The hotel basis for this tour is Jerusalem, the last day is only used for transfer in this itinerary.
We use transportation with a separate driver, by doing that, we do not loose time finding parking, walking to and from the parking and we have the benefit getting picked up at different spots so you can see as much as possible.
DAY 1 – Transfer airport to Hotel in Jerusalem
Your escort will meet you after leaving the plane and bring you to your private guide and driver who will be waiting for you at Ben-Gurion Airport, the largest international airport in Israel and the main gateway to the country.
Transportation is with minibus (max 18 persons).
Mount of Olives
You will start the day on the top of the Mount of Olives with a panoramic view, which offers breathtaking views of the Old City and the surrounding area. Since antiquity, Jews have sought to be buried on the Mount of Olives, where according to the Bible the resurrection will begin. Eventually, the cemetery grew to cover much of the mountain and is still in use.
Your first stop will be at the Dominus Flevit (meaning “The Lord Wept”) teardrop chapel which was only built in 1955 over the site of a Byzantine construction and commemorates the occasion of Jesus looking at the city of Jerusalem and, when realizing that it was going to destroy itself by violence, weeping bitterly.
You will walk along the Palm Sunday Road, which winds its way down the mountain and is believed to be the path that Jesus took on his way to Jerusalem.
At the bottom you will reach the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed and was arrested before his Crucifixion. According to the Bible, Jesus and his disciples came to Gethsemane on the night before his arrest, and Jesus prayed alone while his disciples slept. It is said that Jesus was deeply troubled and asked God if it was possible for the events that were about to take place to be averted. However, he ultimately accepted his fate and submitted to God’s will.
Mount Zion is an important place for Christians, Jews as well as Muslims, a compound built by the Crusaders marks the spot of both King David’s tomb and the Room of the Last Supper, which you will visit.
We exit the Temple Mount in the Muslim Quarter and will return, through the Souq, the Arab market, to the Jewish Quarter to visit The Western Wall, remnant of the retaining wall that enclosed the Second Temple which was destroyed in the year 70. To see the rest of the wall’s 583 meters, t is an option to go deep beneath the Old City in the Western Wall Tunnels (reservation needed), an incomparable foray into Jerusalem’s archeological past. Continuing in The Jewish Quarter we will pass the Cardo, part of Jerusalem’s colonnaded main street 1500 years ago and the Broad Wall, section of the 1st temple wall, built by King Hezekiah over 2700 years ago.
In the Christian quarter we will follow the last stations of the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. These are located in the Holy Sepulcher Church, commemorating both the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ’s burial.
Expected arrival time in hotel: 7pm
Alternative is visiting the hotel and start at 4pm without visiting the Mount of Olives, visiting:
Mount Zion Room of Last Supper
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Expected arrival time in hotel: 8pm
DAY 2 – Sea of Galilee, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes
Jesus spent almost all of his public ministry in this very vicinity of Israel.
Sea of Galilee
We will start exploring it with a boat ride to understand the sites of Jesus ministry from the fisherman’s point of view, sailing on the water of the Sea of Galilee.
Tabgha (Ein Sheva) is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:30-46) and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus (Joh 21: 1-24) after His crucifixion where He also restored Peter after he denied Him three times. The earliest building at Tabgha was a small chapel built in the 4th century A.D. (around 350) by the Jewish convert to Christianity, Joseph of Tiberias. According to Epiphanius, Joseph was a contemporary of Emperor Constantine, a Rabbinical scholar, member of the Sanhedrin and a disciple of Hillel II. Following his conversion, Emperor Constantine gave him the rank of count, and gave him permission to build churches in the Galilee, specifically, in Jewish towns where there was not a Christian community, and the Galilee including the Sea of Galilee, was an area with a Jewish majority. This was probably the shrine described by the pilgrim Egeria at the end of the 4th century. The 4th century small shrine was dismantled in 480 and a bigger chapel was built by Martyrius of Jerusalem. Patriarch of Jerusalem from 478 to 486.
The mosaic of the fish and loaves is laid next to a large rock; some New Testament scholars speculate builders of the original church believed that Jesus stood on this rock when He blessed the fish and loaves before feeding the crowd who gathered to hear Him.
Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter
The end of John’s Gospel contains a story about the resurrected Jesus appearing to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They had gone out fishing, and caught nothing. He called to them from shore and instructed them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. When they did, their nets were full to overflowing. Peter then recognized the Lord and jumped in the water to swimg to share. There, Jesus had prepared a coal fire with bread and roasted fish (John 21).
Early Christians venerated the place where this happened, singling out a large rock as the table Jesus would have used with his disciples for this meal. A church was built over that rock in the fourth century. That church was destroyed and a small church stands there now around the same stone, which is known as Christi Mensa (table of Christ). It was here that Peter was told by Jesus to be the leader of the disciples in Jesus’ absence.
Capernaum is also called “the town of Jesus”. In this archeological complex we will see the remains of an ancient fishing village located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. According to the Chistian tradition, Jesus lived here during his public ministry and performed many miracles.
Mount of Beatitudes
This is the hill on which Jesus was said to have preached the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the best-known part of which are the list of blessed areas – the Beatitudes. A lovely chapel crowns the mount, surrounded by contemplative gardens with a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee.
Alternative: visit Yardenit Baptismal site instead of the boat ride.
DAY 3 -Bethlehem Dead Sea and Masada
Do not forget to bring your passport because we start the day with exiting Israel through one of the checkpoints to enter the city of Bethlehem where you will drive through the Old City neighborhoods before arriving at the main Manger Square.
Here we meet a local Palestinian guide who will join us in the Church of Nativity, the oldest church building in the Holy Land and the place of birth of Jesus. We will also visit the Shepherds Field that commemorates the place where, according to tradition, the announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds by the angels happened.
Qasr Al Yahud Baptismal Site
We continue into the Judean Desert around Jericho where you will have the opportunity to be baptised in the Jordan River.
Qasr Al Yahud is a significant baptismal site located on the banks of the Jordan River, near the Dead Sea, in the West Bank. It holds immense religious and historical importance for Christians, as it is believed to be the traditional site of Jesus Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist.
Visitors are reminded of the biblical significance of this site, where Jesus Christ, according to Christian tradition, was baptized by John the Baptist, symbolizing a pivotal moment in Christ’s life and ministry.
We return to Jerusalem for lunch Ein Karem is a picturesque village located in the western outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel. It holds historical and religious significance, particularly in Christianity, as it is believed to be the birthplace of John the Baptist.
You will visit the Church of the Visitation, a significant Christian pilgrimage site to explore the church’s ornate interior and take in the religious art and symbolism.
The site commemorates the visit of Mary, the mother of Jesus, to her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.
We end the day at Machaneh Yehuda Market, often referred to simply as “the Shuk,” a vibrant and iconic marketplace.
It’s a bustling and lively place, deeply ingrained in the city’s culture and known for its diverse offerings, from fresh produce to spices, street food, souvenirs, and more.
A visit to Machaneh Yehuda Market is a vibrant and sensory-rich adventure, providing an authentic taste of Jerusalem’s culture and cuisine.
Alternative (if Yardenit Baptismal site is visited on Day 2), continue into the Judean Desert after visiting Bethlehem and visit:
We visit a resort hotel for lunch and where you can use a heated saltwater pool, jacuzzi pools, a wet and dry sauna and a sulfur pool.
The hotel gym equipped with advanced facilities as well, but the main reason for this visit is to float in the Dead Sea.
The water in the Dead Sea is extremely salty, making it difficult other aquatic life to survive and easy for you to float. Visitors to the Dead Sea often go for the therapeutic properties of the water and the minerals found in the mud along the shore. The beach at the Dead Sea is covered in thick, black mud that is said to have healing properties for the skin.
It is optional to stay and relax using the hotel facilities or continue to visit Masada.
This World Heritage site will tell us the story of the Judean kingdom’s sad ending while we overlook the Judean wilderness, the Dead sea and the mountains in Jordan. We will start by understanding the area’s geography and topography and then hop on the cableway for the 400 meter ascension to the Masada mountain top. Explore the two main historical eras when Masada was inhabited and learn about King Herod and the great Jewish revolt.
DAY 4 – Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
This is the last day of your trip. A driver will take you to Ben Gurion Airport for departure.