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Istanbul Seven Churches

8 Days / 7 Nights (Tour Code: TUR-21)
Istanbul Seven Churches

Day 1: Istanbul

Home – Istanbul Arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, reception and assistance with airport formalities. Transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Istanbul

Istanbul In the morning, visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia Museum and the Underground Cistern. Lunch. In the afternoon, visit the of the Topkapı Palace and the Grand Bazaar, followed by and excursion on the Bosphorus by boat. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Iznik - Bursa

Istanbul – Nicea (Iznik) – Bursa In the morning, visit of the Chora Church. Lunch. Departure to Bursa, crossing the Sea of Marmara by ferry-boat and visiting Iznik (Nicea) on the way, the most important city of the Bithynia at the time of Paul’s visit and where the two churches meetings - the First and Seven Ecumenical Councilss - were held; visit of the St.Sophia church, the place of the latter meeting; and the St. Trifon church. Dinner and overnight in Bursa.

Day 4: Bursa - Istanbul

Bursa – Bergama In the morning; tour of Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, including visits to the Green Mosque, the Green Mausoleum, the Grand Mosque famous for the multitude of its domes. Departure for Bergama to explore the ancient city of Pergamon nearby. Lunch on the way. Upon arrival at Pergamon. Visit of the Asclepium Sanctuary and the ACROPOLIS; The Altar of Zeus, which is said to be “the palace where Satan has his throne” (Revelation 2:13); the Trajan Temple; the world’s steepest theatre, and the Red Basilica, which was originally a center of pagan worship and later used as a church dedicated to St. John. Dinner and overnight in Bergama.

Day 5: Istanbul

Bergama (Thyatira – Sardia – Philadelphia) – Pamukkale

Early in the morning, departure for Thyatira, where libertinism used to be a constant threat to the Chistian church; the remnants of the Church and the Temple are to be visited. Resuption of the drive to Sardis, one of the most picturesque areas of the Seven Churches, and visit of the Artemis Temple; the Byzantine Church; the Acropolis; the synagogue; and the gymnasium. Lunch on the way to Philadelphia. Visit of the Byzantine basilica in Philadelphia where the church was not strong but the members were loyal. Contuniation of trip to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Bursa - Bergama

Pamukkale (Hieraplis – Laodicea) – Izmir In the morning, visit of Hierapolis, rich in Roman and early Christian remains, where Apostle Philip was martyred and which was the home town of Papias, a disciple of St. John. Free time for bathing in the warm waters of Hierapolis, for which St. John said: ’’I know all your ways; you are neither hot nor cold .How I wish you were either hot or cold! But because you are like-warm, hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth’’(Revelation 3.15-17) and which lies across the valley from Laodicea. Lunch. Visit of Laodicea. Brief coach-ride to Izmir for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Bergama

Izmir – Ephesus – Izmir In the morning, visit of the ancient Agora and the church named after St. Polycarp who was a loyal member and was martyred for his loyalty. An excursion to Ephesus, a distinguished antique city in the Chirstian history, and the where St. John came at the end of his life with Virgin Mary to write his Gospel. Lunch in Selçuk. Visit the Basilica of St. John and the Shrine of Virgin Mary, where a mass will be held. Return to Izmir for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Bergama - Pamukkale

Izmir or Izmir – Home or Izmir – Istanbul – Home Transfer to Izmir’s Adnan Menderes airport. Assistance with the boarding and customs formalities. Take –off for home (Flying home via Istanbul is also possible. However, in that case there will be a price supplement to cover the airfare for the Istanbul/Izmir leg).

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