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|Itinerary at a Glance|
|3||Jaffa, Caesarea, Mount Carmnel,
Megiddo & Tiberias
|4||Capernum, Mount of Beatitudes
|5||Jordan Valley, Beit She'an,
Jericho, Qumran & Dead Sea
|6||Dead Sea, Masada & Ein Gedi|
|7||Old City of Jerusalem|
|8||Old City of Jerusalem|
|9||New City of Jerusalem|
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||Chicago O'Hare (ORD)|
|Highlights||Jerusalem, Jordan Valley, Mount of Beatitudes & the Dead Sea plus optional Istanbul Extension|
There's nothing like setting foot in Israel, foundation of three world religions and one of the most dynamic, modern nations on earth.
We have been sending travelers on fun, educational, exciting and safe tours of Israel for more than a quarter century, and that knowledge and experience makes our Israel tours special. Our itinerary is exciting and comprehensive, featuring guided tours of the most important Biblical sites that you've come to see. You won't find any optional excursions here, because everything you should see is already included in our program as part of the low tour price.
Your guided Israel tour is escorted throughout by a carefully selected teacher-guide who knows and loves the land and will make the Land of the Bible come alive just for you. Your hotels have been selected for location, comfort and service, and every day of your itinerary has been carefully designed to ensure your experience in Israel is the very best possible! If you have dreamed of understanding and experiencing more about the origins of faith, we invite you to join us on this journey of discovery and spiritual renewal in Israel, Land of the Bible.
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Day 2 - Wednesday, Nov 28: Tel Aviv. Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be met by our representative for assistance through customs. Board your touring coach and transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Viv. Dinner provided.
Day 3 - Thursday, Nov 29: Jaffa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo & Tiberias. Board our touring coach and drive to Jaffa (Joppa), the historic start of many pilgrimages, for a tour of this ancient seaport. Travel north along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, Roman capital of Judea. Here we view the beautifully restored theater, and the ruins of the ancient town, its harbor and aqueduct. We travel inland to Megiddo (Biblical Armageddon), and then continue to Muhraka on Mt Carmel, where Elijah defeated the priests of Ba’al. Continue to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle, then Nazareth, His boyhood home, where we’ll visit Nazareth Village. Here we’ll have an opportunity to take a tour and experience life as it must have been during the time of Jesus. We continue to Tiberias and stop at the baptismal site of the Jordan River, an opportunity for those members of the group who wish to be baptized in the gentle flowing waters of the River Jordan. Nof Ginosar Kibbutz Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4 - Friday, Nov 30: Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes & Banias. We 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. Continue to Bethsaida, known as the birthplace of three of the Apostles, Peter, Andrew and Philip. Jesus himself visited Bethsaida and performed several miracles there. The mound identified as ancient Bethsaida, is now located 1.5 km north of the Sea of Galilee. Studies have shown that a series of earthquakes caused silt to accumulate, thus creating the valley and causing the north shore of the Sea of Galilee to recede. Continue to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. Drive through the Hula Valley to Banias, ancient Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of Mount Hermon. After ascending the Golan Heights, visit the former Syrian fortifications, and 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. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5 - Saturday, Dec 1: Jordan Valley, Beit She’an, Jericho, Qumran & Dead Sea. This morning after breakfast, drive south via the Jordan Valley to Beit She’an, an extraordinary excavation of an ancient Roman city, and the overlook above Jericho, the oldest known city in the world, where we can view the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for 40 days. Continue to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Later, drive to our 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. Daniel Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided.
NOTE: Because the town of Jericho is under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, it is required that we change buses and escorts at the border for the duration of the visit.
Day 6 - Sunday, Dec 2: Dead Sea, Masada, & Ein Gedi. Ascend by cable car this morning to experience the historic fortress of Masada, where Jewish defenders made their last stand against Rome (AD 73). 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. Dan Panorama, Jerusalem Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 7 - Monday, Dec 3: Old City of Jerusalem. Begin our day at the Mount of Olives, where we take in the magnificent panorama of Jerusalem below us. Walk down the hill to Gethesmane, where Jesus spent the night before his arrest, after eating the Last Supper with his disciples. Proceed via the Church of All Nations into the Old City once again, to visit Christ Church, St. Anne’s and other major Christian sites. Walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We’ll spend some time at the Garden Tomb that will include a private communion service. Explore the South Temple Wall including a tour of the Rabbinic Tunnels under the Wall and the Western (Wailing) Wall itself. Remember to write a prayer request to tuck in between the huge stones. Ascend the Temple Mount, where the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s holiest shrines, is located, then continue through the Jewish Quarter and the City of David excavations. The City of David, founded by King David over 3,000 years ago, established Jerusalem as the unified capital of the tribes of Israel. King Solomon, David’s son, built the First Temple next to the City of David on top of Mount Moriah, the site of the binding of Isaac, and with it, this hilltop became one of the most important sites in the world. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8 - Tuesday, Dec 4: Day at leisure - Personal Encounters in Jerusalem. This is a day to get intimate with Jerusalem. It is an opportunity to touch, taste and smell the Old City and its many treasures. Experience the world’s most magical city in your own, personal way. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 9 - Wednesday, Dec 5: New City of Jerusalem. After breakfast we’ll tour through the new city outside the walls, including the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. Later visit the model of Jerusalem during Jesus’ time. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 10 - Thursday, Dec 6: Jerusalem. Your last day in Jerusalem. A day at leisure, giving you the chance to shop for those last minute gifts or, perhaps, independently revisit one or two of your most memorable sites in the Holy City. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 11 - Friday, Dec 7: Jerusalem/USA. Very early morning transfer to Ben Gurion Airport to board your return flight to the USA, arriving later this afternoon. Or, join your tour hosts as they continue on to Turkey for an optional 3 day visit to Istanbul. Touring details available upon request.
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare...
Day 11: Jerusalem/Istanbul. Very early morning transfer to Ben Gurion Airport to board your flight to Istanbul, arriving this morning. After you are picked up at Istanbul airport by your guide, you will continue with a city orientation tour followed by lunch at a nice restaurant. After lunch, your guide will bring you to your hotel. You will have the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is on your own (your own choice). Hotel Eresin Taksim Premier. Breakfast & lunch provided.
Day 12: Istanbul. The bejeweled capital of Istanbul sits between two continents and is home to 450 mosques. You will visit the famous Blue Mosque with its six minarets and sparkling interior. You will also visit the Topkapi Palace, once home to royal Sultans. Inside you will see the fabled jewels of the treasury and delicate displays of Chinese porcelain in the Kitchen Quarters. Walk through St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia), which was the largest church in Christendom for a 1000 years. Built by Justinian, the church has 107 columns, fosil imbedded white marble floors and beautiful glass mosaics. Today it is the Museum of Byzantine Art. Enjoy the aroma of Cinnamon, cloves, thyme and other exotic spices as you explore the Grand Bazaar. Over 4000 shops sell everything from herbs to gold. while touring you will have lunch at a nice restaurant and after the tour you will be brought back to your hotel where you will have dinner. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 13: Istanbul. Today you will explore Istanbul from the sea side by joining a Bosporus Cruise. You will glide beneath some of the city’s famous bridges and sail past some of Istanbul’s more colorful neighborhoods and peaceful suburbs. Your boat will take you past castles and quaint fishing villages. As you watch Russian ships sail by, you will understand why the Turkish straits were considered to be the lock of the Czar’s backdoor. After your Bosporus cruise you will return to your hotel and have the afternoon free. In the evening you will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 14: Istanbul/USA. Today you will be transfered to the airport for your flight to your next destination.
My first trip to Israel was in 1980 and I was there for one year. Life-changing is an understatement! It was the beginning of a quest to bring as many people there as possible. Looking back, I know I have been successful. Many have been blessed, many have gone again and again. Each time I go to Israel I learn even more. Friendly Planet Travel has been exceptional and has served us and other Christian organizations and communities for many years. I highly recommend this tour and promise you too will be blessed. The Bible will become more alive to you, and you will love the land the Lord called "His land" and the people He called "the apple of His eye".