EXPERIENCE EIGHT WONDERFUL DAYS TRAVELLING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL DURING HIS TRAVELS IN TURKEY.
Arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Transfer to the Istanbul airport for the Adana flight. Arrive at Adana airport. Drive to Antakya. Antioch was a city of great religious importance. It was the home of several Roman temples and its suburb, Antioch had also been the home of a large Jewish community since the city's founding in 300 BC. Antioch played an especially important role in Christian history: it was the base for Paul's missionary journeys, where Jesus' followers were first called "Christians" and where the Gospel of Matthew was probably written. Antioch hosted a number of church councils, developed its own characteristic school of biblical interpretation, and produced such influential Christian figures as the martyr-bishop Ignatius of Antioch, the pillar-saint Simeon and the "golden-mouthed" preacher John Chrysostom. Visit the Mosaic Museum, which has the second largest mosaic collection in the world. Transfer to hotel for overnight in Adana..
Leave Adana behind and drive to Tarsus - a city with a resplendent history: it was the birth place of St.Paul, Mark Antony and Cleopatra lived here in the 1st century BC. Visit St.Paul's Well, the Well of the Blessed Water (said to be on the site of St.Paul's house) and Cleopatra's gate (built in 2AD after the Egyptian queen who met the Roman Mark Anthony here). Continue to Cappadocia for overnight.
Start the day with a tour to the east of Cappadocia known as 'The Land of Beautiful Horses'. It was home to the 4th Century 'Cappadocian Fathers', St.Basil Gregory Nyssa and Gregory Nazianzus who spent their lives tirelessly combating the heresies that plagued the early church. They influenced the Nicene Councils who agreed that the father,son and holy spirit are there distinct entities of the same essence. Also visit the ancient underground cities of Kaymakl?, the natural rock castle at Uchisar. Lying along the Kizilirmak River banks, Avanos is famous for its impressive local architecture and handcrafts. Return to Cappadocia. Overnight.
Drive to Yalvac, site of the ancient city Antioch-in-Pisidia near the foothills of the snow capped Sultan Mountains. It was here in a local synagogue that St.Paul's sermon presenting Jesus in light of Israel's history to a mixed audience was recorded. See the ruins of the paved and colonnaded streets, theater and aqueduct. Drive to Pamukkale. Overnight.
Today visit Pamukkale known as 'Cotton Castle', famous for the healing properties of its thermal mineral baths and beautiful cascading snow white terraced cliff side basins and waterfalls. Visit the ancient Roman city ruins of Hierapolis, then depart to Miletos theater where St.Paul spoke to the locals. The theater with its horseshoe-shaped cavea, and stage-building of many different periods is built into a hill between the Bay of Lions and the Theater Harbor. These ancient ruins lie on a hill near the Aegean Sea. The theater could accommodate over 15.000 spectators. Visit the well-preserved Bath of Faustina, named after the wife of Marcus Aurelius, who ordered their construction. Transfer to Kusadasi. Overnight.
Depart to Selcuk to visit St.John's Basilica, the ruins of a Byzantine church marking his burial place. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus , where St.Paul's lived and worked with the congregation, apparently organizing missionary activity into the hinterlands. See spectacularly restored monuments such as the great Library of Celsus, Agora, Odeon, Trajan Fountain, Domitianus Temple, Roman Latrines, Тheater and stadium in which St.Paul preached the gospel. Continue with a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary, where she is said to have spent her final years. Transfer to Iznik. Overnight.
Transfer to Istanbul airport for a final departure.