THE HOLY LAND (8 DAYS, CATHOLIC)
With optional extensions to Rome.
Day 1: Departure from USA.
Overnight flight including dinner, breakfast and in-flight entertainment.
Day 2:Tel Aviv / Tiberias.
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.
Day 3: Capernaum/ Tabgha / Mt. of Beatitudes / Magdala / Mt. Tabor
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.
Day 4: Jordan River / Nazareth / Cana / Caesarea / Jerusalem.
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.
Day 5: Jerusalem / Bethlehem.
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.
Day 6: Qumran / Dead Sea/ Masada/ 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
Day 7: 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).
Day 8:Flight back home.
Arrival on same day.Welcome back. You have just returned from a lifetime experience.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO ROME
Day 8:Flight to Rome.
After breakfast we board our flight to RomeUpon 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.
Day 10: Participate in the Papal Audience (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.
Day 11: Flight back home.
Arrival on same day Welcome home! You have just returned from a dream pilgrimage.
THIS PROGRAM MAY BE ALTERED TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR GROUP
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