Tuesday, May 7
Board the plane in New York City (JFK) for the overnight flight to Israel.
Wednesday, May 8
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Transfer to our hotel for dinner and an optional stroll along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Overnight in Netanya.
Thursday, May 9
Tour Caesarea by the Sea—including the theater, Herod’s palace and the aqueduct. 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.
Friday, May 10
Visit the recent excavations at Magdala; then 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 and then proceed to Nof Ginosar to examine a first-century ancient boat. 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.
Saturday, May 11
Travel north through the Hula Valley to the beautiful Dan Nature Reserve. Explore the excavations at the city of Dan, including the high place where Jeroboam set up the golden calf. Visit Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Enjoy the majestic views of Mount Hermon, Nimrod Fortress and Mount Bental. Return on the ancient Damascus Road through the Golan Heights. Overnight in Tiberias.
Sunday, May 12
Travel south through the Jordan River Valley to explore Bet Shean. 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.
Monday, May 13
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 where David defeated Goliath. Continue to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Tuesday, May 14
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. 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.
Wednesday, May 15
Tour the Old Testament City of David, including Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the recent excavations at the Pool of Siloam and the Tombs of the House of David. View the ongoing excavations of David’s Palace and then enter Herod’s underground water canal, emerging at the base of the Pinnacle of the Temple. Visit the Jerusalem Archaeological Park around the Temple Mount, including the Trumpet Stone and the ancient stairway to the temple. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Thursday, May 16
Ascend the Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Visit the Western Wall and Tunnel. View the Pool of Bethesda, walk to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, then enjoy the overview of the Old City from the Citadel of David. Continue to the Jewish Quarter to see the Herodian Mansion, the Cardo and Hezekiah’s Broad Wall. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Friday, May 17
Drive north to visit Shechem to see Jacob’s Well, where Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman, then continue to the city of Samaria (Sebaste). Return to Jerusalem to examine the Model of Jerusalem located 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. Complete the tour at the beautiful grounds of the Garden Tomb with a communion service. Finally, enjoy a delicious farewell dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Saturday, May 18
Those concluding the tour will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv. Arrive in New York City (JFK) for your connecting flight home.
Optional Extension to Jordan and Egypt (May 18-24)
Saturday, May 18
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. Continue to Mount Nebo to view the Promised Land from the same perspective as Moses. Drive south into the mountains of Edom to our hotel near Petra. Overnight in Wadi Musa.
Sunday, May 19
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 the ancient capital city of Amman. Overnight in Amman.
Monday, May 20
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. Return to Amman to visit the Citadel, the site of Rabbah-Amman that King David conquered. Transfer to the airport for the late-day flight to Egypt. Overnight in Luxor.
Tuesday, May 21
Luxor was the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, thus the city where Moses grew up. Cross the beautiful Nile River to enter the Valley of the Kings to explore some of the amazing tombs of the Pharaohs―including King Tutankhamun―as well as Queen Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple. Return to the east side of the Nile to admire the refined beauty of Luxor Temple. Overnight in Luxor.
Wednesday, May 22
Marvel at the enormous proportions of the well-preserved Karnak Temple. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cairo. End the day with an evening cruise on the Nile River. Overnight in Cairo.
Thursday, May 23
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. Tour the fascinating Egyptian Museum, including the renowned artifacts of King Tutankhamun. Overnight in Cairo.
Friday, May 24
Transfer to the airport for the flight to New York City (JFK) and your connecting flight home.