New Testament Legacy Tour: 7 Churches from the Book of Revelation

New Testament Legacy Tour: 7 Churches from the Book of Revelation

By Ruby Zhao | Updated Aug. 2, 2022

9-Day Christianity Highlights (Churchs of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea) with Turkey Highlights

Turkey contains countless legacies from the early days of Christianity. In this tour, you will visit important places that find mention in the scriptures of the New Testament, especially the Seven Churches of Revelation. Each has a story to tell. From Istanbul to Izmir, you will travel with a private guide and learn about these sacred sites in Turkey.

Days

9

Price

from US$2,920 p/p

Best For

First-timers, Believers

Best Time

Apr. to Oct.

Tour Highlights

Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the Temple of Artemis.
1
Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the Temple of Artemis.
Discover the secret of the Sweating Column in Hagia Sophia.
2
Discover the secret of the Sweating Column in Hagia Sophia.
Visit the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation, one by one.
3
Visit the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation, one by one.
Explore the underground city that was carved by the early Christians.
4
Explore the underground city that was carved by the early Christians.
 
 
 

Itinerary Details

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Day 1
Arrival in Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, the city that connects Asia and Europe. Your private guide will be waiting, ready to escort you to the hotel. Have a good rest, and get ready to start your New Testament tour!

Hotel Options:
Best Western Empire Palace (4 star)
Legacy Ottoman Hotel (5 star)

Day 2
Istanbul Old City Highlights

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

You have a full day to relish the ancient history of Istanbul. The first stop for the day is the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the venue where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. Continue to the Blue Mosque and find out why it has been given that name.

Next, be swept away by Hagia Sophia, the largest cathedral in the world. Try to discover the secret of the Sweating Column (also known as the Wishing Column) and visit the largest baptistery in the world.

Your tour guide will take you to Topkapi Palace, which was the residence of the Ottoman sultans and now houses riches from 700 years ago. Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, which is a world-famous shopping arcade with over 4,000 shops under one roof.

Day 3
Flight to Izmir, Izmir City Tour

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

After breakfast at the hotel, take a flight to Izmir, which was once known as Smyrna. The Archaeological Museum is filled with artifacts dating back to the very first days of ancient Smyrna.

Kadifekale (Velvet Castle) offers an unbeatable view of the city, and if you go there around the time of ezzan (the call to prayer), you can experience the waves of the call to prayer passing over the city.

You can also visit the Izmir Clock Tower in Konak Square. This is a picturesque area near the main entrance to the bazaar. Spend some time there and sip a cold drink.

Explore Kemeralti Bazaar, which is not only a historical area more than 300 years old, but also one of the best places to shop in Izmir.

Day 4
Smyrna and Pergamum

Meal included: breakfast and lunch

Smyrna was the old name of Izmir, mentioned in Revelation 2:8-11. When people refused to worship the Roman gods, the town suffered, and people were persecuted. You will see St. Polycarp Church from the outside and visit the ruins of Agora.

A 2½-hour drive will take you to Bergama (Pergamum) (Revelation 2:12-17), where you will find "Satan's throne". Pergamum was once a very significant city. Even today, you can see the former glory of the city reflected in the ruins.

Entering the Acropolis, you will see the ruins of the palaces of kings and the holy Square of Athena. Visit the Asclepeion, the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing. You will also see the Temple of Zeus, the ruins of the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Trajan, the Theater of Pergamum, and the gymnasium. Continue to the Red Basilica, which was built in the 2nd century and converted from a pagan temple to a Christian church building in the 4th or 5th century.

Stay overnight in Bergama in a cozy boutique hotel.

Hotel Options:
Aristonicus Boutique Hotel
Attalos Suites Hotel

Day 5
Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

You will visit the locations of three churches from the Book of Revelation — Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia on Day 5 of your tour. After breakfast, drive to Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29), which used to be a center of trade and commerce, famous for the purple dyes used in the cloth industry there.

Visit the location of the church of Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6), the capital of ancient Lydia. Jesus noted the wealth and fame of this city saying, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."

Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) was the youngest of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Visit the still-standing remains of an old church building and the city walls.

After the tour, head for Pamukkale, and stay overnight there.

Hotel Options:
Melrose House Hotel 4 star
Hal-Tur Hotel 5 star

Day 6
Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Kusadasi

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

In the morning, enjoy the fantastic landscape of the white pool in Pamukkale. Spend some time there taking photos and then head to Hierapolis.

Hierapolis is the city where Saint Phillip was martyred around AD 80. Remarkably, much of the town remains even today, and we can see clearly what daily life in the Roman Theater in Hierapolis would have been like. Hierapolis is probably one of the best-preserved theaters of the ancient world. It was also considered a medicinal center in 200 BC due to the natural hot springs in the region.

Afterward, go to Laodicea to visit the church to which Jesus spoke, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock'' (Revelation 3:20-21). The churches of Laodicea and Colossae once thrived under the care of Epaphras. This is a large site with many remains, including the main columned street.

Drive to Kusadasi and enjoy a relaxing night in a seaside hotel.

Hotel Options:
Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel (4 star)
Le Bleu Hotel & Resort Kusadasi (5 star)

Day 7
Ephesus, Flight to Cappadocia

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

You will visit the magnificent ancient city of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7), where Saint Paul ministered. You can still witness the glory of its past from its well-preserved ruins. Strolling down the street, you can imagine what life may have been like during those times. In Ephesus, you will see the Agora, the great Library of Celsus, and the grand amphitheater that seated 250,000 people. Many streets, shopfronts, and the latrines are still almost intact, and you will find the remains of the Temple of Artemis and the Basilica of Saint John within the Ephesus city limits.

Say goodbye to Ephesus, take a flight to Cappadocia, and enjoy a night in a lovely cave hotel.

Hotel Options:
Urgup Evi Cave Hotel 4 star
Taru Cave Suites 5 star

Day 8
Northern Cappadocia Tour

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Start your day with a visit to Goreme Panorama, which offers a splendid view of the village of Goreme, the land of fairy chimneys. You will be fascinated by the Goreme Open-Air Museum, which is the biggest monastery complex in the region. Continue to Ortahisar, a typical village with a castle and caves for food storage.

Afterward, you will visit one of the highlights of the trip — Pasabag, or the Fairy Chimney Valley, with its mushroom-like rock formations. Passing through the Imagination Valley (Devrent Valley), you will see many rock formations in the shape of various animals. 

Later in the day, enjoy an open buffet lunch in a restaurant. 

Finally, take a walk by the Red River in Avanos, which is famous for its pottery cave workshops dating back thousands of years to the Hittites. On the way back to your hotel, visit Love Valley, which offers a magnificent view.

Day 9
Underground City and Departure

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Your visit will start with Uchisar Castle, a mountain fortress built centuries ago. You will be amazed by Kaymakli Underground City, which served for many centuries as a refuge for the local people and saved early Christians from Roman persecution.

Finally, you will visit Pigeon Valley with its lovely pigeons still living in dovecotes. It has a beautiful view of Uchisar Castle.

This is the end of your tour. Your driver will take you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Optional Addition to Enrich Your Tour

Hot-air balloon ride: This experience will be a happy ending for your tour! Ride in a hot-air balloon and enjoy panoramic views of Goreme. We will make sure you get window seats in the hot-air balloon so that you can genuinely enjoy the breath-taking view.

Trip Notes

Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas, and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.

1. Accommodation

Many types of accommodation are available, including 5-star hotels, superior 4-star hotels, best value 3-star hotels, and popular boutique hotels in various Turkish styles. We will select the perfect one for you.

2. Transportation

Turkey is a large country, so we usually arrange flights between the destinations to make your travel comfortable and time-efficient. Please tell us if you prefer to travel by train instead of by flights.

3. Meals

Lunch will be at popular local restaurants so that you can taste authentic Turkish food. Your guide will assist you in ordering the best dishes.

Vegetarian, halal, kosher, Indian, or gluten-free — all of your dietary requirements can be taken care of by our experienced private guides. Let us know if you have any of these nutritional requirements when you make your booking.

Price: from US$2,920 p/p, Tour code: gh-tk-rl

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