On this tour we will visit much of the Land of Israel but most importantly, we will follow the footsteps of Jesus from His ministry in Galilee to His final days in Jerusalem. In each key biblical site, we will enjoy teachings from our hosts and experts at the actual sites being described. Very cool!
If you make your own flight arrangements, be sure to arrive in Israel in the afternoon of May 18th. Flying from the US is an overnight flight, requiring you to leave on May 17th
Welcome Home! Next stop-the white sandy Mediterranean beaches of Tel Aviv.
This evening: Meet & greet in our beach front hotel
Breakfast at your hotel. We being our tour of the Holy Land with a visit of the Old Town Jaffa. Walk through the narrow passengers of the city, believed to be the oldest port in the world and where the cedars from Lebanon arrived to build Solomon’s Temple. Pass St. Peter’s Church which marks the traditional site of Peter’s vision of the Great Sheet. What a spectacular view of Tel Aviv Shoreline from this vantage point. Time to depart Tel Aviv and begin our journey north which will take us to the Sea of Galilee. Driving north arrive to Caesarea Maritima, which was the center of early Christians, and the capital of Judea under the Romans. Visit the excavations of this ancient city, Roman theatre and aqueduct where Paul made his defense before Festus and King Agrippa prior to his final journey to Rome.
We end our tour with a great multimedia explanation of the history of the port. Our next stop is Mount Carmel (Mukraka), where Elijah issued his challenge to the false prophet.
Continue along the Jezerel Valley to visit the town of Nazareth.
We will take a beautiful view from the top of Mount Precipice, also known as Mount of Precipitation or Mount of Leap of the Lord. It is believed to be the site of the rejection of Jesus. Continue to the city to the Basilica of Annunciation that church that celebrates the news from Gabriel that Mary would give birth to Jesus.
Our final visit of the day will be Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first public miracle, the turning of water into wine at the wedding feast.
We continue to our hotel situated on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will make our way to the coastal city of Acre. Here we will visit the underground crusader fortress and knight’s hall which lay beneath the bustling bazaar. Walk along the outer walls of this ancient city and outdoor market. Driving north along the coastal road we will arrive to the northern most part of Israel, right on the border with Lebanon, Rosh Hanikra. Descend by cable car to see the breathtaking white cliffs and grottoes. Our day continues riding along the northern border where will arrive to Kibbutz Misgav Am, one of the border communities overlooking Lebanon. We will receive an up to date briefing on the situation in the north. We will now drive to Banias – ancient Ceasarea Philippi – where Jesus said “On this rock I will build my Church”.
Continue to the beautiful Golan Heights before returning back to the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will make our way to our wooden boat and sail on the Sea of Galilee as the disciples did over 2,000 years ago. The Sea of Galilee, where the Lord calmed the storm and where He made one of the most dramatic miracles, walking on the water. It was here along the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus appeared for a third time after being raised from the dead and asked his disciples to throw their nets to the right side of the boat and caught many fish and where He made the disciples breakfast. We will dock at Ginosar and visit the “ancient Jesus boat”, the remains which dated back 2,000 year and was discovered during a drought in 1986.
Jesus spent most of his ministry in what has been called “The Evangelical Triangle”. It is the area covering the biblical cities of Capernaum, Korazin and Bethsaida. Today, we will make our walk through these same biblical cities. Jesus chose to make his home in Capernaum. We will stand in what is left of the synagogue in which Jesus ministered, and where he performed many miracles. It is here that Peter’s mother in law lived and was healed. Chorazin (Korazin) next on our agenda, the town that was rebuked by Jesus for its lack of faith. The last stop on the triangle is Bethsaida, the place where Jesus was active as a preacher and healer. We close out our day with the opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site.
Return back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will make a stop in Magdala, hometown of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. Now it is time to begin our journey 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 from the new Dead Sea Lookout. Visit ancient Jericho, 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. Drive up to Jerusalem and check into your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will make our way to the City of David to see a film, its Canaanite and Israelite ruins, Jeremiah’s Cistern, King David’s palace, an optional walk thru Hezekiah’s Water Tunnel, view recently discovered 2nd Temple road, finishing at the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed a blind man. Take the new underground tunnel 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.
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.
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.
After breakfast we will make our way to the 9/11 Living Memorial located in the Arazim Valley of Ramot. The plaza is built on 5 acres to remember and honor the victims of the September 11 attacks. Our next stop will be a special visit to Saxum Visitor Center which helps to deepen our knowledge of the Holy Land through different multimedia resources in order to enrich each person’s Holy Land experience.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, as Jerusalem was rebuilt by those who returned from exile, Nehemiah said: “From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked” (Nehemiah 4:16-19). In accordance with biblical prophesies, Israel reborn and just as in the days of Nehemiah, since her rebirth in 1948, Israel is in a continuous struggle for survival. More now than ever before Jewish soldiers, young Israeli boys and girls, are the “Shield of David”, the defends of God’s Land. To honor them, our special program today is in Laturn – the official Israel Defense Force Commemoration Center and armament display.
Latrun is the fortress that was strategically built on Israel’s main crossroads and throughout history protected the Holy City of Jerusalem. The program features a full army ceremony including the laying of a wreath at the “Wall of Names”, in honor of our fallen soldiers and to pay tribute to our living warriors. Here we will mingle with the young soldiers; we will be briefed by experts who will give us the opportunity to gain a better understanding and insight into the region’s conflict.
Here we will pray for the young heroes of Israel – What a place to pledge our support and solidarity with their/our Godly plight. What a place to pledge our support and solidarity with Israel. Return to Jerusalem and your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will drive via the Supreme Court Building and the Knesset (Parliament) to the renowned Israel Museum and view the remarkable Scale Model, a miniature replica of ancient Jerusalem from the Second Temple period and the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. We now make our way to Yad Vashem, a memorial to the Holocaust. Walk through the Museum, the Children's Pavilion and along the Avenue of the Righteous, dedicated to Christians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
This afternoon, take a short drive to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, built over the cave of Christ's birth, as well as Shepherd's Field and the plains of Boaz. Finally, visit one of the Christian owned Bethlehem gift shops before returning to the hotel
After breakfast we will make our way down to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. Driving along the winding road of the Dead Sea we arrive to Masada.
Take the cable car ride up to the mountain top fortress where your guide will treat you to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards 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 and then time to enjoy the mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea.
We make our way back to our hotel. This evening we will partake in a most fervent “Kabalat Shabbat” service – the receiving of the Sabbath service at the Western Wall. Here we will mingle with thousands of Jerusalem Jews in praise & worship, this place is the only remnant of the temple atop Moriah.
This is “a not to be missed event” where young and old worship in song and dance in a way most never experienced before. This will follow with a traditional Shabbat Dinner.
Breakfast at your hotel. Our final day in Jerusalem we will 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. 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. Return to your hotel for your final dinner.