Enjoy a 10-Day Visit to Israel
The first day after breakfast, we start visit to israel and make our way up to the Sea of Galilee. We visit the Biblical site of Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion. Next we see Megiddo, overlooking the Plain of Jezreel and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah prayed and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven. We’ll arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We start our next morning with the picturesque Mt. of Beatitudes and a walk down to the Sea of Galilee. Then we head to the Primacy of Peter, where Jesus forgave Peter and exhorted him to “Feed my sheep.” We will enjoy a picnic lunch (included) on the Sea of Galilee. We then drive to visit Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. There we will also see the synagogue where Jesus taught and Peter’s House. We will have a short drive before boarding a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” on the Sea of Galilee. Time permitting, we also visit the Jesus Boat Museum. We then visit other sites along the shore, including Gadara, before returning to our hotel for the night.
Fun Fact: Gadara is where Jesus cast out demons from a man and sent them into a herd of swine.
Touring through Beit Shean
After breakfast the next day, we continue our visit to Israel with a drive to Mt. Tabor, where we will taxi up to the Church of the Transfiguration. We stop in Nazareth to visit a museum of Jesus’ “home” and the Church of the Annunciation where the angel appeared to Mary. We will visit Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding reception. Those who would like to will have an opportunity to renew their marriage vows. We then head to our hotel for dinner and our last night on the Sea of Galilee. The following day, we visit Beit Shean, one of Israel’s most ancient cities with impressive Roman ruins. We will then travel south through Samaria to Nablus, the site of Jacob’s Well at St. Photini Church, followed by a special lunch (not included) at a local restaurant. We continue our visit to Israel south to Jericho to visit the Mt. of Temptation. We will stop to see St. George Monastery where we can take an optional walk to the Monastery. We then ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.” The next day, we continue our visit to Israel by viewing the Temple excavations and the Temple Mount, wherein lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands El-Aksa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. From the temple area, we visit the Pool of Bethesda, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, the Wailing Wall and Ecce Homo Arch. We then walk the Via Dolorosa and continue our visit to Israel to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We then leave the Old City and drive to visit the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed and a scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time.
Floating in the Dead Sea
We begin our next day with a visit to the Jordan River, where we will have a special opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. We then begin our drive to the Wilderness. The road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea region is a decent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Our first stop will be Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Next we will visit Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul in the caves. Afterwards, we will make a special stop in the Dead Sea area, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch (included), time for reflection, and a refreshing swim/float for those who are interested. We continue our visit to Israel south along the western shore of the Dead Sea to Masada, where we will make our way via cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of fortifications, waterworks, a synagogue, temples and palaces. If time permits, we will visit Bethany. After breakfast the following day, we continue our visit to Israel with a morning service at Christ Church in Jerusalem. From here we venture to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. We will visit the Pater Noster Church, the traditional site where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray what became the Lord’s Prayer. Then on to the Dominus Flevit Chapel, a teardrop shaped church that commemorates Jesus weeping over the city of Jerusalem. Afterward, we begin our pilgrimage down the Old Palm Sunday Road. Along the way we visit the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed before going to be crucified. We then see the Church of St. Peter Gallicantu, the site of Peter’s denial of Our Lord. Next, we travel around the Old City to Mt. Zion and then on to Bethlehem. Here we visit the Church of the Holy Nativity, St. Catherine’s Church and end with the Shepherds’ Field. We then enjoy a Farewell Dinner and evening transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight back home.