BETHLEHEM

After breakfast, this morning we will drive to Bethlehem, to visit the Church of the Nativity and the Grotto, a holy place with the cave in which the birth of Jesus is said to have occurred. Manger Square is where the majority of religious activity in Bethlehem takes place, with the Church of the Nativity and the Mosque of Omar, the oldest and only mosque in the old city of Bethlehem and a site of great meaning for those Muslims who live in the city.

See where Jesus was placed in a manger after his birth and visit the Milk Grotto, where the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) took refuge before they fled to Egypt following Jesus’ birth. Tradition has it that while Mary was nursing Jesus here, a drop of milk fell to the ground, turning it white.

Stop by the local Greek and Catholic churches before going to Shepherds' Field, where Luke 2:8 declares: 'Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.' It is believed an angel announced the birth of Jesus here.

Finally, spend some time in the Old City marketplace shopping for mementos and gifts from this remarkable adventure. Then, we return to the hotel.