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 Israel (March 19)
We arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport where we meet our guide and transfer into Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Dead Sea & Negev (March 20)
This morning following breakfast we head east visiting Tel Azekah and the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath. Here you can pick up five smooth stones, in commemoration of David’s defeat of Goliath. Following our time here we continue east to the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Arriving at the Dead Sea we start with a visit to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. 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. Next, we have 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. Following our time in the Dead Sea region we make our way south arriving in Eilat late this afternoon where we check into our beach front hotel on the shores of the Red Sea.
Day 4: Timna Park & Free Time (March 21)
Today we rise and travel a short distance to Timna Park, for visit a life-sized Biblical Tabernacle model and see beautiful rock formations in the area of closed copper mines from the times of King Solomon and the ancient Egyptians. Following our time in Timna this morning, we return to our hotel for the remainder of the day, free to rest and relax among the warm waters of the Red Sea.
Day 5: Arava Border Crossing – Arrive Jordan (March 22)
This morning we travel to the Arava Border, between Israel and Jordan. After meeting our guide and completing passport and visa formalities, we enter the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We travel north upon the Kings Highway viewing ancient Bedouin camps. The remainder of the day is spent in Petra. Walk through the “Siq,” an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra, carved out of the rose rock by the Nabateans 2000 years ago. We will visit the Treasury, El Khazeh, one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazeh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra’s carved and built structures. Following our visit to this wonder of the world, we will have dinner and overnight in Petra.
Day 6: Depart Jordan – Arrive Israel (March 23)
This morning we visit Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, and commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Following our time atop the mount, we travel onto Allenby Bridge and cross into Israel where we will be met by our Israeli guide who will accompany us during our entire stay in Israel. We travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. Prior to arriving at our hotel, we visit Caesarea Maritime, where the Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized and where Paul preached to Felix, Festus & Agrippa. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct, then return to our hotel. 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.”
Day 7: Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth Village, Mt. Arbel
After breakfast, we travel by motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea turning inland to journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah hid from King Ahab. 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 end our day with a spectacular view of the Galilee and Christ’s Ministry from atop Mt. Arbel. We descend and check into our hotel along the shores of the sea.
Day 8: Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Mount of Beatitudes (March 25)
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. In order to save valuable time, a box lunch will be provided. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the site of the possible multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. 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 concludes a wonderful day.
Day 9: Jordan River Baptism Sites, Beth Shean, Bethany & Dead Sea (March 26)
We begin our day with an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next 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. 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 pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to the Jordan River (Queser El Yehud) the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 10: Bethlehem, City of David, Abraham's Tent (March 27)
We have a later morning departure today, making our way west to Bethlehem. We spend the morning visiting sites surrounding the Birth of Christ. We then turn north to the Golden City Jerusalem. Upon arrival travel just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount to 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, and the lower city wall. 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. Before returning to our hotel, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This evening 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. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 11: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum
Conditions permitting we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. 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 breast and where later Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God." 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. 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.
Day 12: Jesus' Steps, the Last Days (March 29)
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 and then 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 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. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing 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. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation.
Day 13: Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost (March 30)
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. 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. This afternoon 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. We will enjoy a challenge from God’s Word and a song before an optional time this afternoon. You are free to walk the streets of the Old City. We have our final farewell dinner this evening at the hotel.
Day 14: Depart for Home (March 31)
An early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow plenty of time to reflect on the many memories made and lessons learned from your visit to the Holyland.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.