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10 Day Catholic Sample Itinerary
Welcome upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Meet, assist and transfer to Tel Aviv, visiting ancient Jaffa (New Testament Joppa) with the House of Simon the Tanner, before checking into our hotel in Tel Aviv or Natanya for dinner and overnight.
Our first full day of touring begins with a visit to the ruins of ancient Caesarea and continues with a drive over the crest of Mount Carmel to see the site where Elijah the Prophet overcame the Prophets of Baal in the name of the God of Israel. Next is Megiddo, the Harmageddon of the Book of Revelation. Afternoon drive to Nazareth where Jesus lived for most of the first 30 years of his life visiting the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Synagogue Church and the Sisters of Nazareth Convent where archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of a first century “courtyard house” which may have been the place where Jesus spent his formative years. We shall also visit the “Mount of the Leap”so-called because it was from the brow of a steep hill that the inhabitants of Nazareth wanted to cast him down. Then we drive on to Cana in Galilee, the scene of the wedding feast described in John chapter 2. Finally we arrive at the Sea of Galilee and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
We begin our pilgrimage early this morning with a drive through the beautiful landscape of Lower Galilee, the home of many of Jesus’ disciples, to Mt. Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration. We shall visit the Church of the Transfiguration the entrance to which is flanked by chapels dedicated to Moses and Elijah who were seen with Jesus during his Transfiguration. The ascent and descent is by private taxis and after our descent we drive on back to the Sea of Galilee, an area which is rich in memories of the three years of Jesus ministry around its shores and take a boat ride across the Sea to Kibbutz Ein Gev located on the eastern shores of the lake where there is the possibility, against extra charge, to eat a lunch of St. Peter’s Fish. Then we drive on to the pilgrim shrines located on the NW shores of the Sea of Galilee. We begin with Capernaum which was a fishing village where Jesus started his earthly ministry and chose 5 of his disciples. We shall visit the ancient synagogue where Jesus preached and performed many signs and wonders and the remains of the humble house of Peter where Christ lived during his stay in Capernaum over which a church has been built. Next we come to Tabgha with the Church of the Feeding of the 5000 and the Chapel of the Primacy. The Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, is next on our itinerary. Then we come to Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, where a first century synagogue has been uncovered as well as the remains of an important first century port city from which fish was exported for the Temple in Jerusalem. This is followed by a visit to the famous fishing boat which has become known as the “Jesus Boat” before returning to our hotel in Tiberias.
Our first destination today is the city of Safed (Tsfat) the highest city in the State of Israel and is one of Judaisms 4 Holy Cities along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias. We shall visit the synagogue of Rabbi Josef Karo, a scholar and a kabbalist who lived in the 16th century and who authored the Shulchan Arukh, known as the code of Jewish law. We can also walk through the old city of Safed and visit its artist quarter.Next we drive down to the Hula Valley and over the Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob up to the Golan Heights to Banias, the site of the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi and visit the Banias Nature Reserve with the largest waterfall in Israel. From the top of Mount Bental we shall look over the Syrian border to the city of Kuneitra and the road to Damascus which was the route taken by the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. We continue our drive passing Mount Hermon to Tel Dan where the remains of a 5000 year old ancient city were excavated. It takes its name from the tribe of Dan and was a major reference point in the unified kingdom – “from Dan to Beersheba”. We return to our hotel in Tiberias via the Hula Valley for dinner and overnight .
Today after breakfast we depart the Sea of Galilee and our first visit this day is to the Yardenit baptismal site where there is the opportunity to be baptized in the waters of the River Jordan. Then we drive on through the Jordan Valley passing the ancient site of Gilgal, located on the eastern border of Jericho, where the Children of Israel, under Joshua, encamped after crossing the Jordan River. In Jericho we see the Mount of Temptation and visit the Fountain of Elisha the Prophet. We stop under a sycamore tree of the kind which Zachaeus, the tax collector climbed in order to see Jesus. We drive on through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem, the “city of God” and take a first glimpse of the Holy City from one of the heights around the city. Finally this day we check into our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast this day we shall start our pilgrimage in Jerusalem with a drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives, from which Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. From the top of the Mount there is a magnificent view over all of ancient and modern Jerusalem, the center of the biblical world. We visit the holy shrines on the Mount and walk on down the “Palm Sunday Road” visiting the Chapel of Dominus Flevit (Jesus wept) en route to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where Christ prayed on the night of his betrayal (Lk. 22:40-46). Next we shall enter within the old walled city of Jerusalem and walk in the footsteps of our Lord as he bore the burden of our sins to the Cross at Golgotha. We visit the Pools of Bethesda and walk on along the Via Dolorosa, following the 14 Stations of the Cross from the Gabbatha or Lithostros or Pilate’s Judgement Seat to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon we shall visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple at the Western (Wailing) Wall. Next we shall visit the Mt. Zion with the Upper Room and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu which is built over the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, before whom Jesus was brought for trial and sentenced to death. Beside the Church we shall see the “Roman Steps” which were probably used by Jesus and his disciples on the day of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This day begins with a visit to the Israel Museum with the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are preserved, and the model of the 2nd Temple period Jerusalem. Passing by the Knesset we drive to the Yad Vashem Museum of the Holocaust which preserves the memory of the 6 million victims of the Shoah. After the visit we drive on to a city of Juda which today is named Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus the Christ. The Chapel of the Visitation recalls the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and stands upon the location of the House of Zechariah. We follows this visit in the afternoon with a drive to Bethlehem the royal city of King David where Jesus was born. The Church of the Nativity is reputed to be one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. Here we have the opportunity to kneel at the place of Jesus’ birth in the Grotto of the Nativity. Before leaving Bethlehem we shall stop at the Shepherd’s Field where some shepherds watching their flocks were the first to whom the Angels announced the birth of the Christ, the Saviour of the World. Then we return to Jerusalem and end the day with a visit to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Golgotha before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today after breakfast we start our tour with a visit to Bethany, where stood the House of Martha and Mary. There is a church commemorating the raising of Lazarus from the dead and we shall have the opportunity of visiting his tomb. Then we drive on to the “Inn of the Good Samaritan ” enroute to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on the face of the Earth and continue our tour along the shores of the Sea to the mountain fortress of Massada which was the last stand of a group of Jewish Zealots against the Romans in the year 73AD who all died by their own hands rather than fall into the hands of their pagan conquerors. We ascend and descend the mount by cable car and visit the extensive remains of the fortress which soars 400 meters above the Dead Sea. Then we return to Jerusalem passing Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written 2000 years ago. We stop en route at Wadi Kelt and visit a Greek Orthodox Monastery clinging to the side of the Wadi Kelt ravine called St. George Kosiba. Finally we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. On a Friday late afternoon we shall walk down to the Western Wall to observe or take part in the recitation of special evening prayers known as Kabalat Shabbat, the Jewish ritual of welcoming the Shabbat. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight
After breakfast we shall visit the Temple Mount where so many of the events we read about in the Bible took place and where Jesus taught so often. Then we shall visit the “City of David” the archaeological site of the city, which King David captured from the Jebusites 3000 years ago, where we can go through Hezekiah’s Tunnel and see the Pool of Siloam where Jesus restored the sight of the man born blind. The rest of the day is free for last minute shopping and other private activities. Dinner and overnight .
Evening: Presentation of “Jerusalem Pilgrim” certificates.
After breakfast we say farewell to Jerusalem, the city of God, and set off for the drive to Ben Gurion Airport and the homebound flight when we hope you will relax and recount your life changing journey to the Holy Land.
* Due to a continuous influx of visitors to Israel over the past years, road work and traffic congestion, as well as other variables outside of Immanuel Tours’ control, itineraries are subject to change and number of site visits possible in each day may be limited. Every effort is made by Immanuel Tours staff to maximize scheduling in order for your tour to be comprehensive and enjoyable.
What People are Saying about Immanuel Tours
I must tell you I give both Immanuel Tours and Mordi my highest recommendation – Donna and I had an amazing trip. The personal service, hotels, attention to detail and most of all the flexibility of Mordi (he learned I like frozen coffees – so there was always a stop somewhere) to change up the itinerary when timing/location deemed necessary.
Now a special word about Mordi – his knowledge and passion for Israel is so evident in his spirit it is a joy to spend time with him. He has a great sense of humor (which I’m sure he needed with us) and loved sharing his Jewish faith and Israeli heritage during our unending questions.
Yoav – a note of thanks for all your help with our pilgrimage – I know you did all the legwork for the sites, hotels and details. It was flawless and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re the best!
Again, thank you Immanuel Tours – it was a life changing experience and you made it happen.
Next year, in Jerusalem!
Immanuel Tours provided very personalized service to us. Two of our group flew in from Egypt ahead of the others by about 8 hours. The two were settled into the hotel, picked up by car by Susan herself and driven to the airport to meet the rest of the incoming group and ride the bus back to the hotel as a group. No extra charge, ''just part of it'' they told us. There were six employees on hand to meet us at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly.
I could continue, but this email cannot do justice to the service and accommodations Immanuel Tours provided us. I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we are returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.
My first pilgrimage to The Promised Land was with Immanuel Tours and the entire trip exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that my husband and I signed up for another tour the following year and took 5 family members with us! Okay, so if that wasn’t enough we signed up again this year and took 4 more friends! Yes, that is three years in a row!
When I go back to Israel, I will only travel with Immanuel Tours. Outstanding guides, exceptional drivers, and first rate service. Immanuel Tours is truly excited to be a part of your incredible, experience in the Holy Land and care about every little detail.
Greg and Katie Holloway
Our first experience with Immanuel Tours was over 10 years ago in 2006. We have been using them ever since and can say the service level has never wavered. They offer impeccable customer service, with such personal attention given to every detail. We consider them not just our tour company but they have become our Israeli family. We have been so blessed through them and highly recommend them.
Thank you so much for a very well organized tour/pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our guide, Asher, and our driver, David, were very nice & they were so great. Very knowledgeable too! It was a wonderful experience. We hope to visit the Holy Land again with Immanuel Tours.
Just got back from a Zola Levitt Israel tour and my wife and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Dror was our guide and Charlie was the driver. They both performed above expectations. We couldn't get enough of Dror's observations and knowledge. Charlie made the transportation logistics seem effortless, he was applauded multiple times navigating us around. A++
Pastor Doug Byrum
My wife, Glenna and I have traveled to Israel 13 times, 11 of those with Immanuel Tours. They are simply the best. Reasons, they are family, they care about every aspect of your tour. If someone is hurt they will sit at the hospital. I consider everything they do to be first class. It truly is if you ask and it is possible they will make it happen. It is the only group my tours will travel with, I have used others, none this good. Give them a try, you won't be sorry, I promise...
Sandra Luttrell, Zola Tours Manager
Zola Tours has been hosting pilgrims in the Holy Land for over 35 years, teaching and revealing the Bible from a Messianic Jewish perspective, and Immanuel Tours has been our land agent for almost 20 of those years. Immanuel Tours staff and services are over-the-top excellent and professional; yet at the same time they treat their clients like family, with a personal touch! They oversee and ensure each part of our tours is handled with perfection and that we and they provide an everlasting, monumental, never-to-be-forgotten Holy Land experience for each of our pilgrims! We cannot sing their praises enough, and we give them the highest and most honored accolades and recommendation possible! If you are in need of the BEST land agent in Israel, PLEASE give them a chance to prove everything we say and believe about them!
With warmest and sincerest blessings,
Zola Tours Manager
This was the trip of a lifetime! From start to finish everything ran smoothly and was so well organized. Israel is a beautiful country and I can’t imagine seeing it for the first time with anyone other than Immanuel Tours. Thank you so much for making our pilgrimage to the Holy Land such an incredible experience.
We unfortunately did not get to take our tour with Immanuel tours due to the closing of Israel's border due to Coronavirus. However, you need to know that I have NEVER been treated as well by ANY company as we worked through the problem. Outstanding communication, always looking to take care of us and our needs. They legimately could have charged a cancellation fee, because they did all the work, but they waived all fees. Phillip ,Susan, and Carine are a delight to.work.with and we WILL use them we we are able to reschedule. Thank you Immanuel. Tours, you truly out the hospitable in hospitality.
Bob Lutz – San Clemente, CA
I want to thank you for accommodating our group since we were only 14. And for giving us Yoni as a guide. You are fortunate to have him. He was so knowledgeable and entertaining. We LOVED him. And Dabash as our driver was excellent as well. Thank you for all your efforts. It was a memorable trip.
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