The 7 CHURCHES OF REVELATION (Apocalypse)
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: Drive to Canakkale. Visit ancient Troy , Helena the beatiful, , Menelaos , Priamos , the war of Troy . . . The heroes of the ancient world whose stories we have listened from Homeros. You will see the revival of history when walking among the 9 layers of Troy. Overnight: Canakkale (B.L.D.)
Day 03: After breakfast we will drive to Izmir via Pergamum, one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12] where we explore the impressive Acropolis, the Asklepieion, the Altar of Zeus, referred to as the 'Throne of Satan' in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the former world-renowned library which was for a long time arch-rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. We also visit the Red Basilica, then continue on to Thyatira (now Akhisar), yet again one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14] and famous for purple dyes! Overnight: Izmir (B.L.D.)
Day 04: Today we will visit Izmir the homeland of Homeros, visit Kadifekale and St Polycarp church, which is the oldest church in Ancient Smyrna, it symbolized the community of the seven churches of the Apocalypse. Then visit Alexandre the Great's "Velvet Castle" .We go on to see Sardis. Sardis (Sart), one of the most picturesque sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4] and the capital of the ancient Lydian Kingdom of the 6th century B.C. Visit the great Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Cybele, ancient Lydian houses, and the restored gymnasium and reconstructed synagogue. We will also see the remains of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis and the 'golden' river Pactolos. On to Philadelphia, modern -day Alasehir, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:7]. There we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica of 11th century. Then proceed to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight at hotel. Overnight: Pamukkale (B.L.D.)
Day 05: Visit Pamukkale with its famous white 'cotton fortress', ancient hot mineral springs said to have therapeutic qualities cascade over steep cliffs forming stalactites and pools. Here we also visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian arid see the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the 2nd century A.D. theater, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. Enjoy a leisurely bath in the hotels hot spring pool. A short drive to Laodicia, the geographic location of the city will explain why the Laodiceians were called by God in the book of Revelations neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. Than we will drive to Kusadasi for the night. Overnight: Kusadasi (B.L.D.)
Day 06: Today we will see the ancient city of Ephesus and 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 believed to be the house of the 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.
Then we will drive to Bursa which was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Overnight: Bursa (B.L.D.)
DAY 07: In the morning we will see the Green Tomb , Green Mosque and Iznik (the first and seventh Ecumenical (Councils) on the way to Istanbul. Arrive Istanbul and check in to your centrally located hotel. Overnight: Istanbul (B.L.D.)
DAY 08: A full 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 16 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. At night a farewell dinner with belly dancing show. Overnight: Istanbul (B.L.D.)
DAY 09 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.