Day 1: Arrive to Israel
Arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. Our representative will meet the group and walk you through customs. We’ll then drive you to the hotel in Tiberias, visiting Lydda and the Church of St. George on the way. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tiberias.
Day 2: Mt. Tabor, Cana, Nazareth, Baptism in Jordan River
We will drive to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. From Mount Tabor we will drive to Cana and the Greek Orthodox Church where our Lord preformed his first public miracle at the marriage feast. We continue to Nazareth to the Church of the Annunciation, where we will see the Virgin Mary’s well, the place where the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin that she would give birth to our Lord Jesus Christ. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day 3: Sea of Galilee
This day will be dedicated to the Sea of Galilee. We will sail on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, and visit St. Peter’s House and the Synagogue, the center of the Lord’s ministry. Drive on to the Church of Multiplication where the Lord performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. We’ll continue on to Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer was said for the first time. Proceed to the church of the Holy Apostles. Lunch in Tiberias. Overnight in Dead Sea.
Day 4: Eilat
We’ll drive to the southern most part Israel and reach the blue waters of the Red Sea and the city of Eilat. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy some R&R on the beach, by the pool, or in the outside promenade. Overnight in Eilat.
Day 5: St. Katherine’s Monastery
Early in the morning drive from Eilat through the Arava valley to the city of Eilat and cross the border to Taba in Egypt. Arrive at St. Katherine’s Monastery for vespers and venerate the Holy Relics of St. Katherine. Visit the monastery’s famous collection of icons and their library. Dinner and overnight stay at St. Catherine Plaza Hotel. At about 1:00 AM you will have the option to climb the holy mountain of Moses by foot or on a camel where a cameleer will guide you to watch the sunrise or to the monastery for the early morning liturgy.
Day 6: The Negev
We’ll make our way north to Jerusalem via the Negev. According to the Book of Genesis (Chapter 20), Abraham lived for a while in the Negev near Kadesh after being banished from Egypt. Hagar and Ishmael were exiled out into the Negev by Sarah (Genesis 21:14). Both Isaac and Jacob lived for some time in the Negev (Genesis 24:62, 37:1) David included the Negev in his kingdom, and when Solomon succeeded his father, he established fortresses in the area. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Bethlehem – Jerusalem
We will start the day by visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the site where Jesus was born and continue to Shepherd’s Fields and visit the monasteries of St. Saba, St. Theodosius and St. Elias. In the afternoon we will tour Jerusalem, visit the monastery St. Symeon, and visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross, where according to tradition the tree of the Holy Cross was planted. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Jerusalem
We will start the day with a breath taking panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Visit the Chapel of the Ascension. From the Church of Pater Noster (Our Father) walk the Gardens of Gethsemane and visit the Church of All Nations, where Jesus is said to have prayed the night of his arrest. Visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary, and St. Stephan’s Church. Continue to St. Anne’s Church, the birthplace of the Theotokos. Visit the Pool of Bethesda, the Prison of Christ, the Praetorium, the fortress of Antonia, the Lithostrotos, the “Ecce Homo” Arch (Idou o anthropos – Behold the Man). We will walk the Via Dolorosa -”Way of the Cross”- to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Nao tis Anastaseos) which contains Golgotha, the site of Crucifixion, and the holy Tomb of Christ. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. Attend midnight Liturgy at the Holy Sepulcher.
Day 9: Jericho, Mount of Temptation, Bethany
Visit Jericho and visit the Monastery of St. George Hozevitis and the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted for 40 days. Our tour will continue to Jericho, Elisha’s Fountain and Zaccheus’ Tree. Visit St. Gerasimos Monastery where St Mary of Egypt and other saints have walked on its grounds and where the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus stayed there upon returning from Egypt. Lunch in Jericho. In Bethany we will visit the Monastery of Martha and Mary on our way to Jerusalem. Stay at hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 10: Jerusalem
On this day we will visit the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and have a private audience with the Patriarch His Beatitude Theophilos III (subject to confirmation) On Mount Zion we will visit the Tomb of King David, and the room of the Last Supper, the site that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and the place where God sent the Holy Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost. We will visit the house of St John the Theologian and visit the site where the Theotokos is said to have fallen asleep. On this day we will have the opportunity to shop at the Old City markets. Depending on our schedule we will try to visit Jacob’s Well in Samaria during our tour.
Day 11: Flight back to the U.S.
Transfer to the airport and fly back to the United States.
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