Israel Sample Itinerary
Departure to Tel Aviv.
The Mediterranean coastline is visible from both sides of the plane. Shalom, you are in Israel and will be assisted with Immigration and Customs by a tour representative. Transfer by deluxe coach to your hotel in or near Tel Aviv. Dinner and overnight on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
After a restful night and a sumptuous Israeli breakfast buffet, drive along the Mediterranean coast to view the stately, ancient ruins of Caesarea. Visit the Roman amphitheater where Paul stood trial. Cornelius, the first Gentile of the Church-age was saved as he met Peter here. Continue to Haifa to see Elijah’s Cave and enjoy the view from Mt. Carmel.
Travel to the Nazareth Village, a recreation of life in Nazareth as it was 2,000 years ago. Step into the Bible, history and into the life of Jesus, its most famous citizen. Walk past cultivated terraces, an ancient winepress, stone quarries, grapevines, and old olive trees. The path leads to the stone buildings of the Village where costumed villagers go about daily life. Farmers and villagers are plowing, planting, pruning. harvesting and threshing. The weaver and the carpenter demonstrate their crafts. The synagogue, the sounds of sheep and village children blend on the hillside and take you back to another place and time. Experience Galilean life in the first century. www.nazarethvillage.com
If time permits, visit the Hill of the Precipice near Nazareth, a stunning vantage point from which to visualize the activities of Elijah and Elisha on the hills of Samaria, Carmel and Gilad, Kings Saul and Ahab in the Jezreel Valley and the Gilboa hills, Deborah the prophetess at Mt. Tabor and, most importantly, the place where irate townspeople attempted to throw Jesus off the cliff, "but he passed through the midst of them and went away." Luke 4:29-30 (Optional activity: Plant a tree in Israel $18)
Drive to the Valley of Jezreel, the prophetic future site of Armageddon. The archaeological site of Megiddo is one of Solomon’s chariot cities where twenty civilizations can be observed stacked up in the ruins. A breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee introduces us to the land where Jesus lived during most of his ministry years. Dinner and overnight on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
After another great Israeli breakfast buffet, step aboard the boat for a calm cruise on the sea and an incredible worship service. Disembark at Ginosar to visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus. Visit the home of the Apostle Peter where Jesus healed his mother-in-law. A few footsteps away, we visit the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught. Continue to Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the fishes and loaves. A short bus ride takes us to the Mount of Beatitudes where we hear the words of Jesus on the mount where he first spoke them. Lunch time provides an opportunity to enjoy St. Peter’s fish on the shores of the lake at Kibbutz Ein Gev. End the day at the Jordan River Baptismal site. (Those who opt to be baptized will be required to rent a robe and towel. The $15.00 charge includes a Baptismal Certificate.) Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Leaving Galilee, drive to Beit Shean to visit one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters in Israel. Extensive excavations have uncovered eighteen layers of civilization. Ancient Beit Shean is where King Saul’s body was nailed to the wall. Leaving Beit Shean we continue south observing the city of Jericho from the coach. Travel along the site of Qumran and view the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy. Continue south toward Masada through the wilderness of Judea. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David when fleeing from Saul. Arrive at the hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea in time to float in the salt water at the lowest place on the face of the earth. End the day with dinner at the resort with the black mud and healing salt water near the steps of your hotel. (Optional event - extra cost: A camel ride in the Negev Desert and dinner in a Bedouin Tent.) Return to the hotel for overnight on the Dead Sea.
Early in the morning, enjoy a float in the Dead Sea before breakfast After check-out, ascend by cable car to the fortress built by King Herod the Great at Masada. See the remains of Herod’s Palace, the Apartments, Baths, Storehouses and cisterns. It was here the Jewish Zealots made their last stand against the Roman Legions from 70-73 AD. Descend from Masada with a stunning view of the Dead Sea. Continue north toward Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. After leaving the lowest point on earth (1360 feet below sea level), again passing Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, we ascend to Jerusalem, the City of God. Our arrival into Jerusalem begins with a drive along the promenade to catch the first view of Jerusalem. The afternoon is free to relax at the hotel with a spectacular Israeli buffet dinner and try to absorb your first night in Jerusalem.
The first day in Jerusalem begins with a drive to the Mount of Olives where the New Testament comes alive. A breathtaking view of Jerusalem from the Garden of Gethsemane places the Biblical events in perspective. Visit the Church of All Nations and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with a grand view of the Eastern Gate and the Kidron Valley. Afterward, we arrive at Mount Zion. Visit the room of the Last Supper, the site of the Upper Room, the Tomb of King David and the House of Caiaphas. If time permits, proceed to the Knesset (the Israeli House of Parliament) and to the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visit the Holy Land Model to view Jerusalem as it was in the time of Christ. Board the coach for lunch in Bethlehem, then visit the Shepherd's Fields, the Church of the Nativity, and fields of Boaz and Ruth. After shopping in Bethlehem, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight
Today, visit to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. A Communion service is available for our group as we overlook the Tomb. Proceed to the Holy City. The walls enclose many of the Holy sites. Walking through the Dung Gate, we approach the Temple area on Mount Moriah. Visit the Western Wall, and then up to the Dome of the Rock enclosing the Rock of Sacrifice. Exit the Temple Mount at the Eastern Gate and walk through the colorful bazaars in Old Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Saint Anne, the Pool of Bethesda, the Lithostrotos and Pilate’s Judgment Hall..
After breakfast, begin the tour of old Jerusalem with a visit to the Temple Institute where preparations are being made for the Third Temple. Garments and instruments can be seen and the lecture is informative. Continue through the Jewish Quarter of the city to see Nehemiah’s Wall that was fortified by the Jews during the First Temple period (586 B.C). The Israel only passengers will have a late check out, spend the afternoon on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian shopping street. Late afternoon, return to the coach for transfer to Jaffa for a visit to the port city of Jonah and the House of the Tanner of St Peter's event in Acts 10:5. Late dinner then return to Gen Gurion Airport for return flight back home. Next year in Jerusalem!
(If tour includes Jordan, then Jordan Extension passengers board the bus after the Jewish Quarter tour to cross the border into the country of Jordan.)
NOTE: Sequence of sites visited may be adjusted to accommodate local opening and/or closing time limitations as well as flight changes as dictated by the airlines (arrival/departure). Epic Tours reserves the right to change the itinerary or omit sites based on schedule requirements or local conditions.