DESTINATIONS: Patmos Island & Turkey
Tour Length: 13 days, 12 nights
INCLUDES TEACHING RETREAT IN PATMOS!
THEME: “Overcoming the World in Christ”
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering…, was on the island of Patmos because of the Word of God…. and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. (Revelation 1:9-11)
The Bible is filled with promises, giving the reader confidence that the Lord’s love will never fail and that His complete redemption of us is coming soon. This understanding will set the tone for our exploration of the Book of Revelation as we travel.
We’ll begin our tour in Istanbul, but by our 3rd day we’ll have taken a boat to the Greek island, Patmos. In 95 AD, St. John was exiled to the island for almost two years by the pagan Roman Emperor Domitian. But John was not idle! He had a vision from God and he wrote down what he saw. This is the Book of Revelation. On Patmos we’ll study this book, preparing for the rest of our tour. We’ll have some fun too, exploring the wonders of the island, especially the beaches!
DAY 1 Today, we leave home to begin our journey!
DAY 2 Welcome to Turkey! We’ll meet at our hotel in Istanbul around 5 p.m. for a “Welcome to Turkey” meeting. Together, we’ll enjoy our first meal at an eatery on the famous Istiklal Caddesi pedestrian way in the Beyoglu district. We’ll overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 3 Historical Seeds: After breakfast
we’ll hit the ground running with an introduction to the history of Asia Minor/Turkey in our host city, Istanbul. We’ll pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Afterwards, we’ll be off to two very important church/museums: Hagia Sophia and Chora Church. Today’s introduction will give you lenses through which to see and understand the historical seeds which St. John planted hundreds of years earlier.
DAY 4 St. John’s Island: Today, we’ll fly to Izmir in southwest Turkey, and then bus to the port city of Kusadasi. Our next leg is a beautiful 2 ½ hour private cruise to the Greek island of Patmos. St. John spent almost two years here in exile. During this time he wrote the Book of Revelation. While on the island we’ll study the book and explore the island.
Patmos is just a little rock in the middle of the sea. But this PR video shows you the pride the people have taken in the beauty and history of their rock!
DAY 5 The Book of Revelation: After breakfast, we’ll begin with an overview of the Book of Revelation. You’ll have the afternoon free to lounge around, shop, or write postcards home. We’ll finish the day with dinner together, complete with Greek dancing (and lessons!). Opah!
DAY 6 Touring Patmos: We’ll visit the Greek Orthodox church at the Monastery of St. John the Divine, touring the monastery and its library. Afterwards, we’ll stroll through the white-washed, maze-like streets of the town, Chora. The town lies at the foot of the medieval fortress which surrounds the monastery. But best of all, we’ll experience the Cave of the Apocalypse, St. John’s former home-sweet-home, presently an Orthodox chapel.
DAY 7 Revelation & the Beaches: This morning we’ll have our second teaching on the Book of Revelation. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the beaches. Be sure to bring a swimsuit!
DAY 8 Seven Cities, Here We Come! After a casual morning, we’ll make our way to our boat in the port of Skala and enjoy the cruise to the mainland. We’ll transfer to our hotel in Izmir (Smyrna formerly). We’ll be in Izmir for 2-nights.
DAY 9 Smyrna, Pergamum & Thyatira: Today, we’ll begin exploring the 7 Cities of the Revelation. We’ll take time each day as we examine a city’s ruins to consider God’s Word to each place and what these messages might mean for us today. First, we’ll explore Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11), which is famous for its ancient agora, the Velvet Castle, and the medieval Church of Polycarp. We’ll also investigate Pergamum (Rev 2:12-17) and Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29). Pergamum is known for its ancient library, acropolis, and theater. Thyatira is known for its basilica and ancient portico.
DAY 10 Sardis, Philadelphia & Laodicia: We’ll see 3-cities today, beginning with Sardis (Rev 3:1-6), where we’ll see its Temple of Artemis, gymnasium, and the Great Synagogue. In Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13) we’ll explore the Church of St. John. And in Laodicia (Rev 3:14-22) we’ll see a recently excavated church and theater in addition to an ancient Roman aquaduct. We’ll spend one night in the city, Pammukale (Pom-OOK-a-lay), where we’ll have the chance to wade in the pools of the famous milk-white travertine terraces and take a dip in its mineral springs.
DAY 11 Hieropolis & Aphrodisias: After breakfast we’ll see two sites which aren’t in your Bible, but are wonderful ruins with well-preserved artifacts from biblical times. First, we’ll visit the Hieropolis, with its necropolis (a city of tombs), churches, baths, and the Martyrium of St. Philip. The latter is the ruins of an 8-sided Byzantine church. It’s the probable location of St. Philip’s martyrdom. Next, we’ll explore Aphrodisias, taking in its stadium, theater, agora, Temple of Aphrodite, and Baths of Hadrian. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy the hospitality of a guesthouse in Seljuk.
DAY 12 Ephesus: We’ve been saving the best for last! Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7) is one of the most important and best preserved cities of antiquity in the world. We’ll spend the entire day here taking in all of the sites, from the ancient library to the agora, from the theaters and fountains to St. Mary’s Church (the location of the 3rd Ecumenical Council, 431 AD). We’ll also visit the now very dilapidated Temple of Artemis (worth seeing for it was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World) and the Basilica of St. John (the site of St. John’s grave). This is our last night together, so we’ll celebrate everything we’ve learned and our new found friendships over dinner.
DAY 13 Blessed travels and we hope you enjoyed the 7 Churches of Revelation Tour! This morning we’ll fly together from Izmir to Istanbul, where you’ll either continue your flight home or remain in the ancient city for further exploration. We’ll arrive in Istanbul by 10 a.m.
This itinerary for the 7 Churches of Revelation Tour is subject to change based on local conditions at time of travel.