|Destinations:||Istanbul – Ankara – Cappadocia – Tarsus – Antakya – Konya – Antalya – Seven Churches – Troy|
|Duration:||18 days / 17 nights (Customizable)|
|Departures:||Every day, all year around|
|Priced From:||On Request – Please Email (Private tour for pre-formed groups only)|
|Includes:||All accommodation at a choice of 4-5 star or boutique hotels, sightseeing tours, guidance, entrances, land transport, indicated meals & taxes.|
Pilgrimage Tour of Turkey – Travel Packages for Christian Groups
Journey in the ancient footsteps of Saint Paul around Turkey: This Christian pilgrimage tour retraces his travels and ministries, from his birthplace in Eastern Turkey to the places throughout the country that he visited, explaining the religious, biblical and social context of his life. As well as visiting all major sacred sites, religious architecture and historic pilgrimage sites, this Turkey Christian tour also includes those of cultural and tourist significance. From Istanbul to Cappadocia, head further East to Tarsus. Then trace his missionary journeys, places of sermon and persecution via Adana, Antalya, Izmir and Troy. En route, discover the sacred sites of the Seven Churches and many more where the St. Paul and his apostles preached in biblical times…
Brief Itinerary: Available for Christian Groups
Day 1 – Arrive Istanbul. Day 2 – Istanbul Old City Tour.
Day 3 – Istanbul Bosphorus Tour. Day 4 – Ankara Tour.
Day 5 – Cappadocia Tour 1. Day 6 – Cappadocia Tour 2.
Day 7 – Tarsus Tour. Day 8 – Antakya Tour. Day 9 – Konya Tour.
Day 10 – Antioch-in-Pisidia, Antalya. Day 11 – Perge, Aspendos, Side Tour.
Day 12 – Pamukkale, Hierapolis Tour. Day 13 – Laodicea, Aphrodisias Tour.
Day 14 – Ephesus Ancient City Tour. Day 15 – Sardis, Philadelphia Tour.
Day 16 – Church of Thyatira, Pergamon Tour. Day 17 – Ancient City of Troy Tour.
Day 18 – Depart Istanbul.
All of our tours can easily be customized to suit individual preferences where viable – This is a suggested itinerary only. Also suitable for parish groups, pilgrimmage & Christian groups. Please contact us with the size of your group for a free quote with no-obligation.
Day 1 – Istanbul
Arrival and transfer from the airport to your hotel. Brief tour outline and city orientation given. Free day at your own leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 – Istanbul (B)
Full Day Old City Tour:
Pick up from your hotel to visit Topkapi Palace, with royal treasury and elegant four courts. After lunch, proceed to the Hagia Sophia, a great Byzantine architectural masterpiece, whose interior is resplendent with golden mosaics. Then admire the delicate design and Iznik tiles of the Blue Mosque. Explore the ancient Roman Hippodrome with Egyptian Obelisk and Serpentine Column. Finally, stop off at the dazzling Grand Bazaar with over 4000 shops. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 – Istanbul (B)
Full Day Bosphorus & Two Continents Tour:
Pick up from your hotel to visit the bustling Spice Market – a colorful bazaar heaped with various sweets and spices. Then you’ll take a relaxing Bosphorus boat cruise (by public ferry or Zoe Yacht) between the continents of Europe and Asia – gliding past Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, ornate wooden Ottoman mansions and mosques, Rumeli Fortress and the Bosphorus Bridge. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful Beylerbeyi Palace following by a scenic stop on Camlica Hill for panoramic views over Istanbul. Drop off to hotel. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 4 – Ankara (B, D)
Pick up in the morning and drive to Ankara, where you can stroll the streets of the old quarter and the Ankara Citadel, before visiting the Mausoleum of Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Later you will have time to admire the magnificent treasures of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, where Neolithic frescoes, Bronze Age emblems, Hittite objects and the remains of the fabled Phrygian King Midas are exhibited. Overnight in Ankara.
Day 5 – Cappadocia (B, D)
Full Day Cappadocia Tour:
Pick up in the morning for Cappadocia. Explore Devrent and Monk’s Valley, to see the extraordinary mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles or ‘fairy chimneys’. Continue on to the small village of Avanos, famous for clay pottery design. After lunch, proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring the most impressive rock-carved churches and Byzantine frescoes in all Cappadocia. Finally enjoy a view of the moonscape valleys from the rock-perched natural citadel at Uchisar. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 6 – Cappadocia (B, D)
Full Day Cappadocia Tour:
Pick up from your hotel to and start with a gentle walk through orchards, unusual volcanic rock formations and rock-cut houses at Red & Rose Valley. Visit the old Christian Village of Cavusin, followed by lunch and then an excursion to Pigeon Valley. In the afternoon, visit Kaymakli Underground City, which hid local Christians from Arab invaders, Ortahisar Castle and Mustafapasa Greek village. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 7 – Adana (B, D)
Tarsus – Birthplace of St.Paul Tour
Pick up in the morning and drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, and cultural center of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, later controlled by Arabs, Crusaders and Mamelukes. Drive through the Taurus Mountains and visit St. Paul’s Arch, the Well of the Blessed Water (said to be on the site of St. Paul’s house) and Cleopatra’s Gate (built in 2 AD after the Egyptian queen who met the Roman Mark Anthony here). Overnight in Adana.
Day 8 – Adana (B, D)
Antakya Region Tour Biblical Antioch-on-Orantes and third largest city in the old Roman Empire. Here Barnabas brought Paul to join in the congregation’s ministry for the first sustained efforts to bring non-Jews into the Christian community, calling the first converts ‘Christians’. Visit the town of Samandag, once the ancient biblical port of Seleucia ad Piera serving Antioch. See the Grotto of St. Peter – a little cave church where early Christians secretly met for prayer, the Titus Water Tunnel and the exquisite Roman mosaics on display at the Mosaic Museum. Overnight in Adana.
Day 9 – Konya (B, D)
Pick up in the morning for Konya, from which St. Paul and St. Barnabas were forced to flee due to persecution. Centuries later, it became the focus for the Whirling Dervishes‘ mystical order, under the founding ‘Mevlana’ or master Sufi philosopher. Visit the Whirling Dervish Museum and Monastery, which houses the sacred silver and gold decorated Tomb of the Mevlana. Nearby, you will visit the beautiful hill-perched Syrian and Selcuk style Alaeddin Mosque and its unique medrese with tiled dome of stars, hunting friezes and ceramic collection. Overnight in Konya.
Day 10 – Antalya (B, D)
Pick up in the morning for Yalvac, site of the ancient city Antioch-in-Pisidia near the foothills of the snowcapped Sultan Mountains. It was here in a local synagogue that St. Paul’s sermon presenting Jesus in light of Israel’s history to a mixed audience was recorded. See the ruins of the paved and colonnaded streets, theater and aqueduct. In the afternoon, drive to Antalya, a coastal resort town with picturesque old quarter, shopping bazaars and natural yachting harbor. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 11 – Antalya (B, D)
Perge, Aspendos, Side Tour
Pick up in the morning for an excursion to the ancient city of Perge – a Pamphylian city where St. Paul later preached after arriving from Cyprus. Walk through the Roman Gate and down the Colonnaded Avenue past the Agora, Baths, Hippodrome and Aqueduct terminating at the Nymphaeum or great fountain. This is followed by a visit to the Aspendos Theater, a gigantic 2nd century Roman design so well preserved that it is still in use today. Continue on to the ancient city of Side and the Temple of Apollo, at whose ancient port landed St. Paul, Barnabas & Mark during their missionary journeys, en route to Antioch. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 12 – Pamukkale (B, D)
Pamukkale – Hierapolis Tour
Pick up in the morning for Pamukkale or ‘Cotton Castle’, famous for the healing properties of its thermal mineral baths and beautiful cascading snow-white terraced cliff side basins and waterfalls. After lunch, visit the ancient Roman city ruins of Hierapolis, where St. Philip the Apostle was martyred in 1AD. See the magnificently preserved Necropolis, Avenue of Tombs, Gates, Thermal Baths, Devil’s Hole and the Masterpiece Theater. Drop off to hotel for a leisurely bath in the hot spring pool of your hotel. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 13 – Kusadasi (B, D)
Eskihisar – Laodicea – Aphrodisias Tour
Pick up in the morning to visit Eskihisar, site of the ancient city of Laodicea. It ranked among the Seven Churches of Asia, to which St. John addressed his letter concerning the city’s faith and its waning progress. This is followed by a tour of one of Turkey’s most beautiful ancient cities – Aphrodisias, renowned for its intricate stone friezes and aesthetic architecture. See the Temple of Aphrodite, the monumental Tetra Pylon Gateway, the ancient Gladiator Stadium and many delicate carvings and sculptures in the onsite museum. Overnight in Kusadasi/Selcuk.
Day 14 – Izmir (B, D)
House of Virgin Mary – Ephesus Ancient City Tour
Pick up from your hotel. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she is said to have spent her final years. Continue on to the marble white ancient city of Ephesus, where St. Paul’s Third Journey involved a long ministry. See spectacularly restored monuments such as the great Library of Celsus, Agora, Odeon, Trajan Fountain, Domitianus Temple, Roman Latrines, Theater and Stadium in which St. Paul preached the gospel. Following a lunch break in Selcuk, visit the Isabey Mosque and the Temple of Artemis, with intricate carving.. Also stop-off at the picturesque Sirince village. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Izmir.
Day 15 – Izmir (B, D)
Church of St. Policarp – Sardis – Philadelphia Church Tour
Pick up in the morning for an excursion to the Church of St. Policarp in Izmir, one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. This is followed by a visit to Sardis – the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. Walk the Royal Avenue and see the site of one of the Seven Churches built on the foundations of the Temple of Artemis. Then proceed to the ancient Philadelphia Church at Alasehir and one of the last cities to fall to the Ottomans. Overnight in Izmir.
Day 16 – Canakkale (B, D)
Akhisar – Church of Thyatira – Pergamon Tour
Pick up in the morning for Akhisar to visit the Church of ancient Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches, set in an ancient commercial town with strong ties to Troy and Sardes. This is followed by a visit to the hill-perched Acropolis, Asclepion (hospital), Altar of Zeus and other pagan temples of ancient Pergamon at Bergama. Also see the church ruins at the site of ancient Serapium and the Red Court of St. John. Drive to Canakkale. Overnight in Canakkale.
Day 17 – Istanbul (B)
Ancient City of Troy Tour
Pick up in the morning for the ancient city of Troy. Following a lunch break en-route, visit the archaeological site of this 5000 years old city, scene of the legendary Trojan War as described in Homer’s Iliad. See a reconstruction of the fabled Wooden Horse, the city ruins from a succession of 9 civilizations, the Roman Bouletarion, Theater and onsite Museum. St. Paul traveled through the southern city of Troas nearby here several times. After the tour, continue to drive back to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 18 – Istanbul (B)
Day at leisure. Depart from Istanbul / Additional nights in Istanbul.
Great Choice of Hotels
When you email us to receive a trip quote, you’ll receive a travel program with choice of 3 hotels from our selection of 4-5 star, stylish boutique, special class or luxury hotels. All our tour packages are complemented with conveniently-located and established properties or the best available for rural regions. So rest assured that you will be able to retire in comfort each evening, and within easy reach of the center for exploring.
For more information, please see some of our boutique Turkey hotels here.
Prices & Dates:
|Package Price – Departs Daily
|For Medium/Large Pre-Formed Groups:
This trip is suitable for parish groups, pilgrimmage &
Christian groups. Please email us with the size of your
group for a free quote with no-obligation.For Individual Travellers or Small Groups:
Please see our 3,7 or 10 day
Seven Churches Tours instead.
|Email us for a Quote now|
Prices based on double/twin-room occupancy at selected properties.
Subject to selected dates, availability at time of booking and advance booking.
If travelling with any children under 12 years, please email us
with their date of birth to determine their age at time of travel.
- All acommodation B&B at a choice of selected 4-5 star, boutique, special class or luxury hotels.
- All sightseeing tours of the places mentioned in the program.
- All tours with professional licensed English-speaking guidance.
- All transport with new air-conditioned deluxe vehicles.
- All meals where shown in the itinerary with this legend (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner).
- All airport transfers throughout the trip.
- All parking fees, ferry, tolls and petrol.
- All entrance fees.
- All taxes.
- International airfare to Turkey.
- Domestic flight tickets (will be quoted separately).
- Drinks, travel insurance, visas, personal expenses, porters, optional tips.
- Istanbul – Breathtaking private yacht cruise on the Bosphorus by the beautiful Zoe Yacht. Prices on request.
- Cappadocia - Hot Air Balloon tour over the valleys. Prices on request.
Turkey Christian Tour: Departure dates guaranteed every day all year around for this tour.
Change This Trip:
We are happy to make some minor changes provided those are compatible and acceptable with the smooth operation of the tour packages offered.
Awards & Testimonials:
TripAdvisor has awarded Byzas Tours the Certificate of Excellence for 2012, 2013 & 2014. Please read what previous guests have said about us on their website.
Information & Reservations:
Please email us your dates of travel and number of travelers for more information and reservations. We aim to respond to all requests within 1 business day. All requests welcome.
“It’s a pleasure to recommend our friends to you as we had such a wonderful trip…well paced, organized and executed”
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