Complete 11 Day Biblical Tour of Israel & Turkey
1 ARRIVE TEL AVIV
Arrive in Tel Aviv where we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We are then transferred to Tiberias (Galilee Area) for dinner and overnight.
2 GALILEE / CANA / NAZARETH/ MEGIDDO / CAESAREA / TIBERIAS
Today we visit the following biblical sites: Cana (John 2), where we will have church service for those wishing to renew their wedding vows, before continuing on to Nazareth (Luke 1 & 2), Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kgs 9:15; Rev. 16:16). Caesarea (Acts 9 & 25), Mt. Carmel (I Kgs 18) and Tiberias (John 6:23). Dinner and overnight Tiberias.
3 GALILEE AREA / CAPERNAUM / MT. OF BEATITUDES / CAESAREA
There is nothing like watching the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee from our hotel. Today will include many biblical sites along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and in the Upper Jordan Valley: e.g. Capernaum (Matt. 4:13), Mount of Beatitudes (Matt. 5 - 7), Tabgha (Feeding of 5000: Mark 6), Church of Peter of Primacy (John 21), Magdala (Matt, 15:39; Luke 8:2); Caesarea Philippi (Paneas; Mark 8:27), view Mt. Hermon (Deut. 3:8). Border of Lebanon (Josh. 11:17), and Hazor (Josh. 11:10; I Kgs. 9:15). Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
4 BETH SHAN / JERICHO / JERUSALEM
Today we go up to Jerusalem. The highway will take us to many of the following biblical sites: Mt Tabor (Judges 4); Ein Harod (Judg. 7:1); Beth Shan (I Sam, 31:10); and Jericho (Josh. 2 - 6; Mark 10:46; Luke 19:1). The road from Jericho to Jerusalem is an ascent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
MT. OF OLIVES / TEMPLE MOUNT/ RABBINICAL TUNNEL / VIA DOLOROSA /
We begin our explorations with a drive to the beautiful Mt.Of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed to the Church of Ascension, descend to Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and there visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We will enter Jerusalem through the Dung Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of Herod's Temple. From here we will visit the Rabbinical Tunnel, beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Sam, 24:18-25). On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Ask Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen's Gate, St. Anne's Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Sister of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), Ecco Homo Arch, and then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the ancient Cardo. This afternoon you will be fascinated by your visit to the model of Jerusalem near the Holyland Hotel (1 to 50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus' time), we drive by Israel's Knesset, the huge bronze Menorah, and finish our day with a visit to Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Memorial. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
6 QUMRAN / EIN GEDI / DEAD SEA / MASADA / JERUSALEM
Leaving Jerusalem, we will descend down to the Dead Sea and the wilderness of Judah. Our first stop will be Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop at Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul, and everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy a mud bath ($8.00 per person additional charge) or you can enjoy floating/swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on the earth. After stopping for a brief lunch, we continue south, for Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. We return to Jerusalem for a late dinner and overnight.
7 GARDEN TOMB / THE UPPER ROOM / ISRAEL MUSEUM / BETHLEHEM
We begin our morning with a visit to the Garden Tomb, where we will have communion service. From here we drive to Ein Karem village, the birthplace of John the Baptist, to see the Church of Visitation, and then go to Mt. Zion, The Upper Room, where Jesus spent those last momentous hours with his disciples before his passion, and it was also here where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on Pentecost. From there we will go to the Israel Museum, including the Bronfman Archaeological Museum and the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. We conclude our day with a visit to Bethlehem, with a visit to the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd's Field. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 8 JERUSALEM / TEL AVIV / ISTANBUL- AIR - IZMIR / EXCURSION TO IZMIR (SARDES - PHILADELPHIA)
Arrival to Istanbul and connect to Izmir. Drive to Izmir and continue inlands towards Sardes, the ancient capital city of Lydian Kingdom. Visit the Artemis Temple remains, see the chapel next to it, here was one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. See the restored Gymnasium and the earliest Synagogue; continue to Alasehir (ancient Philadelphia), which meant brotherly love. See the remains of the Church and the town. Return to Izmir, the third largest town of Turkey, which was called Smyrna. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 IZMIR -EPHESUS - IZMIR - AIR - ISTANBUL - EPHESUS / BASILICA OF ST. JOHN / THE MUSEUM
In the morning drive thru Izmir, see the Church of St. Polycarp, here was another Seven Churches. Continue to southward to Ephesus. First visit the Basilica of St. John where he was buried. This was the leading church and was promoted by Paul. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus, walk thru the marble streets, and see the remains of Roman baths, Roman Fountains, Hadrian Temple Celsus Library, The Grand Theater. See the Artemis Temple and the Museum where all relics found are in display. At the end of your day enjoy shopping in Selcuk town and transfer to Izmir airport to fly to Istanbul at about 07.00 PM transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 10 IZMIR / ISTANBUL / CHURCH OF HORA / ST. SOPHIA / BLUE MOSQUE / TOPKAPI PALACE / GRAND BAZAAR
On this day discover Istanbul, drive to the old town, first visit the Church of Chora See the most spectacular Byzantine mosaics and frescoes reflecting Apocalypse. Later visit Basilica of St. Sophia from the 6th Century AD, which was the grande sanctuary of its era, which is now Museum. Walk thru the Hipodrome where once chariots thundered the skies. See the famous Blue Mosque famed with its blue tiles. In the afternoon visit the Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans; see the priceless jewelry and porcelain collections. At the end of the day enjoy shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight
Morning transfer to Istanbul Airport for our return flight home. The close of an unforgettable trip. The close of an unforgettable tour, to have walked in the footsteps of the Master and the early Christians.
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