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. As time permits, tour the 1st-century Roman capital at 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 Netanya.
Ascend Mount Carmel to a site commemorating Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Explore the excavations at Megiddo. Continue 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. Drive to Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight 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. Proceed to Nof Ginosar to examine a fisherman’s boat from the time of Jesus. Visit the 1st-century synagogue and other excavations at Magdala. Ascend the Arbel Cliffs for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee. Tour the Roman ruins of the city of Tiberias. Overnight Tiberias.
Travel north in the Hula Valley to enjoy the beautiful Dan Nature Reserve. Tour the excavations at the Old Testament 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 view of Mount Hermon from Mount Bental. Return on the Damascus Road through the Golan Heights. Overnight Tiberias.
Travel south through the Jordan River Valley to explore Bet Shean, one of the cities of the Roman Decapolis. Visit the ancient city of Jericho. Proceed to Qumran to examine the excavations of the Essene community and view the Dead Sea Scrolls caves. Hike the nature trail at Engedi to see 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 Ein Bokek.
Ride the cable car to the summit of Masada to explore Herod the Great’s historic mountain fortress. Continue to Beersheba, the home of Abraham. Drive north into the Judean Hills to Azekah for a splendid 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 Jerusalem.
Begin the tour of the Holy City with a magnificent panoramic view of Jerusalem from the slopes of the Mount of Olives. Stroll down the ancient path to see the Garden of Gethsemane. Drive to Bethlehem to explore the Herodion, the fortress built by Herod the Great which he chose for his burial site. Visit the Church of the Nativity and view the Shepherds’ Fields. End the day with a special shopping excursion at historic Kando Store. Overnight 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 experience a portion of the 1st-century Pilgrimage Road. Drive to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park beside the Temple Mount to see Robinson’s Arch, the Trumpet Stone, the stairway leading to the temple, and ancient ritual baths. 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. Overnight Jerusalem.
Those returning home after the Israel portion of the tour will 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. Visit the Western Wall and Tunnel. Walk along the narrow, winding streets to the Christian Quarter to see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Enter the beautiful grounds of the Garden Tomb to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ with an outdoor communion service. Finally, enjoy a delicious Farewell Banquet. 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) for your connecting flight home.
Optional Extension to Jordan and Egypt
After the Farewell Banquet, return to our hotel to prepare for the additional adventures awaiting us in the biblical countries of Jordan and Egypt. Overnight Jerusalem.
Cross the Jordan River at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to enter the Kingdom of Jordan. Visit Tall el-Hammam, the site recent excavations suggest 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 Wadi Musa.
Venture into the rock-city of Petra. Spend the day marveling at the stunning beauty of the Siq (the entrance passage), the Treasury, the Street of Facades, the 4000-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 Sweimeh.
Drive to the Baptismal Site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus at the beginning of his ministry. Ascend to the top of Mount Nebo to view the Promised Land from the same perspective as Moses shortly before he died. Visit Madaba, the site of the oldest map of Palestine in the world. Depending on our flight schedule, we may have time to see the Amman Citadel, the location 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 Cairo.
Visit Saqqara, a burial site of Egyptian royalty in Memphis, to see the earliest examples of pyramids. View the Great Pyramids on the Giza Plateau as well as the amazing Sphinx, perhaps the most distinctive symbol of Egypt. Tour the Great Egyptian Museum to experience the history and culture of this fascinating country, including the renowned artifacts of King Tutankhamum. View the beautiful Nile River before enjoying dinner at our hotel. Overnight Cairo.
Transfer to the airport for the early-morning flight to New York City (JFK) and your connecting flight home.