Date: Feb 27 – Mar 15, 2018
Pilgrimage Chaplain: Fr. Phil Estrella, OMI
FEB 27 (TUE) MANILA – TEL AVIV, Israel
Take evening flight to Tel Aviv.
FEB 28 (WED) TEL AVIV – CAESAREA MARITIMA – HAIFA – NAZARETH – TIBERIAS (L/D)
Arrive in the mid-morning. Drive to picturesque Haifa for a breath-taking and refreshing view of the Mediterranean Sea. En-route pass by the Roman Theater of Caesarea Maritima, where the first Gentile was converted to Christianity. Visit the Stella Maris Church and Carmelite Monastery after lunch. Leave for Nazareth: Basilica and Grotto of the Annunciation, Church of St. Joseph. (Holy Mass at 1600h). Dinner and stay at Ron Beach Hotel (4*) or similar in Tiberias.
MAR 1 (THU) MT. OF THE BEATITUDES – BANIAS – TABGHA – CAPERNAUM – SEA OF GALILEE (B/L/D)
Visit Mt. of the Beatitudes (Mass at 0900H). Proceed to Caesarea Philippi in Banias. After lunch of St. Peter’s fish, leave for Capernaum: House of St. Peter and the Synagogue ruins, Tabgha: Multiplication of Loaves and Fish, and Primacy of Peter. Enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and stay at hotel in Tiberias.
MAR 2 (FRI) TIBERIAS – CANA – MT. TABOR – JERICHO – QUMRAN – DEAD SEA – JERICHO – BETHLEHEM (B/L/D)
On to Mt. Tabor: Basilica of the Transfiguration. Then to Cana: First Miracle at the Wedding at Cana for the renewal of marriage vows (Mass at 1000h). Renew your baptismal vows in the Jordan River at Israel side of Al Magthas. View the Mt. of Temptation and pass by the Sycamore tree where Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, climbed to see Jesus pass by. Then to Qumran to view the ruins of the Essene Community and see the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Take a dip at the healing waters of the Dead Sea. Dinner and stay at Diamond Hotel (4*) or similar in Bethlehem.
MAR 3 (SAT) BETHLEHEM – EIN KAREM – SHEPHERD’S FIELD – BETHLEHEM (B/L/D)
Visit Ein Karem: Church of the Visitation and Church of St. John. On to Bethlehem to visit Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity, St. Catherine’s Church, St. Jerome’s Cave and the Milk Grotto. Visit Shepherd’s Field (Mass at 1600h). Dinner and stay at Diamond Hotel or similar in Bethlehem.
MAR 4 (SUN) BETHLEHEM – SAMARIA – SEBASTIA – MT. OF OLIVES –BETHLEHEM (B/L/D)
Visit Jacob’s Well in Samaria. Then to the historic village of Sebastia. After lunch, leave for Mount of Olives: Photo opportunity with the Old City in the background, Ascension Chapel, Pater Noster Church, walk the Palm Sunday Road to the Chapel of Dominus Flevit (Rite of Reconciliation), Garden of Gethsemane and Basilica of the Agony (Mass at 1700h). Dinner and stay at hotel in Bethlehem.
MAR 5 (MON) OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM – MT. ZION
Old City: Church of St. Anne, Pool of Bethesda, Chapel of the Flagellation, Ecce Homo, Via Dolorosa from the Church of the Condemnation to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre (Holy Mass at 1000h). Visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. To Christian Mt. Zion: Coenaculum (Last Supper, Appearances on the day of Resurrection and one week later, Pentecost), Cenotaph of King David, Benedictine Abbey and Church of Dormition (Mary’s Assumption). Dinner and stay at hotel in Bethlehem.
MAR 6 (TUE) KIDRON VALLEY – TEL AVIV – ISTANBUL (B/L/D)
To the Kidron Valley: St. Peter of “Gallicantu” (Holy Mass at 0900h). Take the mid-afternoon flight to Istanbul. Dinner and stay at hotel in Istanbul.
MAR 7 (WED) ISTANBUL – CANAKKALE, Turkey (B/L/D)
Visit Topkapı Palace, the home of the Sultans for many years, where you will find the biggest diamond in the world! See the Old City: the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the museum of the majestic 6th century Hagia Sophia Church. Continue on to the Underground (Cistern) Basilica. Cross the Dardanelles by ferry. Dinner and stay at Buyuk Truva Hotel (4*) or similar in Canakkale.
MAR 8 (THU) CANAKKALE – KUSADASI (B/L/D)
Depart for Troya in the morning. Visit the ancient site and continue for Pergamon. Visit the Acropol and the ancient hospital Asclepieon. Lunch in Bergama. Drive to Kusadası for dinner and stay at Korumar Hotel (5*) or similar.
MAR 9 (FRI) KUSADASI – MERYEM ANA – EPHESUS – SIRINCE – KUSADASI (B/L/D)
Visit Virgin Mary’s House in Meryem Ana. Collect some holy water from the Sacred Spring. Then continue to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the biggest and richest excavation areas of the world, to visit its agoras, library, Odeon, bath houses and theatre. Next stop will be the Basilica of St. John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. Don’t miss a visit to the pretty old Orthodox village called Sirince, located on top of a mountain. Dinner and stay at hotel in Kusadasi.
MAR 10 (SAT) KUSADASI – PAMUKKALE – ISPARTA (B/L/D)
Leave for Pamukkale via Laodicea “…because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spill you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-17) In Pamukkale, visit the ancient Hierapolis with the famous necropol and the famous Cotton Castles of Pamukkale. Dinner and stay at Barida Hotel (4*) or similar in Isparta.
MAR 11 (SUN) ISPARTA – KONYA – CAPPADOCIA (B/L/D)
Leave for Psidian Antioch where St. Paul addressed the congregation in the synagogue on the Sabbath with his first recorded sermon. Drive to Konya (ancient Iconium), capital of the Selcuk Empire. Visit the Museum of Mevlana, founder of the sect of Whirling Dervishes, and the Karatay. Leave for Cappadocia. Enroute pass by Seljuk Caravansarai Sultanhanı. Dinner and stay at Hotel (4*) or similar in Cappadocia.
MAR 12 (MON) CAPPADOCIA (B/L/D)
Visit the rock carved Catholic churches. Be amazed by the Pigeon Valley, the natural Citadel of Uchisar, the Monastic Valley of Zelve, the valley of Fairy Chimneys and the caves of the ancient village of Avanos. Visit the great Göreme Open Air Museum with its glorious landscape created ages ago by volcanic eruptions and erosion. On to Kaymaklı, the underground city carved from soft volcanic rock by early Christians. Drop by a traditional carpet factory and see how much labor goes into the making of beautiful Turkish carpets. Explore the pottery and jewelry factories as time permits. Dinner and stay at hotel in Cappadocia.
MAR 13 (TUE) CAPPADOCIA – TUZ GOLU – IZMIT (B/L/D)
Enroute to Izmit, stop by the 2nd biggest Salt Lake of Turkey, Tuz Golu. Drive by the Izmit Saat Kulesi Tower before going for dinner and stay at hotel in Izmit.
MAR 14 (WED) IZMIT – ISTANBUL (B/L/D)
Leave Izmit for Istanbul. Enjoy a relaxing Bosphorus cruise from the Europe side to the Asia side of Turkey. Enjoy some shopping opportunities at Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. Take the post-midnight flight back to Manila.
MAR 15 (THU) HOME SWEET HOME!!!
✓ Round-trip economy class airfare on Turkish Airlines or similar
✓ High quality deluxe hotels on twin or triple-sharing basis
✓ Three sumptuous local meals a day, except beverages, as specified
✓ Tours on air-conditioned motor-coach and entrance fees to sites
✓ Airport-hotel transfers, only if arriving and departing with the group, and porterage of one luggage at hotels
✓ Free WIFI in bus in Israel, FREE Marriage Certificate for couples renewing marriage vows in Cana
✓ Services of English-speaking tour guide & pilgrimage chaplain
Email us at email@example.com for complete itinerary and package price. Itinerary is subject to change depending on the program or travel date.