3pm Meet in the departure hall at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, to check in for your Air Canada flight to Tel Aviv. Depart on a direct, nonstop Air Canada overnight flight from Toronto at 4:50pm. Meals served en route.
WELCOME TO ISRAEL
9:15am Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, clear customs and immigration and meet your guide. Travel to Jaffa of Jonah and the “big fish” and Tabetha fame visit the quaint alleyways of the Old City including Simon the Tanner’s home. Continue to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure with time to enjoy the board walk, the beach, bathe in the Mediterranean Sea and get some rest before starting the tour. 1 night: Metropolitan hotel ~ Tel Aviv.
Travel north to visit Caesarea, the Roman capital and port, built by King Herod. Here Pontius Pilate had his seat; Cornelius lived and was baptized (Acts 10); Paul embarked to Tarsus (Acts 9:30): And Philip preached (Acts 8:40). Tour the historical site and enjoy an audio visual presentation showing the history of how Caesarea was built and operated as a port city. Continue North, time permitting visit “Muhraka” (the burned area) on the summit of Mt Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Continue inland to Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s fortified cities (1 Kings 9:15; 10:26), with ruins of some 20 levels of settlement. From here the Books of Daniel and Revelation will come alive as we read about the final Battle of Armageddon, while viewing the Plains of Jezreel. Then continue to your hotel on the Sea of Galilee. 4 nights: Ein Gev ~ Sea of Galilee [Dinner]
Following the tradition of the “fishermen” disciples sail on the Sea of Galilee from Ein Gev to Ginosar. (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31). Travel to Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home (Luke 2:51) to visit Nazareth Village, describing life from the time of Jesus. View the Church of Annunciation. Then stop to visit the famous ancient boat from Jesus’ time at Ginnosar (Gennasereth) on the Sea of Galilee. Proceed to Ancient Zippori – Sephorris, first mentioned by Josephus Flavius as the most important city in the Galilee, also known as the “glory of the entire Galilee.” Only a few miles away from Nazareth, this was the largest construction project in the Galilee during Jesus’ time in Nazareth. Stop at Mt Arbel for a unique view of the area of Jesus’ ministry, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. Continue to Magdala, the village of Mary Magdalene, where you visit the new archeological discovery and the very synagogue that Mary Magdalene would have worshipped in. [Breakfast & dinner]
GALILEE – MINISTRY TRIANGLE
Start the day in prayer at the unique remains of a fine Byzantine monastery in Kursi, possibly marking the nearby site of the Demonic man and the swine. Visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered “The Sermon On the Mount” (Matt.5). Continue to Chorazin one of three villages Jesus prophesised “Woe to thee…..” Tabgha to visit the Church of the Loaves and the Fish, then travel in the footsteps of Jesus and the disciples along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee to Kfar Nahum, Capernaum, centre of Jesus’ Ministry in the Galilee and site of many of his miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt.8:5; 14-7; 9; 1-7; 17: 18). Including the remains of St Peter’s house and the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught and worshipped. Enjoy a ‘Saint Peter’s Fish’ lunch. [Breakfast, lunch & dinner]
Travel north along the Jordan Valley en route to ancient Hazor to visit the intriguing biblical site of Joshua and Deborah fame (Joshua 11:10 & Judges 4 & 5), including a level of destruction from Joshua’s day, a series of gates, walls and towers and the ancient water system. Continue to Tel Dan visit the ancient site including remains from Abraham and the Israelite kingdom periods’ and the Dan spring, the major source of the Jordan River. The Hebrew Yarden means came forth from Dan. Then stop at Banias to visit Caesarea Philippi, site of the confession of faith, where Jesus asked, “Who do men say I am?” View Kalat Nimrod, a formidable Moslem and Crusader fortress, en route to lunch on the Golan Heights. Travel via the Golan Heights back to the Sea of Galilee. For those up to it, take a mildly challenging walk to Sussita to visit the fascinating excavations of Hippos, one of the cities of the Decapolis. [Breakfast, lunch & dinner]
GALILEE – DEAD SEA
Follow the pilgrimage route that Jesus and the Galileans took down the Jordan Valley, through the homeland of Prophet Elisha, where the desert now blooms with flowers and vegetation of every description (Isaiah 35:1-2). Stop at Qasr El
Yahud, on the Jordan River, where John baptised Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17). Continue south to visit Qumran, the possible home of the Essenes, where a shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947) in a nearby cave. Drive South to the hotel on the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth (417 meters below sea level). Enjoy the hotel facilities and the unique experience “float” in the Dead Sea — you cannot sink! 1 night: Leonardo Plaza Hotel & Spa ~ Dead Sea [Breakfast & dinner]
DEAD SEA – JERUSALEM
Get an early start visiting Masada, where you tour King Herod the Great’s remote, imposing mountaintop fortress, later the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome, 73 (ACE). Continue north, view the oasis at Ein Gedi – famous from David fleeing the wrath of King Saul (1 Sam 24). Then ascend through the Judean Desert, stopping at Wadi Kelt for a unique desert vista; Proceed to the Good Samaritan Inn stopping to read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Follow the pilgrimage route that Jesus and the Galileans took through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem. Visit Herodium, another imposing monumental fortress, palace and burial place. Built by Herod the Great in the Judean desert, south of Jerusalem. Continue to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, which marks the birthplace of Jesus; View Shepherds Field and shop for olivewood carvings. End the day in Jerusalem the Holy City. 4 nights: Prima Kings hotel ~ Jerusalem. [Breakfast & dinner]
JERUSALEM – OLD CITY
Start this powerful day on the Mount of Olives for a wonderful view of the Old and New Cities. Following the route of Palm Sunday, walk down to Gat Shemanim (Gethsemane) to visit the church marking the site of the betrayal of Jesus and the adjacent Olive Grove, with time for prayer and reflection. Continue across the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the Kidron valley), enter the Old City through St Stephen’s or the Lions Gate and stop at the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the paralytic man. And enjoy the stellar acoustics of St Anne’s church. Then walk along the Via Dolorosa – the Stations of the Cross, through the Suk (market) to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Proceed through the ancient alleyways of the Old City via the Cardo (Roman Main Street), the Jewish quarter and Armenian quarter. Exit via Zion Gate to Mt Zion. Stop to visit the Church of the Last Supper, site of the Pentecost, above King David’s Tomb. Proceed to St Peter in Gallicantu Church, built on the site of Caiaphas’ home, where Jesus was imprisoned and Simon Peter denied Jesus. [Breakfast & dinner]
JERUSALEM – OLD & NEW
Start the day at the Israel Museum where you visit the Model of Jerusalem, describing the city from the time of Jesus and the adjacent Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Pay respect to the victims of the Shoah (Holocaust) at Yad Vashem, National Memorial and Museum of the Shoah (Holocaust), including the New Museum and the Children’s Memorial. Explore the fascinating ongoing excavations in David’s City, including Warren’s shaft, the Canaanite tunnel and the pool of Siloam. Continue to the Southern Wall Archaeological Park, where one can stand on the original ancient steps which Jesus used to enter the Holy Temple. Proceed to the Western Wall; stop for reflection at the venerated Jewish site. Then walk back in time under the city through the fascinating Western Wall tunnels. [Breakfast & dinner]
JERUSALEM AT LEISURE
Spend the day at leisure in this fascinating city, with time to re-visit the Old City to shop in the bazaars, or walk through the new city and indulge in shopping along Jaffa Road and Ben Yehuda Street. Or visit one of the many Museums that Jerusalem has to offer (modest entrance fee required), or simply relax at the hotel. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel. [Breakfast & dinner]
RETURN TO CANADA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Canada. Leave Tel Aviv for Toronto at 11am, on the Air Canada direct, nonstop flight, meals served on board. Arrive in Toronto at 5pm.
What is the deadline for registration?
There is no deadline. We accept registration on a “first-come-first serve” basis. There is always a limited number of spaces available and as soon as we sell them – the group is completed. To avoid disappointment please register as soon as you decide.
When is the final payment?
Usually it is 60 days before departure, but there are some exceptions for non-standard tours. Your invoice will indicate clearly when your payments are due.
What happens with my deposit when you cancel a group?
In a very unlike situation when we have to cancel a group for reasons out of our control, your deposit is protected and fully refundable. When you cancel on your own please make sure that your non-refundable deposit is protected by your own insurance.
Can I request a specific seat on a flight?
For the group reservations the airlines don't give us an option of selecting specific seats. When your ticket is issued your seat is guaranteed, but usually not printed on the e-ticket. However, you can always check-in online 24 hours before departure and change your seat based on availability.
Tell me which hotels we will be staying?
We always book best, first-class hotels. We frequently check them for best quality. Hotels are confirmed about two months before departure and we will give you all details in the final itinerary
I'm traveling alone & don't have a roommate. What should I do?
Please register ASAP. We will take a note of your request and will try to match you with another passenger willing to share. Other options are single room (with a supplement) or forming a triple room if you know another two people willing to share.
I have several food allergies. Can I request a special menu?
Please let us know about your food restrictions. We will order special meals for your flights, if available. All breakfasts and some dinners at the destinations are buffets, so you can select food by yourself. The restaurants at the destinations will do their best to offer you individual alternate to standard set menus for the group. You will need to communicate your needs through tour leaders.
What is eTA? Does it apply to me?
If you are Canadian or US citizen – no need to worry. It applies to citizens of other countries. They will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Apply and get help at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start-int.asp
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**THE ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND MAY VARY IN THE ORDER YOU VISIT**