The apostle Paul came from the ancient Turkish city of Tarsus and spent his early years there learning the Greek language and Greco-Roman culture. He continued his education in Jerusalem, but Paul returned to Tarsus after he converted to Christianity (Acts 9:30). There, Paul spent the next seven to nine years sharing the Gospel with the people of Syria and Cilicia. This little known ministry was unmentioned by Luke when he wrote Acts, but Paul briefly mentioned it in Galatians 1:21 and it is implied by a passage in Acts 15:41. Join us on a trip to Paul’s hometown and the places of Paul’s earliest ministry. See some of the earliest Jewish synagogues and the beauty of the Taurus Mountains.
May 16, Saturday:
Depart USA – Fly to Istanbul
May 17, Sunday: Arrive Istanbul and fly to Hatay (Antakya)
Upon arrival to Istanbul take the connection flight to Hatay (Antioch). Our representative will meet you after the customs and baggage claim with a “BAS – TUTKU” sign. Meet and transfer to your hotel. (D)
May 18, Monday: Antioch
Tour ancient Syrian Antioch, the site of the early church (Acts 11 & 13) where Paul and Barnabas ministered. See the Hatay Mosaic Museum, the world’s 2nd largest mosaic museum with mosaics dating back to the early Roman perioid. Drive to ancient Seleucia Pieria, Antioch’s port, from which Paul and Barnabas set sail for Cyprus. Hotel Antakya. (B, D)
May 19, Tuesday: Anazarbus – Adana
Drive to Anazarbus and see the Roman city with its large city walls, Gates, Roman baths and churches. The city was located at the foot of a massive cliff upon which a Crusader castle was built. The castle was later rebuilt by the Armenians. Hotel in Adana. (B, D)
May 20, Wednesday: Tarsus – Mersin
See the newly renovated Adana Museum and the large Roman bridge crossing the Ceyhan (Pyramus) River. Drive to Paul’s hometown of Tarsus and see the Roman road through the Taurus Mts., the Roman street excavation, the Roman bridge, the Roman baths, the Donuktas and the waterfalls at the ancient necropolis. Hotel in Mersin. (B, D)
May 21, Thursday: Mersin – Ayas
Drive to Mersin and see the ruins of ancient Solei (Pompeiopolis), continue southwest to the ancient city of Elaiussa Sebaste, with its marketplace, theater, harbor and necropolis. Nearby, visit Corycos and the two castles at Kizkalesi (ancient Corycos). Corycos was an important seaport town that later became the haunt of pirates. Corycos has one of the largest necropolis’ (ancient cemeteries) in ancient Anatolia. Take a boat ride to the offshore island castle of the Maiden. Hotel at Ayas. (B, D)
May 22, Friday: Ayas
We can arrange vans to take us to Diocaesarea, Olba and Catioren. At Diocaesarea, see the Temple of Zeus, the theater and watchtowers. At Olba, you will see the huge aqueduct and nymphaeum. Catioren is difficult to traverse on foot, but visitors can see the site from the road and we can point out the fortress, the watchtower, the Hermes Temple and the world’s oldest synagogue. Hotel at Ayas. (B, D)
May 23, Saturday: Ayas
Tour the cavernous sinkholes at Cennet and Cehennem (Heaven and Hell). Here, it was thought that Zeus kept the monstrous Typhon imprisoned. Also see ancient Kanyteleis, another sinkhole with its watchtowers, Byzantine churches and rockcut tombs and Kabacam a small village that was occupied during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Hotel Ayas. (B, D)
May 24, Sunday: Anamur
Drive to ancient Seleucia Ad Calycadnum and see the castle, necropolis, Roman bridge, martyrion of Thecla and Silifke Museum. Continue to Anamur and see the ancient city of Anemurium with its theater, Roman baths, ancient homes and the beautiful castle of Mamure. Hotel in Anamur. (B, D)
May 25, Monday: Alanya
Drive to Alanya, the site of ancient Coracesium.
See the incredible views from the top of the Alanya Castle, tour the Red Tower & Tersane (the midieval dry dock for ships) and the museum in the lower city. In route to Alanya, we will stop at Iotape, a small Roman seaport village. Hotel in Alanya. (B, D)
May 26, Tuesday:
Fly from Alanya to Istanbul and connect flight to home.
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Biblical Archaeology Society
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