Κωνσταντινούπολη και κορυφαία σημεία της Μικράς Ασίας
Το ακόλουθο πρόγραμμα πραγματοποιείται μόνο για γκρουπ άνω των 20 ατόμων. Μεμονωμένοι ταξιδιώτες δε μπορούν να συμμετέχουν.
DAY 1: ISTANBUL ARRIVAL
Upon arrival at Istanbul International “Ataturk Airport” meet the local representative who will assist with transfer to the hotel. The original name of Istanbul is Byzantium and then Constantinople. A fascinating city situated between two continents Europe and Asia. We will enjoy a panoramic bus drive to see the various highlights of the city.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL
Discover the Byzantine and Ottoman treasures of Istanbul. We visit Hagia Sofia, converted to a mosque from a Christian basilica after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. We see the Hippodrome and the Obelisk brought from Egypt. Then our next visit is the Blue Mosque with its six minarets. Before lunch we will visit the Underground cistern. Continue on to the Grand Covered Bazaar.
DAY 3: ISTANBUL
Our day begins with a morning private Bosporus cruise in Istanbul! Bosporus strait units the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara and separates parts of Asian Turkey (Anatolia) from European Turkey. After free time in Spice Market, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon we will visit the Topkapi Palace which was the residence of the Ottoman sultans, with its fabulous treasure chambers.
DAY 4: ISTANBUL – TROY - CANAKKALE
Depart for Gallipoli, from the European to the Asian side of Turkey. Cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry-boat and continue with a visit to ancient Troy; see the legendary walls and the replica of the wooden horse. Drive to Canakkale (Hellespont), that lends its name to the Straits of the Dardanelles. This narrow passage connects the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara and further north opens into the Black Sea.
DAY 5: PERGAMUM – THYATIRA - IZMIR
Drive to Pergamum, modern-day Bergama [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theater in the world and the Asklepion. See the Altar of Zeus mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the book of Revelation. Continue to Thyatira (Akhisar) [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14] and visit the remains of the Basilica. Enjoy a panoramic drive through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Dinner will be provided at the hotel in Izmir.
DAY 6: IZMIR – SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA – HIERAPOLIS (PAMUKKALE)
Early morning start and our first visit is Sardis (presently Sart) [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], one of the most picturesque sites of the Seven Churches of Asia. We visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. In Philadelphia (Alasehir) [Rev. 1:11; 3:7] we will see the remains of the Byzantine Basilica and 11th century frescoes. Proceed to Hierapolis (Pamukkale) [Col. 4:13] where ancient hot springs cascade over steep cliffs, forming stalactites and pools. Enjoy dinner at the hotel in Hierapolis.
DAY 7: LAODICEA – APHRODISIAS - KUSADASI
We depart for Laodicea (Denizli) [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. We see the ancient theatre, remains of the basilica and ancient stone water pipes. Aphrodisias is our next stop. We visit the best-preserved ancient stadium ever excavated where the seating capacity was 30,000. We see the odeon with its extraordinary blue marble stage, the Temple of Aphrodite, Hadrian’s Bath and the Bishop’s Palace. Lunch is provided before driving to Kusadasi, a lovely and peaceful little port and fashionable resort, where we dine and stay overnight.
DAY 8: EPHESUS - KUSADASI
Drive to Ephesus (Acts 18:19-21) and visit the ancient city and the Basilica of St. John. The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. We tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC. Visit The House of Virgin Mary before driving to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 9: IZMIR – ISTANBUL DEPARTURE
Fly from Izmir to Istanbul and connect with onward flight back home. We hope that the memories of your visit will accompany you whenever you travel through the pages of the New Testament and read through Ephesians or about the Seven Churches and that you will choose to come with us on your next Bible land journey.