Day 1: Tuesday Tel Aviv Airport, Caesarea, Haifa, Nazareth D/O Nazareth
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, we will be met by our representative after passport control who will assist us with our luggage and direct to meet our guide and board our van and start our tour of the Holy Land by driving north and follow in the footsteps of Paul as we make our way up the Plain of Sharon to Caesarea. We visit the aqueduct, the ancient Herodian harbor, the remains of the seaside palace of Pontius Pilate and the theater. With the conversion of Cornelius by St. Paul (Acts 10), this impressive Roman city became the beachhead of the Christian mission to the Gentiles. Continue to the altar of Elijah at Muhraka atop Mount Carmel. Looking out over the now verdant Valley of Jezreel (Hebrew: 'the Lord shall sow'), we remember how Elijah called down the fire and we reaffirm "the LORD, He is God!" (1 Kings 18:39). We drive across the Valley of Jezreel and climb to Nazareth the city of the Boyhood of Christ. There we visit the Church of Mary's Well and the Church of Annunciation. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth
Day 2: Wednesday - Cana, Tiberias, Mt. Beatitude, Tabgha, Capernaum, Nazareth
After breakfast, we drive east towards the Sea of Galilee. On the way we to Cana, commemorating Jesus' transformation of water into wine. We continue driving to the Sea of Galilee and have a short stop along the road for a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee and the main sites of Jesus' ministry. We drive down trough the city of Tiberias and drive along the western shores of the Sea of Galilee and drive up to the Mount of Beatitudes to reflect on the new commandment Jesus' taught here. We then descend the hillside to Tabgha (Heptapagon – Greek for seven springs), visiting the Church of Loaves and Fishes marking Jesus' miraculous feeding of the Five Thousand (Mark 6:30- 44) as well as the Church of Mensa Christi, where, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples on the lakeshore (John 21). We continue to Caphernaum to see the house of Peter and the synagogue where Jesus preached and cast out demons (Mark 1). We then return to Nazareth for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Thursday - Jezreel Valley, Jordan Valley, Jericho, Dead Sea, Jerusalem
We drive down into the Jezreel Valley and head east to the strategic crossing point with the Jordan Valley at Beth Shean. We drive south through the Jordan Valley to Jericho. At Jericho, we visit the tell of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. We continue south heading to the Dead Sea passing Qumran where the hidden library of the Essenes, the Dead Sea Scrolls (currently displayed at the Israel Museum), were found in 1947. Explore the relationship of their teachings to those of John the Baptist and Jesus. Continue to the Dead Sea for a short swim before we drive up to Jerusalem passing by the " Inn of the Good Samaritan " on the way. Finally atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem where we will have dinner and overnight
Day 4: Friday Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Western (Wailing) Wall, St. Peter in Gallicantu, Upper Room, Shepherds' Field, Bethlehem
Today we will start on the Mt. of Olives with the Old City tilted toward us. After an orientation, we drive down to Gethsemane (Matthew 26) with a visit to the garden and the church. We then drive to the Dung Gate and walk up to the Western (Wailing) Wall, remnant of the Temple in which Jesus preached and a sacred place of prayer for Jews from all over the world. We view the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque the third holiest place in Islam, built on the site of the Second Temple. We proceed up to Mount Zion to visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus may have been questioned before the High Priest Caiaphas, and the Upper Room, traditional site of the Last Supper. This afternoon, we travel to the region of Bethlehem passing by Rachel's Tomb on the outskirts of the city. We cross the Bethlehem check point and drive to the Shepherds' Fields to rejoice over the glad tidings of the birth of Jesus and remember the faith of Ruth who gathered grain nearby. We end our day in Bethlehem to visit the 5th-century Church of the Nativity before we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Saturday Pools of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa, Holy Sepulcher, Departure
Very early this morning before breakfast we transfer to St. Stephens Gate. Just inside the gate we visit the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the man paralyzed for 38 years (John 5) and the adjoining Crusader Church of St. Anne. We then proceed up the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We return to our hotel for breakfast and drive down to Ben Gurion Airport for our departure flight back to Dubai