Coptic Orthodox Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Duration: 11 days, 9 nights
Location: Israel

Jerusalem: Coptic Holy Saturday

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR A COPTIC ORTHODOX PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND

Day 1

Departure from the North America.

Day 2

Arrival, meeting and transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem.

Day 3

After a wonderful Israeli breakfast, most of this morning will be touring in Jerusalem.

We shall begin by returning to the Mount of Olives, then follow the Footsteps of Jesus. Visit Dominus Flevit (Luke 19.41) where He wept over the city. Down at the bottom of Kidron Valley we will visit the Greek Orthodox Church marking the tomb of Mary. Visit The Garden of Gethsemane the site of the arrest of Jesus and taking Him to the house of the High priest Caiaphas (Matt. 26.34, Mark 14.30 and Luke 22.54-70). We continue to Mount Zion to see the tomb of King David and the nearby Room of the Last Supper (Mark 14.13, Luke 22. 10-38). Return to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 4

Today we will visit Bethlehem; the birthplace of the Lord Jesus and part of our tour will include a visit to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Nativity, followed by a visit to the one of the most ancient Greek Orthodox Monasteries in our region; The 4th century Mar Sava Monastery built on the banks of the Kidron dry river canyon. On the way back we will visit the Greek Orthodox Church at the Shepherds Fields. As we enter Jerusalem we will visit the Mar Elias Greek Orthodox Monastery commemorating Prophet Elijah.

Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Jerusalem.

Day 5

Following breakfast, the entire day will be spent in the old city of Jerusalem with visits of the Cardo – ancient Byzantine Street, the Western Wall. The Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried his Cross all the way to Golgotha. The Antonia fortress and the Lithostrothos (John 19.13) and finally the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the Coptic Orthodox church in it (matt. 27.33-57, 28.10). In the afternoon, we visit the 6th century Orthodox Monastery at  the Valley of the Cross, the long time tradition say that from here the olive tree used for Jesus cross was cut.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 6

Today we drive towards the Judean Wilderness; Our first visit will be to the view point at Wadi Kelt to see the 4th century Greek Monastery Of St George, next we arrive at the Biblical city of Jericho. We will visit the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Karantal built on top of the Mount of Temptation, this is where Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the Devil for 40 days! We will also visit the ancient “Tel” and view the spring of Elisha. We will continue on to the Orthodox Monasteries built on the bank of the Jordan River east of Jericho commemorating the baptismal of Jesus by John the Baptist. Continue driving along the Dead Sea, stop in Qumran, site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here we will also have time to float on the Dead Sea waters. Return to Jerusalem on the way we will visit the Inn Of The Good Samaritan and the village of Bethany with the Church commemorating the resurrection of Lazarus.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 7

Today is Sunday and we are in the holy city of Jerusalem, we will have a special Liturgy at the Coptic Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After the service we will tour the new city of Jerusalem. We will visit the Israel Museum and see the Dead Sea scrolls display here, we will also visit the miniature model of Jerusalem as it looked during the period of Jesus. We will continue to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist (Luke 1.39-80) to visit the Church of the visitation. Later we will drive by the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) and the Government offices.

Day 8

Today we leave Jerusalem on our way north to the Galilee. We will drive along the Jordan Valley highway until we reach Beit Shean one of the Decapolis cities in the roman period today one of the largest excavations in Israel. From here to the city of Nazareth. Visit to the Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth known as May’s well here Mother Mary received the good news from the Angel Gabriel. Continue to see the site of the first miracle of the Lord Jesus, visit the Greek Orthodox Church at Cana of Galilee (John 2. 1-11).

From here to Tiberias for our dinner and overnight near the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Day 9

Depart after breakfast for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (John 6. 1, 6.23). We shall visit this morning the Orthodox Church in Capernaum where most of the ministries of Jesus took place (Matt.4 13, 13.54, 17.54, Luke 7, Mark 1.2, John 4.46-54). A visit to Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus taught His disciples (Matt. 5,6,7,8) the Sermon on the Mount. Visit Tabgha where Jesus fed multitude with just 2 fishes and 5 loves (Matt..13,Mark .33-45 and John 21). We will drive along the eastern shore of the lake where we will visit the Byzantine site of the miracle of the Gederenes at Kursi (Luke 8. 26-39, Matt 8. 28-34 and Mark 5). Drive to Yardenit the Baptisamal site on the Jordan River.

Return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

Day 10

This morning we drive to Mt Tabor, site of the transfiguration of our Lord, visit the Orthodox Monastery located on the top of the Mountain. Continue to Mount Carmel to see where Elijah the prophet performed the miracle of the fire against the false prophets of Baal (1st Kings 18). Also here we will visit the Stella Maris Monastery center of the Carmelites in the Holy Land. From here we travel to Caesarea Maritime (Acts 9.30 Acts 10 24-48). Visit the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins including the Theatre and the Aqueduct. Continue to Old Jaffa to visit the site of St. Peter’s vision taking place on the roof of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10:5 ). We will walk around the Artist colony.

This evening we will have our farewell dinner at a restaurant in Jaffa. After dinner, we will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for our return night flight to the USA.

Day 11

Arrive  home.

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