Day 1 – Nov 19
Early evening departure from Toronto to Tel Aviv.
Day 2 – Nov 20
Early afternoon arrival in Tel Aviv. Upon meeting our guide we travel to Cesarea by the Sea, a site of Jesus’ preaching. Continue (time permitting) to Haifa and Mt. Carmel, the “burning place” where Elijah called fire down to confound the prophets of Baal. Continue to our hotel in Nazareth for rest, dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Nov 21
Today we start our walking tour on Jesus trails. After breakfast we ascend out of the old city of Nazareth and walk through calm pastoral fields to Zippori National Park to visit the archeological ruins of the main administrative city in the Galilee at the time of Jesus. Continue through the small village of Mashhad to arrive at Cana, traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle (17 km 5 hrs walking). Transfer by bus back to our hotel in Nazareth for Mass, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Nov 22
This morning we are transferred to Kibbutz Lavi to start our walk. We cross agricultural fields to ascend the Horns of Hattin– a volcanic structure where a famous Crusader battle took place. We relish first glimpses of the Sea of Galilee and the sweeping views into Arbel Valley. Continue down the rocky hillside to Nebi Shu’eib and visit the tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, After lunch, continue on the trail through Arbel Valley past ancient olive groves and the ruins of Hattin village to Moshav Arbel (15 km 4 hrs). From there we return by bus to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Nov 23
After breakfast we are transferred back to Moshav Arbel. Our walk will start with descending the steep trail down the mount, passing ancient cliff dwellings and caves. We visit the springs at Wadi Hamam before continuing to Tabgha via rolling agricultural land. Explore the mosaics at Tabgha, the site of the miracle of multiplication. Continue around the northern side of the Sea of Galilee to visit the church of St. Peter. Ascend a small ridge to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, where we celebrate Mass. We finish our journey at Capernaum, a home of St. Peter. (15 km 4 hrs). Return by bus to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Nov 24
After breakfast we depart for Judea. En route we visit Mt. Tabor. We hike the mountain from the parking lot (or hike the steep Israel National Trail that through Mt. Deborah, about 5 hrs). Continue by bus to Bethlehem – where Jesus was born, celebrating Christmas Mass in one of the grottos. We visit the Manger in the Church of the Nativity, the Crusaders’ Cloister and the Grotto of St. Jerome – Shepherd’s field. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Nov 25
Today’s journey takes us to the ancient city of Jerusalem: St. Ann’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of the Flagellation and the Arch of Ecce Homo, the convent of the sisters of Zion. We continue with the Stations of the Cross – Via Dolorosa to the Holy Sepulchre. Mass will be celebrated in one of the many churches of Jerusalem. In the afternoon we visit the Western Wall, also called the “Wailing Wall”. We see the place of the Mosque of Omar and El Aksar and move on to the Church of Pater Noster and the Garden of Gethsemane. (4 km) Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Nov 26
This morning we continue our visit of Jerusalem’s Mount Zion with the Upper Room (Room of the Last Supper) and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu. In the afternoon we walk the beautiful trail from Sataf Junction to Ein Karem (7 km, 3 hrs), the city of St. John. d t3 hours. With hiking in Ein Karem, visit the churches and celebrate Mass. Continue by bus to our hotel in Jericho for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 – Nov 27
Today we hike from Wadi Qelt to Mt. of Temptation back to Jericho (7 km 3hrs). Continue by bus to Qumran, Qasr El Yehud and the Dead Sea. Time for floating in the Dead Sea before returning to the ancient city of Jericho where we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Nov 28
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport in Tel Aviv for a flight to Toronto. Late afternoon arrival.