Israel in Detail
Join Crossing Cultures International on a:
12 Day Inspirational Tour | April 1-12, 2024
Optional Churches of Revelation Extension | April 12-17, 2024
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Join Crossing Cultures International on a:
12 Day Inspirational Tour | April 1-12, 2024
Optional Churches of Revelation Extension | April 12-17, 2024
April 1-12, 2024
April 12-17, 2024
|*Land Only (airfare not included). Estimated flight cost is $1,200.|
Reservation Due By: December 23, 2023
Final Payment Due By: February 1, 2024
10/15 nights lodging at 4-star hotels, Breakfast & dinner daily at hotels, St. Peter’s Fish Lunch, Lunch at Abe’s Tent, Full time English-speaking tour guide, Services of long-distance deluxe motor coach as appearing on itinerary, All entrances and transportation as appearing on itinerary, Porterage at hotels (1 piece), 1 group arrival transfer and 1 group departure transfer, Tips to drivers, guides, and hotel staff, Pilgrim Payment Processing for check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover, Whisper/Listening devices- In Israel only
Roundtrip airfare from TBD including taxes and fees (air taxes and fuel surcharges are subject to change), All lunches and drinks with meals except as noted in itinerary, Optional Travel Insurance - 7.6% or 10.25% of tour cost, Testing for COVID-19 or any other related expenses
Day 1: Departure (April 1, 2024)
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 (April 2, 2024)
Arrive in Israel and travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near 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.” Meet your Israeli guide, 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: Caesarea, Megiddo & Nazareth (April 3, 2024)
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 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.
Day 4: Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Magdala, Sea of Galilee Boat Ride (April 4, 2024)
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of alternative sacrifice and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession and pagan worship. We pass the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes. Returning to Tiberias for a St. Peter’s Fish Lunch (other selections available), we then visit the ancient Fisherman Boat followed by 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. In Capernaum we view the excavations of the sea-side village and Peter’s home, followed by a visit to Magdala, home town of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel.
Day 5: Jordan River Baptism Site, Beth Shean, & Dead Sea (April 5, 2024)
We begin our day with the 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 and view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world. To the east of Jericho along the Jordan River Valley (Queser El Yehud) is the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan. In this area Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, as well as where the children of Israel, led by Joshua, entered the Promised Land. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner. Our lodging for the next seven nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham's Tent (April 6, 2024)
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. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. 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.
Day 7: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Bethlehem (April 7, 2024)
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. Next 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. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. 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 spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ with a visit to Bethlehem.
Day 8: Jesus' Steps, Last Days, Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb (April 8, 2024)
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. 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." 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 and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. The 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 9: Israel Museum, Friends of Zion Museum, House of Caiaphas, Yad Vashem (April 9, 2024)
An interesting and educational time awaits us today at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of century’s old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. This model will help put into perspective all that you have seen over the previous days touring. We then visit the Friends of Zion Museum to learn of the 19th and 20th century heroes of the Jewish people. Next we spend time at 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. 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. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel.
Day 10: Jerusalem: City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Jewish Quarter (April 10, 2024)
This morning, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This meaningful teaching time will bring together the many things that you have seen to date. We continue our sightseeing 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, 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. Ascending up to the Jewish Quarter we see the gold Menorah built for the next Temple, the Temple Institute, the Burnt House, a wall built by King Hezekiah, and the Roman Cardo. The rest of our day is at Mt. Zion to see David’s Tomb, and the first Church Grotto. We then walk to visit David’s Citadel and go inside to climb the tower for a view of Old Jerusalem and to see the remains of Herod’s palace and possible place of Pilate’s trial of Jesus.
Day 11: Judah, Beersheba, Elah Valley, Philistia, Joppa (April 11, 2024)
Today we travel west through beautiful mountains and the Sorek Valley to Beth Shemesh where the Ark of the Covenant was carried from the Philistines by two cows pulling a cart. The next stop is Tel Azekah and the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath. We then drive to where battles were fought at Mareshah and Lachish, then thru the land of the Philistines, passing the city of Gath and stopping at the river bed in search of smooth stones for our sling. We continue on to Beersheba and see Abraham’s well. As we turn back toward Jerusalem, the drive thru the Negev is contrasted with Bedouin tents and herds of camels, donkeys, sheep, and stories of the Exodus and Israel wandering in the Wilderness of Zin. We go past Lydda where Peter healed a paralyzed man and arrive at the ancient port of Joppa where Jonah and Peter spent time and from where Jonah sailed to meet the fishes.
Day 12: Home (April 12, 2024)/ Flight to Turkey
A very early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward (or on to Turkey) will allow for arrival home by early afternoon.
Churches of Revelation Extension: April 12-17, 2024
Day 1: Arrival Izmir (April 12, 2024)
We transfer to our hotel in Izmir, Turkey for the next two evenings. The remainder of your day is free to walk along the scenic waterfront, sightsee on your own and enjoy your hotel facilities.
Day 2: Pergamum, Thyatira & Izmir (April 13, 2024)
Our first visit of the day is Pergamum. The church of Pergamum was praised for its forbearance; (Rev. 2:12-17) it was here that the first Christians were executed by Rome. We'll visit the fabled Acropolis, pass through the Royal Gates, view the foundations of the Altar of Zeus and visit the ruins of the library (which once held 200,000 volumes). Next we travel east to Thyatira viewing the ancient roadway and period columns. Thyatira was once a busy trading center and famous as a "seller of purple," the most favored of the Seven Churches. We continue south to Izmir, which is the third largest city in Turkey and a long time center for Jews and Christians. In Paul's day, Izmir was known as Smyrna and was another of the Seven Churches (Rev. 2:8-11). Our lodging this evening will be in Izmir.
Day 3: Sardis, Philadelphia, Pamukkale (April 14, 2024)
Departing our Hotel in Izmir, we'll see Polycarp's Church and visit the ancient roman agora. Then, we travel to Sardis, which was berated by John for its facade of strength when, in reality, it was weak (Rev. 3:1-6). Here coins were minted and the dyeing of wool originated. We'll visit the gymnasium and synagogue. Our next stop is nearby Philadelphia from where we are challenged to “hold fast” and look forward to the coming of the "new Jerusalem" (Rev. 3:7-13) in the Book of Revelation. Not much is left of the city except for the ancient wall and the remains of a Byzantine basilica in the modern city of Alasehir. Our lodging this evening will be in a lovely spa hotel in Pamukkale.
Day 4: Hierapolis, Laodicea & Colossae (April 15, 2024)
Hierapolis, meaning "Sacred City," was an ancient center for pagan cults until it was transformed into a Christian center in the first century. According to tradition, the Apostle Philip lived and was martyred in Hierapolis. It was likely the hot springs of Hierapolis (in contrast to the cold mountain springs near Colossae) that combined to bring application to the "lukewarm" Laodiceans (Rev 3:14-22). This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). Laodicea contains many acres of ruins to visit including a stadium and remnants of a sophisticated water system. Nearby Colossae is well-known throughout Christian circles as the receiver of Paul's letter to the Colossians. Today, the town has fallen into obscurity and nothing remains. We spend the remainder of the day traveling through the Turkish countryside arriving in the port city of Kusadasi where we spend two nights. The day will not be complete without a visit to a local Turkish Rug cooperative.
Day 5: Ephesus (April 16, 2024)
We travel to the nearby town of Selcuk for a visit of ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was once a thriving port town of 250,000 people. Today you can still see the spectacular excavations of the major streets in this ancient city. We view the Library, Agora, theatre, colorful mosaics in the aristocratic Terrace Houses, and a panoramic outlook of the surrounding ancient port area (including a wealth of church history and cultural insight). Then we continue with a visit to the Basilica Church of St. John, which houses an immersion baptismal and is believed to be resting place of John. From here we have an excellent overview of the Ephesus harbor, the Mosque of Jesus, and see the site of the Temple of Artemis, which is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Day 6: Depart for Home (April 17, 2024)
This morning we transfer to the Izmir airport for our flight back to the USA.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.