Holy Land 0320Balzano
Holy Land 0320Balzano
Duration: 13 Days
Dates: March 2, 2020 to March 15, 2020
Departure City: Washington Dulles
Arrival Tel Aviv
Caesarea – Mt. Carmel – Megiddo – Nazareth - Sea of Galilee
Bethsaida – Mt. Beatitudes – Capernaum – Boat Ride
Tel Dan - Tel Hazer - Caesarea Philippi - Jordan River
Beth Shean - Jericho - Jerusalem
Masada - Ein Gedi - Qumran - Jerusalem
Western Wall Tunnels - Davidson Centre - St. Ane - Israel Museum
Temple Mount - Hezekiah Tunnel - Yad Vashem
Departure or Jordan Extension: Amman - Bethany beyond the Jordan
Madaba - Mt. Nebo - Jerash - Amman
Petra - Dead Sea
Included in your Trip:
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight- Wide-bodied tans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.
Knowledgeable Guides- Informed of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Two Meals Daily
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!
Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit
Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top
TUESDAY – March 03 (Day 1): USA to TEL AVIV
Arrive in Tel Aviv and board a new, climate-controlled motor coach where our guide will greet us and give us an orientation of the land as we travel towards Jaffa. There we will consider the vision of Peter (Acts 10) and start following the sequence of events that lead to the opening of the gates of the early church to Gentiles. As we look at the very place where Jonah ran from the Lord, we will also reflect on our own walk with God. Check into our hotel on the coastal plains of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner included.
WEDNESDAY – March 04 (Day 2): Caesarea Maritima – Mount Carmel – Megiddo – Nazareth – Sea of Galilee
After a buffet breakfast, we depart the hotel on route to Caesarea Maritima (entrance included), where we will visit the magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile converts into Christianity (Acts 10), and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become the springboard of Christianity to the West. We will then continue to Mount Carmel (entrance included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18), discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We then travel to Megiddo, and explore the Tel that goes back in history to 4000 BC, looking at ruins from the times of King Solomon and King Ahab (entrance included). Overlooking the Armageddon Valley, we will also discuss the reasons why we believe this will be the setting for the final battle between good and evil mentioned in Revelation 16:16. After lunch break, we travel to Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built (Luke 4). There we will reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his family and friends in Nazareth. In addition to discussing Jesus’ boyhood we will also consider the life and times of Deborah (Judges 4). We check into our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for the next three nights and enjoy another dinner together.
THURSDAY – March 05 (Day 3): Bethsaida – Mt. of Beatitudes - Capernaum – Boat ride
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day at Bethsaida (entrance included), the hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, this is one of three cities that make up the Gospel Triangle and the location where Jesus spent two of His three years of public ministry. We then proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount, during our lunch break you will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s fish, commonly eaten by people in Jesus’ day. We will then visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother in law, in addition to other ruins of the village. We will stand in the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus was confronted by the demoniac. We end our day with a visit to the ancient boat museum, containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat (entrance included). We will then sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat. We return to our hotel. Dinner included.
FRIDAY – March 06 (Day 4): Tel Dan – Tel Hazer – Caesarea Philippi – Jordan River
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with traveling to the northern boundary of Israel and begin with visiting Tel Dan (entrance included), the northern extremity of Biblical Israel. Our First stop will be Tel Hazer (entrance included), where we will view the ruins of the largest Canaanite city and the only place that Joshua burned. This is one of three cities mentioned in the Book of Kings as part of the building activities of King Solomon. We will visit the location of the altar where the golden calf was placed by King Jeroboam. There we will discuss the downfall and idolatry of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. We will move on to the Dan Stream, the largest tributary of the Jordan River and possibly the place where Psalm 42 was written (“As the dear pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for Thee...”). We will then continue to Caesarea Philippi (entrance included), where we will visit the ruins of the pagan altars and consider the confession of Peter in Matthew 16 (“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” You will be invited to lunch (included) where you will have the option to try falafel, a typical Middle Easter meal. We will drive further north to the border with Syria where we will consider the dramatic conversion and life-transformation of Saul of Tarsus: The Apostle Paul. We then travel to the baptismal site of Jesus on the Jordan River. You will be offered the opportunity to be baptized in the waters of the Jordan in an available location picked by your host and guide. We then spend the evening in our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included.
SATURDAY – March 07 (Day 5): Beth Shean – Jericho – Jerusalem
After a buffet breakfast, we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean (entrance included), the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will also discuss the demise of King Saul and his sons, whose bodies were hanged on the walls of Beth Shean. We will then continue traveling south to the actual location where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. Jericho will be our next stop, where we will visit the Tel of Jericho (entrance included) with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. After another lunch we get ready to enter the Holy City of Jerusalem. Beginning with an orientation of the city and “a Genesis Welcome” from Mount Scopus, the overlook of the city. We then check into our hotel, where we will stay for the remainder of our time in Jerusalem
SUNDAY – March 08 (Day 6): Masada – Ein Gedi – Qumran – Jerusalem
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day visiting Masada (entrance included), the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We then continue to Ein Gedi (entrance included), the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place (I Samuel 24) and where many of the psalms were written by David. After lunch, we visit Qumran (entrance included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. We will have a chance to float in the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. Dinner included.
MONDAY– March 09 (Day 7): Western Wall Tunnels – Davidson Centre – St. Anne – Israel Museum
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and a visit to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will then visit the Southern Wall excavations (entrance included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. We will visit the Church of St. Anne’s (entrance included), a perfectly intact Crusader church. It is a wonderful place to gather and sing a song (sometimes with fellow Christians from all over the world). There, we will also visit the pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place (John 5). We will then walk the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering), the actual path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the crucifixion site (entrance included). We will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jesus’ tomb. After lunch in the Old City, we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included) where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the year 66 AD. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed, we will play special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. We then return to our hotel. Dinner included.
TUESDAY– March 10 (Day 8): Temple Mount - Hezekiah Tunnel – Yad Vashem
After a buffet breakfast, we will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. We will also discuss why it is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Leaving the Temple Mount, we visit then to the original location of the city of Jerusalem, going back in history 3000 years. We will also visit Hezekiah’s tunnel (entrance included), a 1749-foot-long tunnel that was dug by King Hezekiah as he prepared for the Assyrian King Sennacharib’s invasion in 701 BC. Those interested in walking the foot-deep water tunnel will have the chance to do so. We will then visit the Jewish Quarter. After lunch we visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum. We return to our hotel for our last Dinner provided.
WEDNESDAY – March 11 (Day 9): Mt. of Olives – House of Caiaphas – Bethlehem – Garden Tomb
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with Biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We will then walk down the Palm Sunday Procession road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the passion of Jesus began. Each of us will be given some personal time in a private section of the Garden. We will visit the Upper Room, the place of the Last Supper and also the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included). After a lunch we then travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. We begin with a visit to the Shepherds fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Our Lord. These fields are also the setting of the Book of Ruth. We will then travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where Our Lord was born. Time will then be given to shop for olive wood and other items.
THURSDAY – March 12 (Day 10): Departure
Travel to the airport. Return home with unforgettable memories, amazing new friends and a life-changing understanding of the Bible.
**OPTIONAL Jordan extension:
THURSDAY March 12 (Day 10): Amman – Bethany beyond the Jordan
Drive to Allenby to cross into Jordan, we will make our way to Bethany (included) Beyond the Jordan. We will have an opportunity to be baptized here, the place where John the Baptist lived when he baptized Jesus. Dinner and Overnight at the Dead Sea (B, L, D)
FRIDAY – March 13 (Day 11): Madaba – Mt. Nebo – Jerash - Amman
After breakfast, we drive to Madaba (included) the sight of a mosaic map of Jerusalem from the Byzantine era and then on to Mt. Nebo (included), to stand where Moses stood to view the Promised Land. you will depart for Jerash (entrance included), nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead. Outside of Italy, this ancient Roman city is one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world. Currently, its paved and colonnaded streets are home to soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and towers. We will then drive to Amman to have a tour of the city. We return to our hotel at the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
SATURDAY – March 14 (Day 12): Petra – Dead Sea
After breakfast, we begin a long day of driving through the Jordanian desert along the area called the Way of the Kings. On our way we will visit Petra (included). The “rose red city half as old as time,” This ancient Edomite and Nabatean capital is an amazing example of prophecy. We’ll see the spectacular “city of the dead,” with its famed gorge, ancient streets, temples, dwelling places and tombs, carved in the solid rock. Then we arrive at El-Ji Post, and continue the one-mile journey on horseback, or walk, passing through the famous Siq (the natural gorge) and arrive at the Treasury, we will Check in at our hotel in Dead Sea for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)