Day 1. Monday, December 3: Depart from Newark to Tel Aviv, Israel
Day 2. Tuesday, December 4: Tel Aviv – Nazareth
Upon arrival, transfer to Nazareth for check-in, dinner and overnight. (D)
Day 3. Wednesday, December 5: Nazareth – Excursion to the Sea of Galilee
This morning, take an excursion to spend the day at the Sea of Galilee. Stop in Capernaum, Our Lord’s home town, to visit the basilica built over the ruins of St. Peter’s house. Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount took place. Next, visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. Nearby, on the lake shores visit the church that commemorates the Primacy of St. Peter. Enjoy a lunch of the traditional dish “St. Peter’s fish “at a typical restaurant. Next, take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. See the remains recently discovered of a synagogue in Magdala, where Our Lord would have preached when visiting the town. Return to your hotel in Nazareth for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)
Day 4. Thursday, December 6: Cana – Haifa – Nazareth
Today, visit Cana, where Our Lord performed His first miracle at the wedding feast. Continue to Mount Carmel in Haifa, to visit the Stella Maris Monastery and church, considered the spiritual headquarters of the Carmelite order. Then travel to Nazareth and walk Mary’s road to her home and the site of the Annunciation, as well as the Church of St. Joseph, built where the carpentry workshop of St. Joseph used to be. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth. (BB, D)
Day 5. Friday, December 7: Tabor – Baptismal site – Jericho – Dead Sea – Bethlehem
This morning travel to Mt. Tabor, the site of Our Lord’s Transfiguration. Continue to Jericho to visit the ruins of what is believed to be the oldest city in the world. From a distance, have a view of the Mount of Temptation. Travel south along the shores of the Dead Sea where you may wade if desired. On your way to Bethlehem, stop for views of the Judean Desert and St. George Monastery. Reach Bethlehem in time for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 6. Saturday, December 8: Bethlehem – Shepherds’ field – Ein Karem – Bethlehem
This morning, travel to Ein Karem to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. Afterwards, continue to visit the Shepherds’ Field, where angels appeared on the first Christmas night announcing the tidings of great joy of the newborn Savior. In Bethlehem, visit the Church of the Nativity, marking the site of Our Lord’s birth. Next to it, visit St. Catherine’s Church and the grottoes of the Holy Innocents, St. Joseph, and St. Jerome, where he wrote the Vulgate. Overnight in Bethlehem (BB, D)
Day 7. Sunday, December 9: Mount of Olives – Mount Zion – Jerusalem
Start the day with a panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and walk along the Palm Sunday road. Visit the Church of the Pater Noster built on the site where Jesus taught His apostles the Lord’s Prayer. Next, visit the Dominus Flevit Chapel, situated on the rock where Jesus wept over the fate of Jerusalem. Nearby, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the site of Judas’ betrayal as well as Jesus’ agony where He wept and prayed. Next, drive to Mount Zion to visit the Church of the Dormition, commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption. Close by, visit the Hall where the Last Supper took place. Afterwards continue to Caiaphas’ Palace, where St. Peter denied Our Lord. Remain in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Monday, December 10: Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulcher – Jewish Quarter – Wailing Wall – Old City – Jerusalem
Begin with a morning walk and prayer along the Via Dolorosa, the way of Our Lord as He carried His cross to His Crucifixion. End the walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site of Jesus’ Crucifixion, burial, and Resurrection. Continue for a walk through the Jewish Quarter. Visit the Wailing Wall of the Temple, the holiest site of the Jewish people. Afterwards, spend some free time in the old city. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions. Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the USA. (BB, FD)
Day 9. Tuesday, December 11: Fly from Tel Aviv to the US
Early arrival at Newark airport to connect to your destination flight.
(BB) Buffet Breakfast; (L) Lunch; (D) Buffet Dinner; (FD) Farewell Dinner
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.