Visiting Israel Brings Scripture Alive
In Tel Aviv, we meet our agent who assists us through customs and security. We transfer to our motor coach and head to Galilee. If time permits, we will stop at Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion, at the Aqueduct for an outdoor worship service. We arrive in Galilee in time for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, we begin visiting Israel with a sunrise service on Mt. Arbel. Next, we travel south to Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. We drive to Nazareth to visit the Sisters of Nazareth Convent and the Church of the Annunciation. We then make our way to our hotel for dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee. Today we make our way to the Mt. of Beatitudes, to Tabgha where the multiplication of the fishes and loaves took place, and to the Primacy of Peter. After lunch, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” on the Sea of Galilee. We then continue visiting Israel to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. There we will also see the Synagogue and St. Peter’s House, before returning to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.
Praying at the Pool of Bethesda
Today we depart from the Galilee area for Jerusalem. On the way (conditions permitting) we’ll include a short visit to the excavations at ancient Jericho. As we’re visiting Israel, we travel through Samaria to Neopolis, the site of Jacob’s Well at St. Photini Church. We end the day with a visit to Bethlehem passing by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts, and then visiting the Shepherds’ Field. Dinner and overnight are back in Jerusalem. Today, we start our day 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-Aqsa Mosque, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. After visiting the Ecce Homo arch, we will make our way to the Western Wall and to the Via Dolorosa. We continue visiting Israel to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will have some free time in the Old City to have lunch (not included) and shop. In the afternoon, we will take a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). We then return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, we continue visiting Israel to the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem. We walk along the Palm Sunday Way and then descend to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent the last night before He was arrested. We proceed to the Garden Tomb where we will be able to pray and worship together. Afterwards, we will have time for shopping. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Jerusalem.
Did You Know? The Dome of the Rock is the third holiest shrine in all Islam.
Swimming at Ein Bokek
We begin our 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. Our first stop will be Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Next, we will visit Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul, where we will have time for a hike. We continue visiting Israel along the western shore of the Dead Sea to Masada; there we will, by way of cable car, make our way to the fortress built by King Herod. Then we will travel to Ein Bokek for a swim/float. If time permits, we will stop in Wadi Qelt and overlook St. George’s Monastery for a time of reflection before heading back to our Hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. After breakfast, we continue visiting Israel as we join Christ Church for their Sunday morning service. After lunch, we proceed back to the hotel to pack and have time for showers before our Farewell Dinner and our return flight home. Time permitting, we will have a visit to Bethany to see the site of Lazarus. Those taking the extension will overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem.
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 Madaba 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. We continue south to Petra, “the Red Rose City.” Dinner and overnight are in Petra. After breakfast, we visit Petra, a 2000-year-old Nabatean city. We’ll walk about a half-mile through the narrow passageway with cliffs on either side. At the end of the Siq appears 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. Dinner and overnight are in 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. If time permits we will also include a special visit to Jerash, often referred to as the Pompeii of the Middle East. Jerash was one of the cities of the Roman Decapolis and is one of the best-preserved cities of the Decapolis. Dinner and late evening transfer to Amman Airport for early morning return flight back to the USA.