Grand tour of Israel - 9 days
Day 2: Jaffa - Caesarea - Megiddo - Sea of Galilee
Start the day with a short tour of Tel Aviv to view some highlights of this lively and modern city. Continue to Jaffa to see the ancient port city where the story of Jonah the Prophet began. We visit the Artists’ Quarter, the house of Simon the Tanner and the Church of St. Peter. Head north to Caesarea, the fortified harbor city that was built 2000 years ago by King Herod. We will visit the Roman amphitheatre, the ancient acqueduct, the fortress and the old harbor area. Drive to Haifa via the Mukhraka, also called the Horns of Carmel, to view the site where Elijah fought the false prophets. Continue to Megiddo, the fortress city of King Solomon, later rebuilt by King Ahab. The books of Daniel and Revelations will come alive as we study about the final Battle of Armageddon while viewing the Plains of Jezreel.
Arrive in Tiberias for overnight and dinner.
Day 3: Galilee - Capernaum - Tabgha - Caesarea Philippi
After breakfast drive via the home of Mary Magdalene to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Then a short journey to Capernaum, where Jesus recruited his followers. We will see the remains of the house of Peter and the ancient synagogue where Jesus preached to the multitudes. Continue to Tabgha, located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and visit the site where the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes took place. Visit the Church of St. Peter, where Peter got his primacy from the Lord and where the Rock of Mensa Christi is located. Head north to the Golan Heights to visit the Banias also known as Caesarea Philipi. Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Galilee Area
Start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and visit the ancient wooden boat, which is said to date back to the times of Jesus. Continue to the baptismal site on the Jordan River, and then on to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle – changing water into wine. On the way to Nazareth, view Mary’s Well, the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Then visit the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Drive through the Galilee hills to explore Tzippori (Sepphoris), the capital of the Galilee in Herod’s time. Head to Mount Tabor and enjoy the spectacular view of the Galilee, and visit the Church of Transfiguration, where Jesus was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James and John. Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Tiberias - Beth Shean - Jericho - Jerusalem
After breakfast, depart Tiberias and drive to Bet She’an, one of the most impressive Roman and Byzantine sites in Israel, to visit the ancient city with its fine relics. After lunch, continue through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the biblical oldest city, from where we will see a view of the Mount Of Temptation. On to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Jerusalem - Bethlehem
After a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, visit Dominos Flevit and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, where we see the Rock of Agony, the place where Jesus recited his last prayer before he was arrested. Walk to Mt.Zion along the way of Christ, passing through the Kidron Valley to see the tombs of Absalom, Zachary and James. Stand next to the Southern Wall and view the City of David, and visit the Church of Peter in Gallicantu, the site here Peter denied his Lord three times, and the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, who was involved in the trial of Jesus after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the afternoon, visit in the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Fields, both located in the city of Bethlehem, said to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Day 7: Jerusalem
After breakfast, visit the Western Wall, the most important Jewish religious site located in the Old City of Jerusalem and the last remnant of the Second Temple. Walk up to the Temple Mount and visit the Dome of the Rock and El Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Pools of Bethesda and St. Anne’s Church, a fine example of Crusader architecture. Continue along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk through the colorful bazaar to the Jaffa Gate and continue to the Garden Tomb. Lastly, we visit Yad vashem, the largest memorial site in Israel commemorating the Jewish Holocaust in the Second World War. Overnight and dinner in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Qumran - Dead Sea - Massada
After breakfast we descend via the Judean desert to the Dead Sea area – the lowest point on Earth. We ascend by cable car to the Massada fortress, the place where almost one thousand Jews preferred their own death over surrender to the Roman forces. View the unique landscape and the impressive ruins of the fortress built by Herod. On to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. If time permits, enjoy a “float” in the therapeutic and mineral-rich waters of the Dead sea. Finally, we visit Bethany, the site of Lazarus’ tomb and the House of Mary and Martha. Overnight and dinner in Jerusalem.
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