Your first amazing journey to the Holy Land no doubt included visits to the major sites that most trips include. But there are so many other incredible sites and experiences that you just didn’t have time to see. Our Second Timers tour focuses on these sights, the ones that most tourists never get to visit. Each day of this tour will be filled with new and exciting experiences.
Your land arrangements include:
Your land arrangements do not include:
This is a sample tour. It is based on a group request only.
For information and reservations contact Janice Snider.
Day 1 Tel Aviv/Netanya arrival
Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport. Our VIP representative will be waiting for you after passport control to assist you through luggage claim and escort you to your waiting guide.
Option # 1 – Leaving the airport you will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight either in Tel Aviv or Netanya. The balance of the day is free to relax.
Option # 2 – Enjoy a drive around Tel Aviv including a short stop in the Old Port City of Jaffa located just south of Tel Aviv for a beautiful panoramic view of Tel Aviv and a sense of the first Jewish city of the modern era established in 1909. It was here that the Prophet Jonah set out on his ill-fated voyage before returning to warn the people of Nineveh.
Day 2 Tel Aviv/Tiberias
Following breakfast at the hotel we head north. A stop will be made to visit the extensive ruins of Caesarea Maritima, an ancient port city built by King Herod which later became the seat of government of the Roman governors. This is also where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion.
Option # 1 – Continue to Haifa and ascend Mt. Carmel for a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and the beautifully manicured Baha’i Gardens with its impressive temples. On our way we will stop for a short visit to the Druze village of Usafiya and learn about this great community of people have lived in Israel for years serving in the army together with other Israelis.
Option # 2 – Stop to visit Mukhraka where the dramatic battle between Elijah and the Prophets of Baal took place on its summit. According to tradition, the fire that rained down from the sky amidst a struggle between the Prophet Elijah and the Baal Prophets occurred in this exact location. We are now on our way to Megiddo – the great archaeological site that inspired James Mitchener’s book “The Source”. Walk around and see the ancient man-made well plus a Canaanite altar. This is where the final battle between good and evil will take place at the end. Stop to visit the village of Nazareth, a recreation of a Galilean village some 2,000 years ago and the Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed His First Miracle turning water into wine at a Wedding Feast. Continue to Tiberias named after the Roman emperor sitting on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. On arrival check-in. Dinner and overnight Tiberias hotel.
Day 3 Tiberias
After breakfast this morning, our day begins with a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave his historic “Sermon on the Mount”. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Sea of Galilee. Our next stop is the small Franciscan Church of Peter’s Primacy situated on the Sea of Galilee marking the spot of Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as the main leader among the Twelve Apostles. Two km away is Capernaum, where a 2nd-century synagogue was discovered shedding light on the life of the community of that era. Jesus served here as a local rabbi and performed miracles. The traditional house of Saint Peter is also here. Moving on we come to Tabgha, the traditional sight of the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the third resurrection appearance of Jesus.
Continue to Korazim to visit the ruins of a Roman/Byzantine town referred to in the New Testament as one of the cities condemned by Jesus. The buildings are made of black basalt stones and a grand 4th C AD synagogue was restored in the central quarter. Drive to Kibbutz Ginossar to visit the Jesus Boat Museum, an exciting and inspirational story of the discovery, excavation and conservation of an ancient Galilean boa celebrated as the Jesus Boat. Brother fishermen, Moshe and Yuval Lufan from Kibbutz Ginossar discovered the ancient Galilean boat buried in the mud near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Now sit back and enjoy a short boat ride on the tranquil waters of the Sea of Galilee followed by a traditional St. Peter’s fish lunch. Afterwards drive through Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene and conclude your day with a visit to Yardenit* where Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. When He came out of the water, immediately He saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove and a voice came from above saying “Thou Art My Beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased”. Drive back to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias. *Rental of a white baptismal gown is not included.
Day 4 Tiberias
After breakfast we depart for the Golan to enjoy its scenic hills and learn about its strategic importance and history of the land. We start the day with a walk in the Tel Dan National Reserve, a beautiful paradise that lies in the ancient city ruins of the Dan. Walk along the lush trails leading through the dense forest and the Dan River. See the fascinating Canaanite archway built centurions before the famed Roman archways were built. Continue to Caesarea Phillipi (Banias) for a nature hike to one of Israel’s most beautiful waterfalls which flows from the foot of Mount Hermon to the Jordan River. Caesarea Philippi was a pagan city dedicated to the god Pan and was reconstructed in ancient times by Phillip, the son of Herod. It was here that Saint Peter made his proclamation of faith in Jesus who declared him the rock on which he would build his Church and promised him the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Option # 1 – Head to Elrom to see the new audio-visual presentation “Emek Habacha” which vividly depicts the story of this heroic battle allowing viewers to experience the enormous physical stamina, emotional strength, spirit, perseverance and personal sacrifice exhibited by the fighters “The Men Behind the Machines”. Afterwards head to the Mount Bental IDF Bunker for a great view of Syria from a key mountaintop location on Israel’s northern border. From the top of this dormant volcano, you can see majestic Mount Hermon, the picturesque Druze villages of the Golan as well as the bunkers and trenches left after the Yom Kippur War.
Option # 2 – Drive to Katzrin, the most substantial structural remains dating from the late Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods when the site was a Jewish village with a synagogue and was the “Capital of the Golan”. Walk through a Talmudic village and see what it was like to live in the times of ancient Israel.
Option # 3 – Stop at Yehudia National Park for a short hike. The Yehudia National Nature Reserve is the largest of the reserves of the Golan – an open forest consisting of Mt. Tabor oaks, sparsely covering the area between Katzrin and the Sea of Galilee. The water streams flow year round and are dotted with high waterfalls and deep pools.
Option # 4 – Drive to Kfar Haruv, an Israeli settlement in the Southern Golan Heights. At Peace Visa enjoy a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee, Mt. Hermon, the hills of Galilee, Mt. Tabor and the Jordan Valley.
Option # 5 – Visit the Gamla Nature Reserve, a magical place where eagles’ nest, and archaeological ruins lie amidst a quaint and stunning setting that includes a breathtaking view downwards towards the Sea of Galilee. Gamla was an ancient city located in the Lower Golan on a steep ridge that rises to a height of 330 meters above the surrounding terrains. Hike down the mountain slopes to what is sometimes called “the Masada of the North” remembered for the catastrophic defeat during the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans. Drive back to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 5 Tiberias/Jerusalem
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and start our journey toward the Holy city of Jerusalem. Our first stop is Beit She’an to see the ancient remains of Scythopolis, the city where Saul and his sons were hung on the city walls by the Philistines. During your visit tour one of the largest excavated sites in Israel with its bathhouse and Cardo.
Stop at Qasr El Yahud – “the Jews Passage”. This monastery is an important place according to Jewish tradition, this is the place where the Israelis crossed the River Jordan on their way into the Land of Israel. For Christians this is the traditional site where John Baptized Jesus. Drive via Jericho to see the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the devil for forty days and forty nights. Catch a glimpse of the magical cliff hanging St. George’s Monastery carved into sheer rock. Its picturesque setting in a narrow gorge known as Wadi Qelt is an area dotted with caves once in habited by monks and hermits. Stop at a lookout point to enjoy the view of the Wadi Kelt National Park identified as Nachal Prat mentioned in Jeremiah Chapter 13. Along the sides of the wadi, you can see an ancient aqueduct system used to bring water to Herod’s Palace in Jericho. We are now on our way to the Holy city of Jerusalem. Upon arrival stop at Mount Scopus for a spectacular view over the Golden City celebrating your arrival. Check into your hotel for dinner and overnight.
6 Day Jerusalem, Qumran, Masada and the Dead Sea
After breakfast we head to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. Our first stop will be in Qumran where the hidden Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves in 1947 exposing the secret life of the Essenes, a small ultra-religious sect who hid there from the Romans and buried the famous scrolls. Continue to Masada, the isolated mountaintop fortress of King Herod and ascend by cable car to the ancient fortress. Explore the site with its synagogue and bathhouse. This was the last stronghold of the Sicari Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans who chose to commit mass suicide rather than be enslaved. Relax on the shoes of the Dead Sea and float in the buoyant waters which are said to possess medicinal qualities. On the way back to Jerusalem enjoy an easy hike at Ein Gedi where you will see the waterfalls at this oasis in the desert which is mentioned several times in the Book of Psalms and hear the Biblical stories of King David hiding from King Saul. The combination of Ein Gedi’s abundance of water and tropical climate provides the ability for wonderful exotic plant and animal life to flourish. Drive back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 Jerusalem
This morning following breakfast we drive to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Overlooking the Old City, the mount partly covered by olive trees, cemeteries and churches, commemorates the events in the life of Jesus. Descend via Palm Sunday Road to visit the historic Garden of Gethsemane where a garden of ancient olive trees still stand today. Jesus frequently went to the Garden of Gethsemane with His Disciples to pray (John 18:2). The most famous events of Gethsemane occurred on the night before His Crucifixion when Jesus was betrayed.
Stop at Mount Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper also known as the Cenacle and the traditional Tomb of King David located in the same building. Men and women enter the Tomb separately. Visit Caiaphas’ House where Jesus was in prison and Peter denied Jesus three times. On top of the site at the eastern slope of Mt. Zion they created a church, St. Peter Gallicantu Church where excavations show that this place has pottery and silverware (steel) that could only belong in a high priest’s house. The church is built on four different levels – the upper church, the middle church, the guardroom and the dungeon. Its design and art are a colourful blend of contemporary and ancient works. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem at the hotel.
Day 8 Jerusalem
We drive to the Old City of Jerusalem this morning after breakfast to start our morning tour with a visit to the Kotel (Wailing Wall), part of the few remaining structures of the Temple Complex built by Herod the Great. This is the holiest place for the Jewish people. You will see that men and women enter separately. As a sign of respect when leaving the Wailing Wall, one should back away and not turn one’s back to the wall. The entrance to the Western Wall Tunnels is nearby. The tunnels enable visitors to walk along 500 meters of the extended wall under the buildings of the Old City and to take a journey through time to learn the history of the Holy City. Our tour continues to the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, a route believed to be the path taken by Jesus to His Crucifixion. The route is marked by 14 Stations of the Cross from Antonio Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where you will find the Last Five Stations of the Cross.
Option # 1 – Visit the Church of St. Anne, a Roman Catholic church located at the start of the Via Dolorosa. The austere stone interior and extraordinary acoustics make it a fine example of medieval architecture. In Latin, the words Ecce Homo “Behold the Man” are the words that Pontius Pilate used when presenting Jesus scourged, bound and crowned with thorns shortly before His Crucifixion. Continue walking through the Arab Bazaar to observe Middle Eastern life in action. Next is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a complex of various chapels built on what is called the Hill of Golgotha which is considered a major pilgrimage site for Christians. Continue to the Garden Tomb, an ancient Jewish sepulcher that matches the New Testament description of the tomb where the possible burial place of Jesus is located. Walk through the peaceful and tranquil garden. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem at the hotel.
Day 9 Jerusalem
This morning we travel to Yad Vashem considered the primary memorial and museum dedicated to the Holocaust. Visit the very moving exhibit at the Children’s Pavilion which commemorates the death of over 1.5 million children during the Holocaust. Here you will also find the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations lined with trees honouring non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Note the plaques recording the names and the countries of those being honoured. Moving on we come to the Knesset building, the Israeli parliament where you will see a huge bronze menorah, a seven-branched golden candelabra that was designed by Benno Elkan, a Jewish sculptor who escaped from Germany during the Holocaust. His sculpture was given to the Knesset as a gift from the Parliament of the UK in 1956. Don’t forget to bring your passport for security. Next is the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in Israel and one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Here you will find the oldest existing Biblical manuscripts in the world housing the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in the Shrine of the Book.
Option # 1 – Drive to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The church is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus. The structure is actually a combination of two churches with a crypt beneath the Grotto of the Nativity where Jesus was born. There will be some time for souvenir shopping.
Option # 2 – Conclude your day with an interesting experience at the Machane Yehuda Market, a bustling Israeli shuk (market) where you can enjoy the colors, aromas and unique atmosphere of the alleys and stalls while shopping. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 10 Jerusalem/Ben Gurion
After breakfast check out of the hotel. Start the morning with a visit to the City of David. On the slope south of the Temple Mount where the Kidron Valley and the Hinnom Valley meet, a 2000-year-old road was discovered a few years ago. They found a magnificent pool mentioned in the New Testament as the place where Jesus performed a miracle as he healed a blind man. Continue to the Southern Wall excavations and the Davidson Center, one of the most significant archaeological sites in the country. The archaeological park consists of Robinson’s Arch, Herodian Street, huge stones – fallen remains from the Temple Mount – a remembrance of the destruction in AD 70 and other finds from various periods of the history of the city. Proceed to the ancient and recently restored Jewish Quarter and walk along the Cardo Maxima (ancient Roman Road). Continue through the Armenian Quarter, one of the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Armenians arrived in the Holy City during the early stages of Christianity between the 4th and 6th centuries. Visit the FOZ Museum, the Friends of Zion which brings stories of love and heroism to the world. Visit a new world where you will meet Biblical figures, academics, business persons and military officials who through their faith have forged an everlasting bond between the Jewish and Christian people.
A private transfer will take you to Ben Gurion International Airport for your flight home. Our VIP assistant will be waiting to help you with check in procedures.
NOTE – The touring on Day 10 is based on a flight departing just after midnight. Should your flight depart in the morning you have the option of not touring on Day 10 or adding one more night and leaving early on Day 11.