Welcome to Israel! Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport you will meet the tour operator you have been working with to plan your tour. We will assist you with any immediate needs and transfer you to Tel Aviv, visiting ancient Jaffa (New Testament Joppa) with the House of Simon the Tanner, before checking into our hotel in Tel Aviv or Natanya for dinner and stay overnight.
Our first full day of touring begins with a visit to the ruins of ancient Caesarea and continues with a drive over the crest of Mount Carmel to see the site where Elijah the Prophet overcame the Prophets of Baal in the name of the God of Israel. Next is Megiddo, the Harmageddon of the Book of Revelation. In the afternoon, we drive to Nazareth where Jesus lived for most of the first 30 years of his life visiting the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Synagogue Church and the “Mount of the Leap” so-called because it was from the brow of a steep hill that the inhabitants of Nazareth wanted to cast him. Then we drive on to Cana in Galilee, the scene of the wedding feast described in John chapter 2. Finally, we arrive at the Sea of Galilee and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
The Sea of Galilee is rich in memories of the 3 years of Jesus’ ministry around its shores. We begin this day on Mt. Arbel from which there is a wonderful panoramic view of all the surrounding areas including Mt. Hermon, and the pilgrim shrines on the NW shores of the Sea of Galilee. We visit Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, and the 2000 year old fishing boat known as “Jesus Boat”. Next is the Mount of Beatitudes the scene of the Sermon on the Mount. Nearby is Chorazim which is one of the cities where Jesus taught. Tabgha with the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Chapel of the Primacy. Capernaum, where Jesus did many signs and wonders where we can visit the House of Peter and the ancient synagogue. Next we drive up to the Golan Heights to visit Banias where the Apostle Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. From the top of Mount Bental we shall look over the Syrian border to the city of Kuneitra and the road taken by the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Next we drive along the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee through the “Land of the Gardarenes” to Kibbutz Ein Gev where we can take a lunch of St. Peters Fish and take a boat ride from there across the Sea to Tiberias. Before returning to our hotel we shall visit a baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight.
Today, after breakfast we depart the Sea of Galilee and our first destination is Beit Shean, a major Biblical city located in the center of crossroads between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the 11th century BC King Saul’s body was hung on its walls after his defeat by the Phillistines. During New Testament times the city was one of the cities of the Decapolis named Skythopolis. After the visit we drive on through the Jordan Valley passing the ancient site of Gilgal, where the Children of Israel, under Joshua, encamped after crossing the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. In Jericho we see the Mount of Temptation and visit the Fountain of Elisha the Prophet and stop under a sycamore tree of the kind which Zachaeus, the tax collector, climbed in order to see Jesus. Next we shall visit the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism by the John the Baptist before driving up through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem, the “city of God”. We take a first glimpse of the Holy City from one of the Heights surrounding Jerusalem before checking into our hotel in the city for dinner and overnight.
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) enroute 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 Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon we shall visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple at the Western (Wailing) Wall. Next we shall visit the Mt. Zion with the Upper Room and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu which is built over the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, before whom Jesus was brought for trial and sentenced to death. Beside the Church we shall see the “Roman Steps” which were probably used by Jesus and his disciples on the day of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This day begins with a visit to the Israel Museum with the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are preserved, and the model of the 2nd Temple period Jerusalem. Passing by the Knesset we drive to the Yad Vashem Museum of the Holocaust which preserves the memory of the 6 million victims of the Shoah. After the visit we drive on to a city of Juda which today is named Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The Chapel of the Visitation recalls the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and stands upon the location of the House of Zechariah. We follow this visit in the afternoon with a drive to Bethlehem the royal city of King David where Jesus was born. The Church of the Nativity is reputed to be one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. Here we have the opportunity to kneel at the place of Jesus’ birth in the Grotto of the Nativity. Before leaving Bethlehem we stop at the Shepherd’s Field where some shepherds watching their flocks were the first to whom the Angels announced the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. Then we return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we shall visit the Temple Mount where so many of the events we read about in the Bible took place and where Jesus taught so often. Nearby is the “City of David”, the archaeological site where we can go through the Hezekiah’s Tunnel and visit the Pool of Siloam where Jesus gave sight to the man born blind. We walk through the Herodian Water Channel to the Western Wall and the Davidson Center, the Jerusalem Archaeological Park with the 2000 years old steps named after the Prophetess Hulda which led to the Temple Mount during the 2nd Temple period. A drive to Samaria to visit the ancient city of Shilo which held a central place in the Biblical history of the Israelites and was the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant for almost 400 years until the death of Eli the Priest. We return to to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Evening: Presentation of “Jerusalem Pilgrim” certificates.
Today after breakfast we start our tour with a visit to Bethany, where stood the House of Martha and Mary. There is a church commemorating the raising of Lazarus from the dead and we shall have the opportunity of visiting his tomb. Then we drive on to the “Inn of the Good Samaritan ” en route to the Dead Sea the lowest spot on the face of the Earth and continue our tour along the shores of the Sea to the mountain fortress of Massada which was the last stand of a group of Jewish Zealots against the Romans in the year 73AD who all died by their own hands rather than fall into the hands of their pagan conquerors. We ascend and descend the mount by cable car and visit the extensive remains of the fortress which soars 400 meters above the Dead Sea. Then we return to Jerusalem passing Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written 2000 years ago. We stop en route at Wadi Kelt and visit a Greek Orthodox Monastery clinging to the side of the Wadi Kelt ravine called St. George Kosiba. Finally we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This is the last day of our tour to the Holy Land and we shall use this final day for a visit to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Golgotha. This is followed by a visit to the Museum of the Friends of Zion, a Multimedia Museum recording the support of non-Jewish friends of Zion and the Jewish people throughout the ages. The rest of the day is free for private activities and last minute shopping. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we say farewell to Jerusalem, the city of God, and set off for the drive to Ben Gurion Airport and the homebound flight when we hope you will relax and recount your life changing journey to the Holy Land.
* Due to a continuous influx of visitors to Israel over the past years, road work and traffic congestion, as well as other variables outside of Immanuel Tours’ control, itineraries are subject to change and number of site visits possible in each day may be limited. Every effort is made by Immanuel Tours staff to maximize scheduling in order for your tour to be comprehensive and enjoyable.
What People are Saying about Immanuel Tours
I must tell you I give both Immanuel Tours and Mordi my highest recommendation – Donna and I had an amazing trip. The personal service, hotels, attention to detail and most of all the flexibility of Mordi (he learned I like frozen coffees – so there was always a stop somewhere) to change up the itinerary when timing/location deemed necessary.
Now a special word about Mordi – his knowledge and passion for Israel is so evident in his spirit it is a joy to spend time with him. He has a great sense of humor (which I’m sure he needed with us) and loved sharing his Jewish faith and Israeli heritage during our unending questions.
Yoav – a note of thanks for all your help with our pilgrimage – I know you did all the legwork for the sites, hotels and details. It was flawless and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re the best!
Again, thank you Immanuel Tours – it was a life changing experience and you made it happen.
Next year, in Jerusalem!
- David Chavers
Immanuel Tours provided very personalized service to us. Two of our group flew in from Egypt ahead of the others by about 8 hours. The two were settled into the hotel, picked up by car by Susan herself and driven to the airport to meet the rest of the incoming group and ride the bus back to the hotel as a group. No extra charge, ''just part of it'' they told us. There were six employees on hand to meet us at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly.
I could continue, but this email cannot do justice to the service and accommodations Immanuel Tours provided us. I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we are returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.
- Linda Arnold
My first pilgrimage to The Promised Land was with Immanuel Tours and the entire trip exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that my husband and I signed up for another tour the following year and took 5 family members with us! Okay, so if that wasn’t enough we signed up again this year and took 4 more friends! Yes, that is three years in a row!
When I go back to Israel, I will only travel with Immanuel Tours. Outstanding guides, exceptional drivers, and first rate service. Immanuel Tours is truly excited to be a part of your incredible, experience in the Holy Land and care about every little detail.
- Greg and Katie Holloway
Our first experience with Immanuel Tours was over 10 years ago in 2006. We have been using them ever since and can say the service level has never wavered. They offer impeccable customer service, with such personal attention given to every detail. We consider them not just our tour company but they have become our Israeli family. We have been so blessed through them and highly recommend them.
- Lina OliverThank you so much for a very well organized tour/pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our guide, Asher, and our driver, David, were very nice & they were so great. Very knowledgeable too! It was a wonderful experience. We hope to visit the Holy Land again with Immanuel Tours.
- Matt Stone
Just got back from a Zola Levitt Israel tour and my wife and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Dror was our guide and Charlie was the driver. They both performed above expectations. We couldn't get enough of Dror's observations and knowledge. Charlie made the transportation logistics seem effortless, he was applauded multiple times navigating us around. A++
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