Depart for a visit to Priene; set dramatically at the foot of a sheer mountain wall, Priene overlooks the aptly named Meander River. This 2500-year old Ionian city was among the first to be planned with a grid system of streets. Continue to Miletus; home of ancient philosopher Thales (640-546 B.C.), one of the fathers of Greek geometry, astronomy, and philosophy.
It was here, in the first Christian century, that St. Paul, on his third missionary journey, called for the Ephesian elders and preached a powerful message to them (Acts 20:15-38). At the conclusion of his address he quoted an otherwise unknown saying of Jesus that has become famous, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). It was also here that St. Paul left his friend Trophimus, who was too ill to continue (II Timothy 4:20).
As a port at the mouth of the Meander River, Miletos was a natural outlet for Phrygian trade. Like the one at Ephesus, however, Miletus's sea harbor eventually filled with silt, and commerce dwindled. The city's remote quietness makes it special to devout students of Scripture. Its ancient ruins include the marvelous 15,000-seat theater.
Depart for the visit of Didyma; in antiquity, Didyma was connected to Miletus by a sacred road. Visit the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, one of the largest temples from the Hellenistic Period. Despite extensive construction, the temple was never fully completed. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Transfer from our hotel to Kusadasi port for a special Sabbath journey to the Island of Patmos. It was on this island that John the Revelator was exiled between around A.D. 95 by the Roman Emperor Domitian to silence John's testimony for Jesus. God, however, turned John's exile into a blessing by inspiring John to write the Book of Revelation. We will visit the cave where, according to tradition, John received his vision. We will also tour the monastery that was built in John's honor, the most important landmark on the island. After our tour of Patmos, we will embark in our private boat for Kusadasi. When we arrive, we will travel to Izmir, where we will have dinner and spend the night.