Turkey – Routes of St. Paul – 1st Missionary Journey

  • 17 Days , 7 Cities
Customizable Itinerary This sample itinerary was created by our destination specialist to inspire you. It can be customized to your exact preferences and budget.
About 47-49 AD, Paul went on his first journey, traveling from east to west along the Mediterranean coast, stopping at Antioch, Seleucia, Side, and Attaleia. He climbed into the mountains, to Antioch-in-Pisidia, then to Galatia and its capital of Iconium. Later he wrote to the people of Iconium, and this Letter to the Galatians became the 9th book of the New Testament.
Countries Visited Turkey
Places Visited İstanbul, , Konya, Antalya, Pamukkale, Kuşadası
Suggested Duration 17 days
Travel Styles Christian Tours
  • DAY 1

    Welcome to Istanbul

    The guide will meet the guests outside the customs area at Ataturk Airport. Overnight at the hotel.

    Istanbul is the former Byzantium - the powerful capital of the Byzantine Empire, the stronghold of Early Christianity. Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

    What's included?

    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 2

    Istanbul -City tour of this fantastic and mistic city

    Our guide will meet the guests at the hotel's lobby for a full-day private sightseeing tour. Start to visit Topkapi Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Topkapi Palace is not a museum and has unrivaled jewelry collections, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world, Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, and notable one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, much of it gifts from other rulers.

    Visit St. Sophia, built by Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus; the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child.

    Visit the Blue Mosque, which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest Ottoman architect, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets.
    Visit the Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium held 100.000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire.

    Visit the Grand Covered Bazaar, the commercial heart of the old city, and its 4.000 shops are full of treasures, including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods.

    After the tour, return to the hotel overnight.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    View on map
  • DAY 3

    Cappadocia - Arrival to Kayseri and transfer

    Private escorted transfer from the hotel to Istanbul Airport (on the European side) for a domestic flight to Kayseri. Upon arrival to Kayseri, the guests will be transferred to the hotel in Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 4

    Cappadocia - Visit world-famous the Goreme Open Air Museum

    After breakfast, a departure from the hotel for a full-day private sightseeing tour of Cappadocia.

    Visits to the Uc Guzeller, which are famed fairy chimneys; Devrent Valley, which has various types of fairy chimneys; Pasabaglari (Monk’s Valley), where you will see many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps can be found here.

    Drive to Avanos, which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. Continue to visit Goreme Open Air Museum, where religious education started. You will see the churches, chapels, and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescoes painted on the walls.

    Visit Kaymakli Underground City, the place early Christians hid from persecutors. Take some photos of Uchisar Castle, the highest point in the region. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    View on map
  • DAY 5

    Cappadocia - Visit Keslik monastery complex and the small villages of the area

    Today, depart from the hotel for a full-day tour of the Cappadocia area.

    Drive to Soganli Valley, 30 miles away from Urgup; thousands of carved bird aviaries, caves, shelters, churches, and monasteries along the Soganli valley.

    Continue to Mustafapasa village, which is 4 miles away from Urgup, was inhibited by Greek Orthodox families until the beginning of the 20th century.

    Some other small villages close to these two villages like Taskinpasa, Cemil village, and Keslik Monastery.

    Visit Taskinpasa madrasah, built by the Karamanids. Cemil is one of the utterly authentic farming villages of the region where some people live in former mansions and some in caves. Visit Keslik monastery complex, which contains the Church of the Archangel, the Chapel of Saint Stephen, a huge dining area, living quarters, and a pool of sacred water.

    Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    View on map
  • DAY 6

    Antakya - Visit Tarsus which was the home of young Paul

    After breakfast, depart from the hotel and drive to 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 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.

    Dinner and overnight in Antakya.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 7

    Antakya - Visit world-famous Mosaic Museum

    After breakfast, a departure from the hotel for a full-day tour.

    Paul and Barnabas set out on their first journey from Antioch. Visit St. Peter’s Grotto, the first Christian Rock Church, where early Christians of Antioch used to meet in secret. Visit the second richest Mosaic Museum of the world before proceeding 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).

    Dinner in Antakya Hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    View on map
  • DAY 8

    Mersin - Explore the city and visit the St. Paul Church

    After breakfast, depart from the hotel and drive to Mersin.

    Visits to Kiz Kalesi, Cennet Cehennem, St. Paul church and St. Paul Kuyusu.

    Dinner at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 9

    Konya - Visit the Mosque and the Mausoleum of the Great poet Mevlana

    Today drive to the city of Konya in central Anatolia.

    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 the Mosque and the Mausoleum of the Great poet Mevlana, the founder of the Whirling Dervishes order. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • "> DAY 10

    Antalya - Explore the Biblical "Antioch of Pisidia"

    This morning, our direction is toward Yalvac; Biblical "Antioch of Pisidia" (Acts 13:14-52) is mentioned in the New Testament.

    Visits to Lystra and Derbe. Continue 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. They came through Perga and sailed from Attalia to Antioch on their way back from Iconium. 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.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 11

    Antalya - Discover the ancient cities Aspendos and Perge

    After breakfast, a departure from the hotel for a full-day tour, including Aspendos and Perge. Aspendos was a river port city in ancient times, and the best-preserved theater of antiquity dating from the 2nd century is dominating the site today. Then drive to Perge, Biblical "Perga" (Acts 13:13-14; 14:25). Perge is close to the Cestrus River (Aksu), navigable in Paul's time. Paul and Barnabas went through Perge to and from Antioch on their first journey (Acts 13:13; 14:25). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    View on map
  • DAY 12

    Pamukkale - Visit to the ruins of Hierapolis

    Today, after checking out from the hotel, we drove to Pamukkale.

    In Pamukkale, visit the ruins of Hierapolis, including the magnificently preserved cemetery “Necropolis,” the main street and gates, the thermal baths, the Roman theatre, and the museum.

    The dinner is at the hotel in Pamukkale.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Lunch Lunch
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 13

    Kusadasi - Kusadasi - Explore the city of Aphrodite , Aphrodisias

    Today our final destination will be a tiny town on Mar Egeo, Kusadasi.

    On the way, visit Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite; visit the museum, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Theatre, the Stadium, the Agora, the Hadrian Baths, the Odeon, and the Bishop’s Palace. Continue to Kusadasi.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 14

    Izmir - Ancient site of Ephesus, the most impressive and well-preserved

    Today, after breakfast, we start to visit the ancient site of Ephesus, one of the most impressive and well-preserved archaeological sites in the world.
    Afterward, we drive up to the mountain to visit the House of Virgin Mary, where St. Mary is supposed to spend her last years together with St. John. Then, in the afternoon, we discover the Selcuk Ephesus museum; it is one of Turkey's most important and most visited museums. You will see many significant works of art where finds of Ayasuluk and Ephesus excavations are on exhibition. Drive to Izmir.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 15

    Canakkale - The Asclepion and Acropol, Bergama and visit Alexandria Troas

    Early departure for Bergama, visit the Asclepion and Acropol with the well preserved remains, and visit Alexandria Troas.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Canakkale.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map
  • DAY 16

    Istanbul - Visit Gallipoli, historically famous for World War I

    After breakfast, drive over the Canakkale Bridge, which opened in 2022, to Istanbul with a visit to Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles - particularly involving the Allied Forces, including Australians and New Zealanders in World War I.   Arrive in Istanbul late afternoon.  Overnight at the hotel.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Dinner Dinner
    • Accommodation Accommodation
    • Tour Tour
    • Transfer Transfer
    • Cruise/Boat Cruise/Boat
    View on map
  • DAY 17

    Depart to the Istanbul Airport

    Private escorted transfer from the hotel to Ataturk Airport (on the European side) for their departing flight.

    What's included?

    • Breakfast Breakfast
    • Transfer Transfer
    View on map

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What’s Included?

  • 16 nights’ accommodation at 4 Star or/and luxury or/and boutique hotels, centrally located
    2 nights in Istanbul
    3 nights in Cappadocia
    2 nights in Antakya
    1 night in Mersin
    1 night in Konya
    2 nights in Antalya
    1 night in Pamukkale
    1 night in Kusadasi
    1 night in Izmir
    1 night in Canakkale
    1 night in Istanbul
  • Full-board basis during the tour (breakfasts & dinners in hotels/lunches in restaurants)
  • Transfers & transportation with a private luxury vehicle
  • Professional English-speaking guide services throughout the tour
    Entrance fees to the museums/sites (as mentioned in your program)

Sightseeing Highlights Included

  • Visit magnificent Istanbul;
    • From the 15th to the 19th century, Topkapi Palace was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
    • St. Sophia, built by Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture.
    • Blue Mosque takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior.
    • Hippodrome,  the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100.000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. 
    • Grand Covered Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city, and its 4.000 shops are full of treasures, including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. 
  • Visit Cappadocia;
    • Uc Guzeller, which are famed fairy chimneys
    • Devrent Valley has various types of fairy chimneys
    • Pasabaglari (Monk’s Valley), where you will see many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps, can be found here. 
    • Avanoswhich is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period
    • Goreme Open Air Museum 
    • Kaymakli Underground City – the place early Christians hid from persecutors.
    • Soganli valley – there are thousands of carved bird aviaries, caves and shelters, and some churches and monasteries along the Soganli valley.
    • Greek Orthodox families inhibited Mustafapasa village until the beginning of the 20th century.
    • Taskinpasa Madrasah, built by the Karamanids.
    • Cemil is one of the utterly authentic farming villages of the region where some people live in former mansions and some in caves. 
    • Keslik monastery complex contains the Church of the Archangel, the Chapel of Saint Stephen, a huge dining area, living quarters, and a pool of sacred water.
  • Visit Antakya, where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians.  
    • Tarsus – was the home of young Paul, who was born there about the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  
    • St. Peter’s Grotto – The first Christian Rock Church
    • Mosaic Museum of the world before proceeding to Samandag,  Biblical Seleucia Peria,” which was the seaport of Antioch in Roman times, from which Paul and Barnabas set sail for Cyprus on their first missionary journey.
  • Visit Mersin: Kiz Kalesi, Cennet Cehennem, St. Paul church and St. Paul Kuyusu.
  • Visit Konya, Biblical Iconium
    • Mosque and the Mausoleum of the Great poet Mevlana.  The founder of the Whirling Dervishes order.
    • Yalvac – Biblical” Antioch of Pisidia “ (Acts 13:14-52) mentioned in the New Testament. 
    • Visits to Lystra and Derbe
  • Visit Antalya, Biblical “Attalia”
    • City tour of Antalya
    • The Gate of Hadrianus
    • The ancient harbor and the Archeological museum
    • Full-day tour including Aspendos and Perge.
  • Visit Pamukkale;
    • Explore the ruins of Hierapolis, including the magnificently preserved cemetery “Necropolis.”
  • Visit Kusadasi;
    • Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite; visit the museum, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Theatre, the Stadium, the Agora, the Hadrian Baths, the Odeon, and the Bishop’s Palace.
  • Visit Ephesus, one of the most impressive and well-preserved archaeological sites globally.
    • House of Virgin Mary
    • Selcuk Ephesus museum
  • Visit Canakkale / Bergama
    • Visit the Asclepion and Acropol with the well-preserved remains
    • Alexandria Troas
    • On the way back to Istanbul, visit Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles – particularly involving the Allied Forces, including Australians and New Zealanders during World War I.

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