IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL

Journey In the ancient footsteps of St. Paul: With his vigor to spread the Gospel, St. Paul spent most of his Christian life traveling from his birthplace in Eastern Turkey to the places throughout the country that he visited, explaining the religious and social context of his life. Most of these journeys were done in the lands of present day Turkey. Our journey starts from Cappadocia, head further East to Tarsus. Then trace his missionary journeys, places of sermon and persecution via Adana, Antalya, Izmir and Troy. En route, discover the sites of the Seven Churches and many more where St. Paul and his apostles preached in biblical times.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL (14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS)
DAY 1 ANKARA
Arrival to Ankara airport, transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)
DAY 2 ANKARA / CAPPADOCIA
Today we’ll visit the Mausoleum of Atatürk and Anatolian Civilizations Museum to view outstanding collections dating back to the Paleolithic Age. Drive along the picturesque Salt Lake to reach Cappadocia. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 CAPPADOCIA
Full day visit of Cappadocia, known for its bizarre land formations and settlements. Dominated by Mt. Argeus, inhabited by Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans, it offers magnificent rock carved monasteries and churches ornate with Christians frescoes from the 7th-13th centuries. After lunch in the area visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum with its fairy chimneys and dozens of cave churches decorated with unique frescoes depicting various scenes from the Bible. Before returning to the hotel, visit the Zelve Valley. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 CAPPADOCIA / ADANA
After breakfast visit the Underground City of Kaymaklı, built by the early Christians to escape from the invading Roman armies. After lunch visit Ağzıkarahan Caravanserai used by traveling merchants on the ancient silk and spice road. Drive through the famous Cilician Gates of the Taurus Mountains and arrive in Adana. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 ADANA / ANTAKYA / ADANA
Our morning begins with a drive to Antioch, origin of St. Paul’s missionary journeys. (Acts 6:5, 11:19-30, 13:1-3, 15:1-2, 22-25). Visit Hatay museum with the finest collection of Roman mosaics in the world. We’ll then continue to visit the grotto where St. Peter first preached and is believed to be the world’s oldest church still in use, St. Peters Church. In 1983 the Vatican declared the church holy. After lunch, drive to Seleucia where St. Paul sailed off to Cyprus. Overnight in Adana. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 ADANA / KONYA (ICONIUM)
Early drive to Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul. (Acts 9:11, 30, 11:25, 21:39, 22:3, 25:79). After a short tour of the town, visit St. Paul’s Well and Cleopatra Gate. After lunch drive along the Mediterranean passing Pomopeiopolis, Korykos, Maiden’s Castle, Silifke and visit Derbe and Lystra where St. Paul spent time. (II Timothy 3:11) Dinner and overnight in Konya. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 KONYA / PISIDIAN ANTIOCH / PAMUKKALE
Today we begin with a tour of Konya, an important Roman city and capital of Seljuk Empire. Visit Museum and Mausoleum of Mevlana, founder of the Whirling Dervishes. Then visit Pisidian Antioch where St. Paul decides to turn to Gentiles. (II Timothy 3:11) Following lunch in the area, drive by Eğirdir Lake and reach Pamukkale, known also as 'Cotton Castle' to see the Calcium cliffs with the natural pools. Continue to visit Hiearapolis, the ruins with one and a half km extension, established by Eumenos II in the II. BC but the most important findings are from Roman Empire. Visit the ruins of the biggest Necropolis Graveyard of the ancient world, Roman Baths and the Basilica. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 PAMUKKALE / LAODICEA / MILETOS / KUŞADASI
Departure for a visit to one of the remnant ruins of the Seven Churches (Revelation 1:11). Laodicea, a town that was under both Roman and Turkish rule at various times, had a large Jewish community which eventually converted to Christianity (Colossians 4:13,15), but felt into disrepair and is now uninhabited. After lunch visit Miletos where St. Paul went during his third missionary trip and see Temple of Apollo, one of the famous oracles of the antiquity. Continue to Kuşadası for overnight and dinner. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 KUŞADASI / EPHESUS / IZMIR
Morning departure to the one of the world’s most visited sites, Ephesus which represents ruins on a grand scale. (Revelation (1:11) Visit the theatre, the Odeon, the Library and the Roman baths. Continue then to the Basilica of St. John, built on the hilltop site of the house and tomb of St. John the Apostle. Here lies the crypt with the tomb of St. John: it was believed by pilgrims during the Middle Ages that the dust rising from his grave had curative powers and was diligently gathered up. St. Paul visited Ephesus between AD 55 – 58, where his ministry included preaching, conversion and the baptizing of the twelve disciples (Acts 19:5-8). St. Paul was imprisoned for several years in Ephesus and is believed to have written portions of the Epistles during his confinement. Ephesus eventually became one of the cradles of Christianity due to his efforts. In addition to Saints John and Paul, Ephesus was also the home to the mother of Christ, Mary who was entrusted to John’s care after the Crucifixion and moved with John to Ephesus, where both are believed to have lived the remainder of their lives and are buried. We’ll visit to the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, the most important Christian shrine in Ephesus. Drive to Izmir for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 IZMIR / AKHISAR / SARDIS / PHILADELPHIA / IZMIR
Our day begins with drive to Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. We continue on to Sardis, the capital of Lydian Kingdom. The city has one the greatest temples of Antiquity; the Gymnasium-Synagogue complex. Following lunch in the area visit Philadelphia, one of the Seven Churches, known as the city of brotherly love. Dinner an overnight at Izmir hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 11 IZMIR / PERGAMUM / AYVALIK / ÇANAKKALE
After visiting the ancient Agora of Smyrna (Izmir), drive to Pergamon, the most favored of the Seven Churches addressed by St. John (Revelation 2:12-17). Visit the theater, Athena, Dionysos and Trajan Temples, the Basilica built on the Serapis Temple, along with the Acropolis, the Parchement Library, and the ancient medical center Asclepium where Galen taught. After lunch drive to Ayvalık to see the biblical Alexander Troas (Acts 16:8-11, 20:5-14; Corinthians 2:12-13; Timothy 4:13) visited by St. Paul. Dinner and overnight at Çanakkale hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 ÇANAKKALE / TROY / ISTANBUL
Morning visit the ancient Troy, the site of the Trojan War immortalized in Homer’s Iliad. After lunch in the area, we cross the Dardanelles by ferry to Gallipoli and drive to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight at Istanbul hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 13 ISTANBUL
After breakfast at the hotel proceed for a full day tour which takes you through splendid attractions of Istanbul. Visit St. Sophia, the magnificent Byzantine church of all times, mosque during Ottomans and museum today. Byzantine Hippodrome, the former center for sportive and political activities of Constantinople. Obelisk of Theodosius from Egypt, the Serpentine Column and the German Fountain. The Blue Mosque, a magnificent 17th century mosque famous with its six minarets and 25,000 pieces of Blue İznik tiles decorating the interior. Following a lunch break in the old town, you will visit Topkapı Palace, the former Imperial residence from where the Great Ottoman Empire was once ruled. Today the 15th century Palace displaying the imperial treasury, 3rd richest Chinese and Japanese porcelain collection of the world and other collections scattered in 3 courtyards and vast gardens overlooking the Golden Horn and Bosphorus. Süleymaniye Mosque, the mosque of Sultan Suleiman the ‘Magnificent’, built in the 16th century by Sinan, the famous architect of all times. Overnight at the hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 14 ISTANBUL
Transfer to the airport for departure flight. (B)
Included services for this itinerary:
  • Arrival-departure transfers.
  • 13 nights half board accommodation at 4 or 5 star hotels.
  • All tours, airport and hotel transfers conducted by private A/C comfortable vehicles.
  • Sightseeings and visits as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Lunches on the way.
  • English speaking professional tour guide (or your chosen language).
  • Entrance fees to the touristic sites mentioned.
  • All necessary taxes.
  • For our current rates, please contact us about this tour.