Churches of Revelation: New Testament Tour Turkey – March 2025

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$100 Early Bird Discount
From$3,069
$100 Early Bird Discount
From$3,069
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March 13, 2025
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12 days
Tour Dates: March 13 - 24, 2025
Tour Details

Join Dr. Carl Cosaert for an unforgettable trip following in the steps of the apostles Paul and John in Turkey. As you retrace the spread of the gospel across the ancient Mediterranean world, visiting the Seven Churches of Revelation and many of the cities Paul visited, the stories of the early church will come to life unlike anything you’ve experienced. Drawing on his rich background as a Professor of Biblical Studies, published author, and international tour leader, who has led over a thousand people to the Middle East during the last decade, Dr. Cosaert will be both your teacher and guide. Dr. Cosaert has carefully chosen the best sites, hotel accommodations, and restaurants to ensure that your trip will be an amazing experience.

 
Seven Churches Tour Preview

Meeting Point Airport

Istanbul International Airport (IST)

Price Includes

  • Teaching and presentations by Dr. Carl Cosaert
  • First class hotels
  • Private Charter Boat to Patmos, Greece
  • Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • Breakfast and Supper + 2 Lunches (per itinerary)
  • Entrance fees to all sites listed in the itinerary
  • Expert English-speaking guides

Price Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Guide and Driver tips - $150
  • General tips for maids, hotel porters, and others, as desired
  • The cost of drinks at meals
  • Lunches not listed on itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance, (highly encouraged)
Itinerary
Click or tap the date to read each day's itinerary

Day 1March 13 – Depart from the US

Depart from the airport of your choice. The final destination airport will be Istanbul International Airport (IST).

Day 2March 14 - Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey

Welcome to Turkey! A representative of Advent Tours will meet our group at the Istanbul International Airport (IST) and transfer them to the Armada Hotel (or similar) in downtown Istanbul. Supper not included.

Day 3March 15 – Ancient Istanbul

Discover the history woven throughout Istanbul as we experience the magnificent colors, fragrances, and sounds of the ancient Spice Market. Built in 1664, the Spice Market was the final stop on the Silk Road. Like visitors of old you will be fascinated with its rich variety of exotic spices, teas, and a host of other intriguing souvenirs. 

Our adventure continues as we visit the Blue Mosque, which  Sultan Ahmet built in 1609. It is called the Blue Mosque due to the interior walls that are covered with twenty thousand blue Iznik tiles. From here we will visit  the ancient Hippodrome with all its magnificent monuments. The highlight of our day, however, will be the Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian I in 573, the Hagia Sophia was the largest and most beautiful Christian church for nearly one thousand years. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the church was converted into a mosque. Although it turned into a museum after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it was reestablished as a mosque again in 2020.

Dinner and overnight: Yalova Thermal Hotel*

*Or similar

Day 4March 16 – Nice and Thyatira

Your day begins with a trip to the historic city of Nicea, renowned as the site of two pivotal ecumenical councils in AD 325 and 787. Delve into the rich history and significance of these momentous gatherings that shaped the course of Christianity.

On our way to Izmir, we will make a captivating stop at Thyatira. Here, discover the legacy of a community praised for their love, faith, service, and patient endurance, yet admonished for their tolerance of a figure symbolically named Jezebel. One of Paul’s converts to the Christian faith was from this community–Lydia, the Seller of purple goods, who Paul baptized in Philippi. 

Dinner and overnight Izmir: Movenpick Hotel*

*Or similar

Day 5March 17 – Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Colossae

Our day begins with a trip to ancient Smyrna, which is located in the modern city of Izmir. Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only churches in Revelation that received no criticism. Although persecuted, they remained faithful, as did Polycarp, a local Christian bishop who was put to death in A.D. 156 for his faith in Jesus. In Smyrna, we will see the remains of the Ancient Agora.

Next, we travel to Sardis, which boasts some of the most stunning archaeological remains of the Seven Churches. We will see a temple dedicated to Artemis, a large gymnasium, several small shops along a colonnaded street, and what was once the largest Jewish synagogue in Asia Minor. From here, we drive to Kusadasi, where we will stay at my favorite hotel in Turkey—the Charisma Deluxe, located on the Aegean Sea.

After lunch, explore the ancient remains of Philadelphia, nestled in modern-day city of Alasehir, Turkey. Besides Smyrna, Philadelphia is the only church in Revelation to receive no criticism. Although all that remains of ancient Philadelphia is a few columns from a Byzantine church, on which some frescoes are still visible, we will reflect on the spiritual legacy of this faithful church.

Our last stop is to ancient Colossae, the town to which Paul wrote two letters, Colossians and Philemon. Paul asked the believers in Colossae to welcome back a runaway slave named Onesimus as a fellow brother in Christ. Though little remains of Colossae, the transformation that took place in this little community demonstrated the power of the gospel to change the world for the better!

Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale: Richmond Thermal Hotel.*

* Or similar.

Day 6March 18 – Hierapolis and Laodicea

After breakfast, explore Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While in Pamukkale, we will visit Hierapolis, a city Paul mentions in Colossians (4:13). Hierapolis was known as a place of healing due to its hot springs, which were thought to have medicinal properties. The high mineral content of its thermal springs has resulted in spectacular white-colored calcified cliffs that look like snow. We will walk in the shallow pools of water along these beautiful terraces and see the remains of the ancient city.

Next, we will visit Laodicea, which is just a few miles away. Laodicea, known in Revelation as the church that was lukewarm in its faith (Rev 3:14-22), is an exciting place to visit as it is quickly being rebuilt. We will see the remains of two theaters, temples, an agora, churches, a stadium, and even walk on colonnaded streets. 

Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi: Charisma Deluxe*

* Or similar.

Day 7March 19 – Patmos, Greece

Our adventure continues as we board our private boat tto the beautiful Island of Patmos. It was on Patmos that John was exiled for his faith (Rev 1:9, 19) and wrote the book of Revelation. While on Patmos, we will visit the grotto where, according to early tradition, John received his vision. 

We will also visit the monastery of St. John the Theologian, which resembles a medieval fortress. The monastery, which offers an amazing view of the island, was built in 1088 over the remains of an early Christian basilica and an even earlier temple of Artemis. Among the interesting things we will see is a collection of priceless icons and ancient artifacts, including one of the oldest surviving copies of the Gospel of Mark, which is written in silver letters on purple vellum. 

Before returning, we will watch an entertaining cultural show while we enjoy a delicious meal together.

Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi: Charisma Deluxe*

* Or similar.

Day 8March 20 – Ephesus

Our tour today takes us to the most amazing Biblical site in all of Turkey – Ephesus, the famous city that was home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the most important commercial city in Asia Minor, Ephesus was a bustling port town of some 250,000 residents. Evidence of the city’s importance can still be seen in its beautifully colonnaded streets paved with marble and its impressive monuments. In addition to being one of the Seven Churches in Revelation (Rev 2:1-7), Ephesus is also connected to the ministry of the apostle Paul. The apostle spent nearly three years in the city, during his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1-20:1). It was at that time that Paul learned about the problems in Corinth and wrote 1 Corinthians. 

We will see the Agora where the Christians gathered, the theater, which held up to twenty-five thousand people, the Library of Celsus, and the famous gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates, which was built in 4 BC to honor a visit from the Emperor Augustus. We will also explore the famous Terrace Houses, the elegant homes that once belonged to the city’s most prominent inhabitants. We will also see the remains of the Temple of Artemis and the latest archaeological remains on display in the Museum of Ephesus. 

Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi: Charisma Deluxe*

* Or similar.

Day 9March 21 – Pergamum

Today we drive to Pergamum, another of the Seven Churches in Revelation. Pergamum is referred to as the place “where Satan’s throne is located” and where he “dwells” (Revelation 2:13). Such a description is fitting since Pergamum was home to many pagan temples and was also where the first cult of a living Roman emperor arose. At the time John wrote Revelation, Christians were suffering persecution for refusing to worship the emperor Domitian.

The archaeological remains in Pergamum are impressive. We will take a cable car to the Acropolis, with its stunning view of the entire region. We will see many temples and be amazed at the steep mountainside theater, where the stage is 122 feet below the top row of seats.

After leaving the Acropolis, we will visit the Asclepion, one of the most renowned ancient medical centers in the world.

Dinner and Overnight in Ayvalik: Haliçpark Hotel*

* Or similar.

Day 10March 22 – Alexandria Troas and Gallipoli National Park

Our first stop today is to the little visited site of Alexandria Troas. This is the city were Paul received his vision to come to Macedonia, and where Eutychus fell out of a window when Paul was preaching. We will see the remains from the latest archaeological excavations at this site and walk to the remains of the ancient harbor from which Paul set sail to Macedonia.

Since the site of the famous World War I Battle of Gallipoli World War is nearby, we will stop to reflect on the tragedy of war and the hope we have of a world made new.

Battle of Gallipoli, took place during World War I from April 25, 1915, to January 9, 1916. It was a significant military campaign launched by the Allied Powers, primarily British, French, and ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) forces, against the Ottoman Empire.

The objective of the campaign was to secure a sea route to Russia and ultimately capture Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany in the war.

However, the campaign was a failure for the Allies. The Ottoman forces, led by German officers, successfully defended their positions, resulting in a protracted and costly battle. The fighting was characterized by trench warfare, amphibious assaults, and harsh environmental conditions.

We will visit the following sites: Brighton Beach, • Beach Cemetery, • ANZAC Cove, • Ariburnu Cemetery, • ANZAC Commemorative Site, • Respect to Mehmetcik Statue • Lone Pine Australian Memorial, • Johnston’s Jolly, (Turkish and Allied trenches and tunnels), • 57. Regiment Turkish Memorial • The Nek, • Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial,

Dinner and Overnight in Canakkale: Kolin Hotel*

*Or similar.

Day 11March 23 – Ancient Troy and Istanbul

Begin your day by stepping into the legendary realm of Ancient Troy in Turkey, a mesmerizing archaeological site steeped in myth and history. Explore the ruins of the iconic city walls, envisioning the epic Trojan War that unfolded millennia ago. Wander through ancient streets, temples, and dwellings, tracing the footsteps of heroes and legends immortalized by Homer. Stand in awe at the replica of the famed Trojan Horse, symbolizing cunning strategy and ancient warfare. Uncover the layers of civilizations that once thrived here, from Bronze Age settlements to Roman and Byzantine influences.

After driving to Istanbul, discover the history woven throughout the ancient city as we experience the magnificent colors, fragrances, and sounds of the ancient Spice Market. Built in 1640, the Spice Market was the final stop on the Silk Road. Like visitors of old, you will be fascinated by its rich variety of exotic spices, teas, and a host of other intriguing souvenirs.

Dinner and overnight in Istanbul: Armada Hotel*

*Or similar.

Our last stop will be to the oldest shopping mall in the world, the one and only Grand Bazaar, which holds around 4,000 shops. Experience the vibrant blend of old-world charm and modern commerce, savoring Turkish delights and engaging in traditional haggling.

Day 13March 24 – Return Home

Depart for home with a transformed faith and memories to last a lifetime! 

Tour Map

Registration Information

You are invited to register for the tour here through the Advent Tours website or by mail (see below). Please note that all payments will need to be sent separately by check or Zelle payment. Payment by credit card is not available.

COST:
The cost is only $3,069 per person in a double room. A single room is an extra $1000. These prices are subject to change if the group size is smaller than 20 and/or in case of any increase of governmental taxes, sales taxes, entrance fees or fuel charges before the final tour costs are paid.

Early Bird Discount – $100
 Applicants who submit their deposit before October 14, 2024 will receive an early bird discount of $100.

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations must be submitted in writing and are subject to the following terms and conditions. Cancellation requests received before November 14, 2024 are entitled to a full-refund. Cancellations after November 14 will forfeit all payments.

Required deposit
A deposit of $600 (per person) is required to confirm your spot on the tour.
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Terms and Conditions
PLEASE READ: Download the tour terms & conditions.
Tour Brochure
Preparing for the Tour
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An Invitation from Dr. Cosaert

I invite you to join me on this trip to Turkey and Greece. This trip will not only broaden your understanding of the world as you experience different cultures, but the way you read and experience the Bible will also be enriched. Simple expressions like “they rushed together into the theater” (Acts 19:29) will take on an entirely new dimension once you have stood in that same theater yourself. Towns like Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus will no longer be lifeless names on a page. Instead, they will be places full of meaning since you will have visited them yourself and have connected them to the stories you know from the Bible. And most importantly, the significance of the resurrection of Jesus will take on new significance as we reflect on the gospel message that captivated the hearts of the early Christians and transformed the ancient world.

Our time together is sure to build your faith and forever enrich your reading of the Bible. I assure you it will be a trip you will never forget!

Testimonials

My husband and I just got back from Egypt with Dr. Cosaert in December 2019 and once again we had an AWESOME TIME! That was our third trip with him. Dr. Cosaert’s trips are well organized, infused with local customs, safe, informative, and make the Bible come alive!

Jasmine Jackson

My wife and I went on a tour of lsrael and Jordan with Dr. Cosaert in 2018. It was hands down one of the highlights of our lives. We will never read the Bible the same after seeing the biblical sites in person with Carl’s thoughtful devotional thoughts and the insights of amazing local guides. Highly recommend going on one of these trips!

Jeffrey Colburn

I have been on Dr. Cosaert’s Turkey and Greece (Footsteps of Paul) trip in 2009, Jordan and Israel trip in 2014, and most recently, this past December 2019, his Egypt tour. Every single experience has been incredible. The sites are amazing, the food delicious, the hotels comfortable, the local guides knowledgeable, our safety a constant priority, and best of all the entire experience spiritually uplifting. This is a true life “mountain top experience” with each part of the trip carefully constructed to not only be historical but also connect the travelers to the Living God, personally interested in a relationship with them. Meeting other travelers from all over the world also broadened my horizons and I keep in touch with many of them years later, considering them each dear friends. If you are considering going on any of these trips, you absolutely must decide to do it. Your life will be changed for the better.

Julie Alvarez

We visited Eygpt in 2017. Learned so much and saw some amazing sights. Very well organized. Accommodations were excellent. Local tour guide very knowledgeable. Call and his wife were great hosts. Looking forward to Steps of Peter and Paul in Turkey and Greece in a couple of months.

Donna Street

My daughter and I have done all three Advent Tours …. Carl is a great tour guide who pays close attention to all the details of the trip while at the same time providing a deeply enjoyable and spiritual experience. Loved holding a book in the Alexandria library, riding camels at the great pyramid of Egypt, boating on Galilee, and swimming in the Dead Sea! His trips provide a great mix of history, adventure, opportunities to make the Bible come alive and for spiritual growth! Just do it!

Jaimy Hill
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