10 Nights / 13 Days
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The land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

The Land of the Bible is part of the Fertile Crescent, bounded by the Mediterranean on the west and the Syrian Desert on the east. In this narrow strip of territory, the bridge between the great civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, traders traveled plying their wares and the great armies of the world marched through. The lives of the peoples who lived in this land – Canaanites and Israelites, Philistines and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans – were shaped by the mountains and valleys, rocky or sandy soils, temperate climes or arid deserts. The images in the Bible that describe God and His relation to His people are grounded in nature and in the realities of daily life close to nature – flinty rock, living water, high places, voices crying out in the desert, fishers of men. By studying maps, digging at archaeological sites, leaving the beaten path and taking the Bible as our guide we will understand why Biblical events took place where they did. We will return with new insights into geography, history and the Word of God.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Departure from the USA Depart via scheduled air service. The destination is Tel Aviv

Day 2: Tel Aviv / Joppa / Netanya Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Meet your Faith Journeys Tour Manager who will assist the group to an awaiting chartered motorcoach for a transfer to Netanya via Joppa for a panoramic orientation to the land and visit the Church of St. Peter. Late afternoon hotel check-in

Day 3: Netanya / Nazareth This morning we will follow in the footsteps of Paul and make our way up the Plain of Sharon to Caesarea. We will visit the aqueduct, the ancient Herodian harbor, the remains of the seaside palace of Pontius Pilate, and the theater. Continue to the altar of Elijah at the Muhraka atop Mount Carmel Cross the Valley of Jezreel to Nazareth. Visit Nazareth Village, a reconstructed first-century village that tells the story of the hometown of Jesus. Continue to Church of Mary’s Well and end the day with a panoramic view of the area of Jesus’ lakeside ministry from the cliff of Mount Arbel

Day 4: Sea of Galilee / Capernaum Begin the day boarding a wooden boat for Ginnosar – sailing in the footsteps of Jesus! Visit an original fishing boat of Jesus’ day recently discovered Drive to the Mount of Beatitudes and continue to Tabgha to visit the Church of Loaves and Fishes as well as the Church of Mensa Christi, where after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples on the lakeshore Continue to Capernaum to see the house of Peter and the synagogue where Jesus preached and cast out demons

Day 5: Dan / Caesarea Philippi Travel north to the Upper Jordan Valley to Dan. We will combine a nature walk with views of the ancient ruins. Continue to the foothills of Mount Hermon Caesarea Philippi, where Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah. Climb to the cave and remains of the pagan temples of Roman times Continue to Golan Heights and stop at a former Israeli military outpost to hear about the Yom Kippur War. Descend towards the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee to the remains of the church of Gergesa End our day with baptism or the renewal of baptismal vows at the Jordan River

Day 6: Beth Shean / Jericho / Dead Sea Leave the Sea of Galilee to go to Beth Shean, a magnificent Roman town, with colonnaded streets and bathhouses. Pass Mount Gilboa to Jericho, the world’s oldest city, to climb the Tel to view the ancient towers and the Mount of Temptation, marking Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness Continue to the impressive desert fortress of Masada. Ascend by cable car to view the palaces of Herod and the site of the Zealots’ last stand against the Romans and end our day at the Dead Sea

Day 7: Jerusalem Travel up the Dead Sea coast to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and hidden up until 1947. Traverse the Judean Desert to ascend the Mount of Olives for a breath-taking view of the Old City Descend the traditional Palm Sunday Road to the Church of Dominus Flevit Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane for reflection and prayer. Drive to Mount Zion to visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus may have been questioned before the High Priest of Caiaphas. Conclude our day at the Upper Room, the traditional site of the Last Supper This evening we will walk through underground tunnels to see the remnants of the Temple Mount of Jesus’ day including stones weighing over 400 tons!

Day 8: Jerusalem / Bethlehem We begin at the Western (Wailing) Wall, a remnant of the Temple in which Jesus preached and sacred place of prayer for Jews all over the world. Continue to Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock. We will stop to worship at the Rabbi’s Steps on the Ophel Ridge Travel to the Shepherd’s Fields to rejoice over the glad tidings of the birth of Jesus. Return to Bethlehem to visit the 5th-century Church of the Nativity. Possible worship service in the Chapel of the Massacre of the Innocents. Finally, we stop to shop for famous olive wood and mother-of-pearl crafts that have been produced by the Christians of Bethlehem for centuries

Day 9: Jerusalem Crossing the New City of West Jerusalem, we view a 1:50 scale model of the City of Jerusalem of Jesus’ Day and Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Continue to the Herzl Museum Visit Yad Vashem, the museum and memorial of the Holocaust. We will conclude our day at the pastoral village of En Karem, the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist Hear from an Israeli spokesman on the current situation in the Holy Land and the prospects for Peace in the future

Day 10: Global Voluntourism Day This day will be devoted to global voluntourism in Bethlehem or Jerusalem. We will spend time ministering to orphanages and hospitals, picking fruit, helping students practice their English, or painting and cleaning churches, schools, or community centers

Day 11: Jerusalem This morning, we visit the Pools of Bethesda and sing in the adjoining Crusader Church of St. Anne. Proceed up the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We conclude our voyage with a communion celebration at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. Afternoon at leisure for additional sightseeing, shopping, or reflection

Day 12: Depart for home Morning at leisure to explore the Old City Visit Emmaus for a possible worship service attendance at the site of the post-resurrection revelation of Jesus to his disciples Transfer to the airport for the late night or early morning return flight home

Day 13: Return Home Return to the USA

© Faith Journeys LLC

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a rare and privileged event. Every person of faith should make such a trip a priority in one's life. However, great care is needed to make sure the experience reflects the intent of the traveler. Without careful planning, advanced preparation and attention to details while in the Holy Land, the pilgrimage can fall short of expectations. Faith Journey's is a trusted, experienced partner who can make sure your journey is a critical step towards a deeper communion with Our Savior and his people.
Deacon Bill Garrett, Archdiocese of Atlanta and President Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School