Dave & Ashley - Israel tour

Day to Day itinerary

26 Jun Mon - DAY 1
Depart from JFK airport to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel

27 Jun Tue - DAY 2
Welcome to Ben Gurion International airport where you will be met by your guide and driver. Following the Mediterranean Coast, we arrive first at Caesarea Maritima, built by King Herod. Here Cornelius was converted and Peter was imprisoned. We will see the Roman Theater, aqueduct, and palace of King Herod, as well as a byzantine church. Continuing into the Lower Galil we will visit Nazareth, stopping at Mount Precipice, before driving through the town of Cana.

28 Jun Wed - DAY 3
Today we will be exploring the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus spent the majority of his ministry. We will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, where we can appreciate the beautiful surroundings and views unchanged since the time of Jesus delivered his seminal sermon. We will continue to Tabgha, where Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Here we can walk on the shores of the lake as well as visit the chapel commemorating the primacy of Peter. We will visit Capernaum or Kfar Nahum, where Jesus spent much of his ministry. We will view the archaeological remains including the house of Peter as well as the ancient synagogue believed by many to have been built atop the synagogue that Jesus would have preached in. Next, we will visit the new and ongoing excavations of the town of Magdala. The probable home of Mary Magdalene we will explore the ancient fishing town with its synagogues that Jesus undoubtedly would have taught in. We will finish the day with a visit to Kibbutz Ginosar where we can see the Galilee Boat, a sailing vessel dated to the time of Jesus that was preserved for two millennia in the mud of the Sea of Galilee, and finally, we will take our own boat, a replica of an ancient vessel to sail on the Sea of Galilee.

29 Jun Thu - DAY 4
Heading all the way to the very north of the country, our first stop will Caesarea Phillipi, known in the ancient world also as Paneas, and today as Banias, where Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah, "And Jesus said thou art, Peter, upon this rock I will build my church." (Matt.16-17-18). You will see the remains of the pagan site that existed here, against the backdrop of which these events occurred, and we can explore the first-century city established by Phillip the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great. Visiting the Tel Dan National Park we step back in time to the period of the divided kingdom, where we can see the Israelite Gate in the tribe of Dan, as well as the altar likely dating to the time of King Jeroboam II Continuing through the luscious nature reserve we will come to the Abraham Gate, the oldest arched gate to be discovered in the world, and likely in existence when Abraham came to Dan to fight the 4 kings in Genesis 14. Visit the Biblical tel of Hazor. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hazor was one of the largest and most important cities during the biblical period. Conquered by Joshua, today the site tells the story of the Israelite conquest as well as life and commerce in both the united and divided monarchy periods. Returning to the Sea of Galilee, we will finish the day at the Yardenit Baptismal site, where everyone will have the opportunity to enter the living waters of the Jordan River for baptism.

30 Jun Fri - DAY 5
We will explore the extensive remains of Beit Shean; a city of the Decapolis, where the book of Samuel tells us the bodies of Saul and his three sons were displayed following their defeat in the Battle of Gilboa. Continuing to the area of the Gilboa we will visit the Harod Spring; here Gideon chose his soldiers to fight against the Midianites in the book of Judges. Follow the Jordan River Valley to the northern edges of the Dead Sea passing the traditional crossing point of the Israelites into Israel, the likely site of John the Baptist’s ministry, and the place of Jesus’ baptism. As we ascend to Jerusalem, following the route that inspired the parable of the Good Samaritan, we will stop at a vantage point to appreciate the rugged beauty and spirituality of the Judean Desert. Entering Jerusalem from the east, we will mark our entry at the Mount Scopus observation platform for a breathtaking view over the city.

01 Jul Sat - DAY 6
After breakfast we will arrive at Bethlehem; visit the church of The Nativity, the Milk Grotto, Shepherds Field, and Manger Square. After lunch, we return to Jerusalem where we will visit the Israel Museum including the Dead Sea Scrolls housed in the iconic Shrine of the Book and the impressive model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple Period. We will see the Knesset, Israel's parliament building, and the Supreme Court building. After Dinner at the hotel, we will drive to the Tower of David to view the sound and light show and the walls of the city of David. Return to hotel for overnight

02 Jul Sun - DAY 7
We start the morning on top of the Mount of Olives, following the Palm Sunday route down the mountain walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Coming to the Garden of Gethsemane before entering into the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen's Gate also known as the Lion's Gate. We will visit the Pools of Bethesda and follow some of the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa ending in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We continue to the area surrounding Mount Moriah where we will visit the Western Wall and the Ophel Archaeological Park and museum with remains of the city streets that Jesus would have walked on, as well as structures dating back to the times of King Solomon. We visit the City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel ending at the Pool of Siloam, before ascending Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room, the Room of the Last Supper.

03 Jul Mon - DAY 8
Samaritan" on the ancient route pilgrims would have followed to Jerusalem, on our way to the shores of the Dead Sea; the lowest point on earth. Following the coast of the Dead Sea, we will arrive at Masada, the tabletop fortress built by King Herod and used by Jewish Zealots for their last stand against the Roman Empire. Having toured the site, we will continue to the desert oasis of Ein Gedi, prominent in King Saul's pursuit of the young David. Following lunch, you are invited to take a short float in the mineral-rich lake of the Dead Sea, before continuing to Qumran where an ancient Jewish sect chose to live at the time of Jesus and where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight

04 Jul Tue - DAY 9
believed by Protestants to be the true place of The Crucifixion, burial, and The Resurrection of Jesus; here we will see Calvary and Jesus' burial tomb and take communion.
Continue to the Ella Valley, where the famous battle of David and Goliath, described in Chapter 17 of the First Book of Samuel, took place. In that battle, David the shepherd boy, years before he became the mighty King David, killed the giant Philistine Goliath with a single, smooth stone.
Continue to Jaffa & Tel Aviv for sightseeing.
Tonight, we will have a Farewell dinner at a middle-eastern Restaurant, talking and reflecting on the experience we had in the past week. Also, each tour member will receive a Certificate of Pilgrimage signed by the mayor of Jerusalem. We will head to Ben Gurion airport, say goodbye to our guide, and board our flight back

Dave & Ashley - Israel tour
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Israel address - 24 Raul Wallenberg St. Tel Aviv, Israel