Description
25 Days
Package Includes:

25 Days / 21 Nights Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Greece and Turkey.

Dead Sea (2 nights) / Jericho / Bethlehem (2 nights) / Nazareth / Cana / Sea of Galilee (3 nights) / Caesarea Philippi / Mt Tabor / Mt Carmel / Haifa / Caesarea Maritima / Jerusalem (4 nights) / Athens (2 nights) / Corinth / Kalambaka (2 nights) / Kavala (1 night) / Philippi / Thessaloniki (1 night) / Patmos (2 nights) / Kusadasi (2 nights) / Ancient Ephesus. Optional Extension: Malta (3 nights)

Take the chronological road of Jesus’ life from Bethlehem to Nazareth and Galilee to Jerusalem as we prepare for a powerful encounter into the heart of His passion. We continue our exploration of the Cradle of Christianity in the steps of St Paul through Greece and Turkey.
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner
 
 
ITINERARY

DAY 1: THURSDAY - DEPART FOR JORDAN
DAY 2: FRIDAY - ARRIVE AMMAN – MT NEBO - DEAD SEA

Theme: Glimpsing the Promised Land

Arrive today into Jordan’s capital Amman. Travel west by coach to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular opening Mass. Here, at the site where the Old Testament opened its door to the land of the New, Moses looked over into the Promised Land and blessed Joshua who was to lead the Israelites under God’s protection (Joshua 1:6-9). Also see the stunning collection of Byzantine mosaics preserved within the shrine.

His Holiness Benedict XVI, on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009, said this while here on Mt Nebo: “Here, on the heights of Mount Nebo, the memory of Moses invites us to ‘lift up our eyes’ to embrace with gratitude not only God's mighty works in the past, but also to look with faith and hope to the future which he holds out to us and to our world.” We too can seize this opportunity to thank God for our journey as we anticipate the blessings to come in the days that follow.

We continue to our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Here we will unwind and take the ideal opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities.

Dead Sea overnight (D)

DAY 3: SATURDAY - DEAD SEA / BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN

Theme: Baptism of Love

In the morning we make a visit to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries. The five springs here form a tributary of the Jordan River and are believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. Here we remember the powerful commission from the Fatherly voice of Heaven: ‘This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Mt 3:17). So authentic is this site that Pope Francis chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Journey east this morning for a deeply moving mission encounter at the makeshift Syrian & Iraqi Refugee Centre where Melkite priest Fr Sharayha and his flock have welcomed more than 100 Chaldean Christian refugees from Mosul into their church compound. We aim to meet some of the refugees and talk with Fr Sharayha who will speak of their plight and the ultimatum they were given to convert or leave their homeland immediately without taking any of their possessions!

We return to our Dead Sea hotel this afternoon to reflect on our morning and to rest up for the days of pilgrimage that lie ahead.

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

DAY 4: SUNDAY - VIA JERICHO & BETHANY TO BETHLEHEM

Theme: Travellers from the East

This morning we farewell Jordan and cross over the border into the Holy Land of Israel, affectionately known by Christians as the land of the fifth Gospel. Continue on to nearby Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ and said to be the oldest inhabited city in the world dating back to the first hunter-gatherers around 9000 BC.

Before departing Jericho we stop at the famous Sycamore tree used to commemorate the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus who climbed the tree to see Jesus, only to be singled out above the crowds. (Lk 19:1-10).

Across the valley we view the Mt of Temptation, where Christ was tempted by the devil during his 40 day fast. Travelling west through the dry rocky landscape of the Judean Desert there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves” (Mt 4:3).

Journey up to the spectacular lookout as we view the St George’s Monastery - a cliff hanging 5th century complex carved into a sheer rock wall and still occupied today.

Onwards along the Jericho Road we come to Bethany, a favourite place of rest and refuge for Jesus. Here too we relive the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1-44).

Finally we arrive into Bethlehem, the City of David and the birthplace of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ where we literally begin our journey in the Footsteps of Jesus.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

DAY 5: MONDAY - BETHLEHEM & SURROUNDS

Theme: The Birth of Jesus

We firstly travel out to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and Church of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?” (Lk 1:43). Pilgrims may choose to pray a mystery of the Rosary here as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’ – ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord’ (Lk 1:46). From here we come to the Church of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, built over a natural grotto to the left of the altar, identified as his actual birthplace.

Returning to Bethlehem, we enjoy a fascinating visit to Bethlehem University to engage with local students in discussion before visiting the beautiful chapel and Cultural Heritage Centre within the grounds. To cap off our visit, the students from the Hotel Management Institute will prepare and host a special home cooked meal for lunch.

Continue to Shepherd's Field to celebrate Mass in a local cave to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16).

Our day will culminate at the Church of the Nativity, the oldest complete church in the Christian world (6th century) and birthplace of Jesus. Bow low and enter the grotto through the Door of Humility as we descend to the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the actual spot where Jesus was born. The star’s inscription reads in Latin: Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est (Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born). Finally we come to St Jerome’s Cave where in 386 AD the saint spent 30 years translating the scriptures from Hebrew into Greek and Latin producing the first vernacular version of the Bible!

Bethlehem overnight (BLD)

DAY 6: TUESDAY - VIA NAZARETH TO THE SEA OF GALILEE

Theme: The Formative Years of Jesus

We farewell Bethlehem this morning and journey directly north to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Firstly come to nearby Nazareth Village, an authentic non-profit re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here we will take a parable-rich walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry. Complete our memorable visit with a fascinating first-century meal in a stone-dining area typical of the days of Christ.

Back in Nazareth township, enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point as we ponder Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). After celebrating Mass we will visit the nearby Church of St Joseph before entering the nearby Synagogue Church, a Crusader structure said to be built on the site of the synagogue where Jesus read the Messianic passage in Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” ...

Travel on to the village of Cana this afternoon where Jesus, at the request of His Mother, performed his first miracle transforming the water into wine at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1-11). Here, married couples may take the opportunity to renew their wedding vows, and single and widowed pilgrims will receive a special blessing.

Journey east to Tiberias on the shores of Lake Galilee“Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 7: WEDNESDAY - SEA OF GALILEE

Theme: The Public Ministry of Jesus

Arise and set out on a spectacular day of pilgrimage beginning with Capernaum, the once fishing village of the first apostles Peter, Andrew, James & John which also became the home town of Jesus and the scene of many of his miracles. Here he worshipped and taught in the synagogue where he promised the Eucharist by saying: ‘I am the bread of life … unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you‘ (John 6:48-53).

Continue on to Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the 1st century ‘Jesus boat’ painstakingly raised and restored from the muddy lakebed in 1986.

Set off from here on a traditional sailing vessel for a spectacular Harvest highlight – a Private Mass in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will float in quiet tranquillity and reflect upon the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water.

Continue back to the shore to enjoy a traditional ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch to commemorate our Galilee experience.

Journey north around the lake to remember the Galilean cities of Bethsaida and Korazim cursed by Jesus. These two cities along with Capernaum became known as the ‘evangelical triangle’ because most of Jesus’ teachings and miracles occurred there. In Korazim we will enter the 3rd century synagogue constructed of local black basalt stone.

Finally we come to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20) and pray within the 4th century church displaying Byzantine mosaics considered to be some of the best in the Holy Land. Beneath the altar is the rock believed to be where Jesus placed the loaves and fish before blessing them.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 8: THURSDAY – MT BEATITUDES / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / MT TABOR

Theme: The Word Proclaimed

We begin our day at the Mount of Beatitudes for Mass as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1–12). Surrounded by prayerful gardens overlooking the north western shore of Lake Galilee, the eight sides of the Church represent the eight beatitudes given by Jesus.

From here we journey north today to Caesarea Philippi near the base of Mt Hermon, where the springs of Banias form the source of the Jordan River. In this tranquil place Jesus spent some quiet time with his disciples and later commissioned Peter “And I tell you, you are Peter and on this Rock I will build my church” (Mt 16:13).

Departing the Golan Heights we then travel south to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. Here Our Lord’s divinity shone forth in the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-2). After some time to reflect in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’. Return to Tiberias for rest before dinner.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

DAY 9: FRIDAY - VIA HAIFA & MT CARMEL TO JERUSALEM

Theme: Faith and Grace

We farewell our time in the Galilee with Mass at the Church of the Primacy of Peter down by the shores of the lake. Here Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’.

We stop briefly at Magdala to commemorate the town of Mary Magdalene before continuing west to Haifa, the largest city in Northern Israel. Here the Mediterranean Sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we come to the Stella Maris Monastery at Mount Carmel where in the lower cave, Elijah was said to have meditated on his victory over the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:1-40).

We then make our way to the House of Grace, a Catholic ministry that works with the most marginalised members of Haifa: Christians, Jews and Muslims who are in need of counselling, guidance, and material aid. Here we will share lunch and hear an inspired talk about this powerful ministry to rehabilitate released prisoners.

Travel south to the crusader port of Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great. The centurion Cornelius was baptized here by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10). Also see the harbour from which St Paul was taken to Rome.

Finally we journey on and up to Jerusalem – the City of our God.

Jerusalem overnight (BLD)

DAY 10: SATURDAY - JERUSALEM

Theme: The Passion of Jesus

Begin our Jerusalem pilgrimage as we proceed up to the Mt of Olives to visit the ‘Pater Noster’ Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). Enjoy a panoramic view and photographic opportunity over the city. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road as pilgrims to the Dominus Flevit Church for Mass, built on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44).

We then come down to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. Prepare then for a memorable pilgrim highlight as we move to the private garden for a secluded time of prayer and reflection surrounded by ancient olive trees.

From here we set out by coach across town to the Israel Museum for a lunch break. Continue then on a fascinating outdoor orientation viewing of the Second Temple Scale Model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. In the adjacent Shrine of the Book Museum we view the Dead Sea Scrolls with our own eyes.

Finally today we come to Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas and into the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu commemorating Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. On its roof rises a golden rooster atop a black cross recalling Christ’s prophecy that Peter would deny him three times ‘before the cock crows’.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 11: SUNDAY - JERUSALEM

 

Theme: The Passion of Jesus

Return to Mt Zion this morning, described by the psalmist as ‘holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, the joy of all the earth’ (Ps 48). We firstly enter the Cenacle room of the Last Supper (Upper Room) where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the later descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After time here to sit and reflect we will continue to the Church of the Dormition identified as the place where the Virgin Mary died or ‘fell asleep’ as the name suggests.

We then come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall (once known as the Wailing Wall).

Enjoy some free time this afternoon to rest, pray or explore the Old City at your own pace. Alternatively, pilgrims are encouraged to consider a sobering visit to the Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum) to learn about the tragic events where six million Jewish victims lost their lives during the atrocities of World War II. Return coach transfers available.

Before dinner we will meet with representatives from the Bereaved Families Forum in our hotel meeting room. Here we will take the opportunity to listen to the courageous stories of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian family members as they share their extraordinary journey of loss on the path of true reconciliation.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 12: MONDAY - JERUSALEM

 

Theme: The Death & Resurrection of Jesus

Arise very early this morning as we return to the Old City of Jerusalem to commence our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. We pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to culminate at the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass here in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which we may come to touch with our pilgrim hands. Also enter the Tomb of Christ, the site believed to be where Our Lord lay buried for three days before rising from the dead.

After breakfast back at our hotel we re-enter the Old City precinct to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. Continue to the adjacent Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9). See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent and the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels which so vividly commemorate the last hours of Jesus’ life.

Continue this morning to Emmaus (Abu Gosh) where the Disciples recognised the risen Jesus at the breaking of bread and exclaimed “Did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us on the road?” (Lk 24:13-35). We enter here through the gardens of this Benedictine church built by the Crusaders and take time to reflect with gratitude on the Lord’s companionship with us along the road of our past days of pilgrimage.

Time for rest mid afternoon before we experience the spectacular Holy Shroud Exhibit in the Notre Dame Centre where pilgrims will gain a deeper understanding of Christ’s suffering and resurrection, while viewing a full size replica of the Holy Shroud housed in Turin.

For our final night together, we will enjoy a Special Celebration Dinner with spectacular views over all of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 13: TUESDAY – JERUSALEM – FLY TO ATHENS

Theme: The Ascension of Jesus

We return to the Mt of Olives to the Chapel of the Ascension which is believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. The small round church/mosque contains a stone imprinted with what is said to be the footprints of Jesus.

Here we will close our pilgrimage and remember the Lord’s final words to the eleven disciples as He made the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ” – Mt 28:18-20

We farewell Jerusalem this afternoon as we are transferred to the airport for our ongoing flight connections to Greece.

Athens today is the thriving capital of Greece, but, more importantly, we have entered into the world of the New Testament where St Paul and his companions established the first Christian communities throughout his four missionary journeys.

On arrival in Athens we will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel.

Athens overnight (B)

DAY 14: WEDNESDAY - ATHENS & CORINTH

When St Paul first came to Athens it was predominantly a city which worshipped pagan gods. St Paul was taken before the city council at the Areopagus Hill, a rough outcrop of limestone rock from which he preached the Gospel message to the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:16-21).

We begin our pilgrimage with a tour of Christian Athens including the Acropolis, the Areopagus where St Paul delivered his famous sermon about the identity of "the Unknown God" (Acts 17:15-34). Visit the Ancient Agora where Paul preached about Jesus and the resurrection, the Plaka (Old Greece), and explore the Parthenon. Also see the Kallimármaro Stadium, dating back to 330BC and restored for the first modern Olympic Games held here in 1896.

Journey out to Ancient Corinth this afternoon where the apostle Paul lived for almost two years, teaching the people the Word of God and converting many. On arrival we will view the Erastus inscription dating back to the first century AD and concerning a Christian convert, Erastus (Rom 16:23) who was the ‘director of public works’ in Corinth.

We visit the ancient ruins and see the site where he preached the Gospel from the Rostrum. See the Peirene fountain, and the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo before an outdoor Mass in this stunning pilgrimage setting.

Finally we come to Cenchreae, the ancient port from where St Paul said farewell to the believers and departed for Ephesus (Acts 18:18).

Athens overnight (BD)

DAY 15: THURSDAY – VIA HOSIOS LOUKAS TO METEORA

Theme: The Byzantines

We travel north today to the remarkable Byzantine Monastery of Hosios Loukas, built in the 11th century on the slopes of Mt Helikon. In 1990 UNESCO included this site on their World Heritage List. On arrival we will celebrate an outdoor Mass here in the grounds of the Monastery and be taken on a guided tour of the Churches, crypt and surrounds where we admire the amazing frescoes and mosaics.

We continue north this afternoon to the small town of Kalambaka built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of Meteora.

Kalambaka overnight (BD)

DAY 16: FRIDAY – METEORA EXPLORATION

Theme: The Monastics

We spend some time today marvelling at this unique phenomenon of nature – 24 perpendicular rocks where 600 years ago Byzantine monks chose to worship God and build their cave-like Monastic community of Meteora. We will visit some of these living monasteries by foot and view the extraordinary collection of priceless religious frescoes and other treasures that will make this a remarkable day.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon.

Kalambaka overnight (BD)

DAY 17: SATURDAY - VIA BEROEA TO KAVALA

Theme: The Bereans

Today we journey north by coach to Beroea (modern Veria). The “Bema” - an impressive monument to Paul - is believed to incorporate the steps from the original synagogue from which he preached the gospel to the Jews, who welcomed the word of God and began to study the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-12).

A small church was established here and we will also view the ‘hidden churches’, a collection of about 20 Byzantine structures, camouflaged in the form of barns from the invading Ottoman Turks.

Continue east along the ancient route of the Apostle Paul to the port city of Kavala (ancient Neapolis), once named "Christoupolis" after being the first European city to accept Christianity. It was here that St Paul, St Timothy and St Silas first landed from Troas (Acts 16:11), one of the great moments in the history of Christianity.

Kavala overnight (BD)

DAY 18: SUNDAY – VIA PHILIPPI TO THESSALONIKI

Themes: The Philippians

Journey out to Philippi, named after Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It was here that St Paul won his first European convert, a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira (Acts 16:12-40). Visit the Baptistery of Lydia for a beautiful outdoor Mass in this breathtaking oasis on the River Zygaktis, and to renew our Baptismal vows. Visit the market place (where St Paul and St Silas were brought before the rulers) and the cistern which tradition identifies as the place where St Paul was imprisoned. In the ancient theatre we will hear the story of Paul’s arrest, imprisonment and miraculous release.

We depart Philippi and journey east along the ancient route of the Apostle Paul via Amphipolis (Acts 17:1) where we view the ruins of many Christian basilicas.

Finally we arrive in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, founded in 315 BC, and where St Paul preached during the winters of 49-50AD and wrote the two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. It was here that he established the first Christian Church in Europe.

Thessaloniki overnight (BD)

DAY 19: MONDAY – THESSALONIKI & TRAVEL TO PATMOS

Theme: The Thessalonians

Our visit this morning will include the ramparts of the city, the triumphal Arch of Galerius, as well as the Rotunda where we can see pieces of the pulpit from which Paul preached. View the Roman Agora where he also preached. Nearby we shall visit St Demetrios’ Church dedicated to a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity, and was later martyred. View its valuable mosaics and frescoes before descending in to the crypt where we find the remains of some ancient Roman baths and streets.

We then ascend to the ‘ano poli’ (old town) to the Byzantine Vlatadon Monastery, built over Jason’s house (Acts 17:5) where Paul stayed during his time in Thessaloniki.

We will then be transferred to the airport for our flight to Athens. On arrival we will be transferred directly to the Athenian port of Piraeus to embark our deluxe boat transfer to the Dodecanese island of Patmos, where St John the Beloved wrote the Book of Revelation.

Patmos overnight (BD)

DAY 20: TUESDAY – PATMOS DAY

Theme: St John of Revelations

Lying between the islands of Leros and Ikaria is the 'ascetic shaped' Patmos, called the ‘Jerusalem of the Aegean’ due to the overwhelming atmosphere of the island during the great celebrations of Christianity.

We begin our day with a walking tour of the main square of the village of Chora. This is the traditional settlement and capital of Patmos, where the narrow streets were designed to ward off pirates over the centuries. Ascend to the Monastery of St John the Beloved, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, for a visit and celebration of Mass. Our exploration of this living monastery will culminate with time in the actual Cave of Revelation where God chose to reveal to St John the mysteries of the last book of the Bible - the Apocalypse. The cave is now at the foot of the monastery, which houses priceless icons and manuscripts, sacred relics, vestments embroiled with silver or gold threads and bejeweled with precious stones.

Later continue to the active Convent of Evangelismos (Annunciation) built by the hieromonk Nikiphoros who was cured from the plague after praying to St Luke the Evangelist. Visit the Convent of Zoodochos Pigi with icons dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Finally we will enjoy a short scenic tour of the island.

Patmos overnight (BD)

DAY 21: WEDNESDAY – PATMOS TO KUSADASI

Depart Patmos this morning by private Charter Vessel to Kusadasi, doorway to Ephesus, the Churches of Revelation and Gallipoli.

On arrival in Kusadasi we will be met and transferred by coach to our centrally located hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.

Kusadasi overnight (BD)

DAY 22: THURSDAY – EPHESUS DAY

Theme: The Ephesians

We travel directly to Ephesus this morning, the most famous of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev 2:1-7) where St Paul spent more than two years in the course of his third missionary journey. It was to the Christian community of Ephesus that St Paul wrote his greatest and most challenging letter (the epistle to the Ephesians) and also succeeded in converting many away from worship of the god Artemis.

Our visit today will include the ruins where St Paul lived and preached. See the prison of St Paul; walk through the ancient marble streets founded in the 10th century BC and see this most 'complete’ Roman city providing us with an excellent window into Imperial Rome. Pass the Temple of Hadrian, the Library of Celsus, the enormous amphitheatre (Acts 19:29-31), and finally come to the ruins of the Christian Basilica where the Third Ecumenical Council took place in 431AD, and where Our Lady was proclaimed "Mother of God".

We ascend the hill to the House of the Virgin Mary where it is said Mary spent the later years of her life. We celebrate our group Mass here in one of the chapels. Finally we visit the restored remains of the 6th century Basilica of St John at Celcuk where a small church was originally built over the tomb of St John the Evangelist.

Kusadasi overnight (BD)

DAY 23: FRIDAY – DEPART TURKEY

Today we will be transferred to Izmir airport for our homebound flight connections or onward pilgrimage extensions. (B)

DAY 24: SATURDAY - IN TRANSIT

DAY 25: SUNDAY – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 23: FRIDAY - FLY TO MALTA

Today we will be transferred to Izmir airport for our flight connections to Malta. Upon arrival at Malta International Airport we will be met and transferred to our hotel for check-in. Christianity has existed almost 2,000 years in Malta, brought to the island by no less than the Apostle Paul himself in 60 AD.

Malta overnight (BD)

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 24: SATURDAY – ST PAUL’S ISLAND – RABAT – MDINA

Today we proceed to St Paul’s Bay where a short boat trip takes us to the island where the Apostle was shipwrecked. After some time here we return to the mainland where we view St Paul’s Bonfire Church.

En route to Rabat visit the miraculous Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Mosta where during World War II a 500 kilogram bomb penetrated the dome and hit the inside of the church. Continue to Rabat to enter St Paul’s Grotto where St Paul lived during his short stay in Malta. We celebrate Mass here and visit the catacombs dedicated to him.

After a short walk into Mdina, visit St Paul’s Cathedral which will be another highlight of our day’s trip.

Malta overnight (BD)

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 25: SUNDAY - GOZO DAY TRIP

Travel by ferry to the sister island of Gozo. Visit the Church of St John La Rotunda, and walk up the steps to the Gozo Citadel which is a medieval city and the capital of Gozo.

Visit St George’s Basilica, then on to the miraculous Ta'Pinu Shrine for Mass.

Malta overnight (BD)

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 26: MONDAY - DEPART MALTA

Today we visit Valletta. After a drive around the city to admire its bastions, we enter the city by foot and see the Auberges built by the Knights and St John. We enter St John’s Co-Cathedral and view the impressive and miraculous Crucifix at Ta’Giezu Church. Continue to the St Paul Shipwreck Church where we will view two relics of St Paul.

Transfer to the airport in time for our homebound or ongoing flight connections. (B)

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 27: TUESDAY – IN TRANSIT

Optional 3 Night Malta Extension: DAY 28: WEDNESDAY – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

 

Full package based on departure from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth including all airline taxes and levies (subject to change). Tour Only costs include local internal airfares between Start/End dates. Refer to our full price inclusions and Booking Procedures for more information.

Additional information
Return from
AUD 10990
Departs Australia
Sales Period:
Until further notice
Travel Period:
3 June 2018
Are you interested?
Contact us button
Online Enquiry
Brochure
Insurance