Christian Holy Land Tour to Israel
Our Christian Holy Land Tour begins as we arrive in Tel Aviv where we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to our motorcoach and drive to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee where we will spend the next three nights. The next day of our Christian Holy Land Tour, we depart for Galilee, visiting the following biblical sites: Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Zippori, Nazareth, and Cana. We conclude our day with a visit to Mt. Arbel where we will have an opportunity to see the sunset over the Galilee area before we return to our hotel in time for dinner and overnight in Tiberias. There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. Today, our Christian Holy Land Tour will include many biblical sites along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and in the Upper Jordan Valley: Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Church of Peter of Primacy, Magdala, Caesarea Philippi, view Mt. Hermon, Border of Lebanon, and Hazor. A highlight is the visit to “the Jesus Boat” that dates back to the time of Christ. Time permitting, we will make a visit to Bethsaida.
The Remarkable Israel Countryside
The following morning of our Christian Holy Land Tour, we begin our day of sightseeing with a visit to Belvoir (Crusader’s Fortress). Afterwards we will enjoy a visit to Tel Beit Shean (1 Sam. 31:10). We will then travel along the Jordan Valley and stop at the Baptismal site on the Jordan River. We will move on to visit Jericho and remember Joshua and the “Battle of Jericho” where the walls came tumbling down. Then onto Bethlehem for dinner and overnight. The next day of our Christian Holy Land Tour, we begin our sightseeing with a visit to the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Field. The afternoon is at leisure, time for us to enjoy some shopping and spend some time with some local Christian families in Bethlehem. We continue our Christian Holy Land Tour the next day by worshipping at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem. After worship we will go to Mt. Zion, then The Upper Room, where Jesus spent those last momentous hours with his disciples before his passion. From there we will go to the Israel Museum, including the Bronfman Archaeological Museum and the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Then you will be fascinated by your visit to a model of Jerusalem (1 to 50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). Late in the afternoon we will visit the Garden Tomb with a special Communion Service.
Walk Where Jesus Walked
We begin the explorations of our Christian Holy Land Tour with a drive to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed to the Church of Dominus Flevit, then we walk the “Palm Sunday Road” and descend to Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove and there visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. Beyond the city wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Sam. 24:18-25). On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, our Christian Holy Land Tour takes us to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Sister of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), and Ecco Homo Arch. Then we follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with a stop at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, and then to the ancient Cardo. We will then walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western (Wailing) Wall of Herod’s temple. We have a short walk to the Davidson Center for a short presentation and then we will visit the Southern Steps. Time permitting, we will see the huge bronze Menorah. We then make our way to the recently excavated site City of David. The following day of our Christian Holy Land Tour, we visit to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. Afterwards we continue to Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here we make our way to Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain, by way of the cable car, to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. The road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea area is a descent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. We will arrive at the hotel midafternoon in time to enjoy a relaxing swim/float in the Dead Sea. Please be sure you bring with you good closed-toed water shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough on your feet. For those not taking the extension, we will have an evening transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your late evening return flight back home. For those taking the optional extension, we will return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Did you know? In the days of Abraham, Jerusalem was called Shalem.
Optional Jerusalem Extension
For the next three days, we have a free time at leisure to explore Jerusalem. On Friday, we travel to Jaffa where we will enjoy a light dinner, before our transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight back to the U.S.A.