Join us for an unforgettable journey to Israel! Take 11 days to see the land of the Bible, and allow the Biblical stories to come alive as you explore places like Mt. Carmel, Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, Bethany, the Dead Sea, and of course, Jerusalem. There is also an option to add on a couple of extra days to visit the land of Jordan.

Learn about the details of the trip and daily the itinerary below.

(The trip is hosted by Pilgrim Tours. Click here to download the information brochure and reservation forms.) 


THE BEST OF ISRAEL 11 DAY TOUR

MAY 6-16, 2019

May 6: Departure

Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself an incredible journey ... get some rest on the flight!

May 7: Arrive Israel

Arrive in Israel and travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Meet your Israeli guide, enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of the "Promised Land," and a good night’s rest.


May 8: Caesarea, Megiddo & Mt Carmel

After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, harbor/palace area and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We will have free time, dinner and overnight lodging for the next three nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.


May 9: Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Bethsaida, Chorazin, Magdala, Capernaum

Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum formed what has been called the "evangelical triangle," because most of Jesus’ miracles in Galilee were performed in these cities. Of special interest are the ruins of a 1st century synagogue in Chorazin, the House of the Fisherman in Bethsaida. In Capernaum we view the excavations of the sea-side village and Peter’s home, followed by a visit to Magdala, home town of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel.


May 10: Nazareth, Mount of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee Boat Ride, Jordan River Baptism Site

A mid-morning drive through the hills of Galilee takes us through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. Continuing toward Tiberias we drive up to Mt. Arbel for a spectacular view of the northern Sea of Galilee allowing for an excellent time of teaching on the region of Jesus' ministry. This afternoon we travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee followed by a relaxing boat cruise. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. We dock at a working Kibbutz and visit the famous Fisherman Boat from the days of Jesus.  We conclude our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site.

May 11: Beit Shean, Bethany & Dead Sea Spa

We begin our day by traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed the "Scythopolis". Archaeologists have uncovered a huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis -a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to the Jordan River (Queser El Yehud) the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.


May 12: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham's Tent

Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, and authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.


May 13:  City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Jewish Quarter, Wailing Wall, Western Wall Tunnels, Israel Museum,  Holocaust Museum

We begin  our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. Before returning to our hotel, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders.  An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people.


May 14:  Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Fields,  Herodium, Friend of Zion Museum, Walk the City Walls

Today we visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.  We’ll view the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced His birth to the shepherds.  Next we discover the ancient Herodium which was the summer palace of Herrod the Great and also the location he was buried.  We’ll return to Jerusalem this afternoon and visit the Friends of Zion Museum where we’ll hear inspirational accounts of those in history that had the courage to stand up for the Jewish people.  Late this afternoon we’ll walk along the City Walls and gain a different perspective on the city of Jerusalem. 


May 15: Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Way of Suffering, Garden of Gethsemane, Old City Shopping

Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.  This afternoon we’ll enjoy some time to shop in the Old City.


May 16: Home

A very early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home by early afternoon.


Jordan (2-Day Extension) 
May 16-18, 2019

May 16:           Cross into Jordan, Mt. Nebo & travel to Petra
This morning we cross the border into Jordan and  travel to Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, and commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Study the panorama as we read the scripture of God showing Moses the "Promised Land" before He brought him home to heaven.   We’ll travel south along the Kings Highway to Petra where we’ll enjoy our dinner and overnight. 

May 17:           Petra & Machaerus
This morning we begin touring the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendants of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. We’ll have some free time to explore the ancient ruins of Petra on our own this morning before we head northward and travel along the Kings Highway to Machaerus. Machaerus is the fortified hilltop palace of Herod the Great where John the Baptist was imprisoned and where his infamous execution took place.  Late this afternoon we return to Amman for our dinner and overnight.


May 18:           Depart for Home
This morning we transfer to the Amman airport in time for our return flight home.