holy family journey
Journey along in the footsteps taken by the Holy Family and the infant, Jesus Christ, as they fled into Egypt after being forced into exile by King Herod on this incredible 8-day, 7-night tour.
Subsequent Biblical history says it all: in the end, the Family arrived home, in the small town of Nazareth of Galilee, where the message of Jesus Christ would, in the fullness of time, be heard. However, the entire journey, from the initial flight from Bethlehem to the return to Nazareth, lasted over three years. The Family covered nearly 1,300 miles, with their only means of transport being a weak beast of burden and the occasional sailboat on the Nile. It was a journey of indescribable agony and anguish in which the child Jesus, His Virgin Mother and the Sainted Joseph bore with inner joy ... and survived, for the sake of mankind. Don't miss out on this blessed journey!
Mostorod, Matariya and Maadi
Old Cairo, Coptic Museum
Wadi el Natrun with Monasteries
Al-Minya, Mount Qosqam, Handprint of Jesus Christ
Dedicated Staff – A Royal Egypt Travel tour manager will accompany group through entire tour
Accommodations – Deluxe, 4-star and 5-star hotel & resort accommodations
Airport Transfers – Arrival & departure transportation by private, air-conditioned coach
Domestic Transportation – Private, air-conditioned coach to/from each site on the tour
Meals (as indicated) – B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
Sightseeing/Admissions – Per itinerary details
WHAT'S not includeD
Passport – Must have valid passport that expires no less than 6 months from the date of arrival in Egypt
Visa Fees – Must be obtained at airport upon arrival. Exact change is required. $25 USD/Person (amount is subject to change)
Early Arrival – Travelers can arrange to arrive a day earlier than tour start date with the Travel Director
B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
Day 1: Welcome to Egypt - Arrive Cairo; Transfer to Hotel
Welcome to Cairo Egypt!! Travelers will arrive at Cairo International Airport (CAI). A Royal Egypt Travel tour manager will meet each traveler upon arrival and assist through the immigration process, proceeding forward to collect luggage at baggage claim. Your transfer from the airport to the hotel in private, air-conditioned coach is provided. The remainder of the afternoon/evening will be at your leisure.
Overnight Cairo: 5 nights
Day 2: Mostorod, Matariya, Old Cairo and Maadi; Coptic Museum
After breakfast, the tour manager will greet the group and provide an overview of the planned itinerary. After the meet & greet, we will depart for a morning excursion to Mostorod and Matariya, approx 10 km/6 mi outside of Cairo. Mostorod was known in Biblical days as “Al Mahamma” which means “The Bathing Place,” a name given to the town because the Virgin Mary bathed the infant Jesus Christ there and washed His clothes.Matariya is the location of “Mary’s Tree”, a sycamore tree where it is believed that the Holy Family rested in its shade. Here, too, the infant Jesus Christ caused water to flow from a spring, from which He drank and blessed, and in which the Virgin Mary washed His clothes. From there, we will continue on to Old Cairo, as well as further south to Maadi, a modern suburb, which in earliest Pharaonic times, was an outlying district of Memphis, the capital of Egypt. Maadi was a crossing point for the Holy Family up the Nile. Following lunch at a local restaurant in Cairo, the group will depart for an afternoon excursion to the Coptic Museum, a museum in Coptic Cairowith the largest collection of Egyptian Christian artifacts in the world. After touring the museum, we will return to the hotel with the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Optional Excursion: The Great Pyramids of Giza and The Sphinx
Day 3: Tell-Basta, Belbeis; Holy Well and Virgin Mary’s Tree (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, the group departs for a morning excursion to Tell-Basta, known in Biblical times as “Bubastis,” approx 100 km/62 mi NE of Cairo. At the time of the Holy Family journey through Basta, there was no well in the town. It is here that the infant Jesus Christ gushed forth a spring of water to drink. Jesus’ presence in the town caused the idols of Basta to crumb to the ground, as was foretold by the prophets of old. Local dwellers then mistreated the Holy Family and forced them to flee yet again. From here, we will then travel to Belbeis, approx 55 km/34 mi NE of Cairo. The Holy Family rested there in the shade of a tree, which came to be called the “Virgin Mary's Tree”. The town was again passed through by the Holy Family on their way back to Palestine.Following these excursions, we will have lunch at a local restaurant in Cairo. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel with the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Day 4: Sakha, Samanoud; Virgin Mary Church, Footprint of Jesus & St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church (B, L)
The day begins with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a morning excursion to Sakha, approx 140 km/87 mi N of Cairo. Sakha is a place renowned for its Christian community in the Middle Ages. Sakha is also the town in which the infant Jesus Christ touched a rock, leaving His footprint on it. The stone remained hidden for a long time for fear of looting throughout some centuries and it was rediscovered in 1986. Here, we will visit the Virgin Mary Church and see the Footprint of Jesus! From there, we will then travel to Samanoud, where the Holy Family crossed the River Nile in the Delta. At the time, the local residents received the Holy Family in a welcoming and pleasant manner. As a result, they people were blessed by Jesus Christ.In Samanoud, there is a large granite trough that is believed to have been used by the Virgin Mary for kneading dough during her stay. It is said that the water well of the town was hallowed by Jesus Christ. Here, we will visit the St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church. While traveling back to Cairo, we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Tanta. After lunch, the group returnsto the hotel with the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Day 5: Wadi el Natrun; Deir al-Baramus, Deir Anba Bishoy, Deir Abu Magar and Deir el-Suryan (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, the group departs for a morning excursion to Wadi el Natrun, a desert area approx 129 km/80 mi NW of Cairo, in an area said to be blessed by the Christ. The Holy Family crossed the western Rosetta branch of the River Nile to the western delta and headed south into Wadi el Natrun. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus Christ hid in the valley during the trip through Egypt and Jesus Christ blessed the four directions of the valley. Wadi el Natrun is considered one of the most famous valleys in Egypt. There, the group will visit 4 monasteries: Deir al-Baramus, Deir Anba Bishoy, Deir Abu Magar and Deir el-Suryan. Following visits to each of the monasteries, the group will enjoy lunch on the way back to Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo, the remainder of the evening will be at your leisure.
Day 6: Al-Minya, Mount Qosqam; Monastery of the Virgin and Monastery of Al-Muharraq (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, the group will depart for a full day excursion to Al-Minya, approx 246 km/153 mi SW of Cairo. Upon arrival in Al-Minya, we will see the beautiful church hewn out of the cliffside beside the river in Gabal al-Teir. The Holy Family rested in the cave which is now located inside the ancient church there. Coptic tradition maintains that, as the Holy Family rested in the shade of the Mountain, Jesus stretched His hand to hold back a rock which was about to detach itself from the mountain-side and fall upon them. The imprint of His palm is still visible. From there, the group will visit the Deir Al-Muharraq, also known as the Monastery of the Holy Virgin at Al-Qusiya. The area where the Deir Al-Muharraq is now located, Mount Qosqam, was barren desert during the time of the Holy Family journey and so every town surrounding it today was non-existent, except for an abandoned house and water well adjacent to it. The Holy Family rested in that modest house after it was repaired and restored by St. Joseph. The Holy Family is known to have stayed in the area for a period of six Coptic months and a few days. Following these excursions, the group will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Assiout, then transfer to the hotel in Assiout for check-in. The remainder of the evening will be at your leisure.
Overnight Assiout: 1 night
Day 7: Mount Dronka and Monastery of Virgin Mary (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, the group depart for a visit to Mount Dronka, 8km/5mi SW of Assiut, on the west bank of the Nile. Here, we will see the Monastery of Virgin Mary at Deir Dronka. The Holy Family’s blessingof this location was commemorated in the Christian era by the building of this mountain-top monastery, carved deep inside of a limestone mountain. The caves of Mount Dronka are believed to have been the last destination of hiding by the Holy Family on their return to Nazareth. After visiting Mount Dronka, the group will depart for a return trip to Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo, we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then arrive at our hotel for check-in. The remainder of the evening will be at your leisure.
Overnight Cairo: 1 night
Optional Excursion: Egyptian Museum
Day 8: Farewell to Egypt - Depart Cairo; Transfer to Airport
Sadly, this amazing tour has come to an end! Each traveler will transfer from hotel to Cairo International Airport for return flights to the US. The tour manager will arrange airport transportation for each person based upon scheduled flight departure times.
** ITINERARY SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE **
additions / Optional excursions
Arrive a Day Early – Travelers that wish may arrange to arrive a day earlier than the tour start date. This will allow additional time to adjust to the time change and overcoming jet-lag. This option will include an additional night and private transfer from airport.
The Great Pyramids of Giza and The Sphinx (Day 2) – Regarded by far as the oldest of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World and the only one still in existence, the Great Pyramid of Giza is a defining symbol of Egypt. For centuries, historians, scholars, and architects have wondered exactly how the pyramids of Giza were built. This continues to be one of Egypt's greatest mysteries. Situated nearby to the pyramids is the Great Sphinx of Giza. Hewn from natural yellowish limestone and standing 65 feet high and 187 feet long, this unforgettable statue combines the head of a Pharaoh with a lion’s body.
Egyptian Museum (Day 7) – Located in Cairo, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, more commonly known as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, is the most important depository of Egyptian antiquities anywhere in the world. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman antiquities with over 120,000 artifacts. The museum is an unbelievable exhibit depicting ancient Egypt's glorious reign. Mummies, sarcophagi, pottery, jewelry and the most celebrated, King Tutankhamen's gilded treasures are all featured in this treasure trove of antiquities.