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Holyland Catholic Trip – 8 days

Get to know the holy land at its holiest

Ayala Travels & Tours is excited to invite you to a special tour covering all the important spots of Catholic interest, tradition and faith. guided by skilled guides and designed carefully to enable you to be more than just a tourist. 

Day 1: The Sacred Places on the Shore

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, one of our representatives will be there to greet you. Our very first destination is Jaffa – the old port town of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the home of St. Tabitha who revived Petrus, and presents some points of interest: The port, the old city and the artist's quarters, ``Mahmudje Mosque``, the house of the Tanner Simon, and the Franciscan Church. Next, we will be heading north, to visit the old Roman ruins in the city of Caesarea. Afterward, we will continue to Haifa, where Holy Mass can be celebrated at ``Stella Maris`` (Starfish) – a complex of buildings belonging to the Carmelite Order. After the Mass, we will be going up the country to the old city of Acre. There we will visit the subterranean Crusader City, the Khan, the Caravanserai, and St. John's Crypt. Driving Through Kana – where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine – we will make our way to the Sea of Galilee, for an overnight stay.

Day 2: Around the Sea of Galilee

We will start the day in Mt. of Beatitudes, a hilltop watching over the sea of Galilee. From there, we shall visit ``Capernaum``, the former home of Jesus and his disciples, and explore the archeological excavations. Then, we will drive to ``Tabgha``, the site of the miracle of the loaves and fish and take in the breathtaking view of Lake Birket Ram and the volcanic mountain. We'll then travel to Banias (Caesarea Philippi). Finally, we'll make a stop at ``Yardenit``, the baptismal site at the outlet of the Jordan River.

Day 3: Nazareth and Mt. Tabor

Our first destination for the day is the city of Nazareth, a place of major significance for Christianity – being home to Maria and Josef. There, we will visit the Church of Annunciation and the Church of St. Josef. Next, we shall go up by car to Mount. Tabor, where the Transfiguration of Jesus occurred. If time allows, a Holy Mass will be held at the Basilica. Then, we will drive down through the Jordan Valley to visit Jericho, the oldest city on earth. We will take in the view from the ``Mount of Temptation`` –where, during the times of his solitude, the devil offered Jesus to rule the whole world. We stay overnight either in Bethlehem or Jerusalem.

Day 4: Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Our next stop in this journey is the historic city of Bethlehem, where we will visit the Church of Nativity, the traditional site of the birthplace of Jesus, and it is considered one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. We will also visit the ``Shepherds Fields``, which is believed to be the spot where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. Then, we will drive to Jerusalem. We will follow the Via Dolorosa, the route that Jesus is have taken on his way to his crucifixion. We will visit the stations along the way, and finally reach the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the place that is believed to be the site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Day 5: Ein Karem and the Old City of Jerusalem

Today, we shall visit the picturesque village of Ein Karem, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and the reputed birthplace of John the Baptist. Hence, we will visit the Church of Visitation, which praises the meeting between Mary and her cousin, Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. If time permits, we may be able to celebrate mass at this church. After that, we will return to Jerusalem to visit the Holocaust Memorial, ``Yad Vashem``. We will also stop at the ``Knesset``, the parliament of Israel. In the afternoon, we will proceed to Mount Zion to visit St. Peter in ``Gallicantu`` (the traditional site where Jesus was held prisoner the night before his trial) and the ``Room of the Last Supper``. We will continue to visit the Dormition and King David's Tomb.

Day 6: Churches of Jerusalem and Temple Mt.

We begin our day by breathing in the panoramic views of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We will make our way down to ``Gethsemane`` and visit the Church of All Nations, the Church of the Ascension, Pater Noster, and Dominus Flevit Church where we may be able to celebrate the mass, time permitting. Afterward, we will pass by the Church of Mary Magdalene and visit the ``Cave of Betrayal``. In the afternoon, we will visit the model of the Herodian Jerusalem. We will continue to the Temple Mount: Jewish tradition states it was the site of the Temple, and we will visit the Western Wall - the last remaining wall of the Second Temple.

Day 7: Judean Desert - Wasteland and History

Time permits, We will embark on a journey through the rocky, remote landscape of the Judean Desert. We will pass by the ``Good Samaritan Inn``, an old palace that was once a popular stop for travelers, a Roman citadel, and even a police station. We go next to Qumran, where the famous ``Dead Sea Scrolls`` – an ancient manuscript of the Bible – were discovered in the 1940s. Next, we will follow the shoreline of the Dead Sea to Masada. We will ascend Masada by cable car, where we can visit the impressive remains of King Herod's fortress: the fort offers a glimpse into the history of the Jewish people. Later, we can swim in the salty, healing water of the Dead Sea.

Day 8: Departure

We will provide you with a transfer to Ben Gurion airport for your return flight home.

Interested in more information about this trip or other trips? Please leave details and we will get back to you.

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