Biblical tour to the Holy Land
We begin our biblical tour by arriving in Tel Aviv where we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to our motor coach for a short drive to our hotel in the Tel Aviv area for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Today we depart for the Galilee, visiting the following Biblical sites: Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion, Megiddo, and 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. From here we continue to Zippori and Nazareth, including a visit to “Nazareth Village” with detailed explanation of what it might have been like during the time of Jesus. We continue our biblical tour to Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding reception. Those interested can renew their marriage vows. Next, we arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise from our hotel on the Sea of Galilee in the morning. We begin our sightseeing with our first stop at the Mt. of Beatitudes with time for reflection and worship. From here on our biblical tour, we make our way to Capernaum Jesus’ base for His early ministry. We will visit the recently excavated “Jesus Boat” which is believed to have been built during the time of Jesus. We then board a present time replica wooden “Jesus Boat” for our Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee. Next, we stop for lunch, with the option of the special, traditional St. Peter’s Fish. Afterwards, we see Gadara and then make our way to the Jordan River with the opportunity to step into that special river. Optional Baptism in the Jordan River will be available for those interested. We will have dinner and overnight in Tiberias. After breakfast, we travel north for the Golan Heights to lookout over the area at an incredible sight. Then we visit Tel Dan and have a short hike/walk where we will see the gate of Jeroboam. Then we drive to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made the good confession of Christ as “the Son of the living God”. Afterwards on our biblical tour, we stop at Tabgha, the Church of Peter Primacy. Next, 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 return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Journey to Masada
After our breakfast, we begin our day of sightseeing traveling south toward the Dead Sea. En-route we will make our first stop in Jericho (conditions permitting). Afterwards, we continue southward for a visit to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. From here we make our way to Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will visit Masada. Here on our biblical tour, we will ascend the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Next, we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. Time permitting, we will make a special stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim/float. Please be sure you bring with you good water shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough on your feet. We leave the Dead Sea area for Jerusalem, an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. “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.” Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. After breakfast on our biblical tour, we begin with a drive to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove. There we will visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We will enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands the El-Aksa Mosque, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in Islam). 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 Sister of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Afterwards, a short walk takes us to the Southern Steps to stand on the original steps that Jesus walked on as he entered the Temple area. We conclude our sightseeing with a short drive and visit to Bethlehem. We will pass by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and visit the Church of the Nativity and view the Shepherd’s Field. We will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. After dinner, we make our way back to the Western Wall for a visit to the Rabbi’s Tunnel.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
After breakfast on our biblical tour, we visit the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. You will be fascinated by the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. From here on our biblical tour we have a short drive to Yad Vashem Children’s Holocaust Memorial for a visit. Next, we drive to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting) for a visit. Be sure to bring good water shoes with you, as you will get wet walking through the tunnel. Also bring a flashlight if possible. From here we make our way to the Church of Agony at St. Peter Gallicantu. Afterwards, we visit Golgotha and the Garden Tomb for time of worship and communion. We overnight in Jerusalem. After breakfast, we have time at leisure to pack, and then we will join together for our last day of sightseeing in Israel with stops at additional sites of interest in Jerusalem to be determined by our tour leader. Later on our biblical tour, we will have our Farewell Dinner before transferring to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight home. We arrive back in the U.S.A. same day. At the close of an unforgettable biblical tour, we bring with us lasting memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life and ministry of our Lord.