Footsteps Of St Paul

  • Destination: Christian Tours
  • Duration: 17 days
  • Price: $4860

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Day 1
Arrive in Ankara and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Ankara
Day 2
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
Day 3
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.Overnight in Cappadocia
Day 4
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
Day 5
Drive to Antakya via Gumusler Monastery near Nigde and through Cilician Gates (Gulek Bogazi). Overnight in Antakya
Day 6
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. Overnight in Kızkalesi
Day 7
Drive on to Konya, ancient Iconium, via Silifke Castle and Alahan. Overnight in Konya
Day 8
After visiting the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic. In the afternoon drive to Yalvac, Antiochus in Pisidia, and visit. Overnight in Pamukkale
Day 9
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. Overnight in Pamukkale
Day 10
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 Selcuk
Day 11
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. Overnight in Selcuk
Day 12
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.Overnight in Bursa
Day 13
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
Day 14
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
Day 15
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 
Day 16
Day at leisure in Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 17
Transfer to the airport for the departure flight.

 

Including

– 16 night’ accommodation including breakfast at the mentioned hotels (standard rooms)

– Air conditioned luxury bus with driver on tours

– Professional guiding on tours

– Lunches on tours

– All admission fees to the museums and sights

– Taxes

 

Excluding

– International flight tickets

– Dinners

– Drinks during the lunches

– Not mandatory but customary tips

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