Arrive at Cairo Airport. After airport formalities, proceed to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Cairo.
This morning, the tour begins at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, housing the gold treasures of King Tutankhamen. See one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza, and the nearby Sphinx. Continue to the Hanging Church dating to the late 4th and early 5th Century. This Basilica was built on the top of the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Then visit the Church of Abu Sergah, built on the cave in which the Holy Family stayed and regarded as a source of blessing. After an exciting dinner cruise and show on a Nile Riverboat, return to the hotel in Cairo for overnight.
Walk through the world-famous El Khalili Bazaar to shop for souvenirs. Drive east towards the Sinai desert, passing the famed Suez Canal. Dinner and overnight at St. Catherine in Sinai or at Dahab, on the shores of the Red Sea.
Begin with an early morning mountain climb ( optional!) up Mount Sinai, where the Ten Commandments were given to Moses. Enjoy the breathtaking view of sunrise from the peak. After returning to the hotel for breakfast, visit St. Catherine’s Monastery (if open) and Moses’ Spring. Then drive to Taba border and complete formalities to cross into Israel. Drive through the Arava Desert and along the shore of the Dead Sea to either Jerusalem or Bethlehem for check-in, dinner, and overnight.
Ascend the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the Old and New Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Ascension and the Pater Noster Church, where Jesus taught the “Our Father” prayer. Walk the Palm Sunday Road to Dominus Flevit where Jesus foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations housing the rock where Jesus wept during His agony. Celebrate Mass at this holy site. Proceed to the Old City and see the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed a blind man. Visit the Church of St. Anne, the Dome of the Rock, and the Western Wall, a site sacred to Jews. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, from the Chapel of Flagellation to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
At Mt. Zion visit the tomb of David and Dormition Abbey, believed to be the place of the Virgin Mary’s assumption to heaven and the Room of the Last Supper, where the Holy Spirit descended among the Apostles. Visit also the Church of St. Peter of Gallicantu, believed to be built on what was the house of Caiaphas, where Jesus was tried and denied three times. Drive to Bethlehem passing Rachel’s Tomb and the Shepherds’ Fields. Visit the Church of Nativity and celebrate Mass on site. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, visit Ein Karem and see the church of St. John the Baptist and the Visitation Church or Church of the Magnificent, where the Virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth. Driving past Jericho, the oldest city in the world, continue south to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. Visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Enjoy a float in the Dead Sea. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Departing Jerusalem, drive towards the Mediterranean Sea to Jaffa, the historic port dating back to biblical times. Walkthrough Jaffa’s ancient stone alleyways, the House of Simon, and then drive through the bustling city of Tel Aviv. Further north on the Mediterranean Sea lies Caesarea, built by Herod the Great, where Peter baptized the centurion Cornelius. See the splendidly preserved Roman amphitheater, aqueduct, and many other impressive structures. Continue to Mount Carmel, where Elijah confronted the priests of Baal and then to Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city and home to the beautiful Bahal Shrine and Gardens. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias or Nazareth.
Visit the Beatitudes Church where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter and Tabgha where Jesus fed the multitudes. Continue to Capernaum to see the 4th-century Synagogue and St. Peter’s House. Take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Continue to Cana where Jesus changed the water into wine and where couples will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows in the Church of Cana. The next stop is Nazareth, where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and where Jesus spent his boyhood. Visit the Church of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s workshop and the home of the Holy Family. Proceed to Yardenit, a baptismal site on Jordan River. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
En route to Jordan, drive to Mt. Tabor to visit the Church of the Transfiguration. At the River Jordan, complete border formalities and cross into Jordan. Continue to Madaba, a town dating back to Biblical times and the site of the magnificent mosaic 6th Century Holyland map. Continue to Mt. Nebo, believed to be the burial site of Moses. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Amman.
Travel to the fabled “Rose Red City” of Petra, the 2000-year-old Nabatean capital, and one of the Wonders of the World. Walk or ride through the Siq to the hidden valley of the city itself, where the monumental buildings were carved out of rock. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Time permitting, take a tour of the city of Amman, Jordan’s capital, before proceeding to the airport for the return flight home.
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