On The Footsteps of St. Paul
MTP-I - On The Footsteps of St. Paul
Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
Meet and assist at Istanbul airport. Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Istanbul
Breakfast and city sightseeing including St. Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Chora Museum, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Istanbul / Antakya
After breakfast, a short visit of Spice Market and embark for a 1.5 hours cruise on the Bosphorus. PM transfer to the Airport and fly to Hatay. Transfer to Antakya for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Antakya
Breakfast and tour of Antakya, Biblical “Antioch on the Orontes”. Antioch (Acts 6:5; 11:19-30; 13; 1-3; 15:1-2,22-35) is where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Visit St. Peter’s Grotto, the first Christian Rock Church, where early Christians of Antioch used to meet in secret. Paul and Barnabas set out on their first journey from Antioch. Visit the second richest Mosaic Museum of the world before proceed to Samandag, Biblical “Seleucia Pieria” which was the seaport of Antioch in Roman times, from which Paul and Barnabas set sail for Cyprus on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). Return to Antakya for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Antakya / Cappadocia
Leave Antakya and proceed to Tarsus (Acts 9:11,30; 11:25; 21:39; 22:3; 25:29) which was the home of young Paul who was born there about the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Then continue to Cappadocia for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Cappadocia
Full day sightseeing of the villages of Avcilar, Ortahisar, Uchisar, with their troglodyte dwellings, and the Goreme Valley. There are hundreds of churches in this area, some of which are decorated with inscribed frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible or the Apocrypha. Continue the tour with Zelve Valley and return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Cappadocia / Konya / Yalvac / Egirdir
Early breakfast and visit the Underground Cities of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu. Continue to Konya, Biblical “Iconium” (Acts 13:51; 14:1-6,19:16:2) Paul and Barnabas spoke to the people, but those against them were very influential and got the support of the majority on their side. Paul and Barnabas were warned in time enough to escape being stoned there. Visit also the Mosque and the Mausoleum of the Great poet Mevlana, the founder of the Whirling Dervishes order. Drive to Yalvac, Biblical “Antioch of Pisidia” (Acts 13:14-52) mentioned in the New Testament. Continue to Egirdir for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Egirdir / Antalya
Breakfast and drive to Antalya, Biblical “Attalia” (Act 14:25). Attalia is not named when Paul, Barnabas and Barnabas’ cousin, John Mark, went from Paphos to Perga on their first journey (Act 13:13), but either Side or Attalia would have been possible ports. On their way back from Iconium they came through Perga and sailed from Attalia to Antioch. In the afternoon, departure for a city tour of Antalya including the Gate of Hadrianus built in 130 AD, the ancient harbor and the archeological museum where you can see a casket of bones reputed to be those of St. Nicholas. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.
Day 9: Antalya (Aspendos / Side / Perge)
Full day tour including Aspendos, Perge and Side. Aspendos was a river port city in the ancient times and the best preserved theater of antiquity dating from the 2nd century is dominating the site today. Continue to Side, dating from the 7th century, and visit the theater, agora, the great fountain and the Roman Baths which now house the museum. Proceed to Manavgat Waterfalls to enjoy the natural park there. Then drive to Perge, Biblical “Perga” (Acts 13:13-14; 14:25). Perge is close to Cestrus River (Aksu) which was navigable in Paul’s time. Paul and Barnabas went through Perge on their way to and from Antioch on their first journey (Acts 13:13; 14:25). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Antalya / Fethiye
Departure for Demre Biblical “Myra” (Act 27:5-6). Myra was visited by Paul, Luke and Aristarchus. It is where, as prisoners, they changed boats on their way to Rome in 60 or 61 AD Visit the church of St. Nicholas who was the bishop of Myra and the ruins of a Roman theater in Myra. Proceed to Gelemis, Biblical “Patara” (Acts 2:1-2). As Paul and Luke returned from Miletus to Jerusalem at the end of the third journey they stopped in Patara. Here they probably changed from a coastwise ship to a larger one that could cope with the open Mediterranean. Visit the ruins of Patara and continue to Fethiye, ancient Telmessus, for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Fethiye / Marmaris
Drive to Marmaris and stop at Köyceğiz for one and a half-hour boat trip through the narrow channels of Köyceğiz bay, to see the Lycian rock tombs in the ancient city of Kaunos. Afterwards proceed to Marmaris to relax and enjoy the sea and the sun. Dinner and overnight in Marmaris.
Day 12: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Dalaman airport