Faith Assembly - Holy Land Tour
Day to Day itinerary
29 Nov Mon - DAY 1
We will meet at JFK airport (specific flight information will be sent closer to date) and we will depart via Turkish Airlines flight to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv with 1 stop through Istanbul. Dinner served on board.
30 Nov Tue - DAY 2
Welcome to Ben Gurion International airport where you will be met by your guide and driver. Time permitting; begin our sightseeing with a visit to Jaffa. We arrive at our hotel for dinner and overnight.
01 Dec Wed - DAY 3
Following the Mediterranean Coast, we arrive first at Caesarea Maritima, built by King Herod. Here Cornelius was converted and Peter was imprisoned. We will see the Roman Theater, aqueduct, and palace of King Herod, as well as a byzantine church. Climbing in to the Carmel Mountain Range we arrive at the Muchraka where Elijah challenged the prophets of Ba'al. Our next stop is Tel Megiddo, or Armageddon, where we will tour the antiquities and see the significance of this site for the end of days. Continuing in to the Lower Galil we will visit Nazareth, stopping at Mount Precipice, before driving through the town of Cana. We end the day at our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
02 Dec Thu - DAY 4
This morning we drive north to Caesarea Phillipi, known in the ancient world also as Paneas, and today as Banias, where Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah, "And Jesus said thou art Peter upon this rock I will build my church." (Matt.16-17-18). You will see the remains of the pagan site that existed here, against the backdrop of which these events occurred. We continue to Tel Dan to view the antiquities there from the biblical kingdom of Israel. We visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, where we can appreciate the beautiful surroundings and views unchanged since the time of Jesus delivering his seminal sermon. After an optional lunch of St. Peter's Fish, the next stop is Tabgha, where Jesus preformed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, and a visit to the chapel commemorating the primacy of Peter. We continue to Capernaum or Kfar Nahum, where Jesus spent much of his ministry. We will view the house of Peter and the numerous churches that were built on top of it, as well as the ancient synagogue believed by many to have been built atop the synagogue that Jesus would have preached in. We stop at the ongoing excavations at Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene with its Second Temple Period synagogue, before finishing the day at the Yardenit Baptismal Site where those who wish can emerge themselves in the waters of the Jordan River. We return to our hotel for dinner.
03 Dec Fri - DAY 5
We start the day with a spectacular boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and a visit to Ginosar where we will see the remains of a fisherman's vessel discovered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee dating from the time of Jesus. Leaving the Sea of Galilee behind us, we drive through the Jordan River Valley to Beit Shean built where the Jezreel Valley meets the Jordan Valley, and tour the extensive Roman-Byzantine remains of the city that was once part of the Decapolis. Continuing through the valley, we enter the Judean Desert where we visit Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. Stop to see Zacchaeus' Sycamore tree and proceed for a view of Mt. of Temptation (cable car is not included). Visit the Tel of Ancient Jericho where 25 archaeological levels have been discovered. Climb along the ancient route up to Jerusalem, stopping for a panoramic view of the city as we enter it from the east atop the Mount of Olives. Drive to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
04 Dec Sat - DAY 6
After breakfast we will arrive at Bethlehem; visit the church of The Nativity, the Milk Grotto, Shepherds Field, and Manger Square. After lunch, we return to Jerusalem where we will visit the Israel Museum including the Dead Sea Scrolls housed in the iconic Shrine of the Book and the impressive model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple Period. We will see the Knesset, Israel's parliament building and the Supreme Court building. We end the day at the Garden Tomb also known as Gordon's Calvary, believed by Protestants to be the true place of The Crucifixion, burial, and The Resurrection of Jesus; here we will see Calvary and Jesus' burial tomb and take communion. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
05 Dec Sun - DAY 7
We will spend today exploring the Judean Desert. We will pass the "Inn of the Good Samaritan" on the ancient route pilgrims would have followed to Jerusalem, on our way to the shores of the Dead Sea; the lowest point on earth. Following the coast of the Dead Sea, we will arrive at Masada, the tabletop fortress built by King Herod and used by Jewish Zealots for their last stand against the Roman Empire. Having toured the site, we will continue to the desert oasis of Ein Gedi, prominent in King Saul's pursuit of the young David. Following lunch, you are invited to take a short float in the mineral rich lake of the Dead Sea, before continuing to Qumran where an ancient Jewish sect chose to live at the time of Jesus and where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
06 Dec Mon - DAY 8
We start the morning on top of the Mount of Olives, following the Palm Sunday route down the mountain walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Coming to the Garden of Gethsemane, we will have some private time in the Garden before entering in to the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen's Gate also known as the Lion's Gate. We will visit the Pools of Bethesda and follow some of the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa ending in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We continue to the area surrounding Mount Moriah where we will visit the Western Wall and the Ophel Archaeological Park and museum with remains of the city streets that Jesus would have walked on, as well as structures dating back to the times of King Solomon. We visit the City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel ending at the Pool of Siloam, before ascending Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room, the Room of the Last Supper. After Dinner we will drive to the Tower Of David to view the sound and light show and the walls of the city of David.
07 Dec Tue - DAY 9
After breakfast we will drive to the Ella Valley, where the famous battle of David and Goliath, described in Chapter 17 of the First Book of Samuel, took place. In that battle, David the shepherd boy, years before he became the mighty King David, killed the giant Philistine Goliath with a single, smooth stone. Tonight, we will have a Farewell dinner in our hotel talking and reflecting on the experience we had I the past week. Also, each tour member will receive a Certificate of Pilgrimage signed by the mayor of Jerusalem. We will head to Ben Gurion airport, say goodbye to our guide, and board our flight back home
Faith Assembly - Holy Land Tour
Israel address - 24 Raul Wallenberg St. Tel Aviv, Israel