Discover the 7 Churches of Asia Minor on a 14 Days Tour
The Seven Churches of Revelations or the Churches of Apocalypse that are in the book of John refer to seven major cities through Western Turkey: Thyatira-Sardis-Laodicea-Philadelphia-Hierapolis-Aphrodisias.
All these places provided a relatively safe haven for the Early Christians. For those looking to make a spiritual journey, Turkey cannot be overlooked. For a more in-depth discovery of Biblical Turkey, join our tours where you can choose to do a small group tour or a private tour.
Explore some of the best highlights of Turkey and see some of the amazing places of history and stunning landscape that this beautiful country has to offer. Throughout your trip, you’ll visit Istanbul’s highlights, including Hagia Sofia and cruise between two continents on a Bosphorus cruise.
Go to Şanlıurfa (the Prophets' City; also known as Urfa), is a pilgrimage town and spiritual centre. This is where the prophets Job and Abraham left their marks. Fuelled by investment in the nearby Southeast Anatolia Project, combining irrigation projects and community development, a cosmopolitan sheen now complements Urfa's centuries-old heritage. The city's streets hum with an energetic buzz and the nearby temple of Göbekli Tepe is one of eastern Turkey's unmissable destinations.
Hatay (Antioch) on the Orontes was the place that the people that believed were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). See the cave where they met in secret (maybe partly closed for restoration). Paul and Silas left Antioch on the second missionary travels (Acts 15:35-36).
Drive to Tarsus which was the birthplace of the Apostle Paul where you can visit his well, the Gate of Cleopatra, and the latest excavations. Then you will visit the archaeological remains of Seleucia, the port from which Paul, Barnabas and John Mark departed from Antioch on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:4).
Visit the magical and mesmerising Cappadocia and see the stunning landscape of the fairy chimneys and tour the Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Also, visit the world-famous Goreme Open Air Museum and witness the best examples of Byzantine art that are in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century).
Explore Pergamum, actually called Bergama and is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. We explore the impressive Acropolis and is the steepest theatre in the world. Visit of the most picturesque areas of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis which was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC and portrayed as a dying church.
You will venture to the UNESCO-listed Ephesus where you will see one of the worlds best-preserved ancient site and see where Virgin Mary spent her final days at the House of the Virgin Mary. Get to experience Temple of Artemis one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
- Explore Istanbul with its many sights including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus
- Visit the Cave of Prophet Abraham and the sacred fish pool in Sanliurfa
- See Gobekli Tepe, which is one of the most incredible archaeological discoveries and is around 12,000 years old
- Go to Hatay (Antioch) on the Orontes was the place that the people that believed were first called Christians
- Visit Tarsus, birthplace of the Apostle Paul and learn the history of Hatay
- See the mysterious landscape of cappadocia and visit an underground city and Goreme Museum
- Explore the impressive Acropolis of Pergamon and enjoy a scenic ride of Smyrna which is the third largest city in Turkey
- Visit Sardis the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom and Philadelphia the only church that is not censured
- Witness the white cliffs of Pamukkale and visit the ruins of Hierapolis
- Explore the ancient city of Ephesus and Visit the House of the Virgin Mary where she spent her final days
- Scheduling: Private
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English, German, French, Italian
- Duration: 14 days
- Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted
- Pick-up servicePick up from Istanbul Airport
- CancellationYou can cancel your tour 7 days prior to the travel date with a full refund except for the domestic flights which are non-refundable.
- On Request
- Cut-off TimeAvailable to be booked until 3 days before the tour starts. Please note we reserve the option to confirm the tour or not due to availability.
- Domestic flights in the program
- Airport transfers where needed
- Transportation by a comfortable AC non smoking Luxurious car/Van with professional driver
- Professional and experienced licensed guide during the tours
- All accommodation
- Entry fees to the sites and museums
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- Other services not mentioned
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities (optional)
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport where we will transfer you to the hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Today you will have a tour of Istanbul starting with a visit to St. Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian and was the largest building in the world for more than 1000 years. See its intricate, beautiful mosaics and sizeable central dome.
Continue to the Topkapi Palace, used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries and see the splendid collection of priceless crystal, jewels, silver and porcelain, robes adorned by the sultans and the relics of the prophet Mohammed (entrance to the Harem is an extra charge).
After lunch, see the Blue Mosque, erected for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a magnificent piece of architecture with six minarets and features over 20,000 beautiful and intricate Iznik tiles.
Visit the ancient Hippodrome with its Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II.
Wander through the back streets of Old Istanbul and explore the Yerebatan underground Cistern and shop at the Grand Covered Bazaar (except on Sundays).
*This may be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located.
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market located on the Golden Horn and take in aromas of all the herbs and spices on offer before you board your cruise of the Bosphorus which separates the two continents Europe and Asia.
Cruise past the Rumeli fortress, constructed by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prepare for his conquest of Istanbul.
We will then visit the museum of Sadberk Hanim, which has an excellent private collection of artefacts that dates back to the prehistoric period and an ethnographic section that is housed in an old Ottoman building.
After you have enjoyed lunch in a seaside fish restaurant, cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia where you will visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill, for a magnificent view of Istanbul.
Cruise is done by a public boat unless other arrangements are made.
Today you will have a morning flight to Sanliurfa where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Visit the Mevlid Halil Mosque, the Cave of Prophet Abraham, then the sacred fish pool. You will also have a chance to wander in the Old Bazaar before continuing to Harran, city of the prophet Abraham where you can see the fortress, Islamic school and curious beehive-shaped adobe houses.
After breakfast, we will take a drive to see Gobekli Tepe, which is one of the most incredible archaeological discoveries ever with its T-shaped megaliths carved with strange and delicate images, mostly of animals.
Gobekli Tepe is at least 12,000 years old and is thought to be a temple, and some say that it marks the site of the Garden of Eden.
Continue to Hatay via Gaziantep where the artisans of Gaziantep are specialised in making copperware and furniture with mother-of-pearl.
The city's fortress which has 36 towers, was initially constructed in the Justinian era and later rebuilt by the Seljuks.
We will visit the Gaziantep Zeugma Museum with the collection of impressive mosaics from the ancient site of Zeugma (Belkis) and has become one of the most extensive mosaic museums in the world.
Explore the Old town of Gaziantep with beautifully carved stonework of doors and windows in the old parts of the city.
We will leave Gaziantep and pass the Euphrates River with a stop at Birecik which is famous for the nearly extinct Bald Ibis.
Antioch on the Orontes was the place that the people that believed were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).
See the cave where they met in secret (may be partly closed for restoration).
Paul and Silas left Antioch on the second missionary travels (Acts 15:35-36).
Discover how the leaders such as Ignatius of Antioch and John Chrysostom had an impact.
In Acts 2:9, pilgrims from Cappadocia were assembled with the thousands in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost when they received the first baptism of the Holy Spirit and heard the Apostle Peter preach his powerful message.
Visit the mosaic museum (partially closed).
Departure is in the morning where you will drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of the Apostle Paul where you can visit his well, the Gate of Cleopatra, and the latest excavations.
Then you will visit the archaeological remains of Seleucia, the port from which Paul, Barnabas and John Mark departed from Antioch on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:4).
We will then travel to Cappadocia and stop by The rock-hewn monastery of Eski Gümüşler which is 10 km east from Nigde.
Begin your tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia.
Drive to Sahinefendi ( Sobesos ) where you will see the Byzantine Period Mosaic Art and Archaeological excavation site. Villages in the valleys that are surrounded by the “tabletop” mountains are spectacular.
Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer before continuing to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old houses; excellent examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.
Continue with the panorama of the Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations and is located in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowd.
In the morning you will first meet with the incredible lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations that are beyond belief in Devrent valley.
Take a journey into the past with its troglodyte houses, visit Pasabag's “fairy chimneys” where the sound of the wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve.
Lunch in Avanos the centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC and you will get a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop.
In the afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century).
Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Take a morning flight from Kayseri to Izmir (direct or via Istanbul), and upon arrival, you will be met at the airport with your name sign.
We will then drive to Pergamum, actually called Bergama and is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. We explore the impressive Acropolis and is the steepest theatre in the world. Then we will visit Asklepieion an important medical centre of classical times and see the Altar of Zeus, mentioned as the "Throne of Satan" in the book of Revelation.
See the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was a rival of the famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt where its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200,000 which inspired an invention of the parchment.
We will also visit the Red Basilica (St. John’s Church) before continuing our visit to Thyatira, which is now called Akhisar and is another one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14] and was a city famous for purple dyes and Lydia, the trader of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira. We then visit the remains of a basilica and architectural fragments from the Roman period.
Before we arrive at the hotel in Izmir, we will enjoy a scenic ride of Smyrna and is the third largest city in Turkey and is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. This city is scarred with a bloody history of trade and warfare. We then travel to Mount Pagus where you will see the Citadel of Lysimachos and the commander of Alexander the Great was erected in the 4th century BC.
Today we will depart in the early morning and visit of the most picturesque areas of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis which was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC and portrayed as a dying church.
We visit the magnificent Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became a Byzantine Church before visiting some ancient Lydian houses, and the restored gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue.
Then see several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis constructed by Cyrus the Great and also see the golden river Pactolus.
Then we continue our travels to Philadelphia, now called Alasehir, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and is the only church that is not censured. Here we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a high arch and some 11th-century frescoes.
Drive to the healing city of Hierapolis and Pamukkale, which is a white cotton fortress where hot mineral water bursts from the ground and cascades over cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The healing waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis, we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian.
Proceed to Laodicea now known as Denizli, also a Church of the Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14] where you will see the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica and some ancient stone water pipes.
We will also visit the Gate of Domitian, the 2nd century AD Theatre, the Arcadian Way, the Nymphaion, the Plutonium, the Temple of Apollo and the Necropolis.
Drive to Ephesus where you will visit the ancient city of Ephesus, including the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus archaeological museum.
The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians here and lived there for three years, and the church also received an epistle from him.
We tour the splendid ruins where excavations continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC.
Walk through the long history along the marble streets lined with magnificent public buildings, among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre.
The Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city.
Visit The House of Virgin Mary, which is claimed she spent her last days before a drive to Kusadasi for an overnight stay.
You will be collected from your hotel 2 hours before the flight departure, where you will be transferred to Izmir airport for a flight to Istanbul airport.
Upon arrival, you will then be transferred to your hotel for a free afternoon for the last chance to complete your visits.
Pick up from the hotel and transfer to Istanbul airport for flight back home
- This itinerary is subject to change and may be reversed without prior notice according to weather, museum closing days, daily events or other unforeseen circumstances
- Calculation is based on promotional class and rates and are Flights are subject to change until ticketed. You will receive references to flight tickets after booking
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