Journey of the Holy Family (A) Cairo - Wadi Natrun - Ein Sokhna - Sakha - Minia - Abu Hinis - St. Catherine (12 Days / 11 Nights)
Day 1 : Arrival to Cairo International Airport, our representative will assist you through passport control. From the airport you will be transferred by a private A/C car to your hotel Overnight in Cairo
Day 2 : Breakfast at the hotel; full day guided tour of Old Cairo. Visit the famous Hanging Church with its breathtaking icons and the synagogue of Ben Ezra which marks the spot where Moses was believed to have been found by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Then visit the cave under what is now the Greek cemetery where the Holy Family hid from the soldiers of King Herod. At the church of Maadi on the Nile a Bishop from the Coptic Church will show you the tunnel where it is thought the Holy family runaway across the Nile. He will also talk to you about the creation of the Holy Family Trail by the Coptic Church. Lunch at a local restaurant, the bus trip will continue to the church at Mostorod which is built over a cave where the Holy Family sought shelter. Then it’s on to the famed tree of Mary in Matariya where the Holy Family was concealed from pursuing soldiers by spider webs. Return to Cairo, dinner & overnight
Day 3 : Breakfast; depart north to Wadi Natrun on the famed desert road. It is here that you will see the magnificent monasteries of al- Sorian, al-Baramose, al-Anba Bishoi and, if permission is granted, the monastery of Abu Makar. These are functioning monasteries where you will meet monks who will colorfully present the history of these incredible bastions of spirituality, places where Jesus was said to have predicted the presence of “spiritual fighters” almost 2000 years ago. A box lunch will be provided on the bus. Back to the hotel, dinner & overnight.
Day 4 : Breakfast, half day tour to the pyramids area Cheops - Chephren - Mycherinos (Internal visit is excluded), Sphinx, Papyrus museum, Perfume laboratory, Lunch is included; back to the hotel, dinner & overnight.
Day 5 : Breakfast; depart to Saint Paul and Saint Anthony monasteries on the shores of the Red Sea. You will stop at Deir al Maimun to visit the Pharaonic tomb where St. Anthony lived for more than 20 years. This site is located inside an ancient church built with ruins of a Pharaonic temple. As you leave this church for the desert drive to the Red Sea, you will wonder about the spiritual beliefs that drove St. Anthony to build so many great monasteries like those you will see on the water’s edge. Monks at these famous monasteries will tell you about the life of this famous Saint, known as history’s first hermit. Box lunch on the bus; depart to Ain Sukhna, transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 6 : Breakfast; depart back to Cairo, visiting the church of Zeitoun, where a vision of Mary in 1968 was seen for more than 3 months, even by President Nassar. A priest will show pictures of this amazing vision and will tell the story of what happened to Egypt when this vision was seen. Lunch at a local restaurant; a tour of the Egyptian Museum; Here a guide will take you on a tour of the relics of Ancient Egypt that have a strong connection with Christianity; you will see Pharaonic symbols used by modern day Christians and hear about ancient rituals used even today in church services; transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 7 : Breakfast, half day tour to Sakha; this northern Delta town is home to the footprint of Jesus, a stone impression of a foot believed to be that of the Divine Child, one that was left as the Holy Family passed through this area. After examining the stone and hearing its story from the priests who care for it, transfer to the nearby town of Samanud where ancient Christian documents fill the library; back to Cairo, transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 8 : Breakfast, depart to El Minia, 250 kilometers south of Cairo; visiting two extraordinary sites: Ashmunayn and Gabel el-Teir, both famous for visits by the Holy Family. The spectacular site of Ashmunayn was a thriving port on the Nile when visited by the Holy Family. What you will see now are 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 site and its 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 they fled upriver from the pursuing soldiers. The priest will tell you why the entrance to a secret Pharaonic tomb might lie beneath the altar and why they cannot know for sure. Depart to Minia’s, transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 9 : Breakfast, the bus will take you further south to Abu Hinnis, a small Christian town with a big history. Here you can tour an authentic country village and its ancient churches. Or visit Ansena, an ancient ghost town on the banks of the Nile that was visited by the Holy Family. The hardier of travelers can climb to the caves of Abu Hinnis, a fairly difficult hike that rewards your effort with a chance to view cave painting of the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt. These cave paintings were done by sixth century hermits who lived in the tombs and quarries of these mountains and are among the great art treasures of the world. A lunch box will be served on the bus trip back to Cairo, transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 10 : Breakfast; depart to Sinai Desert and the magnificent St. Catherine’s Monastery. It is here that you will see - even climb if you want - Mount Moses, thought to be the mountain where Moses received the 10 commandments from God. At St. Catherine’s you will see its extensive library of ancient documents and hear the stories of the monastery as only the monks can tell them. A lunch box will be served on the bus and the dinner at the monastery where you will stay. Special Note: The climb of Mount Moses starts at 1 am. The monastery is open to the public from 9 to 11:30 am.
Day 11 : Athletic travelers will welcome this arduous climb in the footsteps of Moses. The climb begins at 1 am and takes four hours. Once on top you will have a panoramic view of one of the most famous regions of the Holy Lands, the place where God revealed his law to man. Those not inclined to climb this mountain can spend the day touring the monastery, a beautiful facility with a deep history. Breakfast will be served at the monastery. Depart to Cairo. Transfer to the hotel, dinner & overnight
Day 12 : Breakfast at the hotel our representative will transfer you to Cairo International Airport and assist you at the airport through final departure formalities