The Itinerary for the 11 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with a 3 Day Jordan & southern Israel option)
March 14-24, 2020
All Inclusive Price: $4,114 from JFK, NY. $3,095 for “land only” travelers. The optional Jordan & southern Israel extension is $1,095 (based on a minimum of 20 passengers).
Registration Details for this Israel Tour
On-Line Registration Form
(This link will take you directly to the web site of our Israel 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 – DeLancey320 – to register for this trip). Registration is open through January 13, 2020.
Price of this Holyland Tour includes: Airfare & US & Int’l Departure-fuel taxes ($590), gratuities ($160), hotels, 2 meals daily on land, and all entry fees. $4,114 from JFK, NY (additional departure cites available upon request). The land only price of $3,095 includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: January 13, 2020.
Early Bird Discounts: With your deposit of $500 to reserve your spot on this Israel tour, you will earn the following discounts off the overall price: $150 for deposits made before 1/14/19; $100 before 3/14/19; $90 before 4/14/19, $80 before 5/14/19, $70 before 7/14/19, $60 before 9/14/19, and $50 before 10/14/19.
This Israel tour features about 45 sites! First, we head north through the Coastal and Sharon Plains, Mt. Carmel, and the Jezreel Valley to the Galilee. Here we spend 3 nights in this northern region of Israel. This was the area for the home ministry base of Jesus. We then drive through the Samaritan Hill Country to the Dead Sea and spend one night there. We end in Jerusalem, saving the best to last. The option includes an amazing trip to Jordan. We will stand on Mt. Nebo, visit Machaerus, explore Petra, and enjoy jeep rides in Wadi Rum. We even stay one night in the desert! We then cross back into Israel. We will visit the Red Sea, Timnah, and drive up through southern Israel. The whole trip will connect you with the Bible in many ways!
The Israel Tour Itinerary:
DAY 1 – SATURDAY, MARCH 14: 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 – SUNAY, MARCH 15: 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. We take a short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. On the way, we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10).
DAY 3 – MONDAY, MARCH 16: CAESAREA, MEGIDDO, CHURCH OF ANNUNCIATION, NAZARETH VILLAGE, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS
After an abundant breakfast buffet, we journey north along the coast to Caesarea, built 2000 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 Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kings 9:15; Rev. 16:16), a city with 26 layers of occupation and 2,500 years of history. Following our visit here, we cross the Jezreel Valley to Nazareth. Driving into this city, we will briefly visit the Church of Annunciation (Luke 1), We will also experience the Nazareth Village, complete with reenactments of how people lived in Jesus’ day. We end the day on the precipice of Nazareth (Luke 4). Here we gain an incredible view of the Jezreel Valley below. We will also pause for a brief time of reflection and worship here too. Driving through Cana (John 2), we finally arrive at the outskirts of Tiberias (John 6:23). We arrive at our “kibbutz-hotel” located right on the Sea of Galilee shoreline. After a late dinner, we enjoy a free evening.
DAY 4 – TUESDAY, MARCH 17: HAZOR, DAN, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, SYRIAN BORDER, HIPPOS/SUSITA
We begin early today by driving to the northern end of the Sea of Galilee to Hazor, the largest archaeological site of Israel. Located in the Huleh Valley, this 200 acre site first inhabited by Canaanites was conquered by Joshua (Josh. 11). Later, King Solomon refortified the city. Continuing north, we visit the amazing nature preserve and archaeological site of Tel Dan. First, we walk through this quiet national park along the upper Jordan River. Then we will sit on the steps of the high place and hear the stories that took place here (Judges 18, 1 Kings 12). Next, we visit Caesarea Philippi. It was here Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Mt. 16). We will see the ruins from the grotto area of the city. From here we drive east to the border with Syria. We will pass Mt. Hermon (Ps. 133) on the way. At the border we learn about the modern wars of Israel, primarily the 1967 and 1973 wars with Syria. Returning to the Sea of Galilee, we will pass Gamla (a 1st century Jewish site), Bethsaida (the home of Peter, Andrew, and Phillip, John 1), the area of the Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6), and Kursi (where the demoniac was healed by Jesus, Mark 5). Our final stop is Hippos (Susita), one of the Decapolis cities overlooking the Sea of Galilee. We then drive back to our hotel in Tiberias. After dinner, we meet down by the water’s edge once again to review the day.
DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18: ARBEL, MAGDALA, YARDENIT, CHORAZIM, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. We will have the option to hike to the top of this 800-foot cliff (the bus will take others to the top from the other side). The view from the top is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! Driving south to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee, we arrive at Yardenit. You will have the opportunity to reaffirm your baptism in the waters of the Jordan River. From here we drive to back to the NW corner of the lake to Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Here we will see another 1st century synagogue. Jesus must have taught from here! Among the other ruins are ritual baths. After lunch we visit Chorazim, one of the three cities condemned by Jesus (Mt. 11). We see the basaltic ruins of this city, including a synagogue dating to the 3rd century AD. Close by on the water’s edge is Capernaum, the home center of ministry for Jesus here in Galilee. Here we read about the many stories related to the ministry of Jesus in the 4th-5th century synagogue. We also spend some reflection time on the shoreline. It was in this area where Jesus called His first disciples. Close by 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. We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. We return to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering once again by the water.
DAY 6 – THURSDAY, MARCH 19: BETH SHEAN, SHILOH, JERICHO, JUDEAN DESERT, JERICHO
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. Driving south along the Jordan Valley and then turning west into the area of Samaria, we 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. Driving past Bethel (Gen. 12, 28) and through the Desert of Pareth (Jeremiah 13), our next stop is Jericho. After a late lunch here, we climb the tel (ancient mound) to see portions of the fortification wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumblin’ down” (Joshua 6). From here we drive to the southern end of the Dead Sea to our hotel. Prior to dinner, you will have a chance to float in the salt and mineral-rich waters of this unique body of water!
DAY 7 – FRIDAY, MARCH 20: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, WILDERNESS OF JUDAH, JERUSALEM
This morning we begin our drive northward along the western coastline 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. An optional walk down the Snake Path will be offered. Our next stop is Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul, and we enjoy a walk to some of the waterfalls in the canyon. Finally, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Over the lunch hour, you will have the opportunity to explore the famous Cave 1 where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. En route to Jerusalem, we end the day with a brief stop at Wadi Qelt. Here we hear the words of Isaiah 40 and Psalm 23 in the context of the Judea Desert. From here we drive the rest of the way to Jerusalem for overnight. After checking in our hotel and dinner, an optional walk to the Western Wall will take place.
DAY 8 – SATURDAY, MARCH 21: MT. OF OLIVES, GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, POOL OF BETHESDA, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, beholding a breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. We walk down the “Palm Sunday” route to the Garden of Gethsemane. 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 through the Old City will take us to the Christian Quarter and to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In the afternoon after lunch, we see the fascinating Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). Here we also explore some of the artifacts in the archaeological 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 and a free evening to allow you to explore or relax.
DAY 9 – SUNDAY, MARCH 22: BETHLEHEM, SHEPHERD’S FIELDS, THE “SHEPHELAH” – LOWLANDS OF JUDAH – LACHISH, QEIYAFA & ELAH VALLEY, BETH SHEMESH & SOREK VALLEY, GEZER & AIJALON VALLEY, JERUSALEM
We begin the day in Bethlehem. We first go to the Shepherd’s Fields for a quiet time of reflecting upon God’s redemptive history. We also visit an olive wood factory and store. From here we drive west to the Shephelah (lowlands) of Judah. We begin by driving to Lachish, a city that was conquered by the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32). Here, we see where the famous “Lachish Letters” were discovered. Next, we travel to Tel Kh. Qeiyafa (biblical Shaaryim?) and see where David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17). As we listen to the story we see how this famous battle took place! From here, we drive to Beth Shemesh and the Sorek Valley. It was here where the Ark of the Covenant was returned by the Philistines (1 Samuel 6). We end the day at Gezer and the Aijalon Valley. Here we see ruins from Solomon’s day and beyond. The famous “Gezer calendar” was found here. We drive back to Jerusalem for dinner and another optional walk.
DAY 10 – MONDAY, MARCH 23: CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, WESTERN WALL, A FEW FREE HOURS, GARDEN TOMB
We begin the day by visiting the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. 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. From here, we walk up through an exposed Herodian drainage channel that takes us to “Robinson’s Arch” and the southern wall excavations. We walk on a Roman street and ascend the Temple steps. We eat lunch in the Jewish Quarter (not included) and enjoy a few hours of free time (or visit the Western Wall). Our day ends at the Garden Tomb for Communion, and we return to our hotel for a Farewell Dinner. Then we transfer to the airport for our return night home. (Passengers with Jordan extension return to the hotel for overnight)
DAY 11 – TUESDAY, MARCH 24: ARRIVE HOME
We arrive back in the U.S.A. After going through U.S. Customs, we board our domestic flight back to our homes at the end of a life-transforming trip!
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION
($1095 per person). Price is based on minimum of 20 travelers for price to be valid (Includes: Visa & Border taxes of $67 & Gratuities of $45)
DAY 11 – TUESDAY, MARCH 24: ALLENBY BRIDGE, MT. NEBO, MACHARUS, PETRA
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley the Allenby Bridge. Here we make the crossing from Israel to Jordan. After border formalities, we meet our Jordanian guide and bus and drive to Mt. Nebo to stand where Moses stood and viewed the Holy Land (Deut. 34). Here you can take in a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. We continue to Macherus, one of Herod’s palace-fortresses. It was here where John the Baptist was beheaded (Mark 6). In the late afternoon, we drive south down the Desert Highway to Petra, where we spend the night. We arrive at our hotel and enjoy a late dinner together.
DAY 12 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25: PETRA, WADI RUM
We arrive this morning at the entrance of Petra and spend the entire day within this red-rose ancient city. We are in the heart of the Seir Mountains, Land of Edomites, mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak, the highest in Petra and the burial place of Moses’ brother Aaron. A walk through the Siq, the main entrance to Petra, brings us to the first monument “The Treasury” “Al-Khazneh” a dramatic site. This well-preserved monumental tomb appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” A walk further down through the outer siq with all of its tombs and burial chamber brings us to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. A 3000-seat theater from the early first century is carved in the sandstone mountains at the bottom of the High Place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently some sacrificial rituals had taken place here. From here we walk uphill to the Royal Tombs for a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. There will be the option to walk to the “Monastery” of Petra and/or the High Place. Leaving the site of Petra in mid-afternoon, we drive south to Wadi Rum. Here we enjoy an amazing jeep ride in the desert. We then stay in Wadi Rum at Captain’s, a Bedouin Village. We enjoy dinner together and a devotional time under the stars. It will be a unique experience!
DAY 13 – THURSDAY, MARCH 26: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, TIMNAH, TEL AVIV, NIGHT FLIGHT HOME
Following breakfast, we leave Wadi Rum and drive to the southern border to cross back into Israel. Greeted once again by our Israeli guide and bus, we make a brief stop to see the coral reefs of the Red Sea. We will have a chance to swim in these crystal-clear waters. From here we drive north through the Aravah (Rift Valley) to Timnah. In ancient days, this was a copper mine of the Egyptians. We also walk through a full-size replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Continuing north, we drive back to the Tel Aviv area through the Machtesh Ramon, Israel’s “Grand Canyon.” We also drive through the Desert of Zin (Numbers 13) where the 12 spies explored the land. Back in the Tel Aviv area we have dinner before arriving at the airport for our night flight home.
DAY 14 – FRIDAY, MARCH 27: ARRIVE HOME.
We arrive back in the U.S.A. After going through U.S. Customs, we board our domestic flight back to our homes at the end of a life-transforming trip!
*While we do our very best at making sure all items listed in your itinerary are included, there are times when conditions beyond our control affect your program/itinerary, including but not limited to air carrier changes, delays, weather, political climate, time constraints, or changes by your tour leader and tour guide.
Petra is one of the world’s “seven wonders.” The ancient Nabateans were the ones who developed this massive city within the red-rose mountains of Edom (Seir). Walking through “Siq” is the way to enter the city today. Among the tombs/monuments that we see are the Treasury (made famous by the 3rd Indiana Jones movie), the Monastery, and the Royal/Urn tombs.
Petrea is Jordan’s “grand-daddy” site and millions visit the site each year! It is spectacular!