In The Steps of St. Paul

13 DAYS & 12 NIGHTS

This tour is a lifetime opportunity to explore and learn more about Holy Sites of early Christianity in Turkey.

DAY 1: WELCOME TO ISTANBUL

Arrive in Istanbul, the only city in the world founded on two continents, “Europe and Asia “you will be met at the airport, assist and transfer to the hotel. A brief orientation and welcome cocktail with your tour escort.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. D

DAY 2 : ISTANBUL – ADANA – ANTAKYA – ADANA

Transfer to the Ataturk Airport for a morning flight to Adana. Upon arrival, you are met and then taken by coach to  Antakya (Antioch), the city where St. Paul, St. Peter and St. Barnabas preached the word of Christ and so were called ” Christian”. Antioch-on-Orontes (Acts.6;5;11:19-30;13;1-3;1-2;22-35).

St Peter's Grotto,the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated the mass, Adana Turkey

St Peter's Grotto,the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated the mass, Adana Turkey

Visit St. Peter’s Grotto, the cave church where St. Peter first celebrated the mass, and the local museum with its impressive Roman mosaics. Museum of Antakya to see one of the richest collection of Roman Mosaics from nearby ruins. Return to Adana . Dinner andOvernight in Adana.
B, D 

DAY 3 : ADANA-TARSUS-CILICIAN GATES- CAPPADOCIA

After breakfast drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul (Acts 9:11-30; 11:25; 21:39; 22:3; 25-27). Drive through the Taurus Mountains and the Cilician Gates and arrive in the region of Biblical Cappadocia famous for its extraordinary landscape. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. B, D

DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA

Buffet breakfast.  Full day tour of Cappadocia, a center of medieval Christianity, where St. Basil and St. Gregory taught. Visit the troglodyte dwellings in rock caves and fairy chimneys of volcanic tuff merged harmoniously into the landscape. Visit the natural citadel of Uchisar, Goreme an open air museum with its early Christian chapels carved in rocks and decorated with frescoes by early Christian artists, mostly between the 9th and 13th centuries.

Museum of Antakya, Turkey

Museum of Antakya, Turkey

Then to Zelve and the Underground city of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli, where thousands of early Christians lived concealed from persecutors in eight-story complexes of subterranean dwellings. Dinner and over night in Cappadocia.
B, D

DAY 5: KONYA (ICONIUM)-YALVAC (ANTIOCH IN PSIDIA) – EGRIDIR

Buffet breakfast.  Morning drive to Konya, the capital of the Seljuk Turks in the12th & 13th centuries, now famous as the home of the great 13th century mystic, known as, Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervishes. He was a poet philosopher preaching of God’s love to all creation. He was revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews for his ecumenical spirit. St. Paul visited Iconium, using its synagogue as his forum. Later, continue to Antioch in Pisidia, (Yalvac), where St. Paul, on his first missionary journey preached his first recorded Sermon (Acts 13:16) “Almost the whole city gathered to hear the words of God” (Acts 13:44). Dinner and overnight on the Pisidian lake side district in Egridir. B, D

DAY 6: EGRIDIR – ANTALYA (ATTALIA)

After breakfast, board the coach and drive through the magnificent pine forests of the Taurus mountains to Antalya on the Turquoise Riviera, one of the most beautiful cities of the Mediterranean Sea. Afternoon is at leisure to relax and/or swim.  Dinner and overnight in Antalya. B, D

DAY 7: ANTALYA – PERGE – ASPENDOS – ANTALYA

Today we explore the remains of the Greco-Roman cities of Perge and Aspendos. Perge was founded around 1000 B.C and ranked as one of the great Pamphylian trading cities. Perge had one of the oldest Christian communities in Asia Minor. Paul and Barnabas came here after their flight from Antioch in Pisidia. Greek colonists came here after the Trojan War and probably displaced even earlier inhabitants. The city prospered under Alexander the Great and the Romans. The substantial remains of a great theatre, stadium, Agora, Bath Complex, huge Hellenistic and Roman Gates and an impressive colonnaded street are highly worth to see. Like Perge, Aspendos was founded on a hilltop near a river and later spread down to the plain, and it is visited today principally for its theater.

Church of the Holy Savior, Kariye Museum, Istambul

Church of the Holy Savior, Kariye Museum, Istambul

The outstanding feature of Aspendos is the theater in the lower town, built in the late second century A.D. during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180). It is one of the best preserved in the world. It seats 15.000 people and has remained perfectly intact for 1.800 years. Dinner and overnight in Antalya. B, D

DAY 8: ANTALYA (ATTALIA) LAODICIA – PAMUKKALE (HIERAPOLIS)

En-route to Pamukkale, we will visit Laodicia, one of the seven churches in Asia Minor.  Laodocia is best known today to readers of Revelation where Jesus criticized Laodocia, using imaginary drawn from its daily life (Rev: 3:14-22). First Jesus said Laodocia is lukewarm and provides neither refreshment for spiritually weary nor healing for the spiritually sick (Rev. 3:15-16 ). The Laodecian Christians are wealthy and self-content to a degree that they think that they do not need Christ. The letter of the Risen Christ to the church at Laodecia (Rev: 3:14-22) contains numerous allusions to conditions in the city.  Then, continue to Pamukkale, the ancient Hierapolis famous for its calcareous lime stone terraces, offers a superb view of the valley of Meander. Site of early church where Epaphras worked ( Col.4:13 ). Traditionally St. Philip is connected with the church’s development. St. Philip was martyred here and a church was dedicated to him.  Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. B, D

DAY 9: PAMUKKALE – PRIENE – MILETUS – DIDYMA – KUSADASI

Buffet breakfast.  Drive to visit three great Ionian cities. First visit Priene, the favorite city of Alexander the Great, which commands a magnificent view of the Meander Valley. Then continue to the ancient city of Miletus with its well preserved Lion Harbor and theater, where St. Paul gave his emotional good-bye message to the elders of Ephesus. After lunch, drive to Didyma to visit the remarkably well preserved Apollo Temple learn about the Ancient Oracle of Apollo.  Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. B, D

DAY 10: EPHESUS – ISTANBUL

A Full day at the ruins of glorious biblical excursion to Ephesus, ‘the first and greatest’.  At the time of the Apostle John, Ephesus had the greatest harbor in all of Asia was known as ‘ the gateway of Asia’. Its position as a center trade route made Ephesus wealthy and very great in the ancient world. Ephesus was also the center of worship for Diana and Artemis. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. St. Paul stayed in Ephesus longer than in any other city and it was here Timothy was consecrated the first Bishop.   Visit the Church of St. John and his Tomb in Selcuk before driving to the home of the Virgin Mary, who was brought to Ephesus by John, the beloved disciple of Jesus. The home of the Virgin Mary is near a hill top, where she lived out her days. It is now visited by over a hundred thousand pilgrims each year. The pilgrims drink the water of the sacred spring, meditate and pray for health at this ancient spot of worship. Both Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979 have celebrated Mass here.  Afterwards, drive to Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul. B, L

DAY 11: ISTANBUL

Full day city tour including the great Byzantine Imperial Cathedral of St. Sophia Museum Built originally by Emperor Justinian in 532-537 AD, St. Sophia was originally the largest church in the Christian world. Built by Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, St. Sophia took six years to complete. It was repaired in 558 AD after the earthquake of 556 ruined the dome.  Today, the beautiful Christian mosaics and Islamic calligraphy testify to the spiritual beauty and harmony of both religions. Visit Hippodrome the chariot races and athletic events took place on the Hippodrome during the Roman period. The first of the seven hills on the promontory was the most important and dynamic part of the city throughout its history. The important buildings and monuments of the Roman era were built in the vicinity of the Hippodrome, the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpent Column, and the Walled Obelisk.

Blue Mosque Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque Istanbul, Turkey

Later, visit the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, the Blue Mosque, famous for its magnificent interior with blue tiles and 6 minarets. Lunch at the Konyali Restaurant within the Palace Continue to Topkapi Palace Museum to enjoy the dazzling displays of the Treasures of Ottoman Sultans, and the porcelain collection, which is unique in the world. Lunch at the Konyali Restaurants of the Palace. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. B, L, D

DAY 12: ISTANBUL

Visit 14th century church of the Holy Savior in Chora(the Kariye Museum)treasuring the marvelous mosaics and frescoes which represent scenes drawn from, the cycle of the life of the Virgin and of Christ.  Then cruise along the Bosphorus. In the afternoon the tour concludes with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world, featuring over 58 streets and more than 4000 shops.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. B, D

DAY 13: DEPARTURE

Buffet breakfast.  Transfer to airport for your flight back home. B

B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner

INCLUDED FEATURES

  • All transfers if airfare is booked through FOS Tours
  • 12 nights first-class (4*) accommodations at centrally located hotels:
  • 1 night in Adana, 2 nights in Cappadocia, 1 night in Egridir, 2 nights in  Antalya, 1 night in Pamukkale, 1 night in Kusadasi, 4 nights in Istanbul
  • 25 meals: 12 buffet breakfast, 2 lunches, 11 dinners and Welcome cocktail
  • Domestic flight (Istanbul – Adana)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in luxury air-conditioned coaches
  • Service of English-speaking tour escort throughout the tour, plus services of local guides
  • All entrance fees to the museums and sights as indicated in the itinerary
  • Bosphorus Trip by boat and coach
  • Mineral water, coffee and tea with all dinners
  • Gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • All transfers if airfare is booked through FOS Tours
  • 12 nights first-class (4*) accommodations at centrally located hotels: 1 night in Adana, 2 nights in Cappadocia, 1 night in Egridir, 2 nights in  Antalya, 1 night in Pamukkale, 1 night in Kusadasi, 4 nights in Istanbul
  • 25 meals: 12 buffet breakfast, 2 lunches, 11 dinners and Welcome cocktail
  • Domestic flight (Istanbul – Adana)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in luxury air-conditioned coaches
  • Service of English-speaking tour escort throughout the tour, plus services of local guides
  • All entrance fees to the museums and sights as indicated in the itinerary
  • Bosphorus Trip by boat and coach
  • Mineral water, coffee and tea with all dinners
  • Gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Service Charge and Local Tax.

EXCLUDED FEATURES

Travel Insurance, International airfare, airport taxes and fees, fuel surcharges, gratuities to guides, driver and tour   escort, optional trip insurance and personal expenses, beverages not mentioned, meals, sightseeing not included in the itinerary.

2009 Dates & Rates

Tour operates from April through November, from $1999

Group Only: call us for more details

We will guarantee the best available group airfare from your local airport at the time of booking.  Rates are per person based on double occupancy in the low season with a minimum of 40 passengers per coach.  Single and triple occupancy rates available on request.

Additional departures for groups of 20 or more available on request.  Please inquire.

For Extension Tours to Greece, the Holy Land and/or Italy please contact FOS Tours and Travel Inc.

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