Day 1: Flight from Heathrow to Tel Aviv
On arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, we’ll be met by a tour representative who will assist us with our luggage, escort us through customs and introduce us to our guide and vehicle with driver. We’ll continue to our hotel in Tel Aviv and check-in for an overnight stay.
Day 2: Caesarea – Mount Carmel – Nazareth
After breakfast, we will check-out from our hotel and travel to the ancient port of Caesarea – built by Herod the Great and once the headquarters of Roman rule. We’ll view the excavated Roman amphitheatre, aqueduct & hippodrome, see the remains of Herod’s palace where the apostle Paul was imprisoned, & visit the Crusader fortress. From there, we’ll ascend Mount Carmel & enjoy some spectacular views from the site of the encounter between Elijah & the prophets of Baal. We’ll continue to Nazareth, the childhood home town of Jesus, visiting the Church of the Annunciation, built over the traditional site of Joseph & Mary’s home, also taking in Nazareth Village to experience village life similar to the Nazareth where Jesus grew up. We’ll then check in to our hotel in Tiberius for dinner, & the first of three nights based there near the Sea of Galilee.
Day 3: Capernaum – Bethsaida – Kursi – Tabgha – Mount of Beatitudes – Nof Ginosaur – Boat Ride
We’ll start the day by visiting Capernaum – the adopted hometown of Jesus -where we’ll see the remains of Peter’s house where Jesus based his adult ministry, & the synagogue where he preached. We’ll move on to the site of Bethsaida, the home town of some of Jesus’ disciples, before visiting Kursi (the land of the Gerasenes) where Jesus healed the demon-possessed man. We’ll call in at Tabgha, the traditional site of Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5000, & see where the risen Jesus appeared to Peter on the seashore. We’ll visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, before driving to Nof Ginosaur to see the ‘Jesus boat’ – a wooden boat dating from the time of Jesus. We’ll end the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner & overnight in Tiberius.
Day 4: Tel Dan – Caesarea Philippi – Hazor
Today we’ll journey north, firstly to Dan, the northernmost outpost of the kingdom of Israel, where we’ll see the remains of city gates from the time of Abraham, & where Jeroboam set up two golden calves. From here, we’ll visit the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon. An ancient centre for pagan worship, we’ll see the remains of the temple & grotto of the god Pan, & reflect on where Peter declared his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. And finally we’ll travel back south to Hazor to see the remains of the ancient Canaanite city that Joshua destroyed, but which Solomon later rebuilt. Dinner & overnight in Tiberius.
Day 5:Beit She’an – Jericho – Bethany
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel & make our way to Beit She’an, the extensive ruins of the Roman city where the Philistines once displayed the slain bodies of King Saul and his sons. From there, we’ll journey south to explore Jericho – the oldest inhabited city in the world – & ascend by cable car the Mount of Temptation. We’ll then take the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, stopping off in Bethany to visit the hometown and traditional tomb of Lazarus. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Bethlehem – Herodium – Mount of Olives – Gethsemane – Caiaphas’ House
We’ll begin the day by visiting Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, taking in the Church of the Nativity. From there, we’ll stop off at Herodium, the fortress of Herod that eventually housed his tomb. We’ll then return to Jerusalem to enjoy the view of the city from the Mount of Olives, walk down part of the traditional Palm Sunday route to the Garden of Gethsemane, and relive the trial of Jesus at the traditional site of Caiaphas’ House. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Masada – Dead Sea – Qumran
We’ll depart Jerusalem and descend through the Judean Wilderness to the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea. We’ll visit Masada – ascending by cable car to tour Herod’s lavish mountain-top fortress, & the last stronghold of the Jews against the Romans. We’ll have an opportunity to ‘float’ in the Dead Sea, & before returning to Jerusalem, we’ll visit the ancient Essene settlement at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 8: City of David – Jerusalem Archaeological Park – Pool of Bethesda – Western Wall – Old City – Holy Sepulchre – Garden Tomb – Israel Museum & Shrine of the Book
We will start our day by visiting the excavations at the City of David, including the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed a blind man. We’ll proceed to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park to take in the area directly beneath the Temple Mount, including climbing the original steps to the Huldah Gates that led into the Temple courts. We’ll visit the Pool of Bethesda, the Western Wall, & walk through the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. We will visit the Garden Tomb, where we’ll share in communion together, before finishing with a visit to the Israel Museum & Shrine of the Book, where there’s a huge model of how Jerusalem looked in Jesus’ day & where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. Overnight & farewell dinner at the hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Tel Aviv-Heathrow
Check out of our hotel & travel to Tel Aviv to check in at Ben Gurion airport before flying home to Heathrow.