Day 1 – Thursday, April 23
Departure from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Air Canada flying nonstop from Toronto to Tel Aviv and leaving at 4:30 pm from Terminal 1.
Day 2 – Friday, April 24
TEL AVIV / JAFFA
Early morning arrival in Tel Aviv where our tour guide and luxury coach will be waiting for us. We will drive directly from the airport to the ancient and modern port of Jaffa. It was here that Jonah boarded a ship in his attempt to flee from God and where Peter performed a miracle and had a vision on a rooftop (Acts 9:36-43; 10:9-23). We will then drive to our hotel for our first overnight beside the golden beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. Balance of the day will be at leisure. Options will include a walk along the Mediterranean promenade, visits to cafes or shops, with ample time to enjoy the beautiful sunset before dinner.
Dinner and overnight at the Renaissance Hotel, Tel Aviv.
Day 3 – Saturday, April 25
TEL AVIV / CAESAREA / ATLIT / HAIFA
We will begin our first full day by driving north through the Plain of Sharon along the old coastal road known as the Via Maris which linked Egypt and Babylon. We will stop at Caesarea the incredible fortress and Mediterranean port city built by King Herod the Great. It was here that Pontius Pilate had his base in Israel; where Cornelius the centurion lived and was baptized (Acts 10); where Philip preached (Acts 8:40) and where Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30). The visit includes the Roman Theatre, the Hippodrome, and the Crusader City. Continue to Atlit, a British detention camp established by the British under their Mandate for Palestine. Tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants were interned at the camp, which was surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers – reminiscent of the death camps the Nazis had used in Europe. Atlit is now a museum and a National Heritage Site. We will view Haifa Harbour from the heights of the Carmel Mountains just before ending the day at our hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Haifa
Day 4 – Sunday, April 26
ACCO / MEGIDDO / NAZARETH / CANA / TIBERIAS
Our fourth day begins with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Akko (Acre), an ancient and modern port city on the coast of Israel. In the Old City of Akko you will discover a perfectly preserved Crusader city being brought back to life and located directly under the city now built above it. Wondrous discoveries await you here: Crusader Walls and fortresses, knights’ halls. Our day will continue with a visit to the place where Elijah challenged the priests of Baal (1King 19). We will then descend into the Valley of Jezreel on our way to Megiddo (Armageddon), one of King Solomon’s walled fortified cities (1 King 9:15; 10:26), with ruins and visible layers of 20 levels of civilization. The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation will come alive as we read about the final Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19). From Megiddo, we will drive on to Nazareth, the home town of Jesus, and then through Cana, site of Jesus’ first recorded miracle of turning water into wine (John 2), on our way to our first glimpse of the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight at Kibbutz Nof Ginnosar on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 5 – Monday, April 27
GOLAN HEIGHTS / GAMLA
On our first full day in Galilee, we will drive north to the Golan Heights and visit Banias, one of the sources of the Jordan River and location of ancient “Caesarea Philipi”. It was here that Peter made his confession of faith in Christ (Matt; 16:16). On the summit of the Golan Heights, you will learn about the wars Israel has fought to protect its future while visiting old Syrian bunkers overlooking the fertile Hula Valley below. We will also visit Gamla, site of a Jewish city founded in the second century and located on craggy basalt outcropping on the Golan Heights. Two thousand years ago the Jewish historian Josephus described the siege of this walled city by the Romans and how the 9,000 Jewish inhabitants fought their way to the edge of town and how many jumped to their deaths in the gorge below when they realized they could not avoid capture. Curiously, Gamla has also become a vulture breeding sanctuary (Rev. 19:17, 18). We will return to our hotel via the east side of the Sea of Galilee stopping at Kursi, the place where Jesus encountered the Gadarene Demoniac (Mark 5) and where the demons entered the swine and drowned in the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 6 — Tuesday, April 28
GALILEE / JERUSALEM
After breakfast, our day will begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and 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 Simon Peter’s house and the synagogue site where Jesus taught and worshipped (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). Our morning visits include several other places where Jesus performed miracles or spoke to large crowds.
After lunch, we will proceed to Jerusalem via the Harod Spring Nature Reserve. This is the place where Gideon gathered his men before fighting the Midianites (Judges 7). Today it is a nature reserve with the second largest pool in Israel. Our journey will continue southward through the Jordan Valley, where the desert blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2). We will stop at the traditional Baptismal site (John 1:18) on the Jordan River – and current border with the Kingdom of Jordan – before ascending up through the Wilderness of Judea (site of Jesus’ temptations: Matt. 4;1-11) to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem.
Day 7 – Wednesday, April 29
We will start the day at the top of the Mt. of Olives where we will have a panoramic view of Jerusalem. We will then trace the footsteps of Jesus by walking down the Palm Sunday Route on the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Our Jerusalem adventure continues with a visit to Mt Zion, the traditional site of the Upper Room (or place of the Last Supper), King David’s Tomb and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, said to have been built on top of the house of Caiphas, the High Priest, before whom Jesus was tried.
FREE AFTERNOON: Afternoon at leisure for shopping and/or visiting museums, bazaars etc. Our guide will give suggestions and/or directions regarding things to do. Dinner and overnight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem.
Day 8 – Thursday, April 30
We start the day at the Davidson Center in order to visit the Southern Wall excavations. Our walking tour will continue along the Via Dolorosa for a brief stop at the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, before walking through the alleyways and bazaars of the Old City. Our walking tour will include a visit to the Temple Institute where priestly robes and Temple utensils and furnishings are being prepared in anticipation of a Third Temple being built in Jerusalem. Our day will end with a visit to the Garden Tomb, or Gordon’s Calvary, for a communion service before returning to our hotel for Dinner and overnight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 9 – Friday, May 1
DEAD SEA / EIN GEDI/ KFAR HANOKDIM / BEERSHEBA
On our journey from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, we will pass by Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. We will then visit the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, an oasis and wild, natural setting and habitat of wildlife that includes Ibex and conies (rock rabbits). This is where David took refuge from King Saul (1Samuel 24). After a short visit to Masada, site of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the Romans in A.D.73, we will continue to Kfar Hanokdim which duplicates a Bedouin Village. In a green oasis shaded by palm trees and crowned with biblically inspired gardens, we will have lunch in Bedouin tents comfortably fitted with colourful rugs and mattresses. You will enjoy warm Bedouin hospitality, accompanied by explanations of Bedouin life and culture, and the opportunity for a camel ride. We will then drive through the Negev Desert to Beersheba, the capital of the Negev, and home to many formerly nomadic Bedouins.
Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Hotel, Beersheba.
Day 10 – Saturday, May 2
NEGEV / TEL AVIV
This morning we will visit the ancient site of Abraham’s Wells (Genesis 26:18) and other places of biblical and/or historical interest in Beersheba. We will then drive north through the Negev stopping for lunch along the way before reaching the beautiful Renaissance Hotel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea by mid-afternoon. There will be free time to relax and enjoy your last afternoon and evening strolling along the promenade by the Mediterranean Sea or by taking the opportunity for some last minute shopping in an array of stores two blocks from the hotel. This will be a great way to end your last day in Israel.
Dinner and overnight at the Renaissance Hotel, Tel Aviv.
Day 11 Sunday, May 3
TEL AVIV / TORONTO
After breakfast we will depart from the hotel to the airport for our Air Canada, non-stop flight to Toronto departing at 11:45am and arriving in Toronto at 4:25pm (Terminal 1).
** THE ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND MAY VARY IN THE ORDER YOU VISIT**
***HOTELS AS LISTED OR SIMILAR***