2020 Inter-Religious Encounter

Delve into the history and culture visiting the holiest sites of Israel; see the remarkable structures and sacred spots of this fascinating land.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Visit the historic sites of holy cities
  • Feel the buoyancy of the Dead Sea
  • Experience these sites with experienced local guides
  • Visit Petra, the jewel city carved into the stone
  • Experience many local church services and meet the congregations
Details

Tour dates:
January 09 – 24, 2020

Tour Pricing:
CA$5053 – twin
CA$1055 – single

Prices are shown in Canadian $, per person based on two people sharing a twin room and one person in a single room.

Tour Code:

Itinerary
Open All
Day 1: Departure from Canada

Depart Pearson International Airport

Day 2: Arrive in Isreal

Upon arrival to the Ben Gurion Airport you will be met by your local tour guide and driver. From there you will head to visit the Peres Center in Tel Aviv which focuses on reconciliation talks between Jews and Arabs. Onwards north to Caesarea Maritime to visit the beautifully preserved archeological site of the Roman port city.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will head to Mt. Carmel to enjoy a beautiful view of the Jezreel Valley, also known as Armageddon Valley, and home to the Muhraka Church; the latter being the site of confrontation between the prophet Elijah, and the priests of Ba’al.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Tiberias on the sea of Galilee.

Day 3: Tiberias

After breakfast you will begin a full day of visiting the churches around the lake following the public ministry of our Jesus. Among the sites to be visited will be Capernaum, the Church of Primacy, The Church of Multiplication of Fish and Loaves and the nearby Church of the Mt. of Beatitudes – site of the Sermon on the Mount. In the early afternoon you will be taking a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.

In the afternoon you will visit the National Park of Beit Shan, home to the biblical city bearing its name, and lead city of the Decapolis with a rich history during the Roman times.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Tiberias.

Day 4: Amman

In the morning you will begin the tour by visiting the remains of Sepphoris, home of great importance to Christianity, as it is believed to be the birthplace of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and likewise the refuge of many rabbinical families during the Bar Kohba Revolt.

Onward, you will head north to the city of Nazareth to visit the Basilica of Annunciation, Mary’s Well and a Jewish Synagogue where our Lord is believed to have preached.

After lunch you will head south to the Sheikh Hussein Border to cross into Jordan. Along the way you will stop by Cana, an Arab town, home to the Church of Wedding, the site of the first public miracle of Jesus.

Once you have crossed into Jordan and have met with your Jordanian guides, you will head south to the city of Amman.

Dinner and overnight at the Marriot Hotel in Amman.

Day 5: Petra

In the morning, you will start with a quick tour of the city of Amman, known as the city of Philadelphia during Roman times, and capital of the Hashemite Kingdom established by the direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammad.

Onwards, you will head over to tour the ruins of the Decapolis city, Jerash, and its beautiful colonnaded street, oval forum and maximus cardo.

After lunch you will visit the mosaic churches in Madaba, and most notable amongst them, you will view the oldest and largest mosaic map of the Holy Land in detail. From there you will head to Mt. Nebo, presumed resting place of the Prophet Moses, where he saw the Promised Land, from which God had barred him entry. Following a drive along the King’s Highway you will reach Petra, and check into your hotel room.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Petra.

Option: candle light Petra pre-tour, additional fee

Day 6: Petra

In the morning you will start a full day tour of Petra. Petra was the Nabatean capital and jewel city carved into the stone of the over-laying canyon. You will start with a walk through the winding fissure of the overhead canyon, known as the Siq, and along the path; You will learn about the impressive defensive and water collecting measurements that the Nabateans had invented. Your first hint of the city of Petra will be the peeking Treasury Building, known as the Khaznah, carved from the pink rose walls of the canyon. From there you will continue with a wide tour of the city, its facilities and unique amphitheatre.

Free time in the afternoon to spend at your leisure and desire.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Petra.

Day 7: Jerusalem - Bethlehem

In the morning you will drive to the Dead Sea basin on the Jordanian side. Your first stop for the site will be the Lutheran Chapel in Bethany for some religious reflection and adoration, from there you will also visit the baptismal site, before crossing the Allenby Crossing bridge.

Once you have gone back across the border, you will visit the city of Jericho, and  view the Mt. of Temptation and the Sycamore Tree. Time dependent, you will be able to visit Hisham’s Palace, an Islamic heritage site with some beautifully designed architecture.

Onwards, you will be taken to the city of Jerusalem. Your only stop will be for a panoramic overview of the city of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. From there, across the separation barrier, you will enter the holy city of Bethlehem.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 8: Bethlehem - Hebron - Bethlehem

After breakfast you will drive through the mountains of Bethlehem southward to the city of Hebron to visit the Patriarchs Tomb and the Haram Al Ibrahimi; with an importance to both the Jewish and Muslim faiths.

After lunch you will head to Manger Square to visit the Basilica of Nativity, birthplace of Lord Jesus, and from there you will head to the nearby Milk Grotto; the cave was home to the Holy Family, and it is believed that a drop of milk from the Virgin Mary turned the cave into the white colour that it is now.

Onwards, a visit to the Mosque of Bilal bin Rabah across the Basilic of Nativity.

Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 9: Bethlehem

After breakfast you will head to Jerusalem and start the tour with a visit to the August Victoria Hospital. During the tour you will be introduce to the mission of the hospital and the challenges facing them in serving the people of the Holy Land.

After lunch you will head over to the nearby site of Pater Noster, and on foot, descend the Mt. of Olives. You will visit the Chapel of Ascension, which happens to have been turned into a mosque during the middle centuries. From there you will visit Pater Noster (where our Lord taught us Our Daily Prayer), Dominus Flevit (site where Christ wept seeing the fate of Jerusalem) and at the end, reach the Church of All Nations and the Gardens of Gethsemane.

There will be an opportunity for those wishing to head to the Western Wall to observe a Sabbath Service.

Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 10: Old City of Jerusalem - Bethlehem

In the morning you will begin a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. Your first stop will be the Temple Mount to visit the Aqsa Compound to visit the third holiest site in Islam. From there you will walk along the Via Dolorosa Road and visit the Pools of Bethsaida, the Church of St. Anne, the Antonia Fortress and Ecce Homo. Moving along, you will visit the fourteen stops of the Path of Christ to the Holy Sepulcher and the nearby Mosque of Omar ibin Al Khatab; the second Islamic Caliphate, friend of the Prophet and conqueror of the city of Jerusalem.

After lunch you will be given some free time to back track to any of the sites visited today at your own leisure and pace.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 11: Bethlehem

After breakfast you will worship with an Arab congregation at the Ascension Lutheran Church. Following coffee and tea with local congregation, you will head back to the Mt. Temple Area to visit the most sacred site in Judaism where the Second Temple stood. From there you will visit the Davidson Archeological Park.

After lunch you will head to Ein Karem and visit St. John the Baptist Church and the Church of Visitation. From there you will head to the Museum of Israel to visit the replica of the Old City of Jerusalem and the famed Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran. Across the street you will visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Yad Vashem Museum.

The evening at the hotel is wide open to meet local organizations such as the Parents’ Circle or ICHAD or The Right to Movement or Breaking the Silence.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 12: Bethlehem - Tantur

Interreligious Dialogue Conference themed to the service to humanity at Tantur. There will be speakers on this theme from the perspective of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 13: Qumran - Dead Sea - Bethlehem

In the morning you will head to the Dead Sea Basin again and this time to visit the archeological site of Qumran and the Essene Monastery, and from there you will head to the Jewish fortress of Masada, home to the Zealots Rebellion. The latter being a marvellous archeological site with breathtaking views.

After lunch you will be given some time to bathe in the Dead Sea and its mineral rich waters and mud.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 14: Beit Hanina - Ramallah - Bethlehem

After breakfast you will visit the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Holy Land School and then the Lutheran World Federation vocational training center in Beit Hanina followed by lunch prepared by the catering class. From there you will head to the city of Ramallah.

Here, you will visit the resting place of the iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and the museum in his namesake exhibiting the Palestinian cause in detail.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 15: Beit Shour - Bethlehem

After breakfast you will head to Beit Sahour for a visit of the Shepherds Field. From there you will you will head to the Mt. Zion to visit the churches of St. Peter in Gallicantu and the Dormition Abbey. From there you will head over to the controversial site of the Cenacle with a history for the three Abrahamic faiths; site of the Last Supper, which was converted into a Mosque by Salah el Din Al Ayyoubi, and apparent burial site of King David.

After lunch you will have a wide-open event to meet local organizations such as the Parents’ Circle or ICHAD or The Right to Movement or Breaking the Silence in Jerusalem.

Farewell dinner at the Wine & Cheese Restaurant

Day 16: Departure

Say farewell to Israel as you depart for Canada.

Included
  • International airfare* based out of Toronto
  • 14 nights’ accommodation
  • 3 meals per day included as per itinerary; all breakfasts and dinners (at hotel and offsite) and lunches in local restaurants
  • English speaking guide as per your program
  • Deluxe transportation as per your program
  • All entrance fees as per your program
  • Porterage fees at all hotels
  • Audio guiding system
  • Complimentary assistance on arrival to the Ben Gurion International Airport
  • Tips for guide, bus driver, hotels and restaurants
  • All relevant exit taxes from Jordan and Israel
  • Complimentary visa into Jordan
  • All taxes
Not Included
  • Home city departure airfare
  • Travel Insurance – STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
  • Any personal expenses such as telephone calls, beverages, laundry, and medical insurance
  • Anything not mentioned above
Tour Notes

*International airfare based on Air Canada Group booking terms and conditions

For more information on this tour, or to book, please contact Natalie Rozière Hébert (natalie@gctravel.ca / 204.989.9343) for more information.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operator.

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