Seven Churches of Asia Minor

Tour 10-Day Tour.

Seven churches of Asia Minor – a tour devoted to their origins. Intended for the traveler with limited time and a very special interest.


The home of St. Philip the Evangelist, many of the sites where St. Paul preached, the Seven Churches of Asia minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodikea. The Basilica of St. John, the last earthly home of the Virgin Mary and some of Constantinople’s greatest Christian treasures such as Hagia Sophia and Kariye and a cruise on the Bosporus.


B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.

DAY 1. Departure to Turkey

DAY 2. Arrive in Antalya (D)

Upon your arrival in the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya, you are met with a friendly 'merhaba' (hello) and escorted to your hotel. Although born in Roman Palestine, Christianity first became established and began to spread throughout Asia Minor. The angel revealing to St. John the Divine said "what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamas and unto Thyatira and unto Sardis and unto Philadelphia and unto Laodicea. " Freshen up before meeting your guide for an orientation about the spiritual adventure ahead and break bread together at a welcome dinner.

DAY 3. Laodikea/Hierapolis/Pamukkale (BLD)

This afternoon, explore the recently excavated theater of Laodikea (Denizli). Then on to Hierapolis, the home of St. Philip the Evangelist, to explore the necropolis, churches and baths. Nearby, enjoy the view of Pamukkale's cascading tiers of white limestone. Visit the site of Colossae, that never underwent an excavation. In Byzantine art, the theme of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Kona is intimately interlocked with the site.

DAY 4. Sardis/Philadelphia/Smyrna (BLD)

Today you'll be able to visualize a trinity of Biblical references from visiting the cities of Philadelphia and Sardis, where St. Paul preached, to staying in the city of Smyrna (Izmir), which St. Paul praised for its peoples' faithfulness. Visit the church of Polycarp.

DAY 5. Ephesus/Izmir (BLD)

"There are no gods made with hands" are the words of St. Paul. Sit in the theater in Ephesus where St. Paul preached these very words which incited riot by the blacksmiths who felt this patriarchal, upstart religion was a threat to the worship of Artemis - the Mother Goddess, and to their business, as well. Stroll along the marble roads past the Library of Celsus and Hadrian's Temple. Visit the Basilica of St. John and the last earthly home of the Virgin Mary. The 3rd Ecumenical Council met in the Church of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus in 431 AD to establish in writing some of the major principles of Christianity - also providing the first written record that Mary had lived the last years of her life in Ephesus.

DAY 6. Thyatira/Pergamum/Bursa (BLD)

Visit Thyatira (Akhisar) known for its guilds of artists in the time of St. Paul. Then, on to Pergamum, the rival of Ephesus in the field of commerce and of Alexandria in the fields of learning and arts. Home to the famous physician Galen, you will see the remains of the great library that once housed over 200, 000 scrolls and the restored theatre built into the hillside that seated 10, 000, as well as the red court of Pergamum (also known as the red church). Continue on to Bursa.

DAY 7. Nicea/Istanbul (BLD)

This morning, visit Nicea, the Byzantine capital for 100 years upon the occupation of Constantinople in the 13th century. Niceen Creed must be one of the most important declarations of the Christian Church, acting on ecumenical level. Continue to Istanbul. In 326 AD Constantine took over Byzantium and officially renamed it Constantinople, making it the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Over the next couple of days you will have a chance to enjoy some of the greatest Christian treasures to be found anywhere in the world

DAY 8. Istanbul (BLD)

Visit a masterpiece mosque, that earned its name - Blue Mosque, with its 21000 mosaic tiles that decorate the interiors. Walk among the obelisks that once stood in the spina of a very large hippodrome. Continue to St.Sophia, that is probably one of the greatest and earliest christian edifices, to see pieces of art that one can not observe elsewhere. Last visit will be to the Topkapi Palace. Offering a rich display of artefacts from the Ottoman period, and its many chambers where sultans' resided for centuries, this great palace is located on a peninsula with great views of Istanbul. End the day at the Grand Bazaar, with an opportunity to barter for kilims, carpets, leather, jewelry, at its 3000 shops, lined on both sides of the labirynth-like galleries.

DAY 9. Istanbul (BLD)

Visit the Chora Museum , where the lives of Mary and Jesus are depicted in colorful mosaics and frescoes of this once important Byzantine Church. Feel the oriental essence of spices at the Spice Market, and finally bid a leisurely farewell to Istanbul with a cruise on the Bosporus.

DAY 10. Departure (B)

Transfer to airport for departure