You will be transferred to the airplane terminal from your hotel for a flight to Izmir.
Upon your arrival in Izmir, we will welcome and transfer you to your hotel.
You will spend the night in Izmir.
After your breakfast we’ll drive to Pergamum, actually called Bergama in Turkish.
Pergamum is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Here, we’ll explore the impressive Acropolis – the steepest theatre in the world, the Asklepion – famous medical Centre of classical 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.
Then we’ll continue our visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another location of the Seven Churches of Revelation [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. It was a city famous for purple paints. We’ll visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Lydia – the seller of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira.
Before we check-in at the hotel in Izmir, we’ll enjoy a panoramic ride of Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Smyrna is a city scarred with a bloody history of trade and warfare. We will also see the Clock Tower.
You’ll stay in Izmir tonight.
Following your breakfast, we will depart early in the morning to see one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis, presently Sart.
This was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. We’ll also visit the great Temple of Artemis and the restored gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We’ll visit the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great and the “golden” river Pactolus.
After that we’ll continue our journey to Philadelphia, nowadays called Alasehir in Turkish. This is another church of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and the only church not censured. There we’ll see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th-century frescoes. We will continue to visit Laodicea. The city was established in C3 BCE by the Seleucid Antiochus II, the city was named after his wife Laodicea. Built on the Lycus Tributary of the Meander River, it was surnamed Laodicea on Lycus, to distinguish it from other similarly named cities. Laodicea is the last of the seven churches. As a crossroad of two important roads, this city had an important commercial and logistical position.
Lastly, we’ll drive to the healing city of Hierapolis, actually Pamukkale, the white “cotton fortress” where hot mineral water bursts 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. You’ll stay in Pamukkale.
We’ll drive to Ephesus visit the ancient city of Ephesus including the Basilica of St. John after your breakfast.
The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. We tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC.
You can walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. The Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city. We’ll visit the Basilica of St. John. Finally the tour wşll end with a visit to The House of Virgin Mary before we drive to Kusadasi.
Overnight in Kusadasi.
Following your breakfast, we will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Izmir Airport for the flight. Upon your arrival in Istanbul, we will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel.
Alternatively, we can transfer you to Kusadasi or Cesme Port.
Your memorable journey will end up here.