14-Days: Holy Land & Greece

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DAY 1: DEPART USA

Depart en route to Tel Aviv with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / TRANSFER TO HERZLIA

On arrival in Tel Aviv we will be met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and proceed to our hotel in Herzlia on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner is at our hotel this evening. (D)

DAY 3: HERZLIA / CAESAREA / MUHRAQA / CARMEL / TIBERIAS

We depart Herzlia to Caesarea, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where St. Paul was imprisoned. Continue to Muhraqa, where the Carmelite Monastery of St. Elijah marks the place where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Ba’al. Here we celebrate Mass. Then we proceed to Mt. Carmel and the Chapel of Stella Mares. We arrive in Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 4: TIBERIAS: SEA OF GALILEE, CAPERNAUM & BEATITUDES

This morning we begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, then visit Capernaum, the Heptapegon (Peter’s Primacy), followed by a visit to Tabgha to commemorate the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. We ascend by motor coach to the Mt. of Beatitudes to gain a panoramic vista of the Sea of Galilee. Here we celebrate Mass. We continue to the Baptismal Site at the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows, then return to Tiberias for the balance of the day. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 5: TIBERIAS / CANA / MT. TABOR / NAZARETH / JERUSALEM

We depart to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast. Here we invite couples to renew their marriage vows. Then to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. We continue to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica

of the Annunciation for Mass at the Grotto, then continue to St. Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. We arrive in Jerusalem for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 6: JERUSALEM: BETHLEHEM, EIN KAREM & CHURCH OF VISITATION

We depart Jerusalem for Bethlehem, visiting Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity, St. Jerome’s Chapel, and St. Catherine’s Church. We celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, the town of Jesus’ birth. Returning, we stop in Ein Karem where we visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. This evening we request an audience with His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch and leader of the Roman Catholic community in the Holy Land (subject to schedule). Dinner is served at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 7: JERUSALEM: MT. SCOPUS & MT. OF OLIVES

Early this morning we carry the cross as we follow the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), later we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by a ride to Mt. Scopus and to the Mt. of Olives, where we gain a panoramic view of the old City of Jerusalem. We visit the Ascension Mosque, Pater Noster (commemorating the “Our Father”), Dominus Flavit (where Jesus wept over Jerusalem), and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. After lunch on our own, we continue onto the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu (where Peter denied Christ), the House of Caiphas, the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, and the Upper Room, commemorating the Last Supper. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 8: JERUSALEM: THE OLD CITY

We begin today entering through the Dung Gate, with a visit to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), the Dome of the Rock & Temple Mount. We visit the Church of St. Anne, marking the place of birth of the Blessed Mother, visiting as well the nearby Pools of Bethesda. We visit the Ecce Homo Arch and Lithostrotos, where we celebrate Mass. The balance of the day is at leisure in the Old City. Tonight we gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 9: TEL AVIV / ATHENS

We transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for our flight to Athens. Upon our arrival we are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and escorted to our private motor coach for transfer to our hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 10: ATHENS: CITY TOUR

This morning we begin with Mass at the Cathedral of St. Denis. We then make our way outside the city to the Monastery of Kaisariani, founded in the 11th century AD and consecrated to the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. We have a brief tour of the grounds, then some time for reflection and our Pilgrims’ prayer to Mary with a time for the pilgrims to share their hopes for the pilgrimage. We then tour the city of Athens, including the agora where Paul addressed the Athenians, the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus. We will have lunch in the Plaka area and return to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city and its museums. (B, L)

DAY 11: ATHENS: CORINTH EXCURSION

We journey to Corinth, the largest city in the land now known as Greece. Here Paul spent 18 months, preaching to the Jews and Gentiles. The site is overlooked by an Acropolis housing the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, goddess of love. In Corinth, Paul worked with Aquila and
Priscilla and his trial by Gallio took place in the agora. The community he founded here caused him much grief and prompted him to write at least four letters. We celebrate our liturgy today in Corinth with a reflection on Paul the Missionary. We have lunch in Nauplion and complete our day in Epidaurus, one of world’s best-preserved amphitheatres with remarkable acoustics. We return to Athens with dinner on our own. (B, D)

DAY 12: ATHENS: DELPHI EXCURSION

Today we venture to Delphi, home of the Oracle of Delphi. We visit the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo, dramatically set on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. After a tour of the excavations we continue back to Athens, stopping en route at Ossios Lukas Monastery (time permitting). Our evening is at leisure in Athens with dinner at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 13: ATHENS: ONE DAY CRUISE TO GREEK ISLANDS

This morning we transfer Pireus for a one-day cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydria. We return to Athens and enjoy a farewell dinner at a local taverna. (B, D)

DAY 14: RETURN USA

We transfer to the Athens airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.