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|Itinerary at a Glance|
Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea,
Mt. Carmel, Acre & Lake Galilee
Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount of
Beatitudes & Banias.
Cana, Nazareth, Jordan Valley,
Jericho & Dead Sea
Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi,
Qumran & Jerusalem
|7||Jerusalem & the Old City|
Jerusalem, Ein Karem, Bethlehem
|9||Jerusalem & the New City|
|Style||Escorted or Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||Chicago O'Hare (ORD) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Bethlehem, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Baptism at Jordan River, Mount of Beatitudes, Via Dolorosa/Stations of the Cross, Holy Sepulcher, Ein Karem & the Dead Sea|
“The whole mystery of our faith is native to this country and city,” wrote St. Jerome, who went on a Holy Land pilgrimage in 384 AD and spent the last 34 years of his life in Bethlehem, the Holy Land, and its sacred capital Jerusalem. “No other sentiment draws people to Jerusalem than desire to see and touch the places where Christ was physically present,” wrote St. Paulinus 1400 years ago. The first famous pilgrim was Empress Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, when visited the Holy Land in 326 AD at the age of 80. Emperor Constantine built the Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem at the spot where his mother believed she found the remains of the Cross, as well as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. By the 10th and 11th centuries, the great age of the pilgrimages had arrived. Groups of Christians traveled to Jerusalem, sometimes in numbers that reached thousands, on pilgrimages that lasted over a year. Ever since, such a spiritual journey has forever changed the lives of millions of pilgrims from all over the world. For many it has been a dream that is fulfilled only once. For the fortunate ones who are able to return, every visit rekindles anew the miracle of the place.
Join us for an inspirational journey to the Holy Land, where Christianity was born. Visit His birthplace in Bethlehem as well as the city where He spent most of His youth, Nazareth. Travel to places where He preached and performed miracles and to the sites of His death and burial at Via Dolorosa, Golgotha and Garden Tomb. Witness baptism services at Jordan River and even spend a relaxing day at a Dead Sea resort before experiencing the cosmopolitan spirit of Jerusalem, a meeting place for pilgrims from all over the world.
Excellent trip. Over two years ago I went with a pastor and his wife on a Friendly Planet tour of Israel. About half way through the tour, I fell and broke my ankle. Friendly Planet and their associates really went out of their way to take care of me and to coordinate my care in Israel and to orchestrate my trip home. I highly recommend taking any tour arranged by Friendly Planet and, also, purchasing the very reasonable trip insurance.
Gene Haury, Simi Valley, CA
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Day 2, Tuesday: Tel Aviv. Welcome to Tel Aviv, Israel 's largest city. After customs, transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at leisure until meeting other members of the group for a welcome dinner. Dinner provided.
Day 3, Wednesday: Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Acre & Lake Galilee. After breakfast visit the ancient city of Jaffa where Peter prophesied the vision of the pure and impure animals and where he brought Tabitha back from the dead. Continue north to Caesarea, and inland to Megiddo —biblical Armageddon--and Mt. Carmel, a holy site based on the story of the prophet Elijah and the miracles he performed there. Next visit the ancient Canaanite and Phoenician port of Acre, a city visited by the Apostle Paul and, after the Fall of Jerusalem and until 1291, the Capital of Crusader Kingdom. Continue to Tiberias for dinner and overnight stay. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 4, Thursday: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes & Banias. Set sail on the Sea of Galilee for Capernaum and visit the ruins of its ancient synagogue. Continue to Tabgha, the traditional location of the miracle of multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. Next travel to Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon of the Mount. Stop at Yardenit on the Jordan River for a baptism service before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 5, Friday: Cana, Nazareth, Jordan Valley, Jericho & Dead Sea. Visit the Kibbutz Ginosar to view an excavated boat dating from the time of Jesus. Then drive to Cana, the site of Jesus' first miracle—the transformation of water into wine at the Marriage of Cana—and later a miracle of healing. Next, visit Nazareth , His boyhood home, where He lived with Joseph and Mary. Continue driving south through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the oldest known city in the world. It is near Jericho that Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist. Continue to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth at 1365 feet below sea level, for dinner and overnight stay. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 6, Saturday: Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi, Qumran & Jerusalem. Take a cable car and visit Masada, the fortress where Jewish defenders made their last stand against Romans in 73 AD. Continue to Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Later in the afternoon arrive in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight stay. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 7, Sunday: Jerusalem & the Old City. Today is dedicated to exploring the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross), a mile-long route through the Old City marked by 14 Stations of the Cross. At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, you will celebrate Sunday Mass. Continue to Mt. Zion, the site of the Last Supper; the Garden of Gethsemane, at the base of the Mount of Olives, where Jesus spent the night before his arrest; and the Garden Tomb. (B, D)
Day 8, Monday: Jerusalem, Ein Karem, Bethlehem & Jerusalem. This morning visit Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. Then travel to Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace. Here you will visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world; the Chapel of the Milk Grotto, where the Holy Family took refuge during the Slaughter of the Innocents and Shepards’ Fields in nearby Beit Sahur. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 9, Tuesday: Jerusalem & the New City. After breakfast visit the New City outside the walls, including the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, FD)
Day 10, Wednesday: Tel Aviv & USA. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Breakfast provided.
Because the towns of Jericho and Bethlehem are under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, it is required that we change buses and escorts at the border for the duration of both visits.