THE HOLY LAND (8 DAYS, CATHOLIC)
With optional extensions to Rome, Greece, and Istanbul (Turkey)
(Which means you can either do just the 8 day program, or add to it Rome or Greece or Istanbul. If in doubt - we are just an email or call away).
Overnight flight including dinner, breakfast and in-flight entertainment.
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. We are met, assisted and escorted to the Galilee by aviatours staff. If arrival time permits - we begin our tour on the way to the hotel.
After breakfast, we descend and take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. In the middle of the sea we shut the engines and read the moving scriptures: Matthew 14:26-27. We reach Capernaum (Luke 4:31) to visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and the Byzantine chapel at the site of Peter's House. We then continue to Tabgha (Matt 14:17, 19), the site of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish, Mount of Beatitudes (Matt 5-7) and Magdala - home of Mary Magdalene. We will ascend to Mt.Tabor– the site of the transfiguration of Jesus (Matt. 17:1-8). Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
We begin the day at theBaptismal site of the Jordan River where you may renew your Baptismal vow. Continue to Cana (John 21:2) where the first miracle of Jesus took place, and then to Nazareth(Matt 2:23) to visit the place where he lived as a young boy and visit a typical house of his time. Drive to Caesarea(Acts 10:1ff),the port-city built by King Herod. Apostle Paul was put in prison here until he was expelled to Rome. We will continue to Jerusalem to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
This morning, we spend time getting to know this glorious ancient city: a short drive brings us to Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3) with a panoramic view of both the "old" and "new" Jerusalem. We follow the path down the Palm Sunday road to the Gardenof Gethsemane (Matt 26:36) and the nearby Church of All Nations. We then take a short drive through the Kidron Valley to reach Absalom and Zachariah's Tomb. Continue to MountZion (King David's tomb) and the Upper Room (John 13:1ff), site of the Last Supper. Nearby is the house of Caiaphas. Afternoon travel to the "little town of Bethlehem (Matt 2:1ff) and its' Church of the Nativity and Milk Grotto. Our day ends with dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
We drive south to the Dead Sea through Qumran, to visit the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We’ll then continue to Masada, the palace-fort built by King Herod. Here, in 73 A.D., 960 Jewish zealots committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans. The plateau is reached via a cable car ride with a spectacular view of the plains surrounding it. We’ll also dip in the Dead Sea – rich with minerals, God’s gift to your skin. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem
After breakfast we visit the modern city of Jerusalem, the famous Menorah near the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), the Yad Va Shem Museum (the Holocaust Museum). We will visit the Wailing Wall (the Western Wall) - the last remains of the Temple built by King Herod- the Rabbi’s Tunnel exposes to you the unique size of the Wailing Wall. We then walk along the Via Dolorosa “The Way of the Cross” with its 14 stations, ending in the Church of The Holy Sepulcher (Matthew 27:11-31). Our day ends with a farewell dinner and overnight in our hotel in Jerusalem. (If your flight departs at midnight, you will be transferred to the airport after dinner).
Arrival on same day.Welcome back. You have just returned from a lifetime experience.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO ROME
After breakfast we board our short flight to Rome Upon arrival, we are met by our tour escort. Today you will experience the glory of Christian Rome when you visit the Vatican, home to one of the greatest museums in the world. You’ll enter St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll view Michelangelo’s frescoes which have been restored to their full, colorful glory. Dinner and overnight.
Today you’ll explore the many wonders of ancient Rome when you visit the magnificent Coliseum. From the most sacred hill ofancientRome. You’ll view the Forum, the Circus Maximus, the Arch of Titus, the famous Baths of Caracalla and the Arch of Constantine. We will also visit the Catacombs – the tombs of the first Christians. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
(Wednesdays only).Afternoon visits toRome's most beautiful sights; the Spanish Steps on to the Piazza de Popolo and visit its churches and many shops. Visit the oldest church in Rome, the Pantheon and toss a coin in the Romantic Fontanadi Trevi. Stroll through the Piazza Navona and see its beautiful fountains and open-air market. Dinner and overnight.
Arrival on same day Welcome home! You have just returned from a dream pilgrimage
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO GREECE
Upon arrival to Athens we are met by our aviatours tour escort and transferred to our hotel. We start our exploration of the cradle of democracy with a visit to the Acropolis, the Agora and the Pnyx. We will see the Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential PalaceThe balance of the day at leisure for independent exploration. Dinner and overnight in our Athens hotel.
Continue our tour to Corinth. Apostle Paul lived here for eighteen months. He found a city of poor moral values and rejection but Corinth eventually accepted Christianity (Acts 18:1-17). We visit the Bema from which he preached to the Corinthians the Word of God. We also visit the Archeological Museum, the market, and the Temples. Return to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Enjoy a full-day cruise to the islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra (including a buffet lunch).
We will depart Athens for our flight back home. Arrival on same day. You have just returned from a lifetime experience.
GREECE WITH 3 DAY CRUISE + ISRAEL
Overnight flight including dinner, breakfast and in-flight entertainment.
Arrival. Meet and assist by aviatours local representatives. Transfer to our hotel. Free time until dinner.
We will board our cruise ship for 3 unforgettable days. We will make our first stop in Mykonos. You can off board the ship and purchase coffee or visit the local stores. We will continue on our cruise, on viewing the most beautiful islands of the Greek island.
Arrival to Kusadasi (Turkey). Departure to Ephesus, the most antique city and conservative of Asia Menor that during the century of I and II had a population of 250.000 habitants (Acts 19:1-41). This city monopolizes the richest of the Middle Orient. The apostle St. Paul visited Ephesus in 55- 58 AD and his ministries included preaching’s, conversions and baptism. He was also arrested here. Maria, the mother of Jesus resided in Ephesus after his crucifixion. During this excursion we will visit the temple of Adrian, the Roman Baths, the library, the Odeon and the theater. We will visit the house of Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John. We will then go to Patmos. This is where he wrote the book of revelations. (Rev 1:9-11). We will off board our ship for some free time on the island or participate in an optional excursion to St. John Monastery and the cave where he lived. Saturday, worship.
Our next port of call will be Crete where St. Paul appointed Titus as his helper and advised him to establish congregations in "every town" (Titus 1:5). In Santorini you will have an option to ride on a donkey or an elevator and see the from above one of the most beautiful islands. Return to the ship.
We visit Athens the cradle of civilization. Here we visit the Acropolis, the Agora and the Pnyx where democracy was born. We will see the Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential Palace.After we visit Corinth. Apostle Paul lived here for eighteen months. He found a city of poor moral values and rejection but Corinth eventually accepted Christianity (Acts 18:1-17). We visit the Bema from which he preached to the Corinthians the Word of God. We will board or flight to Israel. Overnight in Tel-Aviv.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO ISTANBUL, TURKEY
After breakfast we will board a short flight to Istanbul. Arrival to Istanbul airport where we are met and greeted by our aviatours staff. We will visit theSt. Sophia (which for 1000 years was the largest Church in Christendom and now a museum), the Blue Mosque (so-named from its decorative blue-shaded tiles, glass and gemstones). Transfer to our Istanbul hotel for check-in, dinner and overnight rest.
After breakfast, Istanbul awaits. Also known as Byzantium and Constantinople, the city reflects two cultures: at one time, it was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and a site of Christianity. Seven Ecumenical councils were held in Turkey between the 3rd – 8th centuries, three of them in Istanbul. At another time it was the stronghold of the Ottoman Empire, embracing Islamic ideals. Our day of sightseeing will include visits to the famed TopkapiPalace, the Church of St. Savior in Chora and the Aqueducts of Valens. We will have a cruise aboard the Bosphorus cruise. Our day ends in the famous Bazaar where you can shop until you drop… Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul
Arrival on same day.
THIS PROGRAM MAY BE ALTERED TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR GROUP.
For more information about this program and prices email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us during our office hours (weekdays 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST) at (800) 950-0747