Wonders of the Holy Land – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages

Wonders of the Holy Land

Embark on a transformative journey to the Holy Land, where history, faith, and culture converge in a mesmerizing tapestry of experiences. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus, from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, and behold the breathtaking beauty of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Marvel at the architectural wonders of Petra, immersing yourself in a pilgrimage that transcends time.

Highlights

Tel Aviv (1 night) • Haifa • Mt Carmel • Nazareth • Cana • Sea of Galilee (3) • Capernaum • Mt Tabor • Mt Arbel • Mt Beatitudes • Tabgha • Madgala • Mt Nebo • Dead Sea (1) • Petra (1) • Jordan River Baptismal site • Jericho • Jerusalem (4) • Bethlehem day

  • 11 Days / 10 Nights
  • Tel Aviv to Tel Aviv
  • Daily Mass
Unesco World Heritage

Itinerary

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

DAY 1ARRIVE HOLY LAND

Arrive into the Holy Land of Israel, known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”.  Join with your fellow pilgrims tonight for your first group dinner.

Tel Aviv overnight (D)

DAY 2TEL AVIV VIA HAIFA, MT CARMEL & NAZARETH TO SEA OF GALILEE

Theme: Prepare the way

This morning we journey north to the port city of Haifa, the largest city in Northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country. The Mediterranean Sea wraps around three sides of the city with intoxicating blue and gold beaches.

Upon arrival we visit 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. We hope to hear a special talk about this ministry.

We then visit 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).

After lunch at a spectacular restaurant overlooking the sea, we continue to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus’ childhood where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, where a traditional cave becomes the focal point to Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel “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 to commemorate the life of Mary’s beloved spouse. We then enter the nearby Synagogue Church, built on the site where Jesus read the Messianic passage in Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”

Travel on to the village of Cana where Jesus, at the request of His Mother, performed His first miracle transforming the water into wine at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1-12). Here, married couples will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows.

Finally, we arrive at the shores of Lake Galilee … “Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 3SEA OF GALILEE

Theme: The Public Ministry of Jesus

Arise and set out on a spectacular day of pilgrimage.

Following breakfast, we travel to Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12–20).

Onwards to Nof Ginosar Kibbutz to see the preserved remains of a first century fishing boat from the days of Christ. We then set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to encounter one of our most memorable pilgrimage highlights – a Private Mass floating quietly in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. After Mass, we will continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch.

In the afternoon, we journey east to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by dedicated taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. Here in this breathtaking setting, Our Lord’s divinity shone forth in the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–2) as we better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 4MT ARBEL SUNRISE / JESUS TRAIL ENCOUNTER

Theme: The Public Ministry of Jesus

Arise before dawn this morning and ascend to the majestic summit of historic Mt Arbel to marvel at the amazing sunrise views over the Golan Heights and the full panorama of Lake Galilee. View the nearby Ancient Arbel Synagogue which sits alone on the side of the hill with its magnificent Galilee backdrop.

From here, we will continue on a pre-breakfast sunrise walk of a spectacular stretch of the ancient Jesus Trail* frequented by Our Lord in his many visits between Nazareth and Capernaum. This well-worn shepherd’s path through the Valley of the Doves offers a rare and genuine opportunity to prayerfully tread the actual footsteps of Jesus down through the rustic pass between the mountains, that has changed little since the days of the Gospels.
*Weather and personal fitness dependent

We then come to the Mount of Beatitudes to enjoy some reflective time to wander through the Church and tranquil gardens to ponder Jesus’ message of blessedness in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1–12)

Drive to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), before an important stop at the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’. Here we will spend some quiet time to reflect and pray by the shore of the lake.

Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

Day 5SEA OF GALILEE VIA MT NEBO TO THE DEAD SEA

Theme: Desert Encounters

Departing Lake Galilee this morning, we travel to Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene, who became the first recorded witness of the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:18). Recent archaeological discoveries have made Magdala an important pilgrimage essential as we explore the remains of the town famous for its fishing industry and visit the Church of Duc In Altum, named after the words of Jesus to Simon Peter “put out into the deep” and famous for its boat altar.

We then cross the border into Jordan and travel west to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular 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). It has been possible for archaeologists to identify this sanctuary, thanks to the records left by two pilgrim-visitors of the fourth and fifth centuries of their travels in this region.

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 thus far and anticipate the blessings that are to come.

We then arrive at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea to check-in to our beautiful hotel located down on the shore. Here we will unwind and take the optional opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities.

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

Day 6PETRA EXPLORATION

Theme: Desert Encounters

Today we travel south to the magnificent ancient trading city of Petra known as the ‘Red Rose City’ and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Upon arrival we enjoy a breathtaking guided walking tour through the ruins of ancient Petra – the city that the Nabateans carved out of solid rock dating back to 300 BC! Our visit will follow a passage through the Siqa chasm created in a prehistoric earthquake. It is one of the special moments to walk through this canyon which dramatically opens before your eyes to reveal the Treasury Building (Al-Khazneh) – a never to be forgotten experience. We will see also the Roman TheatreCorinthian tomb along with churches, homes, and many other buildings from this fascinating period.

Petra overnight (BD)

Day 7PETRA VIA BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN & JERICHO TO JERUSALEM

Theme: Desert Encounters

Departing Petra this morning we travel 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, believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. So authentic is this site that His Holiness Benedict XVI chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will celebrate Mass, renew our baptismal promises, and see the beautiful Orthodox Church (also the Catholic Church in construction).

Onwards to Jericho, the ‘City of Palms’, which is the oldest inhabited city in the world and most famous oasis dating back to around 9000 BC. Stop by the famous Sycamore tree used to commemorate the powerful story of the tax collector Zacchaeus. Across the valley we look up to view the Mt of Temptation, the site of Jesus’ fast of 40 days and there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves”. After a lunch stop in Jericho, we drive to St George’s Monastery lookout to marvel at the cliff-hanging 5th C complex carved into a sheer rock wall and still occupied today.

Travel towards Jerusalem along the Jericho Road, as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills and dry rocky landscape. Finally, we ascend up into Jerusalem – the City of our God and the Mountain of His Holiness.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 8BETHLEHEM & SURROUNDS

Theme: Commemorating the Birth of Jesus

We travel out today to Ein Karem this morning and ascend the hill to the Church of the Visitation where Mary visited Elizabeth and proclaimed her Magnificat prayer – ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord’. Visit the nearby Church of St John the Baptist to pray before the grotto of his birth.

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

In Bethlehem this afternoon, we will enter the spectacular Church of the Nativity, the oldest complete church in the Christian world (6th century) and birthplace of Our Lord and Saviour. 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.

Proceed to St Jerome’s Cave where in 386 AD the saint spent 30 years producing the first vernacular version of the Bible! Before returning to our hotel for a rest we have the opportunity to visit the Christian Co-Op store.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 9JERUSALEM

Theme: The Passion of Jesus

We proceed to the Mt of Olives this morning where we will firstly visit the Church of the ‘Pater Noster’ commemorating the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). We then enjoy a panoramic view over the city and a spectacular photographic opportunity. As we commence our walk down the Palm Sunday Road, we wander past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit for Mass. This church was built on the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44).

We then continue 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 gain private group access inside the adjacent ‘Garden of Betrayal’ for an extended time of prayer and reflection surrounded by ancient olive trees dating back to the time of Christ.

From here we see the path Jesus was taken along as a prisoner while ascending Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Here, at the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, Our Lord was interrogated and imprisoned, while Peter denied Jesus three times. Continue to the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven.

After a rest before dinner, we will meet representatives of the Bereaved Parents Circle – this is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organisation made up of more than 600 bereaved families. Their common bond is that they have lost a close family member to the conflict. Instead of choosing revenge, they have courageously chosen a path of reconciliation which is sure to touch us deeply.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 10JERUSALEM

Theme: The Death, Resurrection & Ascension of Jesus

We commence early this morning our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent.

Visit nearby the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels as we pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass 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 reach through to touch with our pilgrim hands the rock of Calvary. Finally, we may have the opportunity to enter the Tomb where Our Lord rose from the dead for a jaw-dropping moment of pilgrimage.

This morning we travel to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall. Then we come to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary, and visit the adjacent Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9).

Finally we come to the Israel Museum to view the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. This model will help us to understand the layout of the Old City of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. We will also visit here the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

For a special evening of pilgrimage, we will enjoy a Final Celebration Dinner with spectacular views over all of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 11DEPART THE HOLY LAND

All tour inclusions and order of daily arrangements remain subject to change due to any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise, or at the discretion of the tour leadership.

Dates & Prices

Dates
Chaplain
Tour Cost
26 September– 6 October 2024
TBA
AUD $6290*
More info
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WH2402
26 September– 6 October 2024
More info

Dates

26 September– 6 October 2024

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6290*

Tour Code

WH2402

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

7 – 17 November 2024
TBA
AUD $6390*
More info
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WH2403
7 – 17 November 2024
More info

Dates

7 – 17 November 2024

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6390*

Tour Code

WH2403

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

09 - 19 January 2025
TBA
AUD $6190*
More info
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WH2501
09 - 19 January 2025
More info

Dates

09 - 19 January 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6190*

Tour Code

WH2501

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

05 - 15 June 2025
TBA
AUD $6390*
More info
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WH2502
05 - 15 June 2025
More info

Dates

05 - 15 June 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6390*

Tour Code

WH2502

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

25 September - 05 October 2025
TBA
AUD $6390*
More info
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WH2503
25 September - 05 October 2025
More info

Dates

25 September - 05 October 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6390*

Tour Code

WH2503

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

09 - 19 October 2025
Led by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers & Priest Chaplain
AUD $6490*
More info
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WH2504
09 - 19 October 2025
More info

Dates

09 - 19 October 2025

Chaplain

Led by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers & Priest Chaplain

Tour Cost

AUD $6490*

Tour Code

WH2504

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

06 - 16 November 2025
TBA
AUD $6390*
More info
BOOK NOW
WH2505
06 - 16 November 2025
More info

Dates

06 - 16 November 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD $6390*

Tour Code

WH2505

Single Room

AUD $2490 Supplement

Start

Tel Aviv

Finish

Tel Aviv

Prepaid Tipping

AUD $15 PPPD**

*Per person, twin share

**Per person, per day

Costs are indicative and must remain subject to possible change in the event of significant exchange rate variations, tax & hotel changes or minimum group size factors beyond Harvest’s control. Refer to Harvest Terms & Conditions.

Included
  • ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on reputable local 3-4 star superior hotels or quality religious houses as applicable • Meals as specified in Itinerary
  • TOURING & TRANSPORTATION: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach • Professional Pilgrimage Escort / Local Guides • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees
  • OTHER: Fully Escorted by Pilgrimage Chaplain • Porterage at hotels (where available) • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrims Journal and Travel Wallet
Not Included
  • International Airfares
  • Other meals not listed
  • Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable)
  • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Prepaid Tipping
pilgrim highlights

Take the opportunity to renew your wedding vows in Cana, the town of Jesus’ first miracle.

Celebrate a breathtaking Mass in the centre of Lake Galilee onboard our traditional sailing vessel floating in silence and tranquility.

Walk a hidden stretch of the authentic ‘Jesus Trail’ through the mountain pass in Christ’s actual footsteps towards Lake Galilee.

Experience the awe-inspiring view from Mount Arbel, a place where Jesus likely prayed and gazed upon Lake Galilee.

Float in the healing salty waters of the Dead Sea.

Take an optional camel ride through the desert sands of Ancient Petra and marvel at the stone carved city dating back to 300 BC.

Pay homage in Bethlehem before the silver star that marks the very spot of Jesus’ birth.

Take the opportunity to renew your baptismal vows in the waters of the Jordan at the authentic baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist.

Bow low at the altar of Calvary and touch the very rock where Jesus was crucified.

taste & see meals

Nazareth: Taste & See a traditional First-Century meal in an outdoor stone dining setting in Nazareth Village.

 

Tiberias: Experience a renowned ‘St Peter’s Fish’ lunch freshly caught from the Sea of Galilee!

 

Mt Carmel: Share a beautiful meal in Haifa in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Jerusalem: Celebrate our final night together in a first class restaurant overlooking the illuminated Old City.

  • “The tour was well organised, the accommodations was excellent. The tour guides were knowledgeable and were an enormous source of information. Border transfers were easily arranged. It was great to travel in an unknown area without any worries.”

    Clara Kempers
    Footsteps of Jesus

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