(Nazareth, Galilee, Haifa, Jerusalem)
For the Catholic visitor, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land can be a spiritual journey of reaffirmation and discovery. To stand within the historical landscape, to visit the holy places and sites mentioned in the Bible and the shrines associated with the life and ministry of Jesus, will provide inspiration for the inner, spiritual journey that each pilgrim hopes to experience during his or her stay. As recommended by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, one such pilgrimage follows in the footsteps of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was born, lived and whose life most probably ended in the Holy Land. Though she experienced the ultimate sorrow of a mother in witnessing the passion and death of her son, a pilgrimage in her honor is a joyous event for she was blessed by the grace of God, as it is written in the Gospel: "Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favor! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28).
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between Tel Aviv and Nazareth.
The Golden Crown Hotel is situated at the southern entrance to Nazareth - one of the loveliest and most fascinating cities in the world - alongside the Mount of the Precipice and overlooking the marvelous landscapes of the picturesque Jezreel Valley. The hotel, which is suited for groups, resort holiday makers and business travelers, conventions, workshops and seminars, is but a short walk away from historical Nazareth and its holy sites. In addition, it can serve as a comfortable jumping off point for walks by experienced hikers and for bicycle and jeep trips as well, both in Nazareth and throughout the Galilee.
This tour begins with a visit to the archaeological excavations site at Tel Megiddo. This important ancient city dates back to the times of the Canaanites and the Kings of Israel, and was the prophesied site of Armageddon (Revelations 16:16). Next, travel to Nazareth, making stops at the Chapel of the Virgin Mary’s Fright to enjoy the view of the town and the Jezreel Valley to the east.
Today's tour travels through the city of Nazareth, the town of the Holy Family, where Jesus was raised. Visit the main sites that commemorate the central events in the life of Mary including the Basilica of Annunciation, St. Joseph’s Church, the nearby Franciscan Museum, the Spring of the Virgin Mary, and the Synagogue Church where Jesus is believed to have preached.
Drive to Sepphoris, the site of the ancient city that is considered the childhood home of Mary. Visit the Church of St. Anne and Joachim, followed by a tour of the excavations sites and the ancient mosaics in the adjacent National Archaeological Park. The tour then continues to Cana of Galilee, for a visit to the Church of the First Miracle. Visit the Golan Olive Oil Mill for a tour and tasting. This major agricultural center combines modern technology with one Israel’s oldest industries.
The Ein-Gev holiday resort is situated on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee and is one of the largest in the area. The resort focuses mainly on organized tours and vacations for tourists from all over the world. Equipped with 166 rooms are suitable for couples, families and groups, and their location – on the shores of the lake – provides an ideal setting for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation in a beautiful clean environment.
This tour visits the cit of Capernaum, a small fishing village where Jesus called seven of his Disciples. This unique site includes the Church of the House of St. Peter and the ancient Synagogue. Visit the nearby Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles, and then proceed to Tabgha, the Church of the Multiplication, where Jesus fed the multitudes, followed by the a trip to the Mount of the Beatitudes. Next, visit the 2000 years old ancient boat at the “Jesus Boat Museum“, located in Kibbutz Nof Ginosar. If time permits, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a ride to the top of Mount Tabor to view the battlefield of Deborah the Prophetess, Yael and Barak. This is followed by a visit to the hilltop Church of the Transfiguration (Catholic) and the Church of Elijah (Greek Orthodox). Walk around the summit of the mountain, seeing traces of the defensive wall built at the time of the Jewish Revolt against Rome. From here, it off to Mount Carmel to visit the Monastery of Prophet Elijah at Muhraka, which was built to commemorate the struggle of Elijah against the priests of Ba’al.
The Dan Carmel Hotel Haifa boasts an unmatched location on the crest of Mount Carmel. Offering much more than the best address of any Haifa hotel, the Dan Carmel Hotel welcomes guests with elegant, spacious interiors, extensive private gardens and a secluded pool that invites guest to relax after an activity-filled day. Furnished with classic good taste, guest rooms, suites and the stately presidential suite all feature balconies commanding panoramic views of Haifa Bay, verdant terraces and the long Mediterranean coastline. Ideal for a family vacation, the Dan Carmel Hotel offers special children’s programs and leisure facilities that include a gym and wellness center.
Today begins with a visit to the Monastery of Stella Maris, dedicated to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and the nearby Elijah’s Cave where the Holy Family is said to have rested on their way home from Egypt. Then continue south along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the ancient Herodian city of Caesarea, where Saint Paul was arrested and first tried. Drive up to Jerusalem, stopping at Deir Rafat, the Shrine of the Virgin Mary.
The Inbal Hotel is situated at the core of Jerusalem, with a supreme view of the Old City and the New City. The hotel offers an abundance of amenities and personalized service. With 257 redecorated rooms, and endless lounge space, the hotel appeals to those possessing a defined appetite for crisp and tasteful surroundings. The restaurants are commended for their stylized menus, including a scrumptious breakfast buffet to start the day off. Within walking distance is Emek Refaim, a long stretch of restaurants and cafes. Follow up the evening with a stroll, stopping off at Liberty Bell Park for some serenity or play time for the kids. Unwind under the sun near the luxurious swimming pool. Open year-round, it is heated for winter swimming and bordered by seating and chaise areas.
Begin this tour with a visit to the top of Mount of Olives, to get a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Next, walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane and the nearby Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, where, according to Eastern Church tradition, Mary was laid to rest before the Assumption. Then drive up to Mount Zion to visit The Cenacle which marks the place where Mary and the Disciples experienced Pentecost, similarly this is also the location of the Last Supper. Leaving the Cenacle, descend to the Tomb of King David before proceeding to the Hagia Maria Sion Abbey, which commemorates the Dormition of Mary. Enter the Old City through the Zion and continue to the Western Wall, the remnant of the ancient retaining wall of the Temple Mount.
Enjoy a visit to the Israel Museum, and the Shrine of the Book during this tour. Inside the museum, to further understand the physical layout of the city of Jerusalem, during the time of Jesus, view the large outdoor model of this ancient city as it would have looked during the Second Temple Period. Another highlight of this hsitorical tour includes the viewing of the Shrine of the Book, which displays the Dead Sea Scrolls. Next, a drive to Bethlehem is planned, to visit the Basilica of Nativity and the Milk Grotto. Return to Jerusalem, visiting en route the Tomb of Rachel, where some traditional woodcarving can be viewed.
Early this morning, travel in a privately driven vehicle to visit the Archaeological Park located along the southern base of the Temple Mount platform. At this site, view some ancient monuments including a portion of an ancient flight of stairs upon which Jesus, his Mother and Disciples actually may have walked. Visit the Temple Mount (entering through the Mizrahi Gate) for some viewing, before continuing to St. Anne’s Church, which commemorates the birth of Mary, and the Pools of Bethesda. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, paying special attention to the stations relating to the Virgin Mary. Tour the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the traditional site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. At the nearby Church of the Redeemer one can see the remains of the Crusader Church, Santa Maria Latina before visiting another famed location, St. Mark’s Church.
Hop aboard a privately driven vehicle travelling to Ein Karem to visit the location where it is believed Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist. Explore the many religious sites throughout this small village including Mary’s spring, the Church of the Visitation, and the Church of St. John the Baptist (which is built over a cave believed to be his birthplace). Continue onward to Abu Ghosh to visit the 12th-century church, Abbey of St. Mary of the Resurrection which hosts a number of important medieval frescoes.
A private vehicle will provide a transfer between Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv airport.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Israel for the most up to date visa information.
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