Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
Meet and assist at Istanbul airport. Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Istanbul
Full day city sightseeing tour of Istanbul including Hippodrome where the chariot races took place during the Roman Period, Blue Mosque which is famous for its blue Iznik tiles, St. Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace, the great seraglio of the Ottoman Sultans where you can see the imperial treasury, the unique collection of silverware and Chinese porcelains offered to the Ottoman Sultans. Then visit the Grand Bazaar where you will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, jewelry, copperware and Turkish carpets. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Istanbul
Visit the Spice Bazaar before taking a cruise along the Bosphorus. After disembarking from the boat, drive to Kariye Museum, church of the St. Savior in Chora (known for its well preserved mosaics and frescoes). After the tour, return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 4: Istanbul / Izmir
Transfer to the airport and fly to Izmir. Upon arrival in Izmir, continue to Pergamum ( Revelation 2:12-17) to visit Acropolis, Temple of Athena, library, Royal Palace, Temple of Trajan, the steepest theater of the ancient world. Altar of Zeus. Then visit the Red Basilica, the Archeological Museum and Asclepion (medical center of the ancient world).Continue to Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) which was a commercial center on the highway between Troy and Sardes. Visit remains of a church, return to Izmir, dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Izmir / Pamukkale
Early departure for city tour of Izmir; ancient Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11), visit ancient Agora and Alexander the Great’s Castle on Mount Pagus overlooking Izmir. Depart from Izmir to Ephesus, veritable cradle of early Christianity (Revelation 1:1 ; 2:1-7), visit the shrine of Virgin Mary where supposedly she spent her last days. Proceed to spectacular ruins from the period of St. Paul; see Odeon, Fountains, Temples; Library, Great theater, Double Church and stadium. Visit the Archeological Museum, Mosque of Isabey, St. John’s Basilica and his tomb, Temple of Artemis (one of the seventh wonders of the ancient world). Continue to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Pamukkale / Izmir
Early morning start with the wonderful formations of stalactites and watch the Cataracts falling into the Basin at the bottom of the Mountain. Continue the tour with the ancient city of Hierapolis, the architectural genius of the Plutonium Theater and the magnificently well preserved Necropolis. There is year round swimming possibility in the natural hot spring pools. Then see the ancient city of Laodicea, home of Zenon and city of rich people. Visit one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Revelation 3:14 – 22) and the remains of the cathedral. Continue to Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) to visit Acropolis and the remains of the cathedral. Visit Sardes (Revelation 3:1-6 ),capital of the ancient Lydia. See the Temple of Cybele and Diana which later became a church, the Golden River (Pactalos) and the royal road. Then visit the reconstructed synagogue and continue to Izmir for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Izmir airport.