Nazareth is an arab city in the Lower Galilee, holy to Christians. Here Jesus grew to manhood. Archeological findings indicate that Nazareth was populated already in the Early Canaanite Period. It is first mentioned as a Jewish village in the New Testament, and continued to be so after the destruction of the Second Temple. Most important of the Christian churches in the town are the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation and the adjacent Church of St. Joseph, and the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel.
Day 1: Tel Aviv
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport. Our representative will meet and assist you through customs, and transfer you to your hotel on the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 2: Caesarea/Haifa/Megiddo/Nazareth/Cana
Wake up to the beautiful view of the seashore. After breakfast begin your tour driving north to Caesarea, the amazing Herodian port city. View the new impressive archeological finds, and the Roman theater. Walk along the Crusader fortifications, and the Byzantine street, and view the 2,000-year-old aqueduct, built by King Herod. Continue along the Mediterranean to Mt. Carmel. Visit the Carmelite church of Stella Maris, overlooking Haifa Bay. Continue to Mukhraka, where Elijah confronted the 450 false prophets of Baal.
We invite you to your first lunch in Israel - a typical Israeli falafel in a Druze Village. Drive by the Zebulun and Armageddon Valleys to Megiddo, the ancient archeological mound with its 25 layers of civilization. This is the "tel" that inspired James Michener in writing his famous book "The Source." Visit the stables of King Solomon's ''Chariot City" and the water tunnel. View the valley of Armageddon, predicted site of a cataclysmic end-of-days battle. Continue to Nazareth. Visit the Church of Annunciation, Mary's Well and the Synagogue (where, it is said, Jesus first studied the Bible). Drive to Tiberias, passing through Cana, site of Jesus' first miracle. Overnight in a Kibbutz Guest House in Galilee. After dinner, enjoy a lecture about ''Life in a Kibbutz".
Day 3: Galilee/Tiberias/Golan Heights
Today we explore the surroundings of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus conducted his ministry. Begin the day cruising the lake on a "Biblical" Boat. Visit Capernaum, "the Town of Jesus" with its ancient synagogue and the house of St. Peter. On to Tabgha, site of the miracle of Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. Drive to the Mount of Beatitudes for a breathtaking view of the lake and the Golan Heights. Lunch will be at a restaurant, serving the famous St. Peter's fish. Drive to the Golan Heights to visit a former Syrian fortification. Back to our Kibbutz for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Jordan Valley/Bet She'an/Massada
After breakfast drive south. Stop at the Baptismal site by the Jordan River. Continue to Bet She'an, the most impressive Roman archeological dig with its theater, amphitheater, Cardo and the exclusive "Health Center". Continue along the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the most ancient walled town in the world. Drive along the Dead Sea to Qumran, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were written. Continue via the Ein Gedi oasis to Massada, the fortress built by King Herod. Ride up by cable-car, visit the fortifications, palaces, the Roman assault ramp, the synagogue and the bath-house.
Drive to our special spa hotel on the Dead Sea shores. Balance of day at leisure.
Day 5: Dead Sea/Beer Sheva/Ela Valley
Morning at leisure to enjoy the spa and floating on the saltiest and lowest lake on earth. Drive to Arad - a modern town with the Biblical name of one of the Canaanite towns conquered by Joshua. A short visit to Beer Sheva, Abraham's town and the capital of the Negev Desert. Continue north to the Ela Valley, site of famous battle of David and Goliath. On to Jerusalem via Bet Shemesh and Emmaus. Enter Jerusalem with a special ceremony. Check-in hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 6: Old City of Jerusalem/Bethlehem
A day of exploring the Holy City. Visit Mount of Olives with its breathtaking view over the Temple Mount and the Old City. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Basilica of Agony and Mary's Tomb. Enter the Old City to visit the Western (Wailing) Wall, Temple Mount, El Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Visit St. Anne's Church and the Pools of Bethesda. Walk the stations along the Via Dolorosa, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Visit the Jewish Quarter, the Cardo, and the Herodian Quarter excavations. On to Zion Gate and Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room and David's Tomb. In the afternoon, drive to Bethlehem. View Rachel's Tomb and the Shepherds' Field. Visit the Church of Nativity, the Grotto and St. Catherine's Church. Free time for shopping before returning to hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 7: New City of Jerusalem
After breakfast we will begin the day visiting the Garden Tomb, then drive to visit the New City. View the Knesset - the Israeli Parliament. Continue to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial. Visit Ein Karem - birth place of John the Baptist. Leave your fingerprints in Jerusalem and plant a tree in the Jerusalem Forest. Conclude your tour visiting the Holy Land Model where you will see the glorious Jerusalem as it was 2,000 years ago. Afternoon free.
Day 8: Jerusalem/USA
Transfer to the Airport to your flight back home, or take an extension to Eilat, Jordan or Egypt.
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Middle East Israel Spiritual Odyssey Biblical Tours
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