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.
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.
Kibbutz Lavi / Nazareth
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.
Moshav Arbel / Wadi Hamam / Tabgha / Capernaum
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.
Judea / Bethlehem
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.
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.
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.
Qumran / Dead Sea / Jericho
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.
Return to Toronto
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport in Tel Aviv for a flight to Toronto. Late afternoon arrival.
PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY LAND
What is the deadline for registration?
There is no deadline. We accept registration on a “first-come-first serve” basis. There is always a limited number of spaces available and as soon as we sell them – the group is completed. To avoid disappointment please register as soon as you decide.
When is the final payment?
Usually it is 60 days before departure, but there are some exceptions for non-standard tours. Your invoice will indicate clearly when your payments are due.
What happens with my deposit when you cancel a group?
In a very unlike situation when we have to cancel a group for reasons out of our control, your deposit is protected and fully refundable. When you cancel on your own please make sure that your non-refundable deposit is protected by your own insurance.
Can I request a specific seat on a flight?
For the group reservations the airlines don't give us an option of selecting specific seats. When your ticket is issued your seat is guaranteed, but usually not printed on the e-ticket. However, you can always check-in online 24 hours before departure and change your seat based on availability.
Tell me which hotels we will be staying?
We always book best, first-class hotels. We frequently check them for best quality. Hotels are confirmed about two months before departure and we will give you all details in the final itinerary
I'm traveling alone & don't have a roommate. What should I do?
Please register ASAP. We will take a note of your request and will try to match you with another passenger willing to share. Other options are single room (with a supplement) or forming a triple room if you know another two people willing to share.
I have several food allergies. Can I request a special menu?
Please let us know about your food restrictions. We will order special meals for your flights, if available. All breakfasts and some dinners at the destinations are buffets, so you can select food by yourself. The restaurants at the destinations will do their best to offer you individual alternate to standard set menus for the group. You will need to communicate your needs through tour leaders.
What is eTA? Does it apply to me?
If you are Canadian or US citizen – no need to worry. It applies to citizens of other countries. They will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Apply and get help at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start-int.asp