Welcome To Israel – the Holy Land, Arrival at TLV Airport
Arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport, by Tel Aviv, where your Guide will meet you. Transfer to your Hotel. Dinner and Introduction to your tour, by your guide. Free evening to explore Tel Aviv. Overnight in or by Tel-Aviv.
Jaffa – Caesarea Maritima – Mt. Carmel
We shall start our pilgrimage touring the old city of Jaffa, one of the ancient gateways to the Holy Land: Through its port the Cedar trees for Salomon’s Temple were brought, the prophet Jonas tried to flee God, but most important: It was in Jaffa where Christianity began to be spread among the nations. Here St. Peter stopped in the house of Simon the Tanner and had the “Vision of the Flesh”, and here he made his first miracle by healing the little girl. Today Jaffa’s renovated alley-ways attract many artists, who have their galleries there. We drive to Caesarea Maritima, the magnificent port-city built by King Herod the Great. From here St. Peter went to Rome. In Caesarea’s well-preserved theater an inscription of the procurator Pontius Pilate was found. We continue along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea to climb the ever-green Mt. Carmel. Here we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, where the monks get their spiritual inspiration from the view, and from the deeds of Elijah the Prophet who acted on this mountain. In the late afternoon we drive through the hills of Galilee to Tiberias, where we will spend the ight. Overnight in Tiberias.
Cana & Nazareth
We start the day in Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding. Its modest church is a suitable place to reconfirm wedding-ties. We step back on the bus and continue to Nazareth, where we visit the Grand Basilica of the Annunciation and the St. Joseph’s Church. We will also stroll through Nazareth’s colorful Bazaar and visit the Greek-Orthodox St. Gabriel church near Mary’s Well. Overnight in Tiberias.
Around The Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, Mt. of the Beatitudes, Tabgha, Banias Nature Reserve
Today we visit the places where Jesus acted around the Sea of Galilee: We visit Capernaum, with St. Peters House and the famous Synagogue, enjoy the view from Mt. of the Beatitudes, where the “Sermon on the Mount” was given, and also the reconstructed church at Tabgha, where tradition puts the miracle of the Bread and The Fish. In the afternoon we make a short drive to the Banias Nature Reserve, once Caesarea Philippi, where the Keys to Heaven were given to Simon – Petrus. Overnight in Tiberias.
Mt. Tabor & Megiddo
Our first mission today is to ascend Mt. Tabor. Its majestic presence, overlooking the Jezreel Valley “by itself” has led to the tradition that it was here were Jesus’ Transfiguration took place. The road up this mountain is so steep, that pilgrims coming by bus have to switch to Taxis, in order to be able to ascend to the mountain peak, where the known architect Barluzzi built a unique church. After descending the mountain, we drive to Megiddo, biblical Armageddon. Here excavations have revealed some very important findings from the time of the Canaanites, King Salomon, and the Kingdom of Israel. Overnight in Tiberias.
Yardenit – Beth Shean – Jericho – Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.
After a stop at the Yardenit Baptismal Site to reassure our baptismal at the Jordan River, we continue along the Jordan Valley to Beth Shean, an important city during the times of the Old Testament (here King Saul’s last battle took place). In Jesus’ time it is mentioned as one of the “Decca-Polis”, an alliance of ten independent cities with a mixed Roman-Jewish community. After visiting its very well-preserved antiquities, we travel in Jesus’ footsteps through the Jordan Valley and past Jericho, to enter Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives. On Mount Scopus, at a point viewing the Holy City, we will step out of the bus for a Welcome Ceremony to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Old City: Garden of Gethsemane – “Wailing Wall” – Temple Mount – Via Dolorosa – Church of the Holy Sepulcher – King David’s Tomb – “Room of the Last Supper”
Today, we will start our Jerusalem tour at the Garden of Gethsemane. We also visit the “Wailing Wall”, the last remnants of the Temple in Jerusalem. If the current situation allows it, we will try to visit the Temple Mount as well. We continue in the footsteps of Jesus along the Stations of the Via Dolorosa, Jesus’ “Way of Suffering”, and unto the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified and buried. The Via Dolorosa also passes through the Old City’s oriental “Suq” (Bazaar). At the end of the day we visit King David’s Tomb and the “Room of the Last Supper“. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Bethlehem & Ein Karem
Today we will see and visit sites that remind us of the beginning of Jesus’ life: we will drive to Bethlehem, the birth-town of Jesus, where we shall visit the Church of Nativity, built in the 4th century, and since then never destroyed! We will also see the Milk grotto and the “Shepherds Fields”. [Important Notice: As Bethlehem is today under the control of the Palestinian Authority, responsibility there is solely on our Palestinian colleagues. Tour can be cancelled without prior notice due to security or other reasons.] In the afternoon we will visit the picturesque village Ein Karem, where according to tradition, John the Baptist was born. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s New City: “Yad Vashem”– “Menorah”- “Knesset”– Israel Museum
Today our trip is dedicated to Jerusalem’s New City: We visit “Yad Vashem”, the Holocaust Memorial and Museum commemorating the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. From there we continue to the famous “Menorah” (Candelabra) situated outside the “Knesset”, Israel’s parliament. The “Menorah” shows us the history of the Jewish people from biblical times and until this day. In the afternoon we visit the Israel Museum were we shall see the original “Dead Sea Scrolls”, and the famous 1:50 model of Jerusalem, as it was in Jesus times! Overnight in Jerusalem.
Qumran – Ein Gedi – Dead Sea
Today we are southwards bound, into the desert! We will visit Qumran, where most of the famous “Dead Sea Scrolls” were found. In Qumran, we can learn about the way of life of the Essenes, Jews who lived according to the teaching of John the Baptist and Jesus, even before their time! We will also make a short hike in Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul in a cave. Till this very day the natural vegetation, animals, and flowing water remind us the biblical descriptions. We will not miss, of course, some floating (not swimming!) on the Dead Sea, the deepest point on earth! Overnight in Jerusalem.
If your flight-schedule permits it, you will have some free time for shopping or other personal activities before your transfer to the Ben Gurion International Airport for your flight back home.
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