11 Days life Changing Journey to the Holy Land from Atlanta, GA (ATL) - June 30 - July 10, 2023 - With Fr. Llane Briese and The Georgia Bulletin
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Day One: Departure
Depart for your overnight flights to the Holy Land. Meals will be served on board.
Day Two: Arrival
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. Meet and Assist by your Guide, then transfer to your hotel in Tiberius, approximately two and a half hours drive. En route a possible visit to Caesarea Maritima, a harbor city that was built by Herod the Great. Dinner and overnight in Tiberius.
Day Three: Nazareth /Cana of Galilee/ Mount Tabor
† Mass at Annunciation Church
Begin the day with a visit to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up. Visit the Basilica of Annunciation (Mass), marking the annunciation by the Angel Gabriel of the birth of Jesus. See Mary’s well and the grotto, believed to have been the home of the Virgin Mary; the centuries-old Church of St. Gabriel. Continue to Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine during a wedding feast. See the Wedding Church. End the day by going to Mt. Tabor and visiting the beautiful two-level Basilica of the Transfiguration, marking the Transfiguration of Jesus before Peter and James and talking with Moses and Elias. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the valley below. Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Tiberias.
Day Four: Golan Heights/Sea of Galilee
† Mass at Capernaum
After breakfast, we drive to Golan Height to visit Caesarea Philippi which became an important Christian pilgrimage destination as the place where Jesus asked the disciples “Who do people say I am?". Drive back to Tiberius to Follow the footsteps of Jesus’ ministry in the villages around the Sea of Galilee, begin with a visit to Capernaum, often called the hometown of Christ. Capernaum is where Jesus healed a centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and many others who were brought to Him. See the church marking St. Peter’s house. Continue to Tabgha and visit the church of Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, commemorating Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5,000 men. See the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy (Mass), where Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection. The next stop is Mt. of Beatitudes, the hill where He preached the Sermon on the Mount to the multitudes that stood below. The journey continues as you are welcome to take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and remember the events which took place in the area. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day Five: Haifa/ Mount Carmel/ Jaffa/Bethlehem
† Mass at Stella Marris
Drive to Mt. Carmel, visit Carmelites’ monastery Stella Maris Church (Mass). It was Mt. Carmel that Prophet Elijah chose for gathering together all the people with the prophets of Baal to prove who the True God is. Proceed to the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, also known as the Terraces of Baha’i Faith. These garden terraces form the Shrine of the Baal on Mount Carmel. Described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, they are one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. Drive to Caesarea Maritima, a city and harbor built by Herod the Great about XXV-XIII BC. Today, its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is here that Apostle Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion and following it established there a church. Continue to Joppa (Jaffa), an ancient port city, which is believed to be one of the oldest in the world. The Bible says that St. Peters’ resurrection of the widow Tabitha takes place in Joppa. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day Six: Shepherd’s Field/ Bethlehem
† Mass at Bethlehem Basilica
After breakfast, we stop in Beth Sahour to visit the Shepherds’ Fields, identified with shepherds who saw the Star of Nativity. Continue to Bethlehem visit the Nativity Church, Chapel of the Innocents, Church of St. Katherine, and the Manger Square. See the Milk Grotto, where, according to tradition, the Holy Family took refuge during the Slaughter of the Innocents, before their flight into Egypt. Tradition has it that while Mary was nursing Jesus here, a drop of her divine milk fell to the ground, turning it white. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day Seven: Bethany / Dead Sea/ Qumran/ Jericho
† Mass at Bethany Church
After Breakfast, we make a stop at Bethany to visit the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus, proceed to visit Jericho which has been the cradle of civilization as far back as 7,000 to 10,000 B.C. It was the first city taken by the oldest cities in the world. It was the first city taken by the tribes of Israel after they crossed the River Jordan. In Jericho, Christ cured a blind man It was here that the chief tax collector Zacchaeus, who was short of stature, climbed a sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus, View Mount of Temptation situated in the northwest of Jericho over-looking the world’s most ancient city. After Lunch in Jericho, we drive to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Visit the remains of the Community Center of the Essences and the Caves of the Scrolls. From there we drive to a private beach on the Dead Sea for a dip in the salt and mineral-laden. Finally, you can renew our baptismal vows, the traditional baptismal site on the river Jordan. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day Eight: Mt. Olives/ Mt Zion
† Mass at Dominus Flevit
Begin your visit with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mt. of Olives. Visit the Pater Noster Church, where the Prayer “Our Father” is inscribed in dozens of languages, Church of Ascension, marking the place where Jesus ascended to Heaven. Then down the Mt. of Olives in the footsteps of Jesus take the Palm Sunday Walk. Stop at Dominus Flevit (‘the Lord Wept’). From there we drive to Mt. Zion to visit the church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu the church of the Dormition, King David’s Tomb, and the Room of the Last Supper. Drive back to Bethlehem for Dinner. After Dinner, we will have a special Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, for prayer and contemplation see the Rock where Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done. overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Nine: Old City of Jerusalem.
† Mass in the Old City
Begin the day with a walk in the Old City of Jerusalem (The way of the cross “Via Dolorosa”). Among others today we shall see the Holy Sepulcher (Mass), the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and the temple mount, “Ecce Homo” Arch, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, Chapel of the Flagellation, St. Anne’s Church, and Bethesda. Return to hotel for Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Ten: Ein Karem
† Mass in Ein Karem
In the morning, we head to Ein Karem (spring of the Vineyard), according to tradition, the place of birth of John the Baptist. There are two churches by his name in the place. See the Church of the Visitation, built on the place where the pregnant Mary visited her pregnant cousin Elizabeth and stayed for three months. Enjoy a free afternoon in Bethlehem or Jerusalem and take in the beauty of the country. We will enjoy our fair well dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a folklore show and dance. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Eleven: Departure
After breakfast, check out of our hotel and head to the airport for our journey back home.
Istanbul – Thyatira- Pergamon – Izmir- Sardis- Philadelphia- Pamukkale- Ephesus- Kusadasi
DAY 11 // ISTANBUL - ARRIVAL (B/D)
Arrival in Istanbul where we will meet up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, dinner, and overnight in Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul
DAY 12 // ISTANBUL – SIGHTSEEING TOUR (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will visit Byzantine Church Chora Museum which is famous for its colorful mosaics and frescoes. The outer and inner narthexes are decorated with magnificent sequential scenes that could be considered masterworks of mosaics, narrating mainly the life and miracles of Jesus Christ, and the life of the Virgin Mary, respectively. On the other hand, in the parecclesion, religious stories from the Old Testament and scenes such as judgment day, resurrection, and last judgment are depicted in frescoes. Then we will pass to the Sultanahmet area and walk through the Roman Hippodrome, a stadium, built by the Roman Emperors in 203 A.D. Next visit will be to Saint Sophia which is one of the masterpieces of world architecture. It was built in the 6th century as a church. Finally, we will visit the Grand Bazaar, probably the largest market of its kind in the world, with more than 3500 shops. Enjoy dinner at a local traditional restaurant then return transfer to the hotel. Overnight Istanbul
DAY 13 // ISTANBUL- THYATIRA- PERGAMON -IZMIR (B/L/D)
Early in the morning depart to Istanbul port in order to take the fast ferry to Bandirma. After a 2-hour trip arrival to Bandirma and drive to Thyatira (Revelation 2: 18-29), which was an important trade center in ancient times, is now called Akrisar meaning White Castle. A letter to this Church was the longest of all the letters of the Apocalypse and the message it delivers is also among the toughest. Then continue to Pergamon (2:12-17) Pergamum (Revelation 2: 12-17), now called Bergama, was the rival city of Alexandria in the arts and letters. On a visit to this city, we will see its Greco-Roman Theatre, the Temple of Trajan, and the altar of Zeus. The Pergamum church characterizes the church from the time of Constantine (313-600 AD). At that time Christianity became the official religion of the Roman state. In this way, the church began to spread around the world to visit the Asclepion, the medical center of thermal cure. Continue to Izmir. Overnight and dinner. Overnight Izmir
DAY 14 // IZMIR- SARDIS- PHILADELPHIA – PAMUKKALE (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will make a city tour of Izmir (Smyrna, the church admired for its tribulation and poverty; forecast to suffer persecution Revelation 2: 8-11) including Polycarp church. Then drive to Sardis, one of the most picturesque areas of these seven churches. It is here St. John expressed his concern for pushing further with the progress of the city's faith (Revelation 3: 1-5). Continue to Philadelphia (Alasehir), a favorite city of Paul and John. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then move to Pamukkale and check in to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Pamukkale
DAY 15 // PAMUKKALE / EPHESUS / KUSADASI (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will visit the city of Hierapolis along with the spectacular thermal pools of Pamukkale. The hot springs of Hierapolis, mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Colossians (Col 4:13), meaning “Holy City”, a UNESCO world heritage site, classified for its hot springs and the ruins of the ancient capital of Phrygia, where Saint Philip is buried and Colossus (now known as the village of Honaz), whose church was mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians. The hot springs of Hierapolis helped in the treatment of health problems, while the cold waters of Colossi were good to drink.
Drive to Laodicia (Revelation 3: 14-22; Colossians 2: 1; 4: 13-16), was another prosperous city in the chain, where Christianity first spread. Lunch at a local restaurant. Drive to Ephesus (Ephesians; Revelation 1: 11, 2: 1-7; Acts 18: 19-28; 19: 1-4). It was the home of St. Paul between 54 and 57 A.D. Next, we visit the Virgin Mary's House on a wooded hilltop where it was miraculously discovered. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Kusadasi
DAY 16 // KUSADASI- IZMIR- DEPRATURE (B)
After breakfast transfer to Izmir airport for the flight back home
Download Brochure and Application
Trip date: June 30 - July 10, 2023
Departure City: Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Package Price: $4390.00
The single supplement is $850.00 (Private room)
Optional Turkey Extension July 10 – 15, 2023: $990.00
The package price includes the following:
- Round trip airline ticket
- Round trip bus transportation Church/Airport/Church
- Meet & Assist at Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival and departure.
- Three nights’ accommodation in Tiberius in double occupancy with breakfast and dinner.
- Six-night accommodation in Bethlehem in double occupancy with breakfast and dinner.
- Ten days sightseeing in a modern air-conditioned private bus.
- English-speaking government licensed Christian guide on duty.
- Entrance fees to places of interest whilst on tour in the Holy Land.
- Special dinner at an oriental restaurant.
- Mass daily
- Lunches daily
- Tips for Guide, Driver, and hotels.
The package price does not include the following:
- Drinks at hotels and restaurants
- All Personal Expenses.
- Travel Insurance.
All prices are in US Dollars based on per person in a double room, Pax rooming alone is subject to a single supplement, and the maximum capacity of the bus is 50Pax. All prices are VAT inclusive