DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Holy Land 2021 with Bethesda
October 11 to 21, 2021

MONDAY OCTOBER 11

Depart from New York JFK for Israel via Turkish Airlines. Beverages and meals will be served on board.


TUESDAY OCTOBER 12

Arrive in Tel Aviv and meet our guide. We will drive north along the coast to the Galilee and check-in at the hotel to enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Dinner and Overnight: Kibbutz – Sea of Galilee


WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 13 
CAESAREA / MEGIDDO / NAZARETH / JORDAN RIVER

We will drive to Caesarea, an excavated city built by Herod the Great 2000 years ago. It served as the administrative capital of Judea for over 600 years. We will then climb up Tel Megiddo, one of Solomon’s ancient chariot cities, for a view of the Jezreel Valley and future site of the battle of Armageddon. Continue north to Mount Carmel, Mukhraka, which means “burned place,” where Elijah faced off against the prophets of Baal and God sent down fire from Heaven. Next we will visit Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Feel like you’ve been transported back to biblical times and experience the Israel of Jesus, see its sights, hear its sounds, and even breathe in its aromas at Nazareth Village. Stop at Cana, the traditional site of Jesus's first miracle of turning water into wine. End the day at the Jordan River and renew your baptism as a true pilgrim!

Dinner and Overnight: Kibbutz – Sea of Galilee


THURSDAY OCTOBER 14
CAESAREA PHILIPPI / MT BEATITUDES / CAPERNAUM / MAGDALA

We will start our day in Kursi, in the Land of the Gadarenes, where Jesus cast out demons into a herd of pigs that went crashing off a steep place into the lake (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37). Continue to the site of ancient Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus demanded to know of His disciples who people were saying He was. Next a visit to Mt. Beatitudes where Jesus gave his “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt.5). Then you will enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. At Tabgha we will remember the miracle of Multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mark 6) with which he fed thousands of people. Visit Capernaum – known as Jesus’ “own town” (Matt. 9:1) – “walking where Jesus walked” takes on thrilling new meaning. As you sit on the stone benches of Capernaum’s ancient synagogue, you’ll be reminded that right here, Jesus taught (Mark 1:21; John 6:59) and healed a man possessed by an evil spirit (Mark 1:23-27). It was the synagogue on this very spot, whose foundations you can still see, which Luke says was built by the centurion whose servant Jesus later healed (Luke 7:3-5). Jesus also raised from the dead the daughter of this synagogue’s leader (Luke 8:49-53). Finish the day at Ancient Magdala, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, was home to Mary Magdalene.

Dinner and Overnight: Kibbutz – Sea of Galilee


FRIDAY OCTOBER 15
HAROD SPRING / BEIT SHEAN / JERICHO / GENESIS LAND

After breakfast we stop and visit the Harod Spring which bubbles in a cave on the slopes of Mount Gilboa and from here we can enjoy a fine view of the Jezreel Valley and lower Galilee. Proceed to Beit Shean, historical gem that unfolds the fascinating story of a rich period full of changes, was the capital of the Decapolis cities, through which word of Jesus’ miracles and teachings spread (Matt. 4:25, Mark 5: 20). It has also been a scene of tragedy: more than a millennium earlier, the Philistines hung the body of Saul from its ramparts. The Biblical city of Jericho has long been recognized as the oldest city in the world. As we approach the city we recall the Biblical tales of Jericho. We see the Zacheus Sycamore, the old sycamore tree that the short tax collector Zacheus climbed to see above the crowds and get a better look at Jesus as he approached the city. Visit the tell of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. End the day with a taste of Abraham’s hospitality at Genesis Land and experience life as it was in biblical times. Complete your experience with a Camel trek from Genesis Land along the ridge above the spectacular riverbed of Wadi Kelt.

Dinner and Overnight: Royal - Jerusalem


SATURDAY OCTOBER 16 
BETHLEHEM / HERODION / LAZARUS TOMB / NIGHT SPECTACULAR

Begin the day in Bethlehem* and The Basilica of the Nativity, the cave believed to be the place where Jesus was born. Drive to the east of Bethlehem to the village of Beit Sahour, where one of the most sacred places; the Shepherds' Field; is found, identified as the scene where the Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds and informed them of Jesus' birth. Visit Herodion, this monumental fortress and palace on the highest hill in the Judean desert, built by Herod the Great. Herod was buried in the site which bore his name. The site was later a rebel stronghold and hiding place during the great revolts against the Romans. In the biblical village of Bethany, located on the southeast slope of the Mount of Olives, lies the Tomb of Lazarus, this is the location where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, as recorded in the Gospel of John. Enjoy the Night Spectacular light show at the Tower of David.

Dinner and Overnight: Royal - Jerusalem


SUNDAY OCTOBER 17 
TEMPLE MOUNT / SIFTING PROJECT / CITY OF DAVID / MT OLIVES / WESTERN WALL

First we visit the spot where Abraham offered Isaac in sacrifice on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount. Uncover the glorious past of the Temple Mount. Sift through rubble that originated in ancient buildings from the Temple Period and learn about findings from archaeologists and expert guides at the site. Explore the City of David, the birthplace of the city of Jerusalem, the place where King David established his kingdom, and where the history of the People of Israel was written. See the strongest physical connection between the stories of the Bible and reality, the place where the Holy City started. Appreciate the glorious view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Visit the garden of Gethsemane and see its ancient olive trees, remembering Jesus’ agony in prayer for us. Prepare to be “Awestruck” at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Jerusalem Temple Jesus knew, destroyed 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel – the original Western Wall of Herod’s Temple Mount over which Jerusalem of later eras was constructed, walking along 1,445 feet of the original, enormous 2,000-year-old Herodian stones, seeing the lofty Warren’s Gate, a street and other finds, and a fascinating interactive model.

Dinner and Overnight: Royal - Jerusalem


MONDAY OCTOBER 18
ISRAEL MUSEUM / MT ZION / STATIONS OF THE CROSS / GARDEN TOMB

Begin our day with a visit to the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and one of the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Visit Mt. Zion and the Upper Room, remembering the Last Supper and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Below we can pray and pay homage to Israel’s famous king and ancestor of the Messiah at King David’s Tomb. Then we enter the compound at the St. Peter en Galicantu Church which is built over the site of the house of Caiaphas where Jesus was imprisoned. Continue to the Pool of Bethesda, the site of the miraculous healing of a paralyzed man by Jesus, as recounted solely in the gospel of John, and also the site of the birth of Mary's mother, "Anne". Here over the original pools the purest crusader church in the whole country was built: St. Anne's. We will walk along Via Dolorosa, the road Jesus walked from the place of Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Golgotha. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter and can visit the stores along the Cardo, a typical Roman street built in the 6th century. Proceed to Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb.

Dinner and Overnight: Royal - Jerusalem


TUESDAY OCTOBER 19 
QUMRAN / EIN GEDI / DEAD SEA

We will depart early today after breakfast and start our drive to Qumran and we will stand among the 2,000 year-old ruins overlooking the Dead Sea on the edge of the Judean Wilderness, we will experience a dramatic view of the cave in which most of the Dead Sea Scrolls, containing the oldest Bible ever found, were discovered. The oasis of Ein Gedi on the shore of the Dead Sea combines a wild, natural setting, history and archaeology. Nakhal David and Nakhal Arugot flow year-round through deep canyons surrounded by lush vegetation – a sharp contrast to the surrounding desert. This is where David took refuge from King Saul. Afterwards, we will descend to the lowest point on Earth and take advantage of the hot springs, mineral waters, and mud baths, and enjoy the desert climate, bathe in the healing waters of the Dead Sea.

Dinner and Overnight: David – Dead Sea


WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 20 
MASADA / VALLEY OF ELAH / TEL AVIV / JAFFA

Head for the mountaintop fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. Less than 40 years after Jesus was crucified, Jewish rebels took over Masada. In contrast to Jesus’ instruction to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Luke 20:25), the rebels believed in zero-tolerance for Roman rule. The rebels were surrounded by the Roman army, and took their own lives rather than become slaves. This act has made Masada a symbol of the human spirit’s yearning for freedom and gives a greater understanding of this era of conflict that was the backdrop to Jesus’ ministry. Drive through the Valley of Elah as we retell the battle between young David and the Giant Goliath. Scenic drive through Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods. Continue along the coast to Old Jaffa, see St. Peter’s Church, recalling Peter’s famous vision on the rooftop of Simon the Tanner. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at an Israeli restaurant before we head to the airport for our overnight flight home.


THURSDAY OCTOBER 21 

Arrive in the USA!
 
  
PLEASE NOTE!  We reserve the right to omit any site and/or change the itinerary
Should it be necessary due to local conditions.