About This Trip
The Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation are Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Ephesus. They were all located in Asia Minor, present-day Turkey. This tour will take you to explore the remains of these ancient cities. You'll also see the highlights of Istanbul, including Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. Plus a visit to Pamukkale. The spectacular white rocks and crystal-like pools won't let you down.
- 1 - 3IstanbulHagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, Kariye Mosque
- 4Izmir, Pergamon, Akhisar
Izmir: Saint Polycarp Church
Pergamon: Red Basilica (St. Johns Church)
Akhisar: Thyateira Hill Tombs
- 5Sart, Alasehir, Pamukkale
Sart: Temple of Artemis, Temple of Cybele
- 6Denizli, Aphrodisias
Denizli: Laodicea Ancient Theatre, Remains of a Basilica
Aphrodisias: Ancient Stadium, Odeon, Temple of Aphrodite
Priene: Ruins of Priene
Miletus: Ancient Greek Theatre
Didyma: Temple of Apollo
- 8EphesusRuins of Ephesus, Basilica of St. John, Shrine of Virgin Mary
Day 1: Istanbul Arrival
Welcome to Turkey, the location of the seven major churches of Early Christianity!
Upon your arrival, a private transfer will pick you up from the airport to your hotel. Check in and rest.
Day 2: Istanbul City Tour
Located on both sides of the Bosphorus connecting Asia and Europe, Istanbul once was the capital of both the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It is one of the most coveted cities in the world, rich in historic monuments.
With a tour guide, you can listen to the stories about the Serpent Column, Obelisk of Theodosius, and Walled Obelisk around the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Stand inside the Blue Mosque to enjoy its bluish interior decorations and interior lighting. Feel the charm of the Byzantine and Ottoman architecture from the Hagia Sophia, then pay a visit to the Topkapi Palace. The tour will end at the Grand Bazaar, where it is the best place to experience the local's daily life.
Day 3: Istanbul City Tour and Domestic Flight to Izmir
After breakfast, continue your visit of Istanbul to the Spice Market, where the fragrance of the colorful spices and Turkish delight may bring you into a world that is full of Turkish flavors. After it, you will hop on a Bosphorus cruise boat and get glimpses of abundant historical sightseeing spots on both sides of the strait. Later on, tour to the Kariye Mosque outside Ancient City Walls.
Here you can see some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine Christian mosaics and frescoes. After the tour, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Izmir. Overnight stay in Izmir.
Day 4: Izmir (Smyrna) - Pergamon - Akhisar (Thyatira)
During ancient Greek times, the name of Izmir was Smyrna, the site of one of the Seven Churches. Here, you will visit the Saint Polycarp Church, whose patron saint is Polycarp, a Christian bishop of Smyrna who died a martyr.
Afterwards, head toward the ancient Greek city of Pergamon, another site of the Seven Churches that is occupied by the town of Bergama. Its impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre, and the Asklepion still can be seen here. Visit the Red Basilica (St. Johns Church) and then continue to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another site of the Seven Churches of Asia. You will visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period before relaxing in the hotel.
Day 5: Akhisar - Sart (Sardis) - Alasehir (Philadelphia) - Pamukkale
Depart early in the morning to one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia, Sardis (presently called Sart). This was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. The tour here includes the great Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Cybele, the restored gymnasium, and the reconstructed Synagogue.
Later, proceed to Philadelphia, nowadays called Alasehir, another site of the Seven Churches of Asia. There you can see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th-century frescoes.
Reach the healing city of Pamukkale in the afternoon. Take some time to stroll around the area to see the stunning white pools, channels, and stalactites formed by hot mineral water, and visit the ruins of Hierapolis.
Day 6: Pamukkale - Denizli (Laodicea) - Aphrodisias - Kusadasi
Continue the tour to Laodicea (the present name is Denizli) yet another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. Ramble around to see the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica, and ancient stone water pipes. Aphrodisias, which is the ruins of a small ancient Greek Hellenistic city, will be your next stop. Visit the well-preserved ancient stadium ever excavated with a maximum capacity for around 30,000 spectators, the Odeon, the Temple of Aphrodite, and others.
Drive to Kusadasi afterward. It is built along the shores of a glittering bay, around a tiny islet covered with pine trees and flowers. The terraced town overlooks the most beautiful bay of the Aegean Sea and seems it has been created purely for the delight of the holidaymaker.
Day 7: Kusadasi - Priene - Miletus - Didyma - KusadasiTake a full-day excursion outside of Kusadasi to explore three historical sites of Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. You will get some information about ancient Greek town planning from the ruins of Priene, see the ancient Greek theatre in Miletus, and visit the Temple of Apollo at Didyma.
Day 8: Kusadasi - Ephesus - Izmir - Istanbul
Today you will enjoy a visit to the ancient city of Ephesus, where the excavations of the spectacular ruins still continue in this once great and important city that was founded in the 10th century BC. Walk along marble streets to see wonderful public buildings like the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. Followed by is the Basilica of St. John, where the Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. The nearby House of Virgin Mary, where she spent her latest years, is the last stop before flying to Istanbul.
Day 9: Istanbul DepartureTime to say goodbye. At the appointment time, a private transfer will bring you to the airport for your departure flight.
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