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BIBLICAL TOURS > Bible Lands (June 1–28, 2017)


Petra, Jordan


Dome of the Rock, Israel


Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Israel


Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey


Cappadocia, Turkey


Antalya, Turkey


Perge


Pamukkale, Turkey


Temple of Trajan, Acropolis, Pergamum, Turkey


Agora, Izmir


Sardis, Turkey


Parthenon, Athens, Greece


Corinth, Greece


Philippi, Greece


Colosseum, Italy


Vatican, Italy


Trevi Fountain, Italy

LAND & AIR (in US$)

$7,850 Per person in double room
$1,890 Single supplement

INCLUDING

• International flight from New York,
   JFK to Amman, Jordan
• International flight between Tel
   Aviv – Istanbul
• Domestic flight between Istanbul –
   Cappadocia
• International flight between Izmir –
   Thessaloniki
• Domestic flight between
   Thessaloniki – Athens
• International flight between Athens
   – Rome
• International flight from Rome to
   New York, JFK
• 1 night at Grand Palace Hotel in
   Amman  or similar
• 2 nights at Petra Panorama Hotel in
   Jordan  or similar
• 3 nights at Prima Royale in
   Jerusalem  or similar
• 1 night at Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Hotel
   in Tiberias  or similar
• 1 night at Leonardo Beach Hotel in
   Tel Aviv  or similar
• 2 nights at Grand Halic Hotel in
   Istanbul  or similar
• 1 night at Peri Towers Hotel in
   Cappadocia  or similar
• 1 night at Dedeman Hotel in Konya 
   or similar
• 2 nights at Best Western Khan
   Hotel in Antalya  or similar
• 1 night at Doğa Termal Hotel in
   Pamukkale  or similar
• 4 nights at Mövenpick Hotel in
   Izmir  or similar
• 2 nights at Grand Palace Hotel in
   Thessaloniki  or similar
• 2 nights at Parthenon Hotel in
   Athens  or similar
• 3 nights at Hotel Cicerone in Rome 
   or similar
• Sightseeing as per the above
   itinerary
• Open buffet breakfasts at the hotels
   (B )
• 26 dinners at the hotels (D)
• Bottled water included at all meals
   (drinks are extra)
• All transportation by private AC
   Buses
• English–speaking, government–
   licensed, Bible–oriented guides in
   Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Greece and
   Rome
• All entry fees to the sites and
   museums
• Tutku Tours travel bag, t–shirt, and
   archaeological map of Turkey and
   full map of Missionary Journeys of
   Paul for each participant
• All service charges and local taxes

EXCLUDING

• Tips to tour guides and drivers
• All Personal expenses, All Travel &
   Health Insurances
• Lunches, and drinks
• Visas: Participants are responsible
   to check and get their own visa
   regulations for travel. Turkish visa
   can be obtained online before
   arrival www.evisa.gov.tr

BIBLE LANDS

JORDAN • ISRAEL • TURKEY • GREECE • ITALY

Follow the steps of the Apostles!
The Bible Comes Alive at this Spiritual Journey!

June 1–28, 2017

TOUR ITINERARY:

June 01 Thu Depart New York, JFK

June 02 Fri Arrive Amman Airport (Jordan)
Arrive Amman Airport. Our representative will meet you after the customs and baggage claim. Meet and drive to Amman. Overnight Amman. (D)

June 03 Sat Amman – Jerash – Madaba – Petra
Visit some of the ancient ruins of Amman (ancient Philadelphia – yet another of the Decapolis cities). Visit also the Archaeological museum of Amman before traveling south to Bethabara, the place where John the Baptist proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God. Visit Jerash; the best–preserved city of the Roman times; theatres, temples, and colonnaded street. Later visit Mt. Nebo from where Moses looked upon the Promised Land and where he was buried. Visit Madaba, the “City of Mosaics”, best known for its spectacular Byzantine mosaics, including the famous 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Continue to Petra. Dinner and overnight in Petra. (B, D)

June 04 Sun Petra
After breakfast, visit the famous Nabatean city of Petra, one of the wonders of the world. Walk along the narrow gorge of the “Siq” and visit the rose–red stone carved ancient city, founded by the Nabateans. Visit the monastery, the temples and enter into some of the famous tombs hewn into the red sandstone. Dinner & overnight in Petra. (B,D)

June 05 Mon Petra – Masada - Jerusalem
Drive to the World Heritage Site of Wadi Rum with its sheer walled mountains and huge sand dunes. This is the area where Laurence of Arabia was active during WW1 and where he built his Bedouin army. Drive to the border crossing and enter Israel. Ride to the top of Masada. Masada was the final holdout for Jewish rebels at the end of the Roman war in the first century. Later, head to En Gedi where David hid in a cave from King Saul. Continue on with a visit to Qumran, the place where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were unearthed in 1947 by two Bedouin shepherds. Proceed to Jerusalem passing by Jericho and the Good Samaritan Inn. Stop at the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

June 06 Tue Jerusalem
Full day Jerusalem View Old City from Mt. of Olives; walk down the mountain via Dominus Flevit Church to Gethsemane; Church of the Nations; past the Golden and Herod’s Gates; option of walking through Hezekiah’s Water Tunnel or shopping in Old City City of David excavations (including Hezekiah’s Water tunnel entrance, Pool of Bethesda, Ophel, and Warren Shaft); Western Wall excavations; Haram esh–Sharif (Temple Mount); Western Wall and Rabbinic Tunnel; Church of St. Anne’s and Pool of Bethesda; Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Jewish Quarter, Hezekiah’s Broad Wall, Cardo; the Cenacle (Room of Last Supper; walk on old City walls and back to hotel. Tonight, Light Show in David’s Tower. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

June 07 Wed Jerusalem Old City
Visit Bethlehem and Fields of the Shepherds; Ramat Rachel; Israel Museum (Shrine of the Book, Model City of Jerusalem); Yad Vashem; Garden Tomb for Communion; possible walk to Western Wall for of Sabbath. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

June 08 Thu Jerusalem – Safed – Nazareth – Sepphoris – Tiberias
Drive to the Golan Heights. Visit the Syrian fortifications, Birkat Ram, and the Druze villages. Korazin, On to Banias, source of the Jordan River. Proceed via Kiryat Shmona and the Hula Valley to Safed, city of the kabbalah, to visit the old synagogues and artist’s colony and then to Nazareth to visit the Christian holy sites. Nazareth, the village where Jesus spent most of his life. Visit the Mount of Precipice, the Basilica of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Continue to Cana of Galilee, site where Jesus turned the water into wine, and then to the ancient city of Sepphoris, the main urban center in Galilee during Jesus’ time. Sepphoris is among the best preserved and excavated archaeological sites in Israel with beautiful mosaic floors and many public buildings. On the way back to Tiberias, take a short walk to the high cliffs of Arbel, with a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee and the northern part of Israel. Return to the Kibbutz for dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (B, D)

June 09 Fri Tiberias – Caesarea – Tel Aviv
Start with a visit to the “Jesus Boat”, a 2000 year old fishermen’s boat that was discovered in the Sea of Galilee and Migdol, the city of Mary Magdalene (with a newly discovered 1st century synagogue). Continue to Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and the site of many of his miracles. Walk among the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught and worshipped and view the remains of first century houses, including one which may have been Peter’s. Finally, travel to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus gathered his disciples and asked “Who do the people say that I am?” This was an important teaching moment for Jesus’ followers. Dinner & overnight in Tel Aviv. (B, D)

June 10 Sat Tel Aviv – Istanbul
Early flight to Istanbul. Arrive at Istanbul International airport after passport control start for the tour. Begin at the Hagia Sophia (the church of “Holy Wisdom”)—the crowning achievement of the sacred building program of Emperor Justinian, the 6th–century head of the Christian Byzantine Empire. This great domed structure remains one of the most impressive sacred edifices ever constructed to the glory of God. We also visit the Blue Mosque which was built during the years 1609–1616 and which was intended to compete with the impressive beauty of the Hagia Sophia. Inside, the famous blue–and–white tile work from which the mosque gets its nickname, is bathed in light from 260 windows. Nearby is located the Hippodrome which once stood in the heart of the Byzantine city of Constantinople and originally held up to 100,000 people. Although little is left of this gigantic stadium, there are a number of impressive columns and other structures situated at the site. We then head underground to the Basilica Cistern, a vast water cistern located underneath the city. The cistern’s roof is held up by 336 columns of over 26 feet high. Visitors tread walkways to the mixed sounds of classical music and dripping water, making this perhaps the most unusual tourist attraction in Istanbul. We then enjoy a beautiful Boat Tour on the Bosphorus Sea. This is a relaxing and excellent vantage point to view Istanbul’s many famous landmarks that dot both its European and Asian shores. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)

June 11 Sun Istanbul
First, visit to the Archeological Museum which houses spectacular finds from all over Turkey, including many items that relate to biblical history. Next proceed to the nearby Hagia Eirene (“Church of Holy Peace”), built in 324 AD on the site of Aphrodite’s temple and dedicated by Emperor Constantine as the city’s first church and main cathedral until the completion of Hagia Sophia in 360 AD. The second of the Seven Ecumenical Councils was held here in 381 AD. This was one of the more important councils, making ten additions to the Nicene Creed and affirming the deity of the Holy Spirit. Our final stop is the impressive Topkapi Palace. This elaborate complex of buildings and gardens, originating in the 15th century and greatly expanded over the following centuries, now is a museum that houses important artifacts and treasures relating to Turkish life and history during the Ottoman Empire. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)

June 12 Mon Istanbul – Cappadocia
Fly Cappadocia in late morning. Afternoon visit in Cappadocia the underground city of Kaymalki. This is one of around 40 underground cities whose use dates back to the 5th century BC, which were extensively occupied by Christians during the Byzantine period. Optional ‘’Evening Folk dances’’ show. Overnight Cappadocia. (B, D)

June 13 Tue Cappadoccia – Konya
Optional Hot Air balloon in early morning. Full day exploring Cappadocia. The remarkable region of Cappadocia is where the erosion of soft volcanic stone has created bizarre yet beautiful geological formations—rock cones, capped pinnacles, stark ravines and steep precipices. The Göreme Valley, declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site, contains some 30 or more churches built by carving rooms out of the soft volcanic tufa. These churches date from the 9th century onwards and feature superb Byzantine frescoes of biblical and early Christian scenes. Leave the magical region of Cappadocia for the three–hour drive to Konya. Dinner and overnight in Konya. (B, D)

June 14 Wed Konya – Antioch of Pisidia – Antalya
Visit Konya, known in the ancient world as Iconiun, was a key place where Paul ministered not only on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:1–7) but almost certainly on his second and third missionary journeys as well (Acts 16:6; 18:23). Stop briefly at Alaadin Tepesis—the current location of one of the oldest mosques in the city but more importantly the acropolis of ancient Iconium. The columns in the mosque date back to Roman times and so connect us to the ministry of Paul in this city. Located nearby is the ancient city of Lystra, which we will not visit, since it today contains little left of its former glory. Yet it is another important site in Paul’s life, since here too the apostle ministered on each of his three missionary journeys (Acts 14:5–20; Acts 16:6; 18:23) and was the home town of his closest helper, Timothy. We travel next to an even more important city in Paul’s first missionary journey: Antioch of Pisidia (not to be confused with Antioch on the Orontes). Archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of a thriving city, complete with theater, imperial temple, stadium, baths, water fountains, paved streets and aqueduct. This Antioch included Christians to whom Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians. We visit both the ruins of the ancient city as well as its small museum in Yalvac, which contains the important Sergius Paulus inscription and the famous funerary inscription of Caesar Augustus. Drive south over the Taurus Mountains to Antalya, a popular resort town on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. (B, D)

June 15 Thu Antalya – Perge – Antalya
Visit Perge, where Paul landed after sailing from the island of Cyprus during his first missionary journey (Acts 14:13–14). That Perge was a wealthy city is still easily seen today from its 15,000–seat theatre, 12,000–seat stadium, Hellenistic gate with its “Twin Towers,” baths with under–floor heating, colonnaded marketplace, water fountains, and impressive colonnaded street with a flowing water channel in the middle. A little further east is Aspendos, which is impressive for both its magnificent aqueduct and its 20,000–seat theatre which is the best–preserved in the whole of Turkey. Return to Antalya, which in Paul’s day was known as Atallia and was the place from where the apostle sailed home at the end of his first missionary journey (Acts 14:25–26). In the heart of the old town we will visit St. Paul Cultural Center, a “coffee shop” run by Christians that more importantly also serves as home to two churches: one Turkish and the other international. Enjoy a tasty lunch (a modest donation for the lunch will help support the ministry here) and then listen to a Turkish pastor about what it is like to live as a Christian in a country where 99.9% of its citizens are Muslim. Afterwards, we will have free time to walk and shop in the quaint restored area of the old harbor, also enjoying the view of the very port from which Paul sailed. Dinner and overnight in Antalya. (B, D)

June 16 Fri Antalya – Colossae – Laodicea – Pamukkale
Drive north over the Taurus Mountains to the Lycus Valley where three important biblical cities are to be found: Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. Our first stop in Colossae will be brief, since this site has not yet been excavated. Nevertheless, this is an important site for Christians to visit, since Paul sent here two letters: one to the church of Colossae and one to the rich Christian slave–owner Philemon, who hosted the Colossian church in his home. Our second stop is Laodicea. Although the excavation work is still in its early stages, Laodicea was a major city in Roman times, as is clear from not only the size of the ancient site but also its two theatres, stadium, aqueduct and major street lined with shops. Laodicea is not only the last of the seven churches to whom John directed the book of Revelation (Rev. 3:14–22), but it also had a close relationship with the nearby churches of Colossae and Hierapolis (Col. 4:13–15) and was the recipient of one of Paul’s now lost letters (Col. 4:16). Overnight in one of the nearby modern resorts of Pammukale whose thermal baths are sure. (B, D)

June 17 Sat Hierapolis (Pammukale) – Philadelphia – Sardis – Smyrna (Izmir)
Start the day by visiting the third of the three key biblical cities in the Lycus Valley: Hierapolis. With its hot thermal springs well–known already in the ancient world for its medicinal qualities as well its spectacular white travertine terraces, Hierapolis remains just as popular with travelers today
as it was in biblical times. Equally impressive, however, are the remains of the ancient city: the Arch of Domitian, a colonnaded street and marketplace, ancient baths, a 20,000–seat theatre built in 200 BC, the largest ancient graveyard in Anatolia containing over 1,200 tombs, tumuli and sarcophagi, and the Martyrium of St. Philip, a 5th century AD structure on the site where Philip—either the apostle or the evangelist (Acts 6:1–7; 21:8–9; Acts of Philip)—was believed to have been killed in AD 80. Our next stop is Philadelphia where much of this ancient city in an earthquake–prone area has either been destroyed or lies buried under the modern city. John wrote to the church here (Rev. 3:7–13), commending them for their patience endurance in spite of persecution. Our third stop is Sardis (Rev. 3:1–6). Here we see the remains of the magnificent temple of Artemis, the beautifully reconstructed gymnasium and public baths, and the largest known synagogue outside Palestine. We end the day in the port city of Izmir, known in the ancient world as Smyrna and now the third largest city in Turkey. (B, D)

June 18 Sun Smyrna (Izmir) – Pergamum – Thyatira
Drive to Pergamum which is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Turkey. Its attractions are hard to surpass: a 10,000–seat theatre on the side of the acropolis which is the steepest in the ancient world; the magnificently restored temple of Trajan; a library of 200,000 volumes second in size only to that in Alexandria; the base of the Altar of Zeus; the temple of Dionysus; and the medical center of Asclepius with its own theatre, library, underground tunnel and other buildings. John warned the church here that they were living in a place of “Satan’s throne” (Rev. 2:12–17). If time permits, stop briefly in the ancient city of Thyatira, where, due to the presence of the modern city of Akhisar, few archaeological remains have thus far been uncovered. John warned the church here about its toleration of a woman symbolically called Jezebel who was leading believers astray, causing them “to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:18–29). Return to Izmir. Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B, D)

June 19 Mon Izmir – Ephesus – Izmir
Drive to Selçuk. Firstly, visit The Basilica of St John. Then visit the most impressive biblical site of our trip: Ephesus. The former glory of this city can still today be easily appreciated from its well–preserved streets, temples, fountains, public baths, terraced houses and theatres. Ephesus was also the site of the Artemis temple—one of seven wonders of the ancient world. There is the same theatre where some 24,000 citizens of Ephesus gathered shouting “Great is Artemis!” in a riot started in response to Paul’s ministry there. The apostle visited this city only briefly during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:18–21) but returned during his third missionary journey for a much longer period of two years and three months (Acts 19:1–20:1). Timothy later served as pastor in this city during which time Paul wrote him two letters (1 & 2 Timothy). Some years later Ephesus served as the home base for the apostle John’s ministry from where he wrote a number of letters (1, 2, 3 John) and to which he sent the Book of Revelation. In addition to the ancient city, visit the “slope houses” (the wealthiest homes in Ephesus that have been marvelously reconstructed), the Ephesus Museum, which houses several impressive items from this site. Overnight in Izmir. (B, D)

June 20 Tue Izmir
Izmir, one of the Seven Churches and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. First, drive up to Mt. Pagus (now called Kadifekale or “Velvet Castle”) which is the acropolis of ancient Smyrna from where we have a great view of the modern city of Izmir and its harbor. Here we think about John’s word of commendation for the Christians in Smyrna who were persevering in the faith despite persecution (Rev. 2:8–11). Then visit the ancient Agora of Smyrna (modern Izmir), then the Archaeological Museum, the Dario Moreno Street, the Old Elevator with a panoramic view of the Izmir Bay, the vivid Kemeraltı Bazaar and the authentic Hisarönü Mosque. Taste the freshly grounded Turkish coffee after the exploration of the Kızlarağası Han Caravanserai. At the end of the Kemeraltı Bazaar there is the famous Konak Square where the symbol of the city, the grand Ottoman Clock Tower standsand the famous bazaar area of Kemeraltı. Overnight in Izmir. (B, D)

June 21 Wed Izmir – Thessaloniki
Transfer to Izmir International Airport. Fly to Thessaloniki. Visit Thessaloniki, the city where Paul was accused of turning the world upside down by his preaching of Christ (Acts 17: 3–6), and the church to which he addressed his Thessalonian epistles, visit St. George’s Basilica, where tradition holds it is built over the synagogue where Paul preached. View the
Old City Ramparts, and the Galerius Arch that rises over the Via Egnatia. Visit the Archaeological Museum. See two of the most beautiful basilicas in the city, St. Sophia and St. Demetrios, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. (B, D)

June 22 Thu Philippi – Thessaloniki
Drive to Philippi, where Paul, intending to find a place to pray by the riverside, spoke to women who had gathered there among whom was Lydia, the seller of purple and whose heart the Lord opened to hear the words that he spoke (Acts 16:13–15). Lydia was the first Christian to be baptized on European soil. Visit the place where this event is remembered and see a crypt dating from the Roman period, which is thought to have served as a prison for the apostle Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, the Basilica, and the Theater. Drive back and overnight in Thessaloniki. (B, D)

June 23 Fri Thessaloniki – Athens
Transfert to Thessaloniki Airport. Fly to Athens. Arrive to Athens. Follow your guide to the world renowned Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon, and the Erectheum. View Mars Hill where the apostle Paul stood and said, “ I found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). See the Agora, the ancient market place and center of the Athenian public life, where the apostle Paul preached “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18) to the skeptical Athenians. Also see the House of Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Overnight in Athens. (B, D)

June 24 Sat Athens – Corinth – Athens
In Corinth, the city where Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla, the tent makers, and where the Lord spoke to Paul by a vision saying, “I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city” (Acts 18: 10). Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place and Temples. Walk among the ruins and stand on the Bema where Paul stood before Gallio facing charges brought by the Jews that were dropped. Paul stayed awhile in Corinth before leaving for Syria from the port at Cenchraeae (Acts 18: 12–18). Overnight in Athens. (B, D)

June 25 Sun Athens – Rome
Transfer to Athens Airport for flight to Rome. Arrive Rome and transfer to the hotel for check–in. After settling in, set off on an orientation walk through the Centro Storico – the historical center – and see the famous monuments and piazzas that make Rome the most magnificent of Italian cities. The ancient Romans referred to Rome as Caput Mundi – the head of the world. As the center of the Roman Republic and then the Empire, Rome witnessed 1,000 years of one of the greatest civilizations in the world before becoming the seat of what is now the Catholic Church. Evidence of the glory of ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance can be seen throughout the historical center. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (B, D)

June 26 Mon Rome
Morning begins with a visit to one of the most important museums in the world. Legally its own country, Vatican City is the head and administrative center of the Catholic Church. One of the most extensive museum collections in the world, the museum is also home to the Sistine Chapel, where the legendary Michelangelo created one of his most famous masterpieces on the ceiling. After the museums we will visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic basilica ever built. It’s soaring dome was engineered by Michelangelo and the artist’s famous Pieta sculpture and countless other artistic wonders make St. Peter’s church one of the most awe–inspiring buildings in the world. Following lunch, we will be given a rare, very special tour of the ancient necropolis beneath the Basilica of St. Peter’s – the site of St. Peter’s tomb. We will then head over to the Basilica of San Clemente, a church whose multiple subterranean levels attest to 2,000 years of the neighborhood’s history. We will wrap up our day with a tour of a site that features some subterranean ancient Roman homes with a very special and sacred history. Overnight in Rome. (B, D)

June 27 Tue Rome
Begin the day with a visit to the Pantheon, a building dedicated to the worship of the state gods and for the imperial cult. Then, we will explore the famous Colosseum – the largest ancient amphitheater in the world and the site of countless gladiator games. In the afternoon we will tour the Roman forum, the administrative capital of the Empire and the site of some of the most famous speeches in history by the likes of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Cicero. As we leave the forum we will pay a visit to the site of the Mamertine prison, where according to tradition St. Peter was incarcerated before his execution in 64 A.D. This will be followed by a short journey outside the city center to visit one of the most unique catacomb complexes in the city: The Catacombs of St. Priscilla, which features the earliest known depiction of the Virgin Mary is located. Overnight in Rome. (B, D)

June 28 Wed Rome – Fly USA or Canada (B)

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