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1-800-CATHOLIC

regina@groupist.com

Dates & Prices

Land Only

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Celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land (Land Only)

Trip Length

08 Days

Current Weather

Trip Type

1-800-CATHOLIC

Trip Overview & Highlight

Spend the magic of Christmas in the place where it all began. This itinerary takes you to the holiest of sights throughout Israel and features Christmas Eve Mass in Bethlehem. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Highlights

  • Mount of Olives for a wonderful view of the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations
  • In Bethlehem participate in the Christmas Celebrations including Midnight Christmas Mass at Manger SquareOn Christmas Day visit the old city of Jerusalem, Pools of Bethesda, Walk along the Via Dolorosa, Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, visit the Western Wall and view the Temple Mount.
  • Visit Mount Zion, the Hall of the Last Supper, and the Dormition Abbey
  • Visit Jericho, known to be the oldest town in the world
  • View the Mount of Temptation and the Sycamore Tree
  • Onto the Dead Sea, where you can experience” floating”.
  • Drive along the Jordan Valley to Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee
  • Visit the Mount of Beatitudes and Tabgha, the site of the Miracle of the Multiplication.
  • Take a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee
  • Stop in Cana, the site of the First Miracle where Jesus turned water into Wine
  • Continue to Nazareth, Mount Carmel and Caesarea
  • And so much more…..

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What’s Included

  • International airfare from New York gateway
  • 8 nights hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Ground & Air Transportation
  • Sightseeing & Entrance fees
  • Professional English Speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Private motorcoach & driver
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person

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Prices & Dates

 

Prices are based on double occupancy: all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: 22nd DEC - ARRIVAL – JERUSALEM

Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be met by a Vered Hasharon tours representative. Transfer to Jerusalem and check into hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 2: 23RD DEC -JERUSALEM

After a buffet breakfast drive up the Mount of Olives for a wonderful view of the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Dominus Flevit, the Pater Noster Church and then to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Continue on to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu built on the site of the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 3: 24TH DEC - JERUSALEM, BETHLEHEM

After breakfast morning at leisure. Afternoon – Proceed to Bethlehem to participate in the Christmas Celebrations in Bethlehem. Visit Bethlehem and the Shepherds Fields. Enjoy dinner in this ancient city and the Midnight Christmas Mass at Manger square. Return to hotel for overnight.

DAY 4: 25TH DEC - JERUSALEM

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
After a late breakfast enter the old city of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda. Walk along the Via Dolorosa following the Stations of the Cross. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Visit the Western Wall and view the Temple Mount. Visit Mount Zion, the Hall of the Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 5: 26TH DEC - JERICHO, DEAD SEA

Enjoy breakfast and then drive to Jericho, known to be the oldest town in the world. View the Mount of Temptation and the Sycamore Tree.Passing Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, proceed to the Dead Sea, where you can experience floating on these waters which have amazing healing powers. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6: 27TH DEC - JORDAN VALLEY, TIBERIAS

After a delicious breakfast drive along the Jordan Valley to Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Tabgha, the site of the Miracle of the Multiplication.Visit Capernaum, where Jesus began his preaching career. Check into hotel in Tiberius for dinner and overnight.

DAY 7: 28TH DEC - MT. TABOR, BOAT RIDE, YARDENIT

Today after breakfast drive to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Miracle of the Transfiguration. Take a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee with time for prayer and reflection. Enjoy a traditional St. Peter’s Fish Lunch. After lunch continue to “Yardenit” traditional Baptismal Site. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 8: 29TH DEC - CANA, NAZARETH, MUHRAKA, CAESAREA

After breakfast drive to Cana, the site of the First Miracle where Jesus turned water into Wine. Continue on to Nazareth to visit the Church of Annunciation. Proceed to Muhraka on Mount Carmel where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Proceed to Caesarea, ancient excavated city with many Roman and Crusader ruins. Transfer to Airport for your departure flight home or drop-off at hotel (if extending stay).

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Essential Information & Weather

 

Weather

Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas. You may even see the odd wintertime snowfall in different parts of the country.

Spring and autumn-time are both great times to visit Israel, as the temperature stays in the high 60s to mid 70s throughout. You’ll smell the diverse citrus harvest and experience the high holidays when traveling between September and November, or catch stunning views of flowers blossoming across the country when visiting between March and May.

All in all, there’s never a bad time to visit Israel – just pack accordingly!

Find up-to-date weather forecasts for Israel here: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/israel

Packing List

Packing list: The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten-day trip in Israel. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust. Of worth remembering, as a modern country, you will be able to purchase any needs in-destination – just in case!

• 7-9 x underwear, socks,
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal!
• 3-4 x shorts
• 2 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 x swimming gear
• 1-2 x sweater or cardigan
• 1-2 x sandals or flip flops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x beach bag
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Specific packing notes for religious sites:
• Cover shoulders: avoid strapless tops, spaghetti straps tops and vests (both men and women)
• Avoid above the knee skirts and shorts (men and women)
• Avoid exposing excessive cleavage, a waist/belly or back
• Do not wear slogans or prints that may be perceived as offensive

Passports

Packing list: The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten-day trip in Israel. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust. Of worth remembering, as a modern country, you will be able to purchase any needs in-destination – just in case!

• 7-9 x underwear, socks,
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal!
• 3-4 x shorts
• 2 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 x swimming gear
• 1-2 x sweater or cardigan
• 1-2 x sandals or flip flops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x beach bag
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Specific packing notes for religious sites:
• Cover shoulders: avoid strapless tops, spaghetti straps tops and vests (both men and women)
• Avoid above the knee skirts and shorts (men and women)
• Avoid exposing excessive cleavage, a waist/belly or back
• Do not wear slogans or prints that may be perceived as offensive

Visa

Tourist Visas are Not required for stays of 90 days or less. Please see below for detailed information about entry, exit and visa requirements

Currency & Exchange

The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot. Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory; to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain tourist sites, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, take payment in dollars. More Information is available here. Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks.

Phone & Internet Connectivity

Internet access in Israel, one of the world’s tech capitals, is world-class and ubiquitous.
Almost every café and restaurant will offer it freely. You’ll also find wifi spots in touristic sites and even offered city-wide by local municipalities. Hotels will have it in their lobbies and the guestrooms, but may charge for it.
Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with. Local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function. Another option that might work best is to rent out a mifi device, which create a wifi network that you and your party can use to stay connected while you’re in Israel.
Almost every hotel has internet access – in-room and/or wi-fi and/or at its Business Center. Internet cafes are to be found everywhere too.
There are public phones throughout Israel. You will need to buy a “Telecard” magnetic card to use them: they’re readily available at newsstands, supermarkets, post offices or at your hotel front desk.

Electricity and Adapters

The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.

The Israeli power supply is single-phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pinholes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers (converters) and adapter plugs.

Dress & Modesty Norms

Israel is a casual country when it comes to dress code. It is not uncommon for business executives even to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work! However, we will be visiting some religious sites where “modest” clothing is appropriate. On entering Jewish religious sites, women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. We suggest bringing a scarf or cardigan to throw over your shoulders, and a skirt that can be easily pulled over your shorts for a more “modest” look. Pants or capris are also acceptable. Men should have their shoulders covered on the days where religious sites are on the itinerary. Remember to bring comfortable lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. Know that when your feet are happy, you stay happy walking.

Food & Water

Food. Israel has great food. Most people are probably familiar with falafel – fried ground chick peas served with salad in pita. Meat eaters will love shwarma, lamb sliced off a spit and served in pita (similar to gyros). Both are cheap, filling meals. Lots of other Mediterranean specialties like shishlik (shish kebab), baklawa (sweetmeat made of dough, honey, and nuts) and moussaka (baked eggplant, minced meat, onion and parsley) will stimulate your taste buds. Hummus (hummus bi tahini), is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The Americanization of Israel also means you will find such familiar names as McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Water. The water in Israel is safe to drink; nevertheless, it is different from what you are used to and people with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Also, Israelis don’t usually put ice in their drinks, so if you want some, ask for kerakh. Keep in mind that not everything in Israel is kosher. Restaurants that are kosher serve either dairy or meat and close on Shabbat. The restaurant should have a Teudat certificate either on the window or available for inspection. Unless the menu or check says otherwise, tips are not included.

Staying Hydrated. The sun is much stronger in Israel than most places even in the U.S. Carrying a water bottle is mandatory, as your body will require much more frequent hydration than you are probably used to, around 2-4 liters of water per day. Israelis often recycle their plastic store-bought bottles of water by refilling them from the tap (which is safe to drink!). If you don’t have a water bottle, we will be making plenty of stops for you to purchase water.

Timezone

Israel is +3 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here:https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zone/israel

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