Experience an Israel Tour
Our Israel tour begins with a a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories on the way to the hotel beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The next morning of our Israel tour begins in Caesarea, built 2000 years ago by King Herod. From here we depart to Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then we proceed to Megiddo where we will see the precipice of Nazareth across the Jezreel Valley. 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 following day of our Israel tour by driving into the Golan Heights. Then our next site is Gamla, a Jewish city that was taken by the Romans during the Revolt in the 60’s A.D. 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. We end the day by driving back through the Huleh Valley to our hotel in Tiberias.
From Mount Arbel to the Sea of Galilee
We begin the next day of our Israel tour by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. We will have the option to hike to the top of this 800-foot cliff (the bus will take others to the top from the other side). The view from the top is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! From here we drive to Capernaum, and then enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Upon landing, we also see the “Jesus boat” from the first century. Next on our Israel tour, we travel to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy optional baptism in the Jordan River at Yardenit. We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. The next day of our Israel tour begin by driving south to the Jordan Valley to the site of Beth Shean, an impressive Roman city of the Decapolis. We then visit the rather new excavations of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle once stood. Our next stop is Jericho (conditions permitting) to see portions of the fortifying wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumblin’ down”. We end the day with a drive to our hotel at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea and Judean Wilderness
We begin the next morning of our Israel tour with a “float” in the Dead Sea. We then ascend high upon the wilderness mountain to Masada by way of cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Our next stop is Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul, and we enjoy a walk to the waterfalls. Finally, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here we ascend to Jerusalem. As time permits, we will make a quick stop to enjoy an overview of the Wadi Qelt and the Judean Wilderness. We continue to Jerusalem for dinner and an optional walk to the Western Wall. We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives on the next morning of our Israel tour, 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. We also enjoy some marvelous singing in St. Anne’s church from the Crusader period. Our walk continues along the Via Dolorosa to the Sisters of Zion Convent, Ecce Homo Arch, and then to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon, we visit Herodium on the edge of the Judean Desert where Herod the Great was buried. We end the day by driving into Bethlehem to see Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity before shopping at an olive wood store.
The Western Wall
The next day of our Israel tour begins in the Old City and we visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the most holy place in Judaism. After some time for personal prayer and reflection, we walk 400 yards along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. Upon completing this unique walk, we return to the Jewish Quarter for a unique visit to the Temple Institute. Here, we will see some of the preparations being made for the Third Temple. In the afternoon of our Israel tour, we see the fascinating Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem. We end this day of our Israel tour with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum and the Children’s Memorial. We begin the following day of our Israel tour 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 (1,720 feet long). We then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool. 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. Our day ends at the Garden Tomb for Communion, and we return to our hotel for a Farewell Dinner. Then we transfer to the airport for our return flight home at the end of a life-transforming trip!
Optional Jordan Extension
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley the Allenby Bridge and drive to Bethany Beyond the Jordan. This is where Jesus was baptized. Then we climb to Mt. Nebo to stand where Moses stood and viewed the Holy Land. From here we continue to Macherus, one of Herod’s palace-fortresses. Time permitting we will visit Medeba to see a sixth century Byzantine mosaic map in the church of St. George. In the late afternoon, we drive south down the Desert Highway to Petra, where we spend the night. We arrive the next morning at the entrance of Petra and spend the entire day within this red-rose ancient city. We are in the heart of the Seir Mountains, Land of Edomites, mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. A walk through the Siq, the main entrance to Petra, brings us to the first monument “The Treasury” “Al-Khazneh” a dramatic site. Leaving the site of Petra in mid-afternoon, we drive south to Wadi Rum where we will stay at Captain’s, a Bedouin Village. Following breakfast, we leave Wadi Rum and drive to the southern border to cross back into Israel. We drive north through the Aravah (Rift Valley) to Timnah. Continuing north, we drive through the Machtesh Ramon, Israel’s “grand canyon.” We also pass by the Zin Wilderness and Beersheba. We arrive in the Tel Aviv area for dinner before driving to the airport for our night flight home. Praise be to God for a life-changing experience!