Pictures from Turkey

Paul's Missionary Journeys

The Seven Churches of Revelation, Sites of the Ecumenical Councils

Led by:

The Rev. Orion Davis
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Sparta, NJ

May 1 - 15, 2008

Trip map

DAY 1, Thursday, May 1, 2008 - Depart the USA.  Dinner and Breakfast on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Friday, May 2, 2008 - Arrive Adana, Turkey’s fourth largest city where we will meet our driver and guide, and then drive the short distance to Mersin where we will spend the next two nights.  We will enjoy a “welcome to Turkey” dinner in our hotel this evening. BD

DAY 3: Saturday, May 3, 2008 - Today we begin our adventure in Tarsus which has been occupied for over 5,000 years and was the birthplace of St. Paul.  Then we are off to Antakya, known in ancient times as Antioch.  We will visit the museum to see the mosaics and visit the Hittite site at Karatepe Arslantas and St.  Simeon the Younger’s monastery near Uzunbag.  Paul made several missionary journeys here and the term “Christians” was first used in Antioch (Acts 11:26).  We will see the four arched bridge built by Diocletian over the Asi and the nearby Grotto of St. Peter, the cave where the Apostle is said to have preached.  Back to Mersin for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Sunday, May 4, 2008 - We leave Mersin today and head north in the footsteps of Paul toward Derbe and into the region of Cappadocia.  We will stop at Nigde, a quiet provincial town with Hittite roots.  We will visit the church of Eski Gumus (Old Silver) which has magnificent frescoes of Christ, Mary and the saints.  The adjoining monastery has been hollowed from rock.  We continue through the surreal landscapes of volcanic ash that was formed over 3 million years ago until we reach Urgup, our home base for the next two nights. BD

DAY 5: Monday, May 5, 2008 - Today we have a full day excursion of Cappadocia to view the fairy chimneys which were formed through years of erosion.  We also visit Goreme where the paintings in the ancient churches have a special place in Christian art as the effects of both the East and West are discernable.  We will see Zelve where the entire village was carved into the rocks as a hiding place during the period of Christianity.  We will have a chance to see Uchisar and the Peribaca Valley before we return to our hotel at Urgup for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 6: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - We continue slightly southwest today and our first stop is Abzikarahan where we will visit the old caravansary built in 1239.  The restoration efforts have brought it back into its full splendor.  We continue to Selime, where you will again find the violet-gray fairy chimneys.  Then on to Ihlara, where the Melendiz River has carved a rift into the sheer tuff cliffs.  The cliffs are pierced by thousands of churches, chapels and caves.  We will visit Sultan Hani, Anatolias’ largest caravansary and a place of rest and shelter for travelers in ancient times.  Finally on to Konya for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 - We will visit the tomb of Rumi before we depart for Antalya, a beautiful port city used by Christian armies en route to the Holy Land during the Crusades.  Our excursion will take us to the narrow coastal area between the Taurus Mountains and the northern reach of the Mediterranean Sea, a district known as Pamphylia.  Visit Perge, where Paul preached when arriving from Cyprus (Acts 13-14) with Barnabas; Aspendos, location of the best preserved ancient theater in Turkey with its incredible acoustics, and see the acropolis, a Roman aqueduct, the Agora and the Nymphaeum, a sanctuary to the nymphs built around a fountain decorated with a marble dolphin; and Side, last of these three ancient cities.  See the theater, the Temples of Athena and Apollo, the Agora and the Museum.  Overnight in Antalya. BD

DAY 8: Thursday, May 8, 2008 - We will begin our day with a visit to the world famous Antalya Museum and continue to Hierapolis, founded early in the 2nd century BC by the king of Pergamum.  We will see the Roman theater, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis.  We will continue to Pamukkale where you will see the ruins of the Roman baths.  St. Phillip was martyred here in 80 AD. We will walk the famous avenue of tombs and the Necropolis which has more than a thousand cut-stone sarcophagi spilling all the way down the hill.  We will have the possibility of a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich volcanic spring water at Pamukkale.  Dinner and overnight at Pamukkale. BD

DAY 9: Friday, May 9, 2008 - We will drive to Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, goddess of love.  The archaeological site is huge and the ruins are breathtaking although only a portion of the site has been excavated so far.  We will visit a location where the famous Turkish carpets are made.  There will be a demonstration of the techniques of dyeing the wool yarn as well as the intricate art of hand weaving the carpets.  We will continue to Kusadasi, where we will spend the next two nights.  Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. BD

DAY 10: Saturday, May 10, 2008 - We will visit Selcuk where we will see the ruins of the Basilica of St. John which ranked with Hagia Sophia as one of the largest Byzantine churches.  The grave of St. John the Divine is located here. We will visit Mary’s House, thought to be the last home of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus, the best preserved ancient city in the world.  Once on the sea, Ephesus is now about 3 miles inland. Paul preached at the Stadium (Acts 19) and the Theater and wrote some of his Epistles here.  We will visit the Double Church of Mary where we will celebrate Holy Eucharist before returning to our hotel in Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 11: Sunday, May 11, 2008 - After breakfast we travel to Bergama, the modern name for the ancient Greek-Roman site of Pergamum, another of the Seven Cities of Revelation and a magnificent architectural and artistic center in its heyday.  We visit the Acropolis, Asklepieion, and the ruins of the ancient library which once contained 200,000 books.  We will continue to Iznik, ancient Nicaea, for our dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 12: Monday, May 12, 2008 - Ancient Nicaea, modern Iznik, is where the two great Ecumenical Councils were held, one in 325 AD and the other in 786 AD.  These councils had profound effects on the practice of Christianity and resulted in the Nicene Creed.  Afterwards, we will take a ferry to Istanbul where we will have a “get acquainted tour” and visit the world famous Grand Bazaar for some great shopping.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BD

DAY 13: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - We begin our day with a visit to Topkapi Palace, located on Seraglio Point where the Bosporus meets the Golden Horn.  The palace was home to the sultans and their harems until 1868.  The museum within the palace contains breathtaking jewels, robes and other riches from the time of the sultans.  We will continue our day with a private cruise down the Bosporus to the Black Sea.  We will have a fish lunch at Sariye and then meet our coach and driver and travel to the Kariye Museum which occupies what was once the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora.  The 14th century mosaics and frescoes depicting biblical scenes are considered to be among the finest Byzantine works in the world.  View the Constantinian Walls, built by Theodosius II in 413 AD.  The massive walls are 10 to 20 feet thick and protected ancient Constantinople from attack.  We will have dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BLD

DAY 14: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - We will visit the Hippodrome, once a Roman stadium and the Yerbetan Saray (sunken palace) part of an underground network of waterways.  We will explore the great Blue Mosque, a grand monument to Islam and then visit Haghia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom), Christendom’s most important church for 900 years before it was turned into a mosque in 1453.  Although the mosaics were covered with plaster, they have since been uncovered and are on display here.  We will have a “farewell to Turkey” dinner and celebration and overnight in Istanbul. BD

DAY 15: Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Return to the USA. BL

Price: $2,999.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from New York, NY JFK.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement costs available on request.

*A $20.00 USD Cash Only Payment (Exact amount) due upon arrival into Turkey for your Visa. *Price for Turkish Visa subject to change without notice.

Final Payment due March 1, 2008

Cancellation Penalties
◊ October 1, 2007 – February 15, 2008: $100 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 16 – March 14, 2008: $300 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After March 15, 2008: NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.