Part travel-adventure, part spiritual journey, part historical story, Holy Land Tour of Egypt recounts a modern-day pilgrimage into an ancient and often baffling land. In the basements of Coptic churches and the teeming back streets of Cairo, in shrines thronged by worshipers and desert wastes haunted by saints, this program turns up shards of the past, and tales passed down through countless generations.
Board your international flight to Cairo and begin your journey back in time to this charming, ancient land.
You will arrive in Cairo where you will be greeted by TPT representative and be escorted to an excellent hotel for your first night's stay.
Follow the famed desert road south to Deir al Muharraq (Mountain of Fire) on a comfortable air conditioned bus. On the road you will see the spectacular pyramids of Giza as well as the lesser known Bent and Medum Pyramids. Once in Deir al Muharraq you will see the holiest spot in all of Egypt for Christians, the stone altar believed to be the bed of Jesus. Surrounded by an active monastery with 800 monks, the complex contains many icons and ancient relics believed to be among the most important and impressive in all of Egypt. After a visit to the monastery's castle keep, you will leave the monastery for a trip to Dronka, one of Egypt's largest and most impressive pilgrimage sites, and one that marks the spot where the Holy Family boarded a boat for their return to the Holy Lands. That night you will dine near the Nile and stay in one of Assiut's fine hotels. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
This spectacular site was a thriving port on the Nile when visited by the Holy Family. Now impressive remnants from the many civilizations that have occupied this spot since before and after the visit of the Holy Family, called Hermopolis by the Greeks who built tall Corinthian pillars that still stand proudly, Ashmunayn contains exquisite examples of pharaonic ruins and a massive underground basilica that was built in the fifth century. A visit to this impressive ruin and it's small museum will let you see and feel what life was like 2000 years ago. Then it's on to Gabel el-Teir to one of the most famous and beautiful site on the Holy Family Trail, the mountainside monastery built on the site of the cave where the Holy Family is thought to have stayed as the fled upriver from the pursuing soldiers. That night, stay and dine at one of Minia's fabled Nile River hotels where the sound of the water fills the cool night air. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Called al-Mahamma ("the bathing place") by the thousands of pilgrims that flock there, the church at Mostorod is built on the site where it is said the Holy Family rested in a cave beneath a pharaonic temple. That temple has been replaced by a beautiful church, but the cave remains and can be visited, along with the healing well of Mary, credited with healing the ailments of hundreds of visitors. Next, visit the fabulous ruins of Tell Basta, a field of fallen idols believed to have been toppled by the baby Jesus, who was offended by the promiscuity that was taking place. You can examine fine Pharaonic statues and wonder as Egyptologist have what force could have knocked this temple complex to the ground. That night stay in a fine Cairo hotel. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Sakha is home to the footprint of Jesus, a stone impression of a foot believed to have been left in a rock by the divine child as the Holy Family passed through this area. After examining the stone and hearing its story from the priests who care for it, you will journey to the nearby town of Samanud where ancient Christian documents fill the library. That night you will return to Cairo. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Oral tradition says that Jesus stood at the edge of the raw Western desert and told his mother that someday this desert would be filled with spiritual fighters. Since those days thousands of monks have lived and worshipped in this area. Visit the monasteries of al Sorian, al Baramose and the remote al Makar (if permission is granted) to see how monks have lived for hundreds of years and how the live now. Return to Cairo that evening for dinner. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Visit the sites of Old Cairo, where you will see the stunning icons in the famous Hanging Church, one of this city's architectural gems. Then walk through the subterranean streets to the temple of Ben Ezra, a synagogue that marks the spot believed by many to be the place where the pharaoh's daughter found the baby Moses. After lunch you will visit the holy tree of Mary at Matariyah, where it is said by Muslim that the Holy Family was concealed from pursuing Roman soldiers by spiders that wove a cocoon around them. That night have a departure dinner in the hotel dining room. Meals Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Following breakfast you will be escorted to the Cairo airport for your departure flight. Meals Breakfast
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