Day 1 - Arrive Tel Aviv
Make your way to Dublin airport and check-in for Direct flight to Tel Aviv with El Al departing at 9pm.
Day 2 – Tel Aviv
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 Tel Aviv, where we check into the 4 Millenium Raanana. On check in at 6am, we will have breakfast and have the rooms ready for a rest. In the afternoon we will visit St. Peter church in Jaffa and celebrate Mass. The church was built in 1654 on the site where Peter stayed when he went to Jaffa, its steeple overlooks the port, as if beaconing pilgrims to the Holy Land, and inside there are vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows and a painting above the alter of Peter’s visitation by an angel. After a little free time in Jaffa and the surrounding area we will return to our hotel for dinner.
Day 3 – Nazareth
After breakfast we will drive to Nazareth the city where Jesus lived as a child. Here we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation. 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 lunch we will head north to the Sea of Galilee and the town of Tiberias and check into the Restal hotel for 4 nights. After some time to rest and relax we will have dinner in the hotel.
Day 4 – Mount Tabor and Cana in Galilee
After breakfast, we have a short drive to Mount Tabor to ascend by taxi for Mass at the Church of the Transfiguration where Jesus is transfigured and speaks to Moses and Elijah. There is time to enjoy the view of the Valley of Armageddon and the Jezreel Valley – bread basket of the Holy Land. After time for lunch we take the short coach journey to Cana in Galilee. Here we visit the Wedding Church, the site of the first miracle of Jesus. 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 will see artifacts from the site before having an opportunity to taste and purchase some of the famous wine from this sacred site before returning to Tiberias for dinner in the hotel.
Day 5 – The Sea of Galilee
This morning we make our way to the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, Capernaum and Tabgha. Visit the site of the multiplication of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, and the Church of the Primacy of St Peter. After lunch on the short of the Sea of Galilee, continue to Capernaum and see the old synagogue and the excavations of St Peter’s house before taking a boat trip on the lake, with relevant Bible readings. Before returning to the hotel we visit Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene, a prosperous fishing village at the time of Jesus.
Day 6 - Acre: the Crusader Capital
We take the short coach ride to the coastal city of Akko, to go into the tunnel famed throughout history as the Crusader capital of the Holy Land. After Mass, we return to Nazareth for free time in the town of the Holy Family before dinner at the hotel.Optional candlelit procession at the Basilica of the Annunciation at 8.30pm.
Day 7 - Jericho & Bethany
This morning we leave Galiee and drive south along the Jordan Valley visit Qasr el Yahud, the baptismal site of Jesus on the River Jordan, here we can renew our baptismal vows. Continue to Jericho see the Mount of Temptation and the Sycamore tree of Zacchaeus. Continue to the Dead Sea and enjoy a ‘dip’ near Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Drive by the Inn of the Good Samaritan, to Bethany to celebrate Mass, visit the Tomb of Lazarus. After we drive to Bethlehem and check-in to the four-star Ambassador City Hotel with breakfast and dinner.
Day 8 – Bethlehem
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 joining our coach and taking 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 9 – Jerusalem
We drive to Jerusalem and enter the Old City to the Church of St Anne and nearby, see the Pool of Bethesda. 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 Sepulcher, the site of Calvary where Jesus was crucified and His tomb. Here we will celebrate Mass at 11.00 and take some time to reflect at this sacred site. Enjoy some free time in Jerusalem for lunch before visiting the Western Wall. We will then drive to Taybeh – a town where Jesus stayed before going to Jerusalem to endure the Passion. It is the last all-Christian town in the West Bank and here we will hear about efforts to keep the local Christian community vibrant, including local wine-making before returning to the hotel in Bethlehem for dinner.
Day 10 - Mount of Olives
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. Continue to visit the Pater Noster Church, Dominus Flevit, the Church of the Assumption and grotto and the Garden of Gethsemane. In the afternoon we celebrate Mass at 15.00 in the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu or ‘cock’s crow’, where St 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 King David and the Room of the Last Supper.
Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 11– Emmaus
After breakfast at the hotel, we have some free time in Bethlehem before boarding the coach for the journey to Emmaus where we will have Mass and lunch before proceeding to the airport for the direct flight back to Dublin.
*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.