Experience Holy Land Tours
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, we meet our local Israeli representative who assists us with baggage and transfers us to our motor coach. We take a short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. On the way, we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories. After breakfast, we journey north along the coast to Caesarea, built 2000 years ago by King Herod. We walk through the ancient theater, the Crusader city and the fantastic aqueduct that served as a back drop for the book of Acts. From here we depart to Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then we proceed to Megiddo. Across the Jezreel Valley is the precipice of Nazareth. Driving through Cana, we finally arrive at the outskirts of Tiberias. We arrive at our “kibbutz-hotel” located right on the Sea of Galilee shoreline. We begin the day by driving into the Golan Heights. Stopping on the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee, we are able to see the area of Bethsaida and the location where the Feeding of the 5,000 took place. Then our next site is Gamla. Here we see a first century synagogue, as well as the ruins of the city, called the “Masada of the north.” Close by is the site of Qatzrin, a partially reconstructed Talmudic village. Driving along the northern border, we will stop and look into southern Syria. Next, we drive past Mt. Hermon and descend the Golan Heights and visit Caesarea Philippi. Nearby is the amazing nature preserve and archaeological site of Dan, one of the sources of the Jordan River. We end the day by driving back through the Huleh Valley to our hotel in Tiberias.
Driving Through the Jordan Valley
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. The view from the top is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! From here we drive to Chorazim, one of the three cities condemned by Jesus. Close by on the water’s edge is Capernaum, the home center of ministry for Jesus here in Galilee. After lunch we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, with a quiet and peaceful worship service. Upon landing, we also see the “Jesus boat” from the first century, a vessel found here along the shores of Galilee in 1986. We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. We walk down the pathway, recollecting the transforming words of Jesus shared in this place. We return to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering once again by the water. We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley to the site of Beth Shean, an impressive Roman city of the Decapolis. Driving south along the Jordan Valley and then turning west into the area of Samaria, we visit the rather new excavations of Shiloh. Driving past Bethel and through the Desert of Pareth, our next stop is Jericho. After a late lunch here, we climb the tel to see portions of the fortification wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumblin’ down.” En route to Jerusalem, we end the day with a brief stop at Wadi Qelt. From here we drive the rest of the way to Jerusalem for overnight. After checking in our hotel and dinner, an optional walk to the Western Wall will take place. We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, beholding a breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. We walk down the “Palm Sunday” route to the Garden of Gethsemane. Next, we enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate and visit the Pools of Bethesda. Our walk through the Old City will take us to the Western Wall, the most holy place for Jews today! We continue from her to the Christian Quarter to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon, we see the fascinating Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem. Here we also explore some of the artifacts in the archaeological museum. We end the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. We see the Children’s Memorial and walk through the museum on our own. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and a free evening to allow you to explore or relax.
Viewing the Dead Sea Scrolls
We begin the day by visiting the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. Those who want to will take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. We then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. From here, we walk up through an exposed Herodian drainage channel that takes us to “Robinson’s Arch” and the southern wall excavations. We walk on a Roman street and ascend the Temple steps. We eat lunch in the Jewish Quarter (not included) and enjoy a few hours of free time. Our day ends at the Garden Tomb for Communion, and we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. This morning we begin our drive northward along the western coastline of the Dead Sea to Masada. Here we ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. We survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. An optional walk down the Snake Path will be offered, the others can take the cable car back down. Our next stop is Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul, and we enjoy a walk to some of the waterfalls in the canyon. Finally, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Over the lunch hour, you will have the opportunity to explore the famous Cave 1 where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. From here we drive to the northern end of the Dead Sea where you will have the opportunity to float! It will be a unique experience! We then return to Jerusalem for our farewell dinner at the hotel. After dinner, those flying home will be escorted to the Ben Gurion Airport for the night-flight home.