10-Day Israel/Holy Land Tour

Golden gate, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel
Dead Sea Israel

See and Experience the Holy Land

In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security to meet our agent who assists us to our motor coach. Then we meet our tour guide and leave the airport. Time permitting, we will have a stop in Jaffa. We then arrive in Netanya for dinner and overnight. This morning we depart for Caesarea Maritima, Herod’s seaside palace and hippodrome; Mount Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18); and then to Megiddo. Time permitting, we will stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch break (not included). We continue to Mount Tabor in the Jezreel Valley, where the Israelite tribes gathered in the days of Deborah and Barak led the Israelite charge of 10,000 men against Sisera’s army. We end our day visiting Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home. We then arrive for dinner and overnight near the Sea of Galilee. Nothing compares to watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! We begin today reflecting and worshiping at the Mount of Beatitudes. From there we visit Magdala where a first century synagogue and a complete first century city have been discovered. It is traditionally held to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. We then head to Capernaum, the ancient fishing village of Peter’s home and Jesus’ base for His early ministry. For those interested, our lunch stop includes the option of ordering the special St. Peter’s Fish (not included). After lunch, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to set sail on the Sea of Galilee before making our way to the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight are back at the Sea of Galilee.

Descend Old Palm Sunday Road

After breakfast, we head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16). We embark on a short hike to Tel Dan, an impressive archaeological site with unique remains of Canaanite and Israelite cities and a Biblical High Place (altar) of Jeroboam. If time permits, we then head to Tel Hai, which is the location of a heroic Israeli battle (much like the Texas Alamo) and conclude our day at Hula Lake – one of the world’s most important natural bird sanctuaries – with a safari-type truck ride through the bird fields. Dinner and overnight are back at the Sea of Galilee. We start our day at the beautiful Gideon Springs where God narrowed Gideon’s soldiers to 300. Then we drive to Qumran, the settlement of the Essenes (the first century sect who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls). Next, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12). We finish our day with a relaxing swim/float on the Dead Sea. Finally, we 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” (Psalm 122:1-2). We begin today on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the famous, breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage descends down Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane for a special time of prayer and meditation. We continue to the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) where tradition says Jesus prayed before his arrest. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel 24:18-25), which is called the Temple Mount (the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock). From there we proceed to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. We finish our day with a visit to Bethlehem (Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Field). Dinner and overnight are back in Jerusalem.

Overlook the Elah Valley

After breakfast, we visit the City of David, and then go on a short walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. If time permits, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam. Then we have free time in the colorful Machane Yehuda Food Market where traditional Israeli food and an infinite variety of spices greet us from every booth. We then venture into Zedekiah’s Cave (also called Solomon’s Quarries), which tradition calls the source of the stones for Solomon’s Temple. An illuminated path leads back into the caves and under the Old City. We end our day with worship and communion at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. After breakfast, we drive to Tel Azekah overlooking vthe Elah Valley where David dueled with Goliath. References to Azekah first appear in Joshua’s campaign of the city of Gibeon where he chased the five Amorite kings down to Azekah where the Israelites slew the Amorites (Joshua 10:10-11). We then drive to Beit Guvrin, a beautiful national park with numerous bell-shaped caves and incredible underground spaces to explore. We then head to Jaffa for our Farewell Dinner before returning to Jerusalem for overnight.