13 days 12 nights in Fatima and Holy land
Spend 13 exhilarating days visiting the holy sites in Portugal including Fatima and continuing on to the Holy Land where you will visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea and the area of the Sea of Galilee, amongst many other biblical sites.
Arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Lisbon- Santarém (100 km/1h30 min) - Fátima (60km/1h)
Departure to Óbidos, a small village with well preserved medieval atmosphere. Here try a local beverage called ginginja. The next stop is Santarém, the capital of the Portuguese province of Ribatejo. Visit the church of the Holy Host miracle. Possibility of celebrating Mass. It was here where one of the most important miracles of the Eucharist occurred matching in importance the one of Lanciano in Italy. From Santarém the way leads to Fátima- “altar of the world”. Fátima became one of the most attended places in the Catholic world when in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 young shepherds in Cova da Iria. You will have a possibility of participating in the candlelight procession.
The day is fully dedicated to the visit of the sanctuary and places related to the apparitions and the life of the three shepherds. Visiting the little chapel of the apparitions, the exact place where the Blessed Mother appeared to Lúcia, Fransisco and Jacinta. Visit of the basilica of the Rosary to see the tombs of the seers and also the new Church of the Holy Trinity, the masterpiece of Tombazis. Its interior is full of works of art by different artists from all over the world that gives this new basilica a more universal aspect. The new temple can shelter 9000 sit people. In the afternoon, visit Aljustrel- the birth place of the seers. It is 1 mile away from the Cova da Iria. Visit Loca do Anjo (apparition of the angel) and the Hungarian Calvary (way of the cross). Possibility of participating in the candlelight procession.
Fátima- Coimbra (90 km/1h30min) - Fátima
Visit Coimbra. This city has university traditions that go back to the late 13th century and has become one of the most well known ones in modern times. Visit the church of the Carmelite convent where sister Lucia lived. Possibility of celebrating the Holy Mass. Also see the church where St. Antony took the Franciscan habit, the court yard of the old university and the Chapel of St. Michael. Free time in Coimbra. Return to Fatima for overnight.
Fátima - Lisbon (150 km/3h) - Tel Aviv (flight)
Leave Fátima and enter Lisbon through its oriental area where the Park of the Nations is situated. It is also known as Expo’ 98 because it was here where the World Expo took place in 1998. This is the newest area of the city with its postmodern architecture created by famous architects like Álvaro Siza, Peter Chermayeff and Calatrava. it also has the most extensive leisure areas in the city, where you can find ethnic restaurants by the riverside as well as beautiful gardens. Here visit the famous Pavillion of Knowledge and the Oceanário - the largest in Europe with more than 1 million visitors a year. Go to S. António church, built on the site where he was born. Both monuments are situated in Alfama - the oldest district of the city. Visit one of the most important areas of Lisbon - Belém. It was from here in the14th and 15th century that the Navigators during the Age of Discovery left. The first stop is the Belém tower, the most original monument of Lisbon. Visit the vast Praça do Império, where the Portuguese world exhibit took place in 1940. Once on the square, there is a majestic view over Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Visit the Church of S. Mary of Belém (a church of the Hieronymits monastery). Transfer to the airport to board the flight to Ben Gurion.
Jaffa - Tel Aviv- Haifa (100km/1h30min) – Caesarea (42km/50min)
Arrival at Ben Gurion International airport. Transfer to Jaffa for a visit to the Peter’s Church, the House of Simon the Tanner, the Old City of Jaffa and the old port. Drive through Tel Aviv, commercial capital of Israel, to Caesarea on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit the ancient Roman Aqueducts and Crusaders Site. Continue to Haifa - the biggest city in northern Israel. The town is a seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coast line in the Haifa Bay area about 90 km north of Tel Aviv. The city is hilly, being located below and on the historic Mount Carmel, and was first mentioned in the 3th century as a dye making center. Mount Carmel and Kishon River are both mentioned in the Bible. Mount Carmel is riddled with caves and one of those near Haifa is traditionally known as the “Cave of Elijah”, and considered by many Jews to have been the home of the Jewish biblical Prophet Elija and his apprentice, Elisha. The highest peak of the Mount Carmel range is named El- Muhrrakah, an Arabic term meaning the burning, named on account of the belief that this was the exact spot of Elijah’s biblical confrontation with hundreds of priests of Baal. Haifa is also home to the Baha’i World Centre - a central location for the Baha’i Faith. The city is cherished by members of the Baha’i Faith as it is an important site of worship, pilgrimage and administration for the members of the religion. The Baha’i World Center (comprising the Shrine of the Bab, terraced gardens and the administrative buildings) are all on the northern slope of Mount Carmel Transfer to Nazareth.
Mount Tabor - Sea of Galilee - Mount of Beatitudes (50km/1h) – Capernarium (7km/10min) – Cana (38km/40min) – Nazareth (10km/15min)
Today continue to Mount Tabor to visit the sight of the Transfiguration. Carry on to the Mount of Beatitudes to visit the octagonal church commemorating the eight beatitudes. Continue to Tabgha. Visit the modern Church of Multiplication. built over previous old churches,on the site of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, which was the place where Jesus Christ fed 5000 followers with five loaves and two fish. Visit the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter nearby the east side of the lake. The black basalt Franciscan chapel is built on the site where Jesus is said to have appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection. Drive to Capernaum on the northern shoreline of the Sea of Galilee to visit the site and Synagogue where Jesus preached. healed the sick and performed many miracles. Take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Later drive to the Wedding Church in Kfar Kana built by the Franciscans to commemorate the first miracle of Jesus when he turned water into wine at the wedding feast. Continue to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up. The visit begins at the Basilica of the Annunciation, built over Mary’s house. Walk across the courtyard to St. Joseph’s home and workshop.
Yardenit – Jericho (120km/2h) – Qumran (172km/3h) - Dead Sea (40km/40min)
Today drive to the Baptismal site of Yardenit, situated at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee at the place where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea on its way down to the Dead Sea. Drive to Qumran to visit the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Most scholars believe the location to have been home to a Jewish sect, perhaps the Essenes. A Bedouin shepherd found a cave full of jars. These jars were found to contain 190 linen wrapped scrolls which were preserved for 2000 years thanks to the dry desert climate. Continue to Siesta Beach to bathe in the mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea. Later go to Jericho, 258 m below sea level - the oldest city in the world. Visiting Tel Jericho (Tell es- Sultan), a mount that represents 10000 years of continuous settlement. Stop for a view of the Monastery of Temptations (Deir Qruntul). Transfer to Bethlehem, Jerusalem. Overnight.
Drive to the Mount of Olives to visit the chapel of the Ascension, the Church of the Paternoster where Christ taught the Disciples the Lord’s Prayer and enjoy magnificent views of the Dome of the Rock and the Old City of Jerusalem. Proceed on foot through the Palm Sunday road to Dominus Flevit (“The Lord Wept”), visit the church of all Nations, also known as the Church of the Agony built over the rock in the garden of Gethsemane, where it is believed Christ prayed the night before he was arrested. Continue to Mount Zion to visit St. Peter in Gallicantu “Caphia’s House” where Jesus was kept overnight and where St. Peter denied Jesus three times and the Cenacle “the Upper Room” in which Jesus had His Last Supper with the Apostles. Visit the Dormition Church which was built between 1906 and 1910 after Sultan Hamid gave this plot of land to Kaiser Wilhelm II as a gift. According to a Catholic legend, this is the place where Mary, the mother of Jesus, “fell asleep”, hence the full name of the Church - Dormitio Beatae Mariae Virginis. The church is located near King David’s tomb.
Drive to the Old City, entering on foot through St. Stephen’s Gate to visit the Western Wall- Judaism’s holiest site with the plaza in front of a permanent place of worship. Proceed to visit the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount - one of the first and greatest achievements of Islamic architecture and Al Aksa, if permission is granted. Walk towards the beautiful Crusader church of St. Anne’s where Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary, lived. Next to the church are two cisterns built in the 3rd and 8th centuries to collect rainwater which were turned by Herod the Great into curative baths. It is believed that this is the site of the Pool of Bethesda described in St John’s account of Christ curing a paralyzed man. Going through Ecce Homo Arch that spans the Via Dolorosa the way of the 14 Stations of the Cross linked with events that occurred on Christ’s last fateful walk. The last five stations are all within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on what was thought to be the sepulcher of Jesus in 326- 335, near Golgotha or Calvary ascribed to the crucifixion of Jesus. According to Christian legend, the Tomb of Jesus and the True Cross were discovered at the site by the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, in 325. Complete the day with a visit of the Old Jewish Quarter and the Cardo. Overnight.
Jerusalem – Bethlehem (8km/10min)
Driving to the Shepherds’ Fields where according to tradition the Angels appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus. Proceed to the Church of the Nativity, the birth place of Jesus Christ. Visiting the Church of St. Catherine built on the site of the 12th century Augustinian Monastery, the Manager Crusader’s Cloister and the Grotto of St. Jerome. The Milk Grotto a few minutes walk from Manger Square is regarded as sacred because tradition has it that the Holy Family took refuge here.
Bethlehem - Abou Gosh (23km/30min) – Jerusalem (20km/30min)
Today continue to Abu Gosh. En route stop in Ein Karem, the city of Judah and birthplace of John the Baptist, son of Elizabeth and Zacharia and visit the Church of Visitation. Drive to Abu Gosh, the village considered by the crusaders to be Emmaus where Christ made himself known to two disciples following His Resurrection. In the early 12th century the Knights of the Hospitaliers built one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in the Holy Land simply known as the Crusader Church. Visit the adjacent Olivetan Benedictine monastery where monks produce and sell pottery. Transfer to Jerusalem. Overnight.
Transfer to the airport for final departure.