Pilgrimage to Ephesus, Miletus & Izmir
Travelling to Turkey, Led by Fr Nicolas Spicer, 8 - 15 October 2019
After his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul the Apostle spread the Christian faith untiringly throughout the Roman Empire, preaching mainly in synagogues, that Jesus was the Son of God. The present-day pilgrim can follow Paul on his missionary journeys, and also on his final journey to Rome to be tried for his life before the Emperor Nero, where he established new Christian communities and brought support to existing ones. “I want you to be aware, Brothers, that the gospel proclaimed by me was not a gospel according to man, nor did I receive it from any man, but it came to me through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11 – 12.
DAY ONE: London Stansted – Izmir
We depart Stansted at 12:55 and arrive in the early evening at Izmir Airport. A private coach transfers us to our hotel in the seaside town of Kusadasi for a three- night stay.
DAY TWO: Ephesus
Today we tour the extensive remains of Ephesus with the amphitheatre where St Paul caused a riot (described in Acts 19), and the ruined basilica of St Mary where the council of Ephesus was held in 425, granting Our Lady the title of Theotokos or Bearer of God. We also visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus and the Basilica of St John. Afterwards we visit the Terrace Houses (known also as the Rich Houses). Mass will be celebrated during the day.
DAY THREE: Shrine of Meryam Ana
We take a trip to the nearby Franciscan-run Shrine of Meryam Ana, the Holy House of Mary, home of Our Lady in her last years and visited by both Paul VI and John Paul II. Mass will be celebrated here. Also nearby is the interesting Byzantine Shrine of the Seven Sleepers.
DAY FOUR: Miletus
Today we visit Miletus, 30 miles south of Ephesus, which was a city visited by St Paul, before he returned to Jerusalem. Here he reminded the elders of Ephesus how he had “served the Lord in all humility”. Visit the ruins of the theatre where St Paul spoke to the Elders. Afterwards we journey to Izmir where we have a brief panoramic tour before transferring to a four-star hotel in Izmir for dinner and overnight. Mass will be celebrated during the day.
DAY FIVE: Izmir - London Stansted
We transfer to Izmir Airport for our return flight which departs mid-morning and arrives at Stansted at 12:15.
DAY ONE: Stansted - Istanbul
Our flight departs around midday. Upon arrive in Istanbul we transfer to our hotel in the city, for a three-night stay. Dinner and breakfast are at our hotels for each overnight stay in Turkey.
DAY TWO: Istanbul
This morning we visit the Blue Mosque, St Sophia, and the monuments of the Hippodrome. We also visit the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, associated with Pope John XXIII, who was Bishop here before and during the Second World War. Mass will be celebrated here. In the afternoon, we visit the Topkapi Palace, and there will be some time at leisure.
DAY THREE: Istanbul
We visit the 19th century church of St Anthony of Padua, run by Italian Franciscans, in the former European Quarter. We also visit the former church of St Saviour in Chora, with its famous frescoes, and then plunge through the steep streets of the Fener District to the Greek Patriarchate and its church. In the afternoon there will be a cruise on a boat on the Bosphorus.
DAY FOUR: Istanbul - Denizli/Pamukkale
In the morning, we visit the Egyptian Bazaar (The Spice Market) and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, the largest covered bazaar in the world with more than 4000 shops. Departure to Istanbul Airport for 5:25pm flight to Denizli. Transfer to Pamukkale where we check into our hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY FIVE: Pamukkale - Miletus - Didyma - Kusadasi
We visit Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis. Proceed to Pamukkale. Walk through ancient city of Hierapolis. Then visit the ancient city of Laodicea, city of the aristocracy and wealthy, home of Xenon, centre of trade and a military base. Visit the theatre, odeon, stadium and one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Nearby Colossae is well-known throughout Christian circles as the receiver of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Today, the town has fallen into obscurity and nothing remains. Drive to Kusadasi where we check into the Marina Hotel for a three-night stay.
DAY SIX: Shrine of Meryam Ana - Ephesus
We take a trip to the nearby Franciscan-run Shrine of Meryam Ana, the Holy House of Mary, home of Our Lady in her last years and visited by both Paul VI and John Paul II. Mass will be celebrated here. Also nearby is the interesting Byzantine Shrine of the Seven Sleepers. We tour the extensive remains of Ephesus with the amphitheatre where St Paul caused a riot (described in Acts 19), and the ruined basilica of St Mary where the council of Ephesus was held in 425, granting Our Lady the title of Theotokos or Bearer of God. We visit the Archaelogical Museum of Selcuk and St John Basilik.
DAY SEVEN: Kusadasi - Izmir - Kusadasi
Departure to Izmir for sightseeing tour of Izmir, ancient Smyrna. Visit ancient Agora, ascent to Mount Pagus once called the crown of the city, visit Alexander the Great's Castle overlooking the pearl of Aegean City Izmir. We visit Polycarp Church.
Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
DAY EIGHT: Izmir - Istanbul - Stansted
We have an early morning transfer to Izmir Airport for our return flight via Istanbul to the U.K.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Single room supplement: £91
8/10/19 - 15/10/19
Scheduled flights: Stansted to Istanbul S. Gokcen, and Izmir to Istanbul S. Gokcen to Stansted with Pegasus Airlines. Istanbul Ataturk to Denizli with Turkish Airlines1. 1 piece of checked in luggage up to 20 kg. Current (as at November 2018) U.K. and Turkey airport departure taxes. Seven night’s accommodation in shared twin-bedded rooms with private facilities: 8 - 11 Oct. Hamidiye Hotel (or similar), 3 stars, Istanbul. 11 - 12 Oct. Richmond Thermal Hotel (or similar), 5 stars, Pamukkale 12 - 15 Oct. Marina Hotel (or similar), 4 stars, Kusadasi. Meal plan: 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners. All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Local English-speaking guide/tour manager whilst in Turkey. ATOL and ABTA financial protection. Daily Mass.
Travel insurance. If you will be under 80 years old when travel commences you may like to arrange cover through Travel & General Insurance Services Ltd. Visit their website http://www.tgic-online.com/ti/jsp/start.jsp?AccountID=4299 or phone them for details: 020 3794 2954 and quote ‘Pax Travel’. If you will be 80 or more years old when travel commences you may like to contact Goodtogo on 0330 024 9952. Gratuities to the guide, driver and hotel staff. Single room supplement at £91 per person for 7 nights (limited availability). Lunches and drinks. Transfers within the U.K. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airlines.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel with a non-refundable deposit of £240. Cheques are to be issued in favour of Pax Travel Ltd. The tour price is guaranteed for bookings Pax Travel receives by 17th December 2018. You can of course submit a booking after this date, but any bookings Pax receives after 17th December may be subject to a flight surcharge. If this arises, we would advise you before processing your booking.
The balance payment is due no later than 22nd August 2019.
The tour price of is guaranteed until . Any further bookings may be subject to a flight surcharge.