Dr. Alex Himaya 11-Day Journey to the Seven Churches of Revelation, May 27 - June 6, 2023

USD $4,895.00
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Location: Izmir
  • Product code: Himaya23

Questions? Email us at info@signaturetours.com

Join Dr. Alex Himaya on a special tour to Asia Minor to explore the Seven Churches of Revelation on a tour of Christian sites in Asia Minor. You will travel to the major cities throughout Turkey, including Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea, Philadelphia, Hierapolis, and Constantinople, with 3000 years of history. You will visit Pamukkale to see ancient temples, including the Hierapolis and magnificent Necropolis, and Canakkale, the site and legend of the Trojan Warhorse. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This tour will sell out quickly, so book now to reserve your spot today.

- Dr. Alex Himaya

DAILY ITINERARY
11-Day Journey to the Seven Churches of Revelation

May 27 - June 6, 2023

Day 01 (May 27): Beginning of Our Tour Depart Dallas for Izmir, Turkey.

Day 02 (May 28): Izmir – Arrival: Upon arrival at the Izmir Airport, we will meet our guide in the arrival’s hall and head to our hotel located in Kusadasi, about an hour drive from the airport. Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 03 (May 29): Ephesus – After breakfast, we will drive to Ephesus. Located in the modern town of Selcuk, ancient Ephesus is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Turkey. Originally an ancient Greek Ionic city built in the 11th century BC, Ephesus grew to become the largest metropolis and capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor. This political influence and the city’s large Jewish community attracted the attention of the apostles, including St. Paul and St. John. Here, St. John carried out his mission for two years and was Bishop of the Ephesian Church before he was exiled to the Island of Patmos. Today, we will walk on the Marble Road passing numerous historically rich sites including the fountain of Trajan, and the Temple of Hadrian. We will also see the Library of Celsus, which adorns the site’s most impressive square, and sit in the theater (the largest surviving from the Roman period). This massive theatre (capable of entertaining up to 25,000 spectators) was the scene of an uprising provoked by a merchant named Demetrius against St. Paul and his teachings (Acts 19:23). Visit the Terrace Houses located opposite the Hadrian’s Temple, a newly excavated section. The wealthy and important people of Ephesus used these houses, which are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes giving a true impression of the ancient Roman lifestyle. Those on the upper slopes are reached via steps and situated on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain with the roof of one house forming the terrace of the one above it. Then, we will end our day at the House of the Virgin Mary, the site where the mother of Jesus is believed to have spent the last days of her life with the Apostle John. Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 04 (May 30): Kusadasi / Miletus / Aphrodisias/ Pamukkale After breakfast, we drive to Miletus. It is here where St. Paul visited with the elders of Ephesus (Acts 1:17:38), on his return to Jerusalem completing his Third Missionary Journey. Afterwards, we go to Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful cities of antiquity dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. Visit its museum to see relief panels and sculptures recovered from the ancient structure of Sebasteion. Dinner and Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 5 (May 31): Pamukkale Today, we will visit Pamukkale, the “Cotton Castle”, and dip our feet in the thermal waters that flow down the hilltop’s unique white travertine terraces. Here, we will also visit the archeological remains of Hierapolis, a significant site of early Christianity thanks to Paul’s missionary efforts here (Colossians 4:13). Because the city sits atop the travertine cascades of Pamukkale - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hierapolis became a healing center wherein the site’s thermal pools were used to treat various ailments. Today, we will stroll among a number of important ruins including well-preserved Roman structures like the town theatre and Temple of Apollo before continuing on to the ancient city of Laodicea. This city was one of the Seven Churches that the Apostle John chastised the inhabitants for being lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). Here, we will see the site’s well-preserved stadium, gymnasium, and theatres, giving us insight into this city’s former prominence. Next, we go to Colossae. The town is in obscurity. While you can see traces of the theater, the ancient city is mostly in undistinguishable ruins. It has not been excavated. The church here was the recipient of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Dinner and Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 6 (June 1): Pamukkale / Philadelphia / Sardis / Thyatira / Izmir This morning, we will drive to the modern town of Alasehir and visit the site of ancient Philadelphia, the church which received God's highest commendation (Rev. 3:7-13). Here, we will see the remains of a brick-built Byzantine basilica adorned with 11th-century frescoes. Afterwards, we will visit Sardis, a militarily strong ancient city located along an important highway and among the fertile plains of Hermus (Gediz River). Though Sardis was a powerful and wealthy city with a reputation for being alive, God announced that it was actually dead (Rev. 3:1-6). Here, we will explore the white marble Royal Road, the massive Temple of Artemis, the large gymnasium, and the famous synagogue. Annual archaeological expeditions sponsored by Harvard and Cornell Universities have unearthed over eighty Greek and seven Hebrew inscriptions as well as numerous mosaic floors revealing this synagogue as one of the most significant synagogues of antiquity. Then, we will drive to Akhisar and end our day with a visit to Thyatira, one of the Seven Churches praised for its increasing faith but admonished for its tolerance of Jezebel (Rev. 2:18-28). Dinner and Overnight in Izmir.

Day 7 (June 2): Izmir / Pergamum / Alexandrian Troas / Canakkale This morning, visit the archaeological remains of the ancient city of Smyrna in ancient Agora. Located in modern-day Izmir, Smyrna was one of the Seven Churches that the Apostle John relays the promise from God: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev 2:10). Afterwards, we drive north through farmlands, low ranges, and along the Aegean Sea onto the town of Bergama to visit Pergamum, one of the most powerful cities in the ancient world. The city rose to prominence following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, and eventually came under Roman control in 133 BC. Although this city benefited from immense wealth, in the Book of Revelations, the risen Christ instructs St. John to convey the message that the people of Pergamum, the site of “Satan’s throne”, needed to repent (Rev 2:13-16). Today, we will tour the Acropolis which sits atop a 1000-foot windswept mountain, offering a view of the neighboring modern towns, the azure waters of the Aegean, and the ruins of Pergamum that cascade down from the ancient city center. Here, we will explore the Temple of Trajan, the Temple of Athena, and the Altar of Zeus. Unfortunately, little is left of the altar, which was once among the grandest monuments of the ancient world. In fact, every stone of the structure, including its 400-foot-long frieze depicting the battle of the gods and giants, was shipped off to Berlin by German archaeologists leaving only the altar’s foundation. Thankfully, much more remains of the Great Theatre. Among the steepest of its kind and an acoustic phenomenon, this theatre could entertain up to 10,000 spectators. Nearby are the remains of the famous Library of Pergamum. Once housing some 200,000 scrolls, the library’s collection even exceeded that of the great library of Alexandria before Mark Anthony gave it to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. Afterward, we will explore the Asklepion. Allegedly one of the world’s first full-service health clinics, the Asklepion was the ancient world’s version of a spa, attracting health pilgrims from all over the region, including Roman Emperors Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. Moreover, the physician Galen trained at this center and developed the foundation for modern Western medicine. Next, we continue to the ancient port of Alexandria Troas (Acts16:13), where St. Paul raised from death a boy named Eutychus (Acts 20:7). Dinner and Overnight in Canakkale.

Day 8 (June 3): Canakkale / Troy / Bursa This morning we will depart from the hotel and drive to the village of Tevfikiye by the southern end of the Dardanelles to see the remains of the legendary city of Troy. Settled as early as 3000 BC, the ancient city of Troy was made famous by Homer’s Iliad, the epic account of the Trojan War.  Afterwards we continue to the city of Bursa through rich farmlands and along the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara. Dinner and overnight in Bursa.

Day 9 (June 4): Bursa / Nicea / Istanbul After enjoying our Turkish breakfast, we will drive to the modern town of Iznik, ancient Nicea, a little town set beside a picturesque lake, historically famous for hosting the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD. Upon arrival, visit the City Walls from Roman and Byzantine periods, then proceed to visit the remains of the St. Sophia Mosque, the site of the Second Council of Nicea in 787 AD, and see the remains of the mosaic floor and frescoes. Continue to Camlica hill in Asian Istanbul from where you can catch the overall view of the city with the beautiful scenery of the Bosphorus. Afterward, embark on a cruise of the Bosphorus, the winding strait that separates Europe and Asia and connects the Black Sea with the inland Sea of Marmara. This is our time to relish the views of the old wooden mansions, the Ottoman palaces, and ancient fortresses that dot the river’s coast. We will dock on the European side of Istanbul and drive to our hotel. Dinner and Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 10 (June 5): Istanbul – City Tour After enjoying our Turkish breakfast, we will depart from our hotel and begin our tour of the historical highlights of Istanbul. First, we will stroll through Hippodrome Square, the former sporting and social center of Constantinople, that hosted chariot races during the Roman period. Afterward, we are off to witness the incredible majesty and splendor of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Popularly known as the Blue Mosque, this 17th century Ottoman sanctuary is adorned with six minarets and more than 20,000 hand-painted tiles from Iznik, ancient Nicea. And then we will walk directly across from the mosque to visit the domed masterpiece of  Hagia Sophia. Afterward, we will head to Topkapi Palace. Located on the very cape of the peninsula where Constantinople was founded, Topkapi Palace is the former abode of Ottoman Sultans that still houses their legion of treasures, including an extensive collection of royal jewels. Afterwards, we will end our day with an evening of adventure at the Grand Bazaar, the massive covered market that houses a labyrinth of streets lined with 3,700 shops selling jewelry, leather products, and many other handcrafted souvenirs. Dinner and Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 11 (June 6): Istanbul – Departure Today, we transfer to the Istanbul Airport where we fly back home.

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change due to various factors and your tour guide’s discretion. 


PRICING:

  • $4,895 per person based on double occupancy. 
  • Single room supplement - $995
  • $500 per person with registration to secure space.
  • 50% of the total amount is due on or before December 27, 2022
  • Balance due on or before March 27, 2023

 

FLIGHT SCHEDULE:
TK 192  SA 27MAY  DFW-IST  2020 1550 +1
TK2334 SU 28MAY  IST-ADB  1800 1905
TK 191  TU 06JUN  IST-DFW  1405 1850

* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.


INCLUDED:

AIR: Roundtrip flight from departure city in the USA and return. Flights are subject to airline schedules and may change without notice. Upgrades may be requested after booking and are subject to airline availability. Seat selections are available only at check-in for most group bookings.

GROUND/TRANSFERS: The group will be met by a Signature Tours representative and transferred to the hotel. Land-only passengers are responsible for transportation to and from the airport/hotel.

HOTELS: Superior first-class hotels throughout. Priced based on two people per room with a private bath and shower.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A limited number of single rooms are available at additional supplement prices. Signature Tours and/or the group leader will make every attempt to pair single participants requesting a roommate. However, the single supplement fee will be charged for each person occupying a single room, whether by choice or circumstance.

MEALS: Breakfast and dinner are provided at the hotel daily. Lunch is provided on days as noted in the itinerary. 

SIGHTSEEING: Entrance fees to all places of interest listed in the itinerary as well as an expert English-speaking guide.

PORTERAGE: See the carrier website for airline-specific baggage restrictions and requirements. Any fees for additional baggage beyond the standard airline allowance will be the responsibility of the individual. 

SERVICE CHARGES AND TAXES: Service charges added to the bill as required by hotel management. Taxes as imposed by national and/or local governments and/or administrations from the date listed on this brochure. Tips, taxes, and airport taxes ARE INCLUDED in the selling price. 

NOT INCLUDED: Excess baggage fees, passport fees, visa fees, food or drink items not listed on the regular table menu for included meals, and items of a personal nature such as room service, laundry, etc. Any service not indicated in the itinerary and/or the above list of included features.

PASSPORTS: Passports must be valid with an expiration date at least six months beyond the return home date of the tour. If you do not have a valid passport or need to renew your passport before the trip, enter "RENEWING" or "APPLIED FOR" when completing registration.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Vaccine and testing requirements are established by the destination and/or transfer countries. These policies are not set by Signature Tours or our subsidiaries. Signature Tours will make every effort to inform tour participants of health requirements, including vaccinations and testing, for their respective destinations. However, participants are responsible for complying with current health, vaccine, and testing requirements for their tour destinations and return to the USA. Changes in health, vaccine, and/or testing requirements from the USA and destination countries before, during, or after the registration process do not affect the Signature Tours cancellation policy.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The $500 per person deposit is nonrefundable. Other payments exceeding the $500 per person are refundable in full up to sixty days prior to departure. After this date, refunds for unused accommodations and services will be limited to the amount received from and/or credited by all carriers, sightseeing operators, and hotels.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information and rates, please review the product flyer or Click Here to enroll in the plan.

* Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. V94 

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