The Itinerary for the 12 Day “Stand alone” Israel Biblical Tour
November 1-12, 2017
All Inclusive Price: $3,898 from either Dulles, Washington, DC or JFK, NY, $3,148 for “land only” travelers.
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(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 – DeLancey1117 – to register for this trip).
Price of this Holyland Tour includes: $701 US & Intl. departure taxes/fuel & $185 gratuities, all hotels, 2 meals daily, all entry fees, and gratuities. Total price is $3,898 from either Dulles, Washington DC or JFK, NY (additional departure cites available upon request). The land only price includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: September 1, 2017. Early bird discounts: $80 by 3/15/17, $60 by 4/315/17, $50 by 5/15/17.
This is a 12 day of Israel. It is being offered as an option for those who cannot do the entire Egypt-Jordan-Israel Tour. In Israel we will see the entire length of this biblical country. We will see approximately 45 sites on this trip. We end in Jerusalem, saving the best to last.
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1: DEPART FOR TEL AVIV
Tour members meet for our flight to Israel. 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 – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2: ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, JAFFA, BAT YAM
We arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport and are met by our Israeli guide and driver. We leave the airport and drive to the town of Jaffa. This is where the Jonah story begins, as well as the story of Peter (Acts 10). We arrive at our hotel near the Mediterranean Sea in the Bat Yam area. Following dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk on the beautiful beach front.
DAY 3 – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3: KH. QEIYAFA/ELAH VALLEY, BEERSHEBA, MACHTESH RAMON, ELAT & RED SEA
Today we drive south all the way to the Red Sea. On the way, we will drive through the Shephelah (Lowlands) of Judah. We stop at Kh. Qeiyafa along the Elah Valley. We walk to the top of this ancient site and see two 6-chamber gates dating to the time of David or Solomon. Here we will also read the story of David vs. Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and see where the battle took place. Continuing to the Biblical Negev, we’ll stop at Tel Beersheba. Here we will see the ancient ruins dating to the time of Solomon and beyond. After lunch (not included), we will drive through the Desert of Zin to the Machtesh Ramon, Israel’s “Grand Canyon.” We continue to drive south to the northern tip of the Red Sea. We will check into our hotel in Elat and enjoy dinner together.
DAY 4 – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4: RELAXING MORNING, RED SEA SWIMMING/SNORKELING, TIMNAH, DEAD SEA
Following breakfast, we will enjoy a leisurely morning. You will have the option to relax at the hotel or swim and snorkel in the Red Sea. About noon, we’ll leave the Red Sea area and drive north along the Aravah (Rift Valley) to Timnah. In ancient days, this was a copper mine of the Egyptians. We will also walk through a full-size replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Continuing north through the Arava, we arrive at our hotel at the Dead Sea. We check into our hotel and have a chance to float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Following dinner, we’ll enjoy a free evening and overnight.
DAY 5 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, JERICHO, GALILEE
We begin our day at 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, the synagogue, temples and pal-aces. 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 back to some of the waterfalls. Continuing north, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. During our late lunch, an option will be given to explore the famous “Cave 1” where the Isaiah scrolls were found in 1947. Following lunch, we visit the ruins of Qumran. Our last stop of the day will be Jericho. Here we will see portions of the wall of this city that was destroyed by Joshua. Leaving Jericho, we drive up through the Jordan River Valley to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. After arrival, we enjoy dinner together followed by a optional gathering on the shoreline.
DAY 6 – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6: GAMLA, QATZRIN, BEN TAL, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, DAN
We begin the day by driving into the Golan Heights. Stopping on the north-east corner of the Sea of Galilee, we are able to see Bethsaida and the area of the Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6). Then our next site is Gamla, a Jewish city that was taken by the Romans during the Revolt in the 60’s A.D. Here we see a first century synagogue (one of seven that date to the first century), as well as the ruins of the city, called the “Masada of the north.” Close by is the site of Qatzrin, a partially reconstructed Talmudic village. We see what a typical village looked like during the days of Jesus. Sitting in a reconstructed stone house, we’ll read from Mark 2 about the lame man being lowered down to Jesus through the roof. Driving along the northern border, we ascend an old military bunker called Ben Tal to learn about the modern wars of Israel, primarily the 1967 and 1973 wars with Syria. In the afternoon, we descend the Golan Heights and visit Caesarea Philippi. It was here where Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16). Nearby is the amazing nature preserve and archaeological site of Dan. This is one of the sources of the Jordan River. We walk through this quiet national park and impressive Old Testament city and hear the stories of disobedience that took place here (Judges 18, 1 Kings 12). We drive back through the Huleh Valley to our hotel in Tiberias. After dinner, we meet again to review the day on the water’s edge.
DAY 7 – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7: ARBEL, MAGDALA, CHORAZIM, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, YARDENIT, MT. OF BEATITUDES
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. We 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 here is the best there is of the whole Sea of Galilee below! From here we drive to Magdala. We see a first century synagogue where Jesus no doubt taught. Next is another New Testament city, Chorazim. This was one of the three cities condemned by Jesus (Matthew 11). We visit the third century synagogue here, built out of basaltic rock. Then we continue to 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. Next, 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. Next, we travel to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy optional baptism in the Jordan River at Yardenit. We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. We walk down the pathway, recollecting the transforming words of Jesus shared in this place. We return to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering once again by the water.
DAY 8 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8: NAZARETH, MEGIDDO, MT. CARMEL, CAESAREA, JERUSALEM
This morning we 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 Megiddo 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 drive toward Caesarea on the coast. 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 arrive at our hotel in Jerusalem and enjoy dinner and an optional “orientation walk” of the Old City.
DAY 9 – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9: JERUSALEM, MT. OF OLIVES, OLD CITY, VIA DOLOROSA, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM
We start the day with an orientation 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 Gospels. From here we enter the Old City, where we will visit the Pool 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 consider all 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 the Shepherds’ Field and the Church of the Nativity. The day ends with shopping at an olive wood store. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem, with another optional walk.
DAY 10 – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10: OLD CITY, WESTERN WALL/ TUNNEL, JEWISH QUARTER, TEMPLE INSTITUTE, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
We begin the day by entering the Old City and visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the most holy place in Judaism. After some time for personal prayer and reflection, we walk 400 yards (called the Western Wall Tunnel) along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. Upon completing this unique walk, we return to the Jewish Quarter for a visit to the Temple Institute. Here, we will see some of the preparations being made for the 3rd Temple. Following this, we will visit Moshe, an Orthodox Jew to listen to him talk about his Jewish faith. In the afternoon, we see the fascinating Israel Muse-um and the model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time). Here, we 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 as well as walk through the museum on our own. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. A free night is planned to allow you to explore or relax.
DAY 11 – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11: GARDEN TOMB, CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, FREE TIME
We begin the day by visiting the Garden Tomb. We also enjoy a quiet Communion Service together. From here, we spend the rest of the morning visiting the amazing ruins from Biblical days! First, we visit the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. Those who want to can take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,720 feet long). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes if you want to walk through the tunnel. We then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. From here, we are given the option to walk up through a 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 ascend to the Jewish Quarter where we enjoy free time on our own. It will be a time to grab a bite to eat, explore the Old City, or shop. We enjoy a Farewell Dinner followed by a transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
DAY 12 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12: ARRIVE IN U.S.A.
Today we arrive back in the U.S.A. and after proceeding through customs, we make our connecting flights back home.
*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 pro-gram/itinerary, including but not limited to air carrier changes, delays, weather, political climate, time constraints, or changes by your tour leader and tour guide.