Biblical Turkey

Biblical Turkey

Izmir to Pamukkale

Enlighten your spiritual side with a 7-day pilgrimage through some of Turkey’s most historic sites including the Seven Churches of Revelation. Visit Miletus at the mouth of the Buyuk Menderes River, home of 6th Century B.C. philosophers Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Thales. Experience Ephesus, including the first church addressed in Revelations and Hadrian’s Temple, in Corinthian style. Be awed by the Celsus Library façade embellished with four statues personifying virtue, wisdom, fate and genius. Next journey to the ruins of Acropolis and Pergamum, one of the seven churches of Revelation. Continue toward Akhisar and visit the fourth church, Church of Thyatira. End your journey by treating yourself to the hot springs of Pamukkale, also known to the Turks as the cotton fortress. Rest easy at night in 4 and 5-star accommodation.

Highlights:

• Journey through the Seven Churches of Revelation and walk in the foot steps of great philosophers through ancient archeological and architecture wonders dating as far back as 6th century BC
• Visit Celsus & Pergamum libraries, and the Great Theater, ancient temples, basilicas, and ruins of once thriving ancient cities
• Near to Hierapolis that you can see the travertine basins of Pamukkale, known to Turks as the cotton fortress. The stunning white terraces have been formed over centuries by streams of hot mineral water flowing down the hillside

Includes:

• 6 nights in 4 or 5 star accommodation
• 6 breakfasts & dinners
• 5 full days of private sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with a professional driver
• Licensed professional local tour guides in English language, expert in Biblical history
• Entrance fees to all museums, parks, and historic sites as marked on the itinerary
• All private arrival and departure transfers with baggage handling
• Domestic flights tickets
• Bottled water provided throughout the tour.
• Welcome Package

Not Included
• International airfare
• Meals that are not indicated as included in the itinerary
• Gratuities to driver and guide
• Personal expenses of the guests

Level of support:

Guided

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6 nights

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View Itinerary

Day 1 | arrive ISTANBUL - IZMIR
Arrive in Istanbul Airport (flight TBA) and connect your domestic flight to Izmir. Arrive in Izmir, meet your Sea Song representative holding a name sign outside of the luggage claim area at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Dinner recommended at your hotel restaurant.
Overnight at Swissotel Grand Efes in Izmir


Day 2 | EPHESUS
After your breakfast, at 9:00 a.m. meet your guide in the hotel lobby and drive approximately one hour for your private full-day sightseeing tour.

First, visit Miletus, an ancient city located near the present Akkoy at the mouth of the Buyuk Menderes (Meander) River, owed its importance to its position on trade routes. It was one of the largest cities in Anatolia with a population of between 80,000 and 100,000. Highly prosperous, it founded many colonies and was the home of the 6th century BC philosophers Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Thales, the town planner Hippodamus and architect Isidorus. Miletus seems to have produced geniuses the way Aphrodisias produced sculptors. St. Paul preached in the theater on this third journey.

Then, visit the site of Ephesus. Paul lived, taught and preached here for two years of his life and Ephesus was the first church addressed in the Revelations (1:11, 2:1-7 Acts 18:19-28, 19:1-41) (Ephesians 19:24-40). Ephesus – The message of St. John to the Ephesians introduces Jesus in the same way as does the introduction of the book of revelation: with the seven stars, the seven angles of the churches, in his right hand and walking, among the seven golden lampshades, the symbol of the seven churches. The metaphor confirms that Christ is ever present in each of the churches.

You will see one of the first monuments Hadrian’s Temple. It was dedicated in 118 AD to Hadrian, Artemis, and the people of Ephesus but greatly reconstructed in the 4th century. This impressive Corinthian style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch. According to the belief of Ephesians, the Medusa head on the porch, would protect the city from its enemies.

Next, visit the spectacular Terrace Houses (Villas) located on the hillside within the city of Ephesus. They were inhabited by wealthy Ephesians, and are finely decorated with mosaics and frescos. The Terrace Houses were brought to light in excavations carried out since the 1980’s. Along with those in Pompeii, they constitute some of the most vivid examples of Roman domestic architecture to survive to the present.

Proceed to Celsus Library the best preserved structure of its kind. The inscription on the side of the building’s front staircase says that the library was built by Julius, in his father’s honour. Celsus was the Roman governor of Asia Minor early in the 2nd Century AD. The façade of the library is embellished with four statues personifying virtue, wisdom, fate and genius.

The Great Theatre in Ephesus, dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD it was succesfully reconstructed, expanded by the Romans until it reached the seating capacity of 25,000. This is where Paul was known to preach and it is still used for classical performances today. The Marble Road, runs between the Library of Celsus and the theatre and is a part of the sacred walk way. St. Paul preached in the theatre.

Then, you will visit the Church of Mary which is a church of great historical significance located in Ephesus. It is also known as the Double Church, because it is thought that one aisle was dedicated to the Virgin and the other to St. John, and the Council Church because the Council of Ephesus is believed to have been held here. A great ecumenical council was held in Ephesus in 431, concerning whether the Virgin Mary might properly be called Theotokos, or bearer of God.

Lunch recommended at Selcuk Koftecisi serving local meatballs and delicious mezes.

After your lunch, you will visit the Basilica of St.John where John and the Virgin Mary went between 42 and 48 AD to live. Three hundred years after the death of Saint John, a small chapel on the Ayasuluk Hill was constructed over his grave. This church was replaced in the 6th century AD by a huge basilica built by the Emperor Justinian, the impressive ruins of which are still visible.

At the end of your day, you will return to your hotel.

Dinner recommended at Deniz Restaurant serving delicious seafood.
(Walking distance from your hotel)
Overnight at Swissotel Grand Efes


Day 3 | PERGAMUM
After your breakfast, at 9:00 a.m. you will meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby and drive to Pergamum for your private full-day sightseeing tour.

Upon arrival in Pergamum, you will visit the Acropolis. All major buildings in Pergamum were reserved for public use in daily life. Even in the temples, religion was of secondary importance.

Next, you will visit the ruins of Pergamum. Pergamum was one of the seven churches addressed in the Revelation (Revelation 2:12-17), the city became the centre of a large kingdom in the 3rd Century BC and retained its status as a political and cultural leader into the Byzantine period. Your first stop will be at the Acropolis, then you will see The Library of Pergamum, built by Eumenes II, it was one of three famous ancient libraries along with Ephesus and Alexandria. The Temple of Trajan was a 2nd Century AD temple built in Corinthian order; it was completed during the reign of Hadrian II. The temple is built of white marble, probably on the site of a previous Hellenistic building. St. John praises the Christians of Pergamum for not having given up there faith despite all the pressure on them.

Lunch is recommended at Kardesler Restaurant serving local cuisine.

Then, you will visit the Asclepion, it was a healing centre built in the name of the god of healing, Asclepius. Although built in the 4th century BC, it had its peak in the Roman period when people came in search of a cure or just to take the waters.

At the end of your day, you will drive to your hotel in Izmir for approximately 2 hours.

Dinner recommended at Kosebasi Restaurant serving traditional kebaps on Kordon. (Walking distance from your hotel)
Overnight at Grand Efes Swissotel


Day 4 | THYATIRA - ST. POLYCARP
After your breakfast, at 9:00 a.m. you will meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby and drive for your private full-day sightseeing tour.

Continue toward Akhisar to visit the remains of the Church of Thyatira, the fourth church of the Seven Churches of the Revelation (Revelation – 2:18-29). It is believed that Paul visited Thyatira during his missionary journeys. St. John’s letter to the church of Thyatira which was materially the most insignificant of the seven cities in fact is the longest. Then arrive to your hotel, check-in and relax.


Izmir was known in ancient times as Smyrna, the recipient of the second letter of the Revelation (Revelation – 2:8-11). Your first visit of the day is to the Church of St. Policarp the oldest church in ancient Smyrna. St. Policarp is thought to have lived in about 69-156, and met some of the apostles who had known Christ. He was appointed as the bishop by St. John.

Lunch is recommended at Topcu Restaurant serving local cuisine.

Last, you will visit Agora, the agora used to be the venue for political gatherings and elections. It was built on the orders of Alexander the Great, probably in the 2nd century BC, and is the only surviving pre-Ottoman monument, although what remains was the reconstruction by the Romans after a devastating earthquake. There are 14 Corinthian columns, vaulted chambers and hundreds of Ottoman graveyards in the eastern section.

At the end of your day, you will drive to your hotel in Izmir for approximately 2 hours.

Dinner recommended at Yengec Restaurant serving delicious seafood. (Walking distance from your hotel)
Overnight at Grand Efes Swissotel


Day 5 | SARDIS - PHILADELPHIA - PAMUKKALE
After your breakfast, meet your professional guide in the hotel lobby for your private full day of sightseeing.

First, you will visit to Sardis where many structures are still visible today. Sardis was the fifth church addressed in Revelations (Revelation - 3:1-6). Artemis was the main Goddess of the city and the temple dedicated to her in Sardis was one of the seven largest Greek temples. The ruins of Sardis are scattered throughout the valley, which lies beneath the striking ragged mountain range to the south. Here you will see the remains of a gymnasium, stadium and ancient churches. View the Byzantine era shops, which once belonged to Jewish merchants and artisans. They back onto the remains of the largest synagogue in Asia Minor. Research has brought to light the ruins of several churches in Sardis.

Lunch is recommended at Divan Koftecisi serving traditional meatballs.

After your lunch, you will visit the Philadelphia, which was referred to as the "New Jerusalem" in the Book of the Revelation (Revelation - 3:7-13). Here we see the substantial remains of the Cathedral. Philadelphia is the only church among the seven about which nothing bad is said by St. John.

At the end of your day, you will drive to Pamukkale.

Dinner will be served at your hotel restaurant.
Overnight at Doga Thermal Health & Spa


Day 6 | HIERAPOLIS - LAODICEA - COLOSSAE
After your breakfast, at 9:00 a.m. check-out of your hotel and meet your professional guide in the hotel lobby for your private full-day sightseeing tour.

First visit of the day will be to the Hierapolis, which was a cure centre founded around 190 BC by Eumenes II, King of Pergamum. It was here that Philip was martyred. The Necropolis is the largest ancient cemetery in Anatolia with approximately 1,200 graves. The theater is a 2nd century Roman style building with many reliefs depicting scenes of Emperor Septimus Severus and the life of Dionysus. It is thought that the theatre was restored in the 3rd Century during the reign of Septimus Severus. Hierapolis is also known as “City of Sanctuary”. St. Paul also visited Hierapolis.

Near Hierapolis you can see the travertine basins of Pamukkale, known to Turks as the cotton fortress. The stunning white terraces have been formed over centuries by streams of hot mineral water flowing down the hillside.

Next, you will drive to Laodicea which was a strategic city in the 1st century BC as it was on the crossroads of the important Ionian cities during that time. During the time of John, the church of Laodicea was one of the seven most important churches of early Christianity (Revelation - 3:14-22). St. Johns metaphor gives the impression that the rich church of Laodicea was unable to understand the real source of the richness of a church.

Lunch is recommended at Teras Restaurant in Pamukkale.

Last, we reach Colossae, a major commercial centre in the 5th century BC on the trade route from Sardis to Konya. The Letter to the Colossians, attributed to Paul, is thought to have been written about 60 or 65 AD. From various references in the letter; it would appear that some of the Christians in Colossae were Jews (Col. 2:11, 16, 21) and that St. Paul became reconciled with John Mark (Col, 4:10). St. Paul was in Colossae during his fourth journey.

At the end of your touring, you will return to your hotel.

Dinner will be served at your hotel restaurant.
Overnight at Doga Thermal Health &am; Spa


Day 7 | PAMUKKALE - ISTANBUL
After your breakfast, check-out of your hotel and meet your Sea Song representative in the hotel lobby and transfer to Denizli airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will connect your international flight (TBA) home.

Location Map:


Operated by Sea Song.

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