ALL CMDA TOURS REQUIRE TRAVELERS TO BE FULLY VACCINATED
Please join us for a biblical tour designed to greatly enrich how you read the Bible. We will follow in the footsteps of Paul and cross paths with the prophet John as we visit a few of the cities that he writes to in the book of Revelations.
Known as Saul, Paul was born in Tarsus, modern-day Turkey. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, where he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus, the Apostle Paul, a former persecutor of Christians, becomes the second-most influential figure in Christian history after Jesus himself. Paul spread Jesus’ message on at least three missionary journeys throughout Asia Minor and Greece. As he brought the Gospel to the masses and established new churches, he encountered much resistance along the way, particularly in Ephesus, and survived stonings, beatings, riots, and imprisonment.
Western Turkey was the cradle of the early Christian church. We will visit many of the communities to which Paul devoted a great deal of his time and energy on this tour. His ministry in the region was so productive that it could be said that “all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:10).
This region was also the sphere of ministry of the uncompromising prophet John, who wrote his Revelation to open the eyes of Christians living in seven cities in the province of Asia to the challenges of living faithfully under Roman imperialism. During this time, numerous churches established continued to thrive through the bitter persecutions of the Roman Imperial period and to see the triumph of Christianity when Constantine the emperor embraced faith and the world was forever changed. We hope you will join CMDA members and friends for this exciting adventure as we follow in the footsteps of Paul in Turkey.
Tour Package Includes
- All first-class hotel arrangements from Saturday, October 15, 2022 upon arrival through departure Sunday, October 23, 2022 (8 nights included)
- Land transportation including shuttle transfer on arrival from Istanbul Airport at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., or 6 p.m. and shuttle transfer on departure from hotel at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., or 10 a.m.
- Two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) – beginning with dinner on the day of arrival (daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels, 7 dinners at the hotels, 1 dinner at Sea Food Restaurant in Izmir)
- Government Licensed, Christian tour guide throughout the tour
- Biblical Scholar, PhD level scholar will travel and lecture throughout the tour
- Domestic flight in Turkey during tour from Izmir to Antalya
- Use of Whispers headsets
- Map of Turkey for use throughout the tour
- Tips to guides, drivers and hotel staff
- Service charges and local taxes
- International Travel Insurance from October 14, 2022 – October 24, 2022 (allows for an extra day of travel at beginning and end of tour). Additional days available for $5 per person, per day. This coverage includes Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Medical Expenses, Disability Income, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Crisis Management, including the expense and coordination of a security evacuation, Personal Property, and General Liability.
Optional Four-Day Mediterranean Gulet Boat Extension Includes
- 3 nights lodging and dinner aboard the Gulet Boat
- 1 night lodging and farewell dinner in Antalya
- Land transportation including shuttle transfer to Antalya Airport for departure flights.
- Government Licensed, Christian tour guide throughout the extended tour
- Tips to guide, drivers and Gulet Boat staff
- Service charges and local taxes
- International Travel Insurance from October 25, 2022 – October 28, 2022 (allows for an extra day of travel at the end of tour). Additional days available for $5 per person, per day. This coverage includes Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Medical Expenses, Disability Income, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Crisis Management, including the expense and coordination of a security evacuation, Personal Property, and General Liability.
Tour Package/Extended Tour Package Does NOT Include
- International flights to arrive in Istanbul (IST) and depart Antalya (AYT)
- Turkish Visa Fee-to be obtained online before arrival evisa.gov.tr
Arrival to Turkey
Fly IN TO ISTANBUL, Turkey – Istanbul Airport (IST) no later than Saturday, October 15, 2022
Departure from Turkey
Fly OUT OF ANTALYA, Turkey – Antalya Airport (AYT)
- Tour Only – Depart Sunday, October 23, 2022
- Tour and Extension – Depart on Thursday, October 27
You may consider arriving a day or two before the tour begins to help recover from jet lag, or staying a few days following the tour to enjoy Istanbul on your own. Kim Hodge can assist with additional hotel nights both before and after the tour if you need them.
Travelers are welcome to make international flight arrangements through their preferred travel source or World Travel Service, Inc. is available to assist.
Direct Number: 865-777-1600
Visas and Passports
Each participant must have a valid passport. Passport expiration date must be 30 days beyond the last day of the tour.
CMDA requests a photo of the first two pages of your Passport be emailed to Kim Hodge (firstname.lastname@example.org) 60 days prior to travel. If you prefer, you may also copy and mail to Kim’s attention at CMDA P.O. Box 7500 Bristol, TN 37621-7500.
Purchase Turkish Visa before travel
Turkish Visa Fee-to be obtained online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr.
For a detailed itinerary, click on the “Schedule” link.
The activity level for this tour is moderately strenuous. You should be able to walk several miles on uneven terrain without difficulty. If you have mobility issues, this tour may not be for you. If you have questions, please contact Kim Hodge before registering.
Double Occupancy (per person)
- CMDA Member and Spouse: $2,875
- Non Member: $2,975
- CMDA Member: $3,340
- Non Member: $3,440
Double Occupancy (per person)
- CMDA Member and Spouse: $1,345
- Non Member: $1,445
- CMDA Member: $1,835
- Non Member: $1,935
Postponing or Cancelling Reservations
If Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) cancels your tour:
- Passengers booked on a tour where the cancellation is initiated by CMDA and our in-country partner can have all funds paid to CMDA applied to a future tour or returned in the original form of payment. We ask that you be patient and allow 10 – 15 days for the refund process.
If you would like to postpone or cancel your reservation:
- If you choose to cancel your reservation, your cancelations and requests for refund must be submitted in writing to Kim Hodge at email@example.com.
Cancellation charges will be assessed as follows:
Before or on July 15, 2022 $300 per person
July 16 – August 1, 2022 $800 per person
August 2 – September 1, 2022 $1,600 per person
September 2 – September 15, 2022 $1,800 per person
On or after September 16, 2022 No Refund
- Breakfasts and dinners included. All lunches are “on your own”.
- Lodging is included in the cost of tour.
Gene Rudd, MD For 25 years Gene Rudd, MD served as Senior Vice President of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). A specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Rudd has experience in medical education and in rural healthcare. He has garnered several awards including the Gorgas Medal, presented by the U.S. government for the most significant achievement in preventive medicine. As a spokesman for Christian doctors in America, Dr. Rudd has received national media coverage, including appearances on National Public Radio, American Family Radio and Salem Radio Network, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post and People. He is co-author of Practice by the Book.
Dr. Rudd has also conducted international programs with Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission, where he established the Christian Medical Mission of Russia. He directed the rehabilitation of the Central Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Rudd has also served in Belarus, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, and India.
Dr. Rudd’s experiences provide rich illustrations for inspirational and educational presentations. He has communicated what God is doing through Christian medicine by speaking at seminars, conferences and churches.
Gene and his wife, Brenda Gay have led numerous biblical tours for CMDA in Greece, Israel, Italy and now Turkey. They live in Bristol, TN and have four children and eleven grandchildren.
Dr. Meg Ramey (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews) will help bring the scriptures to life as we visit each of the biblical sites. Meg is the founder and executive director of WorldKind Journeys, a teaching ministry that facilitates studying the Bible “on the ground” while journeying to historic places and into sacred spaces across the Mediterranean, Middle East and Europe. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Messiah University. She has lectured at universities and churches around the world, published on biblical studies and popular culture topics, edited the “Bible in Fiction” project for Oxford Biblical Studies Online, and written for Biblical Archaeo- logical Review, including a recent article on “Hiking in Paul’s Footsteps” in Turkey.
Cenk Eronat was born in Ankara. Moved to Izmir and graduated from 9th September University, Tourism Management Department. After much experience working for 5-star hotels and travel companies, in 1999 he became part of Tutku Tours. Among many things, he is the Vice President of Tutku Tours, a French-English speaking tour guide and a photographer. He creates and develops tour programs, which include some of the most beautiful and significant places in Turkey as well as world famous sites. He is a specialist in Cross-Cultural tours in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Israel, Georgia and Cyprus. Cenk will serve as our tour guide throughout the tour. He is already planning on ways to bring the biblical significance, history and culture of Turkey to life as we tour this beautiful country.
Friday, October 14: Depart from the U.S.
Saturday, October 15: ISTANBUL (Arrival)
Arrive in Istanbul. Drive to our hotel for dinner and overnight at Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul or similar (2 nights)
Sunday, October 16: ISTANBUL: Archaeological Museum: Hezekiah’s tunnel (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:30; John 9:7) Herod’s Temple Warning (Acts 21:27-31; 24:6,12,13)
We will begin our time in Istanbul with a tour of the Old City. First, we visit the pinnacle of Byzantine Christian architecture—Hagia Sophia (the church of “Holy Wisdom”). Built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century as the crowning achievement of his sacred building program, this church was the center of the Christian Byzantine Empire. It’s one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels and a designated World Heritage site. We will also visit Hagia Sophia’s sister church—Hagia Irene (Holy Peace). Also rebuilt by Justinian, Hagia Irene is significant in Christian History as the location of the 2nd Ecumenical Council (381 AD).
Then we will make our way to Istanbul’s Archaeological Museum—one of the most celebrated collections in the world. Among its treasures is the Siloam inscription from Hezekiah’s tunnel in Jerusalem, Herod’s Temple Warning Inscription forbidding Gentiles to enter upon pain of death, the Gezer calendar (one of the oldest Hebrew inscriptions dating to the 10th cent. BCE details the agricultural seasons in Israel), and stunning tile panels from Nebuchadnezzar’s Ishtar gate in Babylon (ca. 7th-6th cent.)
We will stroll through the colorful and fragrant Egyptian Spice Market, a feast for the senses to enjoy its sights, smells, and tastes.
Our day will end with a relaxing Boat Tour along the Bosphorus that offers an excellent vantage point to view Istanbul’s many famous landmarks on both its European and Asian shores. Dinner and Overnight at Hotel.
Monday, October 17: ISTANBUL: TROAS – ASSOS
We will depart Istanbul on our way to the Troad area. Along the way, we will visit Homer’s legendary site of Troy. Then continue traveling to Troas, where Paul visited during his 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys. We will follow the road that Paul walked alone during his 3rd journey to Assos. Late afternoon we will arrive in Assos for dinner and overnight at the Kervansaray Assos Hotel or similar (2 nights).
Tuesday, October 18: ASSOS
Today we will visit the acropolis of Assos and the old city. This is the city that Paul traveled to during his 3rd journey. The city has one of the oldest Greek Athena temples of the ancient world. (6th century BCE.) In the afternoon, there will be time to relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the Aegean Sea. Dinner and overnight in Assos.
Wednesday, October 19: PERGAMUM (Rev. 2:12–17)
We will travel south to visit one of the seven cities of Revelation—Pergamum. It is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Turkey. Its attractions are hard to surpass: a 10,000–seat theatre on the side of the Acropolis that is the steepest in the ancient world; the magnificently restored Temple of Trajan; the remains of a library of 200,000 volumes second in size only to that in Alexandria; the base of the Altar of Zeus; the Temple of Dionysus; and the medical center of Asclepion. This ancient healing center had its own theater, library, underground tunnel, and other buildings. John warned the church here that they were living in a place of “Satan’s throne”. After our visits we will continue to Izmir. Dinner and overnight at Marriott Hotel Izmir or similar (2 nights).
Thursday, October 20: EPHESUS—IZMIR
Today we will visit ancient Ephesus. First, we’ll drive to Mount Bulbul and stop at the House of the Virgin Mary. Both Christians and Muslims consider this site sacred, and on their visits, they light candles and leave their prayers and wishes tucked into a wall there. Next, we’ll visit the famous ancient city of Ephesus. This site had successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements and was an outstanding example of a Roman port city with a sea channel and harbor basin into which the Apostle Paul sailed. He lived and ministered here for 2-3 years after a riot in the Great Theater, which we can still visit today. Excavations have revealed other grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period, including marble-paved roads, terrace homes of the elite, Roman Baths, the Celsus Library, and more. Today, Ephesus is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
After lunch in the town of Selcuk, we will visit a local Anatolian Handmade Carpet and Kilim production center and learn how our world-famous Turkish rugs are made. Then we will tour the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus, displaying ancient coins, statues, and mosaics from the early and late Roman periods. Next, we’ll visit the Tomb and Basilica of St. John, the last surviving disciple of Jesus who is said to have lived in Ephesus during his final years along with Jesus’ mother Mary. Finally, we’ll see the remaining pillars of one of the seven ancient wonders of the world—The Great Temple of Artemis of the Ephesians. After our full day of exploring Ephesus, we will return to Izmir. In the evening, you’ll enjoy strolling along the Izmir Bay to have dinner at a local seafood restaurant on the Konak Pier. Overnight in Izmir.
Friday, October 21: MILETUS (Acts 20:17-35) – FLY TO ANTALYA
We will travel to Miletus, which became one of the great cities of commerce in the ancient world due to its four harbors and strategic location on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. Of the surviving buildings, the finest is the 15,000-seat theatre originally built in the Hellenistic period and expanded in Roman times. Paul stopped in Miletus on the return leg of his third missionary journey, where he summoned the elders from Ephesus to meet with him and hear his poignant farewell speech. From Miletus, we will go to Izmir airport to take our flight to the Mediterranean coastal city Antalya. After landing, we will transfer to Ramada Hotel Antalya or similar for dinner and overnight. (2 nights)
Saturday, October 22: PERGE (Acts 14:13-14) ANTALYA (Acts 14:25-26)
Located ten miles east of Antalya is the ancient city of Perge, where Paul landed after sailing from the island of Cyprus during his first missionary journey. Perge was a wealthy city and is still easily seen today from its 15,000-seat theatre, 12,000-seat stadium, Hellenistic gate with its “Twin Towers,” baths with under-floor heating, colonnaded marketplace, water fountains, and impressive colonnaded street with a flowing water channel in the middle. We then return to Antalya, which in Paul’s day was known as Atallia and was the place from where the apostle sailed home at the end of his first missionary journey. We will have free time to walk and shop in the quaint restored area of the old harbor, enjoying the view of the same port from which Paul sailed. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Sunday, October 23: DEPARTURE/EXTENSION
Guests that are only participating on the main tour will transfer to Antalya Airport for departure.
Guests participating in the extension will travel to Fethiye and will arrive at the ancient coastal village Telmessos to enjoy some free time. Later we will embark the Gulet Boat and set sail to enjoy wonderful Mediterranean experiences for three nights.
Monday, October 24: GULET – GEMILER ISLAND
Morning sail to Gemiler Island. Visit the Byzantine churches of the island and enjoy the mixture of natural beauty and history. After enjoying lunch, we will sail to the nearest bay and enjoy some swimming time. Dinner and overnight on board.
Tuesday, October 25: GULET – PATARA – KAS
Sail to Patara. Visit the archaeological site where Paul stopped during his final journey to Rome. On our way (if time permits) we will visit Xanthos and Letoon. We will finish the day in coastal village Kaş (ancient Antiphellos). We will see the ancient theater and the harbor. Dinner and overnight on board.
Wednesday, October 26: ANDRIAKE – MYRA – ANTALYA
Sail to Andriake. Visit the harbor where Paul went during his final journey. Then on to Myra, the city of Saint Nicolas, and visit the church where he is buried. Disembark and travel to Antalya. Farewell dinner and overnight at Ramada Hotel Antalya or similar for 1 night.
Thursday, October 27: ANTALYA AIRPORT
Early morning travel to Antalya Airport (AYT) for departure to the US.