11 Day Private Biblical Tour From Istanbul
This fabulous 11-day Biblical tour of Seven Churches and Follow St. Paul’s Journey in Turkey is unique and suitable to all faiths.
It begins when we collect you from Istanbul Airport, make introductions and transfer you to your hotel for the next two nights. Free time for the rest of the day.
A sightseeing tour of Istanbul's bejewelled city begins early the next morning. It includes visiting the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and so much more. In the afternoon we take a flight to Adana where we stay overnight.
In Adana, we visit one of the oldest churches in Antioch, Church of St. Peter before continuing to Tarsus, St Paul’s birthplace. After travelling back to Adana, we take a flight to Antalya for an overnight stay.
From Antalya, we go to Perga a Hellenistic city where St. Paul preached. Also, Hierapolis which is blessed by hot mineral springs and preserved Roman ruins. In Pamukkale, see the limestone-laden hot springs, which cascade from one white-edged terrace pool to the next. Overnight is spent in Pamukkale.
The next day we travel to the town of Colossae and Laodicean on the way to Kusadasi where we spend the night.
Early rise the following morning for a full day of sightseeing Ephesus, museum, Basilica of St. John and the Virgin Mary’s House. After which, we travel to our Izmir hotel for the next two nights.
Over the next two days in Izmir, the 3rd largest city of modern Turkey, there are well known Jewish and Christian communities. We visit towns such as Smyrna and continue to Sardis one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. From Thyatira, we continue to Pergamum before arriving in Ayvalik for the night.
From Ayvalik we start with Assos where we visit the ruins of the city and then drive to Troas before arriving in Canakkale for the night.
The penultimate day of their tour is spent in Istanbul after getting there via the beautiful Dardanelles.
The final day you will be brought back to the Airport.
- Visit Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
- Visit the Hippodrome and see the Blue Mosque
- Visit the Church of St. Peter.
- Full day tour of Ephesus
- Visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary
- See the Agora, the colonnaded commercial center
- Visit the site of Philadelphia
- Experience Pergamum, with its acropolis and Great Theatre
- Visit the Red Basilica
- Visit the Church of St. Savior in Chora
- Scheduling: Private Tour
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English, Spanish
- Duration: 11 days
- Skip the Line
- Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted
- Pick-up servicePick up from Istanbul Airport , Istanbul Hotels
- Easy CancellationThere is no cancellation fee once Customers Cancel at least 7 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
There is 50% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 3 and 6 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
There is 100% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 2 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
- On Request
- Private Luxury Vehicle
- Professional Tour Guide
- Domestic Flight tickets Istanbul-Izmir
- Breakfast and Dinner at Hotel
- Comfortable hotel accommodation 10 nights
- Parking Fees
- Entrance Fees
- Lunches are recommended in Local restaurants
- Personal Expenses
- Optional Tours
- Gratuities (Optional)
You will be met upon arrival by our airport representative and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
The bejewelled city of Istanbul sits between two continents and is home to 3000 mosques. Today's visits begin with Istanbul's Hippodrome, once a stadium with 100,000 seats, where chariot races and circuses often degenerated into violence. Then the famous Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and sparkling interior.
You'll visit the Topkapi Palace, once home to Hagia Sophia royal Sultans. Inside, you'll see the fabled jewels of the Treasury, delicate displays of Chinese porcelain in the Kitchen Quarters. Walk through St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) which, for 1000 years, was the largest church in Christendom. Built by Justinian (532-537 AD), the church has 107 columns, fossil embedded white marble floors and beautiful glass mosaics.
Today, it is the Museum of Byzantine Art. Topkapi Palace Catch a whiff of cinnamon, cloves, thyme and other exotic spices as you explore the Grand Bazaar. Over 4000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold. This afternoon, you'll fly to Adana, known as the "biggest village in Turkey" due to its rural atmosphere. Adana is also home to the 5000 US servicemen and women at Incirlik Airbase. Overnight in Adana.
Ancient Antioch was the center of Hellenistic civilization in the region and home to a massive temple and Oracle complex dedicated to Apollo. The temple functioned until the visiting Emperor Justinian threw out the last remaining priest and ordered the place burned to the ground. Christian roots go deep into Antioch's soil.
It was to Antioch that many Jerusalem Christians The Well of St. Paul fled after the death of Stephen (Acts 11: 19-21). St. Paul and St. Barnabas stayed in Antioch for a year and assembled with the church and taught many people (Acts 11:22-26). Later, the city became the center from which St. Paul performed his missionary labors (Acts 13: 1-5, 14-44; 14: 26-28; 15: 22-41; 18: 22-23).
It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians", and it was here that the first non-Jews were accepted into the early church.
You will visit one of the oldest churches in Antioch, Church of St. Peter. Continue to Tarsus which was the birthplace of St. Paul (Acts 22:3) and he visited on his second and third missionary journeys. Reaching back to the 14th century B.C., Tarsus is a city with a resplendent history. Back to Adana for an evening flight to Antalya.
Perga, a Hellenistic city where St. Paul preached (Acts 14:25). The ruins of a large stadium, baths, and tomb give ample evidence of its former greatness. St. Paul and St. Barnabas visited here on their first journey. Hierapolis is blessed by hot mineral springs and some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Asia Minor.
Paul mentions Hierapolis in his Letter to the Colossians in saluting Epaphras, a fellow labourer, for his love of the brethren there (Colossians 4: 13). The ruins cover more than a mile. You'll see the impressive amphitheatre with seats still in perfect condition. You'll see the City Gates, column-lined streets, and arches which have stood through time and earthquake.
Today, the area is known as Pamukkale, meaning the "Cotton Castle", named for the limestone-laden hot springs, which cascade from one white-edged terrace pool to the next. Overnight in Pamukkale.
You' Famous as the receiver of St. Paul's Letter to Colossians, the town of Colossae has fallen into obscurity. While you can still see traces of the theatre, the Necropolis and the Church, the ancient city is mostly indistinguishable ruins.
Not far away is Aphrodisias, another town whose fame has been obscured by time. This city of marble Laodicea thrived as the major center for worship of the pagan goddess Aphrodite until 500 years after Christ.
The Christians of Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches, (Rev. 3: 14-22) were chastised for being lukewarm, "You are neither cold nor hot" (Rev. 3: 15), and for being too comfortable incorporating pagan and Christian beliefs.
In the famous scripture from Revelation (3: 20-21), Jesus says to the Laodicean church: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...". Today, there are many acres of ruins to see, including the stadium and columned streets.
Overnight in Kusadasi.
Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1: 11). In ancient days, Ephesus was a bustling port town of 250,000, graced with wide, colonnade bordered streets.
Today, you will be impressed with the spectacular excavations of the major streets of ancient Ephesus.
You will view the Library and the huge Agora.
The Temple of Artemis was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Today, only a single column remains to mark the site. Ephesus
You will visit the Basilica of St. John, the traditional site of his grave. From the basilica, enjoy a commanding view of the area. You will visit the Museum of Ephesus for an up-close look at artifacts from the ancient city. You will have time to explore this powerful city on your own and recreate some of the footsteps of Paul.
Overnight in Izmir.
The third largest city in modern Turkey is Izmir, long a centre for Jewish and Christian communities. In St. Paul's day, the town was known as Smyrna. It was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 2: 8-11). You'll see the Agora, the collonaded commercial centre where Roman statues can still be seen.
Continue to Sardis, another of the Seven Artemis Temple - Sardis Churches of Revelation. Jesus told Sardis, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead"(Rev. 3: 1-6). Coins were minted and the dying of wool originated in Sardis. You will be impressed by the massive scale of the Temple of Artemis, by the white marble Royal Road, by the gymnasium, and by the synagogue. Visit the site of Philadelphia also one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3: 7-13). Christ told those who overcame that He would write upon them "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem." (Rev.3: 12) Today, not much is left to mark the spot. You will see an ancient wall and the remains of a Byzantine basilica. Back to Izmir and overnight.
Depart for the visit of Thyatira; was once a busy trading center and famous in the dying of purple clothes. Thyatira is one of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelations tolerated the false prophetess, Jezebel (Rev. 1: 11; 2: 18-29).
Continue to Pergamum which was another of the seven churches mentioned in Revelations (Rev. 2: 12). It displeased the Lord because it tolerated the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes which Christ hated (Rev. 2:13-17). Towering 1000 feet above the town and commanding a spectacular panorama is the fabled Acropolis.
As you pass through the Royal Gates, you will enter one of the great centers of classic Greek culture. You will see the foundations of the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Athena, and the ruins of the Library which once held 200,000 parchment volumes. You will see the remains of the Temple of Trajan, the Grand Theatre, the Gymnasium, and the Health Center (Aesclepion).
Overnight in Ayvalik.
Today you begin your tour with Assos where Paul rejoined his companions after walking across the headland on his own and visit the ruins of the city. Then drive to Troas, founded about 300 B.C. by one of the generals of Alexander the Great.
During St. Paul's Second Journey, it was from Troas that he received the "Macedonian call" to Europe. This is where Assos Luke's account changes from "they" to "we" (Acts 16:6-12), indicating that he joined St. Paul's team at Troas. Returning from Macedonia during his third journey, St. Paul was in Troas for a week, when the young man Eutychus fell from the third loft as St. Paul preached.
Overnight in Canakkale.
Continue to Istanbul via the beautiful Dardanelles and you will visit the Church of St. Savior in Chora which is located at the city walls and famous for its mosaics and frescoes. You will have free time to have some shopping and discover Istanbul on your own.
Transfers to airport for your flight home.
- Comfortable footwear is recommended
- As it will be very hot in the summer days we recommend you to bring an umbrella or a hat with you.