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8 Days Biblical Tour - 8/7
8 Days Biblical Tour
Day 01 : Istanbul Arrival
Arrival to Istanbul Airport. Transfer assisted by our staff to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we will either meet you at your hotel lobby to answer any questions you may have, or we will drop off our Turkey travel pack & make a brief follow up call to say hello.
Day 02 : Istanbul
Following breakfast, we begin our day with a stroll around the 'Old City' where we will visit the Ancient Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque; famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles. Then to visit the St. Sophia church - turned mosque - turned museum takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior & magnificent dome. Next we will visit the spectacular Topkapi Palace. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus & the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453-1852) & we will see the extravagant Treasury, the priceless Chinese porcelain & Harem(optional). We will finish up the day in the bustling Grand Bazaar.
Day 03 : Izmir / Pergamon / Thyatira
We will take an early flight to Izmir & from the airport drive north to beautiful Pergamon. Among the impressive structures of this city, dating from 399 BC, we will see the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Dionysus & the 200,000 volume library which was surpassed only by that found in Alexandria at the time. The Asclepieum of Pergamon was a famous health center where methods of treatment included blood transfusions, music therapy & meditation. On our way back to Izmir, we will stop by Thyatira to see the remains of the church.
Day 04 : Izmir / Sardis / Philadelphia / Pamukkale
We leave in the morning for Sardis, which holds a prominent place in mythology. Sardis felt the influence of the Seven Churches of Revelation & highlights include the 3rd century AD Synagogue, Gymnasium, House of Bronzes, Temple of Artemis & of course 'the Church'. Next on our itinerary is Philadelphia which was an important Christian center during Byzantine times. We will see the Basilica & several interesting mosques. Overnight at Pamukkale.
Day 05 : Pamukkale / Laodicea / Aphrodisias / Kusadasi
We journey on to Laodicea Ad Lycum where the remains are found on a flat-topped hill. Christianity came to the area during the time of St. Paul, brought by Epaphras of Colossae. Laodicea became the seat of Bishopric & hosted an important Ecumenical Council in the fourth century AD, it was named in the Revelations as one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Highlights will be the Water Tower, Stadium & the Council Chamber. Our next stop will be Aphrodisias, a site presently under excavation. Highlights will include the Stadium, the Baths of Hadrian, the Theatre & the "Bishop's Palace". Overnight at Kusadasi.
Day 06 : Kusadasi / Ephesus / Izmir
Kusadasi was much-frequented place of birds during the seasonal migrations, during Ottoman reign it was named as Kusadasi (Bird Island). Bird island is connected to the mainland with a mole. Centuries ago the island was used for securing the shores & for preventing the attacks from the sea. Today, it is an ideal place to watch the panoramic view of the city & to witness breathtaking sunsets. You can also sip your drink at one of the cafes on the island.
Day 07 : Izmir / Istanbul
Leaving Kusadasi behind us we explore the ancient city of Ephesus & first visit the Basilica of St. John, "the Evangelist" who came here with the Virgin Mary & wrote his Gospel. Close by is the House of the Virgin Mary where she is believed to have spent her last years. On August 18th, 1961, Pope John XXll proclaimed the House of Virgin Mary at Ephesus to be sacred. You will have a chance to take a phial of Holy Water from the Sacred Spring. After lunch we visit Ephesus, which is one the greatest cities of the Greeks & Romans in Asia Minor & home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Transfer to Izmir Airport for Istanbul flight, transfer to hotel upon arrival. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 08 : Istanbul Departure
Depending on your flight time, check out (12:30) & remainder of the day free at leisure untill transfer time to Istanbul Airport
All airport transfers,
Hotels with breakfast
Lunch during tour
2 Way flight ticket