Highlights: Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Jordan River, Jericho, Bethlehem, Jerusalem
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Travel Insurance is available upon request. Quotes are based on age and state of residence.
***Click on any highlighted words to learn about some of the places you will be visiting.***
DAY 01 – MON. JAN. 20 – DEPART THE USA / OVERNIGHT FLIGHT – Depart Charlotte for an overnight international flight to Tel Aviv, with a connection in Newark.
DAY 02 – TUE. JAN. 21 – ARRIVAL TEL AVIV / JAFFA / NETANYA – After clearing customs, we will be met by our guide who will take us on a scenic drive through Jaffa, the oldest port in the world. Jonah set sail for Tarshish from Jaffa but was swallowed by a whale. Jaffa was also the home of Tabitha, who was raised from the dead by Peter. Peter had his vision here while lodging in the home of Simon the Tanner. We then drive north through the city of Netanya for dinner and overnight.
DAY 03 – WED. JAN. 22 – THE SHARON PLAIN AND THE GALILEE – We drive north through the Sharon Valley and head to Caesarea. We begin where the baptism of Gentiles began: at Caesarea Maritima (Focus on Acts 10). We include the sunken harbor, the hippodrome, the theatre and the Roman aqueduct. Then we drive to Muhraka (“burnt offering”) on Mt. Carmel, with a panorama of the Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon). After surveying the Plain of Jezreel, we proceed to Nazareth. Our first stop will be at Nazareth Village, a living history farm and village that gives you the opportunity to experience what Nazareth was like at the time of Jesus and Mary. We then walk through part of the ancient village and visit Mary’s Well and the Church of Annunciation. We drive towards the Sea of Galilee and stop at Cana, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine. We end the day at the Arbel Cliff, which affords a view over the Lake of Galilee and the main sites of Jesus’ ministry. We have dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
DAY 04 – THU. JAN. 23 – SEA OF GALILEE AND UPPER GALILEE – After an early breakfast we start our day with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, where we visit the synagogue and the place where early Christians remembered Peter’s house. We continue to Tabgha (short for Heptapagon, “seven springs”) to view the mosaics in the Church of the Loaves and Fishes. Ascending the Mt. of Beatitudes, we listen to Jesus’ teachings. On an ancient trade route, we pass Hazor and then go on to Dan. Here we do a nature walk and visit the high place where Jeroboam son of Nebat set up a golden calf. We continue to Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Our route then takes us over the Golan Heights, skirting Mt. Hermon, with a view toward Damascus. We end our day at the modern Baptismal site of the Yardenit where you have the possibility to be baptized or reaffirm your faith again by baptism, plan to join this ceremony.
DAY 05 – FRI. JAN. 24 – JORDAN VALLEY / MEGIDDO / SEBASTE / JACOB’S WELL – After an early breakfast we drive down into the Jordan Valley down to the strategic crossing point between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel which is located in the city of Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here, we will view the setting of Saul’s death. We survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theater, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets. We drive through the Jezreel Valley west to Ein Harod (Judges 7), which describes Gideon’s actions in thinning out his army. This is where he brought the men to the spring and sorted them on the basis of how they drank from the water. We continue west down to the mound of Megiddo, har megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. Afterwards, we drive back east and then south passing through the Valley of Dothan where Joseph’s brothers left him in a cistern, we drive to Samaria, the capital city of Ahab and Jezebel. Here we can bring many First Testament stories to life. Herod later rebuilt Samaria and called it Sebastia. Thus we have a mixture of Israelite and Roman ruins. Here we will have the opportunity to have a very traditional lunch before we continue eastward through the narrow pass between the mountains Ebal and Gerizim to the tel of ancient Shechem, first destination in the land both for Abram (Genesis 12:6) and his returning grandson (33:18). We then visit Jacob’s Well nearby. From here we head toward Jerusalem, passing Shiloh, Bethel, Mitzpeh, Rama and Gibeon to Mount Scopus, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, for a brief introduction and welcome.
DAY 06 – SAT. JAN. 25 – JERUSALEM / MT. OF OLIVES / BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM – Start the day on the Mt. of Olives for an orientation to the city. Visit the church of Pater Noster to see the church dedicated to the Lord’s Prayer depicting several languages of the world done in ceramic covering the walls of the Church. Have an opportunity to read the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic in the language that Christ have taught his disciples. Then descend the traditional Palm Sunday Road stopping at the church of Dominus Flevit – The Lord Weeps. We continue down to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane with a visit to the garden and the church where you can have some quiet time. Then drive along the Kidron Valley. Part of the Kidron that we view below is called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world. Continue up Mt. Zion to the church grounds called Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Christ; three times before the cock crowed – also known as the House of Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought after his arrest. Driving south to the Bethlehem region passing Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem, we go to Shepherds’ Fields where we will have lunch. It is at the Shepherd’s Fields the angels announced the birth of Christ. We then visit Bethlehem, where we will walk through its alleys and markets to the Church of the Nativity. In the Church of the Nativity we see a stone manger, where it is believed Jesus was born. This site next to the inn was where the animals were kept and fed. Today a Silver Star marks the spot of His divine birth. We’ll have time for shopping and souvenirs here in Bethlehem before we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 07 –SUN. JAN. 26 – THE RIFT VALLEY / EIN GEDI / BEERSHEBA / ELAH VALLEY – This morning we drive to Bethany the home of Martha and Lazarus. From there we drive through the Judean desert a barren wilderness in the heart of the Holy Land. En-route, we will pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan on our way to Jericho. At Jericho, you will visit the Tel of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. Continue south to the Dead Sea and stop at Qumran. Here you can view Cave #4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea scrolls. We stop at Ein Gedi and climb a mountain path to the waterfall where David may have hidden when he was running from Saul. Continuing further south along the western shores of the Dead Sea we get the Rift Valley/ Beersheba juncture and take route 227 which follows Maaleh Akrabbim (the Ascent of the Scorpions) and is mentioned in Joshua 15:3, when tracing the border of the Promised Land. The Romans had a road here, into which they cut very impressive steps, connecting Mamshit with En Hatseva in the Arava, whence it crossed up to Petra. We have a short tour of Beersheba, before we drive through the Philistine Country to Bet Shemesh and head to the Valley of Elah. We stop in the Valley of Elah, where David encountered Goliath (I Samuel 17). We then head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continuing on to Jerusalem.
DAY 08 – MON. JAN. 27 – JERUSALEM – THE OLD CITY – This morning we walk on the Ramparts from Jaffa Gate to Dung Gate. Just inside the Gate, we take the time to examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, which includes steps where we may be certain that Jesus taught, and He and his disciples walked. We also can be certain these are the steps where Paul would have done his Torah studies at the feet of his teacher Gamaliel. We then walk up to The Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site and ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here also was the place where Paul was arrested before he was taken down to Caesarea. Deep in the heart of Jerusalem we tour the Western Wall Tunnel (also known as “the rabbis’ tunnel”). Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus said to the man “Take up thy bed and walk.” and St. Anne’s Church, which has remarkable acoustics, and which has been perfectly preserved from the Crusader period. We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) back as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk through the Arab Souks, past the Armenian Quarter and exit the Old City through the Mt Zion Gate to visit the Upper Room and King David’s Tomb on the grounds of Mt. Zion.
DAY 09 – TUE. JAN. 28 – NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM / TEL AVIV AIRPORT – Our final day in Jerusalem we have a leisurely morning before checking out of our hotel. We drive to West Jerusalem driving by the Knesset on our way to the Israel Museum. Here we view the Shrine of the Book and we get to see the model of the 2nd Temple Jerusalem. This affords us the opportunity to envision what Jerusalem might have looked like during the reign of King Herod. This magnificent work of art is continually being updated as new archaeological discoveries are being made. We visit Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, dedicated to the six million Jews who lost their lives before and during the World War II. Also, memorials have been placed to the many Gentiles who helped the Jews during this period, risking their lives to do so. This afternoon, a special service and communion will be held at the Garden Tomb. This evening we’ll enjoy a Middle Eastern farewell dinner, before we drive to the airport for our late evening check in for our flight home.
DAY 10 – WED. JAN. 29 – ARRIVE U.S.A. – Today we arrive back in the USA on our flight from Tel Aviv.
Travel Insurance (Optional)
Though this is optional we strongly urge you to consider purchasing trip insurance.
This can protect you from unanticipated events while you are traveling, many with catastrophic financial effects. Most people cannot absorb this cost on their own, so why take a chance?
Wilcox acts as an agent for Allianz Insurance and we will process the purchase of the insurance should you choose it. However, you are welcome to seek out other options that may be available out there. The important thing is ensuring you are prepared and covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may occur.
Insurance costs vary by cost of trip, age and state of residence. The chart below outlines costs for North Carolina residents. If you are not a North Carolina resident or do not fit into one of the age groups listed, please call or email for a quote.
Age: 0-25 26-30 35-45 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-65 66-70
Cost: $179 $203 $214 $227 $252 $274 $302 $345
*** In order for coverage to include any preexisting medical conditions the insurance must be purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. If you wish for us to process the purchase of your insurance at the time of your registration please make sure and note this during the registration process. (If signing up online there will be an option for this – if using the paper form please mark the appropriate slot).***