Holy Land, Athens & Greek Isles Pilgrimage
Moderate – High
Follow the path of Christ and discover the land where he was born, where his ministry was, and where he made the ultimate sacrifice. Continue and follow the path of Paul the Apostle as you discover bucolic beauty and ancient history on this Grecian sojourn.
Book With Confidence
All new travel bookings automatically come with our Book with Confidence Travel Plan*—free of charge. This plan gives pilgrims the ability to move their booking to another destination or simply a different available departure date in our vast travel portfolio, no questions asked. They just need to let us know 120 days* before departure and we’ll waive all penalties and get them booked on a new pilgrimage.
*The Book with Confidence Travel Plan allows for any new booking made with Holy Land Travel Center to be changed to a different destination or to another available departure date. Notice of change in travel plans must be given 120 days before departure; standard cancellation penalties will apply for full cancellation without rebooking or changes made within 120 days to departure. Applicable price and eligible promotions for the new tour will apply; if new trip is less expensive, a future travel credit will be issued for the difference in price. Cannot be applied to Passion Play Pilgrimages. No cash value. Credit is fully transferable. Offer reliant on space availability. Effective 10.7.2020. May be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details.
Bethlehem/ Ein Karem
On our first day in the Holy Land we present an overview for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area and what makes it such a unique area to the three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We then head to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and to the Church of Visitation where the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and proclaimed the ‘Magnificat’. In the afternoon we drive to the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced the birth of Jesus. Then we visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that stands upon the site where Jesus was born. Overnight Bethlehem (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we head to Caesarea by the Sea to visit the Roman Crusader remains before we continue to Haifa. Upon arrival in Haifa, we will visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery with the Madonna of Mt Carmel. Next, we stop at the Baha’i Gardens, which includes a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. We then continue to our hotel in Nazareth. Overnight Nazareth (B, L, D)
Some of today’s highlights are a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum to see the synagogue and St Peter’s house, a visit to the Mount of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given, to Tabgha to see the splendid mosaic about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of Peter’s Primacy where Peter was told ” Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” There will be an unforgettable Mass near the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the Primacy or Mt Beatitudes. Next, we head the Magdala Center, the village of Mary Magdalene, where we visit the newly built church on site and the newly excavated ruins. In the afternoon we visit Caesarea Philippi, the location of the testimony of St. Peter and where Jesus answered him “You are the Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Overnight Nazareth (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we drive to Cana, where couples will have the opportunity to renew wedding vows. We continue to the Basilica of Annunciation where we will celebrate Mass. Next, we enjoy a visit to Joseph’s carpentry shop. This afternoon, we head to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. Continue to Bethlehem. Overnight Bethlehem (B, L, D)
Mt Of Olives/ Mt. Zion
We begin our day with a visit to the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed, continue to the Chapel of Ascension where Jesus ascended into heaven. Next, we visit the church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Next, we walk the Palm Sunday road, stopping at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Then to Gethsemane, the Rock of Agony where Jesus prayed His last prayer before his arrest. Next, we head to Mount Zion, visiting the cave of Assumption (Dormition Abbey) of Mary to heaven. We visit the room of the Last Supper, King David’s Tomb, and the Church of St. Peter Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus three times. We end our day visiting the Palace of Caiaphas, home of the corrupt Jewish high priest. We enjoy dinner and overnight at our hotel. Overnight Bethlehem (B, L, D)
We begin our day with a visit to Bethany where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The desert east of Jerusalem is rich in Christian tradition. At the oasis town of Jericho, visit the excavations of the oldest city in the world and view Mt. Temptation where Jesus fasted and was tempted by Satan. On the way back there is time for a swim (or rather a float!) in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its healing properties. We then visit the Jordan River to remember our Lord’s baptism. Overnight Bethlehem (B, L, D)
Old City Jerusalem
After breakfast we head to Jerusalem and start our visit with St Anne Church (the traditional birthplace of the Virgin Mary). Continue to view the Sisters of Zion, Ecco Homo where Pilate proclaimed “Behold the man.” Next, we retrace the last steps of Jesus as we walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), through the markets of the Old City praying the Stations of the Cross at each station shrine, we reflect on the greatness of His sacrifice. Finally, we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Mass. We visit the Notre Dame Center in Vatican property, where we visit the Museum of the Shroud of the Man (three-dimension replica of the Shroud of Jesus). Time and schedule permitting, we will have special time for Adoration in the Garden of Gethsemane. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Overnight Bethlehem (B, L, D)
Depart Tel Aviv
Visit Delphi, the center of the ancient world (navel) of the earth, whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Phthios. Visit the site and the museum and continue to Athens. “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription “to an unknown God”. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you…”. Athens, is one of the most glorious cities in the world and the cradle of western civilization as we know it today. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Overnight Athens (B, D)
Today we’ll leave Athens early in the morning for Piraeus and at 1100 a.m. sail into the Aegean Sea. Our first island is one of the islands belonging to the Cyclades group of islands. This mountainous island of Mykonos has about 400 churches. City of a picturesque white houses and island’s trademark the charming windmills. Place has a unique architecture of Byzantine and Western characteristics. To visit are Church of the Virgin Paraportiani, on the main square Cathedral and an old Catholic Church and many boutiques and taverns along tiny paved streets. Return on board of the ship. Overnight Cruise Ship (B, D)
This morning you will arrive at the Turkish port city of Kusadasi. From here you will travel to Ephesus, where the Blessed Virgin Mary lived with St. John in a small house on the hill behind the city. Here you will have Mass before traveling down to the ancient city where you can walk the marble roads rutted by wheels of countless chariots and pass the ruins of architectural masterpieces. It is here that St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and where he was arrested and cast out of the city. In the afternoon you will visit the island of Patmos, where St. John wrote the apocalyptic Book of Revelations. On our excursion we will visit the cave where he lived, now the site of a monastery housing priceless icons and manuscripts. Overnight Cruise Ship (B, D)
Today on the last day of the cruise group will enjoy on their own visiting Heraklion on the island of Crete and visit to Fira town on the island of Santorini – optional excursion on Crete to Knossos Palace is offered for those interested on more activities on the last cruise day. Overnight Cruise Ship (B, D)
Today we disembark our cruise ship and we will be visiting and exploring the city of Athens (Acts 17 16-34). Acropolis with Parthenon the greatest monument of antiquity, dedicated to the goddess Athena, from here one can see Areopagus (Areios Pagos = Hill of Ares) visited by Pope John Paul ll same hill where St. Paul gave his famous sermon of “Unknown God”, and more of it today. Our pilgrimage will continue with drive to Corinth first across the Corinthian Canal, started by roman emperor Nero and then to one of the oldest towns of Greece, where St. Paul came after he left Athens and. After a stop at the ancient Corinth (18 1-18; Cori.) we again meet with the St. Paul, here he remained for one and a half-year. We will be visiting marketplace where the Apostle preached to the Corinthians, the Temple of Apollo and the Corinth Museum. Overnight Cruise Ship (B, D)