Holy Land Travel to Israel
In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security and meet our guide who assists us to our motor coach. We have a short drive to our hotel in Netanya in time for dinner and overnight. The next morning of our Holy Land travel, we depart for the Galilee, visiting the following Biblical sites: Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel where Elijah prayed and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven. Time permitting we’ll stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch break (lunch is on your own). We continue our Holy Land travel to Nazareth and include a visit to the “Nazareth Village” with detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus. Then we visit Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding reception. We begin our Holy Land travel for the day with a visit to the Mt. of Beatitudes, with time for reflection and a short devotional study. From here we make our way to Capernaum, then board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” for our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We include a visit to the Jesus Boat Museum, where we have an opportunity to view a recently excavated boat that dates back to the time of Jesus. Our lunch stop includes the option of the special St. Peter’s Fish for those interested (not included). Afterwards we make our way to see Gadara and then continue to the Jordan River with the opportunity to step into that special river.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
After breakfast, we travel north for the Golan Heights and view the area from a special lookout. We drive to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made the good confession of Christ as “the Son of the living God.” We have a short hike/walk to Tel Dan where we see the gate of Jeroboam and then we make our way for Gideon Springs. Afterwards, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best preserved Decapolis Roman cities. In Beit Shean, the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hung from the city walls after they were defeated by the Philistines. We continue our Holy Land travel after breakfast as we drive to the Wilderness. Our first stop is at Masada, where we take a cable car up to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of fortifications, waterworks, the synagogue, temples and palaces. Then we drive to Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Afterwards, a short drive takes us to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. We make a special stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim/float. Time and conditions permitting, we’ll include a visit to the baptismal site Qasr El-Yahud, the newly excavated site where tradition believes Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Time permitting, we will have a short visit to Jericho.
Don't Forget: Be sure to bring a flashlight and good water shoes with you, as you will get wet walking if you choose to walk Hezekiah’s Tunnel.
Garden Tomb Communion
We begin the day on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands El-Aqsa Mosque, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock . From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, to walk the Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement, Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Our Holy Land travel takes us to stand on the original steps that Jesus walked on as he entered the Temple area: the Southern Steps. We conclude our sightseeing today with a visit to Bethlehem. We pass by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts, and visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field. After breakfast, we continue our Holy Land travel and visit the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. We will be fascinated by the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Next, we drive to an incredible archaeological find: the City of David. Afterwards, we have a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Afterwards we make our way to the Church of Agony – St. Peter Gallicantu. Then we visit Golgotha and the Garden Tomb for worship and communion. Following a morning at leisure in Jerusalem, we depart Jerusalem late morning/early afternoon and begin our sightseeing with a drive to visit the Elah Valley and the brook where David slew Goliath. From here we continue our Holy Land travel and drive to Jaffa for a special Farewell Dinner prior to transferring to Ben Gurion airport for our flight back to the U.S.A. Those attending the Jordan extension will return to the hotel in Jerusalem for overnight.
Optional Jordan Extension
This morning we depart Israel for Jordan via the Allenby Bridge, where we meet our agent and are assisted through security and customs. We board our motor coach to Madaba, the Moabite town of the Bible to see the Ancient Holy Land Map. Next, we travel to Machaerus. Perched on a 700-meter- high hill southwest of Madaba are the ruins of the fortress of Herod the Great. Machaerus is where John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod Antipas. We continue south to Petra, “the Red Rose City.” After breakfast, we visit Petra, a 2000-year-old Nabatean city. We will walk about a half-mile through the narrow passageway with cliffs on either side. At the end of the Siq we will find Petra’s Treasury, a massive royal tomb carved out of the solid mountain rock. Time permitting, we will see Jabal Harun – the place where Aaron is buried. We then leave in the afternoon for Amman. This morning we travel to Mt. Nebo to view the Holy Land from where Moses stood, a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the Mt. of Olives and the roof tops of Jerusalem. We then return to the Allenby Bridge for our return to Israel. After our border formalities, we arrive back in Israel and continue with a visit to Jaffa. Then we have dinner and an evening transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight back to the U.S.A.