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SUGGESTED 10 DAY HOLY LAND ITINERARY(Catholic Orientation)
Departing from and returning to the United States 10 days (7 nights) or 8 nights, depending on exact airline schedule.
10 day (7 nights in Israel) itinerary. Also available also with Protestant, Jewish or General Orientation
Depart USA to Tel Aviv
Arrival in the Holy Land
Where you will be met by a representative to assist you through customs and provide transfer to your hotel on the Mediterranean Coast at Tel Aviv or Netanya or directly to the Galilee. (Tiberias or Nazareth ).
Caesarea / Carmel ( Stella Maris ) / Mt. Tabor / Nazereth / Cana / Tiberias
We proceed to Caesarea, built by Herod the Great to honor Augustus Caesar, and the place where Paul was imprisoned, and then left on his missionary journeys. We will visit a beautiful example of a Roman Amphitheater built at time of Christ. We will continue to Haifa and the Carmelite Church of Stella Maris where Elijah hid away in a cave. We will journey through the Jezreel Valley to ascend Mt.Tabor, the Mount of transfiguration. On to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation where the angel appeared to Mary, and Jesus spent his formative years. We will continue to Cana of Galilee where Jesus preformed his first miracle at the wedding feast. We will celebrate Mass today either on Mt. Tabor at the Church of Transfiguration or in Nazareth at the Church of the Annunciation.
From here the road winds down to Tiberias, we will overnight along the beautiful shores of the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias or in Holy Nazareth itself ending with dinner.
Capernaum / Tabgha / Beatitudes / Golan Heights / Tiberias
Today we will visit Capernaum where Jesus started his Ministry. Continue to Tabgha where the feeding of the 5,000 and the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish took place. On to Peter in the Primacy where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. We will celebrate Mass today either at the Mt of Beatitudes or Peter at the Primacy). We will have lunch by the Sea of Galilee. After lunch we continue to the Golan Heights where we will hear explanations of the strategic and political significance of this area. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Boat Ride / Beit Shean / Jordan Valley / Authentic Baptism Site / Jericho / Wadi Kelt (Valley of the Shadow) / Lazarus Tomb /Jerusalem
Today we will enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to the Kibbutz Nof Ginosar to visit the “Jesus Boat”. Have a short tour of the Kibbutz exploring this exciting way of life so similar to that of the early Christians. After passing by the Jordan River we continue to Beit Shean – one of the earliest and most important cities in Israel from the time of the Canaanites. It was here that the Philistines impaled King Saul’s body to the city wall. We continue through the Jordan Valley and visit authentic site of Jesus’ Baptism by John. Continue to Jericho visiting the first city conquered by Joshua in the Promised Land. We view the Mount of Temptation and continue to via the old Roman road through the Judean Desert, passing the Monastery of St. George and pausing at “the Valley of the Shadow“ (Wadi Kelt) for a few moments of personal prayer, then proceed to Jerusalem via Inn of the Good Samaritan, and the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. Overnight in Jerusalem. Mass today as per choice.
Mount of Olives / Gethsemane / Mary’s Tomb / Western Wall / Via Dolorosa /Church of Holy Sephulchre
Ascend the Mt. of Olives for a breathtaking view of the city across the Kidron Valley to the Eastern Gate.Visit the Chapel of Ascension, Pater Nostre “ Our Father” Church and descend on the Palm Sunday route, stopping at Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem; we visit the Gardenof Gethsemane and celebrate Mass at the church of All Nations crowning the Rock of Agony. Visit Mary’s Tomb. Enter the Old City of Jerusalem to visit the Western Wall – a sacred site for the Jewish people. View Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. We then continue through picturesque alleyways of the Old City visiting the Station of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa. Visit the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed a paralytic, the remains of the Antonia Fortress – the Preatorium – site of the public trial of Jesus, and concluding our day at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus. Overnight in Jerusalem. Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher).
Free Day in Jerusalem with possibility of Optional Tour
New Jerusalem / Philistine Country / Gat / Lanchish / Ashkelon / Beer Sheva – or fly to Eilat
This morning we visit the scale model of ancient Jerusalem at the Israel Museum and also see the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. From Jerusalem into Philistine country by way of the Cave of Absalom in the Shfelah (Low Lands), Beit Shemesh, where David received the Ark back from the Philistines, and Kibbutz Tzora where Samson was born. Into the valley of Elah(- David and Goliath ) and Via the Rehaboam Frotress of Maresha. Then to Lachish district, through the City of Gat and on to Ashkelon on the Mediterranean Sea, regained by Remnant of Judah. Continue to Beer Sheva, the Abrahamic capital of the Negev with its well and resting – place of Isaac and Jacob. Return to Jerusalem for overnight. OR Optional one day fun tour of Eilat ( one hour by plane ) including Underwater Observatory and Yacht Cruise with swimming and snorkelling in the Red Sea.
Dead Sea / Massada / Ein Gedi / Qumran
An exciting morning descending to the Plain of Jericho and Arava. Viewing St Jermon’s Monastery, Beth Arava and Mt Nebo. Then onto the Dead Sea, lowest spot on earth and Qumran, center of the Essenes. Visit the antiquities and caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Continue south to Ein Fashcha, viewing across the saltiest sea in the world the fortress where John the Baptist was beheaded. Via an ancient ferry boat station and the desert where ibex roam at Ein Gedi, David’s hideout from Saul, and on to the mighty fortress Massada, last stronghold and stand of the zealots against Rome, on the edge of the barren Negev Desert. Mazada is a symbol of courage and perseverance for the Jewish people, where 960 Jewish defenders organized their last resistance to the Roman conquerors and took their own lives rather than surrender into slavery. Return to Jerusalem via the desert oasis of Ein Gedi. Those who wish to do so may swim (float) in the salty waters of the Dead Sea before we return to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Bethlehem / Mt Zion / Upper Room / Dormition Abbey / House Of Caiaphas / Yad V’shem /Ein Kerem
An easy day, starting a little later this morning. We will start this morning with a visit to Bethlehem, passing Rachel’s Tomb and visiting the Shepherd Fields. We will celebrate Mass at the Church of Nativity. We will then, return to Jerusalem to visit Mount Zion, the Upper Room and The Tomb of King David, the Dormition Abbey – site of Mary’s deep slumber – and the House Of Caiaphas at St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied recognizing Jesus. We will then visit Yad V’shem, the memorial to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. We continue to Ein Kerem, birthplace of John the Baptist and the church of the Visitation where Mary recited the magnificat. Continue to the restaurant for our wonderful Farewell Dinner, before leaving for the airport where we board our midnight flight home.
Arrival in USA early this morning.
On certain days we have made suggestions for the celebration of Mass, and on other days have left this to the discretion of the accompanying priest. However our suggestions are also just that, and by no means obligatory.
We do however, need a complete list of daily Mass celebration from the group at least 4 weeks before arrival so as to enable to book the time and location desired.
We request flexibility and understanding – sometimes we are unable to obtain the exact times and locations required.
Lists are accepted by Father Anthony only from the 1st of each month for that same month, so we are also unfortunately unable to book well ahead of time.