (B, D). * Hillside Houses
12 Tuesday / IZMIR-PERGAMUM-THYATIRA-BURSA In the morning
drive to Pergamum via Thyatira. After visits to the Asclepion,
Acropolis and Red Courtyard, which served as Temple of Serapis,
but later symbolized one of the Seven Churches of Anatolia.
Drive to Bursa for overnight (B, D).
Day 13 Wednesday / BURSA-NICEA-ISTANBUL In the morning
visit Koza Han, the silk cocoon caravanserai, with shops selling
beautiful silks and brocades. Visit the Ottoman complex to
see the Grand Mosque, the Green Mosque, considered to be one
of the finest examples of early Ottoman architecture, and
the Green Mausoleum, the tomb of Sultan Mehmet I. This is
Bursa's loveliest building with its spectacular tile work.
In the afternoon drive to Istanbul via Iznik, ancient Nicea,
the city where the seventh council of the Christianity was
held in 786, to visit the St. Sophia Museum (Interior the
building is closed due to the ongoing restoration) from the
4th century B.C. and the Green Mosque. Iznik was the ceramic
centre of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Most of the imperial mosques in Istanbul like Blue Mosque
and Suleymaniye Mosque were ornamented with the tiles made
in Iznik. Iznik tile works are amongst the most popular products
at the well known auction companies all around the world.
Overnight in Istanbul (B).
14 Thursday / ISTANBUL Full day tour. St. Sophia, one
of the greatest marvels of architecture constructed as a basilica
in A.D. 536 by Emperor Justinian; Blue Mosque, facing Hagia
Sophia, famous with its more than 20.000 blue Iznik tiles
and unique with its 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan
Ahmet in the 17th century, one of the best examples of classical
Turkish art; Hippodrome, the scene of Byzantine chariot races,
athletic events, victory celebrations, and political activities
of the old city where one can also see today the "Obelisk
of Theodosius" from Egypt, "Serpentine Column" from Delphi,
the "German Fountain of Wilhelm II" and the "Colossus". In
the afternoon, Topkapi Palace - Harem section is excluded
- built in 1468 by Mehmet the Conqueror, the imperial residence
of Ottoman sultans housing the souvenirs of 600 years and
exhibiting imperial treasury, Chinese porcelains, weapons,
calligraphy section, etc. After the visit to Grand Covered
Bazaar, the most attractive shopping center in the world with
nearly 4000 shops, drive back to the hotel. Optional "Turkish
Night Dinner Show". Overnight in Istanbul (B).
15 Friday / ISTANBUL In the morning visit the aromatic
Spice Bazaar, circa 1663, with its domed and vaulted shops
selling spices and herbs along with a wide variety of commodities,
also known as Egyptian Bazaar as it was once endowed with
the Cairo imposts. Then walk to the pier and board the public
(or private, depending on the number of the participants)
boat. Sailing through the Bosphorus waterway separating the
two continents - Asia and Europe - there will be ample opportunities
to photograph marble palaces, ancient wooden villas of Ottoman
architecture, and stately modern residential homes. During
this trip the Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Beylerbeyi
Palace, Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges as well
as Rumelian Fortress, a historical armament built by the Conqueror
in 1452 to control and protect the access to the Bosphorus,
will be visible from the sea. Disembark the boat and ride
the bus back to the city to visit Kariye Museum (St. Savior
in Chora). Drive back to the hotel or new city for a free
late afternoon. Overnight in Istanbul (B).
16 Saturday / ISTANBUL Day at leisure in Istanbul. Overnight
in Istanbul (B). Day 17, Sunday / ISTANBUL Bus transfer to
the airport for the departure flight (B) · Istanbul stay can
be extended · All of our tours will be accompanied by a Biblical
scholar to provide Biblical relevance at the religious sites
(If required, groups can bring their own scholars. In such
a case, this scholar will be supplied with free services throughout
- but excluding the international air ticket - on complimentary
basis) · Most hotels and restaurants offer buffet dinners
with a good selection of vegetarian foods.
church tours can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Groups usually attract discounts and we do cost in inclusions
for a pastor to accompany a group.