|Upon arrival in Israel you will be met by Ya'lla Tours USA's representative and transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Refreshed from a good night’s sleep and a full buffet breakfast, we will visit Joppa (Jaffa), the traditional home of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10:6) and the port city from which the prophet Jonah fled from God.
Then we pass through the fast-growing towns and farms of the Plain of Sharon in route to Caesarea Maritima, a large port city built by Herod the Great to honor Roman Caesar Augustus. Herod built a port in the bay and erected all the cultural institutions found in every great Greco-Roman city - a theater, a hippodrome, and a luxurious bathhouse. In order to supply water to the city’s ever-growing population, he built an aqueduct system stretching from the springs of Mt. Carmel to Caesarea. Part of this system is still visible today. The Book of Acts refers to Caesarea repeatedly as the city Peter visited (Acts 10).
We then proceed north to Mt. Carmel to visit Muhraka, where the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18:18).
Next, we head to Megiddo (I Kings 9:15), where excavations have revealed 26 layers of civilization, including fortifications of King Solomon and a water tunnel of King Ahab. Megiddo provides a magnificent view of the fertile Jezreel Valley, the prophesied site of Armageddon, at the crossroads of the ancient Via Maris.
End the day on the Jordan River.
Then we head for our hotel in Tiberias for overnight.
After breakfast, we take a memorable boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee to see the 2,000-year-old Genosar Boat (“the Jesus boat”) discovered in 1986.
Then visit the New Testament fishing village of Magdala (Matthew 27:56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1-19; Luke 8:2; 24:10).
Continue to Tabga, the traditional site of the multiplication of bread and fish (John 6:1) and then to Capernaum, with an ancient synagogue where Jesus taught. The disciples Peter and Andrew made their homes here as well (John 6:24).
Visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).
Continue north to Caesarea Phillipi (Banias Spring), where Peter confessed to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). From this location we can see Mt. Hermon, often covered with snow year-round.
Return to Tiberias for overnight.
Early this morning, we will drive south along the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean (I Samuel 31:10) to see the expansive excavations of this Roman Decapolis city.
Continue to Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul and his son Jonathan died. Read the wonderful words of the young David (II Samuel 1:17-27).
Visit Gideon’s Spring (Judges 7), where Gideon selected his soldiers to do battle against the Midianites.
Continue to Cana, best known as the place where Jesus performed "the first of his signs," his first public miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1–11).
Visit the Nazareth Village for a first-hand experience of the way of life in Galilee in the time of Jesus.
While in Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23), we will also visit the Annunciation Church, where tradition says the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.
Visit Mt. Precipice (Luke 4:28-30), where Jesus was taken “…in order to throw Him down the cliff." Take in the view of the Jezreel Valley (Armageddon), Mt. Tabor (The Mount of Transfiguration) and Mt. Gilboa (where Gideon chose his 300 brave men).
Then climb the Judean hills to the most beautiful city in the world, JERUSALEM, for overnight.
Drive 6 miles south of Jerusalem to Bethlehem (Micha 5:2 and Luke 2:1) to visit the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in the Holy Land still in use. Construction of this church began in 327AD over the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
Continue through Boaz’s Fields to see the Shepherds’ Field (Luke 2).
Back in Jerusalem, we will visit the Israel Museum to see an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls and a model of Jerusalem as it would have been in Jesus’ time.
Continue to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. “As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. For over half a century, Yad Vashem has been committed to four pillars of remembrance: Commemoration, Documentation, Research, and Education.”
Return the hotel for overnight.
Drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives (Acts 1:8) for a magnificent view of the Old City.
Then take the Palm Sunday Walk to the church of Dominus Flevit (Luke 19:41-44). During construction in 1955, archaeologists uncovered artefacts dating back to the Canaanite period as well as tombs from both the Second Temple and Byzantine eras. Also unearthed were the remains of a lovely Byzantine shrine with an elaborate mosaic floor that was incorporated into the church.
Continue walking down to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36). Some of the oldest olive trees in the world are here. We will visit the Church of All Nations, which contains the stone traditionally believed to be where Jesus prayed on the night of his betrayal.
Enter the Christian Quarter of the Old City through Stephen’s Gate (Lions’ Gate). Here is the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1), where Jesus healed the blind man, and an exceptional example of Crusader architecture, St. Anne's Church, which possesses amazing acoustics.
Walk along the Via Dolorosa past the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In 325, Constantine’s mother Helen first requisitioned the area for a church. This 4th- century church was largely destroyed by the Turks in 1009 and partially restored in 1048. The impressive stone decorations adorning the facade date from Crusader times. In its current form, the church preserves the Crusader structure and is shared by two major Christian denominations, the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic. The church enshrines a tomb that some traditions hold to be the place of Jesus’ burial and resurrection.
Return the hotel for overnight.
Start the morning with a visit to Caiaphas Palace(Church of Peter Galicantu, John 18:12) and see the cistern where Jesus was held before he was taken to Pilate and the Roman Period steps he walked from the Kidron Valley.
On Mt. Zion, see King David’s Tomb and the Last Supper Room (Luke 22:7-28).
Visit the City of David, where excavations reveal the time period of King David.
If weather permits, we’ll walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (optional) and visit the Pool of Siloam where Jesus sent the blind man to be healed.
Walk the Pilgrims Tunnel direct to the Old City.
See the ancient Southern Steps and the Hulda Gates (II Kings 22:14), which originally led up to the Temple entrance.
Walk to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism and the only visible remains of Herod’s splendid Second Temple, where Jesus walked and taught.
Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel, huge arched spaces just north of the Western Wall, which link to a water tunnel cut through the rock to the north, apparently dug in the Hasmonean period (163 to 37 BC).
Our last stop today is the Garden Tomb, held by many Protestants to be the actual location of the buial and resurrection of Jesus (John 19:38 & Luke 23).
Return the hotel for overnight.
Drive east from Jerusalem to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. See Jericho from a short distance and see Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.
Continue to Masada, a natural fortress with majestic ruins overlooking the Dead Sea. Take a cable car to the top of the plateau for a tour. Jewish zealots held the rock for several months in 73AD under siege by the 10th Roman legion. The Romans finally took the fortress by way of a massive attack ramp. The camps and other fortifications that encircle Masada constitute the most complete Roman siege works to have survived to the present day.
Take a float in the Dead Sea.
Stop at the Good Samaritan Inn to revisit the famous parable in Luke 10 and view some ancient mosaics.
Return to Jerusalem for overnight.
You will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for your departure flight.