ISRAEL

Where the Bible Comes to Life

Time and again, people who visit Israel say the same thing: “It really made the Bible jump off the page.” That’s why it has been our privilege, for over 20 years, to help thousands 0f travelers have that experience for themselves. We can think of no place that is more inspiring to your spiritual journey.

Regional Highlights

Sea of Galilea
Boat ride on the Sea of Galilea
Mt. Arbel
Mt. Arbel
Capernaum
Capernaum
Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes
Peter's Primacy
Peter's Primacy
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THE SEA OF GALILEA

Israel’s largest freshwater body chief source of water, the Sea of Galilee(Lake Tiberias/Knneret) lies 696 feet below sea level and is fed and drained by the Jordan River. It is 13 miles long, 6 miles wide and since biblical times has been famous for its abundance of fish.

SITES: Capernaum, Tabgha, Peter’s Primacy, Mount of Beatitudes, Kursi, Mt. Arbel, Magdala

Caesarea

At the height of his power, Herod the Great, sparing no expense, built a splendid city over the site of an ancient Phoenician port and dedicated it to Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor. A vast hippodrome seated more than 20,000 spectators for chariot races. Caesarea became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period. It was destroyed by the Muslim conquest of 640 and later conquered by the Crusaders. It became abandoned in 1800. Today the extensive excavations are incorporated in the Caesarea National Park.

SITES: Haifa, Mount Carmel, Akko, Mediterranean Sea

Ceasarea
Roman Aqueduct of Ceasarea
Haifa
Haifa
Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
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Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock
The Western Wall
The Western Wall
The Western Wall
The Western Wall
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Shrine of the book
Shrine of the book
Garden of Gethsemane
Garden of Gethsemane
The Temple Mount
The Temple Mount
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Jerusalem

According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. The city is full of sites of religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb.

SITES: City of David, Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, Mt. of Olives, Church of All Nations, Garden of Gethsemene, Garden Tomb, Mt. Zion, David’s Tomb, Western Wall, Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Pools of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross

SAMPLE ITINERARY

10-Day Israel – Biblical Encounter

Every tour is custom-tailored for each group, but here is an example of the kind of tour we provide.

Day 01
Day 02
Day 03
Day 04
Day 05
Day 06
Day 07
Day 08
Day 09
Day 10

Depart for Israel

DEPART USA FOR TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Arrive at Tel-Aviv

Tour group will be met at the Tel Aviv airport and assisted with arrival procedures as well as accessing the ground transfer to the group hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

CAESAREA MARITIMA / MEGIDDO / MT. CARMEL / NAZARETH VILLAGE / MT. PRECIPICE / TIBERIAS (SEA OF GALILEE)

Today we depart for the Galilee enjoying stops at the extensive ruins of Caesarea Maritima, an ancient port city, built by King Herod and later becoming the seat of government of the Roman governors, and where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman centurion (Acts 9 & 25). We continue to Megiddo (the valley of Armageddon) and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah prayed, and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven (1 Kings 18). We end our journey at “Nazareth Village”, a re-created village offering detailed explanation of life during the time of Jesus. On our return to Tiberius, we take a short ride to Mount Precipice, the traditional site believed to be where an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off the cliff after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee

GOLAN HEIGHTS / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / TEL DAN / CAPERNAUM / MT. OF BEATITUDES / PETER’S PRIMACY / SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE / YARDENIT (FOR BAPTISMS)

Following breakfast, we travel north into the Golan Heights to the ancient site of Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Jesus asked His disciples “who do men say that I am?” (Mark 8:27-30).  We will enjoy a short hike through the beautiful nature reserve of Tel Dan (named for the tribe of Dan) where we will see remains of the 5000-year old ancient city including the Canaanite Gate, the ritual site which recalls the sacrifice of golden calves during the reign of Jeroboam, and the beautiful Dan Springs fed by the snow from Mt. Hermon.   Returning to the Sea of Galilee area, we visit Capernaum (Mark 1: 31-38), the base of Jesus’ early ministry, the home of Peter, and the site of many healings. We will take a short drive to the Mt. of Beatitudes to enjoy a time for spiritual reflection and meditation as we reflect on Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5: 1-15).  In the afternoon, we board a replica “Jesus Boat”, a fishing boat of the kind used by the disciples of Jesus, for our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We end our day at the Yardinet- a baptismal site on the Jordan River for baptisms. (Please note:  robes must we worn at this site and a fee of $10 will be charged for those desiring baptism)  Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

MT. ARBEL / BEIT SHE’AN / JERUSALEM

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and begin our day with a short hike up Mt. Arbel for a panoramic view of the entire Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area. We depart this area heading south toward Jerusalem. On the way, we enjoy a visit to Beit She’an, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. In Beit She’an, the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hung from the city walls (1 Samuel 31:10-12) after the Philistines defeated them. We continue with our ascent to the majestic city of Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

MT. OF OLIVES / PALM SUNDAY ROAD / GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE / WESTERN (WAILING) WALL / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER / BETHLEHEM

We begin our day on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of All Nations, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed on the night of His betrayal (Matt. 26:36, John 18:1).   Entering the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate, we walk to the most holy site of the Jewish people, the Western (Wailing) Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel. 24:18-25). On this site now stands the golden Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way along the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) the road which Jesus walked after being sentenced by Pontius Pilate.  Stops will include the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5:1-15), the Pavement ,where Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate, and the Ecce Homo Arch (“Behold the man” – John 19:5) reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ’s burial.  We end our day with a visit to Bethlehem visiting the Church of the Nativity-the birthplace of Jesus.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

MASADA / EIN GEDI / QUMRAN / DEAD SEA

Leaving Jerusalem this morning, we meander through the Judean desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea. Our first visit is Masada, the fortress built by King Herod and site of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in 73 AD. Ascending Masada by cable car, we will be able to survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. Continuing along the Dead Sea, we pass by the lovely Ein Gedi, the oasis in the desert, where David hid from King Saul (1 Sam. 24: 1-7). We continue to Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were written over 2000 years ago and discovered in 1947. We conclude the day with a relaxing float in the healing waters of the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth). **Please be sure to bring swimsuit, towel (from the hotel), and water shoes as the bottom surface can be rough.   Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

THE CITY OF DAVID AND HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL / THE CHURCH OF ST. PETER IN GALLICANTU / HOUSE OF CAIAPHAS

Following breakfast, we travel to the City of David touring excellent archeological remains of David’s period and that of the Kings of Judah (2 Samuel 5: 8-10).  During this visit enjoy a walk (potentially wet!) through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the 2,700-year-old water tunnel dug during the reign of King Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:30) and remaining as one of the wonders of early engineering.  The tunnel ends at the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man.  *A flashlight and good water shoes will be helpful should you choose to walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel. Later, we will visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, the site of the house of Caiaphas and where three times Peter denied Christ (Mark 14:26-72).  We will see the original steps used by Jesus as he was held at Caiaphas’s house before being tried by Pontius Pilate and ultimately, crucified.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

SHRINE OF THE BOOK AND THE MODEL CITY FROM THE SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD / GARDEN TOMB / FREE AFTERNOON

Today we drive to the Israel Museum to visit the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Additionally, the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem, as the city would have appeared in Jesus’ time, will fascinate you!   Afterwards we visit the Garden Tomb for a time of quiet reflection, worship, and communion. Following the visit to the Garden Tomb, we return to the hotel for a free afternoon.  Options include relaxing in the hotel, returning to the Old City for further exploration and/or shopping, or visiting Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Hotel for dinner and overnight.

FLIGHT TO USA

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA.

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