Old City of Jerusalem
Here we begin our walking tour of the Old City, making our first stop at Ecce Homo Arch, built by Hadrian in 135 AD. Starting our walk of the Way of Sorrows, we begin at the Chapel of Flagellation (Pilate’s Judgment Hall), this is the place where Pilate judged Jesus and the soldiers scourged him and also the place of the Convent of the Sisters of Zion. Visit Pool of Bethesda/St. Anne’s Church. Here the pavement is the actual courtyard that served as the foundation of the Antonio Fortress and where Jesus was condemned to death and where he began the Way of the Cross. We will trace Jesus’s walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) and stop at the 14 Stations on our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Visit the Garden Tomb. Visit the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. We will see the ancient Roman Cardo, the Herodian Mansion, the Temple Institute and Western Wall.
Old City of Jerusalem/Bethlehem
After breakfast, we drive to the Chapel of the Ascension (1:9-12), on top of the Mount of Olives, where we will enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Kidron Valley. We will then stroll down Palm Sunday Route, stopping at the tear shaped chapel of Dominus Flevit. This chapel marks the traditional site where Jesus wept viewing the city of Jerusalem. We continue walking down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we visit the Church of All Nations. From the Garden of Gethsemane, we proceed to the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the site where the blessed Virgin died. (If security permits) We then drive to Bethlehem, where we will spend the afternoon visiting the Church of The Nativity.
Dead Sea area/Qumran/Masada:
After an early breakfast, we drive to the Dead Sea. Our route will take us back down the main highway towards Jericho, where we will turn south and start driving along the shores of the Dead Sea, as we descend to the lowest point on the surface of the earth at 1305 feet (398m) below sea level. We will stop for a quick visit of Qumran, where a young shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, for one of the most important archaeological finds ever made. We will continue our drive south to ascend to the top of Herod’s fortress of Masada by cable car. Our walk around this historical and remarkable ruin is enhanced by the fantastic view of the Dead Sea. Here we will see the amazing courage shown against Rome and all it’s might. We conclude our day with a swim in the Dead Sea if weather permits. Return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Caesarea, Haifa and Akko:
After the famous Israeli breakfast, we leave Jerusalem driving along the coast of the Mediterranean on the Plain of Sharon, this old coastal road, the Via Maris, linked Egypt and Babylon. We continue north towards Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod, where Pontius Pilate had his base; here Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10); where Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and where Philip preached (Acts 8:40). Caesarea will tour the harbor, Roman theatre, aqueduct and the Crusader fortress. We then travel north towards Haifa, and continue on our drive up to Mt. Carmel to visit the Carmelite Monastery. This is the site where the prophet Elijah did battle with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:30). Also visit the Bahai Gardens. Visit the underground city in Akko.
Overnight Sea of Galilee
Visit the ancient synagogue of Beth Alpha, Ein Herod. We will drive north to the Golan Heights and visit Banias, one of the sources of the River Jordan and the site of ancient Caesaria Philipi, where Peter made his confession of faith in Christ (Matt. 16:16). The “Good Fence” Lebanese border. On to the Banias (Caesaria of Philipi), Possible to visit a Druze village in the Golan Heights. Kunetra also known as Mt. Bental and over view of the Syrian border. Visit the ancient city of Katzrin.
Overnight Sea of Galilee
Start our day with a boat cruise (Note the cruise may be taken at a different route on a specific time according to the time table of the boat company at the specific day). On the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and the site of many of His miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt. 8:5; 14-17; 9:1-7; 17:18). We will see the remains of Peter’s house and the synagogue site where Jesus taught and worshiped (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). Continue to Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes (John 6:1-14) and the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered what is perhaps the most famous sermon ever preached – “The Sermon On The Mount” (Matt. 5). We will then proceed to the site of the city of Khorazin where there are the remains of a First Century synagogue where Jesus frequently ministered. Visit the ancient boat at Nof Ginosar.
Overnight Sea of Galillee
We turn inland and proceed to Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s walled, fortified cities (1st Kings 9:15; 10:26), with the ruins of 20 levels of civilization. From here the Books of Daniel and Revelation will come alive as we read about the final Battle of Armageddon, while viewing the Plains of Jezreel. We will proceed to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1-5) and the Renewal of wedding vows and prayers for the single pilgrims. Drive to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Here we will visit the Grotto of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. These churches are located over the traditional site where Mary and Joseph lived. We will also visit the site of the Synagogue of Nazareth where Jesus preached his first sermon, and stop at the ancient City Well where it is believed, the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.
End in Tel Aviv.