Day 1: USA
Depart the USA for Turkey.
Day 2: Istanbul
Arrive at the airport in Istanbul, & transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 3: Istanbul
Discover the wonders of Istanbul today. Visit the 17th-century Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or “Blue Mosque,” which boasts a beautiful interior décor, consisting of marble & handcrafted ceramic tiles. Explore the magnificent Hagia Sophia, & learn about its conversion throughout history, from church to mosque to the Museum of Byzantine Art. Venture through the Grand Bazaar, home to thousands of shops featuring antiques, spices, jewelry, & more. Other highlights include the imperial Topkapi Palace, which features the actual bones from John the Baptist’s arm & hand.
Day 4: Istanbul – Adana – Antioch – Daphne – Seleucia Pieria – Adana
In the morning, fly to Adana. Upon arrival, head to the ancient city of Antioch on the Orontes, where the Apostle Paul & Barnabas lived & spread the Christian faith. Step inside the ancient cave church, St. Peter’s Grotto, & explore the Hatay Archaeology Museum. Enjoy a walk through the charming forest in Daphne before heading to Seleucia Pieria, home of the Titus Tunnel & the rock tombs. Later today, return to Adana for dinner & an overnight stay.
Day 5: Adana – Tarsus – Derinkuyu – Cappadocia
Travel to the ancient city of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul’s hometown. See Cleopatra’s Gate, the Well of St. Paul, & the Tomb of Sardanapalus. Next, head below the earth’s surface to explore the remains of Derinkuyu. This underground city features wine cellars, shrines, & granaries. Afterward, take a tour of the cave churches of Cappadocia. See the 11th-century frescoes inside the Apple Church, the colorful walls & ceiling of Tokali Church, the 5th-century Church of St. John the Baptist, & more.
Day 6: Cappadocia – Konya
Follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul today, on a journey to the city of Konya. The route passes through two ancient cities, Derbe & Lystra, in which Paul & Barnabas visited during one of the Apostle’s missionary journeys. As mentioned in the book of Acts, it was in the city of Lystra that a lame man was healed & began to walk. Enjoy dinner & an overnight stay in Konya.
Day 7: Konya – Pisidian Antioch – Antalya
Visit ancient Pisidian Antioch, where Paul preached the gospel to the Gentiles. Explore the remains of the city, which includes the Basilica of St. Paul, a Byzantine church bearing scripture from the book of Psalm within its mosaic décor. Other highlights include the acropolis, the theatre, the arched gate, & various engraved stones. Afterward, head to Antalya for the night, enjoying scenic views of Egirdir Lake along the way.
Day 8: Antalya – Colossae – Hierapolis – Laodicea – Pamukkale – Kusadasi
After breakfast, visit the ancient cities of Colossae & Hierapolis. See the Temple of Apollo, the Domitian Gate, & St. Philip’s Martyrium, a monument honoring the Apostle Philip for dying for his faith. Next, head to Laodicea, a site of one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. The number of remains that can be seen within this ancient community, of whom the Apostle John prophesied to be lukewarm, is quite impressive. Highlights include the sports stadium, the Odeon, the aqueduct, & the hillside theatre. Later today, on the way to Kusadasi, see the famous travertine terraces of Pamukkale.
Day 9: Kusadasi – Selcuk – Ephesus – Kusadasi
Take a walk through historic Selcuk, & see the ruins of the 6th-century Basilica of St. John, which features the Apostle’s grave site. Next, head to Ephesus, a site of one of the Seven Churches of Revelation & one of the most amazing displays of ancient Greek & Roman architecture. Learn about the long-lost Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Stand on the stage of the Great Theatre, where the Apostle Paul preached the gospel to the Ephesians. This amazing structure, which can hold a congregation of 25,000, is still being used for events to this day. Other famous structures include the Stadium, the Library of Celsus & the Gate of Augustus. Afterward, visit the house where the Virgin Mary spent her last days on Earth. A Mass will be held inside the house (pending availability). Tonight, enjoy another overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Day 10: Kusadasi – Izmir – Istanbul – USA
Transfer to the airport in Izmir, & board flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival in the capital, board return flight home.