Day 1: Arrive Ben Gurion Airport
Today we’ll arrive to Ben Gurion, in Tel Aviv. We’ll be taken to our hotel in Tiberias. At the end of our day we’ll have dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Mount Tabor – Nazareth – Cana
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll ride to Jezreel Valley to visit the site of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-50). At this site, we’ll reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity.
Day 3: Sea of Galilee – Mount of Beatitudes – Capernaum – Boat Ride
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll travel to Mount of Beatitudes – Celebration of Eucharist (Mass)– where Jesus proclaimed His Great Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49).
Near the mount is Tabgha, one of Jesus’ miracle sites. At Tabgha, Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). Also, in Tabgha is St. Peter’s Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter (John 21:9).
Then we’ll visit Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus’ ministry. In Capernaum, we will have the opportunity to see the Synagogue of where Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-29), and gave His Sermon on the Bread of Life.
Afterwards we’ll have a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee in a wooden boat.
At the end of our day, we’ll head back to Tiberias hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 4: Haifa – Akko (Acre)
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll journey to Mount Carmel where Elijah had a “mountaintop experience” in defeating the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel and once Queen Jezebel found out she threatened Elijah’s life, leading him to run away (1 Kings 19:1–2).
We’ll visit Stella Maris Church. This Church is built on the cave where Prophet Elijah lived. Celebration of Eucharist (Mass).
The Prophet Elijah’s fire-lighting challenge — one of the Old Testament’s most spectacular contests between Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, and a pagan deity — took place on the south-eastern summit of Mount Carmel.
On the south-eastern peak of Mount Carmel, the site is now known as Muhraka (“the Scorching”). It is marked by a dramatic stone statue of Elijah, sword raised to heaven as he slaughters a Baal priest, and a small Carmelite monastery, surrounded by a nature reserve.
Then we’ll admire a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and the beautiful Baha’i Gardens.
Continuing to Akko (Acre); we’ll visit the Old City, the Crusader Fortress and the Bazaar. The Siege of Acre (also called the Fall of Acre) took place in 1291 and resulted in the loss of the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Mamluks.
It is considered one of the most important battles of the period. Although the crusading movement continued for several more centuries, the capture of the city marked the end of further crusades to the Levant. When Acre fell, the Crusaders lost their last major stronghold of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. In Akko we’ll be able to explore independently.
We’ll head to our Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Jericho – Baptismal Site – Mount of Temptations
Following breakfast at the hotel we’ll travel to Jericho, the oldest city in the world that was conquered by Joshua (Josh. 6: 1).
It was here in Jericho that the Lord Jesus gave Bartimaeus back his sight and converted the rich Zacchaeus, performing for both his ministry of the Good Shepherd (Luke 18-19). We’ll visit The Franciscan Church of the Good Shepherd for Celebration of Eucharist (Mass). It was dedicated to Jesus for being a Good Shepherd for Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus and is one of the most beautiful churches in Jericho.
On our way we pass by the archeological site of Beit She’an. We’ll continue to drive south along the Jordan Valley to visit Jesus’ baptismal site (Qasr El Yahud) on the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17).
Then we’ll visit the Sycamore Tree that recalls the incident in which the tax collector Zacchaeus, too short to see over the crowd, climbed a sycamore’s branches to see Jesus. (Luke 18-19) and then have a look at the Mount of Temptations. This is the hill in the Judaean Desert where Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:8).
At the end of our day we’ll ride back to the hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 6: Bethlehem – Nativity Church – Milk Grotto – Shepherd Fields
Following breakfast and check out at the hotel, we’ll visit the Church of the Nativity, marking the birthplace of Christ (Matt. 1: 18-25). As we enter the church, we’ll proceed down to the Grotto of the Nativity, which marks the spot of Our Savior’s birth (Matthew 2:1-18). Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star and a Latin inscription that states: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary).
We’ll continue to explore Saint Catherine’s Church where the midnight Mass beams from Bethlehem to television viewers worldwide on Christmas Eve. And descend to visit Saint Jerome’s Cave where the bible was translated to join Celebration of Eucharist (Mass).
Following lunch we’ll walk to Milk Grotto Street and admire the Church of Milk Grotto. This is where Virgin Mary was feeding baby Jesus and a drop of milk fell on the ground and turned the stones all to white.
Afterwards we’ll ride to Shepherd Fields, for Celebration of Eucharist (Mass), identified since ancient times with the shepherds who saw the Star of Nativity (Luke 2:8). In the caves of these fields, we are still able to see the soot marks of fires that shepherds lit to keep warm.
At the end of our day we’ll drive to our hotel. Here we’ll have dinner and an overnight.
Day 7: Mar Saba – Bethany - Qumran – Dead Sea
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll travel to the Judean Desert to visit the Mar Saba Monastery; it is greatest of the ancient monasteries. Mar Saba hangs dramatically down the cliff edge of a deep ravine. A thick wall and slit-like windows give Mar Saba the appearance of a fortress. These defensive features recall plunder by the Persians in 615 and attacks from Bedouins in the following centuries.
Then we’ll visit the City of Bethany; the home of siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, as well as that of Simon the Leper. And in Bethany, in the cemetery just below the village, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43).
We’ll tour the St. Lazarus Roman Catholic Church; where we’ll join Celebration of Eucharist (Mass). Parts of the original mosaic floor are still visible here. The west wall of the courtyard contains the west facade of the 6th century basilica, as well as its three doorways. About twenty-five meters uphill northwest of the church is the modern entrance to the Tomb of Lazarus.
Later, we’ll travel to the Dead Sea, where we can float in its waters. It is the lowest and saltiest spot on earth.
Afterwards we’ll continue to Qumran; it is made up of 2,000-year-old ruins from the days of the Second Temple. This is also the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and discovered (Ezekial 47:8-10).
At the end of our day we’ll drive back to our hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 8: Jerusalem – Mount of Olives – Old City – Via Dolorosa
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll venture off to the Mount of Olives and visit the Chapel of the Ascension; the earthy spot where Jesus ascended into heaven forty days after his resurrection.
We’ll continue to the Pater Noster Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 26:36-44).
Then we’ll approach an observation point that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. We’ll have the opportunity to stop at Dominus Flevit, which is a church that commemorates where Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) and Celebration of Eucharist (Mass).
Strolling down the Palm Sunday route, we’ll descend to the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives that still contains trees with roots that date back to the time of Jesus.
Beside the Garden is our next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the “Rock of Agony”. This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest (Luke 22:29-53). Throughout this time, we are invited to remain in prayer and to reflect on Christ’s agony that he experienced.
Afterwards we’ll tour Saint Ann’s Church and visit the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the crippled man (John 5:1-9).
We’ll start walking the Via Dolorosa, where we’ll reflect upon the Stations of the Cross as we travel through the markets of the old city to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Luke 23:26-33) -Celebration of Eucharist (Mass). This Sacred destination is the site of Calvary (Jesus’ crucifixion place) and, His tomb (Luke 23: 50-55).
At the end of our day we’ll have dinner and an overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Jerusalem – Mount Zion – Yad Vashem
Following breakfast at our hotel, we’ll visit Mount Zion.
Upon arrival we’ll admire the Church of the Dormition. This is the Church where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, “Fell asleep”.
We’ll continue to tour the Cenacle, also known as the “Upper Room”, where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper (Mark 14:12- 26) and continue to Saint Peter Gallicantu. A Celebration of Eucharist (Mass) will be arranged. This Church is where Jesus was examined and eventually imprisoned before the Council in Jerusalem. It also commemorates Peter’s Denial of Christ (John 18:15-18).
Then we’ll visit Yad Vashem; the memorial to the Holocaust. And continue to Knesset and Menorah
At the end of our day we’ll have dinner and an overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 10: Departure
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check-out of our hotel and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure.
End of services.