1. 7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels
Set off a Bible-oriented multi-day trip to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, including Pergamum, Sardis, and Laodicea. Immerse yourself in the history of Christianity as you explore Greek and Roman ruins. Stay in 4-star hotels during your tour and enjoy breakfast, dinner, and transportation included. Day 1: Arrival in Izmir Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel, Kaya Prestige, DoubleTree By Hilton Alsancak, or similar. Enjoy dinner at your hotel. Day 2: Pergamon, Thyatira, and Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan. Continue to Thyatira, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Hierapolis Depart early in the morning to reach one of the most picturesque of the Seven Churches of Asia, Sardis [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4]. Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. Continue to Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia and the only church not censured. Unlike the other 6 churches, they remained steadfast in their faith. Visit the remains of a Byzantine basilica that features 11th-century frescoes. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale or “Cotton Fortress.” Visit travertines and terraces. Journey on to Laodicea [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. See the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica, and ancient stone water pipes. Visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, a 2nd-century theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium, and the Necropolis. Stay at the Colossae Thermal or similar in Pamukkale. Day 4: Ephesus Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi: the Efe Boutique Hotel or similar. Day 5: Izmir Your tour comes to a close as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.