One of our most popular tours
Dates: The trip will depart regularly throughout 2019-2020.
This private group tour will feature some of the high spots of Turkey’s Christian history including the 7 Churches of Revelation. The group will visit the main historic sites and major attractions of Turkey. You’ll first discover Istanbul, a city of business frenzy, entertainment, and a wealth of rich culture. Absorb it’s ancient structures, from its mosques to the Roman influenced architecture.
The next leg of your journey will take you along the major classical sites of western Turkey where the 7 Churches of Revelation are found, including: Laodiciea and Pamukkale with its thermal pools, Philadelphia, Sardis, Thyatira, Pergamum, Smyrna, and Ephesus. The route will generally follow the text of Revelation 1-3, shown below:
Next you’ll fly to Cappadocia and experience the trogolodyte lifestyle in this amazing landscape. Staying at a luxurious cave hotel at night, during the day, you’ll explore the lunar like topography, underground cities, and cave frescos.
This is a trip designed to explore some of the most featured regions of Turkey, while giving time and attention to the devotional journey awaiting you at the 7 Church sites of Revelation.
Revelation 1-3 (New Living Translation)
1 This is a revelation from[a] Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon[b] take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, 2 who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
John’s Greeting to the Seven Churches
4 This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.[c]
Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit[d] before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
7 Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.
And everyone will see him—
even those who pierced him.
And all the nations of the world
will mourn for him.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,”[e] says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. 10 It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit.[f] Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. 11 It said, “Write in a book[g] everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man.[h] He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.[i]
19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.[j] 20 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels[k] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
The Message to the Church in Ephesus
“Write this letter to the angel[l] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![m] 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.
The Message to the Church in Smyrna
8 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
9 “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
The Message to the Church in Pergamum
12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
The Message to the Church in Thyatira
18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:
19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering,[n] and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,
To them I will give authority over all the nations.
27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod
and smash them like clay pots.[o]
28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
The Message to the Church in Sardis
“Write this letter to the angel[p] of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit[q] of God and the seven stars:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
4 “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
6 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
The Message to the Church in Philadelphia
7 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.
This is the message from the one who is holy and true,
the one who has the key of David.
What he opens, no one can close;
and what he closes, no one can open:[r]
8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. 9 Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.11 I am coming soon.[s] Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
13 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
The Message to the Church in Laodicea
14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning[t] of God’s new creation:
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation in Istanbul (2 nights), Izmir (2 nights) , 1 night each in, Pamukkale and Antalya
- Breakfast daily, Lunch on Full Day tours
- Licensed professional English speaking guides with extensive 7 Churches knowledge.
- Domestic flights (Istanbul – Izmir / Antalya – Istanbul)
- Airport Transfers
- Admission tickets to sites and museums
- Private VIP transportation per tour itinerary
- Parking, portage, toll roads
- Coordination and attentive customer service throughout the tour by Sojourn staff Required Association of – Turkish Travel Agencies Foreign Visitors Insurance (a vey basic mandatory policy and not an adequate replacement for purchasing your own travel insurance.)
What is not included in the tour
- International flight tickets
- Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
- Most dinners
- Entry Visas
- Additional drinks at lunch and dinner
- Optional programs listed in the itinerary
Day 1 – Istanbul
- You will be transferred privately from the new Istanbul Airport to your hotel in the heart of Istanbul – Sultanahmet. Your private guide and driver will welcome you and transfer to hotel. You’ll have free time this evening to explore Sultanahmet on your own.
- Doubletree by Hilton Sirkeci Hotel (Standard room)
- With your guide you will visit Emperor Justinian’s masterpiece the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and its monuments. Following lunch, you will continue your tour by visiting the Basilica Cistern and a visit to the Grand Bazaar.
- Doubletree by Hilton Sirkeci Hotel (Standard room)
- Your private guide will be ready in your hotel to take you to your Bosphorus boat tour. Along the shores of the Bosphorus, you will view the Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Maiden’s Tower, Bosphorus bridges, Rumeli and Anadolu fortresses, and Ottoman Residences. After lunch you will visit Topkapi Palace and Spice Market. You will be transferred directly to Istanbul airport for your flight 1 hour flight to Izmir. In Izmir you will be welcomed by your private guide and transferred to your hotel in downtown Izmir on the coast.
- Doubletree by Hilton Sirkeci Hotel (Standard room)
Optional Programs in Istanbul
- Bosphorus Cruise with Dinner and show : $75/person
- Whirling Dervish Ceremony : $65/person
- Turkish Bath: $95/person
Day 4 – Izmir – Smyrna & Ephesus
- Today starts your unforgettable journey to the 7 Churches of Revelations (Rev. Ch. 2 & 3) Your guide will start with a visit to the martyr Polycarp’s Church in Izmir and a brief tour of Smyrna’s ancient city. (Rev 2:8-11) Followed by lunch you will continue to the majestic ancient port city of Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7) where you walk on the colonnaded street where Paul and John walked and visit the great theater where Paul caused an uproar. You’ll see amazing statues at the Ephesus museum and learn some bizarre origins of Mary’s veneration upon visiting the remnants of the great Artemis temple. You’ll see how Roman’s lived in the Slope homes and visit an Ancient pilgrimage site- the St. John’s Basilica before turning back to your hotel in Izmir.
- Doubletree by Hilton Alsancak Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 5 – Pergamum & Thyatira
- You will drive to the 3rd Church -Pergamum (Rev 2:12-17) see the breathtaking Acropolis where the Temple of Zeus (Satan’s Seat?), learn of the medical history at the Asklepion and see a pagan temple converted church at the Red Basilicia. After lunch you will visit the still trade center town of Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29), where Lydia seller of purple clothe was from, before transferring to your thermal hotel in Sardis. You’ll enjoy time in the evening in the thermal baths at the hotel.
- Lidya Thermal Hotel (Standard room)
Day 6 – Sardis & Philadelphia
- Sardis (Rev 3:1-6) is a magnificent site you’ll visit today, known for the golden fleece, dyeing of wool and the huge temple of Artemis – There is a wonderful restored Synagogue here founded in the 600 BC captivity and likely where Paul preached. You’ll see the ruins at Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) after lunch and then drive to Pamukkale and visit the Hierapolis ancient city. (Ref in Colossians) You’ll be able to visit the ruins into the evening and enjoy a thermal swim at your hotel.
- Doğa Thermal Hotel (Standard room)
Day 7 – Antalya
- You will visit the last church of Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22) a wonderful site actively being excavated – learn of the meaning of being “lukewarm”. Lunch and a visit to the rarely seen sculpture/statute city of Aphrodisias cities on you way to Antalya through the Toros Mountains that Paul traversed Before arriving to your hotel.
- Ramada Plaza Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 8 – Departure
- Today you will be transferred to Antalya airport by your private driver for your back flight to Istanbul, or continue with an EXTENSION TOUR!
- Evening Tour to Karsiyaka: $65 / person
- Cleopatra Pool in Pamukkale: $25 / person
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: 60 Minutes: $200 / person