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Into the Heart of the Holyland: an In-depth tour of Israel


  • Nativity scene wood carving
  • Western Wall and Dome of the Rock
  • View from Galilee Mountains to Galilee Sea
  • A tomb near nazareth, dates to the first century
  • The holy path Jesus walked on his last day
  • Mount of Olives from the walls of Jeruselem
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
  • Grotto of the Virgin Mary in Nazareth
  • Qumran caves where Dead Sea Scrolls were found

10 DAYS OF FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP IN THE HEART OF THE HOLYLAND

Our suggested itinerary to the heart of the Holyland will not only immerse you into your faith but will also let you embrace the wonders of all the great religions of the world: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  See all the iconic sites that you have gotten to know so well in your services, readings and prayers: the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem…. Our itinerary includes a good mix of sightseeing, shopping, meals and interactive activities to satisfy everyone’s interests. Use our sample itinerary below as a starting point for your group, and then we will “tweak” to fit their specific interests and budget.

For more information on Israel and the Holyland click here


Day 1

Arrive in Tel Aviv

Welcome to Israel. We meet our guide upon arrival and then transfer to our hotel. Enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure. 

This afternoon, we depart with our guide for an informative city tour of Tel Aviv. Our first stop is the Old Port City of Jaffa (Yafo), just south of Tel Aviv for a beautiful panoramic view of Tel Aviv and a sense of the first Jewish city of the modern era, established in 1909. Next we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv’s new hip neighborhood where the intellectual elite lived during Israel’s early days.  Walk along Rothschild Boulevard where you can see The White City of Tel Aviv (UNESCO World Heritage) Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and developed as a metropolitan city under the British Mandate in Palestine and was planned by Sir Patrick Geddes. The various architects created an outstanding architectural ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context. Before dinner at a local restaurant, we stop at the Rabin Square, where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. 

Tel Aviv, Israel's ever-growing metropolis, would be unrecognizable to its founders, a small group of Jewish immigrant families in what was then Ottoman-ruled Palestine. A skyline of shimmering skyscrapers has replaced the towering sand dunes of just over a century ago. The city is now known for its boxy Bauhaus buildings, theaters, and concert halls, as well as its legions of sidewalk cafés that host overflow crowds every night of the week.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1
Day 2

Travel to Tiberias

“We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

We depart this morning by coach and travel north to Caesarea, the capital of the Romans built in honour of Augustus Caesar by Herod the Great. The ancient theatre, the Crusader City and the fantastic aqueduct are served as a back-drop for the Book of Acts; Cornelius, the first gentile convert; the home of Philip the evangelist; and the many visits by the Apostle Paul including his two-year imprisonment and his journey to Rome. 

After visitant the ancient city of Caesarea, we continue our journey to Druze Village near Mt. Carmel for a guided walking tour through the old alleys of the Village of Usafia. We visit one of the local families and enjoy the hot spiced tea, coffee, fresh pita bread from the Taboon. Before arriving at the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, we travel to Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, and ascend Mt. Carmel for a panoramic view of the Haifa Bay and the beautiful Bahai Gardens with its impressive terraced landscape built as a memorial to the founders of the Baha’i religions.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration3
Day 3

Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee

“and Jesus went about all Galilee…”  - Matthew 4:23. 

 “And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, “Master, master, we perish.” The he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there was a clam. – Luke 31:24 

This morning we take a one-hour boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. From here, we proceed to Capernaum, a 2nd century synagogue, where Jesus was believed to serve as a rabbi and performed miracles. Next we travel to the Church of Multiplications, the traditional site of the miracles of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the third resurrection appearance of Jesus. Our last stop is at the Mount Beatitudes for a magnificent view of the northern part of the Sea of Galilee.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Half day Excursion to Nazareth

“and behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a won, and shalt call him name Jesus. – Luke 1:23. 

Our first stop is at Kfar Cana where we will visit the Church of the Wedding, where Jesus turned water into wine. Next we travel to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. The rest tour features the Basilica of the Annunciation, the traditional site of the annunciation by the Angel Gabriel of the birth of Jesus;  the Holy Grotto, believed to be the home of Mary; Saint Joseph’s workshop, and Mary’s Well. We will then travel back to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5

Travel to Jerusalem

“On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O City of God.  - Psalms 87:1-2. 

Today we travel to Jerusalem through the lush Jordan Valley. Upon arrival, we check in to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

Jerusalem is known as a schizophrenic, volatile, and fascinating meeting of ancient and modern, Israeli and Arab, religious and secular, and political and spiritual. In Innocents Abroad, Mark Twin described the sights in Jerusalem that “they swarm about you at every step; no single foot of ground in all Jerusalem or within its neighborhood seems to be without a stirring and important history of its own.” Since Twain’s visit to the Holy Land, more than a century of strife and division have imbued the ancient city, sacred to three major world religions, with contemporary drama and made it even more multicultural and significant than ever.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration6
Day 6

Jerusalem and Bethlehem

‘Only a few’ would find the ‘road that leads to life’ and those who disobeyed would find their houses falling ‘with a great crash’. – Matthew 7:14, 26 – 27. 

Facing the old city of Jerusalem and standing on the eastern side of Kidron Valley, the Mt. of Olives got its name from the olive trees that once grew on its hillside from ancient times. According to the Book of Zechariah, this is where God will start to redeem the dead when the Messiah returns on the Day of Judgement. Therefore, the hillside became the world's oldest continually used cemetery. 

After ascending the Mt. of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem, we descend via Palm Sunday way to visit the Garden of Gethsemane,  the site where it is believed that Jesus prayed to the Heavenly Father hours before his crucifixion. We then proceed to Mt. Zion to visit King David Tomb, the Upper Room (the Room of the Last Supper), and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Next we travel to the City of Bethlehem and visit the Church of Nativity, one of the oldest surviving Christian churches and a major Christian holy site, which marks the traditional place of Christ’s birth. After some free time exploring the area, we travel back to our hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Full day walking tour of the Old Town

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Luke 19:37 – 38 

The Temple Mount is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians and is the trapezoid-shaped, walled-in area in the southeastern corner of the Old City of Jerusalem. The four walls surrounding it date back – at least in their lower parts – to the time of the Second Jewish Temple, built at the end of first century B.C.E. These huge supporting walls, partly buried underground, were built around the summit of the eastern hill identified as Mount Moriah, the site traditionally viewed as the location of where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice and the known location of the two Jewish Temples. 

After visiting the Temple Mount and see the dome of the Rock and El Aqza Musk, we take a walking tour of the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall, which is also known as the “Wailing Wall” as Jews have gathered here to lament the loss of their temple for centuries. Modest dress is required when visiting the “Wailing Wall”. From here, we start to walk along the 14 Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, one of the most important walks that many pilgrims take while in Jerusalem. It’s believed by many that Jesus walk on the route between his condemnation and Pilate and his crucifixion. We end our walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and travel back to our hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Full day walking tour of the Old City in Jerusalem Entrance to tunnels subject to availability

In the last quarter of the 19th Century Jewish neighbourhoods began to spring up along the Jaffa Road. A makeshift market grew up in a nearby field in an arrangement that suited everyone. Farmers from the local villages had found an outlet for their produce and residents of the new neighbourhoods were saved the long walk to the Old City to buy their food. 

Our tour takes us to neighbourhoods of Nahlaot and to the Mahane Yehuda market, the largest outdoor market in Jerusalem, where all walks of Jerusalem life converged.  On arrival, we squeeze past the narrow carefully guarded entrance and dive into a marketplace with fresh fruit, oils, nuts, vegetables and just about anything else grown or picked from the Israeli soil. Spices abound and the smell of cinnamon, pesto, paprika and black pepper fills the air.

The Western Wall Kottel Tunnels are an unforgettable journey through time, bringing back to life Jerusalem's glory from the time of King Herod to the Jewish people's longing for Jerusalem throughout the generations. 

After visiting the market, we proceed for a half day exploration of this ancient Jewish heritage and visit the magnificent underground structures, which include rooms and public halls, a section of a Second Temple road, a Hasmonean water tunnel, a pool, and the entire length of the Western Wall - 488 meters in all its glory. We travel back to our hotel at the end of the tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9

Day excursion to the Dead Sea and Masada

Today, we will drive to Qumran where the hidden Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the caves in 1947. Next we travel to Ein Redi and visit the beautiful Ein Gedi Reserve and see the waterfalls at the oasis in the desert, which were mentioned several times in the Book of Psalms. From here, we proceed to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of fortress where from 70 to 73 AD Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We will see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixth-century Byzantine church. On our return to Jerusalem, we will make a stop at the shore of the Dead Sea, 1300 feet below sea level (the lowest spot on earth).

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Depart Jerusalem

Today we will be transferred to the airport for our flight home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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