Category Archives: Pilgrimage Tour

Tour Packages and Pricing

This is the page, where you can find pricing information for tour packages. Price tables are divided into Pricing for guide only, pricing for guide and transport only, pricing for guide, transport and hotel only and pricing for guide, transport, hotel and food only. All prices for the named tour itineraries are based on these prices. As you can see, prices are extremely low. Click here for the Itineraries.

For example, a Catholic tour 7 days, 30 persons cost $537 (p.p.) all-in. The tour Israeli Gem tour has the same price for 7 days: $537 (p.p.), but the Israeli Gem tour 10 days has the price $767 per person.

But there are people, who want to have a full tour but only with guide and transport. They want to arrange the accommodations themselves. In those cases, the same example of tours have different prices: a Catholic tour 7 days, 30 persons cost $222 (p.p.). The tour Israeli Gem tour has the same price for 7 days: $222 (p.p.), but the Israeli Gem tour 10 days has the price $317 per person.

  1. Pricing Guide only
  2. Pricing Guide and Transport only
  3. Pricing Guide, Transport and Hotel
  4. Pricing Guide, Transport, Hotel and food (all-in)

Price lists Guide only
(independent of number of people in group)

If you want to hire only the guide, whatever the size is of your group, here follows the price list. For the itineraries, click here. For any question, contact us.

Days Guide
1 $150
2 $300
3 $450
4 $600
5 $750
6 $900
7 $1,050
8 $1,200
9 $1,350
10 $1,500
11 $1,650
12 $1,800
  • Included: Itinerary, guide
  • Excluded: Accommodations, transport, food, visa, insurance, entrance fees, personal expenses
  • Optional: For religious (Christians) people, we can add a priest, pastor or monk to your group.
  • Optional: For $200, we can supply a virtual guide (electronic book on tablet computer with tour information).

These tours are for (extended) families with loads of customizations and don’t like the tour-out-of-the-can. For them, each day in Israel is a new, unknown adventure.

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Price list Guide and Transport

This price list contains the prices for the guide and the transport (usually mini-van or bus) only. Your price is in the columns p.p., depending on the number of persons in your group and the number of days touring. For the itineraries, click here. For any question, contact us.

Days 6
people
p.p. 16
people
p.p. 30
people
p.p.
1 $450 $175 $850 $147 $1050 $132
2 $900 $250 $1,600 $194 $2,000 $163
3 $1,350 $325 $2,350 $241 $2,950 $195
4 $1,800 $400 $3,100 $288 $3,900 $227
5 $2,250 $475 $3,850 $334 $4,850 $259
6 $2,700 $550 $4,600 $381 $5,800 $290
7 $3,150 $625 $5,350 $428 $6,750 $322
8 $3,600 $700 $6,100 $475 $7,700 $353
9 $4,050 $775 $6,850 $522 $8,650 $385
10 $4,500 $750 $7,500 $469 $9,500 $317
11 $4,950 $825 $8,250 $516 $10,450 $348
12 $5,400 $900 $9,000 $563 $11,400 $380
  • Included: Itinerary, guide, transport
  • Excluded: Accommodations, food, visa, insurance, entrance fees, personal expenses
  • Optional: For religious (Christians) people, we can add a priest, pastor or monk to your group.
  • Optional: For $200, we can supply a virtual guide (electronic book on tablet computer with tour information).

Tours for those, who only want to have an itinerary, guide and transport are for those who want to wander through the Holy Land and see where their path leads them. The guide needs to be very knowledgeable in order to serve such groups. Many who want to hike the deserts of Israel choose for such tour and mostly small groups prefer this.

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Price list guide, transport and hotel (tourist class (usually compared with 3-stars))

This price list contains the prices for the guide, transport (usually mini-van or bus) and hotel only. Your price is in the columns p.p., depending on the number of persons in your group and the number of days touring. For the itineraries, click here. For any question, contact us.

For those, who wants to have a hostel, guest house, camping site, 4-5 star hotels, boutique hotels, let me know and I calculate for you the best price.

Days 6
people
p.p. 16
people
p.p. 30
people
p.p.
1 $705 $118 $1,430 $90 $2,225 $74
2 $1,410 $235 $2,860 $179 $4,450 $148
3 $2,115 $353 $4,290 $268 $6,675 $223
4 $2,820 $470 $5,720 $358 $8,900 $297
5 $3,525 $588 $7,150 $447 $11,125 $371
6 $4,230 $705 $8,580 $536 $13,350 $445
7 $4,935 $823 $10,010 $626 $15,575 $520
8 $5,640 $940 $11,440 $715 $17,800 $593
9 $6,345 $1,058 $12,870 $804 $20,025 $668
10 $7,050 $1,175 $14,300 $894 $22,250 $742
11 $7,755 $1,293 $15,730 $983 $24,475 $816
12 $8,460 $1,410 $17,160 $1,073 $26,700 $890
  • Included: Itinerary, guide, transport, accommodations
  • Excluded: Food, visa, insurance, entrance fees, personal expenses
  • Optional: For religious (Christians) people, we can add a priest, pastor or monk to your group.
  • Optional: For $200, we can supply a virtual guide (electronic book on tablet computer with tour information).

There are groups, who want to be in charge of the food (where and when they want to eat).

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Price list guide, transport and hotel (tourist class) and food

This price list contains the prices for the guide, transport (usually mini-van or bus), hotel and food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) only. Your price is in the columns p.p., depending on the number of persons in your group and the number of days touring. For the itineraries, click here. For any question, contact us.

For those, who wants to have a hostel, guest house, camping site, 4-5 star hotels, boutique hotels, let me know and I calculate for you the best price.

Days 6
people
p.p. 16
people
p.p. 30
people
p.p.
1 $780 $130 $1,505 $94 $2,300 $77
2 $1,560 $260 $3,010 $188 $4,600 $153
3 $2,340 $390 $4,515 $282 $6,900 $230
4 $3,120 $520 $6,020 $376 $9,200 $307
5 $3,900 $650 $7,525 $470 $11,500 $383
6 $4,680 $780 $9,030 $564 $13,800 $460
7 $5,460 $910 $10,535 $658 $16,100 $537
8 $6,240 $1040 $12,040 $753 $18,400 $613
9 $7,020 $1170 $13,545 $847 $20,700 $690
10 $7,800 $1300 $15,050 $941 $23,000 $767
11 $8,580 $1430 $16,555 $1,035 $25,300 $843
12 $9,360 $1560 $18,060 $1,129 $27,600 $920
  • Included: Itinerary, guide, transport, accommodations, food
  • Excluded: Visa, insurance, entrance fees, personal expenses
  • Optional: For religious (Christians) people, we can add a priest, pastor or monk to your group.
  • Optional: For $200, we can supply a virtual guide (electronic book on tablet computer with tour information).

By experience, this is the choice of many groups, because they say they want to have an all-in tour. Well, here it is.

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Tour Itineraries

The tour itineraries are models or templates and can be easily customized (in principle for free). If you choose for a tour down here, I advise you to contact me and we go over the itinerary and see what can be changed, which will meet your expectations, requirements and preferences.



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Muslim Quarter Day Tour

Here we have the day tour for the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem. A day tour takes normally a day, but this tour can also take a half day, depending on your attention to details. Anyway, this tour is for anyone, who wants to explore the Muslim Quarter of this ancient city from the Christian perspective.

If you take this tour by yourself, I advise you to print out this page on paper before you go. If you take this tour with me, contact me first of course. In that case, this tour will take the whole day (8-9 hours). The cost is $150 per day.


See also Maps of the Old City.


This is the largest populated quarter of the old city. It was first developed under Herod the Great and delineated in its present form under the Byzantines. In the 12th century it was taken over by the Crusaders, hence the quarter’s wealth of churches and other Christian institutions, such as the Via Dolorosa.
In the 14th and 15th centuries the Mamelukes rebuilt extensively, especially
in the areas abutting the Haram esh-Sharif. The quarter has been in decay since the 16th century. Today it contains some of the city’s poorest homes. It is also one of the most fascinating and least explored parts of Jerusalem.

Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem
Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem
Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem
Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem

  1. Monastery of the Flagellation

Via Dolorosa. Tel 972-2-627-0444, open 8am–6pm (winter: 5pm) daily. Studium Museum 09–11:30am Mon–Sat.

Monastery of the Flagellation
Monastery of the Flagellation

Owned by the Franciscans, this complex embraces the simple and striking Chapel of the Flagellation, designed in the 1920s by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi, who was also responsible for the Dominus Flevit Chapel on the Mount of Olives. It is located on the site traditionally held to be where Christ was flogged by Roman soldiers prior to his Crucifixion (Matthew 27:27–30; Mark 15:16–19).

On the other side of the courtyard is the Chapel of the Condemnation, which also dates from the early 20th century. It is built over the remains of a medieval chapel, on the site popularly identified with the trial of Christ before Pontius Pilate.

The neighboring monastery buildings house the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, a prestigious institute of biblical, geographical and archaeological studies. Also part of the complex, the Studium Museum contains objects found by the Franciscans in excavations at Capernaum, Nazareth, Bethlehem and various other sites. The most interesting exhibits are Byzantine and Crusader objects, such as fragments of frescoes from the Church of Gethsemane, precursor of the present-day Church of All Nations, and a 12th-century crozier from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

2. Ecce Homo Arch

Via Dolorosa. Convent of the Sisters of Zion, tel 972-2-643-0887. Open 9am–noon & 2–6pm (winter: 5pm) Mon–Thu.

Ecco Homo
Ecco Homo

This arch that spans the Via Dolorosa was built by the Romans in AD 70 to support
a ramp being laid against the Antonia Fortress, in which Jewish rebels were barricaded. When the Romans rebuilt Jerusalem in AD 135 in the wake of the Second Jewish War, the arch was reconstructed as a monument to victory, with two smaller arches flanking a large central bay. It is the central bay that you see spanning the street.

One of the side arches is also still visible, incorporated into the interior of the neighboring Convent of the Sisters of Zion. Built in the 1860s, the convent also contains the remains of the vast Pool of the Sparrow (Struthion), an ancient reservoir which collected rainwater directed from the rooftops.

The pool was originally covered with a stone pavement (lithostrothon) and it was on this flagstone plaza, Christian tradition has it, that Pilate presented Christ to the
crowds and uttered the words “Ecce homo” (Latin for “Behold the man”). However,
archaeology refutes this, dating the pavement to the 2nd century AD, long after the time of Christ. Within a railed section you can see marks scratched into the stone.

Historians speculate that they may have been carved by bored Roman guards as part of some kind of street game.

3. Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa

The identification of the Via Dolorosa with the ancient “Way of Sorrows” walked by Christ on the way to his Crucifixion has more to do with religious tradition than
historical fact. It nevertheless continues to draw huge numbers of pilgrims every day.

The streets through which they walk are much like any others in the Muslim Quarter, lined with small shops and stalls, but the route is marked out by 14 “Stations of the Cross”, linked with events that occurred on Christ’s last, fateful walk. Some of the Stations are commemorated only by wall plaques, which can be difficult to spot among the religious souvenir stalls. Others are located inside buildings. The last five Stations are all within the Holy Sepulcher church.

Friday is the main day for pilgrims, when, at 3pm, the Franciscans lead a procession along the route. In fact, the more likely route for the original Via Dolorosa begins at what is now the Citadel but was at the time the royal palace. This is where Pontius Pilate resided when in Jerusalem, making it a more likely location for the
trial of Christ. From here, the condemned would probably have been led down what is now David Street, through the present-day Central Souk, out of the then city gate
and to the hill of Golgotha, the presumed site of which is now occupied by the Holy
Sepulchre church.

4. Lady Tunshuq’s Palace

Stalactite stone carvingsLady Tunshuq, of Mongolian or Turkish origin, was the wife, or mistress, of a Kurdish nobleman. She arrived in Jerusalem some time in the 14th century and had this edifice built for herself. It is one of the loveliest examples
of Mameluke architecture in Jerusalem. Unfortunately the narrowness of the street prevents you from standing back and appreciating the building as a whole, but you
can admire the three great doorways with their beautiful inlaid-marble decoration. The upper portion of a window recess also displays some fine carved-stone, stalactite-like decoration, a form known as muqarnas. The former palace now serves as an orphanage and is not open to the public.

When Lady Tunshuq died, she was buried in a small tomb across from the palace. The fine decoration on the tomb includes panels of different colored marble, intricately shaped and slotted together like a jigsaw – a typical Mameluke feature
known as “joggling”. If you head east and across El-Wad Road, you will enter a narrow alley called Ala ed-Din, which contains more fine Mameluke architecture. Most of the façades are composed of bands of different hues of stone, a strikingly beautiful Mameluke decorative technique known as ablaq.

5. Cotton Merchants’ Market

Cotton Merchants’ Market
Cotton Merchants’
Market

Known in Arabic as the Souk el-Qattanin, this is a covered market with next to no natural light but lots of small softly-lit shops. It is possibly the most atmospheric
street in all the Old City. Its construction was begun by the Crusaders. They  intended the market as a free-standing structure but later, in the first half of the 14th century, the Mamelukes connected it to the Haram esh-Sharif via a splendidly
ornate gate facing the Dome of the Rock. (But note, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the Haram esh-Sharif by this gate, although you can depart this way.) As well as some 50 shop units, the market also has two bathhouses, the Hammam el-Ain and the Hammam el-Shifa.

One of these has been undergoing restoration with a view to its being eventually opened to the public. Between the two  bathhouses is a former merchants’ hostel called Khan Tankiz, also being restored.
Less than 50 m (160 ft) south of the Cotton Merchants’ Market on El-Wad Road is a
small public drinking fountain, or sabil, one of several such erected during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent.

6. Chain Street

Gate of the Chain
Gate of the Chain

The Arabic name for this street is Tariq Bab el-Silsila, which means “Street of the Gate of the Chain”. The name refers to the magnificent entrance gate to the Haram esh-Sharif situated at its eastern end.

The street is a continuation of David Street, and together the two streets run the width of the Old City from Jaffa Gate to the Haram esh-Sharif. Chain Street has several noteworthy buildings commissioned by Mameluke emirs in the 14th century. Heading eastwards from David Street, the first is the Khan el-Sultan caravanserai, a restored travellers’ inn. Further along on the right is Tashtamuriyya Madrasa, with its elegant balcony. It houses the tomb of the emir Tashtamur, and is one of many final resting places built here in the 14th and 15th centuries in order to be close to the Haram esh-Sharif. On the same side of the street is the tomb of the brutal Tartar emir Barka Khan, father-in-law of the Mameluke ruler Baybars, who drove the Crusaders out of the Holy Land.

Khalidi Library
Khalidi Library

This building, with its intriguing façade decoration, now houses the Khalidi Library.
Opposite the Khalidi Library are two small mausoleums. Of the two, that of emir Kilan stands out for its austere, well proportioned façade. Further along on the same side is the tomb of Tartar pilgrim Turkan Khatun, easily recognizable by the splendid arabesques on its façade. Opposite the Gate of the Chain is the impressive entrance to the 14th-century Tankiziyya Madrasa. In the inscription, three symbols in the shape of a cup show that emir Tankiz, who built the college, held the important office of cupbearer. Nearby is a drinking fountain, or sabil, from the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, which combines Roman and Crusader motifs.

7. Central Souk (market)

Cardo
Cardo

The Central Souk consists of three parallel covered streets at the intersection of David Street and Chain Street. They once formed part of the Roman Cardo.

el-Lakhamin
el-Lakhamin

Today’s markets sell mostly clothes and souvenirs, although the section called the Butchers’ Market (Souk el-Lakhamin in Arabic), restored in the 1970s, still offers all the excitement of an eastern bazaar. It is not for the faint-hearted, however, as the pungent aromas of spices and freshly slaughtered meat can be overwhelming.

8. Damascus Gate

Spotting this gate is easy, not only because it is the most monumental in the Old City, but also because of the perpetual bustle of activity in the area outside the gate.

Arabs call it Bab el-Amud, the Gate of the Column. This could refer to a large column topped with a statue of the emperor Hadrian which, in Roman times, stood just inside the gate. For Jews it is Shaar Shkhem, the gate which leads to the biblical city of Shechem, better known by its Arabic name – Nablus. The present-day gate was built over the remains of the original Roman gate and parts of the Roman city.

Damascus Gate
Damascus Gate

Outside the gate and to the west of the raised walkway, steps lead down to the excavation area. In the first section are remains of a Crusader chapel with frescoes, part of a medieval roadway and an ancient sign marking the presence of the Roman 10th Legion. Further in, metal steps lead down to the single surviving arch of the Roman gate, which gives access to the Roman Square Excavations. Here, the fascinating remains of the original Roman plaza, the starting point of the Roman Cardo, include a gaming board engraved in the paving stones.A hologram depicts Hadrian’s Acolumn in the main plaza. It is possible to explore the upper levels of the gate as part of the ramparts walk.

9. Herod’s Gate

Herold’s Gate
Herold’s Gate

The Arabic and and Hebrew names for this gate, Bab el-Zahra and Shaar ha-Prakhim respectively, both mean “Gate of Flowers”, referring to the rosette above the arch. It came to be known as Herod’s Gate in the 1500s, when Christian pilgrims wrongly thought that the house inside the gate was the palace of Herod the Great’s son. It was via the original, now closed, entrance further east that the Crusaders entered the city and conquered it on 15 July 1099.

10. St. Anne’s Church

St Anne's Church
St Anne’s Church

This beautiful Crusader church is a superb example of Romanesque architecture. It
was constructed between 1131 and 1138 to replace a previous Byzantine church,
and exists today in more or less its original form. It is traditionally believed that  the church stands on the spot where Anne and Joachim, the the original church can still be seen in the first row of columns.

In 1192, Saladin turned the church into a Muslim theological school. There is an inscription to this effect above the church’s entrance. Later abandoned, the church fell into ruins, until the Ottomans donated it to France in 1856 and it was restored.

Pools of Bethesda
Pools of Bethesda

Next to the church are two cisterns that once lay outside the city walls. They were
built in the 8th and 3rd centuries BC to collect rainwater. Some time later, under Herod the Great they were turned into curative baths. Ruins of a Roman temple, thought to have been to the god of medicine, can be seen here, as can those of a later Byzantine church built over the temple. It is also widely believed that this is the site of the Pool of Bethesda, described in St John’s account of Christ curing a
paralyzed man (John 5: 1–15).

11. St Stephen’s Gate

Lion’s Gate
Lion’s Gate

Suleyman the Magnificent built this gate in 1538. Its Arabic name, Bab Sitti Maryam (Gate of the Virgin Mary), refers to the Tomb of the Virgin in the nearby Valley of Jehoshaphat. The Hebrew name, Shaar ha-Arayot, or Lions’ Gate, refers
to the two emblematic lions on either side of the gateway, although one school of
thought insists that they are panthers.

There are many different stories to explain the significance of the lions. One is that Suleyman the Magnificent had them carved in honor of the Mameluke emir Baybars and his successful campaign to rid the Holy Land of Crusaders. The name St Stephen’s Gate was adopted in the Middle Ages by Christians who believed that the first Christian martyr, St Stephen, was executed here.

Lion’s Gate
Lion’s Gate

Prior to that, however, it had been generally accepted that St Stephen had been stoned to death outside Damascus Gate. The gate is also significant because of its more recent history, for it was through it that the Arab Legion penetrated the Old City in 1948 and where Israeli paratroopers entered in 1967. It is an excellent starting point for the walk along the Via Dolorosa.

Catholic Pilgrimage, 8 days

A fascinating 8-day Catholic Pilgrimage tour for individuals and groups, combining visits to sacred Christian sites with other historical attractions. For options and other relevant information, ask Wim and see his rates.

Itinerary for this tour:

  1. Day 1  Biblical Nature, Mini-Israel and Approaching Jerusalem
  2. Day 2  Following Jesus in Jerusalem, Holy to All Three Great Religions
  3. Day 3  Bethlehem, Where it all Began and More of Jerusalem
  4. Day 4  Following the Path to the Crucifixion
  5. Day 5  Jericho, the World’s Oldest City and Northwards to the Sea of Galilee
  6. Day 6  Sea of Galilee and Jesus’ Miracles
  7. Day 7  More Miracles and Galilean Adventures
  8. Day 8  Crusaders, Elijah, Romans and More

Day 1 Biblical Nature, Mini-Israel and Approaching Jerusalem

Neot Kedumim
Neot Kedumim
  1. Arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, just outside Tel-Aviv.
  2. Enjoy a “Biblical Meal” at the Neot Kedumim Biblical Nature Reserve home to trees, plants and fruits mentioned in the Bible and a leisurely tour of this unique site.
  3. Alternatively, or in addition, visit Mini-Israel, which offers you a miniature overview of the entire country, displaying replicas of each of the holy sites. (Either of these sites could be suitable as a finale to your tour.)
  4. Drive (less than an hour) to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 2 Following Jesus in Jerusalem, Holy to All Three Great Religions and more

Church of All Nations
Church of All Nations
  1. Visit the Mount of Olives for an awesome, panoramic view of the Old City.
  2. Walk through the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30), see the Grotto of Agony, and pray at the Church of All Nations, the Paternoster Church and the Chapel of the Ascension. You can also visit the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle (John 5:1-24).
  3. Experience an inspiring visit to Mount Zion, home to King David’s Tomb and the actual room where the Last Supper is said to have taken place (Mark 14: 12-26).
  4. Close by is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, built on the site of the House of the High Priest Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57), where Jesus was imprisoned for a night, and the Dormition Abbey.
  5. Stroll through the colorful and sensual Muslim Quarter on your way to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, situated according to Jewish tradition on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2), site of the Binding of Isaac and the two Jewish Temples.
  6. Touch the emotion-filled stones of the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in the world, and explore over 3,000 years of history, underground, on an enthralling tour of the Western Wall Tunnels.
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 3 Bethlehem, Where it all Began and More of Jerusalem

Church of the Nativity, Grotto
Church of the Nativity, Grotto
  1. A short drive from Jerusalem brings you to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus.
    Visit the oldest church in the Holy Land, the Church of the Nativity at Manger Square (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-7), built over the Manger Cave.
  2. Explore St. Jerome’s Chapel, St. Catherine’s Church and the nearby Shepherd’s Field (Luke 2:8-20).
  3. Return to Jerusalem to see an amazing, detailed model of First Century Jerusalem at the Israel Museum, which displays a wide selection of impressive modern and ancient exhibits.
  4. Ein Karem, a serene, picturesque Jerusalem suburb, is also home to the Church of John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation.
  5. Finish your day with a powerful, thought-provoking visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
  • Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 4 Following the Path to the Crucifixion

Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa
  1. Enter the Old City via St. Stephen’s Gate.
  2. Literally follow in the footsteps of Jesus as he walked down the Via Dolorosa.
  3. Hear the amazing story of the Sisters of Zion at the Stone Pavement how the Ratisbonne brothers founded the community and their sacred work in the Holy Land.
  4. Continue along the Via Dolorosa until you reach the five stations of the Cross at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
  5. Spend the afternoon shopping or sightseeing in modern Jerusalem, which offers you a range of modern shopping malls, fresh produce markets, museums, fascinating neighborhoods, and more!
  • Overnight: Jerusalem.

Day 5 Jericho, the World’s Oldest City and Northwards to the Sea of Galilee

Jericho
Jericho
  1. Say farewell to Jerusalem on your way to Jericho via the mysterious Judean Desert.
  2. Stop off at Bethany, home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11), where Jesus stayed at the home of Simon the Leper (Matthew 26:6) and visit the Inn of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:34). Imagine yourself conquering Jericho under Joshua’s leadership all those years ago (Joshua 6:20.)
  3. Enjoy a stunning cable car ride to Quarantal (the Mount of Temptation, Matthew 4:1-11) and see an active monastery carved into the cliffs.
  4. Moving northwards, drive through the Jordan Valley until you reach scenic Mount Tabor (Psalms 89:12), one of two places considered probable sites of the Transfiguration.
  5. A short drive then transports you into another world, the world of Jesus’ childhood in the holy city of Nazareth. Experience Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation and visit the Church of St. Joseph.
  6. Visit Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). Couples wishing to renew their matrimonial vows can stop off at a local wedding chapel.
  7. Drive to Tiberias, one of Judaism’s “Four Holy Cities.”
  • Overnight: Tiberias area.

Day 6 Sea of Galilee and Jesus’ Miracles

Capernaum 23

  1. Cross the glorious waters of the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to Capernaum, home to Jesus’ Galilean ministry.
  2. Visit the synagogue site where Jesus most certainly taught and worshiped (Matthew 4:13, Mark 3:1, 8:5 and 14), the House of Peter and the House of the Centurion.
  3. Cross the road and walk up to the Mount of Beatitudes, with its stunning view of the Sea of Galilee. Here, Jesus delivered his famous Sermon the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12).
  4. Next stop Tabgha, site of the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes (Luke 9:10-17) and the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy, where Jesus instructed Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 21: 15-17).
  5. Enjoy a view of the “Galilee Boat“, an authentic fishing boat from Jesus’ times, and a film about how it was discovered and preserved.
  • Overnight: Tiberias area.

Day 7 More Miracles and Galilean Adventures

cropped-sea-of-galilee-jesus-1.jpg

  1. Visit Kursi, the New Testament Gergesenes, overlooking the western shores of the Sea of Galilee and site of the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine (Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-13). The miracle is celebrated in what remains of a beautiful 5th Century Byzantine church.
  2. Continue on to Dodekathronon, site of the second Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes (Luke 9:11-17).
  3. Take a short break at Kibbutz Ein Gev to enjoy an animated version of “The Gospel Trail.”
  4. Jordan Park, site of Bethseida, the city of Phillip, Andrew and Peter (John 12:21) and others, and where Jesus healed the blind man (Mark 8:22-26).
  5. Return to a night out in Tiberias, but don’t forget to see the ruins at Korazin, one of the “Jewish Triangle” cities in Jesus’ time (Matthew 11:21).
  • Overnight: Tiberias area.

Day 8 Crusaders, Elijah, Romans and More

Acre or Akko
Acre or Akko
  1. Visit the Old City of Acre and the remains of a Crusader fortress.
  2. Travel up to Haifa and Mount Carmel, and visit Stella Maris (for Mass) on your way to the site of Elijah’s famous victory over the Prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18:25).
  3. Drive southwards to the Roman city of Caesarea, where the centurion Cornelius was baptized by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10), and where Festus tried Paul (Acts 25: 6-12). Visit the impressive excavations, the amphitheater and the Herodian port.
  4. Back to Tel-Aviv, maybe stopping off for a magical tour of Old Jaffa port, before preparing for the flight home.

Masses will be celebrated daily.

When a priest accompanies the group, private masses can be arranged. These should be booked in advance and can be held Monday-Saturday (subject to change) at the following sites:

  1. Carmelite Monastery in Haifa
  2. Church of St. Peter’s Primacy in the Galilee
  3. Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth
  4. Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
  5. Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
  6. Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem

If a group arrives without a priest, they can participate in regular Masses in English on Sundays. Some places also conduct Mass in the afternoons during the week.

The Way of Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross

The road followed by Jesus on the day of his death has not escaped the vicissitudes of history; so we will not yield to the temptation of making stones the supreme arbiter in this matter. After all, it is by following the Way of the Cross that pilgrims have understood what the carrying of the cross was really like, through streets resembling those where crowds of people, often impassible, sometimes curious, still gather in front of the shops.

This is the way how a tour is given! For those, who are interested in a tour (the Way of the Cross), contact Wim. It’s a one-day tour, costing $150 (per group, maximum 30 persons). The content of the tour is here, and the stories behind the Way of the Cross will be much more expanded then it is here presented.

Via Dolorosa map
Via Dolorosa map

“Via Dolorosa” or “Via Crucis” designates a stretch of road between the Antonia fortress and Golgotha, along which Jesus Christ walked bowed under the weight of the Cross. The name dates from the sixteenth century, although the custom of retracing Jesus’ steps to Golgotha began in the early centuries of Christianity. According to the most common tradition the Antonia fortress and the Praetorium nearby were the sites where Jesus was brought before Pilate. The fortress, which stood near the north-west corner of the Jewish Temple, was the starting point for Jesus’ painful walk toward Calvary, which at that time was outside the city walls.

Here is the list of the Stations of the Cross:

  1. The First Station – Jesus is sentenced to death
  2. The Second Station – Jesus is given the Cross
  3. The Third Station – Jesus falls for the first time
  4. The Fourth Station – Jesus meets His Mother
  5. The Fifth Station – Simon the Cyrenian helps carry the Cross
  6. The Sixth Station – Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
  7. The Seventh Station – Jesus falls for the second time
  8. The Eighth Station – Jesus talks to the women of Jerusalem
  9. The Ninth Station – Jesus falls for the third time
  10. The Tenth Station – Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. The Eleventh Station – Jesus is nailed to the Cross
  12. The Twelfth Station – Jesus dies on the Cross
  13. The Thirteenth Station – Jesus is taken down from the Cross
  14. The Fourteenth Station – Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre
  15. The Fifteenth Station – Jesus rises from the dead