Special Holy Land – Pilgrimage tour of Israel with an extension to visit Petra / Jordan
We shall meet and assist you at Ben Gurion Airport, and then we will transfer to Tel Aviv, if arrival time permits, we will drive to the Old City of Jaffa, one of the ancient gateways to the Holy Land: Through its port the Cedar trees for Salomon’s Temple were brought, the prophet Jonas tried to flee God, but most important: It was in Jaffa where Christianity began to be spread among the nations. Here St. Peter lived in the house of Simon the Tanner and had the “Vision of the Flesh”, and here he made his first miracle by healing the little girl. Today Jaffa‘s renovated alley-ways attract many artists, who have their galleries there, dinner & overnight in Tiberias / Nazareth
We start our pilgrimage in the city of Nazareth, where our Lord Jesus Christ spent most of his life. It was also here where the Angel Gabriel announced the Birth of Emmanuel the Messiah. We will visit the great Basilica of the Annunciation, built according to the most modern ideas of the Vatican on the remnants of St. Mary’s home. We shall also visit the St. Joseph’s Church, and the Church of the Synagogue, built on the place where Jesus was rejected in his own town. We continue on the footsteps of the Lord to the Village of Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performed his first miracle, by turning water into wine at a wedding. The church of Cana is a good place for the married among you to strengthen their bonds of marriage with their spouses. We drive through the hills of Galilee to the majestic Mt. Tabor, to visit the special church built by the Italian architect Berlucci to commemorate the miracle of the Transfiguration. Overnight Tiberias/Nazareth.
Today we visit the places where Jesus acted around the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, with Peters House and the famous Synagogue, enjoy the view from Mt. of the Beatitudes, where the “Sermon on the Mount” was given, and the reconstructed church at Tabgha, where tradition puts the miracle of the Bread and The Fish. At the “Church of Primacy” we will see the Rock identified as “Mensa Christi”, where Jesus sat and ate fish with the disciples after his resurrection. We will also sail on the Sea of Galilee in a boat similar to the boat used by Jesus and his disciples. Then we continue to Caesarea Philippi (Banias) – a well preserved Roman city on one of the sources of the holy Jordan River. It was here that Jesus made Simon into “Petrus” – the rock on which the Lords Church shall be built, and also gave him the keys to Heavens. Before returning to our hotel we will visit Yardenit, the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River, where you can renew you’re baptismal, or take with you holy water from the Jordan River for Baptism at home. Overnight Tiberias / Nazareth
We leave the Galilee, and visit Megiddo, the famous Armaggedon of the Revelations. Here we can still see the excavation of the cities built here by King Salomon and later on King Ahab from the Old Testament. We continue to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah fought the Prophets of the Baal, and visit the Carmelite Stella Marris Convent, were Elijah hid in a cave and saw how God gave rain at will, by a cloud approaching the Carmel. The view from this spot is indeed enormous, and you can see from here wide over the Haifa Bay and sometimes into Lebanon. We drive to Caesarea Maritima, the magnificent port-city built by King Herod the Great. From here St. Peter went to Rome and started with his first miracles. In Caesarea, an inscription of the procurator Pontius Pilate was found. In the afternoon we start our ascent to the Holy City, Jerusalem! Over-night in Bethlehem
We start visiting Bethlehem, where we first visit the ancient Church of the Nativity, where we can really touch the very place where Jesus was born. Built by St. Helena already in the 4th century, it has been an active church and never destroyed ever since! Here St. Heronymus wrote the first Latin translation of the Bible – the “Volgata”. We shall also visit the “Milk Grotto” and the “Shepherds Fields”. Continue to Jerusalem, we start with an introduction to the city from the top of The Mount of Olives, and then walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. We also visit the “Wailing Wall”, the last remnants of the Temple in Jerusalem. If the current situation allows it, we will try to visit the Temple Mount as well. We shall follow the footsteps of Jesus along the Stations of the Via Dolorosa, Jesus’ “Way of Suffering”, and unto the Church of the Holy Sepulcure, where Jesus was crucified and buried. The Via Dolorosa also passes through the Old City’s oriental “Suq” (Bazaar). At the end of the day, we visit King David’s Tomb and the “Room of the Last Supper”, the Ceanaculum. Over-night in Bethlehem
We drive down from Jerusalem to the deepest point on earth – The Dead Sea. We stop to visit the Good Samaritan’s Inn on the road to Jericho. We will also visit Qumran, the place where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and learn about the beliefs of the Jews at the time of Jesus. We will not miss a float in the healthy and special waters of the Dead Sea. Afternoon, transfer to Aqaba (Jordan) for dinner & Overnight.
Drive up to the Jordanian “Desert Highway” and then to the “Rose Red City” – Petra. We enter the ancient city through the famous “Siq” – a narrow natural gorge that made the secret entrance to Petra. At once the valley of Petra opens in front of us, and we see the famous “Khazane” (“Treasury”). We visit the most famous monuments, carved in the red Sandstone and eat lunch (included) nearby before we go back to our bus. After a short city-tour in Aqaba, we reach the Arava Border and return to Eilat or Aqaba for overnight.
Visit Eilat Stone mines visitor center & bathing at the Dead Sea on the way to TLV airport (Ben Gurion International Airport)