Istanbul-Adana-Antioch-Cappadocia-Konya-Pamukkale-Kusadasi-Izmir-Pergamon-Bursa-Iznik / On The Foot Steps of St. Paul Tour / 11Days 10Nights(TMPL-3002)

Day 01 Istanbul-Adana-Antioch (-,L,D)
Upon arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, we connect directly to a domestic flight to Adana, ancient Cilicia. From there, we make our way to Tarsus, the birthplace of St Paul. Highlights include St Paul’s well and Cleopatra’s Gate. We continue on to Antioch at Orontes and stay the night there.

Day 02 Antioch (B,L,D)
Today, we journey east to Antakya, ancient Antioch. Antioch is thought to have been founded in 300 BC. St Peter was the first to preach here, followed by St Paul and Barnabas whose extensive efforts proved to be very fruitful for Christianity. Highlights include the museum which houses a superb collection of mosaics from Antioch, Daphne and Seleucia Pieria. St Peter’s Grotto, the cave church, came to be known as the meeting place of the early Christians. The most interesting monument here is the Tunnel of Titus, which is a tremendous canal dug for the purpose of diverting waters from the Orontes River. Another highlight is the rock tombs with their impressive facades pertaining to the Hellenistic period. Overnight in Antioch

Day 03 Adana-Cappadocia (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we drive north to Cappadocia. Our first stop is Derinkuyu, an underground city carved into soft rocks resembling a huge labyrinth of tunnels, rooms, kitchens, wine cellars and passageways. A huge chimney ventilates this 8-level dwelling, which was used by Christians hiding from their Roman and Byzantine persecutors. Their colourful frescoes remain as vibrant as when they were first made. Further on, we come to Cappadocia, which reminds the visitor of a village out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Overnight in Cappadocia

Day 04 Cappadocia (B,L,D)
In the morning, we visit the Valleys of Goreme to explore the unusual troglodyte dwellings, remains of the early churches comprising complicated rooms hollowed out of the cones of volcanic ash and decorated with scratched frescoes. We will visit the Apple Church, the Church of Sandals, and the Church with a Buckle in Goreme. Photo stops will be made at Uchisar “castle” village, a fantasy-land of strange and wonderful works of man and nature. If time permits, visit one of the local cave house. Then, proceed to Avanos Pottery Village, set on the banks of the Kizilirmak (Red River).    Overnight in Cappadocia

Day 05 Cappadocia-Konya (B,L,D)
After breakfast, travel to Konya. Visit  a 700 year old ancient caravanserai (a ‘hotel’ for ancient traders and travelers on silk road). Next, We will discover fairy Chimneys valley and Camel (Dervent Valley) where you will discovere most interesting geographical sights of Cappadocia. we continue to Konya visit the museum of 13th century  Philosopher  Melvana Celaleddin-i Rumi, which used to be the cloister for Mevlevi Dervishes. Mevlana was a philosopher and mystic of Islam, but not a Muslim of the orthodox type. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to men of all sects and creeds. Overnight in Konya

Day 06 Konya-Pamukkale (B,L,D)
Following an early breakfast, we drive to Pisidian Antioch (Yalvac). During Paul’s time, the population was made up of Jews, Romans and Greeks. Very little is left of Pisidian Antioch today.. Continue to Capaddocia. Thereafter, we proceed to Pamukkale and stay the night there. Next, we visit Hierapolis, which was founded by Pergamon King Telephons and named after his wife, Hiera. During the Byzantine period, the city became the seat of diocese with a large Christian Church dedicated to St Philip, who was martyred there in 80 AD. Highlights include the Roman Baths, the Theatre and the famous white calcium cascades of Pamukkale (the white “Cotton Castles”). Overnight in Konya

Day 07 Pamukkale-Laodicea-Philedelphia-Sardis-Kusadasi (B,L,D)
Drive to Laodicea, another one of the Seven Churches (Rev 3:14-22), chastised for being lukewarm. Then visit Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) referred to as the New Jerusalem. The next stops are Sardis the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia (Rev. 3:1-6) and Church of St.Policarp symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalyps. Overnight in Kusadasi

Day 08 Kusadasi (B,L,D)    
Following an early breakfast, we drive to the famous city of Ephesus, one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Our tour will begin with the Basilica of St John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity, was located here. Highlights include the Library of Celcius, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan, the Brothel and the Theatre. We will also stop by the House of Virgin Mary (on top of Mt Coressos). She was believed to have spent her last years in this area. On 18 August 1961, Pope John XXII proclaimed this place to be sacred. Drive to kusadasi for dinner and overnight.

Day 09 Kusadasi-Izmir-Pergamum-Bursa (B,L,D)
Drive to Thyatira one of the Seven Churches of revelation (Rev. 1:11;2:18-29). Drive along the Aegean coast line to the hilltop city of Pergamum, another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. The description in Rev2:12-17. At Pergamum we will visit  the steepest theatre in the ancient world, the Temple of Trajan, the podium of the Altar of Zeus and the market place (agora). Continue Bursa!!! Welcome to the first Capital of Turkish people Bursa. Visit Ulucami (Grand Mosque) – the largest Mosque in Bursa with the most striking example of Ottoman Turkish art and impressive calligraphic wall decorations from 1399 AD. Next, Koza Han, which means the "silk cocoon market". Koza Han was built in 1491 by sultan Beyazit II. It was both used as a caravanserai and a silk market because Bursa was the last stop on the great silk road from China. Since 1491, the han has remained the center of the silk industry and trade. Overnight in Bursa

Day 10 Bursa-Iznik-Istanbul (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we leave Bursa and drive to Iznik, formerly known as Nicea. The city was founded around 1000 BC. In 325 AD, the First Ecumenical Council was held here for the purpose of condemning the heresy of Arianism. The Seventh Ecumenical Council was also held here in the St Sophia Church, which we will visit. The church was built in the 4th century and has a mosaic floor which dates to the 6th century. All gates and walls date from the Byzantine times. Following Bursa, we drive to the 'Old City of Istanbul'. Our first stop is the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the centre of Byzantine civic life, where horse and chariot races used to take place. We then travel towards the Blue Mosque, known for the impressive blue tiles lining its walls. The Basilica of Haggia Sophia (Divine Wisdom), now called the Ayasofya Museum, is unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 11 Istanbul-Return (B,-,-)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back home to bringing back wonderful memories and superb souvenirs from your Turkish vacation