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Turkey

Istanbul & the Seven Churches of Asia

The rhythm of the pilgrimage is a two centre holiday with a three night journey in the middle. We begin with three days in Istanbul, with a culture and geography that looks both east and west. We then fly to Izmir and in a three day coach tour, visit the seven churches of Revelation.

We end with three days at a resort hotel by the Aegean Sea and visits to Ephesus and the coastal towns of Priene, Didyma and Miletus. As a tour leader, you can develop many different themes including St. Paul’s journeys, the ministry of St. John, the first century church and the messages to the seven churches of Revelation.

Itinerary

  1. Journey to Istanbul

    We fly to Istanbul. Three night stay at the Yasmak Sultan Hotel.

  2. Christianity and Islam

    Visit Hagia Sophia, with a history dating back to the fourth century. We lunch at the Pudding Shop, and in the afternoon explore Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman sultans.

  3. Bosphorus Cruise

    Morning visit to the Egyptian Spice Market and Byzantine Church of St Saviour in Chora. Lunch by the sea at the Mer fish restaurant. Afternoon cruise on the Bosphorus and visit to the Grand Bazaar, the oldest covered market in the world.

  4. Fly to Izmir

    Morning worship at the Anglican Christ Church.   This afternoon we fly south to Izmir (Smyrna). Two night stay at the Anemon Hotel. Lunch is not included today.

  5. Pergamon and Thyatira

    We drive north to the Hellenistic city of Pergamum with its spectacular acropolis. After lunch at the Kardesler Restaurant, our return journey takes us through ancient Thyatira and in Izmir we visit the Church of St Polycarp.

  6. Sardis and Pamukkale

    We continue our visits to the Seven Churches at Sardis where we see some beautiful mosaics in the synagogue. We lunch at the Divan Restaurant before continuing to Philadelphia and Pamukkale. Overnight at the Richmond Thermal Hotel.

  7. Aphrodisias

    We visit the necropolis at Hierapolis, Laodicea, a beautiful, remote spot and Roman Aphrodisias. After lunch at the Anatolia Restaurant, we continue to the Aegean coast and the Richmond Ephesus Hotel, our base for four nights.

  8. Priene, Didyma and Miletus

    We visit Priene, overlooking the Maeander Valley; the Temple of Apollo at Didyma and, after lunch in the Kamaci Restaurant, the Port of Miletus.Here, we remember St Paul's emotional farewell to the elders of Ephesus.

  9. Ephesus

    We complete our visits to the Seven Churches at Ephesus. It is easy to visualise the riot of the silversmiths in the vast theatre. After lunch at the Kalehan Hotel in Selçuk, we visit the church of St John and the traditional House of the Virgin Mary, where we celebrate a group Eucharist.

  10. A day at leisure

    A day at leisure on the beach or by the pool. Lunch is not included today.

  11. Homeward Bound

    We drive to Izmir airport for our return flight via Istanbul for connecting flights to UK

Essential Information

The price you pay is inclusive

The only extras you need to budget for are, drinks and shopping. We include lunches and gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.

2020 Price: £1,895, Single Supplement: £345, Travel Insurance Premium: on request

Included

Flights, hotel accommodation, breakfast, most lunches and dinner daily, sightseeing programme, entrance fees & guiding, gratuities

Not included

Travel insurance, single room supplement

Visas, passports and health

A Turkish visa is required for this holiday and MUST be obtained in advance of travel

We ask you to go to the Turkish Embassy website and follow the instructions. They will ask for payment (about £15) by credit or debit card.  www.evisa.gov.tr/en

If you prefer, the McCabe office can obtain this visa for you. Simply complete the visa application form which we send out with final invoices. Our charge is £20 (to include our administration) and we will ask you to pay this along with the balance of your tour cost.

Please also check that your passport is valid for six months beyond your return date. If you have a non-British passport you should contact the McCabe Pilgrimages office or the Turkish Embassy in London for advice.

It is essential that you carry your visa with you when you travel

No inoculations are required but do consult your GP about your own particular requirements.

Travel Insurance

The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. The premium for a Turkey pilgrimage is £59. Travellers over 75 pay £118 and we also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options including annual policies on the market. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.

A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.

You can read the full policy wording here.

Airline

Flights are available from regional airports on Turkish Airways to Istanbul. We recommend a Thursday departure with Sunday worship in Istanbul or a Tuesday departure with extra time in Izmir

Hotels

All of the hotels we use in Turkey are carefully chosen for their comfort and quality, proximity to the sites you will be visiting and for friendly service. Hotels are graded three and four star, and the bedrooms have twin beds and private facilities. Note that some hotels do not have sink plugs for cultural reasons, as it is considered cleaner to wash in running water. You may wish to consider bringing a universal plug with you.

You can click on the hotel websites below:

Yasmak Sultan Hotel in Istanbul

Anemon Hotel in Izmir

Richmond Thermal Hotel in Pamukale

Richmond Ephesus Hotel near Kusadasi

Cuisine

We advise against drinking tap water in Turkey. Bottled water usually tastes better and is widely available. A buffet breakfast and three or four-course evening dinner are provided daily and lunches en route. Drinks are always extra, except at breakfast when tea, coffee and fruit juices are provided. Meals tend to be European in style, and not over-spicy. Fresh fruit is widely available and you should try the eastern dips and salads, which are served with most meals.

If you require vegetarian meals, or have any special dietary requirements, please let us know and we will advise the airline, hotels and restaurants. On arrival at each establishment, please check that the guide make the staff aware of your needs. Vegetarians are not always well catered for in Turkey; choices can be limited and unimaginative. That said, the salads and vegetables are very varied. Please note that alcohol (especially wine) can be expensive in Turkish hotels.

 

Practical information

Travelling Alone

Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.

The McCabe Educational Trust

For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full Financial Security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE

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Dates

Upcoming Pilgrimages

We have no tours scheduled to this destination at present.

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