April 2 Tue
Fly out of a Turkish Airlines hub; direct flight to Istanbul. Tutku Tours can arrange departures via other Star Alliance carriers.
April 3 Wed Türkiye
Arrive in Istanbul, meet our guide for Türkiye, Cenk Eronat, and travel to our hotel located along the Golden Horn. Dinner together and introductions in the hotel dining room.
April 4 Thu Türkiye
We start at Istanbul where we glimpse the “imperial church” of the early 4th century under Constantine. We visit the hippodrome, archeological museums, Hagia Sophia, Hagia Irene, Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. April 5 Fri Türkiye/Greece We depart early for the Greek border, meet our guide for Greece, Voula Kalapoda, and then travel to Philippi. We visit the traditional river site where Paul met Lydia and see the magnificent baptistery built there. At the river we discuss Paul’s letter to Philemon and its patronage subtext. 1st century city life then emerges in the ruins of ancient Philippi. Overnight in Kavala, modern Neapolis.
April 6 Sun Greece
We get another glimpse of the Via Egnatia that Paul walked from Neapolis to Philippi, then on to Thessloniki where we see the Roman forum, the arch and mausoleum of Galerius, and the archeological museum. We stop at the tomb of Phillip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, to appreciate the roots of imperial theology. Overnight at Kalambaka/Meteora.
April 7 Sun Greece
Visit Varlaam Monastery, built 1541, high atop the rocks of Meteora; reflecting upon the medieval theological worldview of its art. After a traditional lunch, we later discuss Philippians and celebrate the Eucharist. Overnight at Kalambaka.
April 8 Mon Greece
We stop at a studio where icons are hand crafted and can be purchased, then go Delphi to explore the cult of Apollo. After visiting the archeological museum, we overnight in Delphi; taking a look at Galatians after dinner.
April 9 Tue Greece
In Athens, we visit the Areopagus where Paul delivered his sermon about “an unknown God” and then climb the acropolis to see the temples of Athena, Nike, Poseidon, and Augustus. There will then be free time to visit the new archeological museum or to have a leisurely meal “al fresco”.
April 10 Wed Greece
We visit the site of ancient Corinth with its excellent ruins and museum. While on the grounds, seated in view of the Temple of Apollo and the ancient meat market (1 Cor. 8), we discuss 1st Corinthians. After lunch we head for the port of Athens, say “Goodbye” to Voula Kalapoda, and board our 6:00 PM ferry to Patmos. Good dining aboard and cabins with clean linens and bath. Arrive in Patmos about 2:00 AM, go to our hotel and go back to bed!
April 11 Thu Greece/Türkiye
Still in Greece, we will visit the traditional “Cave of St. John”, reflect upon the imperial context of Revelation, and visit the Monastery of St. John. Lunch will be by the seaport and then we take a liesurely 3-hour boat ride to the Turkish port of Kusadasi. At Kusadasi we meet up again with Cenk Eronat and go to our hotel.
April 12 Fri Türkiye
The ancient city of Ephesus gives the most impressive glimpse of 1st century urban life. The Library of Celsus, Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world) Temple of Hadrian, Temple of Domitian, and the “terrace houses” are but a few of the restorations. After a locally prepared lunch we will visit a “cottage industry” outlet to see how Turkish carpets are made; with an opportunity to purchase carpets! Overnight at Kusadasi.
April 13 Sat Türkiye
Leaving Kusadasi, we will see the magnificent Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Asian counterpart to Delphi – complete with oracle. There we will discuss 1st Thessalonians. Then on to Aphrodisias with the Temple of Aphrodite, the Sebasteion (the best eample of Roman imperial theology), monumental gateway, stadium, and museum—where “the god fearers” are mentioned. Overnight at a relaxing thermal spa hotel at Pamukkale.
April 14 Sun Türkiye
At Hierapolis we see the tomb of Philip the Apostle (?) and the thermal springs, then journey to Laodicea with its many newly excavated and restored ruins; including a magnificent 4th century church. After a brief stop at Sardis and its restored gymnasium and synagogue, we will arrive at Izmir (ancient Smyrna) and have dinner on the waterfront. Overnight in Izmir.
April 15 Mon Türkiye
We head for the acropolis of Pergamum with its great theater and temples to Athena, Zeus, and Trajan; then visit the Asclepion, a center of healing where the great physician Galen practiced. Overnight at the picturesque seaport of Assos. Eucharist before turning in. April 16 Tue Türkiye We climb the acropolis of Assos that has a temple to Athena dating from 530 BCE, then head to Troas (Acts 20) and walk a road that Paul walked. In the evening we discuss Romans. Overnight in Assos.
April 17 Wed Türkiye
After at visit to Troy, founded 3000-2600 BCE, we cross the Dardanelles and drive through the area where the Battle of Gallipoli was fought in WWI. Arriving back in Istanbul, we visit the Spice Market before going to the hotel to enjoy our farewell dinner.
April 18 Thu Türkiye
After a leisurely morning and breakfast, we leave for the airport and our fights home. Some people may opt for the Central Turkey Extension.