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simon the tanner house in jaffa
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9-10 Day Christian Holy Land Israel Tour

As the cradle of Christianity, the modern state of Israel has become a major Christian pilgrim destination. From Nazareth to the Jordan River baptism site, from Capernaum to Jerusalem – the land of Israel without a doubt hosts more biblical sites then any other place. This 9-10 day itinerary offers an intense tour that reaches the majority of the significant biblical sites and others as well.

Day 1 – Explore Caesarea

Arrival. Welcome to Israel! As we drive north, pending on time and will, we could visit the ruins of ancient Caesarea. This Roman-era metropolis has yielded ample  evidence attesting to its golden past, although much of it has yet to be discovered. Aside from appreciating its rich finds, we will review its significance in Christian history, especially the possible site of Paul’s Prison in Caesarea and the Caesarea Port.

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 2 – Follow Jesus in the Galilee

nazareth-galileeOur first full tour day is devoted to exploring the hometown of Jesus –  Nazareth.  Strolling through the local market we visit the  Church of the Annunciation (Luke 1), the “Synagogue Church” and more. Next we drive to Cana and learn about the “First Miracle of Jesus,” when he turned water into wine. Four miles northwest of Nazareth we tour the ruins of ancient Sepphoris and learn how this regional center of the Galilee in Jesus’ times would have impacted him. Time permitting, we also ascend to the top of Mount Tabor and learn about the tradition placing Jesus’ transfiguration here (Luke 9) .

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 3 – Sail on the Sea of Galilee

This day is devoted to some of the most significant holy Christian sites in the north: Capernaum, where Jesus recruited his first disciples and laid the foundation of the Christian faith; Tabgha, where he fed the multitudes and later appointed Peter as his prime disciple; Magdala, Mary the Magdalene’s hometown, where a first century synagogue was discovered; Bethsaida, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, and more. The tour can also include a sail on the Sea of Galilee and a lunch break at a local fish restaurant.

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 4 – On the Rod to Damascus (Optional Day)

An additional day of touring the north is devoted to the source of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. With Tel Dan as our first stop, we review one of the best archaeological sites in Israel where the Old Testament is brought to life. Nearby, at Caesarea-Philippi (Banias) we appreciate the amazing combination of lush vegetation and Roman ruins while reviewing the events recorded in the Gospels involving Jesus, Peter and the disciples. Next we ascend the Golan Heights, following the possible path Paul took here on his way to Damascus and where his conversion took place. Finally, we review the charged modern history of the region and have a special lunch experience with a local Druze family.

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 5 – Greet Jerusalem

mount of olives fHeading towards Jerusalem, we drive through the Jordan Valley. Our first stop is the rich remains of ancient Beit Shean, where King Saul was hanged after his loss to the Philistines (1 Sam. 31). In the first century Beit Shean was part of the Decapolis and would have likely been visited by Jesus.  Next, we pass by Jericho and stop at the Baptism site (Qasr al-Yahud). Ascending the Judean Desert we could also stop at the Good Samaritan Inn, and upon approaching Jerusalem we greet the Holy City from the Mount of Olives Viewpoint.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 6 – Unveiling Jerusalem

Our first day in Jerusalem is devoted to learning about its foundation and the Old Testament era by exploring the City of David. Under the Visitors Center we assess the possible remains of King David’s Palace. Heading underground we walk from Gihon Spring by means of a Canaanite Tunnel to the Pool of Siloam, known also for Jesus’ healing a blind man (John 9). We continue on 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 where Jesus was interrogated and arrested by the high priest in the Herodian Quarter. We end the day with a visit to a selection of holy Christian sites on Mount Zion: the site of the “Last Supper” (Cenacle), the site of both “Pentecost” and the resting place of Mary (Dormition Abbey), and the site of Peter’s denial of Jesus (Petrus in Gallicantu).

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 7 – Walk along the Stations of the Cross

We start our day at the famous Mount of Olives Viewpoint. We can also visit the Chapel of the Ascension, the site where Jesus’ taught the “Lord’s Prayer” (Church of the Pater Noster) and the site where “the Lord wept” (Dominus Flevit ). At the foot of the Mount of Olives we visit the Garden of Gethsemane and possibly the Grotto of Gethsemane and Mary’s Tomb as well. We enter the Old City through the Lions’ Gate and visit the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus again demonstrated his healing power (John 5). Upon exiting, we find ourselves on 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 along the way we reach the main church to complete our pilgrimage to the Golgotha, the Stone of Unction, the Tomb of Jesus, and the Chapel of the Finding of the Cross.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 8 – On the Road to Emmaus

emmaus nicopolisBefore leaving Jerusalem, we visit the Israel Museum and appreciate its highlights,  especially the finds related to Jesus and the New Testament: the Caiaphas Ossuary, the Pontius Pilate Stone, and the ‘Crucified Man from Jerusalem‘. We also visit the display of the famous ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ and the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.  Next we drive to Ein-Karem, a small and quaint village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. By Christian tradition this is the hometown of John the Baptist. After a visit to its main church and a lunch break, we then head to Tel Aviv, stopping at ‘Emmaus’ on the way. By local tradition, the ruins of the Crusaders-era church here were built above the house where Jesus appeared to two of his disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24).

Overnight: Tel-Aviv

Day 9 – Track the Ark, David and Goliath

A day devoted to the low hill countryside of Israel (the Shephela) starts at ancient Beth Shemesh where we learn about the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines, as well as the unsuccessful love affairs of Samson. We move on to the Battle Site of David and Goliath with a focus on recent research conducted at Azekah and Khirbet Qeiyafa. We might also collect a few pebbles from the local brook, which proved to be deadly weapons for David in his triumph over Goliath. After lunch we could do some wine tasting at one of the great local wineries, explore the major Biblical site Tel Lachish, or drive along the “Burma Road” from the 1948 War of Independence.

Overnight: Tel-Aviv

Day 10 – Peter’s Vision in Jaffa

Pending on your time of departure, the last day of the tour is devoted to Old Jaffa and modern Tel Aviv. We start with a review of Jaffa‘s 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 and Saint Peter’s Catholic church. After a lunch break, we then head to Tel Aviv and at ‘Independence Hall‘ we learn about the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. After 2,000 years, the Jews are finally back in their homeland!

At the end of the day we head to the airport for departure. FAREWELL!!

Contact us to inquire more about a 9-10 days Christian oriented tour to the Holy Land:

    Danny knows the sites of Israel from so many different perspectives- not the least of which is the archeological expertise he brings to the table. Danny is one of a kind - I'd recommend him for any length of tour for any age group on any day of the week! My experience was eye opening and life-shifting. Loved every moment. Best tour guide experience I've ever had!

    Hillary T., USA

    Daniel provided the single best guided tour experience our family has ever had! Daniel's knowledge of the Holy Land is the very best - and he magically weaved lessons on history, archeology, and religion into every site visit - in a way that fascinated my entire family (inc 2 teenagers, 2 young adults). We all learned and had experiences we will never forget. The entire experience was top notch and well planned - Danny knows everyone and how to get things done. Don't hesitate. Book Danny the Digger now!

    J.B. T., USA

    My husband and I just got back from an 8 day tour of Israel with Danny. It was fantastic!! Danny is incredibly knowledgeable and related so many interesting details and facts about his country. Every day was a great day. Danny is simply the best!!

    Robyn W. USA

    Danny is incredibly knowledgeable on the biblical, historical and political information surrounding all the sites… As a Christian, Danny has offered me so much insight into the life of Jesus as well.

    Richard E., USA

    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!

    Joan D., USA

    I learnt more about the Bible with Danny in a day than I have ever had attending Sunday school or church. The tour was just excellent!

    John M., UK

    ..my trip to the Holy Land will last my entire life…I really appreciated how you wove the history from the New Testament into our tours…You taught me so much. Please don’t think me presumptuous- I am very sincere. It was a privilege to spend time with you.

    Pam H., USA

    Thanks very much for a really special day. I loved being able to go to the special places for Christians.. an everlasting experience for me… And thanks… for your professionalism and deep knowledge and dedication...

    Ann D., New Zealand

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