Schedule of Visit
Day 1: Arrival Beirut
Day 2: The Valley of Saints (Jounieh–Qadisha Valley)
Day 3: Saint Hardini & Saint Rafka (Jounieh – Jrepta – Hardini)
Day 4: Saint Charbel ( Annaya – Bkerke – Harissa – Beirut)
Day 5: The Holy South – Sidon – Qana (“The Miracle of Wine”) – Tyre
Day 6: Beirut
Day 7: Departure Beirut
Day 1: Arrival at Beirut
Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, formerly Beirut International Airport, is located 9 kilometres from the city center in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, and is the only operational commercial airport in the country.
Day 2: The Valley of Saints
(Jounieh–Qadisha Valley )
- Breakfast and departure to the North to visit the Valley of Qadisha (Holy Valley) – Filled with caves and rock shelters inhabited from the 3rd millennium BC to the Roman period, the valley is scattered with cave chapels, hermitages and monasteries cut from rock. The highlights in the valley are: the Rock- cut Monastery of Qouzhaya; and the Monastery of Qannoubin. UNESCO as a World Heritage site now classifies the valley.
- Return to hotel – dinner and overnight
Day 3: Saint Hardini & Saint Rafka
(Jounieh – Jrepta – Hardini)
- Breakfast and departure to visit the Chapel of the Holy Savior at Kubba built in 12th century,
- A beautiful structure still in an excellent state of preservation. Proceed to Edde town to visit the church of Mar Saba, a small medieval building of pale stone, still retains fragments of 13th century wall paintings.
- Drive after then towards the pilgrimage site of the Monastery of Saint Cyprien and Justinian in nearby village of Kfifane where the Blessed Nematallah Kassab Al Hardini is buried in this modest place. An outstanding linguist, notably in the Arab and Syriac languages, Father Al Hardini died on December 14, 1858 at the age of 48. he was canonized in 2004.
- Some distance from Kfifane and in the deep “wilderness” east of Batroun where Blessed Father Hardini lived, is the Monastery of Mar Youssef Al Dahr at Jrebta. Surrounded with ancient trees, the monastery lies at the heart of a lonely region notable for its savage beauty. It is here that the Blessed Sister Rafqa is buried. Born on June 19, 1833 aspiring to total devotion to God. She died a saintly death in 1914 and her remains were moved to the tomb that still remains in the church and soon it became a place of pilgrimage. On November 17, 1985 she was beatified
- Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Saint Charbel
(Annaya – Bkerke – Harissa – Beirut)
- Breakfast and departure to visit the Monastery of Mar Maroun at Annaya, the hermitage and tomb of Saint Charbel, who was born on May 8, 1828 in Bqaa Qafra in the region of the Cedars. St. Charbel is today the object of veneration and his life is a supreme example of absolute devotion to God. Died on December 24, 1898. Beatified in 1965, he was canonized in October 1977.
- Proceed to Bkerke, to visit the residence of the Maronite Patriarch.
- Then to Harissa or Our Lady of Lebanon before driving to Beirut for a city tour .
- Dinner and overnight at hotel in Beirut Park, south of the city.
Day 5: The Holy South
(Sidon – Qana (“The Miracle of Wine”) – Tyre)
- Breakfast and departure to visit the South of Lebanon Drive to Sidon to visit the Sea Castle then continue to Qana, and discover the stone jars described in the Gospel, namely the ones that contained water and Christ turned into wine. Their volume corresponds to the one described in the New Testament: 80 to 120 liters. Near the village of Cana, on a big isolated rock, there is a sculpture representing twelve persons and, in the middle of them, a thirteenth person of bigger height stands up, this probably symbolizes the twelve disciples and Christ. Proceed to Tyre, the first city that had its own church; on his way to Jerusalem in 57AD, St. Paul stopped by, discovered some disciples, and stayed seven days (Acts, XXI, 4). Visit the vestiges of Tyre Crusader Cathedral .
- Drive to Sarafand, the biblical Zarephath (later known as Sarepta) that is famous for the miracle of Elijah who raised the widow’s son from the dead and multiplied her olive oil and grain supplies (1 Kings 17). Proceed to visit Maghdoucheh, where the sanctuary of Saydet el-Mantara, or Our Lady of Care, dug in the rock. It is a chapel where the Virgin Mary waited for her Son while He was preaching on the Lebanese coastline. On September 8, (feast of Virgin Nativity), people go on pilgrimage to the cave.
- Return back to Beirut for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Beirut
- Breakfast and full day visit of Beirut with the 4 major churches: The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Georges is the Mother Cathedral of the Beirut Orthodox community. The Cathedral is the oldest church in the city of Beirut, and one of the oldest in the region: the first Christian temple ever built in the very location goes back to early fourth century AD.
- During the Lebanese civil war, the Cathedral suffered many attacks of theft and vandalism, as well as effects of nature’s impact in a region considered as war zone and confrontation line. In 1998, the restoration multi-phase project started and in 15th of December 2003, the Cathedral opened Her Great Doors.
- The Cathedral is bordered to the North-East by the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Prophet Elias, to the South by the Archeological Park or ‘Garden of Forgiveness’ previously the location of the old Souks and the Maronite Saint-Georges Cathedral. It is surrounded to the South-East by the Holy Chapel of Sayyidat-al-Nourieh (Oul Lady of Light) and to the West by the ‘Place de l’Etoile’ or ‘Parliament Square’, the star shaped plaza, and the buildings of the Lebanese Parliament. Visit of the Solidere reconstruction project and the Beirut National Museum Continue to Antelias and visit the Armenian Patriarchate Afternoon.
- Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Departure
- Departure to Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport.