Holy Land Pilgrimage
Spiritual Leader: Fr. Lincoln Dall
Group Coordinator: Dan Lupton
October 2 – 15, 2021
*Optional Post Tour to Jordan - October 15 – 18, 2021
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally Located First Class Hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: Oct 03 - 04: Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv
- ~ 3 nights: Oct 04 - 07: Ein Gev, Tiberias
- ~ 7 nights: Oct 07 - 14: Olive Tree, Jerusalem
- Optional 3 nights post tour to Jordan: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: Oct 14 - 15: Olive Tree, Jerusalem
- ~ 3 nights: Oct 15 – 18: Ein Gev, Tiberias
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wi-Fi on motor coach in Holy Land
- Whisper Headsets where needed
- Israel Exit Tax at Allenby
- Assistance of a professional local Christian guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Tips to Hotel Staff and Restaurants
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver
Day 1, Saturday, Oct 2: Depart for the Holy Land
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Day 2, Sunday, Oct 3: Arrive in Tel Aviv
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv in time to check-in. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before retiring for the evening.
Day 3, Monday, October 04: Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes
Following breakfast we’ll check out of the hotel. We drive north from Tel Aviv along the coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea. We begin our tour of Israel in Caesarea Maritima where Cornelius, the centurion, was baptized as the first Gentile convert (Acts 10). It is also where Paul was imprisoned before traveling to Rome to appear before Caesar (Acts 23-26.) The archaeological site at this Roman capital, built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar, includes restored Crusader fortifications, a Byzantine street, a Roman theatre, amphitheatre & well-preserved aqueducts. A further drive up the coast brings us to Mount Carmel, also known as Muhraka (in Arabic- "place of burning".) Mass will be at the Carmelite monastery built on the traditional site where the prophet Elijah slew the false prophets of Ba’al (1 Kings 18.) The panoramic view of the Jezreel Valley reminds us of the stories of Elisha & Elijah (I Kings 17 - II Kings 2.) Time permitting, we visit Megiddo, the ancient chariot city of King Solomon that overlooks the valley of Armageddon. Megiddo, the ancient “tel” revealing 20 separate layers of occupation, is referenced in Joshua, Judges, I & II Kings, & II Chronicles as an important stronghold along the trade routes & in Revelation 16 as the location of the final battle. The remains of an ancient Canaanite Temple and a 9th Century BCE water tunnel are here. As we travel on to the region of the Galilee, we actually descend below sea level to the Sea of Galilee. Above the northern edge of the lake is the beautiful Mount of the Beatitudes church. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee from above Capernaum, in the area where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12,) we find a serene place to meditate on the same view of Galilee enjoyed by Jesus & his followers. We will celebrate mass in the garden below the church. Tonight we check in for 3 nights on the shores of the Galilee. Dinner & overnight at our hotel.
Day 4, Tuesday, October 05: Cana, Nazareth, Kfar Kedem
Today we tour the area west of the Sea of Galilee. Early in the day we will make our way to Cana, where Jesus performed His first recorded miracle at the wedding feast (John 2:1-11,) turning water into wine. Married couples will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows in the Cana church. Next, we will celebrate Mass is at The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth on the level of the Grotto of the Annunciation, thought to be Mary’s girlhood home. Joseph’s workshop is close by in St Joseph’s Church. Nearby an Orthodox church claims Mary’s Well, (Luke 2:4, 39, 51.) Next we visit Kfar Kedem, a setting where we can experience life in the time of Jesus. Here we see, touch, taste & smell 1st century Israel. Returning to the Sea of Galilee, we visit & hear the story of the Ancient 1st Century Fishing Boat at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar. Tonight we have a bonfire & the opportunity for confessions with our priests on the shore of the sea. Dinner & overnight at our hotel.
Day 5, Wednesday, October 06: Capernaum, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Mt Hermon, Golan Heights, Sea of Galilee
Theme: Unity vs the Divided Kingdom
The entire tour of the Galilean area is enhanced by the Sea of Galilee, the setting for so many beloved stories from the New Testament. We will drive up the east side of the Galilee to Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry for over a year & a half (Matthew 4, 8, 9,) where we see the site of Peter’s house & the remains of an early synagogue on the site of the 1st century synagogue where Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-34.) We will celebrate Mass is in the modern Franciscan church which stands over St. Peter’s house. We travel north through the Hula Valley which divides the Galilee from the Golan Heights. We are in the northern Golan area which includes ancient Hazor (Joshua 11:10-13; 19:36; 1Kings 9:15,) one of Solomon’s chariot towns. As we ride, we view Mt Hermon. At Caesarea Philippi, Peter first identified Jesus as the Messiah & Jesus announced Peter's role in the church (Matthew 16:17-19.) Also called Banias, the Arabic pronunciation of “Paneas”, referring to the Greek god Pan, we see the ruins of the Roman temple, known as “The Gates of Hell” (Matthew 16:18.) Walking along a tributary that is the beginning of the Jordan River, We come to an ancient high place, where the altar of Jeroboam’s northern temple has been excavated. (Note: This walk is over uneven ground & requires good footware & footing! Those who are concerned can take the coach to meet the group at the site of the Tel Dan excavation.) The city at Tel Dan was a thriving Canaanite town when Joshua arrived over 3000 years ago. The most northern city, it was often referred to in the expression “from Dan to Beersheba” to declare the expanse of the Promised Land (Joshua 20:1; 1 Samuel 3:20; 11 Samuel 3:10; 17:11; 24:2.) Returning south, we board a Jesus Boat for a trip out onto the waters of the sea to enjoy a special teaching. We will be dropped off on the other side for a special St Peter Fish dinner at Kibbutz Ein Gev’s special fish restaurant. Dinner & overnight at our hotel.
Day 6, Thursday, October 07: Primacy of Peter, Tabgha, Bet Shean, Judean Wilderness, Inn of the Good Samritan, Jerusalem
Theme: Our Journey to Jerusalem / Christ setting His face toward Jerusalem
Early rise and start as today we depart the Galilee though the Jordan Valley to travel up to Jerusalem. Returning to the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, we visit the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy & nearby Tabgha, where the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves & Fishes protects a 5th Century mosaic commemorating the story (Matthew 14:15-21.) Mass will be near the shore at Tabgha. Leaving the Galilee, we pass in view of Mt Tabor with the lovely Basilica of the Transfiguration, the site of Christ’s Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36.) As we travel down the Jordan Valley we also visit Bet She’an, a Roman city that has been restored enough to see the excavations of the streets & shops as they originally were. It lies beside the Old Testament tel (Joshua 17; Judges 1; I Samuel 31:10-12) from the days when Saul was king. We pass by the oasis of Jericho (Joshua 2, 6; Luke 19:1-10) & the Mount of Temptation (Matthew 4:1-11) & then turn west toward Jerusalem. The road we are on is the Jericho Road from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37.) A recently opened museum of mosaics is located at the Inn of the Good Samaritan. We continue, ascending to the Jerusalem. We check in at Olive Tree Hotel and enjoy dinner and restful overnight.
Day 7, Friday, October 08: Mount of Olives, Church of the Ascension, Dominus Flevit Chapel, Gethsemane, Kidron Valley, Mt Zion, Upper Room, Israel Museum, Shrine of the Book, Model of 1st Century Jerusalem ( Israel Museum visit at 830am)
Theme: Decision- Thy will be done
Following breakfast we will proceed to Mount of Olives. From the top of the Mount of Olives, the overview of the City of Jerusalem is beautiful. Many events from scripture occurred on the Mount of Olives. The Church of the Ascension marks the holy site from which Jesus ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12.) Behind us, on the eastern slope, is Bethany & Lazarus’ Tomb (John 11.) Below on the western slope of the Mount of Olives is the Dominus Flevit Chapel, a name referencing “Jesus Wept” (John 11:35.) It is the traditional site where Jesus contemplated the city of Jerusalem and its destruction (Luke 19:41, 44.) At the base is the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36) and the Church of All Nations, where we will be celebrating Mass. We have the opportunity to walk down the “Palm Sunday” road to Gethsemane for mass. After crossing the Kidron Valley by motor coach, passing the Tombs of Absolom, Zechariah, & St. James, we are on Mt. Zion, where we can visit a traditional Upper Room, revered as a site to recall the Last Supper (Mark 14:12-26.) Later we visit priceless Biblical artifacts at the recently reopened Israel Museum & the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. One major exhibit, the restored Model of 1st Century Jerusalem, is a wonderful way to understand the Old City of Jerusalem as it was in New Testament times. Return to your Hotel for dinner & overnight.
Day 8, Saturday, October 09: Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi, Qumran, Qasar El Yehud
Today we return to the area of the Dead Sea to begin our tour at Masada, the wilderness palace fortress built by Herod the Great. Perhaps first used by David (I Samuel 22:3-5; 24:22), Masada was elaborately fortified by Herod. The final suicidal stand of the Jews against the Romans took place here in 73 AD. We take the gondola to the top where we tour this amazing site & hear the even more incredible story. After a brief stop at the overlook at En Gedi (Song of Solomon 1:14,) where David hid from Saul (1 Samuel 26,) we continue to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We head north for mass at Qasar El Yehud, renewing our baptismal vows at the wilderness part of the Jordan River thought to be where John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9-11.) We stop at a Dead Sea beach to take a float in this unique body of water. The mineral rich waters are so buoyant that it seems more like bobbing than floating! Dinner & overnight Olive Tree Hotel, Jerusalem.
Day 9, Sunday, October 10: Bethlehem, Shepherds' Fields, New Jerusalem, Bethlehem
Theme: Mary-like submission & our family vs the Holy Family
Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem. In addition to being the birth place of Jesus, Bethlehem was also the birthplace of David (1Samuel 17:12), the residence of Ruth & Boaz (Ruth 4:11) & the resting place of the matriarch Rachel (Genesis 35:19.) Passing Rachel’s Tomb en-route, we enter the West Bank and visit to the Church of the Nativity. The place is so ancient. The scents & sounds add special memories. Many beautiful traditions exist in the area, including the Grotto of the Lady Mary, commonly called the Milk Grotto. Tradition holds that the Holy Family took refuge in it during the Slaughter of the Innocents (Matthew 2:13-18) before they fled to Egypt. While nursing the Baby Jesus, a drop of Mary's milk fell to the floor of the cave, turning it white. Many Christians & Muslims believe that powder made from the chalky stone can increase a mother's milk & enhance fertility. After lunch we go just east of Bethlehem to the Shepherds' Fields, visited by the angels heralding Christ's birth (Luke 2: 8-10.) Recent excavations in the area of the fields have revealed churches & evidence of 1st century occupation of caves in the Shepherd's Village. Finally we visit an olive wood shop owned by Palestinian Christians for some shopping before returning to Jerusalem. It is important to support Christian brethren in the West Bank. The quality of craftsmanship & variety of souvenirs is wonderful. As we return to New Jerusalem, we pass the Knesset building & may stop for photos at the Menorah Sculpture. We return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10, Monday, October 11: Pools of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa, Ein Kerem
Theme - Passion
Today we share perhaps the most meaningful experience of the pilgrimage. We enter the Old City at the Lion’s or St. Stephen’s Gate, by St Anne’s Church at the Pools of Bethesda (John 5:1-9.) Nearby we begin our walk through the 14 stations of the Via Dolorosa, Christ’s route to the Cross, meditating at each & ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where we will celebrate Mass. We share the crosses we carry. As we pass through the streets of the Old City we see the colourful Arab bazaar, usually an active scene as it would have been on that Friday long ago. After lunch In the afternoon, we continue to Ein Kerem, where John the Baptist was born, to visit the Church of the Visitation (Luke 1:46-55.) This lovely hilltop church displays the Magnificat in many languages of the world. Tonight we will have an early farewell dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Olive Tree Hotel.
Day 11, Tuesday, October 12: Free day : No Touring , no guide and no bus
Today is free for you to explore Jerusalem. Later today we will gather together for Mass at Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, which is a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel. Dinner & overnight at Olive Tree Hotel.
Day 12, Wednesday, October 13: City of David, Pools of Siloam, Mt Zion, Caiaphas’ home, Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount area, Western Wall, Southern Steps of Temple Mount
Theme: Holy of Holies today
The slope just below the Temple Mount is the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem. Recent excavations have revealed the Pool of Siloam (John 9:1-12) in the area of the Springs of Gihon & Hezekiah’s Tunnel, part of the original water source for ancient Jerusalem. We walk down through the dry areas of the tunnels, coming out at the Pool of Siloam. Again on Mt Zion, mass is at the church that recalls Peter’s denial on the night Jesus was betrayed, St. Peter in Gallicantu (Matthew 26:69-75.) The church is built over the High Priest Caiaphas’ home (Matthew 26:57,) where Jesus was held that same night. We go to the Temple Mount area to tour the Jewish Quarter & learn of the exciting discoveries that were only possible after the Reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. Visiting the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount brings us in direct contact with the stones that Jesus & the disciples walked on when they visited the Temple in the 1st century. Previously known as the Wailing Wall, the exposed part of the Western Wall is always active with visitors coming to pray or just enjoy the setting that is so important to Israelis. Shabat begins at sundown. Dinner & overnight Olive Tree Hotel
Day 13, Thursday, October 14: Elah Valley, Bet Guvrin Caves, Emmaus, Jaffa – Tel Aviv Airport
After we check out of the hotel this morning, we begin our last day of touring by traveling through Old Testament lands to the Elah Valley where David slew Goliath (Samuel 17.) Mass is at a site associated with ancient Emmaus, the Roman city of Emmaus Nicopolis, where we remember how Jesus’ revealed Himself to those who walked on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35.) Our last visit is to the ancient port of Jaffa (Joppa.) This is the city of Jonah’s defection (Jonah 1:3) & Peter’s vision (Acts 10:5-9) at the home of Simon the Tanner - one of the oldest cities in the world. Today it is a charming artist community. Its setting give us a sense of the ancient Middle East we came to see. It is also a city of partings & departure. There will be a stop for a late lunch on your own en route to the Airport.
Day 14, Friday, October 15: Arrival into USA
OR for pilgrims taking post tour to Jordan
The benefit of buying airfare with 206 Tours?
- Your transfers are always secured, even if your flights are delayed - round trip transfers to/from the hotel and airport are included no matter what!
- If you purchase your airline ticket on your own, you have to pay in full at the time of booking, and most of the time it is non-refundable. If you book with 206 Tours, full payment is due 60 days prior.
- In the very rare event that a tour is cancelled, you would get all your money back, which would most likely not be the case if you purchased it directly from the airline.
- Your flight arrangement will be followed up on and reconfirmed by 206 Tours.
- 206 Tours can arrange for you to travel before the tour, make a stop-over, or stay later!