9 Day Pilgrim Tour of Israel
Pilgrim Tour of Israel for couples of faith that begins with a visit to the ancient city of Jaffa, then to the site of the ancient city of Roman rulers, the ruins of Caesarea Maritima, etc.
Day 1: Saturday: Departure from Nairobi
Day 2: Sunday: Arrival Israel - Tel Aviv/Jaffa - Nazareth - Tiberias
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. Met on arrival by a representative of Raydoll Tours and assisted through airport and immigration formalities. Thereafter proceed for breakfast at a hotel in Tel Aviv.
We begin our pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a visit to the ancient city of Jaffa (New Testament Joppa). In the book of Jonah, it is recorded that it was from here that Jonah set off for Tarshish and was swallowed by a great fish.
It was also at Joppa where the Apostle Peter had a vision, whilst sitting on the rooftop of the House of Simon the Tanner, and he received God's command to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Today a monument, the Church of St Peter stands on the site traditionally associated with the house of Simon the Tanner (Acts ( v. 43).
Next, we drive northwards through the modern metropolis of Tel Aviv and then along the Mediterranean Sea, stopping at Caesarea, to the site of the ancient city of Roman rulers, built by Herod the Great and named for the Roman Ruler Augustus Caesar. It was at Caesaria that Peter baptized the family of the Roman Ruler. We then drive on to the ruins of Caesarea Maritima, which was the seat of government of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Our next stop is on Mt. Carmel where we shall visit the "Place of Sacrifice" where the Prophet Elijah had an encounter with the Priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40). We drive on across the "Plain of Harmageddon" to the town of Nazareth, a town in the hill country of Galilee where Jesus grew to manhood (Matth. 2:23), and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. Lunch is taken enroute. Finally, on this day we shall visit Cana in Galilee, the scene of the wedding feast, where Jesus turned the water into wine (John. 2:1-11). Late afternoon arrival in the city of Tiberias by the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Monday: Sea of Galilee - Golan Heights
The Sea of Galilee is rich in memories of the three years of Jesus' ministry around its shores. We begin this day with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to visit the ruins of Capernaum which in Jesus' time was a flourishing border town and was called "his own city" because of the frequency with which Jesus visited it and the mighty works he did there. Next, we visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Chapel of the Primacy at Tabgha. We stop for a while on the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5) before driving on around the shores of the Sea of Galilee up to the Golan Heights stopping at the lookout point where we can see the "Road to Damascus". Our next stop is at one of the sources of the River Jordan at Banias, which is the site of Caesarea Philippi where the Apostle Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (Math. 16:13-17). A lunch of St. Peter's Fish is ready for us in a restaurant on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Before returning to our hotel we shall have the opportunity to stop at a baptismal site on the banks of the River Jordan. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Tuesday: Mt. Tabor - Jordan Valley - Jerusalem
We say farewell to the Sea of Galilee after breakfast and start this day with a drive through the beautiful landscape of Lower Galilee, the scene of much of Christs' ministry and the home of many of the disciples. From here we go to Mt. Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration (Matth. 17:1-8). From the top of the Mount, there is a wonderful panoramic view that extends from Mt. Hermon in the north to the hills of Samaria in the south. We drive on past the small town of Nain, where Jesus raised the widow's son (Lk. 7:11-17). Next, we drive to the foot of Mt. Gilboa, stopping for a moment at the Spring of Ein Harod where Gideon the Judge, collected his people to fight the Midianites (Judges 7: 4-7). Next, we visit the excavations of the ancient Israelite city of Beit Shean. In New Testament times it became one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis. We continue our drive southwards through the Jordan Valley and drive on up through the Judean Wilderness to Jerusalem, “ the city of God”, and take a first glimpse of the city from the heights of Mt. Scopus before checking into our hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 5: Wednesday: Mt. Olives - Old City of Jerusalem
After breakfast, we shall start our pilgrimage in Jerusalem with a drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives, from which Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. From the top of the Mount, there is a magnificent view over all of ancient and modern Jerusalem, the center of the biblical world. We visit the holy shrines on the Mount and walk on down the "Palm Sunday Road" visiting the Chapel of Dominus Flevit (Jesus wept) en route to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where Christ prayed on the night of his betrayal (Lk. 22:40-46). Next, we shall enter within the old walled city of Jerusalem and walk in the footsteps of our Lord as he bore the burden of our sins to the Cross at Golgotha. We visit the Pools of Bethesda and walk on along the Via Dolorosa, following the 14 Stations of the Cross from Pilate's Judgement Hall to the empty tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After lunch, we shall visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple at the Western (Wailing) Wall and visit some of the exciting Archeological sites in and around the Old City. We end this memorable day of our tour of Israel with a visit to the Garden Tomb before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Thursday: Mt. Zion - Ein Karem - Bethlehem
We start this day with a visit to Mt. Zion where we shall stop to see the Upper Room, the Tomb of King David, and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu which is built over the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, who imprisoned Jesus and interrogated him before his trial before Pontius Pilate (Lk. 22:54). Next, we shall drive through the New City, passing the Knesset (Israel's Parliament building), and on into the hill country to a "city of Juda" which today is called Ein Karem. Here we shall visit the Church of the Visitation, which by tradition is built over the house of Zacharias, where the Virgin Mary came to visit her cousin Elisabeth (Lk. 1:39-80). Here John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, was born. A visit to the Yad Vashem memorial to the victims of the holocaust is also on our program for this morning. Afternoon drive to Bethlehem, the royal city of David, to kneel at the place of the birth of Christ in the Grotto of the Nativity. We visit also Shepherd's Field where the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds. On that first Christmas Eve and announced the birth of the Saviour (Lk. 2: 8-18). Finally, we drive past Rachel's Tomb and return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Friday: Jerusalem
Day of leisure in Jerusalem with time for shopping and other private activities. Breakfast and dinner in the hotel. (Should you choose not to have a free day as part of your Israel tour, please contact us for other options).
Day 8: Saturday: Dead Sea - Massada
After breakfast, we drive down through the Judean desert and past the "Inn of the Good Samaritan" to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on the face of the Earth. We drive around the shores of the Dead Sea passing Ein Gedi en route to the mountain fortress of Massada. Ascent by cable car for an extensive tour of the site which was the scene of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in the year 73 AD. We return to the shores of the Dead Sea and have an opportunity for a bath in mineral-rich waters before visiting the archaeological remains of the Qumran settlement, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written over 2000 years ago. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Sunday: Departure
After breakfast, we take our leave from Jerusalem and drive back to Tel Aviv where we will check-in for our homebound flight from Ben Gurion Airport.
"They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abideth forever". Psalm 125:1
~ End of Pilgrim ~