This is a sample itinerary. Subject to change.
Day 1 – Leave Wednesday
We begin our journey as we depart for our overnight flight to Israel. Shalom!
Day 2 – Thursday
Welcome to Israel! We are greeted at the airport by our guide then board the bus that will take us to our hotel in Netanya on the shore of the Mediterranean for dinner and a much-needed night’s sleep!
Day 3 – Friday
We begin the day at the ancient Roman seaport of Caesarea, where Paul was imprisoned before going to Rome. We ascend Mt. Carmel, where Elijah fought with the prophets of Ba’al, overlooking the Valley of Armageddon. From there we will go to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, to see the Church of the Annunciation, and Mary and Joseph’s house. We will celebrate a beautiful Mass at the Church of the Annunciation.
We continue to Tiberius on the shores of Galilee where we check into our hotel that will be home for the next few days.
Day 4 – Saturday
Today we ride north to Caesarea Philippi where Peter declared Jesus was the Christ. We return to the Galilee and see the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave His most famous sermon, afterwards, visiting Capernaum where we will see the remnants of St. Peter’s home and the city that become the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry. We will enjoy a lunch of St. Peter’s fish, and then it’s on to Mensa Peter (John 21), where Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” and where Peter was restored. Stop at the Chapel of the Loaves and Fish. Then we are continuing to the fantastic and newly excavated town of Magdala, where Mary the Magdalene was from, and will view remains of the synagogue where Jesus most definitely preached.
Day 5 – Sunday
Right after breakfast we head out to see the Jesus boat and to sail on the Sea of Galilee with our Messianic (Jewish believer) boat captain, Daniel Carmel – putting our hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters, and from there we will view the land of Galilee where Jesus lived and preached. We depart for Cana to renew our wedding vows and to enjoy some local shopping. Our next stop is Mount Tabor, where Jesus was transfigured before His beloved disciples, and where we will have Mass. On our way back to the Galilee, we stop at Yardenit, on the Jordan River, for a rededication of our Baptism (always a high-light).
Day 6 – Monday
We say farewell to the Galilee region and begin our journey south, stopping in the ancient city of Beit Shean, where King Saul and his sons died, to view the Roman ruins and stretch our legs before continuing along the Jordan River, and the border of the friendly nation of Jordan. We arrive in Jericho, the lowest city on earth, and the oldest continually inhabited one, where the walls of ancient Jericho fell before Joshua, and where Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore tree to see Jesus, and where we will view the Mount of Temptation. We continue to Wadi Qelt, and experience the wilderness, and the amazing view of St. George’s Monastery. Next, Jerusalem! The City of the Great King, where our first stop will be at the scenic view for a traditional Pilgrim’s Blessing. Check in at our Jerusalem hotel where we will be staying for the rest of the trip. Mass at Notre Dame.
Day 7 – Tuesday
Today we ascend the Mount of Olives to marvel at the spectacular view of the Holy City of Jerusalem. We will walk to the Chapel of the Lord’s prayer, and to the chapel of the Ascension where Jesus ascended into Heaven. We will descend from the Mount of Olives on foot, following the “Hosanna” trail, continuing to the Church of Dominus Flevit, also known as Tear Drop Church, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We go down the hill to the beautiful Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane for a time of prayer where Jesus endured his agony and was arrested. From here we cross the Kidron Valley and continue to Mt. Zion, just outside the City walls, to St Peter en Gallicantu, the home of the High Priest where Jesus was imprisoned, and where Peter denied the Lord. We walk to the Upper Room where Jesus had the Last Supper and where the Holy Spirit descended! Time permitting, Visit Dormition Abbey, remembering the “sleep” of St. Mary.
Dinner and another wonderful evening in Jerusalem.
Day 8 – Wednesday
We begin the day on the Temple Mount and see the place Abraham would have sacrificed Isaac, where Jesus ministered, and where the ancient Jewish temples stood. We continue our walking tour to the Pool of Bethesda, St Anne’s Church (the birthplace of Mary) and then the Chapel of Flagellation, and the Ecce Homo. We’ll enjoy lunch in the Old City and then have some time to shop and explore before going to the Pilgrim’s Way and King David Park.
Day 9 – Thursday
Today we depart early and descend from Jerusalem to the Judean Desert toward the Dead Sea, going by the Inn of the Good Samaritan, and stopping at the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Then it’s on to Masada, where Harod built his magnificent fortress and where the Jewish Zealots took their last stand during the time of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. We drive to a resort on the Dead Sea to dip in the waters, and then visit Ein Bokek, where David and his men lived during the war with King Saul.
Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Friday
We will rise early today for a sunrise walk down the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus took to the cross, for the Stations of the Cross and have an early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where both Calvary and the empty tomb are located. Afterward, we will return to the hotel for breakfast.
We will then continue our day by crossing into the West Bank into Bethlehem, where God became flesh. We will visit Shepherds Field, and the Church of the Nativity and the Chapel of St. Jerome, and enjoy the local shopping before returning to Jerusalem. Mass at the Holy Sepulcher.
Day 11 – Saturday
We start the day at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, and the Israel Museum to view the panorama of Jerusalem. Then visit in the Jewish quarter of the Old City, see the ancient Roman cardo, visit the Wohl Archaeological Museum (time permitting), The Southern steps and the famous Western Wall, part of the retaining wall of Solomon’s Temple, where you may wish to write your prayers on a slip of paper to insert into the stones. Drive to Ein Kerem, the home of Elizabeth, where Mary came to stay. From here we go to our farewell dinner and head to the airport for our overnight flight to the US. Mass at Ein Kerem.
Day 12 – Sunday
We arrive home with full hearts and memories to last a lifetime!