We will depart from LAX for the Holy Land.
The tour guide will meet you at the airport and assist with baggage claim and direct you to ground transportation. After a visit to Jaffa, we will transfer to our hotel in Jerusalem to enjoy dinner and a restful first evening in Israel.
We’ll make a quick stop at Jaffa, one of the oldest functioning harbors in the world. Today it harbors only small fishing boats. This was the port to which Jonah came when fleeing from the Lord to Tarshish. The Apostle Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner while at Jaffa. The traditional site of Simon’s house is close to the ancient port.
Enjoy the view of the Temple Mount and Eastern Gate from this vantage point. This is the place where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after His resurrection.
Walk down from the Mount of Olives along the pathway that Jesus traveled into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Walk down from the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here we will have a special service and spend some moments in reflection and prayer beneath the ancient olive trees where Jesus prayed the night before His crucifixion.
View several priceless artifacts including the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Later in the tour, we will have the opportunity to visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered. Along the way, we will pass the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). Our guide will give some explanation of the Israeli government system.
A large outdoor model depicts the city of Jerusalem as it would have looked circa 70 A.D. Our guide will point out several sites mentioned in the Bible as well as several sites we will visit later in the tour.
Tour the Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. This state-of-the-art complex was originally built in 1953 to honor the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The history museum exhibits highlight the stories of many of the victims, and the children’s memorial is an especially moving tribute to the children who died in the Holocaust.
This perfectly preserved church with incredible acoustics dates back to the time of the Crusades.
Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath Day at this pool (John 5:1-18).
Walk through some of the oldest areas of Jerusalem that date back to the time of King David. Enjoy walking through Hezekiah’s “wet tunnel” or choose the “dry tunnel” option. View the ancient Pool of Siloam.
Learn about the building of the previous Jewish Temples and the significance of the symbolism throughout. View several pieces of furniture that have already been prepared for use in the new Jewish Temple.
This church was built over the ruins of what is believed to be the High Priest Caiaphas’ house. Walk down the narrow steps into the prison where Jesus may have been held in the morning hours before His crucifixion.
This is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Israel. This is as close as Orthodox Jews will get to the Temple Mount until the new temple is built. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of Jews gather to pray at the Western Wall and leave handwritten prayers in the spaces between the stones.
This tunnel runs the length of the Western Wall underneath many buildings of the Old City. The open-air portion of the Western Wall where many gather to pray is actually only a small part of the entire wall. From within the tunnel we can see much of the well-preserved Temple wall including two stone blocks weighing 600 tons each!
The last Jewish Temple stood in this spot until the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD, and the Jewish people were scattered. Today, a large Muslim mosque called the Dome of the Rock stands in its place.
View the place where many believe Jesus was crucified. The word Golgotha means “Place of a Skull.” This hill stands just outside the walls of Jerusalem at the intersection of two ancient roads. Many scholars believe this location most closely matches the description given in the New Testament.
Just a short walk from Golgotha is the Garden Tomb. Enjoy a special service with some time of praise and thankfulness to God for the resurrection. Step inside the empty tomb and remember, “He is not here, for He is risen!”
Take a short drive to Bethlehem to spend some time in the birthplace of Jesus and survey Shepherds' Field just outside the town.
This is the site of the famous battle between David and Goliath. Stand on the hillside where King Saul and the Israelites were encamped. From here you can see across the valley where Goliath and the Philistines were encamped and the stream that runs through the valley where David drew five smooth stones.
A border city between Judah and Dan, Beth Shemesh was given to the Levites. Beth Shemesh was the most important Israelite city in the Sorek Valley as it watched both east-west traffic through the Sorek Valley and north-south traffic along the “Diagonal Route.” Recent excavations have shown a thriving city here from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron II period.
From a rocky plateau, high above a canyon, take in stunning views of St. George's Monastery and the ancient Jericho Road.
Hike the desert trail up to the beautiful waterfalls of Ein Gedi. This desolate area full of caves and ravines is where David and his men once hid from King Saul.
Ride a cable car to the top of the mountain fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. This was the location of one of King Herod the Great’s palaces. It is most famous as the site where the Roman army laid siege to several hundred Jewish rebels. Ruins of the walls and massive Roman siege ramps are still visible today.
At approximately 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest spot in the world. The Dead Sea is almost 10 times saltier than the ocean and consequently, there are no fish or visible life forms in the sea. This high concentration of salt also makes it impossible for a swimmer to sink in the water!
These impressive structures were constructed by Herod the Great over 2,000 years ago. Caesarea became a center of early Christianity, and the Apostle Paul was imprisoned there for two years. View the ruins of Herod’s seaside palace and a large hippodrome where chariot races were conducted. Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, lived here.
Drive up to the mountaintop where the prophet Elijah famously prayed down fire from Heaven and won the victory over the priests of Baal. From this vantage point, you can see across the valley to many of the locations we will visit later on in the tour.
Tel Megiddo is an incredible archaeological dig with layers of 20 different cities built on top of each other. Walk among the ruins and learn how archaeologists and historians have verified hundreds of biblical places and events through archaeological sites just like this.
This ancient city is a beautiful archaeological site and located on a hill midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. With abundant spring water and a fertile valley around it, it is a truly beautiful spot and includes what many have come to describe as the Mona Lisa of the Galilee.
The cliffs of Mount Arbel rise high above the Sea of Galilee offering a fantastic view of the entire region including the far eastern shore where Jesus cast out the evil spirits from a demon-possessed man and cast them into a group of swine.
See the traditional site where Jesus preached His most famous sermon: the Sermon on the Mount. The hillside forms a natural amphitheater with the Sea of Galilee in the background.
View the ruins of the town of Capernaum and the synagogue where Jesus preached on multiple occasions. Capernaum also contains the ruins of “Peter’s House,” a house that was later converted into one of the first Christian churches.
Enjoy a time of worship as we sail across the very sea where Jesus walked on water. This relatively small body of fresh water is only about 8 miles wide and 13 miles long and continues to be a busy fishing area just as it was in Jesus’ day. Along the boat ride, our guide will point out various places along the Sea that are mentioned in the Gospels.
Tour the ruins of this ancient city that dates back thousands of years. See the altar of Jeroboam and “Abraham’s Gate,” the place where the Patriarch Abraham would have entered the city roughly 4,000 years ago.
Hike through the tranquil nature preserve of Banias Falls located north of Galilee in the Golan Heights region of Israel.
We will stop to visit Caesarea Philippi which was once an ancient Roman city. Here, inside a grotto, the Greeks built a shrine to the god, Pan. Jesus traveled through this place with His disciples, and this was where Peter made his famous confession to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
From the peak of Mount Bental, we will be able to see Mount Hermon, believed by many to be the site of the Lord’s Transfiguration. The rains that fall on Mount Hermon are an important source of water for the Jordan River.
The Israeli Army captured this region from the Syrians during the Six Day War. The Golan Heights are very important to the strategic defense of Israel. From the high vantage point, our guide will point out the country of Syria in the distance.
Along the base of Mount Arbel is that path that travelers would have used in Bible times to travel in and out of Galilee.
Stop at the banks of the Jordan River just south of the Sea of Galilee. Enjoy a special baptismal service and have an opportunity to be baptized yourself in the waters of the Jordan River.
Strategically located at the intersection of the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan River, Beit Shean has played an important role in history. The city contains many well-preserved ruins from different eras and empires including the Egyptians, Byzantines, Greeks, and Romans.
This is the small mountain stream where Gideon chose his army of 300 by observing how they drank from the springs.
Visit the town that was the boyhood home of Jesus. This is where He spent most of His earthly life and learned the carpenter trade. From the cliff sides just outside of Nazareth, survey the Valley of Armageddon, the site of Earth’s final great battle as prophesied in the book of Revelation. This is also the place where the people of Jesus’ hometown tried to kill Him after He revealed that He was the Messiah sent from God.
Our wonderful journey through the Holy Land comes to a close. Transfer to the airport for our return flights. We will bring back souvenirs, photographs, new friendships, and some unforgettable memories!