Wednesday, Day 1: Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, transfer to Jerusalem
You will arrive Ben Gurion Airport and will be met by a Shalom Journey’s representative, who will assist you with your luggage, escort us through customs and introduce you to your driver with vehicle. You will be transferred to your hotel in the beautiful city of Jerusalem for check-in to your hotel and for the remainder of the day at leisure (depending on flight time arrivals).
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Thursday, Day 2: Jerusalem and the The Old City
After breakfast, you will start the day with a visit to the Mount of Olives, for a panoramic view of Jerusalem, overlooking the walls of the old city and the ancient Jewish cemetery. Tracing the footsteps of Jesus, you will stroll down the Palm Sunday Route on the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church Of All Nations. From here we proceed by bus across the Kidron Valley, past the tombs of Absolom, Zacharias, James and King Jehoshaphat to Mt. Zion. Here you will visit the site of David’s tomb and 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, The Pentecost). You will enter into the Old City of Jerusalem heading to the Jewish Quarter, which was reconstructed after the city was unified at the conclusion of the Six-Day War in 1967. A special point of interest in the restored Jewish Quarter is the "Cardo", meaning the "heart" of this ancient Byzantine City. View the unearthed main Roman thoroughfare and ancient marketplace lined with columns. Proceed through the broad stone stairway down to the holy Western Wall - the "Kotel" (Beit Hamikdash). Here you will have an apportunity to view the Temple Mount (entry to the mosque is not included). We begin at the passageways and retrace the steps of Jesus along the Via Delorosa (the way of the cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Matt. 27. 33-57, 28.10). You will pass through the colorful bazaars, alleyways and marketplaces (a chance to test your negotiating skills) to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Return to our hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at your hotel and overnight in Jerusalem.
Friday, Day 3: New City **Bethlehem
After breakfast, you will drive to Ein Kerem, to visit the Church of the Visitation and the birthplace of John the Baptist. You will continue to Yad Vashem - the Israeli Holocaust memorial, where six million Jews perished in WWII. Enter the site by walking along the Street of the Righteous Gentiles, dedicated to the non-Jews that risked their lives in order to save their Jewish neighbors. You will continue to Israel Museum, to see the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea scrolls are housed and the scale model of Jerusalem, as it used to look in the 2nd Temple period.
Proceed to Bethlehem ** to visit the Church of the Nativity. Dinner at your hotel in Jerusalem.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Saturday, Day 4: Massada and the Dead Sea area
After an early breakfast, you will drive towards the Dead Sea area. Your route will take you back down the main highway towards Jericho. You will then turn south and start driving along the shores of the Dead Sea, as you descend to the lowest point on the surface of the earth at 1305 feet (398m) below sea level. You will visit Qumran, where a young shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls and drive to Massada. You will continue south to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Massada. You will ascend by cable car to the ancient synagogue of Massada and explore the ancient fortress. Here, was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. The Zealots held out for three years against the legions of Flavius Silva and chose to die as free men at their own hands in preference to Roman slavery. From the top of Massada, the outlines of the Roman encampments are still visible below. Return back to Jerusalem and prepare for dinner at your hotel.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Sunday, Day 5: Beit Shean / Nazareth
After breakfast, you will leave Jerusalem and begin the day with a drive through the lush Jordan Valley, where the dessert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2). On the way, you will pass Jericho, the oldest know city in the world. You will arrive at Beit Shean and walk through the incredible excavations of the largest ongoing archaeological dig in the land of Israel with its amphitheater, colonnaded Roman streets, mosaics and Roman bathhouse. It is also the city where the Philistines executed King Saul and his son on the walls Beit Shean (1st Samuel 31:10). You will proceed to Nazareth (Luke 1.26, 4.16-29, Matthew 2.23) via Cana of Galilee, to visit the town where Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding ceremony (John 2.1-11). Upon arriving in Nazareth, you shall visit the Church of the Annunciation, St. Joseph's Workshop and Mary's Well. You will check-into Kibbutz Lavi for dinner and overnight in the Galilee.
Monday, Day 6: Tiberias / Wester Galilee / Banias
After breakfast, you will start our day with a boat cruise 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). You 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). You 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). You will enjoy a tour around the Golan Heights, with it's valleys, grazing land and snow capped mountains. Return to our kibbutz for dinner.
Overnight in the Galilee.
Tuesday, Day 7: Acre (Akko) / Haifa / Megiddo / Caesarea
Following buffet breakfast, you will leave the Galilee area and drive towards the Mediterranean Sea. You will proceed north to Acre (Micah 1.10), capital of the Crusaders for more than a century. Visit the ancient city and harbour. Turn south and continue along the coastal road to the beautiful port city of Haifa, nestled on the Mediterranean Sea. Here you will also visit the world famous Persian Gardens at the Bahai Temple. From Haifa, you will continue to Megiddo (1 Kings 4.28, 9,15, 2 Kings 23,29 & Revel. 16.16), identified as the site of Armageddon. Visit the archaeological excavations at Megiddo, including the well-preserved water supply system. continue south along the coastal plain to Caesarea (Acts 9.30 Acts 10 24-48), capital of Judea under the Romans. Visit the excavations of this ancient city, the Roman theatre and aqueduct. You will arrive Tel Aviv for check-in, dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Wednesday, Day 8: Tel Aviv / Ben Gurion Airport
After breakfast, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure.
** visit subject to availability