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|Itinerary at a Glance|
|2||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|3||Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazaerth
Village, & Tiberias
|4||Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes
& Golan Heights
|5||Jordan Valley, Beit She'an
& Dead Sea
|6||Dead Sea, Masada, & Ein Gedi|
|7||Shiloh & Herodian|
|8||Old City of Jerusalem|
|9||Old City of Jerusalem/Depart Israel|
|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||Portland (PDX) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Tiberias, Tel Aviv. Shrine of the Book, Masada & Sea of Galilee.|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour involves a fair amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, requiring a good level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations.|
Come join us in Israel and savor one of the most fascinating places on earth. This tiny speck of a country on the Mediterranean is a super-sized destination rich in culture and tradition, foundation of three world religions, steeped in history, yet one of the world's most modern and dynamic nations. We have been sending travelers on fun, educational, exciting and safe tours of Israel for more than 30 years, and we've drawn on that experience to craft our exceptional Classic Israel package.
If you have dreamed of experiencing Israel for yourself, we invite you to join us on this journey of discovery. Our small groups, inspired guides, fantastic hotels and great prices are all part of the Israel experience just waiting for you.
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Day 2 - Wednesday, Oct 30: Tel Aviv, Israel. Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Meet your guide who will assist you with customs formalities and escort you to your waiting touring coach. En route to your Tel Aviv hotel, visit Jaffa, ancient seaport and home of Simon the Tanner. Accommodation: Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv. Dinner provided.
Day 3 - Thursday, Oct 31: Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazaerth Village, & Tiberias. After breakfast, drive north along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea, which King Herod built into the grandest city in Palestine, second only to Jerusalem. View the beautifully restored theater and extensive and ongoing excavations of the ruins of the ancient town, its harbor and aqueduct.
Next, travel inland to Megiddo, Biblical Armageddon, and the inspiration for James Michener's great novel, The Source. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Megiddo's twenty major strata contain the remains of around 30 different cities and holds a central place in the biblical narrative.
On to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus. For nearly 2,000 years, untold numbers of pilgrims have found their way to the setting which shaped the Man who changed the course of history. Nazareth Village is located on the last remaining tract of virgin farmland, just 500 meters away from where he grew up. Here we'll have an opportunity to take a tour of the village and experience life as it must have been during the time of Jesus. Then on to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Accommodation: Nof Ginosaur. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4 - Friday, Nov 1: Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes & Golan Heights. After breakfast we'll visit the first century "Jesus boat, and then set sail on the Sea of Galilee aboard a wooden fishing boat built to represent vessels used during Bible times. Arrive at Capernaum, once a simple fishing village, where Jesus was often a guest of his disciple Peter, and where it is said He performed many miracles. Visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue and house of Peter, then continue to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount.
Ascend the Golan Heights by jeep and visit the former Syrian military fortifications. Then drive along the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to Kursi, where Christian tradition relates that Jesus cast out the demons from the man of Gedara. We complete the day at Yardenit for a special Baptism service in the Jordan River. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5 - Saturday Nov 2: Jordan Valley, Beit She'an, Dead Sea. Drive south via the Jordan Valley to Beit She'an, an extraordinary excavation of an ancient Greco-Roman city. Located some 30 km. south of the Sea of Galilee, Beit She'an was one of the major cities in the land of Israel, due primarily to its location at the intersection of the road to Jerusalem and the road to Transjordan. Then drive to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by two Bedouin cousins in 1947.
The discovery of the Scrolls represented a turning point in the study of Jewish and early Christian history, and in 1954, the first seven scrolls were returned to Israel to be housed at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. Later, drive to your Dead Sea resort hotel where there will be time to enjoy the wonderful facilities, including a complete spa and an opportunity to float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Accommodation: Daniel Hotel Dead Sea. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 6 - Sunday, Nov 3: Dead Sea, Masada, & Ein Gedi. Ascend by cable car this morning to experience the historic fortress of Masada where, after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., Jewish resistance continued against Rome. When the Romans completed an assault ramp to the top of Masada and stormed the fortress, they found only dead bodies. Rather than fall into the hands of the Romans and live as slaves, the Zealots died by their own means.
After a tour of the extensive excavations at Masada, continue to Ein Gedi, David's waterfall and a wonderful nature center. Later this afternoon, drive up to Jerusalem, highlight of your tour and check-in at the hotel. Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Jerusalem. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 7 - Monday Nov 4: Shiloh & Herodian. Today you will enjoy a full day visit to Shilo & Herodian. (B,D).
Day 8 - Tuesday, Nov 5: Old City of Jerusalem. A full day of sightseeing in Jerusalem includes the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Kidron Valley and the Garden of Gethsemane. Continue to the Old City within the walls, including the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (possible site of the crucifixion and resurrection). We'll explore the restored Jewish Quarter, the Rabbinic Tunnels under the Wall, and the Temple Site on Mt. Moriah.
We'll visit the Western (Wailing) Wall, also the area around the Wall including the Southern Wall Steps. We'll tour the City of David of ancient times, located on a narrow ridge south of the present-day Old City. On the east it borders the deep Kidron Valley where the Gihon Spring, the city's water source, is located. This area is not so much a museum as it is an archaeological and historical experience. Within the City of David are many ancient archaeological finds including Hezekiah's Tunnel and Warren's Shaft.
Both the tunnel and the shaft were used as defense mechanisms against potential invaders of the city walls, finishing our day with a walk on the ramparts of the Old City walls. Return to our hotel for a special Shabbat dinner. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 9 - Wednesday, Nov 6: Old City of Jerusalem/Depart Israel. A full day of sightseeing in Jerusalem. During our walking tour of the city, we'll explore our Christian heritage and its Jewish roots. We will return to the Old City inside the walls. Touring will include a visit to Mt. Zion and worship in the Upper Room, we'll visit David's Tower and museum and enjoy browsing and shopping in the colorful bazaars. We end our day with a special time of worship, reflection and communion at the lovely Garden Tomb. Return to our hotel to pick up our luggage prior to our transfer to Ben Gurion Airport. We'll board our evening return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.
Note: The flight will depart just after midnight on November 7
Day 10 - Thursday, Nov 7: USA. This afternoon arrive back in the USA.
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