Israel June 2022 Itinerary
Day 1: Travel to Israel
Today begins your journey to Israel as you travel to the airport and fly to Tel Aviv, Israel.
Day 2: Arrive in Israel, Jaffa, Beach
Welcome to the Holy Land! James and Melisa Berry will be at the airport to greet you and assist you as you arrive. We will also meet up with our new best friends, our Israeli guide and our driver. To kick off our trip we will stop in Jaffa (ancient Joppa). This is where Jonah was called by God to preach to the Ninevites, Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in (Acts 9), and God gave Peter the vision of a sheet filled with non-kosher food in (Acts 10). It’s a place of new beginnings, and an excellent start for our trip. Next, we head to our hotel to spend our first night by the Mediterranean Sea (beach and pool time). After an Israeli buffet dinner, we will have an orientation meeting to get us ready to encounter the Fifth Gospel—the land of Israel.
Day 3: Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Biblical Meal
It’s a big and beautiful day as we drive up the coast to Caesarea Maritima to tour these Mediterranean ruins (Pontius Pilate’s headquarters, Paul’s imprisonment (Acts 23-24), the home of Philip and his four prophesying daughters (Acts 21), early church base). Next, we will head up to Mt. Carmel for an amazing view from the mountain where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal (1Ki 18). From here we journey to Nazareth (Jn 1:46, Mt 2:23), where we will visit the beautiful Church of the Annunciation, look at the 1st century house ruins, and walk through your first Arab bazaar. We then end the day at Nazareth Village to experience life as Jesus may have known it, even enjoying a 1st century meal for dinner.
Day 4: Nazareth Precipice, Ruins of Sepphoris, Sea of Galilee
An early start allows us to take in the scenic Nazareth precipice and then drive to Sepphoris. The ruins of what may have been the city on a hill whose light could not be dimmed (Mt. 5:14) offers us a time to see some traditional Jewish ruins as well as the beautiful homes of the elite. We will also see their amphitheater and synagogue. From here we will travel down towards the Sea of Galilee, following the landscape Jesus would have seen in his travels. After a special “St. Peter’s” lunch, we will visit Jesus’ home town, Capernaum where we will see the “house of Peter,” (Mt 8, 9). This easy paced afternoon will then take us to the hillside where the Beatitudes may have been said (Mt 5), to Tabgha to commemorate the miracle of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14), and to Peter’s primacy for a devotional time and an opportunity to put our toes in the water (Jn 21).
Day 5: “Lazy River" Rafting Jordan, 1st Century Jesus Boat, Worship Cruise, Magdala Synagogue, Cliffs of Mt. Arbel
We start off the day with a drive up to northern Israel and take a 2.5 hour “lazy river" rafting journey down a tributary of the Jordan River. Here we take a moment to look at the land, laugh, swim, and enjoy the Holy Land. After lunch, we will visit a first century boat (the “Jesus Boat”), and then board a “Worship Boat,” to ride across the Sea of Galilee. Once we dock, we will head down to see Magdala to see the famous synagogue that Jesus most likely preached from and the cliffs of Mt. Arbel (Mt 9:35). Our day ends with an Israeli vineyard tour and a glass of wine.
Day 6. Hike the Jesus Trail, Jordan River Baptism, Float in the Dead Sea
Today we will have a morning hike on a scenic portion of the Jesus Trail from Cana to Lavi (4 hours). The bus will pick us up for lunch and then we will stop at Yardenet to see the Jordan River and have baptisms for those who would like this (Mt 3). (There is also a huge gift store there). From here we drive to the Dead Sea for an opportunity to float in the salty water and enjoy the pool.
Day 7: Masada, Ein Gedi Hike & Waterfalls, Qumran
Early birds can meet for a sunrise swim in the Dead Sea, and the adventurous can then hike up the Snake Path to Masada at 7am. The rest of the group will take a gondola up to Masada at 8am and finish with the site film. After leaving Masada we will then go to Ein Gedi (1Sa 23, Cant 1) for an easy hike up to the three waterfalls, where we can take our time enjoying the sun and water. For the shoppers, our bus will make a quick stop at the Ahava factory (Dead Sea skin care). We will then drive to Qumran, where we will see a site film and the ruins.
Day 8: Mt of Olives, Cave of Gethsemane, Bethlehem
Jerusalem is home to many of the holiest sites in Christianity, and we start with an early morning visit to the Mt. of Olives for a view of the city from Dominus Flevit the church commemorating where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Mt 23:37). Then we walk down the traditional Palm Sunday Road to the Grotto (cave) of Gethsemane and the ancient trees (Mk 14). From here we journey into Bethlehem for lunch at the famous "tent Restaurant." Next we journey to Bethlehem Square to visit the Church of the Nativity (Ru 1, Mt 2), and shop (free range visit!). We then meet up to drive to the Shepherd’s Fields and end the afternoon at the Bethlehem Bible College for a tour and talk.
Day 9: Old City, Western Wall, Historic Locations for Jesus’ Trial, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Free Time
Today is a big day and in the morning, we will visit the Jewish Quarter to see the Western Wall for prayers, the ruins of a home from the destruction of the Temple called the Burnt House, and then take a tour through the Western Wall Tunnel. Next, we will walk to a hidden gem, a little known archaeological site outside the Jaffa Gate. Scholars believe that this is the location of Jesus’ trial (Jn 18). After spending some devotional time here, we will walk to the historical location for Golgotha (Mt 27), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Jn 20). This location is maintained by several orthodox traditions as well as the Catholic Church where you can observe or partake in the lighting of candles, pray, and partake in ancient traditions honoring Christ’s death and resurrection. There will be some free time in the afternoon for those who want to shop in the Old City or go to a museum. Option: Those who would like to visit Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) may take our bus at 1:30 pm to this location.
Day 10: City of David, Free Time
Today we will visit an archaeological park opening the City of David to us. Here we will see excavations of David’s Palace (1 Sa 5), have the option of walking through the water in Hezekiah’s Tunnel (2 Ki 20), and meet at the Siloam Pool (Jn 9) for a devotional time. Next, we walk through a tunnel that was once the street Jesus would have walked to the Temple and exit at the southern steps of the Temple Mount. From here we will visit the Wohl Museum of Archaeology and walk through the Cardo through the shops to have lunch in the Old City. This afternoon is scheduled as Free Time to shop or explore. Option: Those who would want to visit the Israel Museum take our bus at 1:30 pm to this location.
Day 11: Pool of Bethesda, Garden Tomb
For our last day, we will visit the pool of Bethesda (Jn 5) and St. Anne’s church, and then the Garden Tomb (Jn 20). It is now time to leave Jerusalem and heading back towards Tel Aviv and the airport.
Day 12: Flight Home