Day 1: Arrive Caen or Paris
We arrive the International airport of Caen (as alternative: Paris, approximately 2 hrs distance from Caen).
Upon arrival we meet our tour manager, who will assist us throughout our tour, board our motorcoach and transfer to Caen. According to our arrival flight time, we enjoy a panoramic city sightseeing tour of this beautiful city. Caen has been an important stop for travellers and pilgrims since the early middle ages.
In 1083 Caponière Street, leading out of the town, was reffered to as “the street leading to Mont St Michel”: this street has now become a motorway, the same one that we will travel tomorrow on a pilgrimage to the mountain.
During our city sightseeing tour of Caen we will view the Abbey of the Men, built in 1066 during the reign of William the Conqueror, a perfect example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. We will then continue with a view of the beautiful church of the Abbey of Women, founded by Queen Matilda around 1060. We end with a view of the Castle, built around 1060 by William the Conqueror to house his residential palace, one of the largest fortified enclosures in Europe.
Transfer to our hotel, check-in. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Caen / Mont St. Michel / Paris
Breakfast at the hotel.
We enjoy a full day excursion to Mont St. Michel which legend dates back to the year 708, when the Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, bishop of Avranches. He instructed the bishop to build a church in the Archangel’s honour.
Several miracles finally convinced Aubert and on 16 October 709, a church was built and devoted to Archangel Michael. The mountain has been known since that time as Mont Saint-Michel. We will walk up to the Abbey and have some free time for a visit and for prayers (or mass celebration).
Lunch will be free. In the afternoon we head to Paris, famously called “La-Ville Lumiere” or the “City of Lights” . Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. Dinner will be free and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Paris
Breakfast at the hotel. We enjoy a full day at leisure in the city of Paris for self arranged visits.
The visits that can be included in Paris:
guided panoramic city sightseeing tour including the Champs Elysees and the Arch de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower (outside), Notre Dame de Paris (from the outside only after the fire) and the Sacre Coeur.
If you need to include one of the above services, please inform us in order to include it in the itinerary and in our pricing. Lunch and dinner at leisure.
Day 4: Paris/Lyon
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we leave Paris and travel to Lyon. We will cross the Bourgogne region, famous for its wines. Stop in BEAUNE, located in the centre of the Bourgogne region, with its streets full of flowers, hospice and wine museum. Here we will have some free time for lunch.
Continuing on, we will arrive to LYON in the mid-afternoon, the capital of Roman Gallia on the banks of the Rhône (its historic centre has been declared a World Heritage site). We include a funicular climb to Notre Dame de Fourviere where we have a great view of the city. We then enjoy some leisure time to walk around.
Dinner free and overnight at our hotel.
Day 5: Lyon / Turin
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning we leave Lyon and travel to Turin, home of the famous Shroud of Turin.
Lunch en route. Upon arrival in Turin and although the shroud is not displayed, we will visit its home – the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. We also visit the Basililca of Corpus Domini – site of the Eucharistic Miracle. We check-in to our hotel and have the balance of the day at our leisure.
Dinner free and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Turin / Sacra di San Michele / Turin
Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we enjoy an excursion to the another important site of the Sacred Line, the Sacra of St. Michael. Founded between 983 and 987 on the rocky spur of Mount Pirchiriano, it is at the midpoint of a pilgrimage route of over two thousand kilometres going from Mont Saint-Michel to Monte Sant’Angelo.
This is one of the largest religious Romanesque complexes in Europe, resulting from the construction and consecutive enlargements made over a millennium, giving the impression that the ancient monastery has grown out of the rocky spur on which it was built. In fact the monastery developed from three chapels built in the rock under the present basilica. The three chapels of the original nucleus were transformed into tombs were twenty-four members of the Savoy house were buried in the 11th century.
Legend has it that a beautiful peasant girl, named Alda, was ambushed by enemy soldiers when she visited the Sacra to pray against the evils of war. As she tried to escape their assault she found herself trapped at the top of the tower. Left with no other choice but to throw herself into the ravine she invoked the help of St. Michael and the Virgin and miraculously survived, landing unhurt at the bottom of the precipice.
We have free time to explore the Sacra of St. Michael and celebrate mass. Return to Turin and balance of the day at our leisure. Dinner free, overnight.
Day 7: Turin / Loreto
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we will begin our long journey that will take us to the Grotta di San Michele in the Gargano. Driving toward the Adriatic coast we will reach the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth, and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto.
More than 50 Popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy, in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived.
We have free time to visit this beautiful shrine. Dinner will be served at the hotel, overnight.
Day 8: Loreto/ Vasto/ San Giovanni Rotondo
Breakfast at the hotel. We depart Loreto and travel south to Vasto. St. Michael is the patron saint and protector of this beautiful city located on the sea and positioned on the sacred line as well.
We visit the impressive Church dedicated to St. Michael, overlooking the belvedere of the promontory of the city, built in 1600 to thank the Saint for the end of the plague. After visit we have some free time in the city for own lunch. We then continue to San Giovanni Rotondo the hometown of Saint Padre Pio, and our hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: San Giovanni Rotondo / Monte Sant’Angelo / San Giovanni Rotondo
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we visit the Sanctuary dedicated to Saint Padre Pio and the Old Church, the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata and the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable amount of hours listening to confessions.
After lunch we board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest and holiest place dedicated to Saint Michael in Italy, erected in the fifth century. Very soon this sanctuary became an important centre for the spread of the veneration of Saint Michael in Europe and it came to represent the ideal model for all subsequent sanctuaries set up along the line.
According to the legend, around the year 490 the Archangel Michael appeared several times to the Bishop of Sipontum near a cave in the mountains, instructing that the cave had to be dedicated to Christian worship and promising protection of the nearby town of Sipontum from pagan invaders. These apparitions are also the first appearances of Saint Michael in western Europe. Following the visit to the grotto, enjoy free time for self exploration.
On the way back to San Giovanni Rotondo, view breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Tonight we celebrate our last visit in Europe, following the sacred line, with a dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: San Giovanni Rotondo / Roma
Breakfast at the hotel.
After breakfast we depart San Giovanni Rotondo and travel to Rome. Lunch will be self-arranged. We check in to our hotel upon arrival. In the afternoon we enjoy a guided city sightseeing tour including the Vatican City and the Basilica of St. Peter. We then visit the Castel Sant’Angelo (entrance fee included) an ancient imperial tomb turned into papal fortress.
The fortress takes its name from an old legend dating to the worst days of the Dark Ages. At the end of the sixth century AD, a terrible plague fell upon the city. With thousands falling ill and the bodies of the dead choking the streets, Pope Gregory the Great led a procession through the city, praying to God to spare those who still lived.
Looking up to the old mausoleum of emperor Hadrian, he had a vision of a radiant figure high atop the massive tomb. It was an angel, glowing brightly and brandishing a sword; as the pope watched, the angel lowered his weapon and returned it to its sheath.
The meaning was clear: the plague was over and God’s wrath had been put to rest. We will visit the Castle and admire the statue that still commemorates this story on top of it. We also enjoy the beautiful view of the Vatican and the city of Rome. Transfer back to our hotel at the end of visit. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Rome, return home or extension to Israel
Breakfast at the hotel.
We transfer to the local airport in time for our flight back home or, for those joining our Israel extension, to Tel Aviv.
Arrival in Israel; Reception with assistance at the airport. Transfer to Haifa and our hotel. Overnight.
Day 12 Mount Carmelo; Nazareth, Cana, Sea of Galilee
Breakfast at the hotel; we visit the port city of Haifa, magnificently crowned for the wonderful gardens and Temple of Bahai. Visit to the Carmelite Monastery of Stella Maris and the grotto where Elías finds refuge from the fury of Queen Elizabeth.
Travel on the top of Mt. Carmel, visiting the Mukhraka chapelwhere the confrontation of the Prophet Elijah against the false prophets of Baal is remembered. Crossing the valley of the Armageddon we continue towards the Galilee and the City of Nazareth, the center of the life of Jesus, during his childhood, youth and adolescence, place of the Annunciation.
We visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and Joseph’s Workshop, with the house of the Holy Family. We continue to the village of Cana, commemorating the first miracle of Jesus, during the wedding of Cana of Galilee. At the end of the afternoon we head to the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and accommodation in Tiberias. Overnight.
Day 13 Sea of Galilee; Jordan river; Belen; Jerusalem
Breakfast at the hotel; we visit the main Christian sanctuaries of the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Magdala, the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum. We will cross the Sea of Galilee by boat, commemorating the wonderful miracles of Jesus in these waters.
We then depart from Galilee towards the Jordan Valley visiting the mouth of the river, where those who wish can renew their baptismal promise in the same waters in which John baptized Jesus. We will travel along the Jordan Valley, facing Jericho overlooking the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus retired for 40 days and 40 nights and where he rejected Satan; We will arrive in Jerusalem in front of the Inn of the Good Samaritan and the village of Bethany, home of Martha, María and Lazarus, up to Mount Scopus – already in Jerusalem.
It is here that the ceremony of the Triumphal Entry took place, as it was for Jesus every time he entered the City. In the afternoon visit Belen to see the Shepherd’s Field and the Basilica of the Nativity which houses the remains of the manger. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 14 Jerusalem and the Via Dolorosa
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we visit the Mount of Olives which offers magnificent panoramic view of the ancient city of Jerusalem. We visit the Church of the Ascension, the Church and Grotto of the Pater Noster, the Church of Dominus Flevit, the Way of Hosanna, the Garden and Basilica of Gethsemane, the Grotto of the Arrest and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.
We then continue to Mount Zion to visit the Tomb of King David, the Cenacle and the Dormition Abbey. Entering the Zion Gate and walking in the neighborhood of the Armenians, Muslims and Jews, continue in the direction of Mount Moriá and the wailing wall.
In the afternoon we will visit the Bethesda Pool, the Basilica of Santa Anna, the chapel of the Flagellation and, along the path of the Via Dolorosa, we will arrive at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher where we will see Mount Golgotha and Calvary, place of the resurrection. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 15 If I forget about you Oh Jerusalem …
Breakfast at the hotel after which you travel to the airport with personal assistance in security and billing matters
End of our services.
Important note: whereas the most significant sanctuaries of the St. Michael Line are three – the beautiful and famous abbey of “Mont Saint Michel,” the “Sacra di San Michele,” and the sanctuary of “Monte Sant’Angelo” – we inform you that this itinerary can be reduced or customized according to the needs of pilgrims who choose to follow it.