Seven Churches of Asia Minor
Seven Churches of Asia Minor
Seven Churches of Asia Minor

Seven Churches of Asia Minor

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Combination Coach Tour (min 2 / max 28 passengers)
9 Days ex Istanbul
From Day 6 the Seven Churches portion of the tour is conducted by a different guide and the group size may be smaller

Departs Saturdays
2024 Departure Dates:
Apr 06, 13, 27; May 04, 11, 25; Jun 01, 08, 15, 22; Jul 06, 13, 20, 27; Aug 03, 10, 24, 31; Sep 07, 14, 21, 28; Oct 05, 12, 19

Embark on a fascinating tour that weaves together the diverse tapestry of history, faith and natural beauty. On this captivating journey you will discover the enchanting city of Istanbul, the revered grounds of Gallipoli, legendary Troy and the natural wonder that is Pamukkale. However, the ultimate allure of this journey lies in the exploration of the time-honoured sites linked to faith and spirituality, housing the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, as described in the Book of Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.   These ancient sites hold profound religious and archaeological importance, beckoning both pilgrims and inquisitive travellers with an interest in the early history of Christianity.

  • Immerse yourself in the enchanting charm of Istanbul
  • Experience the profound historical significance of Gallipoli
  • Uncover the mythical city of Troy, legendary setting of the Trojan War
  • Discover the enchanting village of Sirince, a gem among Turkey’s picturesque hamlets
  • Journey through history, delving into the region of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea
  • Behold the breathtaking beauty of Pamukkale, often referred to as the "Cotton Castle"

Day 1: Istanbul

Welcome to Turkey. On arrival you will be met by a representative of our local operator and then transferred to your hotel where accommodation is reserved for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2: Istanbul (B)

Embark on a full day guided tour of some of the best sites of Istanbul, the city where east meets west. Originally founded as Byzantium, then known as Constantinople, after Constantine the Great, Istanbul is home to many fascinating sites. The first stop on your tour is Topkapi Palace, once the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans and now a fascinating museum. Next, view the incredible Hagia Sophia Mosque from the outside - originally built in 537ad, this marvel of engineering is famed for the giant dome, an incredible feat for the time period and considered as one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. Continue to the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616 and famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Conclude your tour with a visit to the famous Spice Market, one of the largest spice markets in the world – here you will find an assortment of colourful stalls with enticing delights such as exotic spices, dried fruit and nuts, Turkish delight, baklava and more! Overnight stay in Istanbul.

Optional: Dinner with a Turkish Show (supplement applies)

Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli – Canakkale (BD)

Drive west to the Gallipoli Peninsula for a special day for New Zealand and Australian travellers with a visit to Anzac Cove, Nek, Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine Cemetery and the 57th Regiment Memorial. The doomed assault on Gallipoli by New Zealand and Australian forces, in their own contingents for the first time in foreign service, is considered by many to have been the birth of national consciousness for these two countries. For the Turks, then part of the Ottoman Empire, the victory is regarded as the defining moment in the birth of the Turkish nation, with independence following just 8 years later. At the end of the tour you will cross the Dardanelles and be transferred to your hotel in Canakkale. Overnight stay in Canakkale

Day 4: Canakkale - Troy - Pergamum – Kusadasi (BD)

After breakfast at the hotel drive to Troy - the site of the legendary Trojan War. Admire the ruins and a replica of the Trojan Horse, a wooden horse said to have been used during the Trojan War by the Greeks to enter the city of Troy and win the war. Continue on across the Ida Mountains to arrive at Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17), the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty. Here you will visit the impressive Acropolis of Pergamum, perched on a high, steep-sided hill - one of the highest and most magnificent Acropolis in ancient history. Continue on through Smyrna to Kusadasi for a three night stay. Overnight stay in Kusadasi.

Day 5: Kusadasi - Ephesus - Sirince – Kusadasi (BD)

This morning there will be a short drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the magnificent library, theatre and temples and stroll through some 2000 year old marbled streets. Capture the significance of the Library of Celsius and Hadrian’s Temple. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to discover and understand the rich history behind local handicrafts like handmade carpets and tiles. Continue to the village of Sirince, one of the most beautiful villages in Turkey. Free time for shopping or to taste the local wines. Overnight stay in Kusadasi.

Day 6: Kusadasi - Smirne - Thyateria – Kusadasi (BD)

Note: from today this portion of the tour is conducted with a different guide and may be a smaller group.
Depart for the modern town of Akhisor, on the site of the old Lydian city of Thyateira. Thyateira was one of the towns where Christianity spread rapidly and it was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Return to Kusadasi for overnight.

Day 7: Kusadasi - Hierapolis – Laodicea - Pamukkale (BD)

Morning drive through the fertile plain of Meander to Pamukkale. Often referred to as "Cotton Castle" in Turkish, Pamukkale derived its name from the striking natural landscape and is famous for its travertine terraces made from minerals deposited by thermal waters. There will be time to admire the beauty of the lime cascades and to visit the ancient city of Hierapolis. In the afternoon visit Laodicea, a key city in ancient times, and home to one of the seven churches of Asia Minor. Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 8: Pamukkale - Philadelphia - Sardis – Istanbul (B)

Morning drive to Philadelphia (Revelation 3: 7-13) which was a thriving city under Roman rule. Artefacts from Alasehir's colourful past are found throughout the city and the Church of St John and the St Jean Church are the key remaining Christian sites in the city. Next visit Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6), capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia. Here you will see a number of ancient ruins and artefacts with some of the top landmarks being the Temple of Artemis, a well preserved Roman gymnasium and bathhouse, a large Synagogue and Byzantine Holy Wisdom Church. Continue to Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul. On arrival transfer to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 9: Istanbul (B)

After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.


  • Arrival transfer from Istanbul (IST) Airport only on Day 1 (surcharge applies for transfer from Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) airport).  
  • Moderate First Class hotels with private facilities
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Domestic flight Izmir - Istanbul
  • Meals and sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Professional English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Local taxes and charges
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Departure transfer to Istanbul (IST) Airport only on Day 9 - shuttles at 9.00am or 1.00pm (supplement applies for transfers to Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) Airport).
  • Turkey Travel Notes - issued by Innovative Travel


  • International airfares
  • Optional tours and excursions
  • Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Porterage
  • Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Departure taxes
  • Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
  • Visas (unless specified)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above


Please note a double bedded room can be requested but cannot be guaranteed. In Turkey double rooms are very limited.
Airport transfers are included on days of the tour ex Istanbul (IST) Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) Airport. Departure transfer will be via scheduled shuttle at either 9.00am or 1.00pm. Private transfers at alternate times will incur a surcharge. Transfers are operated by drivers and are not guided. If arriving or departing Istanbul on any days other than the arrival or departure days of the tour, transfers are not included.

Porterage for one suitcase is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity, the single bag should not exceed the dimensions of 30”x18”x10” and not weigh more than 50lbs (25kg).

Accommodation based on the below or similar
The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only.


Doubletree Hilton Piyalepasa


Kolin Hotel


Charisma De Luxe Hotel (NB. Hotel may be replaced by the Kaya Thermal Hotel, Izmir for some departures in July & Aug)


Adempira Termal & Spa Hotel


Doubletree Hilton Piyalepasa

Dress Codes
Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.

On coach tours, hotels in regional areas (i.e Pamukkale) can be of a slightly lower standard than the other hotels on the tour.  

All sightseeing tours require a moderate amount of walking around historical / cultural sites. This is particularly true in Cappadocia where walks can be up to 1 or 2 km long and where a good level of fitness will ensure you get a maximum enjoyment from your visit. On some tours you may visit a carpet or handicraft shop where the locals will show how their crafts are made. There is no obligation to buy any products at any of these places.

Optional Tours
Optional tours offered during coach tours may not be guaranteed (even if pre-booked ex New Zealand) as they are subject to a minimum number of participants.  

Private Sightseeing tours (if booked)
If a private sightseeing tour is booked it is important that you discuss the days arrangements with the guide as the touring programmes have a degree of flexibility. It is important to discuss with the guide so that any specific requirements can be met or addressed at the time.

Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.

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