Day 1: Departure from US
Our life-changing journey begins this evening as we board our overnight flight to Rome.
Day 2: Rome
This morning we arrive in Rome. We will meet with a local guide and go directly to the ruins of Ostia Antica and the Gate of St. Paul. Depart towards Rome with a stop at a well preserved point of the Ancient Appian Way. Travel into the city and visit the church of St. Peter in Chains. Next, we visit the Coliseum, where thousands of people and animals
perished during gladiatorial games. The Coliseum first opened in AD 80 and within 100 days of its opening, 5000 wild beasts perished here. The slaughter of both humans and animals continued for three more centuries. Historians believe the Coliseum could hold between 40,000 and 80,000 people depending on how close the seating was. The floor has recently had a plank placed over the middle making it accessible for
people to walk over the labyrinth of brick cells, ramps, and elevators used to transport animals and gladiators into the arena. Hear the stories of the games that have fascinated people for years. Next we will tour at the ancient Roman Forum and Imperial Forum, where our guide will divulge their secrets. We will view the outside of the Mamertine Prison, where tradition says the Apostle Paul was imprisoned and the Arch of Titus. You will also visit the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the traditional site of Paul’s tomb. Enjoy dinner and overnight
lodging in Rome.
Day 3: Tel Aviv
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. We will depart from Rome airport and fly to Tel Aviv. Arrive in Israel and travel northward to our hotel for one night in Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea”.
Meet your Israeli guide, enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for your safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the “Promised Land”, and a good night’s rest. Dinner and overnight lodging in Tel Aviv.
Day 4: Caesarea, Megiddo, & Nazareth
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Jaffa, and then Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct and the Crusader’s Moat. We will then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal, and visit to Muhraka. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We visit Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 5: Upper Galilee
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to a working Kibbutz and visit the famous Fisherman Boat from the days of Jesus. Next visit a 1st century synagogue in Corazim and then the archaeological remains at Tel Hazor. We will then travel to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. Return through the Golan Heights with views of Mt. Hermon and Mt. Bental. Visit Kursi on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus healed a man possessed by demons. End the day with a visit to an olive farm and oil mill. Dinner and overnight lodging in Tiberias/Sea of Galilee.
Day 6: Sea of Galilee, Yardenit, & Beit Shean
After breakfast we will enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. We travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. We visit Yardenit with an opportunity for a Jordan River Baptism. Travel through the Rift Valley to Beit Shean, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed the "Scythopolis". Archaeologists have uncovered a huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis -a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. We will then drive south past Mt. Gilboa to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight lodging.
Day 7: Kidron Valley & Old City Jerusalem
After breakfast we will walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Visit the Dominus Flevit Chapel and Church of All Nations here as well. Transfer to Mt. Zion where we visit the "Upper Room" of the last supper where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God” and King David’s tomb. We will visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu and then we move to the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall and the cistern where Jeremiah was imprisoned. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. Travel into the old city through the Dung Gate to the Southern Wall Excavations and Davidson Center. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. Continue into the Jewish Quarter to the Wohl Archaeological Museum. Dinner and overnight lodging in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Temple Mount, Via Dolorosa, & Garden Tomb
Conditions permitting we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. Next will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to Ecco Homo and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led and the actual place of crucifixion and burial. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. Dinner and overnight lodging in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Masada and Dead Sea
After breakfast our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. You will have the opportunity for a relaxing and amazing float in the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Next we visit the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We pass by Jericho as our guide will give stories of Elisha’s spring and the Mount of Temptation. Pass through Bethany on the return to Jerusalem.
Day 10: Israeli Museum,
Bethlehem, & Bedouin Dinner
After breakfast an interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. You will also visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. We will also visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, where we will see the Church of the Nativity with Chapel of St. Jerome and Crusader’s Cloister and the Shepherd’s Fields. We will end the day with a dinner in a Bedouin Tent.
Day 11: Israeli desert and Jordan
After breakfast we will depart our hotel and drive toward Jordan. We drive westward to a possible location of Emmaus where Jesus appeared to two disciples. We will pass through the region of Adullom to the Elah Valley. The Elah Valley is known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath. Travel through the Negev desert to the city of Beersheba. Beersheba was the site of many stories of the Old Testament including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Samuel, Saul, Elijah, and Amos. We will proceed to the Jordanian border. After completing passport formalities we enter the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Continue to the amazing city of Petra. Dinner and overnight lodging in Petra.
Day 12: Petra
After breakfast we enjoy our day in Petra. We will take a horse ride from the entrance to the start of this ancient city. Begin the tour with a walk through the “Siq,” an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra. 2000 years ago the Nabateans carved a city out of the rose red rock and the Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra’s carved and built structures. There will be some free time to explore this massive site on your own and then a horse ride back out of the park. Dinner and overnight lodging in Petra.
Day 13: Mt Nebo, Madaba, & Jerusalem
After breakfast we will travel to Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The drive continues to the town of Madaba, the biblical Medeba, 30 kilometers south of Amman. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. As we travel north we view the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan and picture Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized. Crossing back into Israel, we drive to Jerusalem for dinner and one last night stay.
Day 14: Jerusalem free day
After breakfast we will check out of the hotel. This will be a free day to explore on your own and have dinner on your own. This evening we will depart for Tel Aviv airport.
Day 15: Homeward
Early today we depart Tel Aviv for our
Important Note: Although the itinerary above obviously emphasizes the spiritual aspect of this marvelous country, our guides are also experts in and passionate about the miracle of the return of the Jews and the restoration of the state of Israel. This fact, along with many modern day topics (military, politics, education, and other cultural aspects), will be woven into the commentary in order to give you well rounded information.