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Christmas in Bethlehem
This Catholic-focused itinerary is ideal for a family, parish or bible study group seeking to organize a 15+ person group pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Should you wish you will attend mass at important Holy Land churches, have your marriage vow renewals in Cana and be baptised again in the Jordan.
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Met by our tour representative and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 2. Tel Aviv / Caesarea / Galilee
After breakfast drive North to Caesarea Maritima. Visit the Roman Theater, Herod's Palace, the Palace of the Roman Procurator (Apostles 23: 23 and Apostles 26: 23 - Paul; Apostles 10: 20-48 - Peter and Cornelius), the Amphitheater, the Crusaders' City and Harbor. Proceed to Nazareth, visiting the Church of Annunciation (Luke 26: 28) and Mary's Well (in the Greek Orthodox Church).
Drive on to Cana in the Galilee, site of the First Miracle (John 2: 1-11 and John 4: 46-54).
Proceed to Tiberias. Overnight.
Day 3. Galilee
After breakfast take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14: 22-23). The ride will end at Ginnosar, where we shall visit the Ancient Boat from the time of Jesus that was found nearby. Drive to the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 7) where we shall visit the heptagonal church that was built by the Italian architect Berluzzi.
Proceed to Tabgha, where we shall visit the Church of the Loaves and the Fish (Matthew 14: 14-34) and the Church of Mensa Christi, where Jesus elected Peter as His Representative on Earth (John 21).
Driving along the North shores of the Sea of Galilee we shall reach Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived in the house of Peter performing from there his miracles and healings (Matthew 4: 13, Matthew 8: 14-15).
Return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 4. Mount Tabor / Megiddo / Jaffa / Jerusalem
After breakfast drive to Mount Tabor, the site of Transfiguration, visiting the Catholic Church (Matthew 17: 1-8). From the rooftop of the church we can enjoy a beautiful view of the Lower Galilee and the Plain of Jezreel.
Through the town of Afula, drive to Megiddo, named also Armageddon - the place where the last battle of mankind is due to take place (the Apocalypse of St. John) - where we shall visit the Museum and this 5,000 year old city with the Gates from the times of King Solomon, the old Canaanite temples and the water tunnel from the time of King Ahab.
Through Wadi Ara, the ancient road (Via Maris) that connected the old Egypt to Mesopotamia, we shall reach Tel Aviv where we shall visit ancient Yope (Jaffa): here was the house of Simon the Tanner (Apostles 10: 9-16) and the place of the Miracle of the resurrection of Tabita (Apostles 9: 36-43).
After the visits, proceed through the Hills of Judea to Jerusalem. Overnight.
Day 5. Jerusalem - the Old City
After breakfast ascend the Mount of Olives to visit the Chapel of the Ascension (Luke 24: 50-53), the Church of the Pater Noster (Luke 11: 1-4) and have a wonderful panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount.
Walking down the Mount of Olives, we shall reach the Church of Dominus Flevit (Luke 19: 41-44) for the visit and proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26: 36-58), to see the old olive trees and visit the Basilica of the Agony.
Through the Lion's Gate we shall walk into the Old City to visit the Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda (John 5: 1-15). Proceed through the Via Dolorosa walking along the Stations of the Cross from the remains of the Antonia to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After the visits, walk through the colorful bazaar and return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 6. Jerusalem - the New City / Bethlehem *
After breakfast drive to Mount Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle) and the Tomb of King David. Walking through the Jewish Quarter, reach the Wailing Wall - the holiest place for the Jews - and the Dung Gate, to drive through the New City of Jerusalem to Ein Kerem to visit the Church of St. John (Luke 1: 1-25). Drive to Yad Vashem, the Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Proceed to Bethlehem * to visit the Church of the Nativity (Luke 2: 1-7) and Shepherd's Field (Luke 2: 8-20).
Return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 7. Massada / Dead Sea
After breakfast drive via the Good Samaritan Inn (Luke 8: 25-37) to the mountain fortress of Massada, stronghold of the Jews in the war against the Romans. Ascend to the fortress by cable car to visit the palaces of Herod the Great with its Roman baths and pools. Descend for a possible "dip" and "float" in the salty water of the Dead Sea, the worlds lowest place. On the way back to Jerusalem, stop in Qumran - the city of the Essens - where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in a cave by a shepherd. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure flight.
* visit subject to availability.
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