Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.
October 14: Depart USA
Today we leave the US on our 11 day adventure to Israel. Sit back, get some rest and enjoy the in-flight service.
October 15: Arrive in Tel Aviv
Upon our arrival at the Tel Aviv airport, we’ll be met by our tour guide who will welcome us to Israel. We’ll be escorted to our awaiting motor coach and transfer to our hotel where we’ll check in and enjoy dinner in our rooms.
October 16: Caesarea (Maratima),
Mt Carmel, Megiddo & Nazareth Village
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, a film on history and the remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
October 17: Magdala, Jesus Boat, Sea of Galilee Cruise, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Mt. Arbel
We begin our day at Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Magdala was a major first-century port on the Sea of Galilee, a center of trade and commerce, and an exporter of salted fish to markets as far away as Europe. Archaeological discoveries early in the 21st century have made it an exciting pilgrimage destination as a first century synagogue and fish market have been found of which Jesus and his disciples would most likely have visited. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. Next is Capernaum where we visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home and then the Mt. of Beatitudes. Our last stop today is atop Mt. Arbel which offers an excellent view of the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights. From here we can visualize much of Jesus’ travels during this ministry.
October 18: Dan Nature Preserve, Caesarea Philippi, Palace of Herod Agrippa
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. We’ll enjoy a hike through the Dan Nature Preserve to see the alter where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship as well as Abraham’s Gate which is the oldest uncovered gate in the country of Israel and possibly the location that Abraham came when pursuing Lot. Early this afternoon we visit Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession as well as the ruins of the Palace of Herod Agrippa. We return to Galilee and enjoy the rest of our day at leisure.
October 19: Beth Shean, Jacobs well, Mt. Gerizim, Shilo, Jericho, Dead Sea
We begin our day traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel and located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. We stop at nearby Jacob's Well, site of Jesus' conversation with a Samaritan woman and drive up to Mt. Gerizim to visit with the local Samaritans still practicing their faith today. The Old Testament city of Shiloh was home for the Tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant and you may walk to the likely plateau where it was pitched and picture the cloud pillar of God’s presence rising up above the valley walls. This would also be the spot where Hannah came to pray for a son. Later, she dedicated that son, Samuel, to serve in the Tabernacle. It was from Shiloh that the Ark was taken into battle and temporarily lost to the Philistines. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We’ll stop to visit ancient Jericho, this city famed as the oldest in the world. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
October 20: Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi, Qumran, Jerusalem
Those that are adventurous can get up for a sun rising swim in the Dead Sea as we enjoy some down time to relax this morning. Later this morning we visit Masada. Take a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress where our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. We’ll stop at Qumran to view the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and then arrive in Jerusalem where we’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the Old City.
October 21: Mount Of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Israel Museum, Holocaust Museum, Bethlehem
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives. Next we visit the Garden of Gethsemane where you can visualize our Lord and here His voicing praying to the Father. We’ll walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection. An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries-old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. We conclude our day with a visit to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
October 22: Temple Mount, City of David, Western Wall, Southern Steps, Rabbi Tunnels
Safety permitting we’ll visit the Temple Mount this morning. Afterwards we start just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall and the cistern where Jeremiah was imprisoned. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. We’ll view the Southern Steps where Peter most likely preached at Pentacost and also see the Temple Pinnacle where Jesus was tempted. Continuing we visit the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall where we will listen and observe the fervent prayers of the Jewish people. Our last visit today is the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders.
October 23: Pool of Bethesda, St. Anne’s Church, Way of Suffering, Church of Holy Sepulchre, Old City Shopping, Garden Tomb Celebration
We begin our day along the Via Dolorosa stopping at the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. We have some free time this afternoon to shop in the market or explore on our own before enjoying the highlight of our day as we come to the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.
October 24: Return Home
We travel home today or continue on the Jordan extension.
Optional 3 Day Jordan Extension
October 24-27, 2017
October 24: Travel to Jordan. Bethany Beyond Jordan, Mt. Nebo & Jerash
This morning we travel east to the Jordan border and cross into Jordan where our guide will welcome us to Jordan. We’ll visit Bethany Beyond Jordan which is likely the location where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and also where the children of Israel crossed into the Promised land. Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Study the panorama as we read the scripture of God showing Moses the "Promised Land" before He brought him home to heaven. This afternoon we visit Jerash, one of the best preserved and most complete provincial Roman cities. Jerash, Gerasa of Roman Times, was one of the cities of the Decapolis, a confederation of 10 Graeco-Roman cities dating from the 1st century BC situated in Jordan, Syria and Israel. Known as the Pompeii of the East for its extraordinary state of preservation, the ruins indicate human occupations at this location for more than 2,500 years. Overnight Amman.
October 25: Morning travel to Petra, Afternoon Petra Tour
This morning we travel south where we’ll visit the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendants of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nabatean sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. Overnight Petra.
October 26: Service Opportunity, BBQ Dinner
This morning we return to Amman and enjoy the rest of the day serving alongside our ministry partners. We’ll enjoy a BBQ dinner this evening at a local restaurant before heading to the Amman airport.
October 27: Travel Home
We travel home today.