OUR SERVICES

The Christian Heritage Tour

7 Churches and Saints of Asia Minor, Cappadocia (St. Basil), Tarsus (St. Paul), Mersin (St. Thecla) and Antioch (St. Peter).

Itinerary of The Christian Heritage Tour

Day 1 – Arrival to Istanbul

After passport and visa procedure, you will be taken to your hotel in the old city of Istanbul.  There will be time to relax and rest before meeting the guide in the evening for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (Dinner)

Day 2 – Istanbul

Today we will visit the Topkapi Palace, it was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and was the home of the sultan until the 19th century. St. Sophia was built by Roman Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 A.D.  It was the largest Christian church in the world for more than 1000 years.  The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603 and was constructed with the deliberate intention of rivaling the St. Sophia. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 3 – Iznik (Nicea) – Bursa

Today we will drive to Iznik (Nicea), we will visit the site of the First and Seventh Ecumenical Councils. We will then drive to Bursa, visit the spectacular Green Mosque and the Green Mausoleum. We will also visit the historical the Koza (Cocoon) Han, which is famous for its silk products. Overnight is in Bursa. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 4 – Pergamon – Izmir

Today we will visit the Pergamon including the Red Basilica and the Asclepion. In the afternoon we will visit the Church of St. POLICARP, which is the oldest church in ancient Smyrna, it symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Overnight is in Izmir. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 5 – Ephesus – Virgin Mary’s house – Basilica of St. John

Today we will visit the incredible city of Ephesus and its colossal Greek Theater that Saint Paul had preached, the theater is still used for performances today. The Marble Road, the Celsus Library, and the Temple of Diana are just a few of the things that we will be seeing here. We will also visit the house where the Virgin Mary lived her final days. After the crucifixion of Jesus, St. John brought her to Ephesus. Before we finished the day, we visit the Basilica of St. John, where the have been buried and the basilica built around his tomb. Overnight is in Izmir. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 6 – Thyatira – Philadelphia – Sardis – Pamukkale

Today we will drive to Thyatira to visit on of the seven churches of the Revelation. We will then drive to Sardis where the money was first minted and visit the Church of Sardis. We will see one of the world’s oldest synagogues in Sardis as well as the gymnasium and the Artemis Temple. After we visit the church in Philadelphia, we drive to Pamukkkale to see the ancient city of Hierapolis. The Martyrium of St. Philip the Apostle is in Hierapolis. Overnight is in Pamukkale. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 7 – Laodicea – Konya

Morning visit to Eskihisar, the ancient Laodicea, we will then continue to Konya to visit the Whirling Dervish Museum, a very holy place for Turkish Muslims.  There are exhibits of Dervish costumes, instruments, illuminated manuscripts and various ethnographic artifacts. We will spend a night in Konya. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 8, 9 – Cappadocia (One of the Natural Wonders of the World)

Cappadocia is home of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Nazianen and St. Gregory of Nysa, who are honored by both the Eastern and the Western Churches. We will enjoy the unique landscape of wind and rain eroded volcanic rock formations. We will tour the amazing underground churches and cities carved into the rocks by early Christians. Going off the tourist track, we will have wonderful strolls where we visit small villages and discover the unknown Cappadocia. We will visit Goreme, Pasabagi, Uchisar and Kaymakli underground city. We will spend two nights in Cappadocia. (Breakfast and Dinner)

OPTIONAL: Hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia at reduced rates.  A balloon ride in Cappadocia (for people of all ages) is safe and nothing less than spectacular.

Day 10, 11 – Mersin – Tarsus

We will visit an underground city and the beautiful early Christian monastery in Gümüsler, the only undestroyed, untouched church frescos in all of Cappadocia from the 12th century. Afterwards, we will cross the beautiful Toros Mountains on the way to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. We will St. Paul’s Church and visit St. Paul’s well. The next day we will visit sites such as the castles of Tirtar, Pompeipolis, the amazing chasm and ancient churches in Neopolis, the city of Olba with its well preserved Zeus Temple, the Corycos fortress and the underground church of St. Thecla. We will spend two nights in Mersin. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 12 – Antioch

Today we will drive to ancient Antioch, which stood out as one of the most influential and enduring cities throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods.  It was here that St. Peter preached his first sermon and founded the first Christian community.  Just outside the town we will pay a visit to the Grotto of St Peter, erected in the 13th century by the Crusaders. We will also visit the Hatay Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of Roman mosaics in the world. Overnight is in Hatay. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 13 – Istanbul

Today we will fly to Istanbul. We will visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque with its exceptional tiles, the spice market and the Grand Bazaar in the old city. You will join a farewell dinner with the rest of the group and your guide. Overnight is in Istanbul. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 14 – Istanbul

After breakfast transfer to airport and end of our service. (Breakfast)

​INCLUSION

  • Accommodation as per itinerary (4 Star Hotel in Istanbul and 5 Star Hotels in other locations).

  • Domestic flight

  • All taxes, fees and handling charges

  • Entrance fees

  • Local taxes

  • Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

  • Airport pickup and drop-off

EXCLUSION

  • Drinks

  • Lunch

  • Gratuities

Day 1 – Arrival to Istanbul

After passport and visa procedure, you will be taken to your hotel in the old city of Istanbul.  There will be time to relax and rest before meeting the guide in the evening for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (Dinner)

Day 2 – Istanbul

Today we will visit the Topkapi Palace, it was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and was the home of the sultan until the 19th century. St. Sophia was built by Roman Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 A.D.  It was the largest Christian church in the world for more than 1000 years.  The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603 and was constructed with the deliberate intention of rivaling the St. Sophia. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 3 – Iznik (Nicea) – Bursa

Today we will drive to Iznik (Nicea), we will visit the site of the First and Seventh Ecumenical Councils. We will then drive to Bursa, visit the spectacular Green Mosque and the Green Mausoleum. We will also visit the historical the Koza (Cocoon) Han, which is famous for its silk products. Overnight is in Bursa. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 4 – Pergamon – Izmir

Today we will visit the Pergamon including the Red Basilica and the Asclepion. In the afternoon we will visit the Church of St. POLICARP, which is the oldest church in ancient Smyrna, it symbolized the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Overnight is in Izmir. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 5 – Ephesus – Virgin Mary’s house – Basilica of St. John

Today we will visit the incredible city of Ephesus and its colossal Greek Theater that Saint Paul had preached, the theater is still used for performances today. The Marble Road, the Celsus Library, and the Temple of Diana are just a few of the things that we will be seeing here. We will also visit the house where the Virgin Mary lived her final days. After the crucifixion of Jesus, St. John brought her to Ephesus. Before we finished the day, we visit the Basilica of St. John, where the have been buried and the basilica built around his tomb. Overnight is in Izmir. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 6 – Thyatira – Philadelphia – Sardis – Pamukkale

Today we will drive to Thyatira to visit on of the seven churches of the Revelation. We will then drive to Sardis where the money was first minted and visit the Church of Sardis. We will see one of the world’s oldest synagogues in Sardis as well as the gymnasium and the Artemis Temple. After we visit the church in Philadelphia, we drive to Pamukkkale to see the ancient city of Hierapolis. The Martyrium of St. Philip the Apostle is in Hierapolis. Overnight is in Pamukkale. (Breakfast and Dinner)

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