Where you're going is sometimes the most important part.
“Jesus went about teaching, preaching and healing.”
A Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Jordan River for the Feast of Holy Theophany
and throughout the Holy Land, including St. Catherine’s Monastery at
Mt. Sinai in Egypt and Petra in Jordan
January 13-27, 2021
Spiritual Leader: His Excellency Metropolitan Ilia of Philomelion
13 January, Wednesday – Depart Las Vegas at 6:10 am with Delta Airlines flight DL 1641. Flight DL 1960 from Los Angeles departs at 6:05 am. Flight DL 4897 from Chicago departs at 10:50 am. All flights arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Meet with others from East Coast area. Connect to nonstop flight DL 232 departing JFK at 3:48 pm to Tel Aviv, Israel. (D)
14 January, Thursday – Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel at 9:45 am. Meet, assist and begin our Pilgrimage by visiting the Monastery of Archangel Michael overlooking the harbor of the port city of Jaffa, and the Rock of Andromeda. Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the Holy Land, and the city where St. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead. Then on to the city of Lod to visit the Monastery of St. George where we will be able to venerate his tomb. After, proceed to Jerusalem to our HOTEL DAN PANORAMA. At 6:00 pm the group will have dinner followed by a group meeting in a private reception room at 7:30 pm. (B, D)
15 January, Friday – After breakfast we depart for sightseeing of Jerusalem, we head to the Mt. Of Olives and view the Holy City, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, Church of All Nations, and Tomb of Virgin Mary. If time permits, we will visit the Church of St. Stephen. (B, D)
16 January, Saturday – After breakfast, depart hotel and about 3 kilometers outside of Jerusalem we will visit Bethany. This is where we find the Tomb of Lazaros, and the Church of Martha and Mary. We continue on to visit St. Theodosios, the Church of Shepherds’ Fields and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where our Lord was born. We will enjoy lunch at Llama in Bethlehem and visit Llama Brothers for shopping. We return to the hotel as we will be attending Midnight Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher leaving the hotel at about 10:30 pm and in the quiet of the night visit the Tomb of Jesus and the Church itself. Return to the hotel. (B, L, D)
17 January, Sunday – This morning we depart the hotel around 10:00 am for a complete tour of The Old City. Walk the Via Dolorosa, view the Pool of Bethesda, Church of Joachim and Anna, Prison of Jesus and visit the Western Wall. (B, D)
18 January, Monday – After an early breakfast, depart for the original site of the Jordan River for the Feast of Holy Theophany with a celebration and blessing by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos. Not too far away from the river Jordan we will visit the Monastery of St. Gerasimos in the desert of the Jordan Valley. This is the area where St. Mary of Egypt lived and reposed. We will also view the Mt. of Temptation and visit the Monastery of Prophet Elisha in Jericho. (B, D)
19 January, Tuesday – After an early breakfast attend Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to celebrate The Great Theophany. Proceed to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate for an audience with His Beatitude Theophilos of Jerusalem. Time permitting visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. (B, D)
20 January, Wednesday – After breakfast depart for Sea of Galilee area, we head up to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration of our Lord. After our visit, we head for Nazareth to the Church of The Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary and then visit Holy Apostles Monastery in Tiberias. After our visit we check in to HOTEL LEONARDO PLAZA (B, D)
21 January, Thursday – We begin our day at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and view the ancient Galilee Boat, also known as the Jesus Boat which is an ancient fishing boat from the 1st Century AD discovered in 1986 off the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Then on to Holy Apostles Monastery in Capernaum where Jesus spent most of his public life and performed most of His miracles. Then we head up to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount. Then on to St. Peter’s House and end the day at Magdala, the hometown where Mary Magdalene lived and died. (B, D)
22 January, Friday – After an early breakfast we depart the hotel in Tiberias and head to Eilat, the southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea. We will make a stop at The Dead Sea for a chance to dip our feet in the water. Upon arrival in Eilat we will check into our HOTEL NEPTUNE (B, D).
23 January, Saturday – Early departure with a boxed lunch prepared by the hotel and proceed to the Israeli/Egyptian borders of Taba. After border formalities an Egyptian guide (who speaks English) will meet us at the border with a motor coach and take us to St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai. The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mt. Sinai is located at the very place where God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, beneath the Mount of the Decalogue. This is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries. The monastery predates the divisions of the Christian world, its origins extending to late antiquity. Return to the Egyptian/Israeli borders and return to hotel. (B, L, D)
24 January, Sunday - After an early breakfast depart hotel with an overnight tote bag to head to the Israeli/Jordanian border. Proceed with formalities and cross the borders. A Jordanian guide (who speaks English) will meet you at the border with a motor coach and take you to Petra. Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. Upon the completion of your visit to Petra you will be taken to the HYATT ZAMAN for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
25 January, Monday – After breakfast we will depart for a visit to the city of Madaba which is best known for its Byzantine mosaics. From here we will transfer back to the Jordanian/Israeli borders for formalities and proceed back to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv check into our HOTEL RENESSAINCE. (B, D)
26 January, Tuesday – Full day at leisure to catch up on packing or last-minute shopping or visiting a museum in the city of Tel Aviv. We will have an evening farewell dinner and presentation.
27 January, Wednesday – Depart hotel for Ben Gurion Airport for flight back to USA with Delta Airlines. Depart Tel Aviv at 11:45 am on Flight DL 233 and arrive at JFK in New York at 5:31 pm. Clear customs in New York. Those returning to Chicago will depart at 8:00 pm on DL 4669 and arrive at 9:59 pm. Those returning to Los Angeles will depart at 7:25 pm on DL 617 and arrive in Los Angeles at 11:04 pm. Those returning to Las Vegas will depart at 8:29 pm on DL 1154 and arrive in Las Vegas at 11:43 pm. End of your journey. (B, L)