The Holy Land Experience
Central Territory Biblical Education Tour
March 4 – 14, 2024
The following is a tentative itinerary for the upcoming tour
Day 1, March 04, Monday – Departure
Depart Chicago for Tel Aviv, Israel on your transatlantic flight with meals served on board.
Day 2, March 05, Tuesday – Arrival, Jaffa
Arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and visit the Biblical Joppa, now the port city of Jaffa. Transfer to Netanya for overnight at the hotel after a long flight.
Day 3, March 06, Wednesday – Caesarea Maritime, Mount Carmel, Sepphoris, Nazareth Village, Cana
We will begin our journey to Caesarea by the Sea. This port city reveals many extensive remains of the theater and other sites, including a Roman aqueduct along the Mediterranean shore. Visit Mount Carmel, the traditional site where the prophet Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal. Explore Sepphoris, the cosmopolitan Roman capital of Galilee until Herod Antipas built Tiberias. It is heralded as the traditional birthplace of Mary. Visit Nazareth Village, a museum in the open air, to see the way of life at the time of Jesus. Continue to the land of Cana, to the place where Christ performed his first miracle of turning the water into wine. You will also, visit a church that commemorates this miraculous event. Overnight in Tiberias hotel.
Day 4, March 07, Thursday – Capernaum, Magdala, Chorazin, Tel Dan, Caesarea Phillipi, Bethsaida, Golan Heights
Visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry in the area. See the synagogue, which stands on the site where Jesus taught. Recall his teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt.4: 13, 23). In Magdala, once home to Mary Magdalene, visit a recently discovered first-century synagogue. Next, visit Chorazin, one of the towns cursed by Jesus for failing to heed his message. Travel to Northern Galilee to visit Tel Dan and see the mud brick arch constructed in Canaanite times. Visit Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus traveled with His disciples and where nearby Peter made his great profession of faith “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16: 16). See the Banyas Spring, one of the sources of Jordan River. Stop at Bethsaida, where Jesus chose five of His disciples. A scenic drive along the Golan Heights will give you some beautiful views of Syria and Jordan, as well as, Israel. Return to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight after a long touring day.
Day 5, March 8, Friday – Mount of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee Boat Ride, Valley of the Wind, Tabgha, Yardenit Baptisimal Site
Stand atop the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached to the people and have a church worship service. Worship as you sail across the Sea of Galilee. Stop by the Valley of the Wind, at the base of Mount Arbel and walk on the remains of the old Roman road that linked the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean coast and take a moment to contemplate the times that Jesus and his Disciples took this very journey. Explore the Church of the Fish and the Loaves at Tabgha, traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10). See the Chapel of the Primacy, where Peter professed his devotion three times to the risen Christ (John 21). Travel to the Jordan River and remember Jesus’ baptism at the Yardenit Baptismal Site. Overnight in Tiberias hotel.
Day 6, March 9, Saturday – Beit Shean, Gideon’s Spring, Valley of Elah, Bet Guvrin
Travel to the ruins of Beit Shean, where the bodies of Saul and his sons were displayed on the walls after they were killed in battle. Beit Shean is also noted for having the best-preserved ancient Roman theater in Israel. Visit Gideon’s Spring, (Ein Harod), where Gideon gathered the army of Israel against the Midianites. Journey through the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath (I Samuel 17). Visit Maresha, and the caves of Beit Guvrin, which housed homes, baths, and water cisterns during the Maccabean times. Participate in one – day Archaeological Dig. Arrive in Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7, March 10, Sunday – Mount of Olives, Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane, Church of All Nations, Bethesda & St Anne’s,Via Dolorosa
Stand atop the Mount of Olives as Jesus did and enjoy a remarkable view of the “Golden City” of Jerusalem. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives. Visit Dominus Flevit, the church built on the place where Jesus mourned for Jerusalem. Have a worship service at the Garden of Gethsemane. Visit the Church of All Nations. View the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus cured the paralytic who had been ill for thirty eight years and visit the Church of St. Anne. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate. Walk the Via Dolorosa and stand in reverence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Return to your hotel after full day for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, March 11, Monday – Southern Steps, Western Wall, House of Caiaphas, Upper Room, City of David & Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Yad Vashem
Visit the Southern Wall Excavations and the Teaching Steps, where Jesus once taught. Visit the Western Wall. Continue to Mount Zion to visit the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was imprisoned for a night. Stand in the Upper Room, revered as the place of the Last Supper. Wander the excavations of the City of David. Peer down Warren’s Shaft, thought to have served as a fresh water drawing point for the city and could have been how Joab entered the city and opened it to David’s forces. Explore Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an amazing engineering feat that was dug from either end and met in the middle. Explore the poignant exhibits of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.
Day 9, March 12, Tuesday – Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi
Visit Masada, Herod’s mountaintop fortress that became the last stronghold of the Jewish Rebellion against the Romans. Ride the cable car to the top to explore. Peer down upon the remains of the Roman camps and siege ramp below. Travel to Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery, to discuss the mysterious community of Essenes who once lived on the shores of the Dead Sea. Journey to the oasis of Ein Gedi, where David and his men sought refuge from Saul (1 Samuel 23). Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.
Day 10, March 13, Wednesday – Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Field, Garden Tomb
In Bethlehem, visit the cave revered as Jesus’ birthplace and see the Church of the Nativity constructed over the site (Matt. 1: 18-25). Gaze out over Shepherd’s Field before returning to Jerusalem. Have a worship service at the Garden Tomb, the possible site of the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea and experience the reality of the Resurrection. Overnight in Tel Aviv
Day 11, March 14, Thursday – Departure and Arrival.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home with the same-day arrival.
Egypt Extension- Cairo and Route of Exodus Extension
Day 11, March 14 – Jerusalem to Mount Sinai
Travel in the footsteps of Joseph, Mary and Jesus as you travel along the ancient caravan route from Jerusalem to the Sinai desert. Cross the border and check in to your hotel near Mt. Sinai for dinner and rest.
Day 12, March 15 – St. Catherine’s Monastery
This morning you can opt to climb Mt. Sinai, where tradition says that Moses received the Ten Commandments. Everyone will experience a visit to fortiﬁed St. Catherine’s Monastery, built in the 6th century, and one of the oldest working monasteries in the world with the world’s oldest continually operating library. Both the Codex Sinaiticus and Syriac Sinaiticus, important early Biblical manuscripts were discovered here. Even Mohammed found refuge here, and the site is sacred to all three monothesitic religions. Remember the story of Moses and the burning bush which tradition places inside the monastery. Continue to Sharm el Sheik for dinner and overnight at your hotel located on the shores of the Red Sea.
Day 13, March 16 – Route of the Exodus
Trace the route of the Exodus along the eastern Sinai coast to Wadi Feiran where the Children of Israel withstood the Amalekites. Travel to Elim where the Children of Israel camped by the oasis of 70 palm trees. Your ﬁnal stop of the day will be Marah by the Red Sea where the “waters were bitter.” Continue to Cairo for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 14, March 17– Memphis, Saqqara, the Great Pyramids & the Sphinx
Travel south to view Joseph’s River and Lake, created by Joseph during the period of the seven years of famine. Visit a grain silo of the kind established under Joseph’s rule to store grain during the seven years of famine. Tour the rural region of traditional Egyptian farming and stop at an old corn water mill. Travel as Abraham did to Memphis (Biblical Noph) and on to Sakkara where you will see the Step Pyramid, the world’s oldest stone structure. See the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
Day 15, March 18– Cairo
This morning visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities to view the unique collection of Pharaonic art and the renowned treasures of King Tutankhamen. Tour the Old City and see the Citadel of Saladin, built in 1183 A.D., and view the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. In Old Cairo, visit the Abu Serge Church built over the traditional site of the house where the Holy Family lived during their stay in Egypt. Prepare for your return ﬂight home.
Day 16, March 19 – Return to USA