ITINERARY

THURSDAY, MARCH 28
DEPARTURE DAY FROM UK; ARRIVAL DAY IN ISRAEL.
Overnight: Nachsholim.

FRIDAY, MARCH 29
HE SHALL BE CALLED A NAZARENE
NAZARETH, BETH SHEARIM, SEPPHORIS, MOUNT ARBEL

We trace the geographical regions of Lower Galilee, in the area of Jesus' early life. Beginning at Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus, we visit the Church of Annunciation, traditional site of Mary's home. Other first century remains from this village await our exploration. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD the Sanhedrin moved to several locations including Beth Shearim. It was here in the 3rd century AD that Rabbi Judah the Prince began to compile the Jewish oral traditions into the collection known as the Mishnah. Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee when Jesus, Joseph and Mary lived nearby. Here we gain insights into Jesus' family life and the challenge that faced the Jewish people in the Roman period. Finally, from Mount Arbel we receive a majestic overview of settlement around the Sea of Galilee, the center of the ministry of Jesus. Overnight: Ein Gev.  

SATURDAY, MARCH 30
LAND BEYOND THE JORDAN
UMM EL-KANATIR, GAMLA, BETHSAIDA, EL-ARAJ, ASSAF WINERY

A full day traveling through the upper regions of the Golan on the western edge of the volcanic Hauran plateau. At Umm el-Kanatir we find a reconstructed Byzantine synagogue. Nearby is Hippos (Susita) one of the Decapolis cities and candidate for Jesus' "city on a hill." We hike to the impressive remains at Gamla where the people of this 1st century city fought the Romans to their death. Today the ancient city boasts one of the few 1st century synagogues. Descending from the Golan Heights to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we consider the current debate regarding the location of 1st century Bethsaida with visits to et-Tell and el-Araj, the latter being the site of Nyack College's current archaeological efforts. Overnight: Ein Gev.

SUNDAY, MARCH 31
THE WAY OF THE SEA
HAZOR, DAN, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, OMRIT

Today we travel to the northern borders of the Land of Israel. At Hazor we find evidence of Joshua's burning "the chief cities of the Canaanites" and later the location of Solomon's efforts to fortify this northern gateway to the Galilee. Kadesh in the Upper Galilee lay near Isaiah's Way of the Sea from Dan to Tyre. Tel Dan is one of the most impressive archaeological sites on the border of the Land of Israel. Archaeological remains from the time of Abraham and King Jeroboam are scattered within this verdant nature reserve at the headwaters of the Jordan River. At Caesarea Philippi (Banias) we consider Jesus' pivotal question, "Who do you say that I am?" We conclude our day at the fascinating, new and seldom-visited excavations of Omrit, where we find an impressive Herodian temple. Overnight: Ein Gev.

MONDAY, APRIL 1
BY THE SEA OF GALILEE
CHORAZIM, MOUNT OF BEATITUDES, CAPERNAUM, 1ST CENTURY BOAT, MAGDALA, TIBERIAS,
BOAT RIDE ON THE SEA OF GALILEE

Our destination today is the cities that played an important role in the life and ministry of Jesus. At Chorazin and Capernaum we see important vestiges of these cities from the Roman period. The traditional Mount of Beatitudes serves as the environment to discuss Jesus' most famous discourse. At the Yigael Alon Museum in Kibbutz Ginnosar we are able to see a First-Century Boat rescued from the silted bottom of the lake. On the Plain of Gennesaret was settled the important lake harbor city of Magdala, where recent excavations have unearthed one of the most impressive first-century synagogues yet found. At Tiberias, built by Herod Antipas, important evidence from the New Testament period is still visible. Our day concludes with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Overnight: Ein Gev.

TUESDAY, APRIL 2
IN THE REGIONS OF THE JORDAN
JERICHO, QUMRAN, MASADA, DEAD SEA
Leaving behind the Sea of Galilee we descend into the Jordan Valley. At Jericho, made famous by Joshua's conquest, we see the impressive palatial homes of the Hasmoneans and Herod the Great. Khirbet Qumran is positioned on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, and it was founded as the center of the community who gave us the Dead Sea Scrolls. At Masada we ascend the towering mountain fortress, the last holdout for the Jewish Revolt against the Romans. Before leaving the region, we will provide an opportunity for you to float in the Dead Sea.  Overnight: Jerusalem. 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
JERUSALEM
TEMPLE MOUNT, OLD CITY, FREE TIME

This morning we ascend to the hilltop position known as Mount Moriah. It was here that Solomon built the First Temple and where Herod the Great expanded and rebuilt th even more impressive Second Temple. Jesus spent must time teaching in the Temple and it affords us a similar opportunity to examine the New Testament. Today, two Muslim edifices adorn the mount -- the Dome of the Rock and El Aqsa Mosque. Upon leaving the Temple Mount we will introduce you to Jerusalem's Old City and its 4 quarters (Muslin, Christian, Jewish and Armenian). Your afternoon is free time.  Overnight: Jerusalem.

 THURSDAY, APRIL 4
CITY OF THE GREAT KING 
WOHL MUSEUM, WESTERN WALL PLAZA, SOUTHERN STEPS, CITY OF DAVID, 
HEZEKIAH'S TUNNEL, POOL OF SILOAM 

Today we explore the archaeological vestiges of Jerusalem from the days of Jesus. We begin at the Herodian Villas (Wohl Museum) where aristocratic priests lived and oversaw activities in the temple. At the Western Wall and excavations along the Southern Wall we witness the glory of first-century Jerusalem. Finally, we visit the impressive archaeological excavations at the City of David where we can see the Stronghold of Zion, Hezekiah's Tunnel and the Pool of Siloam. Overnight: Jerusalem.

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 5
JESUS IN BETHLEHEM & JERUSALEM
HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM, CHURCH OF NATIVITY, MOUNT OF OLIVES, DOMINUS FLEVIT,
GETHSEMANE, POOLS OF BETHESDA, HOLY SEPULCHER

In the morning we travel to Bethlehem, where we visit Herodium, the desert palace fortress built by Herod the Great and the nearby Church of Nativity. After lunch we follow in the footsteps of Jesus visiting places important during the last week of Jesus. On the Mount of Olives we are given an overlook of the city and its surroundings. We descend to Dominus Flevit, a church that remembers Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. The place of the Garden of Gethsemane today is remembered by the Church of All Nations. Through the medieval Lion's Gate we arrive at Saint Anne's Church location of the Pools of Bethesda. Tracing the Via Dolorosa we arrive to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, place of Jesus' death and resurrection.  Overnight: Jerusalem.

SATURDAY, APRIL 6
JERUSALEM FREE DAY

Today is a free day to spend in Jerusalem. Overnight: Jerusalem.

SUNDAY, APRIL 7
SAMARIA REGION
SHILOH, MOUNT GERIZIM, SHECHEM, JACOB'S WELL, SAMARIA

We take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to spend a full day in the region of Samaria. We begin at Shiloh where the Tent of Meeting and Ark of the Covenant were first stationed. We continue to Mount Gerizim where we see the important archaeological remains and meet with a Samaritan High Priest who will speak to us about this fascinating community. At Tel Balata we visit the ancient fortifications of Shechem and nearby Jacob’s Well. Finally, we travel to the hilltop city of Samaria, which was transformed and renamed by Herod the Great, Sebaste after his benefactor Caesar Augustus. Overnight: Jerusalem.

MONDAY, APRIL 8
DEPART ISRAEL and RETURN to UK and USA
See the proper Flights link. 

  

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Testimonials

  • "This was a great program and if I had a chance to do it over again I wouldn’t hesitate. I think your team put in an outstanding effort and deserve more than a pat on the back. I can’t stop thanking you for your commitment to teach us God’s word and open up a knowledge of the land in the life and time of Jesus. Had we done what we had earlier planned to do and tour on our own we would not have learnt a fraction of what you taught us. Even though many people struggled with the climate, I think that that in itself taught us the harshness of the land, and was a good lesson."
    R.A., Israel Trip