After breakfast, drive for a full day tour of world famous ancient city of Ephesus; once the most important commercial center of the western Anatolia the Asia Minor. St. Paul's first visit to Ephesus was brief - during his second missionary tour (Acts 18:19-21). His second visit lasted about three years - during his third missionary tour (Acts 19:1 to 20:31). Luke's account of the worship of Diana appears in Acts 19:34-35. The Great Theatre (stadium) mentioned in Acts 19:29-31 could seat 25,000 people. Walk the marble-paved street with grooves made by chariot wheels. See the Fountain of Trajan, the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theatre. Visit the Chapel of the Virgin Mary (Double Church), where the Third Ancient Council convened. Enjoy St. John's Basilica (built on the site of the St. John's tomb), and ponder the remains of the Temple of Diana. Visit of the Terrace Houses is a must that was called “the houses of riches”. Continue your visit to the House of Virgin Mary where she spent her last days, finally, enjoy a visit to the Ephesus Museum. Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Depart for a Sabbath journey to Philadelphia; one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3: 7-13). Jesus Christ told those who overcame that He would write upon them "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem." (Rev.3: 12) Today, not much is left to mark the spot. We will see an ancient wall and the remains of a Byzantine basilica. Travel to Sardis, another of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Jesus told Sardis, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead" (Rev. 3: 1-6). Coins were minted and the dyeing of wool originated in Sardis. We will be impressed by the massive scale of the Temple of Artemis, by the white marble Royal Road, by the gymnasium, and by the synagogue. Continue for the visit of Thyatira; Thyatira was once a busy trading center and famous as a "seller of purple". Today it is a famous for Persian rugs. Thyatira is one of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelations tolerated the false prophetess, Jezebel (Rev. 1: 11; 2: 18-29). Depart to Smyrna; poor and persecuted, the church at Smyrna suffered amidst prosperity for its refusal to worship the Roman Emperor. This proved to be the last stronghold of Christianity in Asia Minor. Home of the great second century Bishop Polycarp who was burned alive at the age of eighty-six. Dinner and overnight in Izmir (ancient Smyrna).
A most memorable experience will be Pergamum, with its acropolis and Great Theatre, the steepest of the ancient world. Revelation 2:12-16 describes the city as "where Satan's seat is", a reference to the altar of Zeus, where we pause for reflection on the fulfillment of Scripture. Nearby, visit the Red Basilica; once a pagan temple, it later converted into a Christian church. Finally, walk through the Pergamum Asclepion, the famous medical center of antiquity. Drive from Pergamum to Troas; founded about 300 B.C. by one of the generals of Alexandria the Great. During St. Paul's Second Journey, it was from Troas that he received the "Macedonian call" to Europe. This is where Luke's account changes from "they" to "we" (Acts 16:6-12), indicating that he joined St. Paul's team at Troas. Returning from Macedonia during his third journey, St. Paul was in Troas for a week, when the young man Eutychus fell from the third loft as St. Paul preached. St. Paul soon walked some thirty miles to Assos, where we will follow the apostle's footsteps to the old city walls (Acts 20:5-14).Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Drive from Canakkale to Istanbul for dinner and overnight stay.
Transfer from your hotel to Istanbul for the flight home.