Day 1 – To the Galilee
WELCOME TO ISRAEL!. Upon arrival we will head to the north for a few days. Pending on the time of your landing, we could make a visit at Caesarea where we will 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).
We could also visit Megiddo , identified in the Apocalypse with “Armageddon” (Revelations 16:16), and Mount Tabor , possible site of the transfiguration (Luke 9), or Nain , where Jesus raised from the Dead the Widow’s son (Luke 7).
Day 2 – Around 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 3 – On the Way to Damascus
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 4 – Nazareth and its Vicinity
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 “.
After lunch we continue to Cana to learn about the first miracle of Jesus (John 2), and end the day at Sepphoris , Roman era regional center which influenced both Christian and Jewish history. At the end of the day we head to Jerusalem
Day 5 – Biblical Jerusalem
The First day in Jerusalem is devoted to learn about its foundation and Old Testament era by exploring the City of David . Under the Visitors center we assess possible remains of King David’s Palace , and heading underground we walk from Gihon Spring along a Canaanite Tunnel to the Pool of Siloam , known also for the miracle Jesus performed of healing a blind man (John 9).
We continue in to the old city along the underground Herodian era Drainage Channel , up to the Western wall at the Southern Wall Archaeological Park . After a lunch break in the Jewish Quarter we could visit the possible location of Jesus’ interogation and arrest by the High priest in the Herodian Quarter .
We end the day with visit to to a selection of holy Christian sites on Mount Zion : Site of the “last supper” (Cenacle ), site of the “Pentacost” event and the rest place of Mary (Dormition Abbey ), and the site of Peter’s denail of Jesus (Petrus in Gallicantu ).
Day 6 – Along the “Stations of the Cross”
We start the day at the famous Mount of Olives Viewpoint where we can also visit the Chapel of the Ascension , the site where Jesus’ taught the “Lords Prayer” (Church of the Pater Noster ) and the site where “the Lord has wept” (Dominus Flevit ). At the foot of mount of Olives we will visit the Garden of Gethsemane and could also visit the Grotto of Gethsemane and Mary’s Tomb .
We the enter the old city 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 .
Day 7 – Jericho and Bethlehem
A day of touring major destinations in the West bank will be led by an Arab guide. You first head to Jericho , where you will visit the Biblical mound (Tel es-Sultan ) and its nearby spring (Elisha’s Spring ). You then take the cable car to the Monastery of the Temptation , to visit the site that relates to the “temptations of Jesus” (Mat. 4:1-11).
Day 8 – Tour of the Dead Sea
Heading to the lowest dry place on the planet, we pass by Jericho and visit the Baptism site (qasr el-Yahud) , where we could also conduct a ceremony, and later and view the caves where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found (Qumran ).
Next we will pass by the oassis of Ein Gedi , and possibly spot some local Ibex. The main focus will be on the mgnificant site of Masada , famed for its dramatic and tragic history. We end the day with an optional swim at the Dead Sea .
Day 9 – Ein Karem and 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 – Crucified Jehohanan , Caiaphas ossuary , and Pilate Stone .
For lunch we could go into the Mahane Yehudah Market . 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/or Mount Herzl .
Day 10 – Tracing Goliath and Samson
A day devoted to the low hill country side of Israel (the Shfela ) will start at ancient Beth Shemesh where we will learn about the capture of the ark of the Covenant by the Philistines, as well as the unsuccesfull love affairs of Samson..
We then continue to the Battle site of David and Goliath with a focus on the new research at Azekah and Khirbet Qeiyafa , and possibly collect a few pebbles from the local brook (deadly weapongs as David proved..).
After lunch we could do some wine tasting in one of the great local wineries, visit Emmaus-Nicopolis where Jesus appeared after his resurrection according to Luke (24:13-31), or explore the Biblical major site Tel Lachish , or drive along the 1948 war ““Burma Road” “.
Day 11 – Jaffa and Tel-Aviv
The last day of the tour will be devoted to old Jaffa and Modern Tel-Aviv. We start with a review of remains from Canaanite times at Ramesses II’s Gate Garden , and then search for the House of Simon the Tanner at the Armenian home of the Zakarians, Saint Michael Greek-Orthodox Church , and\or the Saint Peter’s Catholic church .
We could also visit the underground audio-visual show at “Kikar Kedumim” , and east of Jaffa, we can also visit Saint Peter and Saint Tabitha Russian Orthodox Church , and the unique Samaritan Community in Holon.
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 12 – Tabernacle in the Wilderness
We cross the border into Jordan, and drive another 1-2 hours to Wadi Rum or Wadi Musa for the night.
Overnight: Bedouin tents in Wadi Rum or a hotel in Wadi Musa
Day 13 – Petra and Lot’s Cave
An early start will get us to start the hike into Petra along the “Siq” ahead of the crowds, and the heat.. We will stop to gaze at the magnificient yet enigmatic famous Tomb facade known as “the Treasury” (Arabic “Al-Khazneh” ) , and later continue strolling along the main street of this fascinating ancient Nabatean city.
Overnight: Ma’in Hot Springs
Day 14 – Facing the Promised Land
In the morning we will visit the site where John the Baptist was executed – Machaerus . We then head into Madaba to appreciate the famous Madaba map as well as a selection of other ancient mosaic floors.
We end the day with a visit to Mount Nebo to view the “Promised land” Where Moses did!.
Day 15 – Baptism site
Pending on the time of your departure from Amman, on the last day we could visit the Baptism Site on the Jordanian side (Bethany beyond the Jordan ), and/or head visit Amman before flying out from Amman airport.
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|“We are a Christian Family of five from the United States. Danny gave us an outstanding tour of Jerusalem and Herodion.
His Archaeology background and knowledge of the Old and the New Testament is impressive and his explanations brought the holy sites to life.
Our three teenage children loved his tours”