The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia (referring to the Roman province of Asia, not the entire continent), are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation and written by John the Apostle. All seven sites are in modern-day Turkey and no longer have significant Christian populations because the majority of the Greek population had been deported under the Convention concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations signed by Greece and Turkey .
Day 1 : Izmir
Upon landing in Istanbul, connecting flight to Izmir.
Transfer to your hotel in Izmir and time at leisure.
Day 2 : Smyrna - Pergamum - Thyatira - Salihli
Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
Unfortunately of the “original” Smyrna nothing is left. Yet you may wish to visit the Church of Saint Polycarp, the first Christian Martyre.
Then departure for Pergamon :
In the subject of our tour, a visit to the "Red Basilica", a redbrick edifice below the acropolis, originally a temple to Serapis converted into a basilica by the Byzantine.
A visit to the Acropolis (theater and altar of Zeus) as well as to the Esculapeion (medical center and temple dedicated to the god of medicines) are surely recommended.
On the way to Salihli, a detour for a short visit to Thyateira (not much to be seen) is possible.
Overnight in Salihli
Day 3 : Sardis - Philadelphia - Pamukkale
Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
Today we will pay a visit to Philadelphia (unfortunately very poor in christian remainings) and proceed to Sardis. Though Sardis does not owe any christian remainings except for a small brick Byzantine church, a visit to the synagogue, gymnasium and bath, the marble court is worth being paid.
We then take the way to Pamukkale for overnight.
Day 4 : Laodikea - Pamukkale - Hierapolis - Kusadasi
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).
In the morning, we will concentrate on the newly excavated site of Laodikea : you will see amongst others a Baptist, sacred road, 2 theaters..
In the afternoon, we will return to Pamukkale to visit Hierapolis (Martyrium of Saint Philips, theater, necropolis…) and the travertines of Pamukkale.
At the end of the tour, we depart for Kusadasi (overnight)
Day 5 : Ephesus - Kusadasi
Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
Today we will discover the most popular site of the Seven Churches; Ephesus.
We will start the day with a visit to the Shrine of Virgin Mary : the house where the Virgin Mary lived is today the chapel open also to Muslim pilgrims for whom "Mother Mary" is also a saint.
Ephesus' religious importance was firstly due to the worship to Artemis who was later on replaced by the worship to Virgin Mary; then to the preaches of Saint Paul to the Jewish community.
As one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, Ephesus was also a venue for an ecumenical council : in 431 (anathemization of the Nestorian heresy) in the Church of Saint Mary (on the right of the main entrance), constructed between the IInd and IVth A.D., originally a Roman warehouse.
The visit of Ephesus can be prolounged with a classical tour of the site.
The church of Saint John (entrance through the "Gate of Persecution") is traditionally know as the burial place of Saint John the Evangelist who died here around 100 A.D. Colonnades and walls have been re-erected just to give an idea of the magnificence of the building at its origins.
At the end of the tour, return to Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 6 : Patmos
Depending the ferry schedules…
In the morning, we take the ferry to Samos (port of Vathi) where we will spend the day before taking the afternoon ferry to Patmos (from the port of Pythagorion).
Overnight in Patmos
Day 7 : Patmos - Samos
Visit Patmos :
"Jerusalem of the Aegean" is one way of describing Patmos or Patnos, as it was referred to in a 5th century inscription. It was here that St. John the Theologian was exiled between 95 and 97 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation.
The islands shape and its 63km coastline offers a wide selection of beaches, from sandy and organized shores with umbrellas and beach bars to solitary coves. The choice of where to enjoy some of the clearest, refreshing and tranquil waters of the Aegean Sea is yours. If you're arriving with a private boat or simply renting one, you're in for an unforgettable experience and not only on our island, for Patmos has many small and larger neighboring islands making short distance excursions enticing .
Recommended tours on Patmos (check our "Excursion" pages for details)
Half Day Monastery Tour
Half Day Patmos Highlights
In the evening, return to Samos for overnight
Day 8 : Back home or Prolonge with a Beach Holiday ?
As per ferry schedules (or your wish to spend some time on Samos), take the morning or afternoon ferry back to Kusadasi… from where you will be transferred to Izmir airport and then fly back to Istanbul.
1. Due to practical reasons, the sequence of the churches in the Book of Revelations may not be respected.
2. As the ferry from Kusadasi to Samos and Samos to Patmos is not operated in the winter, this program is only possible from April 15th till October 15th.
In the event you stayed in Istanbul before starting this tour and fly to Izmir in the morning, you can already visit Ephesus on day 1 and shorten this program with one day / night.
For groups of 20+ passengers a chartered direct Kusadasi-Patmos ferry may be considered. In which case the excursion to Patmos will only take one day... and you will have 2 extra days to visit in Turkey.
The price quoted is based on a party of four adults (in 2 double rooms)