Thursday, day 1: Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, transfer to Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel. We will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and will be met by a CTTI representative, immediately after passport control. He will assist us in the terminal and will escort us through customs and outside the terminal to meet our driver with vehicle. We will have a short ride to our hotel, in the beautiful coastal City of Tel Aviv for check-in. The remainder of the day or evening will be at leisure (depending on flight time arrivals). Suggested stroll in the ocean front promenade of Tel Aviv, before our relaxing dinner at our hotel.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Friday, day 2: Jaffa, Caesarea, Megiddo and Galilee
Following our delicious Israeli buffet breakfast, we will meet our guide at the lobby of the hotel. We will drive to the city of Jaffa (Joppa), where we will take a short walking tour in picturesque alleys of the old, fortified town. We will pass by the house of Simon the Tanner and marvel at the views from the hill top. We will leave Tel Aviv and drive north along the Plain of Sharon, the old Mediterranean coastal road (Via Maris), which linked Egypt and Babylon to the archaeological ruins of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar. We will see the ancient Roman theatre, built by Herod and once; the capital of Judea. Here Paul embarked on his journey to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and where Cornelius and his family (the first Gentile believers) lived. Caesarea is also where Pontius Pilate had his base; and where Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30 Acts 10 24-48) and where Philip preached (Acts 8:40). We will explore the restored Roman amphitheater, with its acoustic and theatrical sound. It was used for many performances throughout the centuries. Today, it draws major venue attractions, for concerts and festivals. We will walk through the excavated fortress and view the aqueduct, once used for conveying water to the city. We proceed inland 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. It is an ancient city inhabited continuously for more than five millennia (6000-500 B.C.). We will conclude our day with a drive through the Pastoral Hills of the Galilee to our accommodations in the Galilee. Optional dinner package available).
Overnight in the Galilee.
Saturday, day 3: Sea of Galilee
After breakfast, we will start our day from historic Tiberias, where Jesus lived, and preached on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We will visit the ruins of Capernaum (Kfar Nachum), 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 continue to Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes (John 6:1-14). We will see the mosaic floor depicts a basket with loaves and two fishes. We will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered perhaps the most significant sermon ever preached - "The Sermon On The Mount" (Matt. 5). We'll ascend to the Golan Heights to view the panoramic view of the peaks of Mt. Hermon and the rugged plateau of the Golan Heights. Below, we will see the green pastoral Hula valley. We will return back to Tiberias and to our hotel for the remainder of the afternoon/evening at leisure. Optional dinner package available.
Overnight in the Galilee.
Sunday, day 4: Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will leave our hotel and journey to Cana to visit the Wedding Church where Jesus performed His first miracle, turning water into wine. We will proceed to Nazareth to see where Jesus spent his youth years. We will also visit the Church of Annunciation, built on the site where archaeologists believe the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. We will see Mary’s Well and Joseph’s Church. We will journey southeast to visit the city of Beit Shean, which is considered to be one of the largest ongoing archaeological digs in the land of Israel and is recently excavated amphitheater. Here, we will tour the colonnaded Roman streets, mosaics, the Cardo and the Roman bathhouses (1st Samuel 31:10). We will continue with our drive south through the lush Jordan Valley where the desert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2) towards the Mountains of Judea. We will arrive at our hotel in Jerusalem for check-in. Optional dinner package available.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Monday, day 5: Masada and theDead Sea
After breakfast, we leave Jerusalem and travel south through the Judean Wilderness towards the shores of the Dead Sea. We will start to descend to the lowest point on the surface of earth, to 1305 feet (398m) below sea level and arrive at the shore of the Dead Sea. We proceed south along the Dead Sea to visit Qumran, where a young shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will drive further south to beautiful Ein Gedi reserve to see the Oasis in the desert. Here we will have a short hike to see the incredible waterfalls; including David's Falls, the gardens, caves and learn the biblical stories of David, Saul, and the book of Psalms. We continue to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada and ascend by cable car to the ancient fortress. Here was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. We will visit the excavations of King Herod’s palace, the synagogue and the bathhouse. The Zealots held out for three years against the legions of Flavius Silva and chose to die as free men at their own hands rather than submit to Roman slavery and torture. The site was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. We will enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, floating on the waters of the Dead Sea, and or covering ourselves in mud. We will return back to our hotel in Jerusalem. Optional dinner package available.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Tuesday, day 6: Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will start our first day of touring in Jerusalem with a beautiful panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount Scopus. We will also drive to the top of the Mount of Olives, for an even more spectacular view of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Golden Gates. This is the same mountain where Jesus viewed the Old City and wept after seeing it for the first time. We will have the choice of walking down or driving down the mountain to visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was arrested, because of Judah's betrayal. From here we proceed by bus across the Kidron Valley, past the tombs of Absalom, Zacharias, James and King Jehoshaphat to the Old City, via the Dung Gate to visit the Western Wall. This is where the 2nd Temple was (Temple Mount). We will have some time to reflect. We will continue to the Via Dolorosa to visit the Calvary and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, housing both the traditional site of Crucifixion and the Tomb of the Resurrection. To the southwest, just outside the Old City, we will drive to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, where the Last Supper was held (Mark 14.13, Luke 22. 10-38, Matt 26 17-29, Acts 1.13 and Acts 2) and David's tomb below. We will return back to our hotel. Optional dinner package available.
Wednesday, day 7: Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will start our day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Museum was established in 1953, located on the foot of Mt. Hertzel. We will drive to Ein Karem; a beautiful picturesque village on the south western outskirts of Jerusalem. This small village has great significance in Christian traditions, including the Church of the Visitation and the birthplace of John the Baptist. We will continue to Israel Museum to visit the replica model of Jerusalem, as it used to look like in 66 CE. In that fateful year, the Great Revolt against the Romans erupted, resulting in the destruction of the city and the Temple. The ancient city was then at its largest, covering an area of about 445 acres (more than twice the size of the Old City today). In the same complex, we will also visit the Shrine of the Book. Here we will see the original Dead Sea Scrolls and where they are housed. We will drive to The Knesset (House of Parliament) and to the campus of Hebrew University. We will proceed to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, the site of Jesus' birth. We will return back to Jerusalem and to our hotel. Optional dinner package available.
Thursday, day 8: Jerusalem / Ben Gurion Airport
After breakfast or depending on flight time, we will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back home.
Please note: Extensions in Israel and abroad are also available. This tour can be customized in private tours.