Turkey: In the Footsteps of
St. Paul
  (for Students)

Istanbul • Cappadocia  • Isparta • Hierapolis  • Izmir

Countries visited:  Turkey

Sample itinerary:  10 days/9 nights

Overview

Itinerary

Details

Turkey: Students In the Footsteps of St. Paul

Centuries ago St. Paul set off across Asia Minor (Turkey) as an apostle of The Way. This pilgrimage retraces the steps of his journey throughout the country of Turkey. Most of the churches of Revelation are included. The expansion of the New Testament church will come alive for you, as you will visit sites where the first congregations were established. You will study portions of the major New Testament letters in the cities to which they were written.

You will also view sites associated with the classical cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. There are connections with the Whirling Dervishs at Derbe, Colossae (Colossians), Laodicea, Pisidian Antioch, and much more. This pilgrimage also will help you understand the political, cultural, religious and economic conditions that both fostered and inhibited the work of the early Christian missionaries. You will have better understanding of the difficulties and threats under which they labored for the sake of the Gospel.

Our young students traveling to the lands of the Bible will have one of the most enriching experiences of their lives as human beings and as pilgrims. Faith takes on new dimensions through such spiritual journeys.

 

Day 1:           Istabul to Cappadocia

Day 2:           Cappadocia

Day 3:            Isparta

Day 4:            Hieropolis

Days 5-6:      Izmir

Days 7-10:   Istanbul

 

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are invited to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

Our itineraries that do have dates and prices already listed are open to all and are guaranteed departure if the minimum number of participants is met.

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1  •  Arrive Istanbul, Cappadocia (D)

Arrive at Istanbul Airport and pay a cash visa fee for US /Canada/ Australia Passport Holders (paid in US dollars or EURO) upon arrival. Proceed through passport control, exit the International Terminal. Meet your Turkish guide and enter the adjacent Domestic Terminal for the flight to Kayseri. Upon your arrival in Kayseri, you will be transferred to your hotel at Cappadocia. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Day 2  •  Cappadocia (B/D)

The Cappadocia region, a stronghold of the ancient Hittites, was first settled by Anatolian people, followed by the Romans and Christians. Peter addresses the Christians in Galatia and Cappadocia (I Peter 1:1). Cave paintings give evidence of early Christian settlements here to avoid the Roman persecutions. Visit Urgup and the strange “fairy chimney” rock formations of early Christian cave dwellings. Goreme Valley is filled with soft Tufta stone. Here you view the fresco art, and then visit Kaymakli underground city, one of hundreds of such cities built when the first Christians escaped the Romans. Return to your lodging for dinner.

Day 3  •  Iconium, Pisidian Antioch (B/D)

After breakfast travel westward along the route that Paul took during each of his three missionary journeys. View the landscape, as there are no remaining first-century ruins to see at Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium (modern Konya). In Konya visit the “Whirling Dervish” Museum. Following lunch, travel to the ruins of Pisidian Antioch, an ancient crossroads city where Paul preached his first recorded sermon to the Jews and God-fearers (Acts 13). Continue to Isparta for lodging.

Day 4  •  Colossae, Laodicea, Hieropolis (B/D)

Depart for Colossae and stand on the mound beneath which lie the unexcavated ruins of the ancient city. Continue to the ruins of Laodicea, the location of the last of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3:14-22). Continue to the ancient city of Hierapolis, mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Colossians (Col. 4:13), and view the mineral deposits and thermal springs that were active during the first century as they are today. Check into your hotel and enjoy the thermal pools before dinner.

Day 5  •  Philadelphia, Sardis, Izmir (B/D)

Depart for Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13), Alasehir. The few remaining ruins are approached by walking through the crowded shopping village. Continue to Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6), Salihi, one of the most picturesque of the seven churches. The Temple of Artemis Diana was built in the 4th century. Also view a Byzantine church and the recently discovered synagogue, and a colonnaded road. Proceed to Izmir for lodging.

Day 6  •  Ephesus (B/D)

Depart for the celebrated ruins of Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7). Once a port town of 250,000 people, it is the best preserved of the seven churches. View the Agora, walk the marble Arcadian Way, visit the Temple of Diana (once one of the seven wonders of the world), the harbor baths, the small theater, the Temple of Serapis, the Temple of Hadrian, the Library of Celsus, the great theater where riots against Paul took place. He was arrested and cast out of the city. Time permitting (and additional fees), one may visit sites held important to some traditions, i.e., the Church of St. John, House of the Virgin Mary. Return to Izmir for dinner and lodging.

Day 7  •  Pergamum, Flight to Istanbul (B/D)

Depart Izmir, the site of Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11), scene of the death of Polycarp, to Pergamum (Rev. 2:12-17) to visit the spectacular ruins atop the mountain. The city was first mentioned in Zenophon’s Anabasis in 399 BC. Revelation recorded, “the place where Satan has his throne.” It was here the first Christians were executed by Rome. Visit the ruins of Acropolis including Greco-Roman Theatre, the enormous library (second only to Alexandria), and the Sacred Alley where parchment was first made and used. Return to Izmir for 1-hour flight to Istanbul.

Day 8 •  Istanbul (B/D)

Visit the ancient Roman walls that encircled the ancient city of Constantinople. Visit the Archaeology Museum of Istanbul. View the ornate sarcophagus associated with Alexander the Great. Continue to the gallery of biblical inscriptions. View the Gezer Calendar (from Israel), the inscriptions from the Hezekiah’s Tunnel beneath the City of David and the warnings to the infidels. Continue to the 17th century Blue Mosque with its six minarets, and the famous Hagia Sophia church, which was the most prominent church of Christianity for over 1,000 years. Continue to the special underground Imperial cisterns also used as Underground Basilica. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 9  •  Istanbul (B/D)

Visit the 11th century St. Chora’s Church to view the earliest Byzantine frescoes and mosaics. Visit the Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years. Take a brief cruise on the Bosporus Strait which separates Europe from Asia. End the day with a visit to the Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar), where locals still shop for herbs and spices from all over the world. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 10  •  Departure (B)

After breakfast transfer to Istanbul airport for our return flight home.

 

 

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are invited to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

 

The price includes:

9 nights double accomodation:

·         1 night accommodation in Dilek Kaya Hotel or similar in Cappadocia

·         1 night accommodation in Barida Hotel or similar in Isparta

·         1 night accommodation in Tripolis Hotel & Spa or similar in Pamukkale

·         2 nights accommodation in Kaya Thermal Hotel or similar in Izmir

·         3 nights accommodation in Titanic Europe Hotel or similar in Istanbl

Half-board (breakfast and dinner)

Private coach

Medical and luggage insurance

English-speaking guide as per progrm

Kairos Pastoral Assistant.

Personal listening devices

Land and airport transfers

Entrance fees

Mass arrangements (subject to availability)

Taxes and fuel surcharges

 

The price does not include:

International flights. However we will be happy to assist you with flight quotations as soon as they are available. Please let us know your departure city.

Turkey visa fee (to be paid in cash upon arrival)

Meals other than those mentioned

A local payment of $30 per students for tips, to be collected first day by Kairos Assistant

Beverages

Extras

Anything not specified in “the price includes” section