01: Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! Upon arrival into Ben Gurion International
Airport, you are met by our local representative and transferred
to your hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight. Check
in time starts from 15:00 hrs.
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv (D)
Day 02: Caesarea / Megiddo / Haifa / Acre / Galilee
Depart Tel Aviv and drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea, capital of judea under the romans. Visit the excavations of the ancient city, the Roman theatre and aqueduct. Continue to Megiddo, identified as the site of Armageddon; Visit the archaeological excavations including the well-preserved water supply system. Drive to Haifa for a panoramic view of the Bahai Garden and Haifa Bay. Then continue driving to the Acre to visit the ancient city and harbor. Continue to kibbutz Lavi for overnight.
Overnight: Kibbutz Lavi-Hod Wing, Galilee (2 nights)
Day 03: Tiberias / Capernaum / Banias
After a short tour of Tiberias, we take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to visit Yigal Alon museum, where the “Jesus boat” – an ancient fishing boat from the 1st century, is displaed. Continue to Capernaum. Visit the remains of the 2nd century synagogue. Proceed to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of fish and loaves, and visit the church of multiplication with its 4th century mosaic floor. Continue to mount of beatitudes, the place where Jesus delivered the sermon on the mount. Drive to the Banias Springs and waterfalls and tour the Golan heights. Return to Kibbutz Lavi for overnight.
Day 04: Nazareth / Beit Shean
We begin the day with a drive to Nazareth via Cana of Galilee.
In Nazareth, we shall visit the Church of the Annunciation,
St. Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. Next on
our program are the Jordan River and the Baptismal site of
Yardenit. We continue to Beit Shean, one of the ancient Decapolis
cities and visit the Roman theatre. This is the city where
Saul and his son Jonathan were nailed to the walls. We continue
south along the shores of the River of Jordan, passing Jericho,
we proceed westward and climb to the Golden City of Jerusalem.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza, Jerusalem (4 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: Jerusalem - Old City
Then we enter the Old City to begin exploring the wonders
of Jerusalem. Walk through the Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem
2000 years ago. View the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
Walk along the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus carried His Cross
and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden
Tomb. No visit to Jerusalem is complete without a walk through
the colourful Arab bazaar and a chance to test your negotiating
skills. (B, D)
Day 06: Jerusalem - New City and Bethlehem
Today’s program is dedicated to the new city of Jerusalem.
We visit the model of ancient Jerusalem and continue to Yad
Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust,
entering the site by walking along the Street of the Righteous
Gentiles, dedicated to the non-Jews that risked their lives
in order to save their Jewish neighbors. We continue to Ein
Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist; the Spanish style church
and Mary’s well, where Mother Mary met her cousin Elizabeth
and proceed to Bethlehem (subject to availability) to visit
the Church of the Nativity. (B, D)
Day 07: Qumran / Masada / Dead Sea
Drive through the Judean Desert to Qumran, where the Dead
Sea Scrolls where found in 1947 by a Bedouin boy. We visit
the ancient city of Qumran and drive along the shores of the
Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, to Massada*, the last
stronghold of the Jews after the destruction of the Second
Temple in 70 A.D. We ascend Massada by cable car and visit
the food storeroom, water irrigation system and Herod’s
Palace. Time and weather permitting we will have an opportunity
to float on the waters of the Dead Sea before our return to
Jerusalem for dinner. (B, D)
Day 08: Jerusalem / Beersheba Negev / Tel Aviv
Today we depart Jerusalem and drive southward to explore the
Negev desert region. First we will arrive in Beersheba the
capital city of the Negev, which was built by the Ottomans
in the 19th century but the ruins of the Biblical city dated
almost 4000 years ago are located south east of the city at
Tel Beersheba*, we will enter the site and see the ancient
ruins and the water well dug by the ancient inhabitants of
the city, named “Abraham’s Well” by the
locals after stories from the book of Genesis related to Abraham.
From here we will drive towards the city of Dimona, and start
our exploration of the Incense Route to the Desert Cities
in the Negev* on the road between Petra and Gaza. We explore
the Nabatean towns of Mamshit and Avdat, which flourished
from the 3rd century BC until the 2nd century AD. Together
they reflect the hugely profitable trade in frankincense and
myrrh from south Arabia to the Mediterranean. With the vestiges
of their sophisticated irrigation systems, urban constructions,
forts and caravanserai, they bear witness to the way in which
the harsh desert was settled for trade and agriculture. After
our visit to Avdat we will turn northward and drive to the
modern city of Tel Aviv.
Overnight: Tal or Marina Hotel, Tel Aviv (B, D)
Day 09: Tel Aviv
Today we will start with a visit to old Jaffa one of the oldest
cities in Israel built by the Mediterranean shores going back
over 4000 years. Jaffa was the port city used by King Solomon
to import Cedar trees from Lebanon when he built the first
Temple in Jerusalem. From here, it is said Jonah boarded the
ship on his journey ending in whale’s belly. We will
walk around the narrow lanes; visit the house of Simon the
Tanner where St. Peter had his vision.
We return to Tel Aviv to explore the White City of Tel-Aviv*,
constructed from the early 1930s until the 1950s by architects
who were trained in Europe where they practised their profession
before immigrating. They created an outstanding architectural
ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context.
Many of the city’s buildings were built in the Bauhaus-style.
We will walk along the Rothschild Boulevard and see the restored
buildings. We are then transferred to Ben Gurion international
airport for our onward flight. (B)