Welcome to Turkey!
We will take you on a journey of ancient temples, 7 biblical churches located within the Aegean Region that will give you a chance to witness the history of mankind from religion perspective. From the altar of legendary “all mighty” Zeus to the sacred home of holy Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, many mystic relics are along the way for you to view during an amazing 5 day trip.
Upon our arrival at Izmir airport or Kusadasi /Cesme Port, our guide will meet you with your name sign to assist you on your transfer to hotel. You will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to Explore Izmir. Overnight in Izmir.
After breakfast we drive to Pergamum, actually called Bergama. It is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Asklepion, famous medical centre of classical times, see the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200, 000. It inspired the invention of parchment.
We also visit the Red Basilica (St. Johns Church). Then we continue our visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18 - 24; Acts 16:14]. It was a city famous for purple dyes. We visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Lydia, the seller of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira.
We enjoy a panoramic ride of Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12 - 17]. Smyrnas is a city scarred with a bloody history of trade and warfare. We ascend to Mount Pagus where we visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great, erected in the 4th century BC. We will also see the Clock Tower. Check in at the hotel for dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Today we depart early in the morning to one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1 - 4], Sardis, presently Sart. This was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. We visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became a Byzantine Church. We will also visit the restored gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We also see the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great and the «golden» river Pactolos. Lunch en route.
Then we continue our journey to Philadelphia, nowadays called Alasehir, another church of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and the only church not censured. There we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th century frescoes. We drive to the healing city of Hierapolis, actually Pamukkale, the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Proceed to Laodicea (present name Denizli) yet another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13 - 16]. We see the ancient theatre, the remains of basilica and ancient stone water pipes.
We visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the 2nd century AD Theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. Check in at hotel for dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Drive to Ephesus to visit the ancient city of Ephesus including the Basilica of St. John. The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. We tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC. Temple of Artemis, Ephesus ancient sites and Virgin Mary.
Walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. The Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city. We visit the Basilica of St. John. Visit The House of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Kusadasi.
After breakfast, we depart for Kayseri airport for our return flight back to home. We hope your tour was a memorable one and we would like to see you in the future in one of our tours again. Have a nice trip back home and thanks for choosing us.