Both the March and May tours will follow this itinerary plan.
Tour of Israel
Board the plane in New York City (JFK) for the overnight flight to Israel.
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Tour Caesarea by the Sea—including the theater, Herod’s palace and the aqueduct. Transfer to our hotel for dinner and an optional stroll along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Overnight in Netanya.
Ascend Mount Carmel to a site commemorating Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Explore the excavations at Megiddo and then drive to Nazareth to tour Nazareth Village, a re-creation of life in biblical times. View Mount Tabor and the Jezreel Valley (biblical Armageddon) from the Mount of Precipitation; then drive to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight in Tiberias.
Embark on a morning boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, the center of Christ’s Galilee ministry, to see the synagogue and ruins of the ancient village. Explore the city of Chorazin; then proceed to Nof Ginosar to examine a fisherman’s boat from the time of Jesus. Visit the recent excavations at Magdala; then enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee from the Arbel Cliffs and the option to descend the precipice to see the caves below. Overnight in Tiberias.
Travel north through the Hula Valley to the beautiful Dan Nature Reserve. Explore the excavations at the city of Dan, including the high place for the golden calf, the mud-brick Canaanite city entrance and the Israelite city gate. Visit Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Explore Nimrod Fortress and enjoy the majestic views of Mount Hermon and Mount Bental. Return on the ancient Damascus Road through the Golan Heights. Overnight in Tiberias.
Travel south through the Jordan River Valley to explore Bet Shean, one of the cities of the Roman Decapolis, and then the ancient city of Jericho. Proceed to Qumran to examine the excavations of the Essene community and view the Dead Sea Scrolls caves. Stop at Engedi to hike the nature trail to the cave where David hid from King Saul. Continue south to our hotel to enjoy a relaxing opportunity to float in the buoyant mineral waters of the Dead Sea. Overnight in Ein Bokek.
Ride the cable car to the summit of Masada to explore Herod the Great’s spectacular mountain fortress. Continue to Beersheba, the home of Abraham. Drive north into the Judean Hills to Azekah for a magnificent view of the Valley of Elah and the opportunity to select your own five smooth stones where David defeated Goliath. Continue to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Begin the tour of the Holy City with a magnificent panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, then stroll down the ancient path to see the Garden of Gethsemane. Enter the Old City and walk along the narrow, winding streets to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Drive to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and view the Shepherds’ Fields, then enjoy a special shopping excursion at historic Kando Store. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Tour the City of David on the hill of Ophel, including Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Pool of Siloam. Enter the recently opened tunnel to walk on a first-century Pilgrimage Road, emerging at the base of the Pinnacle of the Temple. Visit the Jerusalem Archaeological Park beside the Temple Mount to see Robinson’s Arch, the Trumpet Stone, the stairway to the temple, and an ancient ritual bath. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Check out of the hotel and stow your bags. Ascend the Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque; then visit the Western Wall and Tunnel. Enter the beautiful grounds of the Garden Tomb to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ with an outdoor communion service. Drive to modern west Jerusalem to examine the Model of Jerusalem at the Israel Museum—where you will also see the museum’s archaeological exhibitions and the Shrine of the Book, home to some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Finally, enjoy a delicious farewell dinner. Those concluding the tour will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for the overnight flight to New York City.
Arrive in New York City (JFK) in the morning for your connecting flight home.
Optional Extension to Jordan and Egypt
After the farewell dinner return to the hotel to prepare for our additional adventures in the neighboring countries of Jordan and Egypt. Overnight in Jerusalem.
After breakfast, cross the Jordan River at the Allenby Bridge to enter the Kingdom of Jordan. Visit Tall el-Hammam to explore the site recently suggested as the ancient city of Sodom. Cross the Jabbok River to explore Jerash, including the Hippodrome, the Southern Theater, the Oval Plaza, the Cardo Maximus, the Temples of Zeus and Artemis, and various Byzantine churches. Drive south into the mountains of Edom to our hotel near Petra. Overnight in Wadi Musa.
Venture into the rock-city of Petra. Spend the day marveling at the stunning beauty of the Siq (entrance passage), the Treasury, the Street of Facades, the 8000-seat Theater, and the various temples and royal tombs carved into the red stone. Drive north along the King’s Highway to our hotel on the northeast shore of the Dead Sea. Overnight in Sweimeh.
Ascend to the top of Mount Nebo to view the Promised Land from the same perspective as Moses. Visit Madaba, the site of the oldest map of Palestine in the world. Go to Amman to visit the Citadel, the site of Rabbah-Amman that King David conquered. Conclude our excursion in Jordan with a delicious afternoon meal at a local restaurant before transferring to the Queen Alia International Airport for the late-day flight to Egypt. Overnight in Cairo.
View the Great Pyramids on the Giza Plateau (ancient Memphis) as well as the amazing Sphinx, one of the most distinctive symbols of ancient Egypt. Experience the fascinating culture of ancient Egypt by touring the Egyptian Museum, including the renowned artifacts of King Tutankhamun. Conclude our time in Egypt by visiting Coptic Cairo, including the beautiful Hanging Church, before enjoying dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Cairo.
Transfer to the airport for the early-morning flight to New York City (JFK) and your connecting flight home.