11-Day Israel/Holy Land Tour
w/ Optional Jordan Extension

House of Caiaphas Jerusalem Israel
Dead Sea Israel
Church Of The Nativity Bethlehem
Sea of Galilee, Israel

Walking through the Living Scripture

In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security and meet our agent who assists us to our motor coach. Then we transfer from Ben Gurion Airport and travel to Tiberias for dinner and overnight. Nothing compares to watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee! We begin today by visiting the Magdala Archaeological Park (including a recently excavated 1st century synagogue) and the Duc In Altum retreat center. We then spend time at the Mt. of Beatitudes. Then we visit Tabgha (the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000) to see the Heptapegon (“Seven Springs”), the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, and Church of the Multiplication. Afterwards, we head to Capernaum, Jesus’ base for His early ministry. Then, we go for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Afterwards, we see the 1st century fishing boat (“Jesus Boat”) at Kibbutz Ginosaur. Time permitting, we head to Gadara and Bethsaida, before making our way to the Jordan River at Yardenit. Dinner and overnight are back in Tiberias. This morning, we depart the Galilee to visit Biblical sites at Megiddo and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Then we visit Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion (Acts 10). Afterwards, we head to Zippory (Sepphoris), the birthplace of Mary, to see the famous mosaic of the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee”. Then we continue to Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood home) and will visit Nazareth Village to see what it would have looked like during the time of Jesus. We visit the Mt. of Precipice outside of Nazareth and then Cana (location of Jesus’ first miracle). Afterwards, we return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight. Today, we depart the Galilee and will have a stop in Jericho and, time permitting, take a cable car to the Mt. of Temptation. We will then stop at the Wadi Qelt overlook of the Judean wilderness. Time and conditions permitting, we will visit Bethany (the Biblical home of Martha and Mary) – the Church of St. Lazarus and Lazarus’ Tomb – and Bethphage Church, and then proceed to the Mt. of Olives and the church known as Dominus Flevit (“The Lord wept”). Afterwards, we drive to our hotel in Jerusalem for overnight.

Explore Historical Sites

Today, we join in worship at Christmas Lutheran Church. Then, we will visit the Shepherd’s Field, the Church of the Nativity, St. Catherine’s Church, and St. Jerome’s cave. Afterwards, there will be a time for shopping at a local store in Bethlehem. Dinner this evening is in Bethlehem at Shepherd’s Valley Village (included). Time permitting, we will visit the Valley of Elah to see where David defeated Goliath. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for overnight. After breakfast, we drive along the western shore of the Dead Sea to visit the national park of Masada, continuing up by cable car to see King Herod’s fortress. We then travel to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. Afterwards, we visit Qumran, the settlement of the Essenes and view caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Time and conditions permitting, we stop at the Dead Sea for an optional swim or float. We then travel to Qasr el-Yahud, by the Jordan River, the newly excavated site near where tradition holds that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Dinner and overnight are again in Jerusalem. After breakfast, we visit the Israel Museum to see the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. We then visit the Shrine of the Book Museum where some of the Dead Sea scrolls are preserved and the history of their discovery is displayed. Next, we drive to the City of David, and then we go on a short walk to 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 the Canaanite tunnel. If time permits, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam. Afterwards, we visit the Davidson Center Archaeological Park and the southern steps to the Temple Mount which were the original steps Jesus walked up as He entered the Temple area. Then we proceed to the Western Wall and will also explore its underground tunnels. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem.

Walk through the Old City

We return today to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the famous, breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane. Then we continue to the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) where tradition says Jesus prayed before his arrest. After proceeding through the Lion’s Gate, we visit St. Anne’s Crusader Church and the Pools of Bethesda. We continue to the lower level of the Sisters of Zion convent to the traditional location of “The Pavement” (where it is believed Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate). We then view the Ecce Homo arch. We follow the traditional Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Afterwards, we travel to the traditional Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, and the House of Caiaphas, also viewing steps from the 1st century A.D. on which Jesus walked. Then, we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. Today, we visit the Temple Mount (conditions permitting), a 35- acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel 24:18- 25). This area is the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. Afterwards, we take time for visiting the sights at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, including the traditional locations of Golgotha and the empty tomb. Time permitting, we visit the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (with an optional climb to the top of the tower to view the Old City) and to view underground excavations dating back to the 1st century A.D. Then we have some time to explore and shop in the Old City. Later, we meet for a visit to the Garden Tomb. Afterwards, we enjoy our Farewell Dinner at the hotel and last overnight. We transfer to the airport and arrive in the U.S.A. the same day. At the close of an unforgettable tour, we take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord.

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 and drive to Bethany Beyond the Jordan. 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 (called the “Siq”). 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 Madaba, the Moabite town of the Bible to see the Ancient Holy Land Map. We will then visit Mt. Nebo to view the Holy Land from where Moses stood (Deuteronomy 34:1), a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the Mt. of Olives and the roof tops of Jerusalem. Next, we travel to Machaerus (Mukawir). Perched on a 700-meter-high hill southwest of Madaba are the ruins of the fortress of Herod the Great. Machaerus is where John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod Antipas. Dinner and overnight are in Amman. We transfer to the airport for our flight home and arrive in the U.S.A. the same day. At the close of an unforgettable tour, we take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord.