Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Mt. Tabor, Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Ein Karem, Bethlehem, Qumran, Jericho, Dead Sea, Mt. of Olives, Gethsemane, Mt. Zion, Holy Sepulchre, Rome, Siena, Asssisi (St. Francis), Florence
Breakfast, LUNCH, and Dinner daily in The Holy Land
Breakfast and Dinner daily in Italy
Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
Free Wi-Fi on motor coach in The Holy Land
Assistance of a professional local guide throughout
Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary † Admisson to Vatican City † Admission to Vatican Museum
Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
Mass daily & Spiritual activities
Luggage handling (1 piece per person) Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
*Renew Wedding Vows in Cana - Pilgrim couples will have a special opportunity to renew wedding vows on Day 3 during Mass
*Special Clergy Discount
*Discount is offered to ordained clergy in the Roman Catholic Church: deacons, priests, or bishops belonging to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopate, respectively as well, as Catholic Sisters.
206 Tours Pilgrims Cross
is a gift exclusively to all Pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Day 1: Depart USA
Board your flight for the start of your journey to Tel Aviv, with complimentary meals and beverages served on board.
Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv
Arrival in Tel Aviv, you will be met by the 206 Tours representative and transfer to your hotel in the Tel Aviv area. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Day 3: Caesarea - Stella Maris - Nazareth - Tiberias Theme: The Annunciation
This morning after breakfast leave for Caesarea, which was once the ancient capital of the Roman province. Here you view the impressive archaeological remains of the Roman and Byzantine city that once dominated the region. It was at Caesarea that Peter came to understand that the Good News was not for Jews only, but for the whole world. Here he baptized the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. It was from Caesarea that Paul set sail for Rome, an event that eventually brought Christianity to the World. Continue north to Haifa to visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Mt Carmel and located over the cave where Elijah lived. After enjoying the view of the bay of Acco, drive to Nazareth, the site of Mary’s home and the town where Jesus lived as a child. At Nazareth visit the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph and Mary’s Well. Continue to Tiberias to check – in to your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Tiberias: Sea of Galilee Theme: The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee
After breakfast we start with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. After this, see the remains of a boat that dates back to the time of Jesus, found buried in mud. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. Nearby is Tabgha, where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 and onto the site known as “Peter’s Primacy”. Here, after His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” [John 21:9]. After lunch, we visit the remains of the fishing village of Magdala (Aramaic for “elegant”). During the time of Jesus it was a thriving place that exported dried fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction popular in Roman cooking). Excavations done by the Franciscans in the 1970s revealed the residential area of the village and the docks where the fishing boats would unload the fish caught in the Sea of Galilee. In 2009 a chance discovery revealed a 1stCentury synagogue at the entrance to the village from West. It is also assumed that Mary Magdalen was born here. End the day at Capernaum, from where Jesus launched his Ministry; see the synagogue which dates to the time of Jesus and the church built over the site of Peter’s home. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5: Jordan River - Mt. Tabor – Jericho – Jordan River - Jerusalem Theme: The Transfiguration
Today, after breakfast, drive to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, with time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity. Mass here will be a good preparation for the journey to Jerusalem where Jesus was to suffer the crucifixion and resurrection. Drive down the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, where we view Mt Temptation and an example of a Sycamore Tree. Visit the Baptismal site on the Jordan River then to Jerusalem, where you check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Jerusalem: Temple Model - Ein Karem - Bethlehem Theme: The Visitation and Nativity
Begin the day with a visit to the Second Temple scale model for an overview of Jerusalem as it was at the time of Jesus. A short drive takes us to the village of Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist, to visit the church that commemorates his memory. Pray the Mystery of the Rosary on the walk up the hill to the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon visit Bethlehem to see the cave at the Shepherds’ Field. The caves have soot marks of the fires that shepherd’s lit to keep warm while watching over their flocks. In the afternoon we will depart to Bethlehem, beginning at Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest of Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. Enter the Church and down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Jesus’ birth. Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary.) After Mass we will return to the hotel in Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Bethany - Dead Sea Theme: Early Years in Jerusalem & the Wilderness.
This morning drive down the Jordan Valley to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Afterwards there may be time for a dip in the Dead Sea for those who want to. Drive through the Judean Wilderness where Jesus spent 40 days fasting, and it is in this area that John the Baptist lived and baptized Christ. Then to Bethany where He raised Lazarus from the dead. Celebrate Mass here before returning to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Jerusalem: Mt. Of Olives - Gethsemane - Mt. Zion - Western Wall Theme: Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
From the Mount of Olives take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem. Then to the Pater Noster shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Pater Noster — The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4). Walking down the Palm Sunday Road stop at the beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit - “The Lord wept.” It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41].
At Gethsemane reflect on Jesus’ final night. The Garden contains trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Visit the Church of All Nations to pray at the “Rock of Agony,” a section of bedrock identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Visit the Western Wall, to see all that remains of the Temple compound that dates to the time of Jesus. From here we will continue to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas where He was interrogated and imprisoned. Now called Peter in Gallicantu (“crowing rooster”), this beautiful Church also commemorates Peter’s Denial of Christ, his repentance and then being forgiven by Jesus. After Mass we will go up to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, which commemorates the Last Supper. Nearby is the Benedictine Church of the Dormition. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 9: Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa - Holy Sepulchre Theme: The Way of the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
This morning we start the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. The Stations of the Cross lead, through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here is the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Christ. Mass will be in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After breakfast visit the Church of St Anne’s, the Pool of Bethesda and the Sisters of Zion. This afternoon there will be time to revisit the Old City. Dinner and Overnight.
Day 10: Jerusalem - Tel Aviv - Rome
Today we depart from the Holy Land for on flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome you will be met by your driver and transfer to the hotel where you will meet the rest of your group. Relax and settle into your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Rome (Papal Audience and Vatican Museum Tour)
Wake up in Eternal City, one of the greatest centers of Western Civilization and the first truly cosmopolitan city on earth! It is also spiritual capital for all the Catholics around the world. Today is truly a day we will have in our minds for many years to come. This morning we go to Vatican City to attend the weekly Papal Audience or Blessing given by His Holiness the Pope (pending papal schedule). Following the audience visit of the Vatican Museums, a group of most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. Later, enter the largest church in Christendom St. Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St. Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. We will also visit the grave of St. John Paul II located at the Vatican. Before dinner, we'll have some time at leisure, to explore your own paths, to shop, or just to sit in one of the outside cafes and watch the world go by.
Day 12: Rome
This morning we depart for a sightseeing tour with focus on "Christian Rome" Touring we will see many important cultural and monumental sights around Rome. Stop for a visit at three major Basilicas: St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, a shrine that contains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus. The Basilica of the St. John in Lateran, is the former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377. St. Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St. Paul under its main altar. We will also see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus, Chapel "O'Domine Quo Vadis?" the remains of imperial tombs, Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St. Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will also enjoy a visit to the Trevi fountain. Dinner and overnight for your last evening in Rome.
Day 13: Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
We leave Rome, the Eternal City, for San Giovanni Rotondo. We will stop in Monte Cassino, a beautiful town founded by St. Benedict in 529. Dinner and overnight in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Day 14: San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant' Angelo
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, we tour the sanctuary, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. We will have an opportunity to view his exhumed body (through September 2009). You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Cargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different popes, St. Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St. Michael. A panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
Day 15: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Loreto - Assisi
We will have breakfast at our hotel before we embark on a drive up the Adriatic coast to Lanciano where we will see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass. We then continue on to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Continue to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 16: Assisi
Visit the tomb of St. Francis. Explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St. Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St. Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th-century Basilica are many of the saint's possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St. Mary of the Angels Basilica where St. Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. After stopping at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St. Clare to see the saint's incorrupt body. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St. Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Day 17: Assisi - Siena
We are off to the beautiful town of Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will stroll the Piazza Del Campo, one of Italy’s finest squares and visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, containing the miraculous consecrated hosts that remained intact since 1730. View the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Return to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 18: Assisi - USA
We bid farewell to our new friends and to a pilgrimage which will be in our memories for a long time to come. Early departure from Assisi for Florence Airport for our return flight to the USA. We fondly say, Arrivederci Italia!
Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication of the tour, rather than a contract of places to be visited. Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visits.
We will have daily Mass and strive to be in places as indicated. However, sometimes this is not possible as the site may not be available for Mass or itinerary changes are forced upon us. In this case an alternative site for Mass will be arranged.
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Private Room (Single Supplement)
Land with Inter-European Flights
One-Way flight from Israel to Rome
(no international airfare or arrival/departure transfers are included)
Holy Land: In the footsteps of Jesus: If you desire to draw closer to Jesus of Nazareth, come, as we follow in His footsteps. Each day of your pilgrimage you will have time to renew and affirm your faith; to pray and reflect. The Scriptures will come alive as you visit Our Lord's homeland. You will be inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape, in addition to its rich historical heritage It is an encounter that has changed the lives of many pilgrims, an act of faith and prayer. Pilgrims have been traveling to the Holy Land for hundreds of years, and as part of your pilgrimage, we include many of the rich traditions that have evolved over time.
Rome: Rome has been one of history's most powerful and important cities, along with home to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter. Contained within is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, glory and awesomeness of God.
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