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11 Day Tour to Israel: April 8-18, 2024
We welcome you to join us for this life-changing tour of the Holy Lands. As we walk the land, you will better understand the geography and culture of the Bible in a way that will help your reading and study come alive.
Note: the activity level for this tour is listed as “energetic” – we average over 5 miles of walking per day on sometimes rough, uneven terrain, including many stairs. We ask that participants be aware of the physical requirements required to keep pace with the group.
Day 1: Departure
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive Israel
Arrive in Israel and travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. If time allows, we will visit the port of Jaffa where the prophet Jonah ran away from the Lord. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Meet your Israeli guide, enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the “Promised Land,” and a good night’s rest in Netanya.
Day 3: Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth Village & Mt. Arbel
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, a film on history and remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next, we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village – a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. As we arrive in the Galilee, we will get an overview of the area from atop Mt. Arbel. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee. We will spend the evening in Tiberias.
Day 4: Capernaum, Chorazin, Mt. of Beatitudes, St. Peter’s Fish Lunch (included) Hippos, Magdala, Sea of Galilee Boat Ride
Following breakfast, we visit the structures in Chorazin, despite all of the work the Lord had done there, Chorazin (along with her sister cities of Bethsaida and Capernaum) rejected the divine witness they received. We will pass the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes. In Capernaum we view the excavations of the sea-side village and Peter’s home. Returning to Tiberias for a St. Peter’s Fish Lunch (included, other selections available), we then visit Magdala, hometown of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well-preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. We will end the day viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat excavated from the Sea of Galilee followed by a relaxing cruise on the Jesus Boat. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. We will spend the evening in Tiberias.
Day 5: Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Talmudic village of Katzrin, Hippos/Susitos
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of alternative sacrifice and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession and pagan worship. Katzrin is a preserved Jewish village from the Talmudic/Byzantine periods (3rd-6th Centuries) and is one of 27 such villages discovered in the region. The park is a cross section of ancient Jewish life as described in the Talmud. See an authentic olive oil press and wine press, as well as a reconstructed home, complete with kitchen, pantry, living area, bedroom, and courtyard. You can also visit a Talmudic-era synagogue made from basalt, which is still used today for special occasions. The park located at Hippos gives us a great departing view of the Galilee region. We will spend the evening in Tiberias.
Day 6: Beth Shean, Gideon Springs, Jericho & Dead Sea
We begin our day traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis – a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We stop at the ancient Jericho and have a brief visit at this site. To the east of Jericho along the Jordan River Valley (Queser El Yehud) is the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan. We visit this area Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, as well as where the children of Israel, led by Joshua, entered the Promised Land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner. Overnight at Dead Sea.
Day 7: Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran and Genesis Land
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat,” an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. Weather permitting, we will walk to the first waterfall in the area where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham’s Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride and authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Jesus’ Steps, Last Days, Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus’ prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the “Upper Room” just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, “my Lord & my God.” While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led, and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah’s Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus’ miracle in John 9. Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Bethlehem
Conditions permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. Next we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel, we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen’s Gate and St. Ann’s Church. This afternoon we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ with a visit to Bethlehem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 10: Israel Museum, House of Caiaphas, Yad Vashem and the Garden Tomb
An interesting and educational time awaits us today at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of century’s old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. This model will help put into perspective all that you have seen over the previous days touring. We then visit the Friends of Zion Museum to learn of the 19th and 20th century heroes of the Jewish people. Next, we spend time at the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. The remaining time this afternoon and evening will allow you free time in the Old City Souk if you wish to make your way back to the Old City. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 11: Home
A very early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home later today.
Last updated January 8th, 2024 at 09:56 am