Pilgrimage to Israel and Turkey

Duration: 15 days, 13 nights
Location: Israel, Turkey

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SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR A PILGRIMAGE TO ISRAEL AND TURKEY

“SEVEN CHURCHES OF THE REVELATION”

Day 1

Departure from the USA

Day 2

Arrival
Arrival, meeting and transfer to the hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Caesarea , Megiddo , Nazareth, Cana , Sea Of Galilee

After a full Israeli breakfast, depart from Tel Aviv to visit Caesarea (Acts 9.30 Acts 10 24-48). Visit the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins including the Theatre and the Aqueduct. Continue to Mount Carmel to see where Elijah the prophet performed the miracle of the fire against the false prophets of Baal (1st Kings 18). An afternoon visit to Nazareth and the site of the Annunciation where Mother Mary received the good news from the Angel Gabriel. (Luke 1.26, 4.16-29, Matthew 2.23).

We will also visit the Nazareth Village where we will learn and see how the holy family lived 2000 years ago. Continue to see the site of the first miracle of the Lord Jesus at Cana of Galilee (John 2. 1-11).

In the early evening, we will arrive at our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Boat ride, Capernaum, Mt. Beatitude, Golan

Depart after breakfast for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (John 6. 1, 6.23). We will visit this morning Capernaum where most of the ministries of Jesus took place (Matt.4 13, 13.54, 17.54, Luke 7, Mark 1.2, John 4.46-54) and we will see the outstanding remains of the local synagogue. Following this, we will visit to Mount of Beatitudes where He taught His disciples (Matt. 5,6,7,8) the Sermon on the Mount. Visit Tabgha at this Holy place Jesus fed

We will continue Tabgha; at this Holy place Jesus fed multitude with just 2 fishes and 5 loaves. (Matt..13, Mark .33-45 and John 21). We will visit the eastern shore of the lake. The site of the miracle of the Gaderenes at Kursi (Luke 8. 26-39, Matt 8. 28-34 and Mark 5). Time permitting, we shall take a short drive to the southern part of the Golan Heights for a magnificent view of the entire area.

Return to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

Day 5

Jordan River, Gilboa, Jordan Valley, Jericho

After breakfast, we depart the Galilee for the Holy City of Jerusalem. A visit to the Baptismal site on the Jordan River at Yardenit (Matt 3.13-17, Mark 1.9-11 and Luke 3.22-23). Continue via the Mountains of Gilboa and arrive to one of the most extraordinary excavation in the country at Beth Shean, one of the ancient Decapolis (Mark 5.20, 7.31). This is the city where Saul and his son Jonathan where nailed to the walls (1st Samuel 31.10 , Judges 1.27) mentions the city. We bypass the city of Jericho to visit the Good Samaritan Inn (Luke 10.30-37) and continue to Jerusalem the Mount of Olives for a view of the Holy City and a ceremony with a blessing of arrival.

Continue to check in at our Jerusalem hotel before dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Mt. Olives , Mt. Moria , Mt. Zion , Old City

After a wonderful Israeli breakfast, most of this morning will be walking in Jerusalem. Today we walk where Jesus walked. Begin the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane the arrest of Jesus and taking Him to the house of the High priest Caiphas happened here (Matt. 26.34, Mark 14.30 and Luke 22.54-70). We continue to Mount Zion to see the tomb of King David, the nearby Room of the Last Supper (Mark 14.13, Luke 22. 10-38, Matt. 26 17-29, Acts 1.13 and Acts 2 The Pentecost) and the Palace of Caiaphas. Next, we enter the Old City through Stephen’s Gate, and visit the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus cured a cripple. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering. See the Church of the Sepulcher before we arrive at the peak of our tour – the Garden Tomb. Your faith, that blessed hope and communion with Christ, will take on a tremendous new meaning today.

Day 7

New City, Western Wall , Temple Mount

Following breakfast, we travel to the Shrine of the Book to see the Dead Sea Scrolls the absolute miracle of God’s preserved Word. We will also visit the miniature model of the city of Jerusalem as Built during the Roman period 2000 years ago. Our guide will walk us through an accurately detailed smaller version of Biblical times in Jerusalem as well as the architecture and décor of the Temple. Next we visit the Jewish Quarter, the Cardo – ancient Byzantine Street, the Western Wall and The Rabbis tunnel under the Temple Mount built 2000 years ago by King Herod the Great. From here to the nearby Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher, eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard, have been unearthed. It is in this courtyard that Jesus likely drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 8

Bethlehem, City of David, Pool Of Siloam

We begin our day visiting Bethlehem (Luke 2, 1-7 ) the site of the nativity, the Shepherds fields and fields of Ruth and Boaz. Return to Jerusalem where we will visit the new site of the “City of David”.

We will see the water System that goes back to King David times, the Pool of Siloam where Jesus cured the blind and the world famous Hezekiah Tunnel. We then continue to Yad Vashem, the memorial and Holocaust museum. Drive to nearby Ein Karem this lovely village is the birth place of John the Baptist. Return to your hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 9

Dead Sea, Massada, Qumran

Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Massada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. We’ll visit Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Afterwards, proceed to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat”, an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. (1 Sam 23:29; 24 Song of Songs 1:14).

Return to Jerusalem.

Day 10

Fly To Istanbul

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport and board your nonstop flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel in Istanbul.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 11

Full Day Old City Tour:

Pick up from your hotel to visit the old city with the beautiful monuments of it. We will visit the Hagia Sophia, a great Byzantine architectural masterpiece, whose interior is resplendent with golden mosaics. Then on to the Blue Mosque to admire the delicate design and Iznik tiles. We continue on to the Roman Hippodrome with Egyptian Obelisk and Serpentine Column. After that, we will see the Topkapi Palace, with royal treasury and elegant forecourts. After lunch, we will go to the Grand Bazaar with over 4000 shops. Return to your hotel.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 12

Seven Churches at Ephesus & Laodicea

Transfer from the hotel to Istanbul airport. Fly to Izmir. Visit the city of Ancient Ephesus, the most important of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. See the great Library of Celsus, Agora, Odeon, Trajan Fountain, Domitianus Temple, Roman Latrines, Theater and Stadium in which St. Paul preached the gospel. Also visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she is said to have spent her final years and St. John’s Basilica, a Byzantine church marking his burial place. After lunch, drive to Eskihisar, site of the Church of Laodicea, to which St. John addressed his letter concerning the city’s waning faith.

Overnight stay in Pamukkale.

Day 13

Seven Churches at Sardis, Philadelphia, Thyatira & Pamukkale

Begin your day at the ancient city ruins of Hierapolis, where St. Philip was martyred in 1AD. See the Necropolis, Avenue of Tombs and Thermal Baths. Enjoy a break at Pamukkale with snow-white terraced cliff pools. Then we proceed to the ancient Philadelphia Church at Alasehir, the youngest of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, visiting the remains of an early church and the city walls.

After lunch, visit the site of Sardis – the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. Walk the Royal Avenue and see the site of the Church of Sardis built on the foundations of the Temple of Artemis. Finally at Akhisar we visit the Church of ancient Thyatira, another one of the 7 churches, set in an ancient commercial town with strong ties to Troy and Sardis. Travel to your hotel.

Overnight in Bergama.

Day 14

Pergamon – Smyrna – St. Polycarp

Drive to Pergamon, site of one of the Seven Churches, where St. John wrote of Satan’s throne being sited. Visit the Church of Pergamon, the famous Red-Court and the Acropolis. After lunch, proceed to Smyrna (Izmir), whose early faithful were praised in a letter from St Paul. Finally visit the Church of St. Polycarp and enjoy a short tour of Izmir city. Transfer to Izmir Airport. Flight to Istanbul. Transfer to hotel.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 15

Departure back home
Transfer to the airport for departing flight home.

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