SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR A PROTESTANT OR EVANGELICAL GROUP TOUR
Arrive at Ben Gurion airport, Israel. Dinner and an evening at your leisure.
Overnight Tel Aviv.
Your Journey begins at Jaffa (biblical Joppa) the ancient seaport from which the Prophet Jonah Fled from God (Jonah 1:17) and where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner and restored Tabitha to life (Acts 9:36-43). Drive north along the Mediterranean coast of Caesarea, the great Roman Port city and one of the largest archeological digs in Israel. Here the Roman centurion Cornelius was baptized by Peter and became the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10) and Paul was tried by Festus (Acts 25:6-12). Continue to Mukhraka on Mount Carmel, where Elijah battled the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:25), then to Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15), site of a fascinating Tel (hill) comprising 26 ancient civilizations superimposed on one another, overlooking the Valley of Jezreel (Valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). Drive across the valley to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Visit the Church of Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Travel on to Cana where Jesus performed His First miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). Couples wanting to renew their marriage vows may do so at the chapel.
Drive to Tiberias to check in to your hotel. Enjoy your dinner and overnight.
Day begins by visiting the biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee; The Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon of the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12); Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived during His Galilee ministry (Matthew 4:13, Mark 3:1); Tabgha, where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes (Luke 9:10-17); and the chapel that commemorates where Jesus instructed Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).
Make a stop at Nof Ginnosar to see the 2,000-year-old “Jesus Boat” unearthed from the Sea of Galilee and a traditional Peter’s fish lunch. After lunch, view the “Galilee experience” audiovisual presentation. Continue to Yardenit for a Baptism service in the Jordan River. Time permitting, visit the upper Galilee and the Golan Heights to see ancient cities of Caesarea Philippi and Hazor.
Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Travel along the Jordan River Valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. First stop will be Belvoir, the Crusader fortress overlooking the Jordan River Valley. Drive to Beit She’an (Judges 7:4-8, 1 Samuel 31:10) the largest and most spectacular excavation in all of Israel. Here the bodies of King Saul and his sons were put on public display by the Philistines (also known as Scythopolis during Jesus’ time). Continue south via the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the world’s oldest city, conquered by Joshua (Joshua 6:20). Proceed to through the wilderness of Judah for overnight at the Dead Sea.
Begin your day at Masada, ascend the mountain by cable car to view Herod’s desert fortress. Continue to the beautiful Oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul (1 Samuel 24). Stop briefly to float on the Dead Sea. Drive to Qumran, the home of the first-century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Returning to Jericho, take the cable car from Jericho to Qarantal (the Mount of Temptation, Matthew 4:1-11) and the monastery. Finally, travel from Jericho up to Jerusalem in an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles, stopping at the Inn of the Good Samaritan along the way (Luke 10:24-26). From Mount Scopus view the “Golden City” as the sun sets over Jerusalem.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Begin exploring Jerusalem with a drive around the old city walls, learning of the gates and the Old City quarters with their wealth of history and significance. Ride to the top of the Mount Olives to view the entire city of Jerusalem. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30), stopping at Dominus Flavit, where Jesus stopped and wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). See the ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane and visit the beautiful Church of All Nations. Ride up Mount Zion where you will visit the Tomb of David and the Upper Room (Mark 14:12-26; Acts 1:13). Enter the Old City through the Zion Gate, walk to the Jewish Quarter, visit the Cardo and Hezekiah’s Wall, and have your first glimpse of the Western Wall. On departing the Old City, you will take a short drive to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept.
From here, you will return to the Knesset view the beautiful Menorah on display outside. Continue to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. Your last stop today will be a visit to the Model of Jerusalem from the time of the second temple.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Visit Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity, and Manger Square (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-7), as well as Shepherd’s Field at nearby Beit Sahour, where the “Good News” was first heard. Then, return to the Old City of Jerusalem, through the Dung gate. Explore the Southern Temple Excavations and the Western Wall. Visit the Rabbinic Tunnel, which runs underground to the base of the temple Mount, and the actual streets that Jesus and His disciples walked. Ascend the Temple Mount and visit the Dome of the Rock. Continue with a walking tour of the Old City that includes the Via Dolorosa, Pools of Bethesda (John 5:1-24) Lythostratos, Ecco Homo Arch, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Oriental Market.
Exit the Old City through the Damascus Gate and walk over to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary. There enjoy a memorable communion service to conclude your Journey.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Depart your hotel for Ben Gurion airport for your flight home.