Roundtrip air from Philadelphia including current air taxes and fuel surcharges (taxes and fuel charges are subject to change), 9 nights lodging at 4 star or better hotels, breakfast and dinner daily, 2 lunches, full time English speaking tour escort, services of air conditioned deluxe motor coach, all guides, entrances, touring and transportation as appears on itinerary, baggage handling at hotels (one piece), tips to driver, guides, and hotel staff ($99.00 recommended)
7 lunches, optional travel insurance (7.25% or 9.8% of tour cost)
Today we embark on our journey to the Holy Land on an overnight flight. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Arrive in Israel, meet your tour guide, travel northward to our hotel for one night in Netanya. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and then have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the "Promised Land," and a good night’s rest.
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, harbor/palace area and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. Continuing toward Tiberias we drive up to Mt. Arbel for a spectacular view of the northern Sea of Galilee allowing for an excellent time of teaching on the region of Jesus' ministry. End the day with a visit to Magdala, home town of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next three nights in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us 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. Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum formed what has been called the "evangelical triangle," because most of Jesus’ miracles in Galilee were performed in these cities. Of special interest are the ruins of a 1st century synagogue in Chorazin, the House of the Fisherman in Bethsaida and Peter’s home in Capernaum. We will have some free time in Tiberias late this afternoon.
We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site. A mid-morning drive through the hills of Galilee takes us through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. This afternoon we travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee followed by a relaxing boat cruise. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. We dock at a working Kibbutz and visit the famous Fisherman Boat from the days of Jesus, a conclusion to a wonderful day.
We begin our day by traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, 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. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to the Jordan River (Qasr El Yahud) the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. We visit the Ein Gedi Spa this afternoon with a chance to bath in the sulphur pools which have been known to have health benefits. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Our tour 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. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Lunch in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride and authentic food. We transfer to Jerusalem where 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 a then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of biblical Jerusalem that will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. Continue to the top of Mt. Scopus for a panoramic overlook of the city. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
We begin our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We see a 3D movie about this site and then visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem. Next we view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house and the lower city wall. 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. Today we 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. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the "Upper Room" just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, "My Lord and my God." Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where He may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps He walked as he was taken to be condemned.
On our way into the old city we 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. Next we will have some time to sing hymns in the great acoustics of St. Ann’s Church and hear the story of Jesus healing the lame man by the Pools of Bethesda on the Sabbath. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. We will have some free time this afternoon for shopping in the old city marketplace as well.
This morning we learn about the time of Jesus birth with a visit to Bethlehem. Visit the shepherd’s fields will bring you back this amazing time. Our 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. The rest of the day is free to explore Jerusalem on your own.
Transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for the flight home.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.