SEVEN CHURCHES



 
Day 1: İstanbul
Our guests will arrive in Istanbul. Welcome to Turkey! The Fest Travel staff and your English-speaking guide will be waiting to meet you at the Istanbul Atatürk airport. After the baggage’s are placed in the bus by the help of Fest Travel staff, our guests will be transferred to the hotel by an orientation tour of the city. On arriving the hotel, a Welcome kit will be offered (The kit includes two post cards with stamps, Turkey and Istanbul map, Welcome sheet written by you, Brochures of Turkey and Istanbul, Hotel Brochure, information about the hotel and the detailed program of the tour.). Dinner will be served at the hotel. Overnight at hotel. [D]

Day 2: İstanbul - Çanakkale 
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Çanakkale via the East Coast road of the Marmara sea The road offers nice scenery and different types of agriculture. Sunflowers planting are very famous in the area. Cross the Dardanelles with the ferryboat to reach the Anatolian side. On arrival to Çanakkale lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Visit Troy, which is home to excavations that revealed nine principal levels of occupation dating from 3000 BC to 400 AD. Here, one can see the ruins of the city and the famous wooden horse of Troy. This is the place the mythological war of Troy took place, which Homer immortalized in his Iliad. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Continue to Assos. Assos is even more interesting for its situation than its ancient remains .It is in the northwest of Asia Minor, opposite Lesbos on the South coast of the Troad and at the entrance to the Gulf of Edremit on a steeply terraced tracheae cone (767 ft) Dinner and overnight will be in Assos. {B,L,D}

Day 3: Çanakkale - İzmir
After breakfast at the hotel departure to Bergama via Thyatira. Visit Thyatira, which is one of the seven churches, mentioned in the bible. Visit Bergama. Towering 1000 feet above the city, the ruins at Pergamon command an extraordinary view in nearly all directions. One can understand how Pergamon dominated the entire region and cast its shadow over the realm. This great Hellenistic City was a great center of culture. Pergamon was the rival of Ephesus in the field of commerce and of Alexandria and Antioch in that of letters and the arts. Visit the Asclepion, the sanctuary that was dedicated to the God of Medicine and which was the first complete health spa in history. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Visit Acropolis where the ruins of a library and sanctuary Athena are located, as well as an impressive theatre of 80 rows, allowing seating of nearly 10,000. Continue to Izmir for dinner and overnight. {B,L,D}

Day 4: İzmir - Pamukkale
After breakfast at the hotel departure to visit Izmir (Smyrna), the third biggest city in Turkey and one of the seven churches mentioned in the bible. Visit Sardes, that was the capital of the Lydian empire .One of the cultural achievements of the Lydians was the invention of coins .The coins were first made of electrum, an alloy of silver and gold, during the reign of Croesus, and after this there were gold and silver coins .The city offers good preserved ruins and a wonderful smell of history. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Visit Philadelphia, which is one of the seven churches, mentioned in the Bible. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.{B,L,D}

Day 5: Pamukkale
After buffet breakfast, visit Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in Turkish) which is a shimmering white cascade formed by limestone-laden hotsprings, which have formed stalactites, potholes and magical fairy-tables. Bathing in this warm water that has bubbles is an exhilarating experience. Incidentally, the water is reputed to be beneficial to eyes, skin, rheumatism, etc. Visit the Hierapolis. In this ancient city, the ruins spread over a mile from the city founded by Eumenes II of Pergamon. It was leveled by an earthquake in AD 17 but was rapidly rebuilt and enjoyed prosperity between the second and third centuries. Visit Leodicea Antic City, which houses one of the seven churches according to the bible. Departure to Kuşadası. Lunch will be served on the way .The wonderful site Aphrodisias will be visited. Aphrodisias named after the Goddess Aphrodite, whose cult- like status became synonymous with the celebration of sensual love and exquisite femininity, the ancient city of Aphrodisias itself became renowned throughout Asia Minor as a center of medicine and philosophy but above all, of sculpture and the arts. Aphrodisias has undergone a series of earthquakes in the late antiquity and was abandoned by the survivors after the attacks of the Arabs. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel in Kuşadası {B,L,D}

Day 6: Kuşadası
After buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Selçuk. The guests will be visiting the largest archaeological site in the world; Ephesus. Unmatched by any archaeological site anywhere in terms of sheer magnitude, Ephesus appeals to every visitor, whether serious or casual. The roots of this impressive site goes back to the 13th century B.C. The surviving ruins of Ephesus belong to the Roman Imperial Period. There is an impressive amphitheater big enough to hold 24,000 people and a well preserved and restored bibliotheque called the Library of Celsius. Ephesus is known with one of the seven churches mentioned in the Bible. See the ruins of the Artemis temple which is one of the seven wonders of the world and find the possibility to take a photograph of it with on the back side a wonderful view of the Isabey mosque, the Basilica of St.John, a ruin of an Ottoman bath and the Citadel of the city. Lunch will be served in Selçuk. Visit the Basilica of St.John near Selcuk. It is believed that St.John lived in that area during the last years of his life and is buried under the Basilica. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, the small house where Mary lived from AD 37 to 48, which has been visited by two popes and millions of pilgrims. Continue to Izmir airport for the flight to Istanbul. Transfer to the hotel in Istanbul. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. {B,L,D}

Day 7: İstanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, departure to visit the Orthodox Pathricate. Continue to the old city part. Visit Chora Museum; which dates back from 11th century, and is famous for its fascinating mosaics and frescoes, most of which date back to 13th and 14th centuries, and are by far the most important works of Byzantine pictorial art known today. Lunch will be served in then area. After lunch continue to The Hippodrome Square; where the four-horsed chariots raced around beneath the gaze of the Byzantine emperors and a quarter-million spectators. The Hippodrome dating back to 203 BC. Under the Roman Rule, this was the largest track in the ancient times. The monuments of spinal (central line) which survived until our days are the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column and Constantine’s Column. Visit St.Sophia Museum; originally a church, converted into a mosque and now a museum, this superb building wins admiration for the splendor of its Byzantine artwork. It was built by the Emperor Constantine, then re-built by Emperor Justinianeus in the 6th century; this magnificent example of architecture rises with dignity in the Old City. Besides the dome, which wins admiration by its height and size, the mosaics and frescoes decorating the walls are unique examples of Byzantine art. Visit Blue Mosque; which is the only mosque in the world with 6 minarets, was constructed between the dates 1609-1617 by the order of Sultan Ahmed. Inside the mosque, everything seems to float in the azure light reflected from the 21,043 blue ceramic tiles from Iznik. Continue to the Grand Bazaar, which was built by the order of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, after the conquest of Istanbul in 1460's with its 4400 shops. Transfer back to the hotel .The last evening in Istanbul will be made unforgettable with a dinner that will be served at a superior restaurant near the Bosphorus. Overnight at the hotel. {B,L,D}
[The St Sophia is closed on Mondays, The Chora Church is closed on Tuesdays, and The Grand bazaar is closed on Sundays]

Day 8: Departure from İstanbul
After breakfast at the hotel our guests will be transferred to the airport by their guide and Fest Travel staff. After baggage handling at the airport end of service. {B}

CONTACT
Adress: Barbaros Bulvarı, Barbaros Apt. No.74 K.7 D.20 PK.34349 Balmumcu, Beşiktaş-İstanbul / Türkiye
Tel: 0090 850 622 33 78   Fax: 0(212) 216 10 30
E-Mail:  fest@festtravel.com

Office Hours: 08.30-18.30