Easter Season in the Holy Land (with an optional Jordan extension)

April 13 – 21, 2023
$4,300 (plus air)

The Holy Land currently has no COVID restrictions.

As with all The Catholic Traveler pilgrimages, this one includes daily Mass, my favorite local guide, excellent hotels, amazing meals in some of the best restaurants, wine with meals, and all your tips to our local guide, our driver, and our servers.

We are staying in some beautiful hotels, all but two lunches are included – most meals are outside the hotel in some wonderful restaurants.

Is this pilgrimage trip for you?

You need to be flexible.
This pilgrimage is not for grumpy people or those unable to be joyfully flexible. The Holy Land should be fully back to normal by Spring 2023, but the world is still a bit uncertain. While I don’t expect any complications, we have be able to adjust our plans if needed.

I’ve taken several groups since the Holy Land reopened and there have been zero issues.

So if you are easy-going and excited to travel, even with some uncertainties mixed in, this could be the trip for you!

You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside, and much of it on uneven ground. We can walk up to several miles per day. Please do consider this before signing up.

Itinerary

April 13th: Arrive in Jerusalem. Most flights will arrive TLV late in the day, so our only activity this evening is dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem

April 14th: We begin our pilgrimage with a visit to Ein Karem and the. Church of the Visitation. Here we will also see where Saint John the Baptist was born. Next we head into Bethlehem. We will do some shopping to support the local Palestinian Christians, we will visit Shepherd’s Field, and celebrate Mass at the Church of the Nativity. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.

Christ was born, here.

April 15th: Today we head north. We will stop in Caesarea and visit Mount Carmel. Next we travel to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and celebrate Mass here. We will visit the spot of the first miracle in Cana and have an opportunity for marriage vow renewals. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.

Here, the Word was made flesh

April 16th: This morning we sail across the Sea of Galilee. We will visit Capernaum and the church built over Peter’s mother-in-law’s home. Next we will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. From here we will go to Tabgha where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. We’ll take a short hike down a trail Jesus walked and visit the town of Magdala. This evening we will have a wine tasting before our dinner. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.

The trail Jesus walked to Nazareth

April 17th: This morning we head up to Jerusalem. We will stop at Mount Tabor to the Basilica of Transfiguration and celebrate Mass here. You’ll have some time this afternoon to relax before we meet up for dinner. Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.

The Western Wall

April 18th: We will visit the Mount of Olives. We will walk Palm Sunday Road to Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, then continue into the Garden of Gethsemane. We will visit the Church of Agony, the Grotto of Gethsemane, and the empty tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This afternoon we will attend a cooking class with a famous Jerusalem chef. After lunch we will visit Mount Zion to visit Saint Peter in Galicantu, Dormition Abbey, the Upper Room, and King David’s Tomb. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.

The Garden of Gethsemane

April 19th: This morning we will visit Jericho, the oldest city in the world. We will see the Mount of Temptation. Then we head to the Jordan River where you can renew your Baptismal promises. This afternoon you’ll have a chance to float in the Dead Sea. Lunch and dinner included.

Mount of Temptation

April 20th: We will begin with an early morning walk along the Via Dolorosa, ending with Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will visit the Church of Saint Ann and the Pools of Bethesda. Then it’s over to Ecce homo and Judgment hall, where Jesus stood before Pontus Pilate. We will visit the Western Wall and then have the remainder for the day free to explore the Old City. Dinner included. Overnight in Jerusalem.

The spot of the Crucifixion

April 21st: Flights home.

Optional Jordan Extension

The optional Jordan portion of the pilgrimage includes four nights in some beautiful hotels, seven meals, a visit to Mount Nebo, Bethany Beyond the Jordan (the site of Christ’s Baptism), Petra, the Wadi Rum Desert, and a luxurious stay on the Dead Sea. Of course, tips and wine are already included. The cost for this portion of the pilgrimage is an additional $2,000 per person (or $2,600 for a single).

April 21st: This morning we cross into Jordan. Once crossing the border, we’ll head to Madaba to see the oldest map of the Holy Land, which is a mosaic on a church floor. While in Madaba we’ll dine at the excellent Haret Jdodna restaurant. Then we visit Mount Nebo to see where Moses saw the Promised Land and then died. We’ll celebrate Mass here and then head south to Petra. We are staying just outside the entrance to this ancient city. Lunch and dinner included.

The view of the Promised Land from Mount Nebo.

April 22nd: This will be a best day ever! We will enter Petra with our guide right as it opens. We will walk the Siq, an amazing gorge that leads to the famous Treasury. Once here, you’ll have time on your own to hike and explore. This afternoon we will head deep, deep, deep into the Wadi Rum. Our coach can only go so far, so we will hop into 4x4s to get a tour of the sand dunes and watch an otherworldly sunset. Next, we will settle into our luxurious desert camp. Lunch and dinner included.

The amazing views of Petra.

April 23rd: This morning we leave the desert and head north to our five star Dead Sea resort. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the resort amenities and float in the Dead Sea, but first, we’ll stop at Bethany Beyond the Jordan to the actual site where Jesus was Baptized. Saint John Paul II called this spot the heart of the Holy Land. Lunch and dinner included.

The spot where Christ was Baptized.

April 24th: Today you have most of the day free to relax at our Dead Sea Resort. Dinner included.

Sunset over the Dead Sea

April 25th: Your flights home from Amman (airport code AMM).

Price

$4,300 per person – ground only.

The cost is per person, in double occupancy, meaning two people to a room.

You’re $1,000 deposit secures your space.

Final payment of $3,400 is due March 1st, 2023. Final payment is nonrefundable.

Traveling alone?
I match singles with other traveling singles (of the same sex) and that always works out great. If you are uncomfortable sharing a room with a stranger, you can request a single room for an additional $1,000. Single rooms at this price are extremely limited. So, first come, first served.

Included in the price

Accommodations for 8 nights
We are staying one night at the Leonardo Boutique for the first two nights in Jerusalem.

We are staying two nights at the Magdala Hotel, right on the Sea of Galilee.

We are staying four nights at Notre Dame in Jerusalem, right across from the entrance into the Old City.

Breakfast daily plus 13 additional meals, including meals in some of my favorite restaurants.

Drinks, including wine, are included in all our lunches and dinners.

Wine tasting

Cooking class

Airport transfers
Once you’ve booked your flights, send me your flight info and I’ll arrange pick up.

All group ground transportation
We’ll be traveling in a private motor coach.

Full time service of a local tour guide
My local guide Shafik will be with us throughout the pilgrimage.

Full time service of a tour director
I’ll be with you at all times.

No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price! You are responsible only for things you do on your own, souvenirs you wish to buy, and Mass donations directly to the churches.

Guaranteed price
Once I receive your deposit, your tour price will not go up!

All tips for group meals, guides, and drivers
Would you believe that many tour companies require you to tip as you go? Not only does that add to the advertised sticker price of a tour, it’s also a huge hassle to you! No need to worry about that here. Tips are already included.

Entry fees and tours
All entry fees and tours to our included group activities.

You time
We have a lot planned, but time on your own is important. We take our time in churches to give you the opportunity for prayer and reflection. We also include free time for you to explore, shop, relax, even get tattoos on your own.

Not Included

Your flights
You should fly into TLV no later than April 13th. Most flights from the US will depart late on the 12th, and arrive the afternoon of the 13th. Some people like to arrive a day or two early to get over jet-lag and to enjoy the sea. If you need extra nights at the hotel, just let me know. Our only planned activities on the 13th are Mass and dinner.

Our last group activity is dinner together on the 20th. We have the hotel rooms for the night of the 20th so you can schedule your flight for the 21st. Many flights to the US leave late at night or early morning, so keep that in mind when booking.

Most airlines are offering free changes should anything happen to the trip. Some airlines are not offering refunds, but rather a credit.

If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, if the situation in the Holy Land changes and we need to cancel or postpone the trip, it’s your responsibility to work with your airline to cancel, reschedule, or request refunds.

If you have any questions or concerns about booking your flight, email me.

Cancellations

I want you to feel comfortable signing up for my pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

If Israel changes their requirements for entry, and you decide that doesn’t work for you, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.

If you need to cancel for any reason at all up to 90 days before the start of the trip, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.

If you need to cancel for any reason at all within 90 days of departure, you’ll get everything back minus the deposit.

Trip insurance is a wise investment in case something comes up while you are in Israel. If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance. A “Cancel for Any Reason” plan will let you, well, cancel for ‘most’ any reason. Most plans should allow for at least a 75% refund should you need to cancel at any time before departure. I have a friend who specializes in trip insurance, you can contact him directly, but you are under no obligation to use him and I don’t get any sort of kick backs, so shop around and find what is best for you.

Sign up

Use the form below to sign up for this pilgrimage. If you have any questions, email me at mtn@thecatholictraveler.com

Deposit Info
You’ll be able to pay by credit card or check. Payment info will be emailed to you once you sign up.