Sunday: En Route
Depart the U.S.A. on your flight to Israel.
Monday: Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! Arrive Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv; Meeting, assistance and transfer to your hotel on the Mediterranean shore in vibrant Tel Aviv. Tonight, enjoy a light meal in the executive lounge of your hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Drive through the main streets of vivacious Tel Aviv known as the “White City” to the ancient port of Joppa (Jaffa) from where Jonah set sail and where Peter had his housetop experience at the home of Simon the Tanner. Walk along the charming cobblestone streets, now filled with boutiques and galleries. Then, drive along the Mediterranean coast to ancient Caesarea; tour the theater, aqueduct and Crusader fortress. Continue to a Druze Village to see and hear about these unique Israelis and enjoy an authentic Druze Lunch. Continue north to the the timeless Crusader port city of Acre (Akko), with its Middle Age fortress, subterranean city and bazaars. The Old city of Acre is one of the fascinating old cities in Israel and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Soon arrive to your hotel in Tiberias for overnight. (B.L)
Drive along the shores of the Sea of Galilee via Magdala – home of Mary Magdalene to arrive at Capernaum, home to Peter and the center of Jesus’ preaching. Capernaum was a fishing village located on the northern shore
of the Sea of Galilee. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other. A church near Capernaum is said to be the original home of Saint Peter. Continue to Tabgha place of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes: Visit the Church of the Multiplication and its ancient, colorful mosaics and the Church of the Primacy with the “Mensa Christi”, a large rock where Jesus shared meals with his disciples. Ascend the Mount of Beatitudes, marking the place of the Sermon on the Mount while enjoying the beautiful view of the entire Galilee. Then, ascend the Golan Heights for a greater understanding of the fierce battles that took place during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Continue through the valleys and ranges on a jeep ride where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the area. Visit Caesarea Philippi (Banias), built by Philip, son of Herod, at one of the sources of the Jordan River the location of one of the largest springs feeding the Jordan River. Return to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Drive to Kibbutz Ginossar to see the “Jesus Boat”, an extraordinary ancient boat reclaimed from the Sea of Galilee, dating from the time of Jesus. Continue to Yardenit on the Jordan River with its specially built Baptismal site. Pass ancient Cana site of Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding celebration on the drive to Nazareth, where Jesus spent His youth; visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Church of St. Joseph and Mary’s Well where the archangel Gabriel announced the Incarnation of the Son of God. Continue south arriving at Bet Shean, an ancient city from the time of King Saul; see the excavated remains of a Roman city. Soon you will arrive at the Golden City of Jerusalem. . Evening: Restaurant Dinner and Night Tour of “illuminated” Jerusalem followed by the “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light show at the Citadel Museum. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B.D)
Ascend Mount Zion; visit Dormition Abbey, the traditional Upper Room and the Tomb of King David. Enter the Old City from the Dung Gate. View the Dome of the Rock, mosque of Islam; continue to the Western Wall. Walk through centuries of history in the Hasmonean Tunnel (tunnel schedules permitting) or tour the Herodian Mansions. On to the Crusader Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda; see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation and the Arch of Ecce Homo. Follow the steps of the Via Dolorosa through narrow alleys and souks to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Enter the Jewish Quarter; walk along the excavated Cardo, once a main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Tonight, Dinner and overnight at your hotel. (B.D)
Drive to the Dead Sea region, the lowest place on earth, reaching Masada. Ascend by cable car to this last stronghold of the Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. Tour Herod’s Palace, synagogue and bathhouse. Descend by cable car and drive to a spa hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea for lunch and use the rest of the day to relax and enjoy an unsinkable swim in the buoyant, mineral-rich, salty waters of the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem for overnight at your hotel. (B.L)
Travel to the top of the Mount of Olives and marvel at the magnificent view of the Old City. Descend to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees to see the Church of All Nations. Drive via the Knesset (Parliament) to the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Continue along the rolling Judean Hills to charming Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist; see the Church of the Visitation. Then proceed to Yad Vashem, Memorial to the Holocaust; visit the Museum, Children’s Pavilion and walk along the Avenue of the Righteous. End the day with a visit to Bethlehem and Manger Square (conditions permitted;
tour operated by the Palestinian Authority– Passports required). (B)
Now that you’re a Jerusalem expert, enjoy a full day at leisure for on your own explorations of this fascinating city full of open air pedestrian malls with restaurants, shops and abundant street vendors. Great for last minute shopping before you travel home. Overnight in Jerusalem.* (B)
*Program can be shortened by one night; return home on Monday or extend stay to Jordan or Egypt. Please inquire.
Tuesday: En Route
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Enjoy our Expedited Check in Service and complimentary entrance to the Dan VIP Lounge at Ben Gurion Airport. Or, continue on an extension to Jordan or Egypt. (B)