Biblical Turkey Pilgrimage10 days
Istanbul · Pergamum · Thyatira · Smyrna (Izmir) · Ephesus (Mary's House) · Sardis · Philadelphia · Pamukkale · Hierapolis · Laodicea · Cappadocia
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 2 nights: Crowne Plaza, Istanbul
- ~ 2 nights: Swiss Hotel, Izmir
- ~ 1 night: Pam Thermal, Pamukkale
- ~ 1 night: Swiss Hotel, Izmir
- ~ 1 night: Titanic Port, Istanbul
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, tips to your guide and driver, items of a personal nature.
Day 1, Depart USA
Depart USA for your overnight flight to Istanbul. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board. Be sure to take some time to meditate about the life-changing journey upon which you are embarking.
Day 2, Arrive Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul Airport you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by our tour escort and/or driver. You will be transferred to your hotel in Istanbul. Attend a welcome briefing. Dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 3, Istanbul
Begin our day with a guided tour exploring the ancient city including the magnificent Topkapi Palace (main residences of Ottoman Sultans) and the Byzantine Hippodrome that was the scene of chariot races. In the afternoon, visit St. Sophia Basilica, historic seat of the Byzantine church, built in 537 AD and now a museum whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been crafted to create an environment of breathtaking beauty. Enjoy a short walk through gardens and proceed to the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet 1 built in 1616, famous for its unparalleled ceramic tile work. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4, Istanbul - Pergamum – Thyatira – Smyrna (Izmir)
Embark on an early morning flight to Izmir. Upon arrival we drive to Pergamum, located on the plains and foothills along the Caicus River in Western Turkey. The city, is “praised for its martyrdom and perseverance but those who hold false teachings are criticized” (Rev. 2:12-17). Here you will see the Acropolis famous for Greek & Roman Temples as well as the unique Greek theatre built into the steep hillside. Also visit the Asclepion, the ancient medical center for the Greeks. We continue on to Thyatira, known for its textiles and dyeing trade. It is now known as the Turkish city of Akhisar. It is “praised for its increasing faith and service” (Rev. 2:18-29). In the evening, continue to Smyrna, nowadays a modern Turkish city of Izmir. In ancient times it was in a powerful trading position on the Aegean Sea known for its harbors, commerce, and marketplaces. Our last visit is to St. Polycarp Church. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 5, Excursion to Ephesus & St. Mary’s House
After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for Ephesus, which was the most influential capital city of Asia Minor on the Aegean Sea. "Ephesus receives praise for its perseverance" (Rev. 2:1-7). You will explore some of the best preserved theatres, fountains and buildings in the world. We then visit the House of the Virgin Mary which was miraculously discovered hidden on a wooded hilltop. A pilgrimage site for many which has also been accepted by the Vatican. Finally visit the Basilica of St. John which stands over the believed burial site of St. John, who is identified as the apostle, evangelist (author of the Fourth Gospel) and prophet (author of Revelation). We return to Izmir for dinner.
Day 6, Izmir - Sardis - Philadelphia - Pamukkale
After breakfast we visit Sardis, located on the banks of the Pactolus River in western Asia Minor. “The church of Sardis is described as dead, and it must wake up. End the day with a visit to ancient Philadelphia which was known for its variety of temples and worship centers. “The church of brotherly love that endures patiently” (Revelation 3:7-13). We continue to Pamukkale, the white Cotton Castle formed by lime cascades. Enjoy a leisurely bath in the warm mineral waters of your hotel’s thermal pools before dinner and a restful night sleep.
Day 7, Hierapolis - Laodicea - Izmir
After breakfast visit the ancient City of Hierapolis, Philip the Evangelist’s home. Tour the extensive necropolis, churches and baths. We continue with a scenic drive to Laodicea located in the Lycus River Valley of western Asia Minor, a primary trade route between the cultures of the West and East. "The "lukewarm" church with a faith that's neither hot nor cold" (Rev. 3:14-22). We arrive in Izmir in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Cappadocia
This morning we will take a short flight to Kayseri and visit the “moon-like” topography and unique landscape of Cappadocia. Goreme with it’s chapels carved by early Christians and decorated with frescoes dating from the 6th and 10th centuries is an unforgettable experience. Visit the underground city of Kaymakli where thousands of early Christians lived concealed from persecutors in eight story complexes of subterranean dwellings. We will enjoy the picturesque views of this ancient and historic land as we make our way to our hotel. We enjoy dinner and a restful overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 9, Cappadocia - Istanbul
This morning we visit a pottery making village of Avanos and the Byzantine monastic complex of Zelve. After free time for lunch we drive to Kayseri where we will board our short flight to Istanbul. We enjoy our final dinner together before retiring for our early morning flights tomorrow.
Day 10, Istanbul - USA
After breakfast your escort will transfer you to the airport for your return flight home to the USA.
The benefit of buying airfare with 206 Tours?
- Your transfers are always secured, even if your flights are delayed - round trip transfers to/from the hotel and airport are included no matter what!
- If you purchase your airline ticket on your own, you have to pay in full at the time of booking, and most of the time it is non-refundable. If you book with 206 Tours, full payment is due 60 days prior.
- In the very rare event that a tour is cancelled, you would get all your money back, which would most likely not be the case if you purchased it directly from the airline.
- Your flight arrangement will be followed up on and reconfirmed by 206 Tours.
- 206 Tours can arrange for you to travel before the tour, make a stop-over, or stay later!