Day 1 – DEPARTURE
Depart overnight flight to the Holy Land. Food served on flight
Day 2 – TEL AVIV / TIBERIUS
Arrival to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, assistance and transfer to hotel, dinner and overnight.
After Breakfast we will have a short drive on the Mediterranean coast line to visit Caesarea Maritima, a harbor city that was built by Herod the Great. We continue our day to the city of Haifa, and then we drive to Stella Maris at Mount Carmel to visit the church of Prophet Elijah. We continue to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Annunciation took place; (celebrate Mass). After lunch next, located adjacent and north to the Basilica is St Joseph’s Church built according to early traditions over St. Joseph’s carpenter workshop and later on redefined as the house of the holy family and Virgin’s Fountain where it is said that the virgin washed the swaddling clothes of our Lord..
We will start our afternoon itinerary by visiting Sepphoris capital of Galilee during Jesus childhood and, according to Christian tradition, the residence of the parents of the Virgin Mary: Anna and Joachim. It is also the home of Herod Antipas, best known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of both John the Baptist and Jesus.
We will be transferred via taxi to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus, the culminating point in his public life, to visit the Basilica and contemplate the Jezreel Valley; where according to Christian Eschatology, the penultimate battle between good and evil, known as Armageddon, is destined to take place. Transfer to Hotel at Tiberiades. Check in and Dinner.
Day 4 – TIBERIUS/SEA OF GALILEE
After Breakfast, we will visit the surroundings of Lake Tiberius or also known as Sea of Galilee. The Savior spent much of his mortal ministry in this region. Here he called and ordained the Twelve Apostles, taught the Sermon on the Mount, healed a leper, calmed a storm; cast out of a young man a legion of devils, who then entered into swine that ran into the sea; raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead; fed the 5,000 and the 4,000; commanded his disciples to cast their nets, by which they caught many fish; and appeared after his Resurrection to teach his disciples.
The Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus first enunciated the beatitudes. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven …..” (Matt. 5-7)
Church of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgah, the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus; “….Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand”. (Mark 6:40-44)
St. Peter’s Church in Capernaum, built over the remains of 1st-3rd century dwellings, among which Peter and his mother-in-law lived together with many of the other early disciples and the Synagogue where Jesus taught. The morning visit will end with a boat ride on the lake. Lunch.
"They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach." (Mark 1:21)
In the afternoon, we will be transferred to Banias, archaeological site of the former roman city of Caesarea Philippi that was mentioned in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, where we will see the source of river Jordan and we will renew baptismal promises. Transfer to Hotel and Dinner.
After Breakfast, we will visit the Wedding Church of Cana, where we will commemorate Jesus´ first entrance in public life at the marriage of Cana in Galilee with one of his reported miracles, the first in the Gospel of John, where he turned water into wine. We will than descend to Jerusalem via the Jordan Valley on our way we make a stop in Nablus, known as Sebastiya, where John the Baptist was beheaded by the hand of Herodias, at his daughter Salome's request (Mt.14:1-12), and Jacob's Well, where Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman (Lk. 9:51-56). Continue our drive to visit Jericho, the famous city that lost its walls after Joshua's Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets and then drive to the river Jordan to visit the site where Jesus was believed to have been baptized. We will then continue and visit the Monastery of Essenes, a sect popularly believed to be the authors of the Dead Sea scrolls, in Qumran. Today’s visit will conclude with a visit to the Dead Sea. Transfer to hotel and dinner.
Day 6 – JERUSALEM / BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM
After breakfast, we will open the day with a visit to the Museum of Israel, where we will see a model of Jerusalem of the 1st Century. We will continue the tour by visiting The Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, followed by a visit to the 5th century Church of St. John the Baptist. Transfer to Bethlehem and Lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the Shepherd's Field, identified as the scene where the Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds and informed them of Jesus' birth. We will also visit the Church of the Nativity, built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. Transfer to hotel and dinner.
Day 7 – JERUSALEM / MOUNT OF OLIVES
After breakfast, we will visit the several sites at the Mount of Olives: Dome of the Ascension. It contains what is traditionally considered the last footprint of Jesus on earth before he ascended into heaven. The Church of the Pater Noster that stands on the traditional site in Jerusalem where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer. Dominus Flevit Church, built to commemorate the Lord's weeping over Jerusalem.
The Garden of Gethsemane built successively on the site where it is believed that Jesus prayed to the Father hours before his crucifixion.
The Basilica of Agony built on the site where Jesus had his last prayer before he was betrayed and arrested. "And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he said to his disciples, Sit here, while I pray". (Mark 14: 32)
Tomb of Mary, Mary’s Tomb is located at the foothills of Mount of Olives, where according to Roman Catholic teachings, Mary was assumed into heaven, both body and soul, which is known as the Assumption of Mary.
Lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the Ecce Homo Church, along the path that according to tradition, Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. We will walk the Via Dolorosa praying the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis). Once we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher we will visit the tomb in which Jesus was laid after his crucifixion. Eastern Christians also call the Holy Sepulcher the church of the Resurrection. This site is venerated as Golgotha or the hill of Calvary where Jesus was crucified. This the most important pilgrimage site in the world for all Christianity. This church is home to Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholicism. (Greek, Armenian and Franciscans)
Day 8 – JERUSALEM OLD CITY
Alter Breakfast, we will visit the Wailing Wall, a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Temple Mount and one of the most sacred sites in Judaism. We will continue with a visit to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Asqa Mosque, both, important Islamic sacred buildings located on the Temple Mount.
We will end the morning visiting St. Anne's Church, erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of Anne (Hannah), the mother of Mary, and the Bethesda Pool, believed to be the site where Jesus healed a paralytic.
“Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lay, the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:1-15)
Lunch and free afternoon in Jerusalem. Transfer to Hotel and Dinner.
Day 9 – JERUSALEM / MOUNT ZION
Breakfast and visit to the Sanctuary of Emmaus, one of four sites where Jesus was thought to have appeared after his resurrection. In the afternoon, we will visit The Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion and the Cenacle, also known as the "Upper Room", not only the site of the Last Supper but the usual place where the Apostles stayed in Jerusalem, and according to the Catholic Encyclopedia the first Christian church. We will finalize the day visiting The Church of Dormition, a grand German Benedictine Abbey located on top of Mount Zion commemorating the memory of Virgin Mary in the traditional site of her dormition / death.
Day 10 – TEL AVIV/HOME
Transfer to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Assistance to Check in, we will arrive home on the same day!