A Grand 14 Day Private Christian Tour of the Holy Land
Though small in size, The Holy Land looms large in the imagination of every traveler. See the very best of Israel and Palestine. Compare with the 10 day version.
DAY 1 – TEL AVIV – Friday- Weekly – Year Round
Our local rep. meets you at Ben-Gurion airport, assists with arrival formalities, and escorts you to your Tel Aviv hotel. Private Air-Conditioned Vehicle, private guide at all times, and you may choose your own dates, we do suggest – Friday- Weekly – Year Round. When you choose your own date, we may have to change tours/sites visits around to accommodate religious holidays and Sabbath.
DAY 2- The Heart of Ancient Israel-Samaria: Shilo, Mt. Gerizim-Jacob’s Well – Shechem, Emmanuel-visit Orthodox Jewish settlement. – Saturday
SAMARIA IN THE LIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES
Alon Moreh — The traditional site from which God first promised the Land of Israel to Abraham. (Gen 12:6 Other references: Deut 11:30, Judges 7:1)
Emmanuel/Contemporary Jewish settlement — visit a modern Orthodox Jewish settlement in this politically sensitive area.
Mt. Gerizim or Mt. of the Blessings — At 9,514 meters above sea level, this mountain stands slightly lower than its counterpart to the north, Mt. Ebal. Both mountains tower over the city of Shechem (modern Arabic: Nablus). After Israel’s victory at Ai, Joshua led the people of Israel here (and Mt. Ebal) to recite the blessings and curses of the Torah as God had commanded. (Deut 11:29; 27:12-13 Josh 8:30-35) Here also the Samaritans erected a temple to rival the Jewish one. John Hyrcanus destroyed it in 129 BCE, fueling the animosity between Jews and Samaritans. The “woman at the well” whom Jesus met in Samaria pointed to Mt. Gerizim when she said, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain.” (John 4:19-24)
Mt. Ebal or Mt. of the Curses — 10,170 meters above sea level, at the Northern side of the Biblical city of Shechem (modern Arabic: Nablus). Tradition has it that when Israel recounted God’s commandments here, the blessings were read from Mt. Gerizim facing, while the curses were read from Mt. Ebal. (Deut 11:29; 27:1-8, 12-13) The “woman at the well” whom Jesus met in Samaria was from the village of Sychar located on the slopes of Mt. Ebal. (John 4:4-6)
Shechem — Nestled between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal, this city saw a parade of Biblical heroes, from Abraham to Jacob to Joshua to Jesus, pass through. After the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, a new city was established, “Neapolis”, from which comes the present day Palestinian city of Nablus. This was both Abraham and Jacob’s first stop in the Holy Land when they came from the East. For the many Biblical references, see: Gen 12:6; 33:18-19; 34:1-31 Deut 27:4-13 Josh 8:30-35; 17:7; 24:1-28; 24:32 Judges 9:1-57 Psalms 60:6; 108:7 1 Kings 12:1-14; 12:25 1 Chr 7:28; 6:67 2 Chr 10:1-19 Jer 41:5 John 4:1-42
Shiloh — The first religious center for the tribes of Israel after they entered the Land; thus, the dwelling place of the tabernacle before the temple was built in Jerusalem. This is also where Samuel the prophet started his ministry, as well as the site of many other events in Bible history. (1 Samuel 1-2; Joshua 18:1, 8-10; 22:10-12; Judges 21:15-22)
View over Tirza — View over the old capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Samaria
DAY 3 – Up the Coast to the Galilee: Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, Sea of Galilee, Tiberias- Sunday
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE
Chorazin — A first-century A.D. Jewish town in upper Galilee two miles north of Capernaum. Along with Bethsaida and Capernaum, this center of first-century Jewish life was rebuked by Jesus (Matt. 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-15). Excavations of the now deserted town indicate that it once covered an area of twelve acres and was built on a series of terraces with the basalt stone local to this mountainous region. The synagogue was one of the earliest in the area.
The Galilee Experience — A Multi-Media presentation of 4000 years of history of the Galilee, with a fine Christian Souvenir & Bookstore.
Jordan River Baptismal Site — A once in a life time experience to be baptized in the waters of the Jordan River as Jesus himself did.
Kursi in the land of the Gadarians — This is where Jesus cast out the Legion demons from a man, and commanded them to enter the ill-fated flock of swine. Matt 8:23-34; Luke 8:26-39). The site of the largest Byzantine monastery in Israel.
Mount of the Beatitudes — Here, the famous Sermon On The Mount took place. (Matt.5)
Mount Arbel Overlook — This peak on the western shore of the Galilee, just north of Tiberias, provides a spectacular view of the whole Galilee area.
DAY 4- In the Footsteps of Jesus in the Galilee: Boatride on Sea of Galilee, Mt. of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Capernaum, Chorazin, ‘Galilee Experience’ – Monday
Sea of Galilee Boat Ride — The wooden, first-century style boat takes us across the area where most of the Gospel stories took place. See the same waters upon which Jesus walked. (Mark 5)
St.Peter Fish-Lunch — Enjoy the same type of fish that was eaten in the days of Jesus and his disciples. (John 21)
Tabgha — The site of numerous springs on the NW shore of the Galilee. The springs provide plenty of warm water, even in winter, making it a major site for fishing on the sea. It is the traditional site of the feeding of the multitude, although many scholars believe that this actually took place somewhere on the east coast of the Galilee, (Luke 9:10, John 6:1). This is probably the place where Jesus met with his disciples while they were fishing and where Jesus first called his disciples, charging them to be “fishers of men.” (Matt 4:18-24; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11…John 21:1-24)
DAY 5 -The Northern Reaches of the Promised Land: Gamala, Golan Heights, Katzrin, Banias, Tiberias -Tuesday
THE NORTHERN BORDER REGION
Banias/Caesarea Philippi — “Banias” is the original name of this site near Mt. Hermon in the North, famous as the place where Peter first confessed that Jesus is the Messiah. (Matt 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21) Here too Antiochus III of Syria defeated the Egyptians in 197 BCE, taking control for the Seleucid Dynasty, which set the stage for the repression of the Jews by Antiochus IV and the revolt of the Maccabees (commemorated by the Jewish festival of Hanukah.)
Gamla — A town which was the seat of Jewish resistance under the Romans; from here the “Zealots” planned much of their activity. A precursor to events in Masada, in that the Jews of this fortified town chose mass suicide instead submitting to Roman capture. Today, this area is a beautiful nature reserve, with the highest waterfall in Israel (51 meters).
Golan Heights — Part of the very fertile plateau of Bashan between Mt. Hermon and the Wadi el-Yarmuk east of the Jordan River. The northern security-belt of Israel, won from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967.
Katzrin — A reconstructed model village from Second Temple/Talmudic times; see how people lived, worked, and ate in ancient Israel.
Nimrod Castle — Massive 12th century castle overlooking the Hula Valley. Originally built by Muslims atop a precipice, to protect the road from Tyre to Damascus; it changed hands many times in the battles with the Crusaders.
Tel Dan — Dan was the northernmost city of ancient Israel, thus when Scripture speaks of all of the Land, from North to South, it often says, “from Dan to Beersheva.” (Judges 20:1 1 Sam 3:20 2 Sam 3:10; 17:11; 24:2; 15 1 Kings 4:25) Abraham traveled from Hebron to Dan to rescue his nephew Lot from Kedorlaomer. The tribe of Dan was not satisfied with its inheritance near Judah, so it settled here and set up idolatrous
DAY 6- Acre – Haifa – Tel Aviv (B)
Our local rep. will call for you after breakfast and drive up the cost to Acre, a Crusader stronghold in the Middle Ages. After a view of the fortifications, we’ll drive back around the bay to Haifa, Israel’s main port, a scenic cluster of neighborhoods climbing seaside slopes. Stops will include the Bahai Shrine, the Persian Garden, and Mount Carmel, where we’ll take in a panorama stretching from the port up the coast almost to Lebanon. On our way back to Tel Aviv, we’ll stop at the extensive and well-preserved Roman city of Caesarea whose buildings tell of a way of life through baths, plazas and a theater that is still used for major concerts! Later structures bespeak Crusader defenses. This evening will be your chance to do your last-minute shopping for Israeli souvenirs, and to enjoy a fine dining experience from among the many choices in Tel Aviv. Your guide will be pleased to make recommendations. Sample Hotels : Deluxe : Dan Tel Aviv or similar. For your tours: Private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur and private guide.
DAY 7- More Wilderness Experience: Masada, Ein Gedi, Bedouin Camp and Camel Ride – Thursday
ISRAEL’S DEEP SOUTH and THE NEGEV
Bedouin Camp and Camel Ride — Spend an evening in an authentic Bedouin (nomadic herdsmen) camp; enjoy their food, their tent-based lifestyle, and a two hour camel ride! Mitzpe Ramon Crater — Halfway to Eilat lies this giant crater, a favorite site for hikers and campers, and famous for its beautiful sunrises.
DAY 8 – Through the Desert to the Deep South: Dead Sea, Arava Valley, Eilat – Friday
Valley of Arava — A picturesque valley which runs from the Dead Sea all the way to Eilat.
DAY 9- Eilat: Free Day (Optional underwater observatory) – Saturday
Eilat — Israel’s southern most city and the country’s world famous winter sun resort center on the Red Sea; Eilat is an international city featuring hotels in every price category and a wide range of water sports and other active holiday activities. The city’s Coral world Underwater Observatory is a must.
DAY 10 – In the Footsteps of Jesus-the Holy City: Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa, Pool of Bethesda, Ecce Homo, Temple Mount, Western Wall, Garden Tomb – Monday
JERUSALEM ENVIRONS: FAMOUS SITES SURROUNDING THE HOLY CITY
Ayalon Valley — The main valley leading from the coast to Jerusalem. The site of many famous battles during Joshua’s campaigns against the Canaanites; during the Maccabean Revolt, the Roman period; and in modern times, The War of Independence in 1948.
Bet Shemesh — A town west of Jerusalem on the way to the coastal plain. It was in this vicinity that most of the Samson stories took place. (Judges 13-16) Now a thriving suburb of modern Jerusalem and a center for industry, with a population of over 25,000.
Caves of Bet Guvrin — A prominent city in the period of the Second Temple, located in the southern Shephelah. (Hilly region to the west of Jerusalem). Today it is a small kibbutz of a few hundred people. Famous for its numerous and cavernous caves.
Emmaus — ancient town in the Judean Valley of Ayalon, 20 mi. (33 km.) N.W. of Jerusalem. Here, Jesus appeared before his disciples after his crucifixion and resurrection (Luke 24:13-16). Tel Maresha
DAY 11 – Jerusalem of Today – Bethlehem of Yesterday: Holyland Hotel model of 2nd Temple Jerusalem, Knesset, Yad Vashem, Israel Museum-Shrine of the Book, Bethlehem – Tuesday
THE NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM & BETHLEHEM
Bethlehem/Shepherd’s Field — Originally a small village on the road from Jerusalem to Hevron. Here took place the story of Ruth and Boaz, and is the birthplace of both David, and David’s greatest son, Jesus. Here also can be found the tomb of Rachel. Many believe the site of The Shepherd’s Field to be the place where angels of the Lord visited the shepherds to announce the birth of Israel’s King and Savior. (Gen 35:16-20 48:7 Ruth 1 Sam 16:1-12; 17:12 Micah 5:2 Luke 2:1-7, 8-20 Matt 2:1-18)
HolyLand Hotel Model of 2nd Temple Jerusalem — Here the visitor can find a full scale model of the Jerusalem of Jesus’ time. A great aid in visualizing the geography of NT Jerusalem.
Israel Museum/Shrine of the Book — Israel’s finest and most comprehensive museum, containing artifacts and documents from pre-historical to Biblical to Byzantine, Turkish and Modern times. Also, the some of the Dead Sea Scrolls (including the famous Isaiah text) and many artifacts relating to the Qumran community can be found in the separate Shrine of the Book building, whose famous roof is shaped like the ceramic jar covers in which the scrolls were first found.
The Knesset — home of the Israeli Parliament.
Solomon’s Quarry — A quarry located north of the Temple Mount near the present-day Damascus Gate, now called Solomon’s Quarry or Zedekiah’s Cave. This quarry was used through the Roman period (63 B.C.-A.D. 324), and possibly also by Hezekiah for his building projects.
Yad V’Shem — (“Hand and Name” from Isaiah 56:5) This museum commemorates the Holocaust of European Jewry perpetrated by the Nazis before and during WW II.
DAY 12- Jerusalem – Wednesday
Full day guided tour to explore Jerusalem, holy city to Christians, Jews and Muslims: Very full day, tour will include a drive to the Mount of Olives, which offers panoramic views, visit the Church of Pater Noster and the Chapel of the Ascension on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane. From the Garden, follow in Jesus’ footsteps along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, lunch is included at a local restaurant.
DAY 13 – Jerusalem – Thursday
Full day at leisure to explore Jerusalem on your own as you wish.
DAY 14 Transfer to airport, departure – Thursday
We’ll escort you to the airport to catch your homeward-bound flight. Salam and Bon Voyage. For crossing into Jordan, please add: $150 per person for the private transfer to the border, change of cars, and then a Jordanian sedan will meet you at the border and continue on to Amman or Petra. Add Dubai and Egypt.
|Rates per person in USD|
|Triple Occupancy||US$ 5581||US$ 4006||US$ 3715|
|Double||US$ 5689||US$ 4199||US$ 3861|
|Single||US$ 6780||US$ 5369||US$ 5140|
International airfares are not included in these rates.
You may combine this tour with any of our tours to Jordan or Egypt for an even more memorable vacation.
Your tour includes:
- Transfers from and to the airport in Tel Aviv
- Accommodations according to the category chosen, including all taxes breakfast daily, and service charges
- Fully escorted guided sightseeing in an air-conditioned bus or minibus
- English-speaking guide
- All entrance fees on sightseeing tours
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
- Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
- Gratuities to guide and driver: Suggested: $3 USD per person per day for the driver. $5-$10 Per person per full day for the guide.