Day 1 • Tel Aviv to Nazareth
Arrive at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport in the early afternoon. Transfer to Galilee, the loveliest and most fertile region of the Holy Land. Arrive at Nazareth in the evening and walk to the Annunciation Church (time permitting). Dinner and overnight at the hotel
Day 2 • Nazareth
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we visit the Shrine of the Annunciation, the New Church, and the Church of St. Joseph, built where the Holy Family lived. We go on to Mount Precipice, with an introduction to the Gospel Trail and a panoramic walk down the mountain. In the afternoon we visit the Church of the Transfiguration at Mt. Tabor, and then stop to enjoy Cana, site of the wedding feast. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth..
Day 3 • Nazareth
After breakfast, early morning departure to the region of Lake Tiberius; bus to Mount Arbel. From Mount Arbel we can walk or bicycle the Gospel Trail. We visit Capernaum (the synagogue and Peter’s home) and Tabga (site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes). Then we ascend the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount). We reach Tiberius Lake and board a boat, gliding along the lake as we experience the Gospel reading of Jesus quieting the storm and walking on water. From Capernaum we head to Tiberius for a short city walk, and then take a bus back to Nazareth. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
Day 4 • Jerusalem
Breakfast at the hotel. We visit the Druse village of Daliat El Karmel to experience their community, rich culture and unique beliefs; we ask questions, learn their traditions, and eat together. In the afternoon we journey to Neve Shalom, a peace-based community where Muslims, Jews, and Christians live together harmoniously. We meet with them for an interfaith dialogue and a cultural exchange. In the late afternoon we stop at the Judah Desert, taking time in our daily mass to prepare for our ascent to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 5 • Jerusalem
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Jerusalem. Full day dedicated to visiting the sacred city of the three largest monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The visit includes Mount of Olives, the Garden of the Gethsemane, the Basilica of Agony, the Chapel of the Pater Noster, the chapel of the Dominus Flevit, and the Virgin’s Tomb. In the afternoon, we walk the Via Crucis along the Old City, and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which contains the tomb where Jesus was buried and rose from the dead. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 6 • Jerusalem
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Kaser El Yahud to renew our Baptismal promises, and Celebration of the Mass. We move on to St. George Monastery for an unforgettable desert walk to an ancient orthodox monastery hidden deep in Wadi Qelt. We visit the place where Jesus was tempted, and the city of Jericho. After lunch we stop at the sycamore tree and at the Franciscan Church. In the evening, after dinner, we take a nighttime walk through the exquisite Old City. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 7 • Bethlehem
After breakfast, we visit Mount Zion: the room and the Church of the Last Supper, the Church of the Dormition, the Church of St. Peter Gallicantu, and we remember the place where St. Peter denied Jesus. In the afternoon, we visit St Anne’s Church, birthplace of Mary, and the Pool of Bethesda. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 8 • Bethlehem
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we visit the Church of the Nativity, the Shepherd’s Field and the Grotto of St. Jerome. In the afternoon, we travel to Jerusalem and visit the excavation of the Temple. We enter the Davidson Center to view a documentary showing a tridimensional reconstruction of the Temple in its original size, the life of the pilgrims at the time of Jesus, and the ramparts walk. We make a stop at the haunting Western Wall, the magnificent ruins of the Temple of Herod. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 9 • Bethlehem and Departure
Breakfast and checkout from hotel. We travel through the vast Valley of the River Jordan. Stop at Qumran, where the famous manuscripts of the Essenes were found in 1947. We take a brief rest at the sparkling Dead Sea, the deepest geological depression of the earth, well over a thousand feet below sea level. Later in the afternoon we move to the desert for sunset, to celebrate Mass and eat dinner at Genesis Land, where we will enjoy the hospitality of Abraham and experience daily life as it was in Biblical times. From there we travel to the airport and board an evening flight home.