The following itinerary is only a proposal and may be altered as desired. We suggest arriving in Israel on a Wednesday (overnight flight from the West) because Tuesday is, typically, the least expensive day to fly. Your first full day is arranged to begin on a Thursday; however, your group may arrive any day and the itinerary will be adjusted accordingly.
Day 1 –Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Jerusalem
We have finally arrived in the Promised Land after our overnight flight from home. We are met at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and escorted to our transportation. On the way to Jerusalem, we will see both the ancient and the modern as we are on our way to dinner and our orientation meeting.
Day 2 – Jerusalem
This morning, we visit the Western, or Wailing, Wall, the only remaining remnant of the retaining wall built by King Herod to create a giant platform on which was built Herod’s Temple. We will walk the entire length of the Western Wall, venturing deep beneath Jerusalem’s Old City streets and homes, even under the arches built by Kings Solomon and Herod, to the very bedrock and the market street upon which Jesus and His disciples walked. After lunch, we will cross to the ancient City of David where we will walk along the recently discovered ruins of the palace of the kings of Judah, including Kings David and Solomon. One of Jerusalem’s greatest adventures is walking through King Hezekiah’s underground water tunnel, the ancient world’s greatest water project. Upon leaving the tunnel, we will see the recently discovered Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed a blind man. Just opened is the underground passageway to the Temple’s Southern Walls. We will shop the Old City before returning to our lodging. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
We begin today’s Jerusalem Experience atop the Mount of Olives, overlooking the City. From here we will be introduced to all the areas of Jerusalem: Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, the City of David, and Mount Zion. For a special treat (which has become one of the most requested of all the places we visit), our group will work alongside archaeologists as we find ancient treasures from the Temple Mount itself. The rest of the day is spent in the reconstructed Jewish Quarter, shopping and visiting the Ancient Cardo and Hezekiah’s Broad Wall. We return to our guesthouse to freshen up before being invited to a special Shabbat Dinner with a Christian couple who minister to Israel’s “Lone Soldiers”, known (in Hebrew) as the hyalim bodedim. This special treat is an exclusive experience for our travelers only.
Jesus spent much of his life and ministry in and around Jerusalem. We will visit the biblical sites of His ministry: The Garden of Gethsemane and the Pool of Bethsaida. We will walk the traditional Via Dolorosa, then through the Arab Market to the Garden Tomb. On our way back to the guesthouse for supper, we will descend to the Valley of Ben Hinnom (Gehenna) to discuss this important place in man’s relationship with God. As Jerusalem again comes to life after Shabbat, we will take time to shop along Ben Yehudah Street, Jerusalem’s outdoor shopping mall.
This morning we visit Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem. We take our memories of the Museum with us as we travel to the Elah Valley, battlefield of David and Goliath. After recounting the story, we will visit the brook from which David took his 5 smooth stones and find our own 5 smooth stones to take home with us. We then ride deep into the desert to ancient Beersheba, the village built by Abraham and where we will walk the streets in which Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, and Esau grew up and where Abraham’s well still holds water as it did 4,000 years ago! From Beersheba we travel to the extreme southernmost city of the Land, Eilat, where we will spend the night and prepare for our trip to Petra tomorrow.
We awake early and, taking our box breakfast with us, we are off to the Jordanian border crossing. Petra is rightly called “a rose-red city half as old as time” and “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.” Petra has been designated a World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Our lunch is provided and we return to our guesthouse for supper, tired and happy.
Apply the sunscreen! Today is our day to relax by the Red Sea while we take in Eilat’s Aquarium and Observatory and where we snorkel in the waters of the Red Sea’s famous Coral Beach Reserve. The rest of the day is for relaxation and swimming.
We travel north for a very unique experience (as if all our experiences haven’t been unique until now!). We are on the way to a Bedouin Encampment to be treated to the Bedouin’s famous hospitality which will include a camel ride into the desert, their well-known Bedouin cuisine and sleeping in a huge Bedouin tent. Along the way, we will stop at Tel Arad, the first walled city encountered by Moses’ spies who ultimately returned to camp with a bad report. Dinner & overnight at the Bedouin Camp
We arise early to climb Masada’s Siege Ramp to watch the sun rise from atop one of Israel’s most famous, historical landmarks and hear the story of great courage and sacrifice. We then return to our Bedouin camp for a hearty breakfast. Our morning continues with a visit to Mount Sodom, followed by a swim (float) in the Dead Sea, lowest point on the planet. We then climb the oasis of Ein Gedi and swim in Ein Gedi’s many, cool waterfalls until we arrive at the cave where David cut off a piece of King’s Saul’s cloak.
We continue heading north, along the Jordan River Valley, on our way to the Sea of Galilee. We will stop at Qumran, the village of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then we will stop by Jericho, home of Rahab the harlot, and the location where Joshua entered the Land after 40 years in the Wilderness. On the way we will discuss many of the people of the Bible whose lives intersected this part of the Land. Anyone wishing to be baptized in the Jordan River may now do so at the site of Jesus’ baptism by John.
This is our second Sabbath in the Land and we are going to spend it relaxing, swimming in the Sea, rafting the Jordan River, and taking a leisurely boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where we can point out the locations of Jesus’ ministry which we will visit tomorrow.
Today we follow Jesus where He traveled, ministered and taught in the areas around the Sea of Galilee. This will include the cities of the “evangelical triangle” (Korazim, Capernaum, and Bethsaida); locations where He healed, fed the multitudes, and Kursi, where He delivered the demoniac. We will also visit Magdala, the Mount of Beatitudes and Peter’s Primacy. We will end the day watching the sun set over the Sea of Galilee as we take a boat ride on the Sea. Alternate: during the warmer months, we may raft the Jordan River.
We drive into the eastern mountains north of the Sea of Galilee and begin our day at Mount Bental to discuss the horrific battle of the Yom Kippur War when Syria attacked Israel in the valley below. We then travel to biblical Dan, one of the sources of the Jordan River and the site of the Tribe of Dan. We’ll hike through the Park, see foliage, rushing water, and the remains of an ancient altar built by King Jeroboam as his alternative to the altar Jerusalem. We travel the short distance to Caesarea Philippi (where a most important biblical event took place and where we will learn what “the gates of Hell” actually were). We now move all the way west toward the coast where we will spend a great time tomorrow at places no ordinary tourists will ever see.
Keshet Cave has been called “One of the 100 places to visit before you die”. This natural landmark, on the border with Lebanon, is a must-see for our travelers. We then visit another site few tourists ever see: Rosh Hanikra and its beautiful grottoes on the Mediterranean Sea. From here we begin our journey south, along the coast, and end our day with dinner & overnight
This morning we continue south until we make a turn east to climb the Carmel Mountans where we will visit the site of the face-off between the prophet, Elijah, and the prophets of Baal. From the vantage point of Mount Carmel, we can take in almost the entirety of the Valley of Armageddon. After lunch at a Druze village, we then return to the coast and to Caesarea, one King Herod’s most amazing building projects. Herod built this port city out of sand dunes and it became the greatest sea port in the Roman Empire. Here, Paul, the Apostle, was imprisoned for 3 years before being sent to Rome; Philip, the evangelists lived with his daughters; and, the gospel was first preached to the Gentiles.
Today we begin with a visit to Israel’s Independence Museum where we will relive the founding of the nation. We then visit the Ayalon Institute which, during Israel’s War of Independence, was a kibbutz which hid an entire bullet factory under the kibbutz laundry and right under the noses of the British army. Dinner and Overnight in Tel Aviv
This morning, we will spend time gleaning a field for the poor of Israel, just as if we were modern-day “Ruths”. We may visit the amazing “Bell Caves”; or, if the group is interested, in the afternoon (and possibly for dinner), we will visit the brave little band of Christian Israelis who are homeschooling their families.
This is a typical Saturday (Shabbat) in Israel where most of the country rests, relaxes, swims, or just enjoys themselves. Today, we will do the same: we will sleep late, take a walk along the Sea (maybe even walk to Jaffa, the world’s oldest port city, which is not far from Tel Aviv. We will also swim to our heart’s content in the Mediterranean Sea.
We have saved the best for last! This morning we drive to the settlement of Itamar to remember Abraham as we take in the first place mentioned in the Land, Alon Moreh. Our final ancient site of this amazing trip is Israeli’s first capitol, Shiloh, where Joshua placed Moses’ Wilderness Tabernacle and where it stood for the next 369 years. We end our time in Israel with a visit to the homes of our Tour Guide and Tour Operator in their Orthodox Jewish community of Ma’ale Levona. No ordinary “tour” will ever offer this kind of special blessing! Here we will receive a last lecture from our renowned guide, Yossi Maimon, and then celebrate our amazing trip with a final dinner party before heading to the airport for our trip home. Final Dinner & travel to airport for our flight home
You will often be asked, “How was your trip to Israel?” Your trip will be so memorable, answering this question will not be so easy!
Although the above itinerary comes from our years of experience, it is only a suggestion. We want this to be your trip. Upon request, we will forward a complete list of potential sites in Israel from which you may add to, or alter, the above suggestions. However, keep in mind that you want your group to have enough time to absorb what they are experiencing; therefore, since you have 19 days in the Land, it is better to do fewer, more meaningful things than to feel rushed.
Cost per person will depend on the number traveling with you and the dates you choose to travel.
When you have decided to form your own group, let us know using our Contact Us Form and we will work with you to create your ideal itinerary and provide you with cost estimates.
Pricing does not include: