After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea Maritima, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
After checking out of the hotel, we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho and view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world and then stop at the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
On our way into the city, we will visit the Western Wall, Jerusalem Archaeological Park, and Davidson Center. This southern side of the Temple was the main entrance for the common folk. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We then tour the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply, and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. This afternoon a visit to Hezekiah’s Tunnel will offer the wet or dry tunnel experience. King Hezekiah built this tunnel to supply underground water from the Gihon Spring to western Jerusalem (II Chron. 32:30) because he was expecting a siege against Jerusalem the king of Assyria. Hezekiah’s tunnel exits into the Pool of Siloam. It was here that Jesus sent the blind man to wash his eyes (John 9:7). We end the day at the Mt. of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Mt. of Olives offers a great view of the old city of Jerusalem and it is where Jesus and His disciples crossed this valley and its brook on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1). It is over a mile long and rises 250 feet above the Temple Mount. The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus often went alone or with His disciples for prayer, rest, or fellowship, and the site where He was betrayed by Judas on the night before His crucifixion (Luke 21:37; John 18:1–2).
We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. If time permits we will visit Jaffa (Joppa), one of the most important port cities in ancient history, strategically located at major crossroads in the center of the land of Israel. Peter came to Joppa to raise Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead (Acts 9:36-42). While in Joppa, the apostle stayed at the house of Simon the Tanner and where he had a vision of a large sheet filled with animals being lowered from heaven (Acts 9:43-10:23),
signaling to him to go with the messengers from Cornelius. We will then travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area of Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner.
Following breakfast, we start our day at the Mount of the Beatitudes where Jesus taught His famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). We then travel to two valuable northern sites; Dan, where the children of Israel fell to the depths of alternative sacrifice, and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession. Returning south, we stop at the hometown of Jesus in Capernaum to view the excavations of the sea-side village and Peter’s home. Next, a visit to Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and the well-preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. A short ride takes us to the Jesus Boat Museum, followed by a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board bring to life the experiences of Jesus and the disciples. We end the day with the opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River baptismal site.
Our day begins with an early morning hike (optional) or cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterward, we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time to the time of the Patriarchs. It is complete with a camel ride, costume dramatic presentation, and authentic food. We next head to Jerusalem to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. This is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and is dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead; honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors.
We check out of our hotel and start the day at the Israel Museum, which is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading museums. A highlight is viewing the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans. We then head to Bethlehem for the rest of the morning, to visit the shepherd fields. According to Luke 2:8-15, this is the location where the angels appeared to the shepherds to announce the Savior’s birth. Then it is off to the Church of the Nativity, a major Christian holy site marking the traditional place of Christ’s birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. We then head back to Jerusalem to visit the Pool of Bethesda, which is located adjacent to the Church of St. Anne and is the location where Jesus healed the invalid man (John 5:1-15).
Next, we will walk the Via Dolorosa, a proposed path where Jesus was lead in agony, carrying the crucifixion cross. Our next stop will be the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of two places most Christians say that Jesus was possibly crucified. It also is said to contain the place where Jesus was reportedly buried. Our last stop of the day will be the Garden Tomb. “Gordon’s Calvary” is the other proposed site for the death and resurrections of Jesus. After a time of communion, we head to the hotel to clean up before our farewell dinner and late night flight home.
All our tours are custom designed to visit as many biblical places as possible while you are in Israel. Most tours are typically 8 to 12 days in duration, but they can be more or fewer days depending on your specific needs. The following is just a sample of the type of Israel tour you can expect with Adventure Bible Tours.