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Day 1: Departure from U.S., Arrival to Israel

After landing at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, we will be met by our driver.  Drive along the Mediterranean Coast to Tiberias, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Overnight in Tiberias.

 

Day 2: Leisure in Tiberias

Today is enjoyed at leisure from our resort in Tiberias.  We can enjoy the optional activities such as bathing in the famous Tiberias Hot Springs, going on a boat cruise on the Sea of Galilee, or taking a trip to the Jordan River and Caesarea Philippi, the vicinity where the  great confession and the transfiguration both occurred (Matt 16:13).  Overnight in Tiberias.

 

Day 3: Nazareth, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Jordan River

In the morning we will meet our guide and start our day exploring the Galilee.  First we stop at Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the multiplication of the fish and loaves of bread.  On to Capernaum, the town selected by Jesus as the center of his public ministry in the Galilee after he left Nazareth.  Here we see the first century AD synagogue and the House of Peter.  Our next stop is The Mount of Beatitudes.  This is the site where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.  We enjoy the views from this hilltop location and then continue to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus.  Here we visit the Church of The Annunciation before walking the narrow streets of the busy market.  In the afternoon we visit Yardenit, the baptism site on the River Jordan.  Then we drive to Jerusalem, where we spend the night.

 

Day 4: Jerusalem, Old City, Via Dolorosa, Holy Sepulcher, Jewish Quarter, Western Wall, Mt. Zion

This morning we ascend the Mount of Olives and enjoy the magnificent views over the entire city.  Visit the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane.  On to Mount Zion, where we visit the Room of the Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey the site of Mary’s falling asleep.  Next we visit one of Israel’s diamond manufacturing workshops and enjoy lunch.  We enter the Old City through one of the ancient gates and visit the Jewish Quarter, where we see the Cardo, the main street of commerce from Roman times.  Today it is full of shops and art galleries.  On to the Western Wall, the only remains of King Solomon’s mighty temple.  This wall is the most sacred place for Jews the world over.  Walk along the busy market streets to the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of The Cross”.  Here we follow some of the 14 stations of the cross to the Church of The Holy Sepulcher, believed by some to be the burial site of Jesus.  Our last stop today is the Garden Tomb, according to Protestant tradition the last resting place of Jesus.  Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 5: Dead Sea, Massada, Qumran

Early this morning, we drive through the Judaean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth. Visit Massada, the fortress built by King Herod as a summer palace and used by the Jewish rebels as their last stronghold against the Romans.  Almost 1000 men, women and children chose to commit suicide rather than fall into slavery at the hands of the Romans.  We ascend by cable car to the top and see the magnificent palace, bath house and store rooms.  We hear about the epic struggle that happened here and enjoy the views over the Dead Sea. Visit The Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics workshop where we have the opportunity to see how health products are produced from the minerals collected from the sea.  Continue to one of the many beaches along the sea, where we can bathe in the salty waters.  We experience the unique feeling of floating on the water, considered to be the saltiest in the world.  On to Qumran, where we visit the ruins of the Essene settlement.  It was here that the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were written and hidden in caves.  Return to Jerusalem for overnight.

 

Day 6: Leisure in Jerusalem

Today you can enjoy Jerusalem on your own, or take one of the optional tours to the New City, Israel Museum (visit to the Shrine of The Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed), Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial or Machane Yehuda fruit and vegetable outdoor market.  Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 7: Leisure in Tel Aviv / Jaffa

Today you can enjoy an optional trip to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.  See the modern metropolis of Tel Aviv with its high rise buildings, the “White City” UNESCO world heritage site, Independence Hall and the ancient port city of Jaffa. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 8: Departure to U.S.

At noon we will check out of our hotel and will be transferred to Tel Aviv.  The afternoon is at leisure in Israel’s “Big City”.  Explore the promenade and shopping streets on your own.  In the evening we will be transferred to the airport and flight back to the United States.

 

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Day 1: Arrive to Israel

Upon arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, where we will be greeted and helped through customs.  We will drive along the Mediterranean Coast to the hotel in Haifa for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 2: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Caesarea Philippi

Today we sail on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, visit the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha, where the Lord preformed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus taught “The Sermon on the Mount”.  We will continue to an unforgettable experience of baptism in the Jordan River.  On to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed Christ: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God” (Matt 16:15-16).  Dinner and overnight stay in Haifa.

 

Day 3: Beth She’an, Gideon Spring, Cana, Nazareth

We’ll start our day at Beth She’an.  This ancient Roman city has been preserved in a remarkable shape. Visit the city’s remains and learn about the dramatic end of the last war between King Saul and the Philistines.  Learn how brave the residents of Jabesh were by taking the King’s and his sons’ corpses down from the wall of the city and burying them (1 Samuel 31).  We will hear the amazing story of Gideon and how he reduced the ranks by using a test near the spring before his great victory over the Midianites (Judges 7).   After visiting Cana, where the Lord preformed the wedding miracle, we will continue to the Biblical village in Nazareth to learn and experience the sights, sounds and the aromas of the days of Jesus.  Time permitting, we will visit the Church of The Annunciation in Nazareth.  Return to Haifa for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 4: Tel Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Caesarea, Jaffa

One of the most amazing water systems found in the world is in the archaeological site of Tel Megiddo.  From here we’ll observe the valley of Armageddon (Rev 16:14-16).  Visit Mount Carmel where the biblical story of the confrontation between Prophet Elijah and the Ba’al prophets took place, overlooking the Jezreel Valley.  Continue to Caesarea, the famed Roman port city with many archaeological findings such as the theater, the public bath, the hippodrome and the city gate.  In the afternoon we will tour the charming alleys of the old city of Jaffa and visit the house of Simon the Tanner, in the footsteps of Peter.    We will enjoy watching the sun set over the old city of Jaffa.  Drive to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 5: Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Our morning starts on The Mount of Olives with a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem.  The day continues with visits to the sites that will help us understand the Lord’s prophecy of Jerusalem: The Chapel of Dominus Flevit, where Christ prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41), The Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-53) and The Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) – the site where it is said that Judas betrayed Jesus.  In the Kidron Valley we’ll visit the tombs of Absalom, Zachariah and the Hazir priesthood family.  We will proceed to visit the sites on Mt. Zion.  The Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, which was built over the ruins of the Palace of Caiaphas -the High Priest before whom Jesus was brought for trial (Mark 14: 53-65).  We’ll visit the Tomb of King David and enter into the Upper Room—the site that commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. Our day will end by visiting the amazing Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.

 

Day 6: Jerusalem

Our day will begin with an exciting tour to the City of King David.  In this place archeologists found King Hezekiah’s 2,700 year old water tunnel, one of the wonders of early engineering and the seal impression of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, possibly the scribe of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 36:10).  Continue to the Pool of Siloam where Christ healed the blind man by sending him to wash his eyes (John 9).  In the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem we will explore the Roman Cardo, the Madaba Map, the Western Wall (the holiest site where Jews can pray) and the Davidson Center with its amazing virtual model of the Second Temple.  On the Temple Mount we’ll hear about the traders driven out of the Temple by Jesus (Luke 19:45-48), explore the area of Dome of the Rock and other famous buildings.  Continue to Bethesda where Christ healed the paralyzed man (John 5).  Our journey through the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross), and will end by visiting the amazing Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  We’ll walk through the old city markets to Damascus Gate and The Garden Tomb.  Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.

 

Day 7: Tomb of Lazarus, Dead Sea, Masada

We will start our day with a visit to Bethany, and after learning the amazing story of Lazarus who rose from the dead by the Lord, we’ll then continue to the Judaean Desert.  Our first stop today will be next to one of the St. George monastery crosses, which offers an amazing view over the monastery.  This stop is important for understanding the water systems of the Judaean Desert monasteries.  We’ll continue to Qumran to hear the amazing story of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We will try to answer questions like: Who wrote the scrolls? Who were the Essenes?  How did they live and why there?  Continue to Masada to learn about the dramatic story of almost one thousand men, women and children who chose to die as a free people, rather than to become Roman slaves.  We’ll visit the archaeological findings and see the palaces, bathhouses, walls and the amazing views of the Dead Sea.  We will proceed to bathe in the Dead Sea and to enjoy the sun and the famous mineral-rich mud.  Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.

 

Day 8: Jerusalem, flight back to U.S.

Drive to the Israel Museum to visit the miniature model of the city of Jerusalem from the times of the Second Temple before the great rebellion and the destruction.  Enjoy shopping at the colorful, vibrant markets of Jerusalem.  Our trip comes to a close, and we drive to the airport for our night flight back home.

 

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Day 1: Arrival at Rome

Arrive at Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci Airport and transfer to our hotel in the eternal city. Overnight in Rome.

 

Day 2: Rome, Coliseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain

Today we explore the ancient city of Rome. We start at the Coliseum, the impressive theater and walk through the Roman Forum, once the power center of the empire. Continue to the Trajan Forum and the other impressive Roman ruins in the city. On to visit the Trevi Fountain, where we will have the opportunity to throw a coin into the water in order to return to the city. We will see the famous squares such as Navona and Popolo and drive through the Via Venetto. Overnight in Rome.

 

Day 3: Vatican, St. Peter Square, St. Peter Basilica, Vatican Museums

This morning we visit the Vatican – the center of the Catholic faith. We start at Saint Peter square, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. We enter the basilica and marvel at the huge altar and the numerous works of art, including the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo. On to the Vatican Museums where we see one of the most extensive art collections in the world. We see the magnificent ceiling painted by Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. Overnight in Rome.

 

Day 4: Fly to the Holy Land, Caesarea, Galilee

In the morning we are transferred to the airport and fly to the Holy Land. Upon landing in Tel Aviv, we are met by our guide and bus. We drive along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, an ancient city built by Herod the Great, a major administrative center of the Romans, and the residence of Governor Pontius Pilate who judged Jesus. Then on to the Galilee, where we will stay overnight.

 

Day 5: Boat Ride, Sea of Galilee, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes

Start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, to experience the unique feeling associated with this sacred place. Visit Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the fish and loaves of bread. On to the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the sermon on the mountain. Our next stop is Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived and preached. Here we see the synagogue and the house of Peter.  Overnight in the Galilee.

 

Day 6: Cana, Nazareth

In the morning we drive to Cana to see the church where the first miracle happened. It was here that Jesus converted the water into wine at the village wedding. On to Nazareth, boyhood home of Christ where we visit the Church of The Annunciation and The Church of St. Joseph. Overnight in The Galilee.

 

Day 7: Mount Tabor, Jordan River, Jordan Valley

We start the day with a climb to Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration. After exploring the church we continue to Yardenit, the baptismal site on the Jordan River. Here we can experience baptismal in the holy waters of the Jordan. Drive through the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 8: Mt. of Olives, Gethsemane, Old City, Holy Sepulcher, Western Wall

We start the day on top of The Mount of Olives with the magnificent view of the entire city. From here we see the entire vista of the holy city including the Temple Mount and the old city. We will enter the Old City via the Jaffa Gate and walk the narrow streets of the ancient bazaars to the Church of The Holy Sepulcher. This is where the Christ is buried and where His way of sorrows ended. Walk through the Via Dolorosa, the “way of the cross” where we see the stations along which Christ suffered. Vist the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. This wall is all that remained from the huge temple compound that King Herod built. Today it is the holiest site for the Jewish faith. Ascend to Mount Zion where we visit the Room of The Last Supper. It was here that Jesus had his Passover meal. On to the Tomb of King David. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 9: Judaean Desert, Massada, Qumran, Dead Sea

Drive through the Judaean Desert to the Dead Sea. Visit Massada, the mountaintop summer palace built by King Herod. This palace was turned into a military fortress and used by the Jewish Zealots in their fight against the Romans. At the end they chose death by suicide rather than life as Roman slaves. We will have the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea and experience the unique feeling of floating upon the water. Continue to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We explore the ancient site and understand the story of the Essenes. Return to Jerusalem for overnight.

 

Day 10: Israel Museum, Shrine of The Book, Model of Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Today, we explore the new city of Jerusalem. Start at the Israel Museum where we see the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Here we see the scrolls and understand their history and significance. Visit the model of Jerusalem as it appeared in the time of Jesus and the first temple. In the afternoon we visit Bethlehem and explore The Church of The Nativity and The Milk Grotto. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 11: Departure to U.S.

Transfer to the airport and fly back to the United States.

 

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Day 1: Arrive to the Holy Land

Arrive at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, where we are met by our tour guide and transferred to our hotel in the Tel Aviv area.

 

Day 2: Caesarea, Galilee

Today we drive along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, the city built by Herod the Great – the Roman administrative center for the Province of Judaea, the residence of Governor Pontius Pilate who judged Jesus, and where Paul was arrested and sent to Rome for trial.  On to the Galilee, for dinner and overnight.


Day 3: Sea of Galilee, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes

Start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, to experience the unique feeling associated with this sacred place. Visit Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the fish and loaves of bread. On to the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. Our next stop is Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived and preached. Here we see the synagogue and the house of Peter. Overnight in the Galilee.

 

Day 4: Cana, Nazareth

In the morning we drive to Cana to see the church where the first miracle happened. It was here that Jesus converted the water into wine at the village wedding. On to Nazareth, boyhood home of Christ where we visit the Church of The Annunciation, and the Church of St. Joseph. Overnight in the Galilee.

 

Day 5: Mount Tabor, Jordan River, Jordan Valley

We start the day with a climb/ride to Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration. After exploring the church we continue to Yardenit, the baptismal site on the Jordan River. Here we can experience baptismal in the holy waters of the Jordan. Drive through the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 6: Mt. of Olives, Gethsemane, Old City, Holy Sepulcher, Western Wall

We start the day on top of The Mount of Olives with the magnificent view of the entire city. From here we see the entire vista of the holy city including the Temple Mount and the Old City. We will enter the Old City via the Jaffa Gate and walk the narrow streets of the ancient bazaars to the Church of The Holy Sepulcher. This is where the Christ was buried and where His way of sorrows ended. Walk through the Via Dolorosa, the “way of the cross” where we see the stations along which Christ suffered. Visit the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. This wall is all that remained from the huge Temple compound that King Herod built. Today it is the holiest site where Jews can pray. Ascend to Mount Zion where we visit the Room of The Last Supper. It was here that Jesus had his Passover meal. On to the tomb of King David. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 7: Judean Desert, Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea

Drive through the Judaean Desert to the Dead Sea. Visit Masada, the mountaintop summer palace built by King Herod. This palace was turned into a military fortress and used by the Jewish Zealots in their fight against the Romans. At the end they chose death rather than life as Roman slaves. We will have the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea and experience the unique feeling of floating upon the super-salty water. Continue to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We explore the ancient site and hear the story of the Essenes. Return to Jerusalem for overnight.

 

Day 8: Israel Museum, Shrine of The Book, Model of Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Today, we explore the new city of Jerusalem. Start at the Israel Museum where we see the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Here we see the scrolls and understand their history and amazing significance. Visit the model of Jerusalem as it appeared in the time of Jesus and the first temple. In the afternoon we visit Bethlehem and explore the Church of the Nativity and the Milk Grotto. Overnight in Jerusalem.

 

Day 9: Departure to the U.S.

Transfer to the airport and fly back to the United States.

 

 

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Day 1: Arrival to Israel

Meet our our representative who will assist and transfer us to Jerusalem and an initial visit to Debre Genet Church (visit will be available if flight arrives early enough).  Check into our hotel and dinner.

 

Day 2: Jerusalem, City of David

In the morning we will visit the Mount of Olives, The Church of All Nations, Gethemane Garden and Saint Mary’s Tomb.  Continue to Beth Fagea and the Chapel of Ascension where Jesus ascended to heaven.  Then, on to Mount Zion where we visit The Hall of the Last Supper, King David’s Tomb and then then visit The City of David.  Proceed to Deir Es-Sultan for church services.  Dinner and overnight at hotel.

 

Day 3: Jerusalem Old City

Today we embark on a walking tour of the Old City.  We start with a procession along the Via Dolorosa – the way of the cross.  We will visit the Holy Sepulcher, the markets and the Western Wall and then proceed to Deir Es-Sultan for church services.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 4: Jerusalem, Easter Night Services

Today we will walk to the residence of the Ethiopian Archbishop and visit Solomon’s Synagogue.  In the afternoon we’ll transfer to Deer Sultan to attend Easter Night services, and then off to Debra Genet Church to attend a Holiday Invitation Night Service.

 

Day 5: Easter Day

Early morning (03:30) transfer from the New Gate to the hotel.  Happy Easter! After breakfast, free time for leisure.  Lunch at Debre Genet Church.

 

Day 6: Jericho

In the morning we’ll attend church services in Jericho. We’ll proceed to visit The Mount Temptation, Elijah’s Spring and the Jordan River and then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 7: Bethlehem

Today we’ll attend services in Bethlehem.  We’ll take a visit the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus, The Milk Grotto and Shepherd’s Field.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 8: Ein Karem, Bethany 

In the morning we’ll attend services at Debre Genet Church and then drive to Ein Karem and visit the Church of The Visitation and birthplace of John The Baptist.  We’ll visit the spring and attend services at Tekle Haimanot Church in Bethany and visit the Tomb of St. Lazarus.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 9: Abu Gosh, Lydda, Tel Aviv/Jaffa

Today we’ll drive to the village of Abu Gosh and visit Emmaus.  From there, we’ll continue to Lydda for a visit to St. George Church and then to Tel Aviv and admire the modern city and the Mediterranean. Afterwards, we’ll head to the ancient city of Jaffa where, in the old city we will visit the Chiurch of St. Peter.  We’ll drive through the Metropolis of Tel Aviv and see some of its famous sites.  Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 10: Tiberias, Jordan River Baptism, Sea of Galilee

After breakfast, we’ll drive to Tiberias and visit the Jordan River at Yardenit Baptismal Site and then proceed to the Sea of Galilee and visit Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of fish and loaves of bread.  We’ll embark on a boat ride across the waters of the lake and visit the Church of St. Peter and view the Golan Heights.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in the Tiberias area.

 

Day 11: Mount Tabor, Cana, Nazareth

In the morning we’ll drive to Mount Tabor, known as the Mountain of Transfiguration.  We’ll ascend the mountain by taxies to visit the church and enjoy the view from the top.  Afterwards we’ll drive to Cana of Galilee for a visit to the Church of the Wedding and proceed to Nazareth to visit Mary’s Well and the Church of The Annunciation and then continue to Joseph’s Workshop.  Drive to Jerusalem.

 

Day 12: Leisure day

A day of leisure.  A free day for shopping and families.  We will have a festive ceremony with the tour company staff, certificates and JP badge.

 

Day 13: Flight home

After breakfast we will check out from the hotel and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back home.  

 

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Day 1 : Arrive to Israel Our representative will meet you and walk you through customs. We’ll then drive you to the hotel in Haifa and visit Mount Carmel, where the biblical story of the confrontation between Prophet Elijah and the Ba’al prophets took place and overlook the Jezreel Valley. We’ll visit the Baha’is Gardens and the Stella Maris monastery and then have dinner at the hotel in Haifa DAY 2: Beth She’an, Gideon Spring, Cana, Nazareth We’ll start our day at Beth She’an, upon whose walls the Philistines nailed the head of King Saul after his defeat on Mount Gilboa. As we visit the city’s remains, we’ll not only learn about the dramatic end of the last war between King Saul and the Philistines, but also how the residents of Jabesh bravely removed the corpses of the King and his son from the wall of the city in order to bury them (1 Samuel 31). Then on to Gideon Springs, where the Judge Gideon selected 300 warriors to go into battle with him against the Midianites. (Judges 7) After visiting Cana, where the Lord performed the Wedding Miracle, we’ll continue to the biblical village in Nazareth to experience the sights, sounds and aromas of Jesus’ time. Time permitting, we’ll visit the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth. DAY 3: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Caesarea Philippi On this day we will sail on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, visit the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha (where the Lord preformed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes), and visit the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus taught “The Sermon on the Mount”). We will then continue to a baptism in the Jordan River, a truly unforgettable experience. After visiting Mt. Hermon, we’ll continue to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter confessed Christ: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16). Dinner and overnight stay in Tiberias. Day 4: The sea of Galilee This day will be dedicated to the Sea of Galilee. We will sail on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum and visit St.Peter’s House and the Synagogue, the center of the Lord’s ministry. We’ll drive on to the Church of Multiplication where the Lord performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. We’ll continue on to Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer was said for the first time. We will then proceed to the church of the Holy Apostles. Dinner and Overnight at the Dead Sea. Day 5: Eilat We’ll drive to the southern most part Israel and reach the blue waters of the Red Sea and the city of Eilat. In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy some R&R on the beach, by the pool, or in the outside promenade. Dinner and Overnight stay in Eilat. Day 6: The Negev We’ll make our way north to Jerusalem via the Negev. According to the Book of Genesis (Chapter 20), Abraham lived for a while in the Negev near Kadesh after being banished from Egypt. Hagar and Ishmael were exiled out into the Negev by Sarah (Genesis 21:14). Both Isaac and Jacob lived for some time in the Negev (Genesis 24:62, 37:1) and David included the Negev in his kingdom, and when Solomon succeeded his father. He also established fortresses in the area. Dinner and Overnight stay in Jerusalem. Day 7: Bethlehem – Jerusalem We will start the day by visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the site where Jesus was born and then continue to Shepherd’s Fields to visit the monasteries of St.Saba, St. Theodosiusand and St. Elias. In the afternoon, we will tour Jerusalem, visit the monastery St. Symeon, and visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross, where according to tradition, the tree of the Holy Cross was planted. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem. Day 8: Jerusalem We will start the day with a breath taking panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and then visit the Chapel of the Ascension. From the Church of Pater Noster (Our Father), we’ll walk the Gardens of Gethsemane and visit the Church of All Nations, where Jesus is said to have prayed the night of his arrest. We’ll visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary and St.Stephan’s Church. We’ll continue to St.Anne’s Church, the birthplace of the Theotokos and visit the Pool of Bethesda, the Prison of Christ, the Praetorium, the fortress of Antonia, the Lithostrotos, the “Ecce Homo”Arch (Idou o anthropos – Behold the Man). We will walk the Via Dolorosa -”Way of the Cross”- to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Nao tis Anastaseos) which contains Golgotha, the site of Crucifixion, and the holy Tomb of Christ. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem. Day 9: Jericho, Mount of temptation, Bethany We will visit Jericho and visit the Monastery of St. George Hozevitis and the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted for 40 days. Our tour will continue to Jericho, Elisha’s Fountain, and Zaccheus’ Tree. Then we’ll continue on to visit St. Gerasimos Monastery where St Mary of Egypt and other saints have walked and also where the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus stayed upon returning from Egypt. Lunch in Jericho. In Bethany, we will visit the Monastery of Martha and Mary on our way to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Jerusalem. Day 10: Jerusalem On this day, we will visit the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and have a private audience with the Patriarch His Beatitude Theophilos III (subject to confirmation). On Mount Zion, we will visit the Tomb of King David and the room of the Last Supper, the site that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and the place where God sent the Holy Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost. We will visit the house of St John the Theologian and visit the site where the Theotokos is said to have fallen asleep. Afterwards, we will have the opportunity to shop at the Old City markets. Depending on our schedule, we will try to visit Jacob’s Well in Samaria during our tour.

 

Day 1: Arrive in Israel – Caesarea, Tel Megiddo 

Our representatives will meet you and walk you through customs. We’ll then drive you to Caesarea, a Roman city with many archeological findings such as the theater, the public bath, the hippodrome and the city gate. We’ll enjoy the new exhibitions of the city, which date to Roman times. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Baha’i temple garden and Stella Maris Monastery of the Carmelites in Haifa. Overnight stay in Haifa. Dinner will be served at the Druze Village of Isfiya in a local family restaurant. A volunteer project helping those in need can be added today based on arrival time in Israel.

 

Day 2: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Caesarea Philippi

On this day we will sail on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, visit the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha where Jesus performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes (“The Sermon on the Mount”). We’ll continue to Caesarea Philippi (“Banias”) for a short hike along the beautiful stream. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy kayaking on the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight stay in Tiberius.

 

Day 4: Western Galilee and Mt. Carmel

On this day visit the Northern Mediterranean coast of Israel. Our first stop will be at “Rosh Hanikra” – where the white chalk stone meets the sea and creates an impressive cave structure. We will exit the caves through old train tunnel for a short hike along the rocky coast. In the early afternoon, we’ll visit Acre (Akko) with its magnificent Crusades and Atman’s buildings. We will walk through the old city and market. The group will do volunteer work with Israeli students at “Leket Israel” organization (perhaps gleaning fruits or vegetables for the hungry). After the volunteer work the students will divided into mixed groups to learn about each others’ lives. Dinner and overnight in Tiberius.

 

Day 5: Beit She’an, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

We’ll start our day visiting Beit She’an, upon whose walls the Philistines nailed the head of King Saul after his defeat on Mount Gilboa. As we visit the city’s remains, we’ll not only learn about the dramatic end of the last war between King Saul and the Philistines, but also how the residents of Jabesh bravely removed the corpses of the King and his son from the wall of the city in order to bury them (1 Samuel 31). In the afternoon, we’ll continue along the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. We will visit Ein Gedi, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Israel for short hike. Overnight in “Kfar Hanokdim” – traditional Bedouin tent site. Dinner will be served in the traditional Bedouin style. After the meal, the group will have a lecture by the Sheikh about life in the desert and the Bedouin culture.

 

Day 6: Judaean Desert, Masada, Dead Sea

Our morning starts with a camel ride in the Judaean Desert. In the afternoon, we’ll climb to Masada through the Roman ramp path to learn the dramatic story of almost one thousand men, women and children, who chose suicide rather than becoming Roman slaves. We’ll visit the archeological finds and enjoy the palaces, bathhouses, walls and the remarkable view of the Dead Sea. We’ll proceed to bathe in the Dead Sea and enjoy the sun and the famous mud. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem. After dinner we will have lecture about the reciprocity between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries.

 

Day 7: Jerusalem

Our morning starts on the Mount of Olives with a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem. The day continues with visits to the sites that will help us understand the importance of Jerusalem’s long history. We’ll start with site where much of the Bible was written: the City of King David. It is here that archeologists found King Hezekiah’s 2,700 year old water tunnel, one of the wonders of early engineering, and the seal impression of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, possibly the scribe of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 36:10). We’ll continue to the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed the blind man by sending him to wash his eyes (John 9). In the Jewish Quarter, we’ll explore the Roman Cardo, the Madaba Map, the “Hurva” synagogue, Western Wall and the Davidson Center (with its amazing virtual model of the Second Temple).  On the Temple Mount we’ll hear about the traders driven out of the Temple by Jesus (Luke 19:45-48) and explore the Dome of the Rock and other famous buildings. We’ll also visit the Western Wall Tunnels – ancient tunnels and passageways. Our journey through the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) stations will end by visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We’ll walk through the old city market to the Damascus Gate and the Garden Tomb. We’ll visit the Tomb of King David and for those who wish, we’ll have communion in the Upper Room – the site that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. We will end by visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus. Overnight stay in Jerusalem – dinner will be served at local Jerusalem restaurant.

 

Day 8: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

We’ll start our day in Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Then continue to new parts of Jerusalem, “Mishkanot Shaananim” and “Yemin Moshe” neighborhood, the first settlement outside the old city walls. We’ll also visit the “multi sensory” market of “Mahane Yehuda”. There will be a late afternoon drive to Tel Aviv and then free time for dinner and exploration of this beautiful city. Overnight stay in Tel Aviv.

 

Day 9: Tel Aviv, Jaffa

We’ll start our day winding through the charming alleys of the old city of Jaffa and visit the square where the Church and Monastery of Saint Peter reside. Next we’ll continue to adjacent Tel Aviv, the first Israeli city of the modern age. The group will visit the various historical and modern sites that influenced the establishment and the spirit of Israel; NeveTzedek, the White city, Rabin Square, and Nachalat Binyamin. Farewell dinner in Jaffa or Tel Aviv restaurant, overnight Tel Aviv.

 

Day 10: Return Home

Transfer to airport for flight home. We arrive full of rich and unforgettable memories. A common refrain is heard, is the trip really over? Can we start planning for our return visit?

 

Possible additional activities depending on the season and final itinerary:

  •  Additional volunteer opportunities to serve those in need
  •  Bicycle touring
  •  When American students are with the Israeli kids, they can cook their own dinner and enjoy the time together
  •  Additional hiking opportunities
  •  Kayaking on the Jordan River
  •  Horseback riding

 

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