Footsteps of St. Paul Tour 14 Days/13 Nights
Tour Code: CS-BT01
Duration: 14 days,13 nights
Highlights: Istanbul, Antioch on the Orontes, Tarsus, Cappadocia, Konya, Antioch of Pisidia, Antalya, Perge, Aspendos, Colossae, Laodicea, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Sardis, Ephesus, Miletus, Izmir, Pergamum, Troas, Troy
Departures: Departure on request only.
Tour Price: From $1600
According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul made three separate missionary journeys and a journey to Rome. The biblical narrative ends there, but tradition has it that he was martyred in Rome around 67 AD. On the other hand, it is also possible that he was released in Rome following his appeal, and continued his missionary work in various places. Fortunately for modern travelers interested in biblical sites, Paul traveled to some of the most beautiful and historic places around the Mediterranean. This comprehensive tour gives you opportunity to follow his travels in Turkey.
Day 1 – Arrival in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure.
Day 2 – Byzantine and Ottoman Heritage Tour
After breakfast at your hotel, you begin a full day sightseeing tour of Istanbul. Highlights include: the illustrious Topkapi Palace (harem section is optional); the ancient Roman Hippodrome (site of chariot races); Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine church that was converted to a mosque in 15th century; and the famed “Blue Mosque”. At the conclusion of the city tour, we drive to the airport to board our flight to Adana, where we spend the night. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Adana, Antioch on the Orontes, Adana
This morning we drive to Antakya (Antioch on the Orontes), where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11; 26). Then we visit St. Peter’s Grotto and the fabulous mosaic museum. After lunch, we motor back to Adana for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Adana, Tarsus, Cappadocia
After breakfast, we depart for Tarsus, the town where St. Paul was born. After viewing Arches of St. Paul and Cleopatra, we continue to the fascinating region of Cappadocia for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Cappadocia
First, we drive through the Martian-like landscape of the Dervent Valley, home of Pasabag’s “Fairy Chimneys”, where it is said that “the voice of the wind harmonizes with the songs of the fairies”. Moving on, you’ll visit the Avanos Center of Terracotta Art, then pause for lunch. After lunch, you continue to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum, and view frescoes in the area’s rock-hewn churches.Then you proceed to the Uchisar Rock Castle, where you’ll have a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys. Overnight in Cappadocia. (An optional traditional “Turkish night” is available.) (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Cappadocia to Konya
Early this morning we depart for Konya. En route, we stop in Kaymakli to visit its “underground city”. Then we continue, via the Ihlara Valley and the 13th century Sultanhan caravanserai, to mystical Konya, where we overnight. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 – Konya, Antioch of Pisidia, Antalya
This morning we have a sightseeing tour of Konya. Though not much of the city remains from the time of Paul, it is still spiritually important as the center of the “Whirling Dervishes” sect who preach friendship, tolerance and divine love. We will visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the mystic poet and Islamic spiritual leader, who founded the sect, and the ancient Iconium. After lunch, we proceed to Antioch of Pisidia where St. Paul preached his first recorded sermon and was expelled from the city. We’ll visit the ruins of the town’s two basilicas, then drive to Antalya (Attalia) for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Antalya, Perge, Aspendos, Antalya
After breakfast, we depart for Perge, an important city of ancient Pamphylia, originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 BC. Then we proceed to Aspendos, believed to have been founded by colonists from Argos, and site of one of the world’s best preserved ancient theatres. Paul and Barnabas stayed in both Perge and Aspendos on their way to and from Antioch. In the afternoon, we return to Antalya for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Antalya, Colossae, Laodicea, Pamukkale
Today, we depart for Colossae (made famous by St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians), where we’ll visit the Byzantine Wall and some other ruins. After lunch, we continue to Laodicea home of one of the “Seven Churches of Asia” for a visit its ancient Odeon, theatre and gymnasium. Then it’s on to Pamukkale for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Hierapolis, Philadelphia, Sardis, Thyatira, Kusadasi
After breakfast, we visit Hierapolis, renowned for its Necropolis (ancient cemetery), thermal baths, and theatre. Then we continue to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, and Thyatira. After lunch we continue to Sardis, the former capital of ancient Lydia, where we visit the temples of Artemis and Diana (which later became a Church), the ancient synagogue and the Gymnasium. As another of the “Seven Churches”, Sardis also has deep religious significance. Afterwards, we drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Kusadasi, Ephesus, Miletus, Kusadasi
This morning we visit Ephesus, the ancient Roman city where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. A walking tour features the Celsus, Library, Odeon, Double Church (site of the Third Ecumenical Council held in 431) and the “Marble Road”. Then we visit the shrine of the Virgin Mary and St. John’s Basilica. After lunch, we continue to Miletus, one of the principal cities of Ionia which was twice visited by St. Paul. Then we return to Kusadasi for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Kusadasi, Izmir, Pergamum, Assos
An early departure to Izmir. Upon arrival, we’ll have a short city tour featuring the ancient Smyrna, and one of the oldest continuously attended Churches of the Revelation, and Mount Pagos, where Polycarp was martyred. Then we continue to Pergamum, the ancient city denounced by St. John as the “Throne of Satan”. After lunch, we will visit the Asclepion, the medical center of the ancient world. Then we continue to Assos, where we overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 13 – Assos, Troas, Troy, Istanbul
After breakfast, we motor to Alexandria Troas, visited at least twice by St. Paul. After lunch we proceed to legendary Troy, home of the beautiful Helen of Troy and devastated by the surprise attack launched by the “Trojan Horse”. Then we continue via Canakkale, to Istanbul for a Farewell” get together and the last night of our journey. (B, L, D)
Day 14 – Departure from Istanbul
Free time until you are transferred to the airport for your homeward flight. (B)
Antakya (Antioch) : Acts 6:5; 11:19-30 13:1-3 15:1-2, 22-35
Seleucia Pieria : Acts 13:4
Tarsus : Acts 9:11,30,11:25.21-39,22:3,25-29
Derbe : Acts 14:6,20-21,16:1,20:4
Lystra : Acts 14:6-23 16 :1-4 II Timothy 3:11
Konya (Iconium) : Acts 13:51;14:1-6, 19; 16:2, II Timothy 3:11
Antioch of Pisidia : Acts 13:14-52, II Timothy 3:11
Antalya (Attalia) : Acts 14-25
Perge(Perga) : Acts 13:13-14;14:25
Myra : Acts 27:5-6
Patara : Acts 21:1-2
Miletus : Acts 20:15-38 II Timothy 4:20
Colossae : Colossians
Hierapolis : Colossians 4:13
Assos : Acts 20:13-14
Alexandria Troas : Acts 16:8-11, 20:5-12
II Corinthians 2:12-13
II Timothy 4:1
PRICES & DEPARTURE DATES
On request only mentioned price for the group of minimum 16 people
What The Price Includes
- Arrival, departure airport transfers and ground transportation.
- Transportation in non-smoking mini/midi bus with professional English speaking guide and experienced driver.
- All accommodation at selected category 3/4/5 star or boutique hotel
- All of the excursions mentioned in the schedule
- All of the meal mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
- Entrance to the various sites
- Services charges and local taxes
- Tips to staff, items of a personal nature.
- Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast).
- Domestic and International flight tickets.