11-Day Holy Land Itinerary
Tour members meet for our flight to Israel. After dinner is served, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board entertainment to prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime. In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security and meet our guide who assists us to our motor coach. We have a short drive to our hotel in Tel Aviv in time for our dinner and overnight. Today we depart for the Galilee, visiting the following Biblical sites: Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion, Megiddo and Mt. Carmel. Afterwards, we visit Sepphoris, a reconstructed villa with its gorgeous “Mona Lisa of Galilee” mosaic, a theater, market streets and other finds that showcase daily life in Roman times. Since the town was under construction when Jesus was growing up, and Joseph was a “builder,” some say Joseph, and even Jesus himself, could have worked here. We arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There is nothing like watching a sunrise on the Sea of Galilee! We begin our sightseeing with a drive to Nazareth and Nazareth Village where we have a special lunch (included). We then visit Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding reception. Those who would like to will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows. We then make our way to Mt. Tabor, where we visit the Church of the Transfiguration. Next, we head back to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Cable Cars to King Herod’s Fortress
We begin today south of the Galilee at the Jordan River where we have an opportunity to be baptized. Next, we visit Tabgha and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. We spend time reflecting and worshiping at the Mt. of Beatitudes and then head to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. Afterwards, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to set sail on the Sea of Galilee. For those interested, our lunch stop includes the option of ordering the special St. Peter’s Fish (not included). After lunch, we head to Gadara and Bethsaida before returning for dinner and overnight in Tiberias. After breakfast, we leave the Galilee and travel south to visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. This is where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines. Next, we drive to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. We then drive to Qumran, the settlement of the first century sect the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We finish off our sightseeing as we make our way to our hotel in the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. We have time to enjoy a relaxing swim/float in the salty and mineral-rich body of water or enjoy the hotel and a relaxing spa (some spa treatments are not included). Remember to bring good water/closed-end shoes with you, as the bottom surface of the Dead Sea can be rough on your feet. After breakfast, we enjoy the hotel and a relaxing spa (some spa treatments are not included) before we travel north along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada where we ascend by cable car up to King Herod’s astonishing fortress. Next, we visit Bethlehem, passing by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts. We visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Field, before we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight.
Exploring the Old City
We begin today on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the famous, breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane where we have some time for prayer. Then we continue on to the Church of the Agony where tradition says Jesus prayed before his arrest. We enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and proceed to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David, which is called the Temple Mount. This area is the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pool of Bethesda, the Pavement, Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue with a short walk to the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area. We conclude our day in worship at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. We have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. We start the day with a visit to the Upper Room, then continue to Oscar Shindler’s grave for a visit. We continue to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial/Museum. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. In the morning, we have leisure time in Jerusalem and then we depart late morning/early afternoon for the Elah Valley to see the brook where David slew Goliath. From here, we continue our drive to Jaffa for a walking tour of this historic city, which has now become a well-known artist village. We then enjoy our special Farewell Dinner before we transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A. We arrive back in the U.S.A. At the close of an unforgettable tour, we take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord.