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One week pilgrimage tour to Egypt to visit the main holy places of Sinai, Cairo and Alexandria with Mount Sinai climb and Holly Family rout.
Arrival in Sharm el Sheikh. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel 4*, free time in your hotel on half board basis.
After breakfast at the hotel, departure to St. Catherine under convoy. Upon arrival at the monastery sightseeing tour (no prays) and lunch at the at the monastery's guest house. Check in the guest house (half board, accommodation for 2 people) and free time until evening. Climbing of the Mount Sinai begins at 3 am with a local Bedouin guide. You will ascend to the very top of the mountain, where Moses received the tablets, meet the sunrise and descend back to the foot of the monastery.
After the descent, breakfast at the guest house and transfer to Cairo under convoy. The trip takes up to 8 hours with short stops. Arrival in Cairo in the afternoon, check-in at hotel 4*, dinner. Overnight at hotel on half board basis.
Breakfast at hotel and meeting with our English speaking Egyptologist guide. Visit to the pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, lunch in town at a local restaurant and a visit to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities. After the tour return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel on half board basis.
In the morning excursion to Alexandria. The transfer takes up to 3.5 hours. The following Christian shrines await us in Alexandria:
The Cathedral of the Holy Apostle Mark the Evangelist
The Coptic Monastery, home of the head of the Coptic Church
The Old Greek Metropolis, which houses a marble slab with traces of the blood of St. Catherine
The Greek Church of St. Sava of Sanctification (the column in front of which the head of St. Catherine was truncated)
Qait Bay Citadel (Alexandria Lighthouse)
Lunch in town at a local restaurant and return to Cairo. Dinner at hotel and overnight.
After breakfast we leave for Wadi el Natron, where we will visit 4 nearby monasteries: St. Macarius, St. Bishoy, Al-Syrian and Al-Baramus. It is believed that on their way to Wadi el-Natron the Holy Family passed by a village called Al-Homrah which is located about 26 km. from the desert road of Cairo-Alexandria. In the village the infant Jesus discovered a well in the ground. This fresh water well, called "Bir Mariam" or Mary's well, is picturesquely situated amidst lakes full of sodium natron. The well was abandoned for many years, but is now being restored. At the end of our tour of the monasteries of the Wadi el-Natron Valley, we will return to our hotel in Cairo for dinner and rest.
Today we will spend the day in the outskirts of Cairo, in the areas known as Ain Shams and Mataria. Here the famous sycamore tree known as the Tree of the Virgin Mary is still growing. It is believed to have given shade to the Holy Family during their rest. There is also a balsamic tree that grew on the spot where Mary spilled some of the water with which she washed baby Jesus.
At this site, the archaeological sites are represented by a well, the "Virgin Mary Tree" and several stone pools of water. The visitor center will introduce you to the history of the Holy Family's journey through Egypt. A small museum displays icons and some artifacts along with photos of other places the Holy Family visited.
After lunch in town at a local restaurant, move to the Coptic Quarter and visit the following ancient churches within the quarter:
The Hanging church, where parts of the relics of many of the saints are housed,
The Church of Sergius and Bacchus, which also houses relics of many saints,
Church of Saint Barbara (pieces of relics),
The Greek Church of St. George (imprisonment and chains of the Great Martyr),
The Greek Church of the Assumption (stop of the Holy Family),
After the tour transfer to the hotel, dinner in the hotel and overnight.
On the day of your departure you can stay in the hotel until 12 noon. Transfer to the airport 3 hours before the flight departure time.