Day 1 - Thursday, 6 October:
Make your way to Dublin airport and check-in for Turkish Airlines flight to Tel Aviv via Istanbul, with onboard catering and personal entertainment on one of Europe’s best Airlines. On Arrival in Tel Aviv you will be met by our Marian Pilgrimages representative and guide in the arrival hall before boarding your tour coach. Get acquainted with the group on your transfer to Bethlehem where we check into the 4 star Manger Square Hotel for 4 nights with dinner and breakfast.
Day 2 - Friday, 7 October:
After breakfast we take the short walk to the Church of the Nativity where we spend the morning and celebrate Mass. Here you can visit the birthplace of Jesus, and the Holy Manger as well as the Chapels of St. Joseph, St. Jerome, the Holy Innocents and the Church of St. Catherine. Leaving the Church of the Nativity you can make your way to the Milk Grotto before sitting down to lunch in Manger Square. After lunch we board our coaches for the short drive to the Shepherds Fields. After lunch we continue to Ein Karem and visit the Churches of the Visitation (where Mary met Elizabeth) & St. John the Baptist. Return to the hotel for Dinner.
Day 3 - Saturday, 8 October:
This morning we drive to Jerusalem and enter the Old City to the Church of St. Anne and nearby, see the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed a man paralysed for over 40 years. Close by we begin the Via Dolorosa and follow the stations of the cross through the markets and narrow streets of the Old City to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Calvary (where Jesus was crucified) and His tomb. Here we will celebrate Mass and take some time to reflect upon this sacred site. Enjoy some free time in Jerusalem for lunch before visiting the Western Wall. Take the coach to Taybeh a Christian town in the West Bank where we visit a winery, built by two brothers who returned to their home town after living in America. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 4 - Sunday, 9 October:
After breakfast we drive to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where we take our group photo and enjoy the view of the Old City below. We make our way to the highest point on the Mount of Olives to the Ascension Dome that marks the site where Christ ascended into heaven. Continue to visit The Pater Noster Church, Dominus Flevit, Assumption church and Grotto and the Garden of Gethsemane. In the afternoon we celebrate Mass 3pm in the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu or “cock’s crow”, where Peter denied Jesus three times and see the dungeon where Jesus was held the night of Holy Thursday. We walk around Mount Zion and visit the church of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tomb of David and the Room of the Last Supper. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 5 - Monday, 10 October:
This morning we leave Bethlehem and visit Bethany for Mass. Drive via the Inn of the Good Samaritan to the Dead Sea. Take some time to relax and float on the water near Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Continue to Qasr el Yahud the Baptismal site of Jesus on the River Jordan, here we can renew our Baptismal Vows. Then onto Jericho to see the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the devil, and the Sycamore tree of Zacchaeus. Drive along the Jordan Valley to Nazareth and check into the 4-star Ramada Nazareth Hotel for 4 nights, dinner and breakfast. Optional Eucharistic Adoration at the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Day 6 - Tuesday, 11 October:
After breakfast we will spend our morning exploring the city where Jesus lived as a child. We make our way to the Basilica of the Annunciation to celebrate Mass. Visiting the lower level of the Basilica we see the remains of Mary’s house and where the Angel Gabriel visited her. Here inscribed on the alter are the Latin words of “Here the Word was made flesh”. Adjacent to the Basilica is the St. Joseph Church, we visit the site of Joseph’s work shop and the house of the Holy Family. A short walk from the Basilica is Mary’s Well here you have the opportunity to draw water from the same well as the Virgin Mary. After some time for lunch we take the short coach journey to Cana. Here we visit the Wedding Church, the site of Jesus’ first miracle, turning the water to wine. Couples on the pilgrimage can take part in the special ceremony to renew their wedding vows and there is also prayers and blessings for spouses at home and deceased husbands and wives. In the lower level of the church we see artifacts from the site before having an opportunity to taste and purchase some wine from this sacred site. Return to Nazareth for dinner in our hotel. Optional rosary at the Irish icon at the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Day 7 - Wednesday, 12 October:
This morning we make our way to the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum and Tabgha. Take some time to listen to the readings of the great Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Capernaum and see the old Synagogue and the excavations of Peters house. Visit the site of the multiplication of the Loaves & Fish at Tabgha, and the church of the Primacy of Peter. Enjoy lunch on the shore of the Sea of Galilee before taking a Boat trip on the lake, with relevant Bible readings. Before retuning to the hotel we visit Magdala and the magnificent retreat center and celebrate Mass in the newly built chapel at the home of Mary Magdalene. Optional candlelit procession at the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Day 8 - Thursday, 13 October:
After breakfast we drive to Mount Tabor and ascend by taxi for Mass at the church of the Transfiguration where Jesus is transfigured and speaks to Moses and Elijah. Enjoy the view of the Valley of Armageddon. Return to Nazareth for some free time. Dinner at hotel.
Day 9 - Friday, 14 October:
Early breakfast before taking our coach to Tel Aviv airport for return flights to Dublin via Istanbul.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.