Highlights of Turkey – PRE Meeting Program Istanbul/Pamukkale/Ephesus/Pergamum

Day 1 – April 19, 2013 Overnight Istanbul

Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to Polat Renaissance Hotel
Rest of the day is free at leisure.

Day 2 – April 20, 2013 Overnight Pamukkale

Flight to Izmir Airport.
Drive to Aphrodisias, famous throughout the ancient world for its magnificent Temple of Aphrodite, Aphrodisias is undoubtedly the most spectacular city of Caria; it is the home of the greatest sculpturing school of antiquity. Among the recently excavated ruins are a well-preserved Stadium with 20,000 seats, the Odeum and parts of the famous temple. Then drive to Pamukkale, translates as “COTTON CASTLE” as it seems as you approach across the valley where calcareous hot springs descending over hundred meters have created fascinating travertine in the form of white terraces and basins.

Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, founded by Eumenes II in the 2nd century BC. Visit the theater and famous Necropolis which is the largest one in the Asia Minor. Dinner and overnight Pamukkale at Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal

Day 3 – April 21, 2013 Overnight Izmir

After breakfast, drive to visit one of the Seven Churches Of Apocalypse”; Laodicea; founded around 260 BC and after Christianity, the city hosted an important Ecumenical Council in the 4th century.  For St. John, in Revelation, the Christians of Laodicea were neither hot nor cold and because of their indifference he wanted to spew them out of his mouth.

This reference has made scholars wonder if John was thinking about the hot springs of Pamukkale only 7 km farther  away. His promise to the Laodiceans who would respond to his lesson was that they would join the Spirit in the great feast.

Continue to Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia minor which remains to be the best preserved ancient city in the world. During the golden age of the Roman Empire (2nd century AD), Ephesus was an important commercial and cultural center. The protector of the city was Artemis, the Goddess whose temple was one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”. The Ephesians still worshipped Artemis when St. Paul came to the city to win converts. St. John brought Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the death of Jesus Christ and she lived until the age of 101 in a small house built for her on Mt. Koressos. Now, the popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics and Muslims, the house received the official sanction of the Vatican and a commemoration ceremony is held every year on August 15th. The third church council in 431 was held in the Basilica of Virgin Mary in Ephesus.

Continue to visit, the House of the Virgin where it's believed that she passed last years of her life and died. She came to Ephesus together with St.John and taken up to Panaghia Kapulu Mountain to survive the Roman persecutions. The House was destroyed by many earthquakes and not discovered until 1951 thanks to a German Nun Catherine Emmerich who saw its location in her visions. It is recognized as a shrine by Vatican. Now the House of Virgin Mary is renovated by George Quatman Foundation from Ohio and serves as a small church which attracts many Christians as well as Muslims coming to pray for her.

The last stop will be at Selcuk Archeological Museum.
Overnight Izmir at Swissotel Grand Efes

Day 4 – April 22, 2013 Overnight Izmir

After the breakfast at hotel, drive to Pergamum. Pergamum is the city where parchment was invented. Ascend to its Acropolis to explore the Temple of Athena, the Trajenum, the Theater with the steepest incline of Asia Minor, the ruins of the Library and the foundations of the Altar of Zeus.

Continue to Asclepion, the renowned therapy center where Galen laid the foundations of modern medical science. Drive back to Izmir for overnight.

Day 5 – April 23, 2013 Departure

Transfer to Izmir Airport for flight to Istanbul.
Transfer to Ciragan Palace Kempinski.

The cost of the tour program:
In double per person: 690 Euro  (1,380 Euro for two people)
Single Room: 935 Euro


  • All tours and transfers as per the above itinerary
  • Transportation by recent model deluxe motor-coach with WC. Bottled water will be available on the bus (one bottle per person per day).
  • English speaking guide travelling together with the group
  • Entrance fees of indicated places
  • 4 night accommodation
    • Istanbul Polat Renaissance – moderate 5 star hotel near the airport
    • Pamukkale Colossae (Superior 4 star – best available one)
    • Izmir Swissotel (5 star deluxe)
  • Meal Plan: 4 breakfasts + 1 dinner in Pamukkale at the hotel without drinks
  • Two additional transfers in Istanbul on Apr 19 and 20.


  • Meals (except the dinner at Pamukkale)
  • Gratuities for the guide and driver
  • Any expense of personal nature such as hotel extras, laundry, medical expenses etc…
  • Domestic airfare Istanbul/Izmir/Istanbul.
  • This will be 200 Euro for round trip flights depending on the available class and liable to change depending on Turkish Airlines policies.