Upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport you will meet our representative and be transferred to your hotel in Tel Aviv.
This morning CTO’s tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and we’ll drive to the city of Jaffa (Joppa) and take a short walking tour through the winding, picturesque streets of the ancient, fortified town. You’ll encounter the house of St. Simon the Tanner and marvel at the view from the hill top. Next we’ll take a drive north along the coast to the impressive, seaside archaeological ruins of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great in honor of the Emperor Augustus. From there we’ll visit Megiddo, referred to in the book of Revelations and thought by many to be the prophesied site of “Armageddon”. The city was inhabited continuously for more than five millennia (6000-500 B.C.)and remained undisturbed until excavations began in modern times. After exploring the ancient ruins we drive toward the Sea of Galilee and check-in to our hotel in Tiberias.
Start the day from historic Tiberias, where Jesus preached along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Our next destination will be Capernaum, Jesus’ home and the center of his ministry. On to Tabgha and the Church of the Multiplication, the site of Christ’s miracle of feeding the 5,000. Fifth century mosaic floors in the church depict a basket with loaves and two fishes. We’ll drive on to the Mount of Beatitudes, overlooking the sea, where Jesus preached the “Sermon on the Mount” and it is believed he chose his 12 apostles. From here we’ll ascend the Golan Heights to take in the panoramic view of Mt. Hermon, the rugged plateau of the Golan, and beneath it the green pastoral Hula Valley, before we return to Tiberias for another lovely night by the waters of the Galilee.
This morning we travel to Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood, and the Church of the Annunciation, built on the site where it is believed the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. You will also see Mary’s Well and the church of St. Joseph, thought to be the site of his workshop. In nearby Cana we’ll visit the Wedding Church where Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine. Next we’ll journey through the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean, with its recently restored amphitheater and visit the excavations of this beautifully preserved Roman city, destroyed by earthquake in 749. From here we’ll continue to Jerusalem, and you’ll check-in at your chosen hotel.
Today we’ll make our way to the Dead Sea, first visiting the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Through the remarkable scenery of the Dead Sea we’ll continue to Masada sited on an remote cliff in the Judean Desert, the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against Rome. You’ll ascend by cable car to the fortress and visit excavations that reveal King Herod’s palace, the synagogue, bathhouse and more. You’ll never forget the breathtaking views of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea in the distance. Nearly 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Bring your swimsuit as if weather permits, it’s possible to “float” on the salty, mineral-rich, water. After a full day, we’ll return to Jerusalem for the night.
Today we’ll start out at Mt. Scopus and enjoy panoramic views of Jerusalem. Holy city for each of the world’s three great religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Jerusalem occupies a unique place in the world. Your tour includes the Mount of Olives, where Jesus first delivered the Lord’s Prayer, and the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans. In the Old City you will see the Western Wall and Temple Mount, the actual site of the Second Temple. You’ll follow the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, to Calvary and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb of the Resurrection. To the southwest, just outside the Old City, is Mount Zion, traditional site of King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. We’ll visit here before our return to the hotel
Today’s tour includes Yad Vashem the the state’s moving memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 at the foot of Mt. Hertzl. Ein Karem is our next stop, a picturesque village in the south-western outskirts of Jerusalem. Traditionally the birthplace of John the Baptist, this small village has great significance in Christian tradition. We’ll visit the Israel Museum home to a detailed model of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple and the Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our drive will take us by the Knesset (House of Parliament) and the campus of Hebrew University on our way to Bethlehem. Here we’ll see Rachel’s Tomb and the Church of the Nativity * before returning to your hotel in Jerusalem for the night.
We have reached our final day of the tour. We will take you back to the airport for your flight home or extend your tour to the kingdom of Jordan and/or Egypt.
*Site under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. Visit subject to situation.