This 12-day tour will take you to some of the most important Christian and historical sites in both countries, beginning in Amman, on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024, and concluding in Tel Aviv, on Saturday, April 20th, 2024.
The tour chaplain for this tour is Fr Chris Friel, from Timaru.
From Amman we visit the famous Lost “Rose” City of Petra, visit the Crusader Castle of Kerak, see the oldest map of the Holy Land in Madaba, and tour the revered holy site of Mount Nebo. You will also visit the well-preserved site of Roman architecture in Jerash, before crossing into the Holy Land.
We then visit Caesarea, where the Good News was revealed to Peter, and the monastery of Stella Maris, where the prophet Elijah once lived. In Nazareth experience the home town of Mary, where Jesus lived as a child. We visit the Church of the Annunciation, the Church of the Incarnation, and Mary's well, all very important Christian sites.
Later take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, St. Peter's Primacy, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, and Capernaum - places where Jesus performed miracles and taught His disciples.
We continue our journey of discovery and visit Mt Tabor, where the Transfiguration took place, and the site of Jesus' baptism on the River Jordan. We also visit visit the site of the temple at which Jesus was Presented, a model of the Second Temple, and the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. You will also have the opportunity to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and the Shepherd's Fields.
In Jerusalem walk the “Via Dolorosa and visit the Holy Sepulchre Church. As well as an amazing Journey of Discovery, this tour promises to be a time of reflection and prayer, a chance to deepen your faith and connect with the roots of Christianity.
Throughout this amazing tour, you will enjoy comfortable accommodation and included meals, as well as experiencing the rich cultural and religious history of this region.
Holy Tour Highlights:
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Last Supper Room, Via Dolorosa, Jordan River, Mary's well, Qumran, Kibbutz, Dead Sea & Scrolls, Caesarea, Golan Heights, Tiberius, Nazareth, Mount of Olives, Ancient ruins
- Centrally located 3.5 or 4 star hotels: (or similar)
- 3 night: Cham Palace (or similar), Amman, Jordan
- 2 night: Desert Palace (or similar), Petra, Jordan
- 3 nights: Leonardo Plaza (or similar),, Tiberias
- 5 nights: Inbal, Olive Tree or Notre dame (or similar), Jerusalem
- Meals as per final itinerary: B = Continental or Israeli breakfast, L = Light lunches, D = Welcome, farewell or other dinners as specified in final itinerary.
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach.
- Assistance of guide and Tour Chaplain.
- Transfers stated as included in final itinerary
- Masses and faith based activities.
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary specifically shown as included.
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person, max 20 kg) for coach.
- Travel insurance
- Taxes, additional or discretionary items and gratuities
Dates and pricing
On request $4,975. Single supplement on request.
THIS ITINERARY IS THE PROPERTY OF PILGRIMAGE TOURS AND THE TOUR COMPANY AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
Tour commences Amman Tuesday 09 April and concludes Tel Aviv on Saturday 20 April 2024.
Tours commence Tel Aviv on Wednesdays and Sundays. GROUP ESCORTED TOUR
This morning, you will transfer to the “lost” city of Petra. This city is located amongst rugged desert canyons and mountains. Enjoy a walking tour of the former capital and trading centre. Your first stop will be a visit to the Siq, a mile-long gorge where magnificent structures have been carved into the mountains. The walk culminates with a visit to the Petra Museum, to see artefacts from the Neolithic period of the Nabataen history. The museum also contains architecture from Romans times and a Byzantine chapel. This afternoon is at leisure to shop, relax or rest before dinner and overnight. B,D
Today, after breakfast travel to the Castle of Kerak; the largest castle among mountain-top crusaders. Following this visit, transfer to the “City of Mosaics,” Madaba. While in this city, you will visit St. George’s Church that is home to a true treasure of Christianity.
This Church houses the oldest map of the Holy Land which includes Israel, Palestine, and Southern Egypt. Later, visit Mt. Nebo, the most revered holy sites of Jordan. This mountain was mentioned in Deuteronomy 34, “Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah…” While here, you will tour the Holy site of where Moses died and was buried. Return to Amman before dinner and overnight. B,D
Following breakfast, you will depart for Jerash, nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead, is the grandeur of Imperial Rome being one of the largest and most well preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside of Italy.
It’s paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates remain in exceptional condition. Later we cross the Jordanian border into the Holy Land and continue to the Mediterranean Coast and Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight. B,D
Theme: The Annunciation
Following breakfast, we will drive to Caesarea, the former capital of Judea. You will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological remains of this ancient port, which aided as base for the Herodian navy. Shortly after the time of Jesus Christ, it was revealed to Peter in Caesarea that the Good News (to repent) is not only intended for Jewish people, but also the entire world.
This is the place which officially ended the tradition of adhering to the Jewish ceremonial laws. As a result, Peter baptized a group of gentiles, the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. Continue North to Haifa. In Haifa, you will find Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery. The monastery is located above the cave where Elijah, the prophet, once lived. A colourful painting of this "wonder-worker" can be found on the ceiling of the Church.
Following this visit, enjoy the scenic drive (with view of the bay of Acco) to Nazareth. In Nazareth you will experience the town where Mary once lived and where Jesus lived as a child (Matthew 2:23). During our visit to Nazareth visit the church of the Annunciation which includes the church of St Joseph ( It's not Byzantine - it's from 1914-21 built over Byzantine ruins) which tradition identifies with the workshop of Joseph and the house of the Holy family.
We continue with a visit of the Church of the Incarnation, viewing the remains of the house of the Blessed Virgin. Following the Pilgrims path we visit Mary's well, where the Virgin Mary walked to draw water from the spring. The next stop is Cana to visit the Franciscan Wedding Church. Then transfer to Tiberias for dinner and overnight. B,D
Next, drive to the Garden Tomb and enjoy the beautiful gardens and peaceful ambiance. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Theme: The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee Today begin this day with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a boat ride on the beautiful and scenic Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:1). Upon docking the boat, you will have the opportunity to view the remains of a boat that dates from the time of Jesus. Following the Sea of Galilee, we continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus proclaimed His great Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49). Near the Mount, is Tabgha, one of Jesus' miracle sites. At Tabgha, Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17).
Also, in Tabgha is St. Peter's Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter (John 21:9). Continue to the birthplace of Mary Magdalene in Magdala. During the time of Jesus, this village was a prosperous fishing village exporting fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction; popular in Roman cooking).
Your day concludes at Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus' ministry. Here see the Synagogue where Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-29) and gave His sermon on the Bread of Life. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. B,D
Theme: The Transfiguration After breakfast, we will drive to the site of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-50). At this site, you will have some time to reflect on Christ's Humanity and Divinity. Celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Transfiguration.
Continue south to the Jordan Valley to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Jericho (Joshua 6:12-25). In Jericho, you view the exact location, the Mount of Temptation, of where the Devil tempted Jesus during his forty-day fast (Luke 4:1). Following the view of mountain, continue to Jesus' baptismal site on the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17).
After some time at the Jordan River, we will transfer to Jerusalem to check-in to your hotel and enjoy dinner and overnight. Jerusalem will be our base for 5 nights. B,D
Theme: The Visitation and Nativity
This morning, enjoy breakfast before we start our day in Jerusalem, which houses the temple to which Jesus was Presented (Luke 2:22). Visit a model of the Second Temple as it was in the time of Jesus. Following this visit, we will take a short drive to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist.
It is known that there are two churches in Ein Karem, both representing the two homes of Zechariah and Elizabeth. The first is in a valley where the birth of St. John the Baptist is commemorated (Luke 1:39-80) in the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
The second is on a hill where Elizabeth spent five months in seclusion (Luke 1:24) at the Church of the Visitation. You will have a chance to visit both of these churches and have the opportunity to pray the Mystery of the Rosary as you walk up the hill to the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon, transfer to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
In Bethlehem, you will have the opportunity to view the Shepherd's Fields (Luke 2:8). In the caves of these fields, you are still able to see the soot marks of fires that shepherds lit to keep warm. The tour concludes at the Manger Square which stands in front of the Church of the Nativity.
As you enter the Church, you will proceed down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Our Savior's birth (Matthew 2:1-18). Beneath the altar, there is a silver star and a Latin inscription that states: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). Following Mass in this Sacred space, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. B,D
Theme: Early Years in Jerusalem & the Wilderness
Following breakfast at your hotel, we will travel down the Jordan Valley to Qumran. Qumran is made up of 2,000 year old ruins from the days of the 2nd temple and also the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and discovered (Ezekial 47:8-10).
Time and weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to take a float in the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest spot on Earth. Continue as you travel through the Judean wilderness, the site where Jesus spent His 40 days of fasting. The day of touring culminates with a transfer to Bethany.
Bethany is the site where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead which foreshadows His own Resurrection (John 11:38-44). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. B,D
Theme: Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
After breakfast, we will make our way to the Mount of Olives where you will be able to take in the beautiful, panoramic view of Jerusalem. Historically, the Mount of Olives was a mandatory transit point for Jesus during many iconic moments. Visit the Pater Noster Shrine where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord's Prayer (Pater Noster) (Luke 11:1-4).
You will have the opportunity to stop at Dominus Flevit which is a Church that commemorates where Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). Continue on to Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus brought His disciples here to pray the night before He was crucified (Luke 22:29-53).
The Garden still contains trees with roots that date back to the time of Jesus. Your next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the "Rock of Agony". This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest. Throughout this time, you are invited to remain in prayer and to reflect on Christ's agony that He experienced.
You will have the opportunity to visit the Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Jewish Temple after it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Continue with a visit to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas (Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu). This Church commemorates where Jesus was examined and eventually imprisoned before the Council in Jerusalem.
It also commemorates Peter's Denial of Christ (John 18:15-18), Peters' repentance, and Jesus' forgiveness of Peter. You will also visit the Upper Room on Mt. Zion. The Upper Room is where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30) and where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Death and Resurrection (Mark 16:14).
In addition, visit the nearby Benedictine Church of the Dormition. Tradition tells us that this Church is where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, "fell asleep." return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. B,D
Theme: The Way of the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
This morning you will have a very early wake-up to begin the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress. This is the spot where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-19:16).
Following His condemnation, He was taken (on the Road to Calvary) to His place of Crucifixion. Reflect upon the Stations of the Cross as you travel through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Luke 23:26-33). This sacred destination is the site of Calvary (Jesus' crucifixion place) and His tomb (Luke 23: 50-55). Celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Following Mass, we will return to the hotel to enjoy breakfast. We will continue our day with a visit to the Church of St. Anne's, the home of Jesus' maternal grandparents (Anne and Joachim); and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the crippled man (John 5:1-9). This afternoon, enjoy a revisit to the Old City. Then return to the hotel to enjoy dinner and overnight. B,D
After an early breakfast transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for onward flights. B