Walk with St. Paul through Asia Minor

A biblical encounter awaits on this epic journey that will see you visit Paul’s birthplace and walk at the same paths Apostle Paul walked, writing over half the New Testament.

7-10-15 days Turkey Pilgrimage Tours

  • Recreate the pilgrimages of St. Paul as you cross Turkey and visit the famous cities of Asia Minor

  • Explore the Churches of Revelation and visit some of the world's earliest ever Christian churches

  • Visit Paul's birthplace in Tarsus and relive history in Antioch, an early Christian stronghold settlement for the apostle

  • Immerse yourself in magnificent Greco Roman ruins by visiting ancient cities like Ephesus, Hierapolis, and Pergamum

  • Discover the sites that feature countless biblical references and follow the footsteps of the apostle credited with writing over half the New Testament

  • Start the vacation in Istanbul, where early bible copies and stunning Byzantine churches welcome you to an historic land

  • Enjoy the rich tapestry of ruins and relics that cover Asia Minor,  cities in redolent states of ruin and others magnificently preserved for exploration

The Turkish Cities Where Paul Preached

Antioch: The capital of ancient Syria, the eastern capital of the Roman Empire, modern Antakya.

Antioch in Pisidia: In Yalvac, a few miles south-west from modern Aksehir.

Derbe: An ancient city in south-eastern Asia Minor, modern Konya.

Ephesus: A town on the western coast of Asia Minor, south of modern Turkey.

Iconium: Capital of the ancient province of Lycaonia, modern Konya.

Lystra: A city of the ancient province of Lycaonia, near Konya.

Miletus: A coastal city of ancient Ionia, south of Ephesus, modern Izmir. 

Perga: The capital of ancient Pamphylia during the Roman period, a few kilometers north of modern Antalya.

Tarsus: A city of ancient Cilicia on the river Cnydus near the Mediterranean Sea, near modern Adana.

Troas: On the coast of northern Asia Minor, near Modern Canakkale.

 

St. Paul Trail

St. Paul Trail is based loosely around the route St. Paul took when he made his first evangelizing expedition into the interior. This endless waymarked trail heads off from Perge, near historic Antalya on the Mediterranean coast, across the wild, rugged Taurus Mountains, reaching a height of 2,200m, then crosses the high Anatolian plateau to Yalvac, near lake Egirdir in central Anatolias lovely Lake District.

St. Paul Trail is the second long-distance trekking and cultural route of Turkey. It follows the footsteps of the Apostle St. Paul who started one of his journeys from Perge to Antioch in Pisidia in 46 A.D.500 km long trail passes through the farmlands,forests,canyons,rivers and lakes.It offers a spectacular walk with an uninterrupted history.

The scenery is varied, from the gorges, cliffs and peaks, forests, pastures and rock of that great barrier, the Taurus Mountains, to the broken hills, farmland and age-old villages of the Anatolian heartlands, to the charm and beauty of the Lake District.

The route is pregnant with history: you will see Roman and medieval roads, aqueducts, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman cities, villages, castles, churches and mosques. And you will be washed in the kindness and courtesy of the Turks you meet on the way.

The route is pregnant with history: you will see Roman and medieval roads, aqueducts, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman cities, villages, castles, churches and mosques. And you will be washed in the kindness and courtesy of the Turks you meet on the way.

The trekking averages 5/6 hrs per day with daypack (including breaks). All luggage is transported to the next night’s stop.

 

House of Virgin Mary

Many believe that the virgin mary spent her last days there, brought to Ephesus by St. John after the crucifixion of Jesus. The peace that permeates the house and its surroundings is unforgettable and infectious making us forget about all the doubts that some people have about the authenticity of site. Surrounded by aromatic pine trees, the hallowed ground instils a sense of calm and quietude on its visitors.

In the House of Virgin Mary, which is declared sacred by the Vatican, Muslims, as well as Christians from all over the world, pray and make a vow for the pilgrimage.

When Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem by the Romans, he was 33 years old. Before Jesus draws his last breath, Jesus delivers his mother, Mary, to her close friend Saint John. St. John thought that Jerusalem might be dangerous for Mother Mary, and brought him to Ephesus, the famous city of that time (AD 33). Since Ephesus was in the administration of the Romans, she kept Mary in the forest on the back of Mount Bulbul and built a house.

Saint John is said to have written his Bible here. His grave is in the Saint John Basilica in Selcuk. It is reported that Mother Mary lived to the age of 101 and her tomb is in the north-east of the Panayir Mountain.

The resolutions of the council of 431 held that the Virgin Mary came to Ephesus. According to them, she came here together with Saint John, four to six years after the death of Christ. After the proclamation of Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II came to Ephesus in 1976 and declared the House of Mary to be a place of pilgrimage for Christians. The house on the top of Bulbuldag is believed to be the last home of the Virgin Mary.It is a world-famous place of pilgrimage.

 

Every year, on August 15th a ceremony is organized to commemorate Mary's Assumption.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the House of Virgin Mary, Nov. 2006

3DSAwGQRQx.jpg
 

Seven Churches of Revelation

The Apostle John was instructed by Jesus Christ to: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamon, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” This tour package will give you opportunity to explore the locations of the Seven churches of Revelation. The modern country of Turkey is home to all seven of the churches mentioned in the opening chapters of Revelation.

To the Church at Ephesus,

He speaks of seven stars and seven lamp stands. The seven lamp stands are the seven churches showing that the church is expected to be a bright and shining lights The seven stars may refer to either the guardian angels of the churches or the leaders of the churches. Jesus emphasises that he holds these stars in his right hand and they are secure in Him as well as dependent on Him.

Ephesus

To the Church in Smyrna,
Jesus is the first and the last, the one who died and came to life again. He is the alpha and omega and everything in between. Jesus lives in the power of endless life.

smyrna

For the Church at Pergamon,
Jesus has the sharp, double-edged sword. He is in the position of authority and power and when he wields authority, it’s a blessing for those who follow and a condemnation for those who do not.

pergamon

To the Church at Thyatira,
Jesus is one whose eyes are like blazing fire and his feet are like burnished bronze. He has penetrating insight and wisdom in all things. He is also swift to move and in action, and will perform quickly to do what needs to be done.

thyatıra

For the Church at Sardis ,
Jesus holds the seven spirits of God, the seven stars, and the seven-fold spirit of God. He holds those in leadership in his hands, and also provides the seven-fold graces of the spirit.

sardıs

To the Church at Philadelphia ,
Jesus is the one who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, no one can open.

phıladelphıa

To the Church at Laodicea ,
Jesus is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. Jesus is the exclamation of what God is saying. He is faithful to all God is, totally true, and is the ruler of all God’s creation. He has glorious authority.

laodıcea

Few Christians know that Turkey has more Biblical sites than any other country. In fact, over 60% of all places mentioned in the Bible are in this incredible country known as the Second Holy Land. This is where Paul ministered and spread the gospel, and it’s the site of the Seven Churches of Revelation written to by John.

Now Afrosum Holidays brings the Bible to life with an unforgettable tour of these enduring Holy places.