Where you're going is sometimes the most important part.
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“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
Spiritual Leaders: His Excellency Metropolitan Ilia of Philomelion and The Very Reverend Father John S. Hondros
13 January, Thursday – 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)
14 January, Friday – Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel in the late afternoon. Meet, assist and transfer to Motor Coach and depart directly to Jerusalem. Check in to HOTEL DAN PANORAMA and immediately have dinner. (B, D)
15 January, Saturday – After breakfast we meet in a private area for a group meeting. After the meeting we depart for sightseeing of Jerusalem, we head to the Mt. of Olives and view the Holy City, we visit the Holy Apostles Church – Small Galilee, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, and Tomb of Virgin Mary. If time permits, we will visit the Church of St. Stephen. 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, D)
16 January, Sunday – After breakfast we depart the hotel around 10:00 am 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)
17 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 and visit the Western Wall. (B, D)
18 January, Tuesday – 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 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, Wednesday – 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 Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. We will then visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Return to the hotel. (B, D)
20 January, Thursday – 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 GALEI KINERET (B, D)
21 January, Friday – 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)
22 January, Saturday – 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 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 you will be taken to the HYATT ZAMAN for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
23 January, Sunday – After breakfast we will depart for a visit to the city of Madaba and visit the Church of St. George which is best known for its Byzantine mosaics. From here we will transfer back to the Jordanian/Israeli borders for formalities and proceed to Eilat, the southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea. Upon arrival in Eilat we will check into our HOTEL NEPTUNE (B, D)
24 January, Monday – 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)
25 January, Tuesday – After an early breakfast we will depart Eilat and make our way back to Tel Aviv. Along the way we will take a quick foot dip in the Dead Sea, view the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and view Masada the site of the first Jewish-Roman war taking place on its hilltop. We will stop in the city of Lod to visit the Monastery of St. George where we will be able to venerate his tomb then on to Jaffa, one of the oldest cities in the Holy Land, and the city where St. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead. We will visit the Monastery of Archangel Michael overlooking the harbor of the port city of Jaffa, and the Rock of Andromeda. We will check into our HOTEL RENAISSANCE (B, D)
26 January, Wednesday – 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. (B, D)
27 January, Thursday – 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)