DAY 1: Arrival to Istanbul & Transfer to Hotel
After your arrival to Istanbul (IST) or Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), pick up at the exit of first gate by driver. Then you will be transferred to your Istanbul hotel. There is no schedule on your programme today. Get some rest – relaxing – refreshment to being your tours. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 2: Full day Istanbul Old City Tour (Breakfast and Lunch included)
* Visited Sights : Hagia Sophia – Blue Mosque – Topkapi Palace – Hippodrome – German Fountain of Wilhelm II – Column of Constantine – Obelisk of Theodosius – Serpentine Column and Grand Bazaar
Our first destination is Hagia Sophia, the world’s one of the greatest and unique religious structure used as a mosque,a church and also as a museum. Hagia Sophia is housing two completely different cultures inside it, East and West.
When you take a step into the structure you can feel the dance of two opposite civilizations and come across the eye-popping blend of Islamic and Christian influences with extraordinary interior mosaics and an effective history.For more visual description you must witness it with your own eyes, surely you will admire it.
Then our duty is to reconnoitre the other masterpiece, Blue Mosque, built in early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet, and for this reason known as Sultanahmet Mosque in Turkey. Words are inadequate to explain its magnificence and beauty.
With its sequental domes and sin slender minarets, Blue Mosque dominates the skyline of Istanbul. The blue shade of the 27.000 pieces of Iznik quart tiles, giving the mosque its famous name, are very much worth to see.
Hippodrome & Monuments
We are going on exploring the ancient remains of Constantinople. Our next station is the Hippodrome with its 4 monuments – the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
Because of Byzantine emperors’ passion for chariot races in thre afternoons, the Hippodrome was the changeless center of sportive and political activities in Constantinople for 1000 years.
Are you ready to be astonished at Topkapi Palace (CLOSE ON TUESDAY), because it has many bewildering sides different from most of the world’s museums. Topkapı Palace was the administrative, educational and art center of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years.
It is a great sample of oriental architecture and includes a variety of activities such as exhibitions of art, books, jewels, plates, costumes, the treasury, and the Holy Relics. More than just an Imperial Residence of the Ottoman Sultans, it was the seat of the Supreme Executive and Judiciary Council for almost 400 years.
Our last station is the Grand Bazaar (CLOSE ON SUNDAY), Turkey’s the largest covered market at the heart of the Old City, offering excellent shopping.
It has lots of shops in it, and you can find almost whatever you want, such as beautiful Turkish carpets, pottery, tiles, cotton, wool and leather products and so on.At the end of this priceless day, you will be transferred to your Istanbul hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 3: Depart to Iznik – Niecea (Bursa) – Bursa City Tour (Breakfast and Lunch included)
After the breakfast, we will drive to Bursa visit the Green Mosque and Green Tomb. The Ulu Mosque is completely Seljuk in style, a big rectangular building with immense portals and a forest of supporting columns inside. After a stop at the Ottoman House Museum, we leave Bursa behind us and drive to Nicea.
The city was founded around 1000 B.C. In 325, the First Ecumenical Council was held here for the purpose of condemning the heresy of Arianism. The Seventh Ecumenical Council was also held here in the St. Sophia Church, which we will visit first. The church was built in the 4th century and has a mosaic floor which dates to the 6th century. All gates and walls date from the Byzantine times. Then you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Bursa.
DAY 4: Depart to Canakkale & Alexander Troas – Assos – Troy Tour (Breakfast and lunch included)
We leave our hotel and visit the archaeological site of this 5000 years old city, scene of the legendary Trojan War as described in Homer’s Iliad. See a reconstruction of the fabled Wooden Horse, the city ruins from a succession of 9 civilizations, the Roman Bouletarion, Theatre and onsite Museum. St. Paul travelled through the southern city of Troas nearby here several times.
Then we will drive to Troas and Assos. Troas was a busy port situated on the north-west coast of Asia Minor. Recent excavations revealed a dozen different cities covering 3000 years of human occupation. During his stay in Troas, St. Paul had a dream in which he saw a vision of a man asking him to “Come over to Macedonia and help us” after which he decided to go to Europe. All in all, he stopped and preached here 3 Footsteps of St Paul Tour – Troytimes.
Assos perched high on a cliff overlooking the Aegean and the Island of Lesbos is breathtaking. Its Acropolis carries the impressive Temple of Athena. Arriving at Assos on foot from Troas, St. Paul preached here and climbed down to the little port on the shore to board the boat on his return journey to Jerusalem. Overnight in Assos.
DAY 5: Smyrna – Pergamon – Thyatira Tour (Breakfast and Lunch included)
This morning take a beautiful Izmir (ancient Smyrna), After visiting the St. Policarp St. Paul Tour – Izmir Smyrna church in Izmir , continue to in Akhisar , ancient commercial place in connection with Troy & Sardes. Depart to Pergamum, visit to Asclepion, the ancient hospital, the Acropolis, the Church at the site of Serapium (7C) and the Red Court dedicated to St. John. Then visit Akhisar, the site of ancient Thyatira (7C). Then we will drive to Kusadasi. When we arrive you will be transferred to your Kusadasi hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 6: Ephesus Tour (Breakfast and Lunch included)
Drive to Ephesus where St. Paul stayed a while, visit the ancient city, House of the Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St. John, and continue to Miletos where St. Paul gave a speech to spread Christianity. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 7: Alasehir (Philadelphia) – Sardes – Leodecia Tour (Breakfast and Lunch included)
In the very early morning we will drive to Sardes and visit there one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse and the remains of the Cathedral. Continue to in Alasehir, the remains of a church. Visit , capital of the ancient Lydia with temple of the Cybele & Diana, which became later a church, see the royal road.
Then continue to Laodicea, the smallest among all Seven Churches of Asia Minor.
Laodicea, modern Eskihisar (means “Old Castle) was on the crossroads between the important Ionian cities of that time. This helped the city to claim a big wealth due to the existing high volume commercial activity in the region. There was a rich and influential Jewish community long before the Christian era. But, most of the locals were respecting Zeus more than any other god. Then we will drive to your Pamukkale hotel. Overnight in Pamukkale.
DAY 8: Pamukkale Tour & Flight to Istanbul (Breakfast and Lunch included)
Drive to Pamukkale, ancient Hierapolis – which name means sacred city, was believed by the ancients to have been founded by the god Apollo. It was famed for its sacred hot springs, whose vapors were associated with Pluto, god of the underworld.
The city also had a significant Jewish community. In the first century it was part of the tri-city area of Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis. This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). Before 70 A.D. Phillip (either the apostle or the evangelist) moved to Hierapolis, where he was believed to have been martyred.
Flight to Istanbul
At the end of this priceless day, you will be taken to the Denizli Airport for your Istanbul flight. After your arrival to airport, you will be welcomed by our representative at the first exit door. Then you will be transferred to your Istanbul hotel. End of service.