IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL

DAY 1
Upon arrival in Istanbul, connect to your flight to Antakya to start your adventure. Overnight in Antakya
 
DAY 2
Antakya (known as Antioch) the capital of the ancient Syria, exceptionally important centre of early Christianity. Visit the Cave Church of St. Peter and the superb Mosaic Museum. Drive to the ancient port of Seleucia and Pieria to visit the Temple of Zeus and the Tunnel of Titus and Vespasian, the most remarkable pieces of Roman engineering in Turkey. Overnight in Antakya
 
DAY 3
Morning departure for Adana stopping on the way at the cave monastery of Eski Gumus and Tarsus, St. Paul’s birthplace. Tarsus is a charming town full of old houses with courtyards and gardens. Monuments include St. Paul’s Well, Cleopatra’s Gate, the Roman Street, the Great Mosque and an Armenian Church. After the visits drive to your hotel in Adana. Overnight in Adana  
 
DAY 4
Early departure for a drive to Konya; a unique combination of ancient mysticism and modernity, where the mystery and devotion of the past meets the present. Konya is a religious center as the chief seat of the Mawlawiyya Sufi order (the dervishes) which was founded there in the 13th century by the poet and mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi. We will visit Karatay Madrasa and Mevlana Museum, former lodge ofwhirling dervishes. Overnight in Konya  
 
DAY 5
On the way to Pamukkale, visit Pisidian Antioch, a site that is very closely associated with St. Paul.  Monuments at the site include a colonnaded street, a bath complex, a public fountain, the Temple of Augustus and a magnificent Roman aqueduct. The Church of St. Paul itself stands on the site of a synagogue where he once preached. Overnight in Pamukkale  
 
DAY 6
Visit the famous travertine cascades and the ruins of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the Martyrium of St. Phillip and the Roman theatre. Followed by visiting Laodicea and Colossae. At the end of the day drive to Izmir. Overnight in Izmir  
 
DAY 7
Explore the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus, dating back to the 11th century B.C., excavated and restored as one of the world’s most fascinating sites of antiquity. Followed by visiting the House of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Izmir  
 
DAY 8
Visit Smyrna, one of the Seven Churches, Church of St. Polycarp. Then continue to Sardis, once was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia and one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. Last explore the PhiladelphiaOvernight in Izmir
 
DAY 9
Today visit Pergamum, one of the Seven Churches where St. Paul received a message from Jesus Christ. Explore Asclepion, the healing center of Romans and Red Court, first a temple then a Byzantine Basilica. Last explore the last one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, ThyatiraOvernight in Izmir
 
DAY 10
Drive towards Canakkale to visit Alexandria Troas, during St. Paul"s Second Journey, it was from Troas that he received the "Macedonian call" to Europe. Then visit the ancient city of Troy thought to be the setting of Homer’s Iliad.  Overnight in Canakkale
 
DAY 11
Drive to Istanbul to explore the capital of three civilizations.  On the way, stop in Tekirdag to explore this small town and enjoy a sumptuous lunch. Overnight in Istanbul
 
DAY 12
Explore the Jewels of Ottoman Art starting with the breathtaking Topkapı Palace; the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th and the 19th centuries. Visit the Blue Mosque with its exquisite blue tiles. Walk through the world famous Grand Bazaar; one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Enjoy the Spice Market for a “real taste” of the cultural mosaic in Istanbul! Overnight in Istanbul  

DAY 13
Start your private tour by exploring the Jewels of Byzantine Art at Hagia Sophia, the great church built in the early 6th century by Emperor Justinian; the Roman Hippodrome; and an engineering marvel, the Underground Cistern, perhaps the most unusual structure in Istanbul, the 6th century water supply system. The last but not the least will be the Chora Church, known as the richest repository of Byzantine interior wall decorations, rivaled only by a few in the world. Overnight in Istanbul  
 
 
DEPARTURE DAY
Private escorted transfer to the airport.