The Itinerary for our “Land of the Bible” 11 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with option to Jordan)
July 8-18, 2017 (with option to Jordan from July 18-21)
All Inclusive Price: $ 4,347 from JFK, NY; $4,697 from Seattle, WA (with “Land Only” price of $3,697).
* New Instant Registration:
(This link will take you directly to the web site of our Holyland travel agent, imagine Tours & Travel. This is a safe & secure way to place your $500 deposit instantly with your credit card and reserve your spot on this tour. Please enter the tour code – SHill17 – to register for this trip).
Cost of tour is $4,347 fro JFK, NY and $4,697 from Seattle, WA. Price includes: Airfare & US & Int’l Departure taxes ($711), hotels, 2 meals daily, Jordanian visa, all entry fees, and gratuities ($175). The Jordan optional extension is $977. The land only price of $3,697 includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: May 8, 2017.
Early bird discount of $100 by 1/10/17; $90 by 2/1/17, $80 by 3/1/17, $70 by 4/1/17, $60 by 5/1/17, and $50 by 6/1/17.
This tour features over 50+ sites on this Israel / Holy Land tour. After we land in Israel, we spend our first night along the Mediterranean Sea. Then we head north for 3 nights in Galilee, spending two full days in the north (Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee area). We then head to Jerusalem through the Samaritan Hill Country. We also take one day to explore the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea. The optional extension to Jordan includes Mt. Nebo, Medeba, Machareus, and Petra. We overnight on the Red Sea before re-crossing back to Israel and see Timnah (full size model of Tabernacle), and Elah Valley (where David fought Goliath) before flying home.
(Sites in Israel visited on this tour)
DAY 1 – SATURDAY, JULY 8: DEPART U.S.A.
Tour members meet for our evening flight. After dinner is served, sit back and relax, enjoying the on-board entertainment as you prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime.
DAY 2 – SUNDAY, JULY 9: TEL AVIV, JAFFA, NETANYA
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, we meet our local Israeli representative who assists us with baggage and transfers us to our motor coach. On the way to our hotel, we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10). Dinner and overnight are in Netanya, beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
DAY 3 – MONDAY, JULY 10: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, SEPPORIS, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS
After an abundant breakfast buffet, we journey north along the coast to Caesarea, built over 2,000 years ago by King Herod. We walk through the ancient theater, the Crusader city and the fantastic aqueduct that served as a back drop for the book of Acts. From here, we depart to Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then we proceed to Megiddo and walk through the excavations there (Armageddon; 1 Kings 9:15; Rev. 16:16). Across the Jezreel Valley is Sepporis, the primary city in the Lower Galilee at the time of Jesus. We will see amazing mosaics here, including the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.” Finally, just a short distance away is the precipice of Nazareth (Luke 1 and 4). We end our day here as we read about Jesus’ ministry in this area. Driving through Cana (John 2), we finally arrive at the outskirts of Tiberias (John 6:23). We arrive at Nof Ginnosar, our “kibbutz-hotel” located right on the Sea of Galilee shoreline. After dinner, we enjoy sitting together on the beach for an optional time of fellowship and worship.
DAY 4 – TUESDAY, JULY 11: SEA OF GALILEE, GOLAN HEIGHTS, GAMLA, QATZRIN, BENTAL, MT. HERMON, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, DAN
We begin the day by driving to the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee. As we ascend into the Golan Heights, we’ll stop briefly for a wonderful panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee below. We then drive to our first site, Gamla, called the “Masada of the North.” It was a Jewish city that was taken by the Romans during the Revolt in the 60’s A.D. From above the city, we’ll look down to the ancient synagogue where no doubt Jesus would have taught from. This is only one of seven 1st century synagogues found in Israel. Here we will also be on the lookout for Griffon Vultures, who make their home here in the cliffs. Close by is Qatzrin, a partially reconstructed Talmudic village. We see what a typical village looked like during the days of Jesus. We’ll sit in the house of “Rabbi Abun” where we will read the story from Mark 2. Continuing to the eastern edge of the Golan, we make a stop at an old military base called Bental. Here we look into Quneitra in southern Syria and Lebanon. Driving through a few Druze villages, we’ll stop for lunch (not included) at Lake Ram on the slopes of Mt. Hermon. Following lunch, we descend from the Golan Heights to Caesarea Philippi, a pagan city during the time of Jesus. This is where Christ asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16). We will also read from Matthew 17 about Jesus’ transfiguration. Finally, we end the day by visiting the city of Dan. Here we will see portions of this impressive Old Testament city. We will visit the high place and altar, the Israelite walls and gate, as well as an impressive mud-brick gate that dates to the time of Abraham (Middle Bronze). We drive back to our hotel along the Huleh Valley. We arrive back at our hotel for dinner, another optional gathering on the beach, and overnight.
DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 12: ARBEL, MAGDALA, CHORAZIM, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES, YARDENIT
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. The view from the top of this 800- foot cliff is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! We will begin talking about Jesus’ parables here. From here we drive to Magdala. We see another 1st century synagogue from which Jesus surely taught. Next is Tabgha, a traditional location for the feeding of the 5,000. Here we enter an ancient 4th-5th century church and see beautiful mosaics. Located nearby the shoreline is Chorazim, another city mentioned in the Gospels. We will read from Matthew 23 in the city’s 3rd century synagogue. Our last stop before lunch is Capernaum, the home center of ministry for Jesus here in Galilee. Here we read from Mark 1 and 2 in the 4th-5th century synagogue. For lunch “St. Peter’s fish” will be optional (not included). Following lunch, we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, with a quiet and peaceful worship service. Upon landing, we also see the “Jesus boat” from the first century, a vessel found here along the shores of Galilee in 1986. Close by is the Mt. of Beatitudes. Here, we read from Matthew 5 (the first portion of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”), recollecting the transforming words of Jesus shared in this place. Lastly, we travel to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy optional baptism in the Jordan River at Yardenit. We return to our hotel for dinner and a free evening.
DAY 6 – THURSDAY, JULY 13: BETH SHEAN, SHILOH, JERICHO, JUDEAN DESERT
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley to the site of Beth Shean (1 Sam. 31), an impressive Roman city of the Decapolis. From here, we drive through the Hill County of Samaria to visit the rather new excavations of Shiloh. This is where the Tabernacle once stood. Here we see impressive archaeological ruins dating to the days of Samuel. Our next stop is Jericho to see portions of the fortifying wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumbling down” (Joshua 6). We drive to Jerusalem from here, ascending about 4,000 feet in elevation. On the way, well make a brief stop overlooking the Wadi Qelt / Judean Desert. We’ll check into our hotel, enjoy dinner and the first of a few optional walks. Tonight we’ll walk to the Western Wall.
DAY 7 – FRIDAY, JULY 14: MT. OF OLIVES, POOL OF BETHESDA, VIA DOLOROSA, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM
We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, beholding a breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. We will provide an option to walk down the “Palm Sunday” route. We’ll stop at a church called Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We descend the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane where we will all gather to reflect upon Jesus’ time of prayer and betrayal. Next, we enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate (St. Stephens) and visit the Pools of Bethesda (John 5). We also enjoy some marvelous singing in St. Anne’s church from the Crusader period. Our walk continues along the Via Dolorosa, passing by the Ecce Homo Arch in route to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon, we visit Herodian. Located on the edge of the Judean Desert, this is where Herod the Great was buried. We drive into Bethlehem to visit Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity. The day ends shopping at an olive wood store. We drive back to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Another optional walk after dinner will be offered.
DAY 8 – SATURDAY, JULY 15: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, DEAD SEA, WILDERNESS OF JUDAH
We begin the day by driving down through the Judean Wilderness, and driving south along the western shoreline of the Dead Sea to Masada. Here we ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. We survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. Driving back northward, our next stop is Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul (1 Samuel 24). We’ll view the cliffs and waterfalls from a high vantage point. Located on the northern corner of the Dead Sea is Qumran, one of Israel’s most important archaeological sites. Here we’ll talk about the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We end the day with a “float” in the Dead Sea. It will be a unique experience! We return to Jerusalem for dinner and a free evening.
DAY 9 – SUNDAY, JULY 16: OLD CITY, WAILING WALL, WESTERN WALL TUNNEL, JEWISH QUARTER, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
The day begins in the Old City and we visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the most holy place in Judaism. After some time for personal prayer and reflection, we walk 400 yards along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. Upon completing this unique walk, we return to the Jewish Quarter for some time at the Western Wall. Next, we’ll visit the southern excavations of the Temple Mount. We sit under the famous “Robinson’s Arch” and walk on the same Roman street that Jesus would have used. We also ascend the Temple steps as we recall the many Gospel stories that took place in the Temple. Leaving the Old City, we’ll visit the Church of St. Peter Gallicantu. This is the traditional “House of Caiaphas” (the High Priest) where Peter denied Jesus. Following lunch (not included), we see the fascinating model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time) at the Israel Museum. We end the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. We see the Children’s Memorial and walk through the museum on our own. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner. Another optional walk will be offered.
DAY 10 – MONDAY, JULY 17: CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL (OPTIONAL), SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, FREE TIME, GARDEN TOMB
We begin the day by visiting the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. We’ll see the famous “Area G” where Dr. John excavated in 1982. Those who want to will take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,720 feet long). We then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. Next, we visit the southern wall excavations of the Temple. We’ll actually walk up the same steps that so many others did in Jesus’ day! Following a late lunch, we enjoy a few free hours this afternoon in the Old City. We end the day with a Communion Service at the Garden Tomb. We return to our hotel for a Farewell Dinner, then transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
DAY 11 – TUESDAY, JULY 18: ARRIVE HOME
We arrive back in the U.S.A. from Tel Aviv. After going through U.S. Customs, we board our domestic flights back to our respective homes at the end of a life-transforming trip!
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION
$977.00 per person double occupancy (Includes: border taxes & visa fees of $92 & gratuities of $55)
DAY 11 – TUESDAY, JULY 18: CROSS INTO JORDAN, MT. NEBO, MADABA, MACHERAUS, PETRA
We begin the morning by checking out of our hotel. Once the bus is loaded, we drive to the Allenby Bridge border crossing into Jordan. Following border formalities, we meet up with our Jordanian guide and drive to Mt. Nebo, the place where Moses was buried. We can see from here the vast panorama that encompasses the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea, Jericho and Jerusalem. We continue to Madaba, dubbed the “City of Mosaics” due to the wonderfully vivid 6th century Byzantine mosaic map seen in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George. Next, we visit Macheraus. Located on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, this is where John the Baptist was beheaded. We’ll see the palace area where this story happened (Matthew 14). The rest of the afternoon we drive south on the Desert Highway, arriving at Wadi Musa “Petra” in time for a panoramic view of Petra and a late dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 12 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 19: PETRA
We start the tour of Petra early in the morning in order to maximize our day within this Red-rose ancient city. We are in the heart of the Seir Mountains, the Land of the Edomites that has been mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak is the highest area in Petra and the burial place of Aaron, brother of Moses. A walk through the siq, the main entrance to Petra, brings us to the first monument “The Treasury” or Al- Khazneh,” a dramatic and amazing site. This appears in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie. A walk further down through the outer siq with all of its tombs and burial chambers brings us to one of the largest theaters in Jordan, a 3000 seat theater from the early 1st century AD, carved in the sand stone mountains of Petra at the bottom of the High place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently some sacrificial rituals used to take place here. From here we walk up hill to the Royal Tombs. We will have a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. Some of these tombs are: Um-Corinthian, Silk and Place tombs. There will be an option to walk to the “Monastery” of Petra and/or the High Place. Leaving the site of Petra around 2 p.m., we will drive to our beautiful hotel along the Red Sea. You will get a chance to swim or relax by the pool before dinner.
DAY 13 – THURSDAY, JULY 20: TIMNAH, MACHTESH RAMON, SDE BOKER & WILDERNESS OF ZIN, ELAH VALLEY, AIRPORT
Checking out of our hotel, we cross back into Israel through the Rabin Border Crossing. Once we cross, our Israeli guide and driver will greet us. From here we drive about 20 minutes north to Timnah. Here we visit a reconstructed model of the Tabernacle. We continue to drive from here through Israel’s “Grand Canyon” called the Machtesh Ramon. We will stand on the northern rim and enjoy the view of this unique geological wonder. Continuing north through the Negev, we’ll stop at Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert, to visit the grave of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister. We also gain a great panoramic view of the Wilderness of Zin (Numbers 13) from here. En route to Tel Aviv, if time permits, our last stop of the day will be to Qeiyafa the Elah Valley. We’ll read the story about David fighting the Philistine giant named Goliath from 1 Samuel 17 while visiting this new archaeological site. We drive to Joppa for dinner before arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport for our flight home.
DAY 14 – FRIDAY, JULY 21: ARRIVE BACK IN THE STATES
We arrive back in the States after our night flight. We make our connecting flights home, at the end of a great extension to Jordan and southern Israel.