Explore the 7 Churches of the Book of Revelation, and see the highlights of Istanbul on a 7-day tour. Learn the story of Christianity at sights such as the ruined city of Ephesus, the ancient spa town of Hierapolis, and Pergamon, site of “Satan’s Throne.”
What to Expect
Enjoy a 7-day tour of Asia Minor’s “7 Churches of Revelation,” and discover the historic early Christian churches named in the New Testament Book of Revelation, including Laodicea, Philadelphia, and Ephesus, thought to be the last home of the Virgin Mary.
You will also see the Byzantine and Ottoman highlights of Istanbul, take a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, and enjoy a guided tour of the seaside city of Izmir. Marvel at the snow white calcium terraces of Pamukkale, learn how Jezebel seduced the citizens of Thyatira, and more.
Your overnight accommodation will be in boutique, or 3-5 star hotels, with several complimentary lunches and dinners, as well as plenty of free time along the way.
Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
Following your arrival in Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Byzantine and Ottoman Istanbul (B, L)
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul to see highlights of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, including the illustrious Topkapi Palace (a tour of the harem is optional). Go to the site of ancient chariots races at the Roman Hippodrome, and learn the history of the iconic Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church that was converted to a mosque in the 15th century. Marvel at the blue tiles and slender minarets of the Blue Mosque, and end at the Grand Bazaar, where you will have some free time to explore more than 4,000 shops in the winding passageways. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Bosphorus Cruise - Kusadasi (B)
Admire Istanbul from the waters of the Bosphorus on a half-day cruise that provides panoramic views of both the European and Asian sides of the city. Sail past marble palaces and centuries-old Ottoman villas constructed from wood. Go to Rumeli Fortress, built to control entry to the Bosphorus Strait and protect Istanbul. Then, transfer back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 4: Izmir - Ephesus - Laodicea (L, D)
Depart Istanbul for a morning flight to Izmir. Here, you will be transferred to Ephesus to see one of the most important of the "7 Churches of Revelation." Wander the ruins to see the dramatic Celsus and Odeon. Marvel at the almost intact façade of the Library, and see the Double Church, site of the 3rd Ecumenical Council of 431. Walk along the "Marble Road" before visiting St. John's Basilica and the shrine of the Virgin Mary. It was here that St. John brought Mary to honor his pledge to Jesus to protect her. After lunch, continue to Laodicea, another of the “7 Churches of Revelation,” and learn how it was visited by St. Paul twice. Continue to Pamukkale for your overnight stay.
Day 5: Heirapolis - Pamukkale - Sardis - Philadelphia - Thyatira - Pergamon (B, L, D)
Depart after breakfast for the ancient spa city of Hierapolis, ancient home of Philip the Evangelist. Then, enjoy a break among the glistening white calcium terraces of Pamukkale. Proceed to Philadelphia to see the youngest of the "7 Churches of Revelation." Visit the remains of the early Christian church, and see the still-standing city walls. Continue to the ancient Lydian capital of Sardis, and admire the ruins of the famous church - another of the "7 Churches of Revelation." Next, transfer to Thyatira, thought to have been visited by St. Paul and famous for the story of the seductress Jezebel. Continue to Pergamon to check in to your overnight accommodation.
Day 6: Pergamon - Izmir (B, L)
Today you will explore the city that St. John once referred to as where “Satan’s throne is sited.” Your tour of Pergamum (Bergama) includes a visit to the Church of Pergamum, the Red-Court, and the Acropolis. After lunch, continue to Izmir (Smyrna), praised by St. Paul for the faithfulness of its early believers. See St. Polycarp’s Church, and a take a brief tour of the seaside city, before a transfer to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be taken to your hotel for your last night’s accommodation.
Day 7: Departure (B)
Enjoy a last breakfast at your hotel before the transfer to the airport for your onward flight and the end of tour services.
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Ground transportation by non-smoking mini/midi bus
- English-speaking guide and experienced driver
- All accommodation at selected boutique or category 3, 4 and 5 star hotels
- All excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals mentioned in the itinerary (B = breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)
- Entrance to various sites
- Service charges and local taxes
What's Not Included
- Tips to staff, and items of a personal nature
- Drinks with meals (except drinks served with breakfast)
- Domestic and international flights
Know Before You Go
• Please bring comfortable shoes, and remember your camera and sun cream
• Please provide details of your arrival and departure flights on booking