Take a Trip to Israel
We arrive in Tel Aviv, where we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to our motorcoach for our drive to the Galilee. Dinner and overnight are in Tiberias. There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise in the Galilee from our hotel. We begin our sightseeing at the Mt. of Beatitudes, with time for reflection. Then, we celebrate the Eucharist at the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. From here, we stop at Heptapegon and make our way to Capernaum. We then board our replica wooden Jesus Boat for our Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee. After lunch, we see Gadara and then make our way to the River Jordan, where we will have a service of Affirmation of Baptism. We conclude today’s journey with a stop in Magdala to visit the Chapel. Time permitting, we will visit Chorazim. Then, we will have a time for learning about the kibbutz and meet with residents of the kibbutz. We will have dinner and overnight in Tiberias area. After the Eucharist and breakfast at our hotel, we travel north for the Golan Heights and view the area from a special lookout. From here, we continue our drive to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his Confession. Afterwards, we have a short hike or walk to Tel Dan where we will see the gate of Jeroboam. From here, we will include a visit to Gideon Springs. Then, we end our day’s sightseeing with a visit to Tel Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. We return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Stopping in Ein Gedi
Today, we depart the Galilee for Jerusalem, visiting the following biblical sites: Cana, Zippori, Nazareth where we will celebrate the Eucharist where the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would bear the Christ child, and Mt. Carmel. Time permitting, we’ll stop at the Druze Village for our lunch break (not included). Afterwards, we continue to Tel Megiddo and onto Caesarea Maritima. We end our day with our drive to Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. After the Eucharist and breakfast, we begin our day traveling south for the wilderness, towards the Dead Sea Region. We will make our first stop at Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. From here, we make our way to Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop and visit Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here, we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. Time permitting, we will make a special stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim/float. Afterwards, we make our way up to Jerusalem. The road from the Dead Sea area to Jerusalem is an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Jerusalem.
Exploring the Church of Agony
We begin this special day with a short drive to the Bethlehem where we will visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field, where we will celebrate the Eucharist. We will make a special visit to the YMCA to see one of the caves that may have appeared during the time of Jesus. We depart Bethlehem and drive to Ein Karem, known as the birthplace of John the Baptist and the place where the Virgin Mary visited Elizabeth, to see the Church of the Visitation. Then, we visit Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Jerusalem. We begin our explorations with a drive to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. We’ll continue to Bethany for a short visit, and then our pilgrimage will proceed down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove. We will celebrate the Eucharist here and then visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We will enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Sister of Zion Convent, Ecco Homo Arch and the ancient Cardo. As time allows, we end the day with visits to the traditional site of the Upper Room and St. Peter Gallicantu. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Jerusalem. After the Eucharist and breakfast, we begin our day’s sightseeing at the Old City to walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Afterwards, we have a short drive to Church of Hagia Maria Sion. Afterwards, we will have a visit to Yad Vashem and the model city of Jerusalem. Then, we have our Farewell Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.