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Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and from the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several Christian communities in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.
According to the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles (often simply called Acts), Paul persecuted some of the early disciples of Jesus, possibly Hellenised diaspora Jews converted to Christianity, in the area of Jerusalem prior to his conversion. In the narrative of Acts, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to “arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem” when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light. He was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God.[Acts 9:20-9:21] Approximately half of the book of Acts deals with Paul’s life and works.
So in this trip, we consider of taking you most of the places that took an important part throughout his missionary journey.
Istanbul International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
One Bedroom for each room (depends on number of guests in one room)
Depends on room type (one bathroom for each room)
Asia Minor plays a very important role in Christian History. One can simply say that Asia Minor became the land of the most important happenings in Christian History after Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. So prepare yourself for a journey that St. Paul started centuries ago.
Upon arrival in Istanbul, meet and greet local guide at the airport and proceed to Istanbul Old City. First we will visit Hippodrome Square which was the center of chariot races in Roman Era and also used as a public gathering center in Ottoman Era. After we enjoy history with beautiful remainings such as Egyptian Colomn, Serpentine Colomn , Constantine Colomn etc., we will continue our trip by visiting Hagia Sophia or St. Sophia which was built as an Orthodox Church by Emperor Justinian in 537 AD. However the giant worship center was converted in a Mosque by Sultan Mehmet the Second in 1453. It is now a museum where you can enjoy the harmony of two culture in the same building. After our time finishes at Hagia Sophia, we continue our trip visiting Topkapı Palace which was built by Sultan Mehmet the Second in 1475. Topkapı Palace is the biggest palace in Turkey and also one of the biggest in the World by its 80 acres area. Topkapı Palace is the most visited palace in Turkey while it offers to its visitors many beautiful small mansions with nice view of Bosphorus Strait or Golden Horn, many valuable jewelleries which was used by the Sultans, Holy Relics such as David’s sword, Moses’ Staff and so on. After we visit and enjoy history in Topkapı Palace, we take a short cruise trip and enjoy the beautiful Bosphorus Strait with hundreds of houses by the strait and many beautiful palaces from Ottoman Era. After we have our time in Bosphorus Cruise, we have our dinner and then proceed to hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.
On this day after breakfast at hotel we check out from hotel and proceed to Airport for domestic flight to Adana which is located at Southern Turkey by the Mediterranean Sea. We do sightseeing tour in Adana and then we continue our trip to Tarsus which is the birth place of St. Paul. In Tarsus we will visit The Gate of Cleopatra which was built in Roman Era and then we continue to visit St. Paul’s Well in his family’s house. After our visit to this holy place we continue to visit Ruins of Selecuian Port where St. Paul, St. Barnabas and St. Marcus started misionary trips for the first time (ACTS 13:4). At the end of the day we proceed to Antioch and check in out hotel.
Overnight in Antioch (Hatay)
“and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (ACTS 11:26)
On this morning, after breakfast at hotel, we check out from hotel and proceed to Cappadocia from Antioch where St. Paul left for misionary trip for the second time. When we arrive in Cappadocia, we are going to visit Kaymaklı Underground City where became an emergency home for the early Christians. After we felt what early Christians felt on these underground cities, we proceed to hotel and have our dinner.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
This morning we have the chance to try Hot Air Ballon tour which is Optional.
After we have our breakfast at hotel, we proceed to Göreme Open Air Museum which was a monastry that was built on 4th century by St. Basil who is bishop of Caesarea (modern Kayseri city). The complex is full of Chapels that was carved into rocks and ornated with Icons or Wall paintings. We are going to have some photo stops like Piegon’s Valley, Uchisar Castle, Imagination Valley. Also on this day we have some visits to Handcraft Centers like Carpet and Turquoise stone. At the end of the trip, we proceed to hotel and have our dinner at hotel.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
After we have our breakfast at hotel, we check out from hotel and then proceed to Konya via Sultanhan Caravansarai which was used as an accomodation place for traders on Central Anatolia. After that we proceed to Lystra Ruins which was the first village where St. Paul did His first misionary speech (ACTS 14:6-19). Also Lystra is the place where Timothy joined St. Paul for second missionary trip (ACTS 16:1-3). Later on we proceed to Konya and check in our hotel.
Overnight in Konya.
After we have our breakfast at our hotel, we check out from hotel and proceed to Psidian Antioch where is believed when St. Paul speeched about mission, almost all of the city population joined to hear Him (ACTS 13:14-52). Among the ruins of ancient Psidian Antioch, we are going to visit ruins of Basilica of St. Paul. After our visit there, we proceed to Laodiceia which is one of the Seven
Churches of Minor Asia (Revelation 3:14-22). Afterwards we proceed to Cotton Castle Travertines / Hierapolis to enjoy the beautiful White Travertines. Hierapolis also known as the place where St. Philip’s graveyard is located. After we visit His grave, we proceed to hotel and have our dinner there.
Overnight in Pamukkale.
After we have our breakfast at hotel, we check out from hotel and proceed to Ruins of St. John’s Church in Philadelphia which is one of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia (Revelation 3:7-13). Later on we proceed to Ruins of the Church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-5). Also Sardis was the city where the largest Jewish community lived during Roman Era. Afterwards we continue our trip to Thyateira and its church (Revelation 2:18). Thyateira is now known as Akhisar and still located on one of the busiest trade roads as in Roman Era. After our visit to this city we proceed to Smyrna/Izmir also one of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia (Revelation 2:8-11). Izmir is the third largest populated city in Modern Turkey, and also home of many churches, among these churches we are going to visit St. Polycarp Church which is still active Catholic Church in Izmir. After our visit to this church, we proceed to Kuşadası and check in hotel.
Overnight in Kuşadası.
On this morning after we have our breakfast at hotel, we start our trip first visiting Leather Factory Outlet which is famous nationwide and the whole Europe. After our shopping time, we proceed to Ephesus which was the Roman Empire Capital for Asian states and also was one of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia ( Revelation 1:11, 2:1-7). In the famous Ephesus, we can still see the ruins of Celsus Library, Trojan Fountain, Great Theater where St Paul speeched twice and also was captured and was sent to Grotto for a couple of months. Also we will have chance to visit Mary’s Church where is the place for 4th Ephesian Council which resulted in divison of Catholics and Orthodoxes. On the same day, also we make a visit for Virgin Mary’s House which is believed to be one of the house used by Virgin Mary and also was visited a couple of times by Pope. Before we end our trip for today, we visit Tomb and Basilica of St. John the Bible. St. John has lived and died in Ephesus and spread Christianity for a while there. On our way to hotel, we stop by Olive Oil Shop and then we proceed to hotel and have our dinner at hotel.
Overnight in Kuşadası.
After we have our breakfast at hotel, we check out from hotel and proceed to Çanakkale via Pergamon and Mount Ida. Our first stop will be at Pergamon Acropolis which was the royal center for Pergamon Kingdom. There we have the chance to see beautfiul Greek and Roman Theater and Trajan’s Temple with its beautiful marble ornaments. After our visit there, we are going to visit the Ruins of Red Hall Basilica of Pergamon which was also one of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia (Revelation 2:12-17). By visiting Pergamon, we already visited all of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia and then we proceed to Çanakkale via Mount Ida. We are going to visit ancient ruins of Troy where is believed the legendary Troian war happened. At the end of the day we proceed to hotel, check in and dinner.
Overnight in Çanakkale.
After our breakfast at hotel, we check out and proceed to Istanbul with a morning drive via Gallipoli Strait. When we arrive in Istanbul we have our free time in Grand Bazaar for local souveniers and after dinner we proceed to Airport for flight going back home.
Till we meet again for another trip in Turkey.
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This actually depends on the purpose of the vacation and the places you want to visit in Turkey. But, Turkey experiences intense tourism mobility mostly between April and December. It doesn’t mean that only these 9 months are the beautiful periods for Turkey vacation. For instance, regions like Istanbul and Cappadocia offer their visitors a different kind of beauty in each month. Keep in mind that in low season, prices are lower as well when compared to the peak seasons.
Turkey is on GMT + 2 (daylight saving = GMT +3 and operates between late October to late March). This means generally that Turkey is 1 hour ahead of European and 2 hours ahead of the UK standard times. Still it is a good idea to check the local time when you arrive in Turkey and adjust your watch accordingly.
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