Itinerary: Israel & Jordan, 2016*
Printable Itinerary (PDF)*
February 28, Sunday:
- Departure from U.S. gateway city to be announced, destination
Tel Aviv, Israel. Meals will be served aloft.
February 29, Monday:
- Arrival in Tel Aviv. Transfer to the Gilgal Hotel
near the Mediterranean for
dinner and overnight.
March 1, Tuesday:
Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Meggido,
- We drive along the Mediterranean to the coastal city ruins of
Caesarea, ancient capital of Roman Palestine, where we see the theater, aqueduct, recently-excavated hippodrome, and Crusader fortress.
- Then at
Mount Carmel we visit the traditional site of Elijah's battle with the prophets of Baal and enjoy the sweeping panoramic view of the
Jezreel Valley from atop the mountain.
- We visit the ruins of
Megiddo, the Biblical Armageddon, and see Ahab's stables and the famous water system.
- We proceed to
Sepphoris, traditional home of Anna and Joachim (the parents of Mary, mother of Jesus), and Mary's birthplace.
- Our destination this evening
Nof Ginosar along
the southern shore of the
Galilee. Dinner at the hotel.
March 2, Wednesday: Mount of Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum,
- After a visit to the
Mount of Beatitudes, we travel north to the foothills of
Mount Hermon and Banias (Caesarea Philippi), where Jesus said, "I will build my church..."
- We travel back through the Golan Heights past
Gadara, one of the
Decapolis cities. Matthew describes the miracle of Jesus delivering demon-possessed men who were "of the country of the Gadarenes." We take some time to enjoy a lunch of St. Peter's fish near the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- This afternoon we visit the ruins of ancient
Capernaum where the greater part of Jesus' ministry of teaching and healing took place.
We'll see the ancient synagogue and the excavations of Peter's house.
We continue to
Tabgha, the traditional site of the
feeding of the 5,000; nearby we see the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter.
- We drive past
home of Mary Magdalene.
- We stop at the
Kibbutz Ginosar to see the 1st-century "Jesus Boat," which was discovered in 1986 partially buried in the muddy shores of the Sea of Galilee.
- A highlight of the day will be a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
March 3, Thursday: Nazareth, Mount Precipice, Beit She'an, Jordan River
- We begin our day at
Nazareth, site of the boyhood of Jesus, for a visit to Mary's Well at
St. Gabriel's Church, and the Church of the Annunciation, commemorating the location where Mary was visited by the Archangel Gabriel.
- We go to
Nazareth Village, the only enterprise of its kind dedicated to illuminating the life of Jesus through an authentically constructed, first-century town and restored ancient farm. It is in this venue that the stories of Jesus' childhood, ministry, and teaching are retold with elements of everyday life re-enacted.
- Following our time here we go to
Mount Precipice for breathtaking views of Nazareth and the Jezreel Valley.
- From there, we travel south to
Beit She'an, Israel's largest active archaeological dig site, and see the Roman theater, built in the second century. It is one of the largest and best preserved ancient theaters in the entire Middle East.
- We continue to a baptismal site on the
River Jordan before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
March 4, Friday: Sheik Hussein Bridge Crossing, Jerash,
- This morning we cross Sheik Hussein Bridge,
enter the Kingdom of Jordan and travel to
Jerash, a city of the
Decapolis and one of the most important and best-preserved cities in the Near East. As we journey through mountainous
Upper Gilead we see
Tishbe, birthplace of the prophet Elijah, and
Mahanaim, where Jacob divided his camp into two groups prior to meeting Esau.
We may stop at Madaba if time
- We view the
Jabbok Stream, where Jacob wrestled with a "man" who wrenched Jacob's hip socket.
- From there we drive south among spectacular canyons to the marvelous "rose-red" city of
Petra for dinner and overnight at the
Petra Guest House.
March 5, Saturday: Petra
- Today we have most of the day to explore
Petra. The last mile of the journey is along a winding narrow path, the Siq,
between two high cliffs. The
entire city of rose-colored
temples and amphitheaters is
carved out of the multi-hued
rock of the cliffs which
surround its hidden valley.
Explore the monastery, tombs,
and other fascinating ruins of
this remarkable city.
- Leave Petra mid-afternoon
and travel to Aqaba. Dinner and
overnight in Aqaba at the
Marina Plaza Hotel.
Eilat, Beer'sheva, Dead Sea
March 7, Monday: Masada, Ein
Gedi, Qumran, Jerusalem
Masada and ascend by cable car to visit the magnificent ruins of the fortress where Jewish defenders made the last stand of the Judean revolt against the Romans.
- Drive to Ein Gedi to visit
the oasis nature park.
Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
- Time permitting we have the opportunity to
again swim in the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight
March 8, Tuesday: Jericho,
- Drive to New Testament
(political situation permitting), believed to have been at the mouth of the
Wadi Kelt, where Herod had his winter palace.
- Drive by the
Mount of Temptation.
Bethlehem (political situation permitting) and visit the
Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional site of the birth of Christ.
- We drive by the
Field of Shepherds,
where the angel announced the
birth of Jesus to shepherds.
We continue up to
the Holy City, for dinner and
Wednesday: Mount of Olives,
Gethsemane, Mount Zion, City of
David, Dead Sea Scrolls
- We drive past the Hebrew University and on to the
Mount of Olives.
- Here we visit the
Church of Pater Noster, whose walls are decorated with 140 ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Lord's Prayer in a different language.
- We walk down the traditional
"Palm Sunday Walk" where Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, stopping at the
Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees and the
Church of All Nations.
Mount Zion we see the traditional
Room of the Last Supper.
- Then we go to
Caiaphas' palace, where Jesus was first brought before the high priest.
We then visit the
City of David, the narrow hill near the Western Wall where Jerusalem "began." Here we view walls, towers, and fortifications that protected the city from enemies, pass through the water systems, see the
Gihon Spring, and encounter the personalities and dwelling places of the city as reflected by archaeological discovery and in the Bible.
conclude our afternoon driving past the
Knesset, the Israeli Parliament building,
to visit the
Shrine of the Book, which houses the original
Dead Sea Scrolls.
- We also take some time to view the
scale model of Jerusalem in the 1st century.
We then return to the hotel for
dinner and overnight.
March 10, Thursday: Via
Temple Mount, Western Wall, Davidson
Center, Garden Tomb, Tel-Aviv
- We check out of our hotel
this morning and in the
Old City we follow the
Via Dolorosa, seeing Pilate's Judgment Hall in the
Antonia Fortress where Christ was imprisoned and concluding at the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
We visit the
Temple Mount (political situation permitting), the holiest site in Judaism, for a closer look at the
Dome of the Rock.
Nearby we view the
Western Wall and pass through its tunnels, taking an awe-inspiring journey through time and gaining further insight into the complexities inherent in the relationship between Jews and Muslims.
We then visit the
Davidson Center at the entrance to the
Jerusalem Archaeological Park, one of the largest and most significant archaeological sites in the country.
Nearby are the
leading to the original main
entrance of the temple mount in
the Second Temple period. It is
certain that Jesus climbed these
steps when he visited the temple
- We end our day at
Gordon's Calvary and the Garden Tomb,
for an inspiring service
celebrating the resurrection of
- Later this afternoon we go
to Abu Gosh, a Christian-Arab village built on a mountainside, and
have time to explore and visit the shops. We
enjoy a traditional Arab farewell dinner and then transfer to the
airport for our overnight flight to the U.S.A.
March 11, Friday: Return to USA
*All sites listed in the itinerary will be covered but the sequence and days may be altered to adjust to religious holidays, special closings of sites, air schedules, etc. Hotels listed are subject to confirmation. This tour is not recommended for those who have mobility limitations since it includes significant amounts of rigorous walking on uneven terrain. If a passenger is unable to get on and off the bus and walk without the assistance of another individual, the passenger must bring someone with them to assist them. Please note that the Americans With Disabilities Act is not applicable outside the USA and facilities in other countries may be sharply limited.
- We arrive back in the U.S.A.
this morning and continue on to
our hometown. Meals will be