Day 1: Departure
You will depart for your
overnight flight to Israel.
Day 2: Arrival to Israel – Tel Aviv - Jaffa
Morning arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, you
will meet your guide and driver who will be with you for the duration of your
tour in the Holy Land. Drive through Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city, founded
100 years ago on the sand dunes by the sea north of Jaffa. Time permitting
drive to the port city of Jaffa (Joppa) from where Jonah set sail on his way to
Tarshish, and later used by King Solomon as his main port on the Mediterranean,
importing cedar wood from the Phoenicians in Lebanon for the construction of
the Temple in Jerusalem.
Dinner and overnight: Central Coastal area
Day 3: Caesarea – Haifa – Akko
Drive north along the coastal plain to the ancient
Crusader bastion of Caesarea, Herod the Great’s masterpiece city on the
Mediterranean coast. Walk through the ruins of his royal palace on the water,
Roman theatre, and the hippodrome used for horse and chariot races. This is
where Paul was imprisoned before being sent to Rome and his death.
Continue north driving by the Carmel Mountain range
where the prophet Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba’al, to the port city of
Haifa where you will enjoy a panoramic view of the world famous Bahai Gardens
and Shrine and the working port. The day continues in the Crusader town of Akko
where the walls of the city, its fortresses and citadels, its churches and
mosques and the other buildings within its boundaries, tell the history of the
many rulers who governed it and fought for it, who built the city and glorified
it. Visit the Crusader Halls, Turkish bath house and the ancient port and
Day 4: Rosh Hanikra – Tel Hatzor – Safed – Tiberias
After breakfast we drive north to the border with
Lebanon and the underwater grottoes at Rosh Hanikra. Descend by cable car and
view the grottoes, a natural wonder that resulted from an ongoing geological
process over thousands of years. Continue to the Tel Hazor National Park, a
UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of Canaanite Galilee. Hazor
flourished in the Middle Bronze Age (around 1750 BCE), and the Israelite period
(ninth century BCE) and was the largest fortified city in the country at that
time. View Hazor’s impressive water system, apparently built during King Ahab’s
reign, to provide the inhabitants with a steady water supply within the city
walls in case of siege by means of a 45-m-deep shaft to the water table.
Continue to the ancient city of Safed, home of
mysticism and Kaballah. Enjoy time wandering through the winding alleyways of
the ancient city ad artists’ quarter.
Finally, arrive at the lovely Sea of Galilee, Israel's
only fresh water lake and main source of water. Discuss the issues of sharing
water among the countries of the region.
Day 5: Megiddo/Armageddon - Nazareth – Nazareth
Today we explore the site of Megiddo/Armageddon and
discover why this tel (archaeological mound), which holds 5,000 years of
accumulated cities, is viewed as the place for the “cataclysm of the end of
days.” See the stables and gateway built by King Solomon, and walk through the
underground water tunnel built to protect the city from the Assyrian invaders
2,800 years ago. Drive through the biblical Jezreel Valley, one of the most
fertile areas in the country, you will see modern agricultural communities,
kibbutzim (plural of "kibbutz"), scattered throughout the valley,
growing much of Israel's domestic and export produce, just as in ancient times.
Continue to the modern city of Nazareth, vastly larger than the ancient hamlet
where Jesus spent his childhood, where we visit the Church of Annunciation and
and Nazareth Village, a unique reconstruction of what a first century Nazareth
looked like on an actual ancient agricultural site. See real herders with
animals, and craftspeople working the land, weaving cloth, processing wheat and
cooking as it was done in the time of Jesus.
Day 6: - Boat Ride - Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt. of
Beatitudes - Golan Heights– Banias
Start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Continue north with a visit to Capernaum, hometown of St. Peter and the center
of Jesus’ Ministry in the Galilee. See the remains of the first century town
and the synagogue where Jesus taught, and have an opportunity to consider and
discuss the meaning of these teachings. See the Mount of Beatitudes, where the
Sermon on the Mount was delivered, and enjoy the view from here as well. Drive
up to the Golan Heights (biblical Bashan) and enjoy a hike in the Banias Nature
Reserve where the Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows
powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually leading to the Banias
Waterfall, the most impressive cascade in Israel. Nine kilometers from its
source, the Hermon Stream meets the Dan, and together they form the Jordan
Day 7: Belvoir - Gan Hashlosha - Jordan Valley -
Camel Ranch and Bedouin Experience
Visit the Belvoir Fortress, the best preserved
Crusader fortress in Israel! Continue to the beautiful fertile Jordan River
Valley and southwards to the Gan Hashlosha National Park where warm spring
waters flow at a constant, year-round temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, which
means swimming is pleasant here in winter, too. Enjoy time exploring this
beautiful park and swim in the warm waters. Continue south through the center
of the country to the Dead Sea, on the border with the Kingdom of Jordan
passing by the modern city of Jericho and the Mount of Temptation, which you
can see from the road. We arrive at Kfar HaNokdim Camel Ranch for a desert
experience with camel rides, a Bedouin “hafla” (festive) dinner and overnight
in large Bedouin tents (sleeping bags provided).
Day 8: Massada - Ein Gedi - Dead Sea "swim"
– Haas Promenade Jerusalem
After a very early breakfast, we arrive at Mount Massada
and climb the rock via the Roman Ramp to the summit. Here we will walk through
palaces built by Herod the Great and see evidence of the heroic struggle and
last stand of the Jews against the Roman 10th Legion nearly 2000 years ago. We
descend the rock on foot via the "snake" path. The day continues with
a hike along the Ein Gedi springs, a natural desert oasis and home to wild life
and plants. Stop for a “swim” in the salty, mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea
and experience floating on water.
From here we begin to "ascend" to the Holy
City of Jerusalem, driving through the stark and beautiful Judean Desert. View
the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Haas Promenade, the Hill of Evil Counsel in
Christian tradition, before arriving at your hotel
Day 9: Jerusalem – Old City – Southern Wall
Excavations - Western Wall - Via Dolorosa - Holy Sepulchre - Time Elevator
We enter through the old city walls and continue to
the Jewish Quarter to tour the Southern Wall Excavations of the Temple Mount,
walking on the stairs where Jesus taught, and seeing the remains of the
markets, roads and residences from the time of Jesus. Stop at the Western
(“Wailing”) Wall, a remnant of the foundation of the Temple built by Herod in
the first century BC, the holiest site of Judaism. See the modern rebuilt
Jewish Quarter, excavated since 1967, and built directly over the ancient homes
of the Jews who served in the Temple 2,000 years ago. We continue to the
Christian Quarter and walk along the Via Dolorosa, the way Jesus walked on the
way to the Crucifixion, culminating in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,
traditional site of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Burial.
Evening Activity: Enjoy a night tour to the time
elevator - where 3,000 years of history are presented in a fascinating
interactive way. Witness Prophet Jeremiah’s confrontation with King Zedekiah
and relive the destruction of the First and Second Temples. We are led
through the Roman Conquest, the birth of Christianity, the emergence of Islam with
its centuries of long rule over the Holy Land and the drama of the
establishment of Israel.
Day 10: City of David - Mount Zion – Mount of Olives
– Ben Yehuda Street
This morning, at the City of David, we will pass through
the underground tunnels through which the city of Jerusalem was conquered
and residents fled. We will go down to the hidden spring where kings were
coronated and walk in illuminated darkness through the water of Hezekiah’s
Tunnel, where water has flowed since the time of the prophets.
Continue to Mount Zion to visit the Tomb of King
David and the Room of the Last Supper. We will ascend the Mount of Olives for a
wonderful panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem with the Temple Mount.
Walk through the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus hid from the Roman soldiers,
see the ancient olive trees, and visit the Church of All Nations.
After dinner at the hotel, enjoy some free time on
Ben Yehuda Street
Day 11: Volunteering – Sataf – Neot Kedumim – Mini
Israel – Farewell Dinner - Departure
This morning we will spend time giving to others with
a volunteer program before continuing with a hike in the ancient agricultural
settlement of Sataf before arriving at the biblical landscape reserve of Neot
Kedumim which re-creates the physical setting of the Bible in all its depth and
Visit Mini Israel – and see Israel in miniature,
before arriving at the picturesque village of Abu Gosh for a farewell dinner
and opportunity to review the highlights and experiences of our trip.
After dinner departure transfer to Ben Gurion
Airport and your flight home.