The Itinerary for the 12 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with an 3 Day Option to Jordan / Southern Israel)
April 27 – May 7, 2014 (with option from May 7-10)
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All Inclusive Price (airfare & US & Int’l Departure taxes, hotels, 2 meals daily, all entry fees, and gratuities): $3,995 from Phila, PA ($4,145 from Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh; additional departure cites available upon request. $2,869 for “land only” travelers making their own flight arrangements). Sign-up deadline: February 27. Space is available.
This tour features over 50+ sites on this Israel / Holy Land tour. We spend a night on the shores of the Dead Sea, 3 nights and 2 full days in Galilee, plus 4 nights in Jerusalem. A free day will be enjoyed our our last day!
Sites visited on this tour
DAY 1 – SUNDAY, APRIL 27: DEPART FOR TEL AVIV
We meet for the first time today at for our flight to Israel. We board our international flight together heading to Tel Aviv, Israel.
DAY 2 – MONDAY, APRIL 28: ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, JAFFA
We arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport in the early afternoon.
Here we are met by our Israeli guide, Shlomo, and our driver. We leave the airport and make on stop in Jaffa. This is where the Jonah story be- gins, as well as the story of Peter (Acts 10). We spend our first night in Israel along the Mediterranean Sea in the Tel Aviv. Following din- ner and an “orientation” group meeting helping us prepare for the exciting days of studying God’s Word “in context.” An optional walk takes place along the beautiful beach front. Overnight #1 in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv.
DAY 3 – TUESDAY, APRIL 29: BET SHEMESH, ELAH VALLEY, BEERSHEBA, DEAD SEA
Our first stop of the day is Beit Shemesh, where the Ark of the Covenant was returned (I Sam. 6.) Next, we travel to the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath and reenact the scene in our imagi- nation as we listen to I Samuel 17. From Tel Azekah, we see before our very eyes how this famous battle took place! Continuing through the “Shephelah” (lowlands) of Judah towards the biblical Negev, it’s on to the city Beersheba. Here we see the well and gate structure, the rounded streets, and a typical 4 room Israelite house. Driving east through the Negev, our final destination is our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Prior to dinner, we will experience floating in this remarkable body of salt and mineral water. We will enjoy an optional pool-side gathering following dinner. Overnight #2.
DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, JERICHO, TIBERIAS
Following breakfast, we visit Masada. The city’s walls still stand. We end the day by visiting Masada, the “fortress” of the Wilderness of Judah. We take the cable car to the top, visiting Herod’s mountain bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome. Those who want to can walk down the “snake path” while others will descend by cable car. From here we drive north along the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi, hiking into the valley to enjoy the waterfalls. Along the way, we hope to see the ibexes animals that reside in this deso- late area of Israel. From here it’s on to Qumran and the possible set- tlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jericho is our last stop of the day. This is where “the walls came tumbling down.” We drive north along the Jordan Valley to the Sea of Galilee which we will make our home for the next three nights. An optional gathering will take place by the quiet waters of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight #3.
DAY 5 – THURSDAY, MAY 1: GOLAN HEIGHTS, DAN, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, BENTAL, QATZRIN, BETHSAIDA
We begin the day by driving north past the Old Testament site of Hazor through the Golan to Dan and its refreshing springs, one of the sources of the River Jordan. Close by is Caesarea Philippi. Here Peter made his declaration about Jesus (Mt. 16). Heading to the eastern edge of the Golan Heights, we stop for lunch in a Druze vil- lage. Continuing east, we visit Bental, an old military site. Here, we are only 36 miles from Damascus on the same road Saul of Tarsus used during his encounter with Christ. On our way back to the Sea of Galilee area, we visit a re-constructed Talmudic village called Qatzrin where we see how people lived in the first few centuries. We end the day by visiting Bethsaida, the region where the feeding of the 5,000 took place. We return at the end of the day to our accommo- dations for dinner, and another optional gathering. Overnight #4.
DAY 6 – FRIDAY, MAY 2: BAPTISM, BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES, CAPERNAUM, CHORAZIN, ARBEL
We begin the day with a baptism observation in the Jordan River. From here, we drive to the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee to the Mount of Beatitudes. Reading from Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount, we take time to reflect upon this first sermon of Jesus. Close by Chorazin where an impressive basaltic synagogue stands. Next, we travel to travel Capernaum where Jesus called his disciples. Here, we’ll read about Jesus’ authority while sitting in an ancient synagogue. We eat lunch at Nof Ginnosar, the location where the “Jesus boat” from the first century AD was found in 1986. After lunch, we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and a quiet and peaceful worship service together. From here we head to the cliffs of Arbel for a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee (the option to climb the cliff side of Arbel will be offered, if time permits). We return to our hotel for dinner. Overnight #5
DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MAY 3: TIBERIAS, NAZARETH, MEGIDDO, CARMEL, CAESAREA, JERUSALEM
This morning head toward Nazareth where we view the city from the “precipice” from which Jesus was almost thrown. We continue into the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo (har meggido in Hebrew), which gave its name to Armageddon (Rev. 16). Our day continues as we ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Descending the mountain, we are on the road again, as we drive toward Caesarea, nestled between the banana groves and the sand-skirted sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the East, which became the Christian springboard to the West. We end the day by driving to Jerusalem. We enjoy dinner at our hotel in Jerusalem and an optional “orientation walk” of the Old City. The first of four overnights in Jerusalem, with an op- tional “orientation walk” into the Old City. Overnight #6.
DAY 8 – SUNDAY, MAY 4: JERUSALEM, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM, JERUSALEM
Following an optional morning walk, we start the day with an orien- tation to Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. We then follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to the church known as the Dominus Flevit (“the Lord weeps”). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text. From here we enter the Old City where we first will visit the Pools of Bethesda and St. Anne’s Church, perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) to the Holy Sepulcher, stopping along the way to con-sider all what Christ endured on his way to His crucifixion. In the afternoon, we visit Herodium. Located on the edge of the Judean Desert, this is where Herod the Great was buried. We end the day by driving into Bethlehem. We visit Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity. The day ends shopping at an Olive wood store. Overnight in Jerusalem, with another optional walk. Overnight #7.
DAY 9 – MONDAY, MAY 5: OLD CITY, WESTERN WALL TUNNEL, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
We begin the day by entering the Old City through the Dung Gate. We walk 400 yards called the Western Wall Tunnel along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. From here we visit the Burned House in the Jewish Quarter. This was a house that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Following this service together we drive out to West Jerusalem were we visit the Israel Museum and the spectacular Jerusalem Model of the 2nd Temple Period as well as Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Memorial. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. An optional night walk ends the evening. Overnight #8.
DAY 10 – TUESDAY, MAY 6: JERUSALEM, TEMPLE MOUNT, CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SILOAM POOL, GARDEN TOMB
We enter the Old City through the Dung Gate once again. We walk up to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Here, we will be able to spend time praying and reflecting at this most unique location. From here, we then ascend to the Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Next, we visit the southern wall excavations. We will see the massive stones erect- ed by King Herod as well as sit on the very steps used by Jesus and His disciples. We then will enter the Jewish Quarter of the Old city where will meet Moshe. He will talk about his Jewish faith. We’ll also enjoy a quiet lunch here in the Jewish Quarter. Next, we visit the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. Those who want to will then take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,720 feet long). We will then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. To end the day, we visit the Garden Tomb for a Communion Service. We return back to our hotel for dinner and another optional walk. Overnight #9.
DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 7: JERUSALEM, FREE DAY
We enjoy a free day in the Old City today! Pastor DeLancey will help orient you to visit other sites within the Old City, or shop. A tour of the Upper room, Caiaphas’ House, and Oscar Shindler’s grave will be offered. It will be a special day of adventure, rest and relaxation. Our final dinner in Jerusalem, time to finish packing and prepare for our transfer to the airport for our overnight flight home. (Overnight #10 for those doing the optional extension).
DAY 12 – THURSDAY, MAY 8: ARRIVE U.S.A
The close of an unforgettable tour, as we arrive back in the States. Praise be to God for a life-changing experience!
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION $969.00 per person Price is based on minimum of 15+ travelers for price to be valid (Price includes: Visa & Border taxes of $85 & Gratuities $48)
DAY 12 – THURSDAY, MAY 8: FROM ISRAEL TO JORDAN
We depart for the Allenby border crossing into Jordan. Following border formalities we meet up with our Jordanian guide and drive toward Mt. Nebo, the place where Moses was buried. We can see the vast panorama that encompasses the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea, Jericho and Jerusalem. We continue to Madaba, dubbed the “City of Mosaics”. We head south on the Desert Highway, arriving at Wadi Musa “Petra” in time for dinner and overnight.
DAY 13 – FRIDAY, MAY 9: FULL DAY PETRA
We visit Petra early in the morning, in the heart of the Seir Mountains (Land of Edomites) mentioned in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak, the highest in Petra and the burial place of Aaron brother of Moses. A walk through the siq bring you to the first monument, “The Treasury” or Al- Khazneh. A walk through the outer siq reveals tombs and bur- ial chambers brings you to one of the largest theaters in Jordan, carved in the sand stone mountains of Petra. Sacrificial rituals used to take place here. From here we walk up to the Royal Tombs, and have a great view of the lower part of Petra. There will be an option to walk from here to the church of Petra and view its mosaics. A look at Pharos’s daughter pal- ace. Dinner and overnight in Petra.
DAY 14 – SATURDAY, MAY 10: FROM JORDAN – TO ISRAEL – FLY-ING HOME
After breakfast, we drive to the recently discovered baptismal site of “Bethany beyond the Jordan” that has been identified as the area where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. We proceed to the Allenby Bridge, passing through passport control and once again rejoin our bus and guide in Israel. Dinner will be along the way, as we drive to the airport, for our flight home.
DAY 15 – SUNDAY, MAY 11: ARRIVE BACK
We arrive back in the U.S. It has been an unforgettable tour, to have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians.