Day 1 – Thursday, February 6
Departure from Toronto on El Al Israel Airlines flying non-stop to Tel Aviv departing at 7:15pm from Terminal 3.
Day 2 – Friday, February 7
TEL AVIV / JAFFA
Arrive in Tel Aviv at 12:50pm where we will be met by our tour guide to start our tour in Jaffa that affords us a breathtaking view of the city of Tel Aviv. At this picturesque port city of winding alleys, art galleries and crafts boutiques, King Solomon had the cedars of Lebanon rafted for the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem. You will view the spot of the House of Simon the Tanner. Transfer to our hotel in Tel Aviv. Balance of the day will be at leisure.
Dinner and overnight in Tel Aviv at the Grand Beach Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 3 – Saturday, February 8
CAESAREA / MT.CARMEL / ACRE
Following our breakfast we drive north along the Plain of Sharon, the Mediterranean and the old coastal road- the Via Maris which linked Egypt and Babylon as we journey towards Galilee. We stop at Caesarea the incredible fortress city built by King Herod the Great. Here, Pontius Pilate had his base; where Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10); where Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30) and where Philip preached (Acts 8:40). Visit the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, and the Crusader City. We then travel north towards Haifa and ascend Mt. Carmel the site where the prophet Elijah fought the 400 false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:30) at Muhraqa. We then travel north to Acre (Acco) a U.N. World Heritage Site to visit the once capital of the Crusaders for 100 years. You will walk through the hall’s rooms and tunnels from the time of the Crusaders.
Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Hotel, Tiberias
Day 4 – Sunday, February 9
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE GALILEE
After breakfast, we will depart our day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to Kibbutz Ginossar where we view an ancient boat from the time of Jesus that was discovered in the Sea of Galilee. Continue to Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and the site of many of his miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt.8:5; 14-7; 9; 1-7; 17:18). We will see the remains of Peter’s house and the synagogue site where Jesus taught and worshipped (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). Drive to Tabgha and visit the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. Visit the newly excavated town of Magdala the town of Mary of Magdalena. Continue to the Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered what is perhaps the most famous sermon ever preached – “The Sermon On The Mount” (Matt.5). We will then proceed to the site of the city of Korazim where there are the remains of a First Century Synagogue where Jesus frequently ministered. We will drive north of the Golan Heights and visit Banias, one of the sources of the Jordan River and the site of ancient “Caesarea Philipi”, where Peter made the confession of faith in Christ (Matt; 16:16). Return to Tiberias via the east side of the Sea of Galilee stopping at Kursi to see the place where the demons entered the swine and entered the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Hotel, Tiberias
Day 5 – Monday, February 10
ROAD TO JERUSALEM
We start the day with a visit to Yardenit, the Baptismal Centre on the Jordan River. Drive to Cana (site of Jesus’ first miracle; visit the Franciscan and Greek churches). We proceed to Nazareth, the boyhood town of Jesus. We will visit Nazareth Village depicting a village from the time of Jesus. We will have vegetarian Middle Eastern lunch at the village. We continue southward viewing Mt. Tabor the site of the Transfiguration to Beit Shean, where we will walk through the incredible excavations of the largest ongoing archaeological dig in the land of Israel with its Roman theatre, colonnaded Roman streets, mosaics and Roman bathhouses. It is also the city where the body of King Saul and his sons where nailed to the walls by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10). We then drive through the lush Jordan Valley, where the desert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2) and view Jericho and the Mt. of Temptation. Ascend up the Judean Wilderness to the Golden City of Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem at the Dan Boutique Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 6 – Tuesday, February 11
OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
We will drive to the top of the Mount of Olives, for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Tracing the footsteps of Jesus, we will stroll down the Palm Sunday Route on the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. From here, we proceed by bus across the Kidron Valley, past the Tombs of Absalom, Zechariah and James and proceed to Mt Zion to visit the traditional site of the Upper Room (Room of the Last Super), King David’s Tomb and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, built on top of the High Priest Caiphas’ house. We walk to the Zion Gate and enter the Old City of Jerusalem through this gate and walk through the Armenian Quarter to the Jewish Quarter. Walk along the Roman/Byzantine Street called the “Cardo” to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest spot. View the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque on top of the Temple Mount. We continue our walk along the Via Dolorosa to visit the Pools of Bethesda, St. Anne’s Church, Chapel of the Flagellation and Pilate’s Judgment Hall. We pass through the colourful bazaars, alleyways to the Jaffa Gate to meet the bus. Finish the day with a visit to the Garden Tomb or Gordon’s Calvary for a communion service before returning to your hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the Dan Boutique Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 7 – Wednesday, February 12
This morning drive to Yad Vashem, for a visit to Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust commemorating the six million Jews who perished. Visit and walk through the newly opened Museum, visit the Children’s Memorial, walk along the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles for those who risked their lives to save Jewish lives. Continue to the Old City to the Davidson Centre and visit the archaeological park of the excavations along the Western and Southern Walls of the Temple Mount of Jerusalem. We continue to the City of David and see the new excavations and the Pool of Siloam and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Visit the Friends of Zion Museum which tells the story of non-Jewish aid to the Jewish people, support of Zionism and assistance in the establishment of the State of Israel. Each of the four floors exhibits different periods in Jewish history, including the 19th century, the British Mandate for Palestine, the Holocaust and the establishment of Israel. The museum features 7 exhibitions, combining 3D technology, touch screens, an original musical score and surround sound. All the work in the museum is local, by over 150 Israeli artists. Have some time in the late afternoon for shopping. Dinner and overnight at the Dan Boutique Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 8 – Thursday, February 13
Depart Jerusalem and drive to the Jordanian border crossing at the Jordan River. After passing through customs our Jordanian guide and driver. We drive to Madaba and Mount Nebo, famed for the ancient mosaics preserved there. Of the wondrous floors populated with animals, plants and people and the famous “Madaba Map”, an intricately detailed pictures of the surrounding area as it appeared 1500 years ago. We continue south to Kerak and its spectacular crusader castle. Admire the dramatic desert landscape as we transport you to Petra. Dinner and overnight at The Old Village Hotel.
Day 9 – Friday, February 14
PETRA / AMMAN
It is impossible to prepare for your first glimpse of Petra the Rose Red City from the time of the Nabateans. As you wind your way through the Siq, the narrow gorge that is the fabled city’s only entrance, the sight of the Treasury hits you unexpectedly and profoundly, as it has every visitor for two thousand years. One of the new ancient Wonders of the World.
Drive to Amman the capital of Jordan. Dinner and overnight at the Harir Palace Hotel, Amman
Day 10—Saturday, February 15
MASADA / DEAD SEA / JERUSALEM
Depart Amman to the Israel/Jordan border through customs. We meet back our Israeli guide and driver and we drive
south along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. You will take a cable car to the summit of this magnificent fortress built by King Herod the Great and the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots. You will walk around these historic ruins you will see the palaces, bath houses, swimming pool, the oldest synagogue in the world on this mountain in the middle of the desert. After descending this mountain by cable car we travel to the shores of the Dead Sea where you will have time to take a float in the saltiest body of water in world. Finish the day with a visit to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered before returning back to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at the Dan Boutique Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 11 – Sunday, February 16
Depart Tel Aviv at 11:00am on El AL Israel Airlines flying non-stop to Toronto. Arriving in Toronto at 4:15pm at Terminal 3.
**PLEASE NOTE THE ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND MAY VARY IN THE ORDER WE VISIT**