IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL

DAY 1

Arrive in Istanbul and receive VIP greeting service through passport formalities, luggage pick up and customs. Private escorted transfer to your hotel.Overnight in Istanbul  

DAY 2

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 3

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  

DAY 4

Take a morning flight to Kayseri and drive up to the land of wonders, Cappadocia. The region’s unique landscape of multicolored pinnacles and lunar rock formations known as “Fairy Chimneys” with hidden underground Byzantine churches, monasteries and entire subterranean cave towns.Overnight in Cappadocia  

DAY 5

In early morning, enjoy hot-air balloon excursion gently drifting over the fairy chimneys, pigeon houses, orchards and vineyards. Continue the day by exploring Goreme Open Air Museum and the fascinating Kaymaklı Underground City.Overnight in Cappadocia  

DAY 6

Morning departure for Adana stopping on the way at the cave monastery of Eski Gümüs 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 7

Day trip in 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 Adana  

DAY 8

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 of whirling dervishes.Overnight in Konya  

DAY 9

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 10

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. On the way to Izmir, visit Laodicea, Philadelphia and Sardis.Overnight in Izmir  

DAY 11

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  

DEPARTURE DAY

Private escorted transfer to the airport.