Footsteps Holy Family

Price from
AUD2500
AUD
(per person)
Duration
9
Days

HIGHLIGHTS

Cairo – Tanis – Ismailia - Matariyah – Mostorod – Bilbeis- Wadi Notroun - Menya - Monastery of the Holy Virgin- Asyut
The Holy Family in Egypt path is identified in the Bible as the place where the Holy Family fled from Bethlehem, seeking refuge from a bloodthirsty King Herod.
Arrive at Cairo Airport where our representative will meet and assist you through customs and then claim your baggage. Head to your hotel for a free evening and overnight
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo
  • MEALS:
    Dinner
After an early breakfast we drive out of Cairo to Tal Basta. Tal Basta is situated in the township of Zagazig, close to the Nile Delta and is home to the ruined temple of Bastet. The town is also home to an ancient well, which is said to have been one of locations where the Holy Family rested during their journey into Egypt. After touring the temple ruins we continue our journey to Tanis. During Biblical times Tanis was known by the name Zoan, as referred to in the Bible. The city was founded late in the 20th dynasty and became the northern capital of Egypt during the 21st dynasty under the rule of Smendes. Tanis remained Egypt's northern capital into the 22nd dynasty. There are many ancient sites at Tanis, including temples and royal necropolis. In 1939/1940 Pierre Montet discovered the intact burial sites of Psusennes I, Amenemope and Shoshenq II which contained a large amount of artifacts in Gold, Jewellery, Lapis Lazuli and many other precious items which are now housed in the Cairo Museum.
After spending some times in Tanis we continue on to Ismailia where we will have lunch before returning to Cairo in the afternoon.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Lunch
Today our tours are centered on Christian churches around the Cairo area. Our first stop is to Al-Matariya which was an important town during Pharaonic periods and was once part of ancient Heliopolis. Legend tells us that the Holy Family rested beneath a tree in Heliopolis, which is now known as the 'Tree of the Virgin Mary'. The Chapel of the virgin which we will also visit is close by. We then continue to Musturud which is located approximately 10km northeast of Cairo, which was also part of ancient Heliopolis. Whilst in Musturud we visit the Church of the Holy Virgin. The Church is located on the site where the Holy Family was thought to have sought shelter after a long day of travelling. In the crypt of the Church we will see the cave where the family was also thought to have rested as well. Our final visit for today is to Bilbeis, where we will visit the Church of the Virgin Maria. You will have a free evening after your arrival to Cairo.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Lunch
After breakfast we head to Wadi el Natroun. The name Wadi el Natroun is Arabic for 'Natroun Valley', which derives from the 8 lakes in the region which produce Natroun Salt. During ancient times the region was important for the Egyptians as the Natroun Salt which was mined here was a critical part of the mummification process. During their journey into Egypt, the Holy Family were believed to have made a stop at Wadi Natroun. Between the 4th and 7th century the region became one of the most important regions for Christianity in the Middle East. St Macarius of Egypt retired to the desert in the 4th century to live a stoic life and many hundreds of others following suit in the following centuries in search of a simple, holy way of life. These individuals believed that life in the desert would teach them to eschew the things of the world and allow them to follow gods call in a more individual and direct way. Today only four of the monasteries survive, all of which originally date back to the 4th century - The monastery of St Macarius the Great, Paromeos Monastery, Monastery of St Bishoy and the Syrian Monastery. After time spent visiting these monasteries we return to Cairo.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Lunch
After breakfast we will visit the Coptic Cairo. It is a part of Old Cairo where are many Coptic churches and historical sites. We will visit the Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church and the Greek Church of St. George. It is believed in Christian tradition that the Holy Family visited this area and stayed at the site of Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church (Abu Serga). Coptic Cairo was a stronghold for Christianity in Egypt until the Islamic era, though most of the current buildings of the churches in Coptic Cairo were built in the 7th century.
Our next stop is some 10 kilometers south of Old Cairo. The Holy Family embarked for Upper Egypt in Maadi in order to escape from the pursuing soldiers of Herod. It is believed that the Church of the Virgin Mary in Maadi is situated on the place of an ancient synagogue used during a time when some Jews had fled to Egypt for refuge.
As at other holy sites, the church of Maadi also boasts important miracles. On Friday of March 12, 1976, a deacon found a Holy Bible floating on the water. It was of course salvaged immediately and to people’s surprise; the Bible was open to the Chapter 19 of Isaiah, which reads: Blessed be Egypt my people. The Bible now is on display in a reliquary of the church. You return to your hotel for rest
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Dinner
We have an early start today as we have approximately 250 km to drive to the province of Menya.
Once more crossing the Nile, back to West Bank, the Holy Family traveled southwards to the town of Al-Ashmounein or Hermopolis Magna but it seems that they did not stay there for long. Leaving behind them the rubble of fallen idols, they continued south, for another 12 miles to Dairout Al- Sharif.
Whilst in Menya you will visit the Monastery of the Holy Virgin. The rock hewn church is thought to have been established around 328 AD by Helena, who was the mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine. The sites sanctity derives from the legend that the Holy Family is believed to have sought refuge in a small cave for 3 days. This small cave now houses an icon of the Virgin, which is believed to have magical properties.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Menya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Dinner
After breakfast at the hotel we continue south to the city of Asyut to visit the Monastery of the Holy Virgin which is located at the foot of Mount Qusqam. This monastery claims to have been constructed on the site where the Holy Family stayed for 6 months and 5 days, during the exile into Egypt. Jesus was also reported to have returned to this site after his resurrection to consecrate the altar, as referred to in Isaiah 19:19 'In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Asyut
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Dinner
After an early breakfast we begin our long journey back to Cairo. We will take a slightly different route to include a visit to the Convent of the Virgin. The Convent is located on the edge of the Asyut Mountains. According to tradition, the convent was founded around a cave where the Holy Family stayed before taking a boat north and returning to Palestine. Return to your hotel for overnight.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Asyut
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast and Dinner
Today you will have your last breakfast at Cairo. Pack your belongings and memories, our representative will transfer you to Cairo International Airport.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
Included
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
  • Airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Excluded
  • Entry visa
  • Entrance fees
  • International flight tickets
  • Other meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional tours
  • Pocket money
Options you can add to your tour

Footsteps Holy Family Notes

Based on a group size of 20 passengers. Better rates are available for bigger groups upon request.

Footsteps Holy Family dates & prices

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