The Holy Land – Inspirational Tour (9 days)

Nazareth, israel
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The Holy Land – Inspirational Tour –  9 days / 8 nights

Highlights:  Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Megido, Jericho, Jordan River, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethlehem.

Day 1
Welcome to Israel

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport you will be met by your Israeli guide who will accompany you during your entire stay in Israel.  You will travel to the coastal city of Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean.

Overnight in the Tel Aviv, Netanya area.

Day 2
Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazareth

caesareaAfter breakfast, you will travel along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where the people first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized.  You will see the Roman Amphitheater and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next you will travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization.  Continue through the area of Cana to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where you will visit the Nazareth Village – a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. From Nazareth you will continue to the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.

*  Overnight in the Tiberias area.

Day 3
Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Mount of Beatitudes

gallileeAfter breakfast, your morning travels will take you to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God’s blessing on Israel.  Dan, where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi, which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. Continue to Capernaum where you will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then you will travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, you will enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

*  Overnight in the Tiberias area.

Day 4
Jordan River Baptism Site, Beth She’an, Dead Sea

dead_sea-1We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River baptismal site.  From there we continue south to Beit She’an (Scythopolis), the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-She’an. During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed the “Scythopolis.”  Archaeologists have uncovered a huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis – a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbutz system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before arriving at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Enjoy a swim (float) or a relaxing spa treatment.

*  Overnight at the Dead Sea

Day 5
Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham’s Tent

massada_ein_gediYour day will begin with a hike or cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada.  Your guide will cover the history of the famous zealot stand.  Afterwards you will proceed to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat,” an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea.  Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves.  This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, you will visit the Qumeran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This afternoon you will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham’s Tent, where you will enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, and authentic food.  Continue to Jerusalem.

*  Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 6:
Jerusalem, Old City, New City

jerusalem-old-cityStart your day with a visit to the Old City.  Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, you will visit the “Upper Room” just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, “my Lord & my God.”   An interesting and educational time awaits you at the Israel Museum.  Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem which will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days.  You will conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people.

*  Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 7
In the footsteps of Jesus

jerusalem-ben-yehuda-promenadeToday you will have the chance to walk where Jesus walked.  You will start the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop Mount Olives.  You will continue to the Garden of Gethsemane, walk between the ancient olive trees, and read the scriptures of Jesus’ prayer.  Continue to a visit of the House of Caiaphas,  where Jesus was beaten and spit upon.  See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned.  From there you will continue to visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Kotel Tunnels, leading you through the Second Temple era.  The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment.  Before exiting the tunnel you will see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. You will continue to the Judgment Hall of Pilate where you will hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation.  From here you will be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen’s Gate and St. Ann’s Church.

*  Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 8
Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem

bethlehemWhile walking along the Via Dolorosa, you will be reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  Your guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study.  Our day will climax  at the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where you will celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. In the afternoon we will visit the Southern Wall Excavations.  This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common people, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side.  Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost.  You will have free time for the city marketplace for shopping.  Option for a late afternoon visit to the birth city of Christ, Bethlehem.

*  Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 9
Morning at leisure.

Based on flight time, you will be transferred early morning or early evening to Ben Gurion airport for your flight home.

Map of The Holy Land – Inspirational Tour (9 days)