On arrival in Tel Aviv, you will be met by our representative who will assist with the transfer to your hotel. Overnight Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv/Sea of Galilee/Tiberias
After breakfast your guide will join you for touring. Drive to the port of Jaffa (Joppa) just south of Tel Aviv for a short walking tour in the picturesque alleyways of the old fortified port town of Jaffa. Pass by the location of the House of Simon the Tanner where Peter received a vision that changed his mind about having gentiles accepted into the early Christian church. Take a moment to enjoy the panoramic view from the hilltop before driving north along the coastal road known as Via Maris (Way of the Sea) to the archaeological ruins of Caesarea located halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar, it was also known as Caesarea Maritima. See the excavations of the Crusader-era city, the Roman port, the picturesque and well-preserved aqueduct, and the amphitheater that has been restored to its former glory and today is used as a concert venue. From here we go to Megiddo identified as the site of the Armageddon where you will learn the impressive history of this battlefield as you visit the archaeological excavations that have revealed the remains of 20+ cities built on top of each other, as well as the well-preserved water supply system. After exploring the ancient ruins we drive towards the Sea of Galilee stopping at Cana where Jesus performed His first Miracle turning Water into Wine at a marriage feast when there was no more wine. Arrive in Tiberias and check into your hotel. Overnight Tiberias.
Tiberias/Sea of Galilee
Our day begins visiting sites on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, the stage for many of the events in Jesus’ life. Drive along the north shore of the Sea to the ancient fishing village of Capernaum known as “His Town”, the center of Jesus Ministry where he spent much time healing the sick and performing miracles. See the remains of the 2nd century synagogue and the octagonal Church of St. Peter. We are now on our way to Tabgha, the site of the Miracle of Fish and Loaves where we visit the Church of Multiplication with its 4th century mosaic floor depicting a basket with loaves and two fish. At the Church of the Primary of St. Peter, found on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee commemorating Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as chief among Apostles. Our next stop is the Mount of Beatitudes set in a serene backdrop. This is the place where Jesus delivered the memorable Sermon on the Mount and it is believed that it is where He picked His 12 Apostles. Ascend the strategic Golan Heights to enjoy the panoramic view of the peaks of Mt. Hermon and the rugged Golan Plateau. From here we drive to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), one of the sources of the River Jordan where Jesus took His Disciples revealing His purpose and His Church before His last trip to Jerusalem where Simon identified Jesus as the Messiah. At the southern part of the Sea of Galilee, we see the Yardenit Baptismal site. Special white robes must be worn during Baptism. These can be rented or purchased on site.
Bathing suits must be worn underneath. If required, we can assist in providing a clergy to perform the Baptism. There is no resident clergy. Return to Tiberias for another night. Overnight Tiberias.
Tiberias/Nazareth/Jordan Valley/Beit Alpha/Jerusalem
This morning sit back and relax on an optional 45-minute boat ride on the tranquil waters of the Sea of Galilee where little has changed during the past 2000 years (subject to conditions and fee). Travel through Galilee to Nazareth where Jesus spent His childhood. This is one of the most important Christian sites in the Holyland. Visit the Church of the Annunciation built on the site where archaeologists believe the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. You will also see Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. Moving on we arrive in Beit Alpha to visit the ancient synagogue located at the foot of the northern slopes of the Gilboa Mountains which has one of the best-preserved and beautiful mosaics in Israel. Proceed through the Jordan Valley passing Jericho, a famous Biblical city known as the oldest city in the world and site of the historic Battle of Jericho. Ascend the Judean Mountains to the holy city of Jerusalem. Overnight Jerusalem.
Jerusalem /Masada/Dead Sea
Travel through the remarkable scenery of the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountaintop fortress of King Herod declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. This was the last stronghold of the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD who chose to commit mass suicide rather than be enslaved by the Romans. To reach the top we ascend Masada by cable car for a tour visiting the remains of the walls, the palaces, synagogue, and bathhouse. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea below. Descend by cable car and continue to Qumran, an archaeological site in the West Bank where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1946/47 in caves by a young shepherd looking for stray goats. Nearly 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth. Bring your swimsuit if weather permits you will have the opportunity to float in its buoyant waters. Return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Jerusalem (New City)/Bethlehem
The day begins at the Israel Museum located on a hill in Givat Ram. This is the largest cultural institution in Israel. Here you will find the Shrine of the Book where the priceless Dead Sea scroll fragments are housed and the miniature model of Jerusalem as it was during the Second Temple period. In the ancient village of Ein Karem in West Jerusalem a few steps from the main road we will stop to visit the Church of Visitation where according to tradition, Mary recited the Magnificat, her song of praise known as the Canticle of Mary, one of the most ancient of Marian hymns. This small village has great significance in Christian traditions since it is also where John the Baptist was born. Afterward, we head to Yad Vashem located on the western slope of Mount Herzl also known as the Mount of Remembrance, Israel’s official memorial documenting the story of the victims of the Holocaust. About 10 km south of Jerusalem we come to Bethlehem*, the birthplace of Jesus where we stop at Shepherds’ Field where an angel announced the birth of Jesus. In the center of the city, we walk through Manger Square where it was said Jesus was born. Visit the Church of Nativity which holds religious significance for Christians as the birthplace of Jesus. It is considered to be the oldest church in the Christian world. To stop looters in past centuries, one now has to stoop low to enter the church. Its interior is minimal with no pews. Return to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem (Old City)
This morning enter the Old City of Jerusalem where we stop at the Western Wall, an ancient limestone wall also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel. The venerated Temple Mount is next. Take a solemn walk along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow that is believed Jesus followed on the way to His Crucifixion. Calvary, also known as Golgotha, was traditionally known as the place where Jesus was crucified. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter was built on the traditional site of Jesus’ Crucifixion and burial. It is one of the holiest sites in Christianity. To the southwest, just outside the Old City is a hill known as Mount Zion where you will find the traditional Tomb of King David, one of the most sacred sights visited by the Jewish people while on the second floor of the same building is the Room of the Last Supper (the Cennacle). Enjoy the spectacular view of Jerusalem from the top of the Mount of Olives named for the olive groves that once covered the area and for the Biblical events that took place here. At the foot of the Mount of Olives we find the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Jesus. Return to the hotel for overnight.
THE WESTERN WALL:
Men must cover their heads while in the prayer area and women must cover their shoulders and wear long pants or a knee-length skirt. If you forget to bring a covering, guards will provide you with a piece of fabric for that purpose before you enter. The prayer area is separated by gender.
If you want to be super respectful, follow a Jewish custom by never turning your back on the wall. You will see many people walking away from the wall backwards because it is simply disrespectful to turn away. It is also said that not turning your back on the wall is symbolism for not turning your back on your prayer to God.
Whether you are Jewish or not, you may wish to place a prayer or wish into the wall. So, feel free to write a prayer or wish down on a piece of paper, fold it up and stick it into the wall. This can be done every day except on the Sabbath and holidays and add it to the delicate mounds of slips shoved into the cracks between the massive stones. These notes are collected several times a year and buried in a Jewish cemetery.
THE TOMB OF KING DAVID:
If entering the Tomb of King David, there is a special entrance for men and women. Since men must wear a kippah, you may want to bring your own, even though they are supplied.
After breakfast transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure. Today marks the end of your journey.
* Site under the Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction, visit subject to situation
** Visit subject to weather conditions.
*** Program sequence is subject to change without advance notice.
**** Supplement for tours by private car on request ***** Visit subject to the security conditions.
2021 Tour Dates:
Your land arrangements include:
– Sharing transfer on arrival and departure (from/to Ben Gurion Airport)
– Round trip economy class airfare Tel Aviv/Eilat/Tel Aviv
– 7 nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, 6 touring days as per itinerary with English speaking guide
– Entrance fees to the sites visited as per itinerary
The hotels might be replaced with similar ones
Your land arrangements do not include:
– Airfare to and from Tel Aviv
– Departure taxes, fuel surcharges, and airport improvement fees
– Porterage at the airport or hotels
– Early check-in/late checkout
– Single room supplement – a limited number of single rooms available on payment of supplement
– Meals and beverages not mentioned
– Supplement to add 6 dinners (except arrival day)
– Rental of white baptismal gowns in Yardenit
– Optional tours not quoted
– Optional 45-minute cruise on the Sea of Galilee
– Gratuities for individual services, laundry, valet service, and any other items of a purely personal nature
– Tipping to guide, driver, hotel or restaurant staff
– E. & O.E.
B = breakfast L= lunch D= dinner
For information and reservations contact, Janice Snider.