St. David’s Holy Land Pilgrimage
Fr. Ken and Darlene Swanson
March 10-21, 2019
Atlanta International Airport
Tel Aviv, Israel
Sunday, March 10th: Depart USA on a flight to Tel Aviv.
Monday, March 11th: Arrive in Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Beit Shemesh – Valley of Elah – Beersheba
We will arrive in Tel Aviv where our guide George Maskubi will meet us. After boarding a new, climate-controlled motor coach, George will provide an orientation of the Holy Land as we drive south towards Jaffa. In Jaffa, we will visit the traditional site where in a dream St. Peter received the vision that opened Christian salvation to the Gentiles. We will also see the very place where Jonah ran from the Lord. Then group will continue to Beit Shemesh and the Valley of Elah, traditionally the site where David fought Goliath. We will check into our hotel in Beersheba for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, March 12th: Beersheba – Eilat – Taba Border – Sinai – Transfer to Morgenland
Following breakfast we will visit the excavation of the ancient city of Beersheba. We will then drive towards Eilat, where the group will cross the Taba Border into Egypt. After meeting our Egyptian guide and driver, we will head to Morgenland Village for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, March 13th: Mount Sinai – St. Catherine’s Monastery – Arava Border – Aqaba Early in the morning, those who are willing and able will climb Mount Sinai to view the sunrise. Following breakfast, the whole group will drive to St. Catherine’s Monastery, the oldest continuing Christian community in the world, which houses some the oldest and most precious icons in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will then travel to the Arava border and cross into Jordan. We will meet our Jordanian guide and driver and head to Aqaba for dinner and overnight.
Thursday – March 14th: Aqaba – Wadi Rum – Petra
We will depart from Aqaba and pass through Wadi Rum, where much of the movie Lawrenceof Arabia was filmed. The group will visit Petra, the 2000-year-old Nabatean city highlighted in the movie Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will walk through the narrow passageway (the “Siq”) up to the Treasury, a massive royal tomb carved out of solid rock. We will also visit the traditional Tomb of Aaron before checking in at our hotel in Petra for dinner and overnight.
Friday, March 15: Petra – Madaba – Nebo – Jericho – Beit Shean – Tiberias
We will depart from Petra and drive to Madaba, the city of mosaics, to see the wonderfully vivid 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George. We will continue on to visit Mt. Nebo, where Moses looked into the Promised Land. The group will cross back into Israel over the Allenby Bridge, where we will be met by George Maskubi. Our first stop will be Beit Shean, the spectacular excavation of an ancient city, where Philistines, then Israelites, then Greeks and then Romans lived sequentially over the centuries. Following that we will drive to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Saturday, March 16th: Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt. Beatitudes – Tel Dan – Banias –
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee
We will start the day with a visit to Capernaum, where Jesus based his Galilean ministry. We will see the house of Peter’s mother-in-law, and the synagogue where Jesus taught. We continue on to visit Tabgha, the church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. Then on to visit the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. We will drive across the hills of Galilee to Tel Dan, the northernmost city of Biblical Israel. Next we will visit Banias (Caesarea Philippi) where St. Peter first declared Jesus was the Messiah. We will then visit to the ancient boat museum, containing the recently discovered 2000-year old shing boat. We will end our day on the Sea of Galilee sailing on a replica of that boat, before returning to our hotel and dinner.
Sunday, March 17th: Tiberias – Cana – Nazareth – Mount Carmel – Caesarea – Jerusalem Following breakfast, we will stop at the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, where the resurrected Lord Jesus met with his disciples. We will celebrate the Holy Eucharist on an outdoor altar overlooking the Sea of Galilee. We will then visit Cana and the Church of the First Miracle, where married couples can renew their wedding vows. Then we will travel on to Nazareth, the city of Jesus’ boyhood and youth. The group will continue to Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elijah defeated the false prophets of Baal. Driving along the Mediterranean coast, we will visit the ancient port city of Caesarea, before continuing on to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Monday, March 18: Mt. Olives – Gethsemane – Davidson Centre – Mt. Zion
The group will start the day with a visit to the Mount of Olives where we will stop for a panoramic view over Jerusalem. We will then stop at Garden of Gethsemane, reserving time for personal prayer. The group will continue on to visit Davidson Centre where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. Following that, we will gather at the main entrance to the Temple, the steps where Rabbis met and taught their followers. This is a place where Jesus most certainly taught as well. We will continue on to visit Mount Zion and visit the Upper Room, where traditionally the Last Supper was held. Then we will go on to the Church of St. Peter in Galicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times. After that, we will go back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday – March 19th: Western Wall Tunnels – Bethlehem – Shepherd’s Field
We will start the day with a visit to the Western Wall Tunnels, walking on the very stones where Jesus trod, and see the place where our Savior taught. Later we will continue on to visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, built over the birthplace of Jesus. We will visit the Shepherds’ Field, where the shepherds saw the star of the nativity. Then we will travel back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, March 20th: Jericho – Masada – Ein Gedi – Qumran – the site of Jesus’ baptism – the Dead Sea
After breakfast, we will depart for Jericho with its ancient ruins, seeing what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. We will continue on to visit Masada, the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD who stood against the Roman legions. This is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. We then continue to En Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place and where traditionally, many of the psalms were written by David. After lunch, we visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essene community. We will end our day visiting the Dead Sea, perhaps for a swim. Then on to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Thursday, March 21st: The Temple Mount – St. Anne & Pool of Bethesda – The Via Dolorosa –
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Departure
We begin our day ascending the Temple Mount, a place sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. We then enter the Old City to walk the Via Dolorosa, along the way visiting the Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. We will end our tour at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, holiest site in all Christendom. This single church is vast enough to hold both the sites of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection. We will then have free time to explore the Old City of Jerusalem. Later in the afternoon we will be transferred to the airport in Tel Aviv for our flight home.
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight – Wide-bodied trans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.
Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Two Meals Daily
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!
Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit
Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top
*Some accommodations may be changed on certain tours depending on the leader’s wishes. Please see your dedicated tour page for more information.
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