DAY 1 (MON/FRI) ARRIVAL - IZMIR
Arrival in Izmir Airport (pick up also available from Izmir, Kusadasi or Cesme Ports. You will be met with a sign and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Izmir. D.
DAY 2 (TUE/SAT) IZMIR -PERGAMON – THYATIRA – IZMIR
After breakfast drive to Pergamum (Bergama). It is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Aesclepion, famous medical center of ancient times, see the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200,000. It inspired the invention of parchment. We also visit the Red Basilica (St. John's Church). Then we continue our visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. It was a city famous for purple dyes. We visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. We continue with a panoramic ride through Izmir (Smyrna) one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. We ascend to Mount Pagus where we visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great, erected in the 4th century BC. We will also see the Clock Tower. Check in at the hotel for dinner and overnight. B.D.
DAY 3 (WED/SUN) IZMIR – SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA – LAODICEA – HIERAPOLIS (PAMUKKALE)
Today we depart early in the morning to one of the most beautiful areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis, presently called Sart, was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC and was portrayed as a dying church. We visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which later became a Byzantine Church. We will also visit some ancient Lydian houses, thegymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We also see the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great and the «golden» river Pactolos. We continue to Philadelphia (Alasehir) another church of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and the only church not censured. We see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick and some 11th century frescoes. We drive to of Hierapolis(Pamukkale) the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts out from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Proceed toLaodicea yet another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. We see the ancient theater, the remains of basilica and ancient stone water pipes. We visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the 2nd century AD Theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. Check in at hotel for dinner and overnight in a Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale. B.D.
DAY 4 (THU/MON) PAMUKKALE – EPHESUS – KUSADASI
We depart after breakfast to the ancient city of Ephesus with also the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus Archaeological museum. The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. This important city was founded in the 10th century BC. Stroll along marble streets lined with stately public buildings including the Baths of Scholastica, theLibrary of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. View the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We will also see the important pilgrimage site of the House of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Kusadasi. B.D.
DAY 5 (FRI/TUE) IZMIR - ISTANBUL
Pick up from your hotel lobby and transfer to Izmir Airport. Tour services end. (B).
- Accommodation in hotel category of your choice
- Meals as mentioned only (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)
- Main museum entry fees to the sites as mentioned. Entry to the Terrace Houses is not included. Ask your guide.
- Transport in non-smoking air-conditioned vehicles with prof. English speaking Bible oriented guide when touring.
- Izmir Airport transfers
NOT INCLUDED: International or domestic flights, Istanbul airport transfers, drinks, tips to guide and driver and items of a personal nature or anything not specifically mentioned.
OPTIONAL: Domestic flights, pre-post tours or accommodation in Istanbul.
FOUR STAR HOTELS:
IZMIR: Double Tree By Hilton Alsancak
PAMUKKALE: Colossea Thermal Hotel
KUSADASI: Marina Hotel