An 11-Day Holy Land Tour Package
Tour members meet for our flight to Israel. After dinner is served, sit back, and relax, enjoying the on-board entertainment as you prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime, walking where Jesus walked. We arrive in Israel, where we will meet our Israeli tour guide. We then make our way to Bethlehem, in time for our welcome dinner and overnight at the new Paradise Premium Hotel, Bethlehem, for the next two nights. The morning is spent in Bethlehem. We visit the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced the birth of the Savior on Christmas Eve. You can see shepherds still guiding their flocks and caves where they burned their fires and Jerusalem off in the distance. We then visit the Church of the Nativity where the grotto of Jesus is located. Then we view St. Jerome’s tomb where he translated the Bible into Latin – the Vulgate. You will have a short time at Manger Square, but even more shopping when we return at night. We will drive to the Jordan River at Qasr El-Yahud where John the Baptist lived and worked in the Judean wilderness and where Jesus was baptized. We may be able to get into the cave of John the Baptist. We then drive to Jericho, the oldest inhabited & lowest city on earth, 850 ft below sea level. This is where the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and Jesus met Zacchaeus the tax collector. Imagine Jesus’ story about the Good Samaritan set on the steep winding road known as the Wadi Qelt, connecting Jericho to Jerusalem. We depart for Herod’s palace/fortress and later burial place Herodium. This is one of Herod the Great’s 6 desert palaces with views of Bethlehem and the Judean wilderness. We then drive back to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight at the Paradise Premium Hotel. We begin the day at the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City of Jerusalem. 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. These olive trees date back to the time of Jesus. Dominus Flevit is the church where Jesus wept while looking over Jerusalem. We then visit the City of David and go on a short walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the 1720 ft long tunnel if you want. We will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam. Then we will explore the Southern Temple Excavations and see the actual temple steps that Jesus and His disciples climbed to make their way to the Temple. This is the only place to state with certainty, “this is a place where Jesus walked and taught Luke’s Parables of the Kingdom.” Dinner and overnight are at the Grand Court Hotel in Jerusalem.
Exploring where David hid from Saul
We walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western (Wailing) Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. This is Mount Moriah where Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed. On this site now stands El-Aksa Mosque, and the 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 – the route Jesus took on Good Friday to Golgotha including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement (where Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The Lutheran Church tower next door is also a possibility. We then travel to Golgotha and the Garden tomb. Dinner and overnight are at the Grand Court in Jerusalem. Today we travel to the Dead Sea region, the lowest place on earth. Our first stop will be Qumran, the home of the first century Essenes, where many of the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. We continue to the Oasis of En Gedi where David hid from King Saul and spared the life of the King Saul. Next, we drive south for Masada, ascending the wilderness mountain by way of cable-car to the fortress built by King Herod. It was here that 960 Jewish defenders took their own lives, rather than to become slaves to the Romans. We will descend Masada and drive to the Dead Sea, 1500 ft below sea level. Everyone will have an opportunity to “float” in the salty Dead Sea water and cover themselves with the therapeutic muds. Then we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight at the Grand Court Hotel. On our last day in Jerusalem, we will visit the Rabbinical tunnel which takes us underground to the base of the Temple Mount, which is believed to be the actual streets that Jesus and His disciples walked upon. We visit the Church of Agony at St. Peter Gallicantu, the place where Peter denied Jesus outside the court of Caiaphas. We ascend Mt. Zion and go past the Tomb of David and visit the Upper Room, an area where the Lord probably instituted the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday. We travel to the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. We then see the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. You are free the rest of the day. You can visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Children’s Memorial. Dinner and overnight are at the Grand Court for in Jerusalem.
Climbing to the top of Mt. Carmel
We say goodbye to Jerusalem and head north where 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 stop at Gideon Springs where we may kneel down and drink from Gideon’s brook where the “chosen 300” drank and where we learn that any minority with God is an overwhelming majority. We continue to Nazareth with a special visit to Nazareth Village with detailed explanations of what life was like during the time of Jesus. A short drive takes us to the Mt. of Precipitation, the traditional site of the cliff that an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off after His bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue. We visit the Church of Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. We continue to the Sisters of Nazareth convent to see the newly discovered site of the home of Jesus. We continue with a short drive to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle, where He turned water into wine. As we near the Sea of Galilee we take the bus to the top of Mt. Arbel, thought to be the Mount of Ascension where Jesus gave the Great Commission. There are awesome views of all of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias that give us a dramatic overview of Jesus’ public ministry. Dinner and overnight are at the Nof Ginosar Hotel. There is nothing like watching a sunrise on the Sea of Galilee from our hotel. We begin today at Magdala, before continuing to Tabgha and the Mt. of Beatitudes (Matt 5-7). Near this site, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. We will spend some time on the mountainside. Next, we drive to Capernaum, the city where Jesus made His base for most of His ministry. Here were the homes of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Next, we visit the Church of Primacy St. Peter. From here we will stop at kibbutz Nof Ginnosar to see a 2,000-year-old Ancient Jesus Boat. Afterwards, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” for our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We drive to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made the good confession of Christ as “the Son of the living God” amongst all the gods of Pan. If time permits, we will see Bethsaida. Then we return for dinner and overnight at the Nof Ginosar Hotel. Our last day will stop at the national park of Megiddo, also known as Armageddon, an important crossroad in Israel controlled by various foreign nations. Some believe the end of the world will occur here. Visit the water tunnel and see what a real manger looks like. Then on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah prayed, and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven (1 Kings 18). We travel south along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea once a proud Roman port dating back to the time of Pontius Pilate. This is where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion and where Paul had his encounter with Felix and Festus. We will view the monumental theater built in the days of Christ, explore the remains of a Crusader fortress, and see the spectacular Roman aqueduct. We conclude with a special farewell dinner in Jaffa, Biblical Joppa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10) and the oldest port city in the world. Afterwards, we proceed to the airport for our flight homeward. We begin our return journey, with our hearts full of wonderful memories about this spiritual experience. We will arrive home changed forever by the impact of what God has done in our hearts.