BIBLICAL TOURS > Concert Choir Tour in TURKEY (May 12-24, 2017)

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul



Mevlana Mosque, Konya

Antalya Harbour

Ephesus Theater

(in US$)

$3,990 Double per person
$790 Single supplement


• International Air Fare between US
  (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles,
  San Francisco, Houston, Boston,
  Washington DC, Atlanta, or Miami) –
• Istanbul-Cappadocia domestic
• Izmir-Istanbul domestic flight
• 2 Nights at 4 star AC Hotel by
  Marriott in Istanbul
• 2 Nights at 4 star Suhan Hotel in
• 2 Nights at 4 star Best Western
  Khan Hotel
• 1 Night at 5 star Colossae Hotel in
• 2 Nights at 4 star Moevenpick
  Hotel in Izmir
• 1 Night at at 4 star Ramada Hotel in
• 1 Night at 4 star Moevenpick Hotel
   in Izmir
• Daily breakfast and 11 dinners
• All transportation by private Ac Bus
• English Speaking, Government
  Licensed, Bible Oriented guide
  throughout the tour
• All Entry fees to the sites and
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• Attendance to the Ephesus Meeting
• Arrangement and Coordination of
  Choir Concert Performances
• Service charges and local taxes
• Tips to Tour Guide and drivers


• Turkish Visa Fee to be paid online
  prior to arrival
• Lunches and Drinks (Bottled Water
  is included)
• Personal Expenses (Laundry, phone
  calls, all kind of insurances, etc)
• Travel, Health, all kind of


An Opportunity to Sing in Historic Christian Locations

MAY 12-24, 2017


Sunday, May 14 Morning Worship Service followed by a short concert performance.

Thursday, May 18 A concert performance is planned for this evening at the St. Paul Cultural Center Church.

Monday, May 22 This evening, short concert performance at the ancient city of Ephesus.

Tuesday, May 23 This evening, we plan a mass followed by a short concert at the Anglican Church in Alsancak.


Our inspirational tour begins! Transatlantic flight to Istanbul.

Welcome to Turkey! Our representative will meet you after the customs and baggage claim with a sign “Concert Choir Tour” on it. Bus transfer to our comfortable hotel. We end our long travel day with a delicious meal and a good night of sleep. (D)

This morning, our choir will be sing in a morning Worship Service followed by a short concert performance. Following the service, we will visit 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. 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 Cruise 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. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Our day begins with a visit to the 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. We then head to the Istanbul airport for our afternoon flight to Kayseri and the magical region of Cappadocia. After landing in Kayseri, a short drive brings us to our hotel and dinner. (B,D)

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 Open Air Museum, 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. We will also visit the Underground City of Kaymakli. 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. In the afternoon, we will watch a handmade carpet making demonstration by local women. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B,D)

Optional Hot Air Balloon ride in early morning (05:00-07:00).
After breakfast, we leave the magical region of Cappadocia for the three-hour drive to Konya. 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). We stop briefly at the Helena Church from 325 AD built by the mother of Constantine. We then enjoy the scenic drive south over the Taurus Mountains to Antalya, a popular resort town on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. (B,D)

Located ten miles east of Antalya is the ancient city of 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. We then 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, which also serves as home to two churches: one Turkish and the other international. A concert performance is planned fort his evening at the St. Paul Cultural Center. (B,D)

We travel to an 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. 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 to revive your tired body! (B,D)

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)

This morning, we will participate as a choir in a morning Worship Service followed by a short concert performance. We then travel north 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). We return to our hotel in Izmir. (B,D)

Today will likely be the high note of the tour for most people, as we 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. 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, we will also 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, and the Basilica of St. John. This evening, we will join the EPHESUS MEETING with short concert performance at a great ambiance at the ancient city of Ephesus. We spend the night in the nearby port city of Kusadasi. (B,D)

A short drive brings us to Miletus which, due to its four harbors and strategic location on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, became one of the great cities of commerce in the ancient world. Of the surviving buildings, the finest is the 15,000-seat theatre originally built in the Hellenistic period and expanded in Roman times. Other buildings include the council chamber built during the reign of the infamous Antiochus IV (175-164 BC), the Sacred Road leading to the Apollo Temple in nearby Didyma, the gymnasium and the well-preserved Baths of Faustina dating from AD 43. Paul stopped in Miletus on the return leg of his third missionary journey where he summoned the elders from Ephesus to meet with him and hear his poignant farewell speech (Acts 20:17-35). Before departing Miletus, we will visit briefly its small but informative archaeological museum. Some 10 miles away, connected by the Sacred Road, was Didyma, not a city but religious site devoted to Apollo. The temple here built in his honor was most impressive, consisting of 122 columns six feet in diameter and reaching six stories high. Although only three full columns have survived, the remaining stunted columns demonstrate why this shrine was a notable rival to the famous temple of Apollo at Delphi with its renowned oracle. Drive to Izmir where we will spend our last night. This evening, we a mass followed by a short concert at the Anglican Church in Alsancak. (B,D)

Transfer to Izmir Airport this morning for the short flight to Istanbul where we’ll connect with our international flight back home.

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