Where you're going is sometimes the most important part.
“Jesus went about teaching, preaching and healing"
A Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Jordan River and
throughout the Holy Land, including Petra in Jordan and
St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai in Egypt
January 11 - 25, 2023
Spiritual Leader: His Excellency Metropolitan Ilia of Philomelion
11 January, Wednesday – Depart from your home city with Delta Airlines and arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Meet with group and depart on Delta Airlines nonstop to Tel Aviv, Israel. (D)
12 January, Thursday – Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel. Meet, assist and transfer to Motor Coach and depart to check in at HOTEL RENAISSANCE and have dinner. (B, D)
13 January, Friday - We begin our day with a short group meeting. Following our meeting we depart the hotel and travel north to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Coast viewing the aquaducts. Then driving further north towards Mt. Carmel, associated with the life of Prophet Elias. We will make a stop for lunch. After lunch we drive east 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. We arrive in the city of Tiberias at the hotel LEONARDO PLAZA right on the sea of Galilee. (B, D)
14 January, Saturday - We begin our day at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and view the ancient Galilee 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. From here we visit the site of the Multiplication of Loaves and Tabgha. Then we head up to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount. We end the day at Magdala, the hometown where Mary Magdalene lived and died. (B, D)
15 January, Sunday - This morning we will attend Divine Liturgy services at Holy Apostles Monastery next door to our hotel. Following services, we depart Tiberias and are now on our way up to Jerusalem. En route we will view the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and Masada, the site of the first Jewish-Roman War. Upon entering the city of Jerusalem we are on top of the Mount of Olives which we view the Holy City and visit the Church of the Holy Apostles. We continue our tour on the Mount of Olives by visiting the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of St. Stephan (if time permits). We then check into our HOTEL DAN PANORAMA. (B, D)
16 January, Monday - This morning we depart the hotel 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, visit the Holy Sepulcher and the tomb of Jesus and the Church itself and visit the Western Wall. We will return to the hotel. If you wish to attend midnight Divine Liturgy services at the Holy Sepulcher, we will depart the hotel at 10:30 pm. Return to the hotel.
17 January, Tuesday – We depart the 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. (B, L, D)
18 January, Wednesday – This morning we 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 of Jerusalem. 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, Thursday – Today we 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 Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. We will then return to the hotel. (B, D)
20 January, Friday – Today we depart Jerusalem and head to Eilat, Israel’s most southern port and resort town on the Red Sea. Upon arrival we check in to our HOTEL NEPTUNE. (B, D)
21 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. We ascend and descend Mt. Sinai by private taxis. Return to the Egyptian/Israeli borders and return to hotel. (B, L, D)
22 January, Sunday – We depart the hotel and head to the Israeli/Jordanian border. Proceed with formalities and cross the borders. A Jordanian guide (who speaks English) will meet us at the border with a motor coach and take us 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 we will return to the Jordanian/Israeli borders for formalities and return to our hotel in Eilat. (B, D)
23 January, Monday – Today we will begin our journey back to Tel Aviv with breaks along the way. Check in to HOTEL RENAISSANCE. (B, D)
24 January, Tuesday - Morning departure to drive through nearby Jaffa, one of the oldest cities in The Holy Land, and is the city where St. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead. We stop to visit the Monastery of St. Michael overlooking the harbor of the city, and the Rock of Andromeda. From Jaffa, we drive east to the city of Lydda, the birthplace of St. George-- the Church, built over the tomb of St. George. We visit the tomb and venerate the relics. We return to the hotel for the remainder of the day at your leisure. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner and presentation. (B, D)
25 January, Wednesday – Depart hotel for Ben Gurion Airport for flight back to USA with Delta Airlines. Depart Tel Aviv and arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, clear customs. You will then connect to your Delta Airline flights to return to your home city. End of your journey. (B, L)