“Searching the Scriptures
for the Ancient Faith”

(A pilgrim tour through Asia Minor with 
Bobby Maddex and Dr. Eugenia Constantinou)

May 24 – June 8, 2013


Bobby Maddex of Ancient Faith Radio, Dr. Eugenia Constantinou of the University of San Diego and Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky of the OrthodoxTours, invite you to participate in a special journey through the Sacred Sites and Ancient Cities of Asia Minor:


The land part of the tour cost based on 30 participants is $2,950.00

(Minimum number of participants – 20 persons)


The tour will include visits to the cities of Istanbul,

Antkaya (Antioch), Konya, and Tarsus,

Archeological parks of Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis,

Demre (Myra), Aspendos, Perge, cave cities of Cappodocia,

and a day cruise to the island of Patmos .


The cost of the tour includes accommodations, two meals daily, transfers by private a/c motorcoach, tours, and all entry fees.


The sign-up deadline is March 1, 2013.


If you are interested in joining the tour, please contact

Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky for more information at:

53 Baxter Street, Binghamton, NY 13905


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Honorary tour leader:

Bobby Maddex, Operations Manager of Ancient Faith Radio.


Guest speaker:

Eugenia Constantinou holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies (1980) and a Master of Arts degree in Practical Theology from the University of San Diego (1992). She received a Master of Theology degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1996 where she specialized in Orthodox Theology and Patristics. She also received a Master of Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1998 where she specialized in the New Testament. Dr. Constantinou received her Ph.D. at Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada, in 2007, writing her doctoral dissertation on “Andrew of Caesarea and the Apocalypse in the Ancient Church of the East.” Dr. Constantinou has been teaching Biblical Studies and Early Christianity at the University of San Diego since 2002. Previously she taught New Testament at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology from 1998-1999. She has led bible studies, taught and lectured on the Bible and Orthodoxy at parishes, conferences, retreats and seminars for over thirty years.




Day 1, Friday, May 24, 2013

Flight from the United States.


Day 2, Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meals: Dinner.

Arrival in Istanbul, and connecting flight to Antakya. Arrive to Antakya, meet with

the guide and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 3, Sunday, May 26, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

It was in Antioch that followers of ‘the Galilean’ were first called “Christians”.

Today, after attending the Divine Liturgy at the local Orthodox Church, we’ll visit the cave church associated with the Apostle Peter and, and the monastery of St. Simeon Stylites the Younger, a prominent Orthodox saint of the 6th century. St Simeon spent 68 years in ascetical labors atop the column that was erected for him. We will end our sightseeing at the Archeological Museum. Its mosaic collection is considered to be one of the best in the world. At night we will transfer to the city of Adana for an overnight.


Day 4, Monday, May 27, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Today we will be entering into one of the most interesting regions in Turkey – Cappadocia, which is also incredibly important in Christian history. On the way from Tarsus we will stop for a visit to Eskigumus Monastery, the most impressive and most southerly of all Cappadocian monasteries, lost in history and rediscovered only in the mid-20th century. It is very well preserved and has some of the best-preserved frescoes in all of Cappadocia. From here we will continue to visit the Soganli Valley. Dinner and overnight at the hotel .


Day 5, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Optional hot air balloon early in the morning.

Today we will visit Kaymakli, an underground city, and after lunch, Goreme open Air Museum, the Pasabagi Valley with the cave hermit dwellings and the churches in Cavusin. Many of the dwellings in this wondrous region were inhabited up until 1920s, monasteries were populated and churches were in use. The sad events of the early 20th century turned most of the once densely populated cave cities into ghost towns and “open air museums”.


Day 6, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

This morning we will leave the region of Cappadocia for a lengthy drive travelling to the Mediterranean Coast via the ancient city of Iconium. On the way we will visit the Agzikarahan Caravanserai, build in the 13th century as the safe haven on the major trade route. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Antlaya.


Day 7, Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Today we will visit two archeological parks – those of Aspendos and Perge. Both cities are some miles away from Antalya and both of them were considered important centers during the Roman and Byzantine periods. While Aspendos was known for its well-preserved theater and large aqueduct, Perge has some important surviving Christian monuments. It is known that Perge was visited by the Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys. We also plan to visit an Archeological museum in Antalya, boasting a magnificent collection of the artifact found in the region. The Archeological museum of Antalya considered to be one of the best in all of Turkey. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.


Day 8, Friday, May 31, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

This day will pass under the special patronage of St. Nicholas, as we will visit the ancient ruins of Patara, the birthplace of the famous Christian saint, and Myra (Demre) the town where he was bishop and where he rested till the time when his relics were taken away to Bari in Italy. Both Patara and Myra are also very important historical centers as in their day they were some of the prime cities of the province of Lycia. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.


Day 9, Saturday, June 1, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Today we will depart for the exploration of the important historical places and magnificent archeological parks of Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. The first is known as one of the major cult centers of the goddess Aphrodite (hence the name of the city). We will visit the site and the Museum. Ancient Hierapolis, was renown in antiquity for its natural hot springs. We will walk through the ancient colonnaded street and have a look at the beautiful travertines. Those who would want to will be able to climb to the martyrium build over the site where Apostle Phillip was executed. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.


Day 10, Sunday, June 2, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

The city of Philadelphia is one of the cities mentioned by John in the Book of Revelation. It has Ancient history that dates back to the second century BC. All through Roman and Byzantine period it remains a large and important city. In early apostolic times, the Christian community of Philadelphia, deserves nothing but praise. Our next stop will be at Sardis, another important center of the Ancient Roman Empire in Western Anatolia. It also mentioned as one of the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. Site of Ancient Sardis contain a number of important remnants of the Ancient secular and religious buildings. We will end our day in Izmir, the Smyrna of old. It is one of the oldest cities of the region, sanctified by the preaching of the Apostles, and by martyric death of Polycarp, the disciple of St. John the Theologian and the Bishop of the city. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.


Day 11, Wednesday, June 3, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Pergamon was one of the greatest centers of learning of the Ancient World. It is believed that the city Library was second only to that of Alexandria. In fact, it is here that a new substance for the writing – parchment – was invented and called pergamena after the name of the city itself. Pergamon is mentioned in the Book of Revelation and from the site was sanctified by the martyric death of its first Bishop Antipas. Thyatira is a smaller archeological site, but back at the time of the Apostles it was flourishing city. There is no direct evidence, but it is widely accepted that the Apostles Paul and Sila stopped here during their missionary journeys. Thyatira is mentioned as yet one more of the Seven Churches of Revelation, and such signifies that from the early point on it was a home of a significant Christian community. For an overnight we will arrive to the city port of Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.


Day 12, Thursday, June 4, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

The Island of Patmos is mentioned in the Book of Revelation that is ascribed by the earliest Christian tradition to St. John the Theologian. In the book it is stated that St. John was on the Island of Patmos when he received his revelation, and hagiography completes that account by stating that St. John was expelled to Patmos from the city of Ephesus where he resided and preached for a long time. The most important pilgrim destinations on the island are the Cave of the Revelation and the Monastery of St. John.  We will visit both and we’ll stop for lunch at a traditional Greek tavern in one of the villages. Dinner and overnight

at the hotel in Kusadasi.


Day 13, Friday, June 5, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Today we will spend a full day in exploration of the ancient city of Ephesus. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this city in the historical context. The city is closely associated with important New Testament and Early Church historical figures; two of the Seven Ecumenical Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church were conducted in this city. The antiquities of the city are very well preserved and in some sense rival those of Pompeii in Italy. Among many other sites, we will visit the Artemision (one of the 7 wonders of the world), the Museum, Basilica Tomb of St. John, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Later in the evening we will transfer to the airport in Izmir for an hour flight to Istanbul.


Day 14, Saturday, June 6, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

Istanbul-Constantinople is in no need of introduction. We will start our visit of the glorious imperial city with a visit to what was once the heart of Eastern Christendom, the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia.  We will continue the exploration of the city with a visit to our Lady Pammakaristos Church, and the most beautiful Chora Church with its world famous mosaics and frescoes and the ruins of the monastery of St. John the Baptist in Studios. Many famous theologians and one of the church typikons (the book of ecclesiastical order) came from this monastery.  Perhaps the most prominent of them is St. Theodore the Studite, the great saint, theologian and adamant defender of the holy icons. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Istanbul.


Day 15, Sunday, June 7, 2013

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner.

This morning we will start a visit to the Greek Patriarchate in Phanar district, church of Sergius and Bacchus, known also as “Little Agia Sophia”, Church of the Mother of God at Blachernae, and the Spice Market. Your afternoon will be at leisure or an optional Bosporus Cruise will be offered. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Istanbul.


Day 16, Monday, June 8, 2013

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to airport for return flight.




Financial arrangements:

The cost of the land portion of the trip is about $3050 per person, based on double occupancy. The additional fee for single accommodations is $600. * Group air tickets will be arranged for and you are welcome to travel as a part of our group. The round trip will originate in NYC. If you prefer to travel to Turkey on your own, we still be happy to help you with domestic air tickets in Turkey.

*Single accommodations are subject to availability, please inquire at sign up.


Price includes:


14 nights hotel accommodation at 4 star hotels

Most meals (two meals daily – buffet Breakfast and Dinner).

Professional, English-speaking guide.

Air-conditioned tourist class bus with professional tour bus driver.

A day boat roundtrip from Kusadasi to Patmos and tour of the island

Hotel tips

Airport group transfers

All entrance fees and admissions.

Tea, coffee, and water with included meals.

Baggage handling.

Service charges and local taxes

No Hidden Costs.



Price does NOT include:


International and domestic flights**.

Travel or health insurance (please contact us if you need help to obtain insurance)

Guide and driver tips.

Turkish Entry Visa (can be obtained upon arrival at airport in Istanbul for $26 per person for 2012)

Meals other than specified

Any personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, etc)

Anything that is not specifically mentioned in “Price includes”


**We are happy to offer a round trip group air fare from New York on the following schedule:


May 24, 2013: JFK-ISTANBUL   6:25pm – 9:25pm (+ 1day)

May 25, 2013: ISTANBUL-HATAY (Antioch) 3:30pm - 5:15pm

June 5, 2013: IZMIR-ISTANBUL 7:00pm – 8:05pm

June 6, 2013: ISTANBUL-JFK       1:05pm – 4:30pm



Round trip air fare is USD 1320 per person, inclusive of all current taxes and fuel surcharges. Airlines retain the right to adjust prices based upon market price fuel surcharges; i.e., price for the air tickets may change until paid in full. If you prefer to arrange for your own flights, you are most welcome to do that. If you’ll need assistance to arrange just domestic flights in Turkey, we’ll be most happy to help you.


Sign up and Payment:

We would request $600.00 deposit at the time of signing up for the trip. Deposit is non-refundable. The deadline for signing up for the trip is March  1, 2013. The entire amount is requested no later than March 15, 2013.

All payments should be made by check or Money Order (US funds) to the "Palomnik, LLC" and mailed to attention of Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky to: 53 Baxter Str, Binghamton, NY 13905.  Any returned checks are subject to $20 fee.

You also can pay by bank wire or credit card (via PayPal). If bank wire or PayPal payment is your preferred method of payment, please contact Fr. Ilya for details.

We may be able to accommodate you after the deadline as well, please do not hesitate to inquire. If space will be available, full payment is expected at the time of registering for the tour.


Special requests:

You can make flight arrangements on your own, if you would be able to find a better deal with another airline. However, in that case it will be your responsibility to arrange transportation to the hotel and back to the airport at the port of entry/departure.

All special requests, concerns and suggestions must be submitted in writing to Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky no later than the date of the final payment (March 15, 2013).



In the unlikely event of cancellation, the charges, in addition to the full amount of the deposit are*:

No penalties, except air ticket (if issued) over 61 days to departure

50% of the tour cost, 60 to 31 days prior to the departure

100% of the tour cost 30 days prior to the departure

*Air travel cancellation policies are in force in accordance with the regulations of the particular airline once the tickets are issued.

All the cancellations must be in writing and sent directly to agent/coordinator - Fr. llya Gotlinsky, and must be received for reimbursement according to the cancellation schedule.


Rules on the road:

It is strongly suggested for a traveler to obtain insurance covering emergencies, medical needs and coverage regarding personal property;

be aware that all medical needs will be sole responsibility of the traveler;

act in a manner consistent with the surrounding environment;

make arrangement to have sufficient funds to cover personal needs and unexpected happenings.



The places that we will be visiting may not have the same amenities that one is accustomed to. Medical facilities in most areas are limited. Because of the difference in language and customs, it is expected that the traveler will follow the directions of the Tour Director at all times.

The Director reserves the right to restrict a person’s participation in the group’s activities, including exclusion from the group, when, in the opinion of the Director, such action is appropriate.


Please note:


Neither The Director of the trip (Fr. Ilya Gotlinsky) nor Conciliar Media Ministries (dba Ancient Faith Radio) hold any legal responsibilities concerning any of the arrangements. They play only the role of  agents/coordinators.


Passport and Visa:

A valid passport and Turkish entry visa is needed to travel to Turkey. Your passport must be valid until your return. Turkish visa can be obtained at the port of entry for USD 26 (as of 2012).



Turkey has a developed health system and drugs are widely available at many pharmacies in the large cities. However, in the more remote areas the situation may be different. We strongly recommend that you bring whatever medications you think you may need, and especially prescription drugs. No special vaccinations are needed when traveling to that part of the Middle East, but please remember that due to the climate and time change, hectic itinerary and lots of walking, your body will need extra care.  It is very easy to become dehydrated on a trip like this. Make sure to drink lots of liquids (pure water is the best choice). May can be quite hot. So, please be prepared adequately and don’t take your chances with heat and sun. Although Turkey has good drinking water - the water is chlorinated and safe to drink - bottled water is highly recommended and can be found in nearly all stores at a reasonable price.


Proper attire:

We are going to visit a lot of churches, cathedrals and monasteries. Many of them are museums now, but for a believer it is important to venerate the sanctity of place regardless of its present state. I want to encourage all to show moderation and respect. In general, I want to remind that the culture of the Middle East in general, and Islamic culture in particular, is quite different and our home attire may be considered too frivolous and send a very wrong message. That applies even more to the remote places of the South East of the country.



Many stores in Turkey accept credit cards (mostly Visa or MasterCard, no Discover or American Express). However, if you plan to shop at the markets or at the souvenir stands, you will need cash. The easiest way to obtain cash is to use the ATM machine. For ATMs use your debit card because you won’t be charged any interest on cash withdrawals. On your credit card purchase or with your debit card cash withdrawal, you get the best exchange rate, that of the day.

It is a good idea to let your bank or credit company (the one whose card you will be using) know that you are traveling overseas. Without such a notice some companies may “freeze” your account in an attempt to prevent foreign card fraud. Whenever you shop, especially at the markets and kiosks, try to bargain. The fact that you are a foreigner, and most likely from the US will be quite easily noted by locals and vendors may attempt to overcharge you. So, shop smart!


Be sure to bring:

An alarm clock; alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wet wipes; Kleenex; film and extra batteries for your camera or memory cards (at the tourist places they are widely available but significantly more expensive); comfortable shoes for a lot of walking (do not start the trip with new shoes). An electric outlet adapter is necessary if you plan to use any electric gadgets from the US.  A hat or a head cover, sun protection lotion and a bottle of water (can be purchased along the way) are absolutely “must have” things on this trip.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:39)