ST. PAUL'S MISSIONARY JOURNEYS
The tentmaker, Paul was born in Tarsus, today a busy city in one of the richest agricultural regions of Turkey. As a boy he learned the trade of tentmaking. While studying in Jerusalem, he was an accomplice in the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martry. Later, after seeing a vision of Jesus, he devoted himself body, mind and spirit to preaching Christ's word.
Paul's career as a disciple started when a follower of Jesus, Barnabas, called him to work in Antioch (Antakya) in A.D. 43. The people whom Paul met in Antioch must have influenced his thinking. Of those attending the synagogue, there were Gentiles had been attracted to the moral virtues they found in Judaism. Paul held firmly to the prime article of Jewish law: " The lord is our God, Lord **
By foot over hot, dusty, steep roads, by jostling horse cart, by rocking sailboat, St. Paul the Apostle journeyed the length of the eastern coast of Anatolia from Antioch ( Antakya ) on route between there and Alexandra Troas ( Odun Iskelesi south of Troy )during the middle years of the first century; on three different journeys.
"I have been constantly on the road, "Paul wrote. " I have met dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my fellow countrymen, dangers from foreigners, dangers in towns, dangers in the country, dangers at sea, dangers from false friends. I have toiled and dragged, I have often gone without sleep; hungry and thirsty, I have often gone fasting; and I have suffered from cold and exposure.
DAY 01: Check in to your hotel for the start of your tour. In the evening your tour leader will brief you on the schedule of events for the next eight days. Overnight: Istanbul (D)
DAY 02: Flight to Adana and transfer to Antakya. Drive through the biblical city of Antioch where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).This city was the headquarters of St Paul's missionary journeys. lt was the third largest city of the Roman Empire rivaled only by Rome and Alexandria. St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Barnabas and St Timothy all preached here.Visit the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated communion. Antioch also has a world famous museum of Roman Mosaics. After lunch, drive to Seleucia Peria which is mentioned in the new testament as the location from where St. Paul and St. Barnabas set sail for Anatolia on their first missionary journey. (Acts 13:4) Overnight: Antakya (B.L.D.)
DAY 03 :After breakfast we will visit Tarsus, Derbe and Lystra. Visit the house where St. Paul was born in Tarsus. We head to Derbe, one of the famous cities where St. Paul and St. Barnabas preached Christianity (Acts 14:21). Derbe is famed today for the Manazan Caves, where the neglected ancient city with it's churches lie at the foot of Karadag. We move on to Hatunsaray (Lystra) which is renowned for it's rock tombs. Transfer to Konya for overnight. overnight : Konya (B,L,D )
DAY 04: Konya is another city St. Paul and St Barnabas had to flee due to persecution. Centuries later , the Whirling Dervishes' mystic order, was established here. Discover their treasures in the Mevlana Museum. Head to Pamukkale for overnight . Overnight: Pamukkale (B.L.D.)
DAY 05: We will visit Laodecia , the geographic location of the city will explain why the Laodeceians were called by God in the book of Revelations neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. We will see the ancient city of Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary. The remains of the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus with it's temples , agoras, houses and the theatre where the riot against St. Paul started. Also see the basilica of St John. After lunch visit the Shrine which is belivered to be the house of Virgin Mary. Nearby Ephesus you will also see the remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Overnight: Kusadasi (B.L.D.)
DAY 06: In the morning we will drive to Pergamum where you can see the first senatorium which was built in the name of Aeschlepios, the God of Health , and where the second largest library after Alexandria library was in public service. We go on to Troy , Helena the beatiful , Menelaos , Priamos , the war of Troy. The heroes of the ancient world whose stories we have heard from Homeros . You will see the revival of history when walking among the 9 layers of Troy. Overnight: Canakkale (B.L.D.)
DAY 07: We depart for Istanbul early in the morning , a half day tour will introduce you to the many memorable sights of this city strategically located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. View the majestic Church of St. Sophia, the greatest monument of the Orthodox Church erected in just five years of the Emperor Justinian's rule. South of St. Sophia lies the Hippodrome, scene of Roman chariot races watched by tumultuous crowds of more than 100,000 people. Towards the southern end the Egyptian Obelisk dates from the 16th Century BC whilst the serpentine column with the three bronze entwined serpents was brought here from Delphi during the reign of Emperor Theodosius. Enter the Blue Mosque where some 20,000 blue Iznik ceramic tiles create an ethereal atmosphere. We visit Topkapi Palace housing the treasures of the Ottomans and the harem that served as the quarters for the sultan's wives and concubines. In the evening, farewell dinner with belly dancing show. Overnight: Istanbul (B.L.D.)
DAY 08: Istanbul:End of the tour , transfer to the airport . (B.) B:Breakfast L:Lunch D:Dinner
The tour is flexible and can be extended/shortened upon request.