The Itinerary for the 12 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with a 3 Day Jordan & Southern Israel option)
May 5-16, 2020
All Inclusive Price: $4,557 from JFK, NY. $3,321 for “land only” travelers. The optional Jordan & southern Israel extension is $1,277 (based on a minimum of 15 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 – DeLancey520 – to register for this trip. If you are signing up under co-leader Rev. Spencer Aalsburg, please use this code: Aalsburg20). Registration is open through March 4, 2020
Price of this Israel Tour includes: Airfare & US & Int’l Departure-fuel taxes ($620), gratuities ($175), hotels, 2 meals daily on land, and all entry fees. $4,557 from JFK, NY (additional departure cites available upon request). The land only price of $3,321 includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: March 4, 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 3/5/19; $100 before 5/5/19; $90 before 6/6/19, $80 before 7/5/19, $70 before 8/5/19, $60 before 9/5/19, and $50 before 10/5/19.
This Israel tour features about 50 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. We have three full days in Jerusalem, plus a day seeing OT sites in the Shephelah (lowlands) of Judah (e.g. where David fought Goliath, etc…) The option includes an amazing trip to Jordan and southern Israel. We will see Mt. Nebo, Machaerus, Petra, Wadi Rum, the Red Sea, Timnah, and Israel’s Grand Canyon on our last day. The whole trip will connect you with the Bible in many ways!
The Israel Tour Itinerary:
Day 1 – Tuesday, May 5: 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 – Wednesday, May 6: 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 takea short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. On the way if time permits (based on flight arrival times), we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10).
Day 3 – Thursday, May 7: Caesarea, Carmel, Megiddo, Sepporis, 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 Mt. Carmel (1Kings 18), site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then, we proceed to Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kings 9:15; Rev. 16:16). Across the Jezreel Valley is Sepporis. This was the prominent Hellenized Jewish city in the days of Jesus. Located only 5 miles away from Nazareth, you will see amazing mosaics here. Finally, we drive to the precipice of Nazareth (Luke 1 and 4). We end our day here as we are introduced to the life and ministry of Jesus in this area. We gain our third view of the Jezreel Valley from here. 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 dinner, we enjoy sitting together on the quiet shoreline to review the day.
Day 4 – Friday, May 8: Gamla, Qatzrin, Syrian Border, Caesarea Philippi, Dan
We begin the day by driving into the Golan Heights. We will stop on the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee, we are able to see the area of Bethsaida and the location where the Feeding of the 5,000 took place (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. We’ll sit 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 will stop and look into southern Syria. Here, we learn about the modern wars of Israel, primarily the 1967 and 1973 wars with Syria. Next, we drive past Mt. Hermon (Psalm 133) and descend the Golan Heights and visit Caesarea Philippi. It was here Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Mt. 16). Nearby is the amazing nature preserve and archaeological site of Dan, one of the sources of the Jordan River. We walk through this quiet national park and hear the stories of disobedience that took place here (Judges 18, 1 Kings 12). We end the day by driving back through the Huleh Valley to our hotel in Tiberias. After dinner, we meet down by the water’s edge once again to review the day.
Day 5 – Saturday, May 9: Arbel, Magdala, Capernaum, Chorazin, 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! From here we drive to Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Here, we will see ritual baths and another 1st century synagogue. Jesus must have taught from here (Mt. 4:23) After lunch, we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, with a quiet and peaceful time of worship. 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 visit Chorizin. This was one of the three cities condemned by Jesus. Here, we will see a 3rd century AD synagogue and the “Moses Seat (Mt. 23).” Next, down on the shoreline 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. 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 – Sunday, May 10: Lake-Side Worship Service, Beth Shean, Shiloh, Judean Desert, Jericho, Dead Sea
We begin the day with a worship service down by the Sea of Galilee. We then board our luggage on the bus and drive 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, 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. Upon arriving, we enjoy dinner together and a free evening.
Day 7 – Monday, May 11: Dead Sea Float, Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Wilderness of Judah, Jerusalem
This morning, we begin before breakfast with the opportunity to float in the salt and mineral-rich waters of this unique body of water! After breakfast, 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 Davidhid from King Saul, and we enjoy a walk to some of the waterfalls in thecanyon. 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 lunchhour, you will have the opportunity to explore the famous Cave 1 where thefirst 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 – Tuesday, May 12: Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Pool of Bethesda, Holy Sepulcher Church, Herodium, Israel Museum
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 drive south of Jerusalem to Herodium. This was one of Herod the Great’s fortress-palaces just east of Bethlehem. We climb the “artificial” mountain and see the ruins here. The view from the top of the surrounding area will be amazing! We exit the site by descending through the water cisterns. We end the day at 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 and see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book.
Day 9 – Wednesday, May 13: Western Wall & Tunnel, Jewish Quarter, Herodian House, Shorashim, David’s Citadel, Yad Vashem
We begin the day at the Western Wall. This is the most holy place for Jews today. The wall served as a retaining wall for Herod when he expanded the Temple Mount. We also will walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, seeing massive Herodian stones along the way. We return to the Jewish Quarter for a visit of the Cardo as well as the Herodian House. This was a 1st century house destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Today, it is completely under the modern buildings of the Jewish Quarter. Before lunch we will visit Shorashim. Here, we will listen to Moshe, an Orthodox Jew. He will talk about his Jewish faith in the context of our Christian faith. After lunch we visit David’s Citadel. This was the location for Herod’s Palace, the place Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate (Luke 23). 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 10 – Thursday, May 14: 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. This is one possible site for the burial of Jesus. We will enjoy a time of worship here as well before returning to our hotel for dinner and spending the night again in Jerusalem.
Day 11 – Friday, May 15: Bethlehem, Shepherds’ Fields, The “Shephelah” – Lowlands of Judah – Lachish, Qeiyafa & Elah Valley, Beth Shemesh & Sorek Valley, Gezer & Aijalon Valley, Jerusalem
We begin by visiting the area of Bethlehem, starting start at the Shepherds’ Fields. Inside a cave, we gather for a quiet time of reflecting upon God’s redemptive history. In Bethlehem we also visit an olive wood factory and store. From here we drive west to the Shephelah (lowlands) of Judah. Webegin 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). If time permits, on our way back to Jerusalem, 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 our hotel in Jerusalem for our farewell dinner.
Day 12 – Saturday, May 16: Tel Aviv, Flight Back to U.S.A.
We will have a morning transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our return flight back to 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 & SOUTHERN ISRAEL EXTENSION
$1277.00 per person. Price is based on minimum of 15 travelers for price to be valid (Includes: Visa & Border taxes of $82 & Gratuities of $45)
Day 12 – Saturday, May 16: Allenby Bridge, Mt. Nebo, Machaerus, 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 Machaerus, 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 13 – Sunday, May 17: Petra, Wadi Rum, Sunday Night Worship Under The Stars
We arrive this morning at the entrance of Petra and spend 6.5 hours 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 theHigh Place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently, some sacrificial rituals had taken place here. From this place we walk uphill tothe Royal Tombs for a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Romanremains. 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. Where we will 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 time of worship under the stars. It will be a unique experience!
Day 14 – Monday, May 18: Southern Border Crossing into Israel, Red Sea, Timnah, Machtesh Ramon, 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. In the afternoon 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 15 – Tuesday, May 19: 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.
Hike up Arbel
One of the unique features of our tours are the optional hikes we offer. In the north, one of these hikes is up Mt. Arbel. It’s about a 75 minute hike that ascends about 800 feet. This is one way to the top (others can bus around to the other side and get to the top without hiking). The view from on top is spectacular! The whole NW corner of the Sea of Galilee opens up below us!