Experiencing Scripture with Israel Tour Guide
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 the Netanya in time for dinner and overnight. This morning, we depart for the Galilee to visit Biblical sites at Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion. We also see Megiddo and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Time permitting, we’ll stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch break (not included). Then we continue to Nazareth and visit Nazareth Village to see how life was during Jesus’ time. Next, we drive by Cana and visit the Mt. of Precipice. We then arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight near the Sea of Galilee. Nothing compares to watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! We will have a short visit and teaching at the Primacy of St. Peter with a time for teaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We then 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). Then, we head to Gadara and Bethsaida (time permitting) before making our way to the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight are back in Tiberias.
Waterfalls in Ein Gedi
After breakfast, we travel north to the Golan Heights for a beautiful view of northern Israel’s landscape. Then, we will head to Caesarea Philippi. We embark on a short hike to Tel Dan to see the altar of Jeroboam for a time of teaching. Next, we 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. Finally, we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. After an early breakfast, as we have tight schedule, we drive to Qumran, the settlement of the first century sect the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here, we head to Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul, and walk to the waterfall. We then travel south along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada where we ascend by cable car up to King Herod’s astonishing fortress. Afterwards, we make a special stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim or float. We’ll include a visit to Qasr El-Yahud, the newly excavated site where tradition holds that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. We will also include a short visit to the Jericho observation point where we will have a view of the monastery and Mount of Temptation. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem.
Ancient Models of Jerusalem
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. 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 to walk the Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement, Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We view the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and then conclude our day with a short walk to the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area. We finish off our sightseeing by driving by Bethlehem and will stop for a brief time of teaching. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. This morning, we visit the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Next, we drive to the City of David and afterwards, we take a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. Then, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam. If time permits, the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. We end our day in worship at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. In the morning, our driver will take us to the Old City Jaffa Gate to have leisure time in old Jerusalem. Then, we depart early afternoon for the Elah Valley to see the brook where David slew Goliath. From here, we continue our drive to Jaffa for a special Farewell Dinner. We then transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A.