Day 1: Departure from US
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive in Israel
Arrive in Israel where you will meet your guide and travel northward to our hotel for one night in Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the Promised Land, and a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Jaffa, Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, and Nazareth
After breakfast, we will visit the ancient port area of Jaffa where Jonah sailed from and where Simon the Tanner lived. Next 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 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 re-creation of Biblical times with costumed guides as well as the Church of the Annunciation and the ancient synagogue. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next three nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Magdala, Jesus Boat, Chorazin, Hazor, and Tel Dan
Our first visit of the day is at an ongoing excavation site in Magdala to see how 2000 year old relics are being unearthed today. Next we stop by the Nof Ginosar Museum to see a fisherman’s boat dating from the time of Jesus. Continue to Chorazin to view the ruins of a 1st century synagogue. Visit Tel Hazor which was the most important Canaanite city in the 13th century BC during the time of Joshua and Deborah. Our travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession. We return back to the Galilee driving through the Golan Heights.
Day 5: Sea of Galilee sites
In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of Peter’s home and an ancient synagogue. Then we travel on to the site of the possible multiplication of loaves and fishes at Tabgha and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. We have time for a lunch of St. Peter Fish (purchased on own) and then we visit the House of the Fisherman in Bethsaida. We continue to Gaderenes (also known as Kursi) to hear the story of when Jesus cast the demonic spirit from a man to a swine and then the swine ran into the Sea of Galilee and drowned. To end the day 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, concluding a wonderful day.
Day 6: Beit Shean, Gideon’s Spring, Jericho, & Qumran Caves
We travel southward to Beit-Shean/ Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, 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. Next we stop at Gideon’s Spring where he gathered his men before fighting the Midianites and administered the water test. 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 visit Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world. We will see the ruins of the ancient city walls and the Mount of Temptations. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Our lodging for the next five nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Bethany, Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea, Abraham's Tent
We leave Jerusalem and head southeast towards the Dead Sea. Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here 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 stop by the Dead Sea to float in the salty waters at this location which is the lowest place in the world. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride and authentic food. We return to Jerusalem.
Day 8: Around Jerusalem and 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. Visit the Dominus Flevit Church and then walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the Scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Next we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the "Upper Room" just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His chest and where later Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God”. Next to this is the site of King David’s Tomb. We continue outside the city to see Solomon’s Pools and then onto Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Christ with a visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Fields.
Day 9: Western Wall and Museums
We will visit the Wailing (Western) Wall and then 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. Continue to the Temple Institute to see the workings being done by the Jewish community to prepare for the Third Temple. Continue to the Bible Lands Museum where you will have an interactive experience with ancient artifacts and modern digital renditions. 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 a 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.
Day 10: Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, and Jesus’ Last Days
Enter the Old City through St. Stephen’s Gate to see the Pools of Bethesda and sing a hymn in St. Ann’s Church. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Christ and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. 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 where we will reflect on Christ's death and resurrection for our salvation. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where He may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps He walked as He was taken to be condemned. The Church is known as the Peter in Gallicantu commemorating Peter’s triple rejection of Christ before the cock crowed. Our climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.
Day 11: Depart for Home
An early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.