Day 1 TEL AVIV/JERUSALEM
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. You will be met and transferred to Jerusalem through the Valley of Ayalon (”Oh sun stand still at Gibeon”) and “Oh moon in the Valley of Ayalon” Josh. 10:12) to ancient Emmaus (Luke 24:13) to visit the archaeological site then following the Emmaus Road to Jerusalem. Balance of the day is yours to relax after your journey. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 2 JERUSALEM – A DAY IN BETHLEHEM* CITY OF DAVID AND THE MESSIAH SON OF DAVID B Early morning drive to the Ramat Rachel Garden of Olives, the tallest olive trees in the world. Enjoy a short walk and panoramic view before driving to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. Visit the Church of the Nativity, the remains of the ancient village of Bethlehem from the time of Christ (under the Greek Monastery), Shepherd’s Field, Shepherd’s Cave Chapel and the new archaeological excavations of a Byzantine farm with an ancient purifying bath. Proceed via the fields of Ruth the Moabite towards the Judean Wilderness and North Mount Hebron to the desert city of Herodion to visit the ancient synagogue, King Herod the Great’s Desert Palace (Matt. 2:15), the underground secret passage and water cisterns. En route to Jerusalem travel via the matriarch Rachel’s Tomb (“A voice was heard in Ramah…Rachel weeping for her children” Matt. 2:18). Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 3 JERUSALEM – THE THREE HOLY MOUNTAINS OF JERUSALEM, MOUNT OF OLIVES, MOUNT MORIAH AND MOUNT ZION B
Begin at the Lutheran Church of Ascension, a shrine located on the Mount of Olives and part of a larger complex believed to be the earthly spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven for 40 days after His resurrection. Ascend the 50 meter high Augusta Victoria High Church tower with its four large bells for a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, the Moab Mountains and the Dead Sea. On top of the Mount of Olives visit the Tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi from the 6th-5th centuries B.C. (Matt. 23:27-28). Walk down Palm Sunday Road to Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over the city (Luke 19:41). Visit the Church of All Nations (Basilica of the Agony) enshrining a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before His arrest. See the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent the night before His arrest by the Romans. Walk along the Kidron Valley where the Messiah passed on the way to the Temple Mount, one of the most important religious sites in the Old City. Visit the Underground Greek Orthodox Church of Mary Tombs, the Tombs of Absalom and Zachary, the ancient Jewish Biblical Cemetery and the excavations of Mikvehs (purifying baths) during Christ’s time. Continue to Mount Moriah and visit the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). Ascend the Temple Mount where Jesus spent Tuesday and Wednesday of the Holy Week. Next, is the Mosque of El Aksa and the golden Dome of the Rock from which the Prophet Mohamed ascended to heaven. Continue to the Seller’s Market and proceed to Mount Zion to visit the traditional Tomb of King David, the Upper Room and St. Peter in Gallicantu. Proceed to Caiaphas’s House, the Jail of the Apostles and the Sacred Stairway. See Potters Field (Matt. 27:3-10), the City of David, the place of King David’s palace and the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man (John 9:1-7). Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 4 JERUSALEM FOLLOWING JESUS’ FOOTSTEPS IN THE GOOD FRIDAY PASSION OF CHRIST B
Our tour today begins at Lion’s Gate. See the Bethesda Pool where Jesus healed the paralyzed man amongst the most famous of Jesus’ miracles, the Church of St. Anne marking the start of the Via Dolorosa and the Pool of Bethesda amongst the most famous of Jesus’ miracles where Jesus healed the paralyzed man. Continue past the Ecce Homo Arch and Walk the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa from the Pretorium to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Pause at the Lutheran Chapel of the 8th Station where Jesus spoke to the Daughters of Jerusalem, the Ethiopian Monastic Village, the Roman Cistern, Josef of Aramethea’s Tomb and the Arab Market of the Jaffa Gate. At the Garden Tomb visit Golgotha and the Empty Tomb, tour the garden and attend a Communion Service. The balance of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Jerusalem. **Optional meeting with delegates of the Baptist Community living in Jerusalem.
Day 5 JERUSALEM FROM HOLOCAUST TO REVIVAL NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM MOUNTAINS B
This morning we begin at the Israel Museum to see the Shrine of the Book, home of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the most ancient Biblical texts known to mankind. Visit the reconstructed scale Model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period in the days of Christ before driving to Government Hill to view the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament and the Hall of Justice, Israel’s Supreme Court. Spend time at Yad Vashem, the somber and moving Memorial dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Travelling through the Jerusalem mountains we come to the village of Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist. Walk through the alleyways of this pictorial old village to the Garden of the Sisters of Zion, the place of Mary’s Magnificat. Drive through the Jerusalem Forest Nature Reserve to the Amiel Forest located nearby Zorah, the hometown of Samson the Hero (Judges 13:2) where you will have the opportunity to plant an olive tree. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 6 JERUSALEM/SEA OF GALILEE JORDAN RIVER AND THE DEAD SEA, IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHRIST AND JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE JUDEAN WILDERNESS B
Drive to Bethpage where Jesus mounted the white ass to fulfill the ancient prophecy (Matt. 21:1-5) and Bethany (the house of Mary and Martha and the Tomb of Lazarus) to the Judean Wilderness. View the Good Samaritan Inn and walk along the cliffs of Wadi Kelt to enjoy the panoramic view of the Ein Kelt cascade and the Saint George Monastery (Elijah’s Cave). Continue to the Jordan Valley to see the Oasis of Jericho, the lowest and most ancient city in the world. View the Mount of Temptation, ancient Tel Jericho and the City Walls (Josh.2-6, Mark 10:46, Luke 19:1), Zacheus Tree and Elisha’s Spring. Head for the Jordan River, the place of the Baptism of Christ, the Ascension of Elijah the Prophet and enter the place of the Holy Ark to the Promised Land. The Dead Sea is next. On the way we stop to visit Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found and where the Essenes were baptized. Visit the archaeological site and visitor’s center with time for a swim in the Dead Sea (optional mud treatments). Continue along the Jordan Valley via Mt. Gilboa where King Saul and his sons were killed in the Philistine battlefield) to Aenon Springs “After this Jesus and His Disciples went into Judea, there He remained with them and baptized John and John was also baptizing at Aenon” (John 3:22-23). Overnight at a Kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Day 7 SEA OF GALILEE BEAUTITUDES AND MIRACLES IN THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF CHRIST B/D
Our program this morning begins at the Mount of Beatitudes (Matt.5-7) where Jesus uttered the immortal words of the 9 verses of the Beatitudes as written in the Gospel of Matthew. After a short service walk down the soft hills of the Galilee to the Church of Saint Peter’s Primacy (John 21) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Following Jesus on His ministry in the Galilee, visit the site where Jesus fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish at Tabgha (Feeding 5000, Mark 6). Our day around the lake will take us to Capernaum (Matt. 4:13) believed to be the home of both Jesus and Peter. When viewing the archaeological remains we will be able to visualize how Jesus taught in Capernaum where He healed Peter’s mother-in-law, the Sinning Woman and others. Drive across the Upper Jordan River through the Valley of Beth Saida (third most mentioned place in the Gospels) to Kursi in the Land of the Gadarenes, the place where Jesus healed a man from an evil spirit that was moved into a swineherd. After a short rest and dinner we will board a boat for a night cruise on the Sea of Galilee. During the cruise under the sky full of stars, the engine will be stopped in the middle of the lake for us to enjoy a quiet and spiritual experience. It was here that Jesus walked on the water and spread His teachings to the rest of the world. Overnight in a Kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8 SEA OF GALILEE/TEL AVIV COAST TO COAST FROM THE SEA OF GALILEE TO THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, NAZARETH, MOUNT CARMEL AND THE COASTAL PLAIN B/L/D
Drive through Cana of Galilee to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Holy Grotto, the ancient village of Nazareth in the days of Christ, the archaeological museum, St. Joseph’s Workshop, the ancient Jewish-Christian purifying bath, the Baptist Church of Nazareth and meet with a local member of the Baptist community. Drive through Mount Tabor, the traditional place of the Transfiguration of Christ (Matt. 17 1-10) to Megiddo, the site mentioned in the Book of Revelation as Armageddon (Armageddon 1 Kgs. 9:15, Rev. 16:16). Visit the Museum and archaeological excavations. At Mount Carmel ascend the roof of the Monastery built on the site where the Prophet Elijah proved to the Prophets of Baal who is the only God (1 Kgs. 18). Stop for a falafel lunch at a Druze village on Mount Carmel to learn about their way of life and famous hospitality. The Coastal Road will then take us to Caesarea (Acts 9 25) where Cornelius was the first Gentile to accept Christ and where Paul testified before Agrippa (Act 21:8). Enjoy a farewell dinner in Jaffa including an optional tour to the ancient port. Time to stroll through the newly constructed Artists’ Quarter. Jaffa is also the place where St. Peter revived Tabitha back to life and where the Lord offered him unclean food to eat on the roof of Simon the Tanner’s house.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 9 TEL AVIV/Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport for departure.
A similar program can be custom tailored for individuals based on upgrated hotels and sightseeing by private car.
LAND TOUR INCLUDES
All airport transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary
Hotel accommodation based on double occupancy in hotels specific or similar.
Meals as specified (B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner)
English speaking local guides
Entrance fees to the monuments
Airfare, taxes, meals not specified, insurance, gratuities
*Site is under the Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction. Visit is subject to confirmation.