According to Revelation 1:11, on the Greek island of Patmos, Jesus Christ instructs John of Patmos to: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
For now, we will discover …
What to Expect
The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). Each letter, as proclaimed by Jesus and recorded by John the Apostle, declares the triumphs and failings of the recipient churches and warns each congregation to repent.
The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the snares that can lure us away from our faith.
Upon arrival in Istanbul, meet and greet local guides and then proceed to a restaurant for dinner and afterward proceed to the hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.
Istanbul / Bursa
After we have our breakfast at the hotel, we check out from and proceed to Istanbul Old City. First, we will visit Hippodrome Square which was the center of chariot races in the Roman Era and also used as a public gathering center in the Ottoman Era. After we enjoy history with beautiful remainings such as
Egyptian Column, Serpentine Column, Constantine Column, 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 cultures 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 a nice view of Bosphorus Strait or Golden Horn, many valuable pieces of jewelry which were used by the Sultans, Holy Relics such as David’s sword, Moses’ Staff and so on. Afterward, we proceed to Bursa and upon arrival in Bursa, we check in the hotel and have our dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Bursa
Bursa / Pamukkale
After breakfast at the hotel, we check out from the hotel and proceed 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. ). 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 the Roman Era. Afterward, we continue our trip to the Ruins of St. John’s Church in Philadelphia which is one of the Seven Churches in Minor Asia (Revelation 3:7-13)… After our visit there, we proceed to Laodicea which is one of the Seven Churches of Minor Asia (Revelation 3:14-22). Afterward, we proceed to Cotton Castle Travertines / Hierapolis to enjoy the beautiful White Travertines. Hierapolis also is known as the place where St. Philip’s graveyard is located. After we visit His grave, we proceed to the hotel and have our dinner there.
Overnight in Pamukkale.
Pamukkale / Kusadasi
On this morning after we have our breakfast at the hotel, we start our trip first visiting Leather Factory Outlet which is famous nationwide and the whole of 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 speeches twice and also were captured and were sent to Grotto for a couple of months. Also, we will have a chance to visit Mary’s Church where is the place for the 4th Ephesian Council which resulted in the division 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 the Virgin Mary and also was visited a couple of times by Pope. Before we end our trip for today, we visit the 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 the hotel, we stop by Olive Oil Shop, and then we proceed to the hotel and have our dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Kusadasi.
Kusadasi / Canakkale
After we have our breakfast at the hotel we check out from the hotel and 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 the home of many churches, among these churches we are going to visit St. Polycarp Church which is still an active Catholic Church in Izmir. 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. Upon arrival in Çanakkale, we check in the hotel and have our dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Çanakkale.
Canakkale / Istanbul
This morning after we have our breakfast at the hotel, we check out from hotel and proceed to Istanbul. First before we leave for Çanakkale, we have our photo stop by the Gallipoli Strait and Trojan Horse that was used for the movie “TROY”. Later on, we continue our trip to Istanbul and upon arrival in Istanbul, we are going to have our free time shopping at Grand Bazaar. Afterwards we have our dinner and then proceed to the hotel and check-in the hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast at the hotel, we check out the hotel and then start our program. First, we take a short cruise trip and enjoy the beautiful Bosphorus Strait with hundreds of houses by the strait and many beautiful palaces from the Ottoman Era. Afterward, we have a photo stop at Istanbul City Walls that was built on 5th Century AD by the Roman Empire. Later on we have our free time at Taksim Square to enjoy time as locals do in Istanbul. After we have our dinner, we proceed to the airport for the flight back to your home.
Till we meet on another trip…
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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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