Itinerary for our tour of Biblical Israel (and Egypt)
March 9-22, 2020
Tour members will meet for our flight to Israel. After boarding our international flight,
dinner will be served aloft. Then it’s time to relax, enjoy the on-board entertainment,
and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2 – Tuesday, March 10: Arrive in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion International airport
We proceed through customs and security and meet our agent who assists us to our
motor coach. We have a short drive to our hotel in Netanya in time for dinner and
overnight beside the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 3 – Wednesday, March 11: Caesarea, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Nazareth,
Nazareth Village, Cana, Galilee
This morning, we depart for the Galilee to visit the Biblical site of Caesarea Maritima,
where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion (Acts 10). We also
see Megiddo and then Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted those prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Time permitting, we will stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch
break (not included). Then we continue on to Nazareth (Jesus’ childhood home)
and visit Nazareth Village. Next, we proceed to Cana (location of Jesus’ first miracle
- John 2) and the Mt. of Precipice. Afterwards, we arrive in Tiberias for dinner and
overnight beside the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4 – Thursday, March 12: Galilee, Magdala, Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum,
Galilee Boat Ride, Bethsaida, Jordan River
Get up a little early. Nothing compares to watching the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. We begin today at the newly excavated village of Magdala on the Galilee shore, then the traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 and the Church that marks Peter telling Jesus three times, that he loves him. It is a short drive to reflect and worship at the Mt. of Beatitudes remembering Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Then we arrive in Capernaum, Jesus’ home base for His earthly ministry. Afterwards, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” to sail on the Sea of Galilee. For those interested, our lunch stop includes the option of ordering the special St. Peter’s Fish (not included). After lunch, we visit Gadara and Bethsaida (time permitting) before we arrive at the Jordan River baptismal site.
Dinner and overnight are back in Tiberias.
Day 5 – Friday, March 13: Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gideon Springs, Beit Shean, Jerusalem
After breakfast, we travel north to the Golan Heights for a beautiful view of northern Israel’s landscape. Then we head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16). We embark on a short hike to Dan to see the altar of Jeroboam before heading to Gideon Springs. Next we visit Beit Shean, one of the best preserved of the ten "Decapolis" Roman cities. This is where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12). Finally we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight.
"I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go up to the house of the Lord.' Our feet are standing within your gates O Jerusalem!"
(Psalm 122:1-2 NASB).
Day 6 – Saturday, March 14: Mt. of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Bethlehem
We begin today on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the
breathtaking panorama of the "Holy City." Our pilgrimage
proceeds down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient
olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane. Then we continue
on to the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) marking
the traditional area where Jesus prayed before his arrest.
Next we make our way to Stephen’s Gate (also called the
Sheep Gate) to walk the Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s
Crusader Church, the Pools of Bethesda, The Pavement (where
Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and
the ancient Cardo (original main street, "heart" of the ancient city.)
Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem.
Day 7 – Sunday, March 15: Western Wall, Temple Mount, Southern Steps, Shrine of the book, Model City, Elah Valley
After breakfast, we enter the old city of Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and proceed to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel 24:18-25), which is called the Temple Mount. This area is also the third holiest shrine in Islam, housing both the El-Aqsa Mosque and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. Next we take a short walk to the original steps that Jesus climbed as he entered the Temple area and where Peter likely preached the very first gospel sermon, (Acts 2). We depart the old city and drive to the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ day. We journey to Elah Valley to see the stream bed and field where David slew Goliath. Last, we return to Jerusalem for Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 - Monday, March 16: City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, The Pool of Siloam, St. Peter Gallicantu, the Garden Tomb
After breakfast, we drive to the City of David then go on a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel (conditions permitting). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through the Canaanite shaft instead. If time permits, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (Caiphas' house). We end our day in worship and communion at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem.
Day 9 – Tuesday, March 17: Qumran, Ein Gedi, Masada, Dead Sea for Swim/Float
After breakfast, we drive to Qumran, the settlement of the Essenes. They were the first-century sect who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls. Time and conditions permitting, we’ll include a visit to Qasr El-Yahud, the newly-opened and likely spot in the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. If possible, we will also include a short visit to Jericho where the walls came tumbling down. From here, we head to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. Next, we travel south along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward Masada and ascend by cable car up to King Herod’s astonishing fortress. At the Dead Sea we may enjoy a float time in the buoyant and mineral-rich waters. Our Farewell Dinner and overnight are in our resort hotel by the Dead Sea.
Day 10 (Israel only passengers) – Wednesday, March 18: Transfer from the Dead Sea to Ben Gurion airport for our flight home
We arrive back in the U.S.A. at the close of an unforgettable tour. We carry home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord. The Bible accounts will now will be powerfully vivid to us as we read and hear them.
OPTIONAL EGYPT EXTENSION
We transfer to St. Catherine for check-in, dinner, and overnight at our hotel.
Day 11 – Thursday, March 19: Mt. Moussa, St. Catherine’s Monastery,
Fly to Cairo
This morning we meet in the hotel lobby by 2:00 a.m. to start our day by
climbing Moussa Mountain with our local guide (those who choose not to
climb, can remain at the hotel). On the southern end of the collection of
peaks, is Mount Moussa (Mountain of Moses), considered to be where
Moses received the 10 Commandments from God. Climbing the mountain
takes about 3 hours on foot following the Path of Moses – to arrive at the
peak for a wonderful view of the sunrise. After enjoying the sunrise, we
visit St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of the mountain. The monastery
is the traditional site of the Burning Bush and is a spectacular home to
priceless works of art. We then transfer to Sharm El Sheikh airport for our
short flight to Cairo. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel for dinner and
overnight in Egypt.
Day 12 – Friday, March 20: Cairo, Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis
After breakfast, we venture to some of Egypt’s oldest sites, and enjoy a
camel ride. We begin with the Pyramids of Giza. The Great Pyramid of
Cheops is the largest, comprised of 2.3 million stone blocks. We enter
this pyramid and visit the King’s Chamber. Nearby, we visit the Solar
Boat Museum to see an ancient Egyptian cedar wood boat dating back
4,500 years. We visit the Great Sphinx, then we travel to the Necropolis
of Sakkara, the site of King Zoser’s Step Pyramid. This vast site in the
heart of the desert plateau is the largest necropolis in Eypt. We end in Memphis, to see the limestone Colossus of Ramses II.
Here the remnants of the nation’s first capital, once the most cosmopolitan city in Egypt, lie scattered in the desert.
Dinner and overnight are in Cairo.
Day 13 – Saturday, March 21: Cairo
After breakfast, we enjoy a special tour of the Museum of Antiquities. The museum houses the greatest collection of Pharaonic treasures in the world, including the expansive Tutankhamen collection of golden treasures. We continue to the Citadel where we see the lavishly decorated Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. We continue to the famous Suspended Church, dating back to late fourth and early fifth centuries. We then visit the Church of St. Sergius, a fifth century Coptic church built in the cave where it is believed that Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus stayed. We arrive at the Synagogue of Ben Ezra, where baby Moses was saved by the attendant of Pharaoh's daughter. Finally, we stroll through the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, a bustling warren of shops where you can bargain for rugs, copper and Cairo hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 14 – Sunday, March 22: Depart Cairo, Arrive in U.S.A.
This morning we transfer to Cairo International Airport for our flight back home to the U.S.A., arriving home the same day. Our memory cards and hearts are filled with experiences in Israel and Egypt, places we've dreamed of, and memories we will carry for a lifetime. They will make the Scriptures and stories absolutely come alive for us and for others.