DAY 01 Mon . Oct . 09
DEPART USA TO TEL AVIV
We begin our tour of a lifetime with a late morning departure from Cleveland or other airports. We connect in Newark with other travelers for our late afternoon flight to Tel Aviv airport via United Airlines.
DAY 02 Tue . Oct . 10
ARRIVE TEL AVIV / CAESAREA BY THE SEA
Upon arrival we clear passport control, meet our guide and transfer by private motorcoach to Caesarea by the Sea, the ancient seaport built in honor of Caesar Augustus by Herod the Great and the Roman capital in the Holy Land for nearly 500 years. We turn toward our hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight at the Carlton Beach Hotel.
DAY 03 Wed . Oct . 11
BEERSHEBA / MITZPE RAMON / WILDERNESS TABERNACLE / EILAT
We begin this day with a visit to Beersheba, where Abraham first made his home. We visit the ruins on the tel, the well dating to Abraham’s time that has survived until today, and even the cistern. Then we head into the Negev desert to visit the majestic Ramon Crater at Mitzpe Ramon. After lunch, we marvel at how Christ fulfilled the symbols in the sacrificial system described in Leviticus as we visit the Wilderness Tabernacle. Our day concludes with dinner and overnight on the Gulf of Aqaba at the beautiful Dan Eilat Hotel.
DAY 04 Thu . Oct . 12
BORDER CROSSING / PETRA / DEAD SEA
We cross the border early in the morning and head for Petra, the ancient Edomite and Nabatean capital, and “Rose Red City half as old as time.” We’ll see the spectacular “city of the dead,” with its famed gorge, ancient streets, temples, dwelling places and tombs carved in solid rock. Our visit includes a two-mile walk through the famous Siq (the natural gorge) to arrive at the Treasury. We see the Nabatean Judgement Hall, palace tombs, famous Urn Temple and the Roman Amphitheater. A climb of several hundred steps to the “high places” might appeal to the adventurous. After Petra, we return to the Dan Eilat for dinner and overnight.
DAY 05 Fri . Oct . 13
RED SEA / MASADA / EIN GEDI / DEAD SEA
We begin the day with a late wake up call and enjoy the ambiance of this luxurious hotel. We head for Masada to start our day, the location of two of King Herod’s majestic palaces and fortress for the Jewish zealots who held out against the invading Roman army. We move on to explore the caves of Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul. We conclude the day by floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, then onto our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight at the Ambassador Hotel.
DAY 06 Sat . Oct . 14
QUMRAN / JERICHO / BEIT SHAN /GAN HASHLOSHA
We begin the morning with a drive to Qumran, the site of the most significant archeological discovery of the 20th Century. Then we head for the tel of Jericho – a favorite spot for archaeologists & the oldest excavated city in history. Jericho is also an excellent location to buy world-famous Hebron pottery. Following a stop for shopping and lunch, we enjoy an excellent view of the Mount of Temptation, then proceed north along the Jordan Valley for the incredible ruins of Beit Shean, featuring eighteen layers of civilization where Saul and his sons were nailed to the city wall (1 Samuel 31). We then depart for Gan Hashlosha, near Gideon’s Spring, which feeds the Jordan for our baptism in late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the U Boutique Hotel in Tiberias.
DAY 07 Sun . Oct . 15
THE SEA OF GALILEE / CANA / NAZARETH / MEGIDDO
Our day begins with a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Today we follow some of the stories in Mark 4–6 about the ministry of Jesus. We move on to Capernaum, our Lord’s hometown for two years (Matt.4:13). We recall that eleven of the twelve apostles came from this region. A view of the Sea of Galilee from the Mt. of Beatitudes is breathtaking. We head for lunch in Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus to enjoy reminders of the town as it was in the First Century. After lunch we move on to the Church of the Annunciation where the angel first appeared to Mary and announced the birth of the Lord. We conclude the day at Megiddo and look own on the majestic Jezreel Valley where the final battle of history will occur. We return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8 Mon . Oct . 16
TEL DAN / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / MT. HERMON / KUNEITRA / KURSI / CHORAZIN / MAGDALA
After breakfast we climb through the Golan Heights where we arrive at the base of Mt. Hermon. We include a brief visit to tel Dan located near one of the three main sources for the Jordan River to see the ancient Canaanite gate and other ruins. Then we head to Caesarea Phillippi, where Peter made his great declaration about Jesus (Mk. 8:27ff). When we approach Kuneitra, we are only 36 miles from Damascus, on the same road Saul of Tarsus used during his encounter with Christ (Acts 9:1–19). Later we stop at Kursi in the land of the Gadarenes, where Jesus is believed to have cast demons into a herd of swine (Mark 5:1-20). Next we have a St. Peter’s Fish lunch. Our day concludes with visits to Chorazin, one of the three cities of the “Evangelical Triangle” and Magdala, with ruins of the first century fishing village, before we head to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 Tue . Oct . 17
MT. GERAZIM / NABLUS / JACOB’S WELL / SYCHAR
An early walk along the shore provides a spectacular memory of sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. We say good-bye to the Sea of Galilee with an incredible view from Mt. Arbel, where Jews hid in caves following the conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70. From there we head South into the land of the Samaritans and ascend the winding road to Mount Gerizim, the Hill of Blessing (Deuteronomy 27) for a breathtaking view of Mount Ebal, the hill of curses. We stop for lunch on our way to Nablus where we visit Jacob’s Well at Sychar, the site for the conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman (John 4). We enjoy dinner and overnight at the David Citadel Hotel.
DAY 10 Wed . Oct . 18
TEMPLE MOUNT / TEMPLE TREASURES INSTITUTE / CITY OF DAVID /PILGRIM’S PATH / JERUSALEM ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
Today our focus is on the Jewish history of the City of Jerusalem. Early in the morning, we enter the Old City through the Dung Gate and walk toward the Mughrabi Gate to the Temple Mount. The 35-acre Temple Mount is home to two of Islam’s holiest sites—the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The history of this area includes the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22) and Jewish Temples built by Solomon and Herod. We exit the Temple Mount to visit the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the lame man (John 5) and the Church of St. Anne. We explore the City of David and walk the Pilgrim’s Path on pavement that dates to the time of Christ. The Jerusalem Museum features excavations from this area and a visit to the Southern Steps. After lunch, we visit the Temple Treasures Institute, the home to vessels which can be used in a rebuilt Temple, then head to the Western Wall, the holiest place on earth to modern Jews. Our day concludes with a walk through the Rabbinical Tunnel next to the Temple Mount where we wonder at the massive stones used for building the foundation for the Temple. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 11 Thu . Oct . 19
BETHLEHEM / MUSEUMS
Today we begin in Bethlehem to see the Church of Nativity, the oldest church in the Holy Land and built above caves believed to be where Jesus was born. We move on to the Shepherd’s Fields to enjoy moments of worship remembering the 1st Christmas, before we drive up the Herodian and marvel at the opulence enjoyed by Herod the Great. After lunch we visit Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum) to be reminded of the recent tragedies of Jewish people and the rebirth of the modern State of Israel. We move on to the Israel Museum where replicas of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed, as well as an outdoor scale model of Jerusalem as it looked in Jesus’ time. Dinner and overnight at our Jerusalem hotel.
DAY 12 Fri . Oct . 20
OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM / GARDEN TOMB / VIA DOLOROSA / FAREWELL DINNER /DEPARTURE
After breakfast we proceed to Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb for communion and worship. We climb the Mt. of Olives a final time to the spot where Jesus ascended into heaven. We walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane & ponder the agony of the Lord before His crucifixion. We walk the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Sorrows,” before we come to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site for the burial and resurrection of the Lord. We can choose several optional experiences during our final afternoon in the Old City before we enjoy a private Middle Eastern dinner at the Ambassador Hotel in preparation for an evening departure for the airport.
DAY 13 Sat . Oct . 21
We arrive back in the U.S. and make our connecting flights full of memories of the Holy Land that will last a lifetime.