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Welcome to Israel. On arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, you will meet our friendly local driver and guide who will be with you for the duration of your Holy Land tour. From the airport we will take an insightful drive through Tel Aviv, to see some of the main attractions from the comfort of your coach. After, we enjoy a short short tour of the ancient port city of Jaffa ("Joppa"), from where the prophet Jonah set sail. Then continue to Jerusalem for check into your hotel and dinner.
After breakfast we drive north along the fertile coastal plain. First stop is Caesarea Maritima which was King Herod’s masterpiece city built to impress the emperor in Rome. After, we drive by Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah defeated the pagan priests of Ba’al, and then through the beautiful and fertile Jezreel Valley ("Valley of Armageddon"). Here we explore the site of Megiddo/Armageddon before driving to Tiberias, but first a visit Mt Tabor, an important fortress since ancient times and Christians have identified a rock atop Mt. Tabor as the place of the Transfiguration of Christ since the 4th century AD.
After breakfast we start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee followed by a visit to Capernaum, home town of St Peter and also Jesus’ headquarters during his ministry in the Galilee. Next stop is Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. Continue on to Mount Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered and nearby city of Bethsaida. We end this amazing day at the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River, where the river meets the Sea of Galilee and here you too can receive baptism arranged and payable locally. We then return to our hotel for dinner in Tiberius.
Making our way to Jerusalem we ascend up to the Golan Heights for a brief visit to Gamla, a first century town which was destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago. After, drive south along the Jordan River Valley, stopping in Jericho to visit the Mount of Temptation (including cable car), said to be the hill in the Judean Desert where Jesus was tempted by the devil. From here we descend to the Holy City of Jerusalem taking in the stark yet stunning scenery of the Judean Desert along the way.
Start the day’s touring in Bethlehem, where you will see fields with sheep grazing and it is easy to imagine how it must have been 2000 years ago. Then, a visit to the Church of the Nativity the traditional place of Jesus' Birth. Return to Jerusalem and walk on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City. Continue with a walk through the Garden of Gethsemane and see the Church of All Nations (also called "Church of the Agony"). Our last visit of today is the Garden Tomb - set in peaceful surroundings – time for peaceful meditation before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Today drive back through the Judean desert on your way to the lowest point on earth - the Dead Sea, located some 400 metres below sea level. View the caves at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and talk about their significance. Stop at the Dead Sea and enjoy a “swim” in the salty, mineral rich waters. Ascend the rock of Masada by cable car, walk through palaces built by Herod the Great and see evidence of the heroic struggle and last stand of the Jews against the Roman 10th Legion nearly 2000 years ago in 73 AD. We then return to our hotel in Jerusalem in time for dinner.
Today without doubt promises to be one of the highlights of our Pilgrimage to Israel. We begin by touring the Southern Wall excavations of the Temple Mount. Then we visit the Western Wall, remnant of the foundation of the Second Temple from the time of Jesus, and holiest site of Judaism. Onward we will see Bethesda Pool where Jesus healed the lame man, and the nearby Church of St. Anne and Convent of the Sisters of Zion. We then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Calvary and Burial of Jesus. Conclude the day visiting Yad Vashem, the National Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust - memorial to the 6 million Jews killed during World War II.
Early wake up for breakfast then drive two hours to Tel Aviv airport for the flight to Cairo. Arriving here our Egypt team awaits to greet you and take you to your hotel. In the afternoon heat we will take you to visit the famous pyramids and lion-headed Sphinx at Giza Plateau which are the sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World.
After breakfast we head out to visit the famous Egyptian Museum, here you can enjoy a guided tour and free time to browse and explore the famed treasures of King Tutankhamen. We then enjoy an in-depth tour of Old Cairo, visit the old Coptic suspended Church and City of the dDad, the oldest Synagogue of Ben Ezra, drive to the Citadel of Saladin, and visit the alabaster mosque of Mohammed Ali and more. Enjoy a dinner cruise on the Nile before transfer to the airport for the departure flight to Johannesburg leaving at 2300 hours
Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, is one of the oldest cities in the world. The old walled city is ...