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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