Day 1 – Arrival, to the Desert
Overnight: Mizpe Ramon or Arad.
Day 2 – Returning to the Promised Land
Our first site will be Biblical Tel Arad , where we will assess the evidence for the sojurm of the Israelites across the Sinai Desert. We then head to Tel-Aviv, where we check in and go for a tour of ancient Jaffa .
Visiting the House of Simon the Tanner, Saint Michael Greek-Orthodox Church , and\or the Saint Peter’s Catholic church we assess the Peter’s experience in Jaffa (Acts 10:9-16) and its importance in Christian History. East of Jaffa, we can also visit Saint Peter and Saint Tabitha Russian Orthodox Church .
In the evening we can visit the unique Samaritan Community in Holon, and possibly join them for dinner.
Day 3 – Caesarea and Armageddon
Our Third day will be devoted to significant sites to Christian history along the Mediterranean coast. We first head to Caeasrea , where we review the wealth of finds, and especially those relating to Paul’s prison (Acts 23-26) and the baptism of Cornelius by Peter (Acts 10).
Next we stop at Biblical Megiddo . We learn about the site’s past, as well as its estimated role at the end of days as “Armageddon” (Revelation 16). We end the day with a visit to the top of Mount Tabor , possible site of the transfiguration (Luke 9).
Day 4 – The Galilee
Returning to the Galilee, today we explore Jesus’ hometown – Nazareth . Strolling through the local market we visit the Church of Annunciation (Luke 1), its Archaeological Museum , the Synagogue church (Luke 4), and S. Gabriel church next to “Mary’s Well “.
Day 5 – the Sea of Galilee
This day is devoted to exploring Holy Christian sites around the Sea of Galilee. We start with a visit to the first century synagogue discovered in Magdala , hometown of Mary Magdalene. We continue to the exhibition of the 2000 year old wooden boat at Ginosar “Sea of Galilee Boat“ , from where we can also go for a Sail on the Sea of Galilee .
After lunch in a local fish restaurant, we drive to Kursi , site of the swine miracle (Matthew 8), and tour Capernaum . We end the day at the Mount of Beatitudes , Where by Catholic tradition Jesus stated the “Sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5).
Day 6 – The Golan Heights
We continue to explore the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee by visiting the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and fishes (Luke 9), and the nearby “Church of the Primacy of Peter” (John 21). Next we ascend to the Golan Heights , on the possible historical route Paul took to Damascus (Acts 9).
From the top of Mt. Bental we will review the complex history of this region, and after lunch in a Druze village we will continue to Caesarea Philippi (Banias) , where Jesus named Simon-Yona – “Peter” (Matthew 16).
Day 7 – Baptism and Jerusalem
-Yahud , as well as stop for a swim at the Dead Sea.
Nearby, we visit Qumran and learn about the Fantastic discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and its possible links to the earliest history of Christianity.
At sundown we reach Jerusalem and great it with a “Shehcheyanu” fom Mount of Olives Viewpoint .
Day 8 – City of David and Bethlehem
Our first day in Jerusalem is devoted to learn about its foundation and Old Testament era by exploring the City of David . Walking along its ancient water tunnels we reach the Pool of Siloam , known also for the miracle Jesus performed of healing a blind man (John 9).
After a lunch break we continue to Bethlehem (with a Palestinian guide), and learn about the birth of Jesus at the Church of the Nativity . If time permits we may also visit the Shepherds’ Field and Herodium .
Day 9 – Along the Via Dolorosa
The Second day in Jerusalem is devoted to “Passion of Christ”. We enter at the Lions’ gate, and visit the Pools of Bethesda , where Jesus demonstrated again his healing powers (John 5). Next we join the “Via Dolorosa” , the holy path by Catholic tradition from the place of the trial of Jesus to the site of his crucifixion, today’s church of the Holy Sepulchre .
After a lunch break we continue to Mount Zion and review the site of the last supper (“Cenacle“ ), the First Century Church on Mount Zion? ; the Tomb mark of King David , and the traditional rest place of Virgin Mary (Dormition Abbey ). We end with a visit the to the Western wall in the Jewish Quarter .
Day 10 – Mount of Olives and Ein-Karem
This day is devoted to Holy Christian sites on mount Olives. We begin with avisit to Bethphage (Matthew 21), continue to the Chapel of the Ascension (Acts 1), Dominus Flevit (Luke 19), and the Garden of Gethsemane , where at the “Rock of Agony” Jesus cried before his arrest (Mark 14). Nearby we visit the Cave of Gethsemane , Mary’s Tomb , and Stephanus Church (Acts 7:59).
After a lunch break we continue to John Baharim church and\or the Chruch of the Visitation at Ein Karem , hometown of John the Baptist (Luke 1). We end with a visit to Israeli National monuments at “Yad Vashem“ and Mount Herzl .
Day 11 – Farewell at the Israel Museum
On the last day, if time permits, we can visit the Israel Museum and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls at the “Shrine of the Book” , assess Jerusalem at te time of Jesua at the Model of the Second Temple , and at the Archaeological Wing see artifacts related to the Historical Jesus – Evidence of Crucifixion, Caiaphas’ Ossuary, and Pilatus’ inscription.
On the way to the airport we can also pass by the Battle site of David and Goliath , see the site where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (Beth Shemesh ), and visit Emmaus-Nicopolis , where Jesus appeared after his resurrection according to Luke (24:13-31).
Optional Extenstion Tour to Jordan:
If you wish, we can also have an extenstinon of a Three days tour to Jordan, with a focus on Biblical History and Archaeology.
Here is a possible schedule –
Day 11 – Eilat and Tabernacle
Day 12 – Petra
Crossing into Jordan, we have a quick visit of Aqaba , and then drive along Wadi Rum to Petra , where we have an intense tour experience at this magnificant site. If time and will permits we could include a hike to the “Monastery” (Ad Deir ), the “High Place” or Tomb of Aaron (“Jabel Haroun”). In the evening we can also go for the Petra Night Tour .
Day 13 – Mount Nebo
Day 14 – Madaba and Machaerus
Our last day will begin with an appreciation of the famous 1500 year old “Madaba Map” in Madaba . We will then drive to Machaerus , the significant site where John the Baptist was executed – and Christianity Began.