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11-Day “Seven Churches of Revelations” Tour

Turkey lends itself to unveiling the culture and history that necessitated the spreading of the “Good News” throughout the Mediterranean and prompted John to write his letters of warning and commendation from Patmos.

** For dates and prices contact us at: info@faithbasedtravel.com or 770-847-0919

Itinerary

Day 1
Depart USA for Istanbul, Turkey
Overnight flight to Turkey
Day 2
Istanbul
Arrive at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. Meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome briefing and orientation walking tour of the hotel area. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (D)
Day 3
Istanbul
Following breakfast at our hotel, we begin a full day city tour that includes visits to the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. The ancient Hippodrome public arena, once the center of Byzantine civic life, seated 100,000 fans to view chariot races, executions, and mock battles. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque as it is known today, was built between 1609 and 1616 and was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque during the Ottoman Empire. The interior gleams with magnificent panels of blue and white 17th century Iznik tiles- a site to behold! Hagia Sophia, constructed in the 6th century, was once described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, it was Christendom’s crowning glory, glittered with mosaics and art treasures. It was dedicated to the Hagia Sophia, meaning Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ. Topkapi Palace Museum was the residence for the Ottoman Sultans and includes a maze of opulent buildings that composed the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. Today it is known as one of the richest museums in the world! (B, D)
Day 4
Istanbul
Another full day of touring this beautiful, energetic, and interesting city! Our first stop is at the Basilica Cistern or Underground Palace. Istanbul was one of the most besieged cities in the world and therefore always needed a permanent water supply. As a result, many underground cisterns were built during the Byzantine Empire and water was brought to these big reservoirs through aqueducts from far away sources. We will continue to St. Saviour in Chora Church. This church originally formed the centre of a Byzantine monastery complex. Only the church section, which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Saviour, has survived. The three most important features of the church, restored in the 14th Century, are mosaics, frescoes and the funerary chapel (Paracclesion). We will enjoy lunch at a sea-front restaurant followed by a one and a half hour Bosporus cruise. The Bosporus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. About 20 miles long, it varies between 0.5 and 1.5 miles in width. Along both the European and Asian shores are many attractions including ancient ruins, picturesque villages, wooden houses and forested areas. Following the cruise, we will conclude our day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar – one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world! The bazaar contains two bedestens (domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake. It became the center for trade in the entire Ottoman Empire. Today, it houses a labyrinth of streets and passages to explore, eighteen entrances and more than 4.000 shops. Here our tour ends, but those who do not wish to return to the hotel may stay to explore the near-by exotic Spice Bazaar on their own. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)
Day 5
Istanbul/Izmir
This morning we transfer to Istanbul airport for the 1-hour flight to Izmir-ancient Smyrna (the church that was poor but rich in spiritual proof). Upon arrival, we will have a city tour of Izmir and visit the ancient Agora (marketplace). During Roman times, Smyrna became a rival city to Ephesus and itself as being Rome’s most faithful ally. The Christian faith in Izmir began with the activities of St. Paul who sent some of his disciples there. The city hosted a great Jewish colony and some of these Jews accepted Christian faith at an early stage. However, the church in Smyrna had a great struggle against tremendous political and religious opposition and experienced poverty and tribulations. It is claimed that St. John returned to Izmir from Patmos after his exile. The letter addressed to the church in Izmir is full of sympathy and love. It was written to the church nearly 60 years before the martyrdom of St. Polycarp. After our tour we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Check in at the hotel, rest of day at leisure time. Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B, D)
Day 6
Izmir/Pergamum/Thyatira
Following breakfast, we drive to the ancient site of Pergamum (the church that compromised the doctrine of the Nicolaitans) to visit the Acropolis and Asclepion (ancient health center). During the time of St. John’s letters, the city of Pergamum was one of the most important cities of the first century with its Zeus, Dionysus, Athena and Imperial Cult temples. Known as an important Roman center, both politically and religiously, St. John’s letter mentions that this is the place of Satan’s throne! Following lunch at a local restaurant we continue on to the ancient site of Thyatira (the church that welcomed Jezebel). Although Thyatira was the smallest and least important of the seven cities, the letter written to the church in Thyatira was the longest of the seven letters. It was also the hometown of Lydia, a rich and notable merchant, who became St. Paul’s first convert in Europe at Philippi. At the time the Revelation was written, Thyatira had a prosperous church and is mentioned with warmest commendations: “I know your deeds, your love, your faith and your perseverance.” Dinner and overnight in Izmir (B,D)
Day 7
Sardis/Philadelphia/Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
Today we enjoy a full touring day, including visits to the temple of Artemis, and the ancient sites of Sardis (the church that was alive but dead) and Philadelphia. Sardis, located close to the gold bearing river Pactalus, was the first city to mint gold and silver coins with a fixed, guaranteed value. The people of Sardis were proud of their wealth, luxuries, and abundance and subsequently lost their faith. Continuing on to the ancient site of Philadelphia (the church that had little strength but was faithful) we will get a glimpse of the Turkish countryside. Attalos II, the king of Pergamum, established the city of Philadelphia by the Alasehir River for his brother Eumenes and named it Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. The church of Philadelphia was commended for being faithful to God’s Word. We will enjoy lunch in a local village, and then continue to Pamukkale and will visit Hierapolis (holy city-Colossians 4:12-13). Ancient Hierapolis, possibly founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamum, was known for its hot springs (cotton castle) where Roman Emperors came to be cured. This site is in an excellent state of preservation with the site of St. Phillip’s Church, (The Apostle Phillip was beaten here by gentiles while preaching the Gospel), the necropolis with 1200 tombs, the Roman bath, the theater that seated 10,000, the old city ruins, and the monumental gate of Domitian. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B, D)
Day 8
Laodicea/Aphrodisias/Kusadasi
Following breakfast, we head for Kusadasi stopping for visits at the ancient sites of Laodicea and Aphrodisias. Laodicea (the lukewarm church) is the most southerly of the seven churches. Although it is not known when the church took its roots there, the letter addressing the church in Laodicea is the sternest of the seven letters, containing much reprimand but no praise. The word “Laodicean” was used as an adjective to describe someone who is lukewarm in politics, in religion or other matters. Laodicea was a city rich in banking, medicine (eye salve and other medicines developed here), textiles, and liberty. The letter of St. John says that although Laodiceans say they are rich, and do not need anything, they actually are pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Our next visit is to the ancient city of Aphrodisias, dedicated to the goddess of love Aphrodite, a Hellenistic city which also flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule. Excavations in the 78 ft. high theater hill have revealed layers of settlement going back to the Bronze Age (c. 2800–2200 B.C.). It was founded in the 5thc B.C. and flourished under the Roman Empire (1st C B.C. – 4th c. AD). Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center of the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Lunch en route. Dinner and overnight in the coastal city of Kusadasi. (B, D)
Day 9
Ephesus/Kusadasi
Ephesus (the church that has left their first love) is perhaps the world’s best-preserved ancient city. An important Christian community arose here, and Ephesus was visited by St. Paul, who later wrote one of his epistles to the Ephesians. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is the fact that Ephesus once housed the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The most significant relic of the site is the immense amphitheater that holds 24,000 people and is still used today. Walk along the Sacred Way, where the rich once lived; see the Temple of Hadrian, a Corinthian-style building with the head of Medusa on the porch to keep away evil spirits; and the Library of Celsius, which held 12,000 ancient scrolls that were stored in niches around the walls. Following our time in Ephesus, we continue to Sultanköy, a rug-making farm in Çamlık village, to enjoy a local lunch and learn about carpet making. In the afternoon, we have a brief visit to the House of the Virgin Mary where it is believed that Mary spent the last years of her life and died. Mary came to Ephesus with St. John and was taken up to Panaghia Kapulu Mountain to survive the Roman persecutions. Today the Vatican recognizes the House of Virgin Mary as a shrine. Our last visit of the day is to The Basilica of St. John. In the 4th century, the Byzantines built a small church over John’s tomb and in the 6th century, Justinian I built a cathedral that was destroyed by the Arab raids between the 7th and 8th centuries. Today the Vatican recognizes the grave of St. John as a shrine. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B, D)
Day 10
RPatmos, Greece (ferry boat round trip) (Ferry is 3 hrs. each way weather permitting)
In the morning we head to the pier and board a ferry for a day trip to the island of Patmos. The earliest remains of human settlements on the island date to the Middle Bronze Age. Patmos and Christianity were closely linked when in the late 1st century Emperor Domitian exiled St. John the Apostle to Patmos. Upon arrival, we visit the Monastery of St. John. The monastery crowns the hill of Chora. It looks like a Byzantine castle and was built like a fortress. About halfway up the cobbled path that leads to the monastery is the Cave of the Apocalypse, the very place where St. John is believed to have received his Revelations. The monastery consists of interconnecting courtyards, chapels, stairways, arcades, galleries, and roof terraces. The Treasury has an impressive array of religious art and treasure, mainly consisting of icons of the Cretan school. In the late afternoon, we return to Kusadasi by ferry. (B, D)
Day 11
Depart for Home
After breakfast – transfer to Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir for your homebound flight via Istanbul. (B)

Insurance Info

Optional Travel Protection Information

We recommend that all travelers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment! We realize that overseas travel is expensive, and while we do all that we can to ensure a safe and flawless trip, there are circumstances that cannot be controlled. Consider Travel Protection for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.Faith Based Expeditions offers a travel protection plan, 360 Adult Group Comprehensive, provided by Travelex Insurance Services. 

Trip Cost

Plan Cost*

$1 – $500

   $59

$501 – $1,000

   $85

$1,001 – $1,500

 $155

$1,501 – $2,000

 $180

$2,001 – $3,000

 $300

$3,001 – $4,000

 $280

$4,001- $5,000

 $315

$5,001- $6,000

 $360

$6,001 – $7,000

 $410

$7,001 – $8,000

 $455

$8,001 – $9,000

 $505

$9,001 – $10,000

 $540

*Rates a Subject to Changes. Add $3/day for trips 31-120 days.

Plan Benefits

Maximum Coverage Per Person (up to the limits below)

Trip Cancellation

100% of Insured Trip Cost

Trip Interruption

150% of Insured Trip Cost

Trip Delay

$1,000

Missed Cruise Connection

$1,000

Baggage & Personal Effects

$1,500

Baggage Delay

$250

Emergency Medical & Dental Expenses

$50,000

Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation

$250,000

24 Hour AD&D

$25,000

Travel Assistance & Concierge Services**

Included

This is a brief description of benefits. For a summary of the plan details on benefits, coverages, limitations and exclusions, please view the Description of Coverage.**Travel Assistance & Concierge Services are provided by the designated provider as listed in the Description of Coverage. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio; NAIC #10952 307701.

This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip.  You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages.  You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies.  If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.   The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered to you by your travel retailer. 


Description of Coverage

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