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Christian Oriented Tours

Christianity & Pilgrimage

 

The Holyland. An unforgettable experience, especially if it’s your first time, is one I will make sure will change your life. No matter where you come from or which denomination you belong to, this land will find its way into your heart and you will be touched. As you step on the exact stones Jesus himself walked on some two thousand years ago, as you lay your eyes on landscapes and buildings that King David, his son King Solomon and all the prophets during the days the Bible were written, as you gain a deep understanding of the long complicated history of this tiny piece of land, the cultures that possessed it and it’s central place in the three main monotheistic religions, it will become a part of who you are.

You may not know where - an ancient church, in front of a three thousand year old artifact, as you gaze over the rolling hills of this land; most chances are you will fall in love.


I suggest some of the following options as a starting point. Pick and choose which sites you’d like to visit most as you will likely need to come back to see them all as much as we try to squeeze it all in!

3 Day Tour - A brief of the Holy Land

While it feels as if there is never enough time with our limited vacation days, I understand the confines of a time frame and how to maximize the days we do have. While a little hectic, I’ve created a mini program which covers as many of the important highlights as possible. Days are long and nights are short but this jam packed adventure will give you a taste of it all.

 

Day 1: The Galilee

Starting at the beginning, we will drive north to the Galilee to gain an understanding and set the background for the life of Jesus. Stopping first at his hometown, Nazareth, we visit the Basilica of Annunciation on top of the house of Joseph and Mary. From there, we will continue to the nearby location of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor followed by our next destination; the Sea of Galilee. We will make our way to Mt. Beatitudes with it’s incredible views of the Sea, site of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Next is Tabgha, for the church of the multiplication of Loathes and Fishes; Capernaum, the town of Saint Peter, a central place during the 3 years of Ministry of Jesus in the Galilee; and lastly Yardenit, the Baptismal site on the Jordan river.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Nazareth

  • Mt. Tabor

  • Mt. Beatitudes

  • Tabgha

  • Capernaum

  • Yardenit (Baptismal site)

 

Day 2: The Dead Sea and Jerusalem

A classic early morning start, we will begin the day by visiting Masada, the famous fort where Jewish Zealots fought the Romans during the Great Revolt. From there, we will take a quick dip in the miraculous waters of the Dead Sea before we start working our way up to Jerusalem. Along the way, we will visit the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient ruins of Qumeran where they were discovered.

Upon arrival in Jerusalem, we will stop first at the Mt. of Olives with its magnificent overlook of the Old City. One of the central places of the last week of Jesus in the Holy City: we will visit the Chapel of Ascension (today a Mosque) and then descend to Gethsemane for the Church of Agony (also known as the Church of All Nations) and to the Tomb of Saint Mary.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Masada

  • The Dead Sea

  • Qumeran

  • Mt. of Olives (Chapel of Ascension)

  • Gethsemane (Church of Agony)

 

Day 3: Jerusalem & Bethlehem

Entering the eastern side of the Old City through Lions Gate, we will walk the famous Via Dolorosa, the path of Jesus` Passion. The Via Dolorosa comprised of 14 stations, starting at the place where Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion by Pontius Pilate and ending at the Tomb of Jesus. This path will lead you through the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified, died on the cross, buried and later resurrected. Following a morning of comprehensive exploration we will cross the checkpoint and drive to the nearby Bethlehem in order to visit the birthplace of Jesus, The Church of Nativity.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Via Dolorosa

  • Church of Holy Sepulcher

  • Bethlehem (Church of Nativity)

 

A Week in Israel 

I could spend months guiding you through the country and it still wouldn’t be enough. In a time where our lives are getting longer and our vacations shorter, looking on the bright side, a week in Israel is much better than the 3 day program!

 

Day 1: Tel Aviv – Jaffa

The ‘White City’ - Tel Aviv, is the heart of modern Israel. Starting with the Zionist miracle that rose from sand on the Mediterranean coastlines over the last 100 years, we will better appreciate modern Israel by first exploring nearby ancient Jaffa, the city Tel Aviv was born from. With it’s 4,000 year old history, we first stop at St. Peter’s Church for storytime; hearing about Jonah and the big fish, Greek mythology of Andromeda, Napoleons conquests and more. Once we understand the ancient we will continue on to Tel Aviv, the modern and explore the lovely beaches, cafes, shops, restaurants, bars and more.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Tel Aviv

  • Jaffa

 

Day 2: Heading North

Heading north along the coastal highway towards Haifa, we will visit the ancient Roman city Caesarea, built by King Herod, the greatest builder of his time. From there, we continue on to Haifa for a glimpse of the magnificent Bahai Gardens as we make our way to Akko (Acre), ancient capital of the kingdom of Crusaders. We end our day at the most northern point of Israel’s coastline where it borders Lebanon, visiting the beautiful coves of Rosh HaNikra, where the mountains meet the Mediterranean.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Caesarea

  • Haifa (Bahai Gardens)

  • Akko (Acre)

  • Rosh HaNikra

 

Day 3: The Galilee

The early years of Jesus and his Ministry in the Galilee are on today’s agenda. We begin with the hometown of Jesus, Nazareth, to visit the Basilica of Annunciation on top of the house of Joseph and Mary. We then continue to the nearby location of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor followed by our next destination; the Sea of Galilee. We will make our way to Mt. Beatitudes with it’s incredible views of the Sea, site of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Next is Tabgha, for the church of the multiplication of Loathes and Fishes; Capernaum, the town of Saint Peter, a central place during the 3 years of the Ministry of Jesus in the Galilee.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Nazareth

  • Mt. Tabor

  • Mt. Beatitudes

  • Tabgha

  • Capernaum

 

Day 4: Highs and Lows - From the Golan to the Dead Sea

Driving through the Golan Heights, we will gain an understanding about the region Israel belongs to. Learning about the conflict between Israel and Syria, Israel’s wars with its neighbors and how that plays a role with the geology and water controversy in this part of the world. Before leaving the area for a drive down south, we will stop for a spiritual experience at Yardenit, the Baptismal site on the Jordan River.

On our way to the unique Botanical Gardens of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, we will stop in the Jordan Valley at the ancient ruins of Qumeran, the site where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Golan Heights

  • Yardenit (Baptismal site)

  • Qumeran

  • Kibbutz Ein Gedi

 

Day 5: The Dead Sea

There is no better way to be welcomed into the Judean Desert than by an early morning climb up the famous mountain of Masada. Take your pick; whether by cable car (around 8 minutes) or a hike up the Snake Path (about an hour and a half), the views are incredible no matter which you choose upon arriving at the peak. Learn about the jaw-dropping story of how Jewish Zealots fought against the great Roman Empire during the Great Revolt. Once you’ve tired from the heat and history, take a moment to chill as you float in the Dead Sea. This once in a lifetime experience is a very special feeling that you will surely never forget. Once dried off, we will spend the afternoon visiting the biggest oasis in Israel - the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Part of the David valley, this reserve will expose to you the contrast of having running water and a waterfall in the middle of a very very dry desert. These miracles, were what made Ein Gedi an agricultural center since Biblical times where the mysterious Balsm (Parsemon) plant grew and was used to produce expensive perfumes that the Kings (Herod) and Queens (Cleopatra) would fight over.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Masada

  • The Dead Sea

  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

 

Day 6: Jerusalem

The holy city of Jerusalem, where the three main monotheistic religions meet is a magical place, a place where our journey will end. Beginning on the Mt. of Olives with its magnificent overlook of the Old City as well as one of the key spots of Jesus' last week in this Holy City. An explanation through the Chapel of Ascension (today a Mosque) at the peak of the mount after which we descend to Gethsemane to the Church of Agony (also known as the Church of All Nations) as well as the Tomb of Mary.

Entering the eastern side of the Old City through the Lions Gate we will walk the famous Via Dolorosa, the path of Jesus` Passion. The Via Dolorosa is comprised of 14 stations, starting at the place where Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion by Pontius Pilate and ending at the Tomb of Jesus, this path will lead you through the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified, died on the cross, buried and later resurrected.

As we continue the day into the afternoon we will visit the Cenaculum (The Last Supper Room) and Dormition Abbey on Mt. Zion. We will conclude the day by entering the walls of the Old City again as we weave our way through the Cardo at the heart of the Jewish Quarter and then make our way down to the famous Western Wall (The Wailing Wall). If it’s a Monday or a Thursday, we may be lucky enough to join in some Bar-Mitzvah celebrations!

 

Sites of interest:

  • Mt. of Olives (Chapel of Ascension)

  • Gethsemane (Church of Agony)

  • Via Dolorosa

  • Church of Holy Sepulcher

  • Mt. Zion (Cenaculum & Dormizion Abbey)

  • Cardo

  • The Western Wall

 

Day 7: Jerusalem & Bethlehem

We will start off the day by remembering those who lost their lives during the Second World War at the prestigious Yad VaShem museum. From the ashes we will learn how we rebuilt and created a country as we drive past the newer parts of the city to see the ‘Knesset’ (the Parliament House), Supreme Court, Governments offices and visit the famous Israel Museum.

 Following a morning of comprehensive exploration, we will cross the checkpoint and drive to the nearby Bethlehem in order to visit the birthplace of Jesus, The Church of Nativity.

 

Sites of interest:

  • Yad VaShem (Holocaust museum)

  • The new city

  • Israel Museum (If time permits)

  • Bethlehem (Church of Nativity)

 

Option 3: A Real Exploration - Two weeks in Israel

The option to spend two weeks in Israel gives you an incredible opportunity to have a true vacation and exploration of this beautiful country without the need to rush through the sites. While I won’t say two weeks is enough (but let’s be real, it’s never enough and I could show you around for months) to see everything, it is a great amount of time to cover Israel and includes some time to relax and even add a day in Petra.

 

Day 1: Tel Aviv – Jaffa

Let’s begin with the modern history of Israel, and visit the Zionist miracle that was rising in the sand of the coastline in the last 100 years – the ‘White City’ Tel Aviv. But in order to understand modern Tel Aviv we first need to visit the nearby ancient Jaffa (Yafo), where Tel Aviv was birthed. In Jaffa we will visit St. Peter’s church, and have a taste of some stories from its 4,000 years old history (the Biblical story of Jonah and the big fish, Greek mythology of Andromeda, and the story of the French army led by Napoleon are few of them).

In Tel Aviv, though, we will be exploring the lovely beaches, cafés, shops, restaurants, bars, etc.

 

Day 2: North to the Galilee

We will start heading north along the coastal highway towards Haifa. On the way we visit the ancient Roman city Caesarea, which was built by king Herod, the greatest builder of his time. We will stop in Haifa for a look on the magnificent Bahai Gardens, and then continue to Akko (Acre) the ancient capital of the kingdom of the Crusaders. Our day will end at the most northern point of Israel’s coastline, right on the border with Lebanon, visiting the beautiful coves of Rosh HaNikra, where the mountain meet the Mediterranean.

 

Day 3: The Galilee

This day will be all about the early life of Jesus, and his Ministry in the Galilee. We begin with hometown of Jesus, Nazareth, to visit the Basilica of Annunciation on top of the house of Joseph and Mary, and then we will continue to the nearby location of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Our next destination will be the Sea of Galilee, to visit Mt. Beatitudes where the Ceremony on the Mount took place with its beautiful views on the lake; Tabgha, for the church of the multiplication of Loathes and Fishes; and Capernaum, the town of St. Peter, which was a central place during the 3 years of Ministry of Jesus in the Galilee.

 

Day 4: The Golan Heights & the Dead Sea

This day begins with driving up to the Golan Heights, to have an understanding about the history of Israeli wars, about the conflict between Israel and Syria, and about the problem with water issue in this part of the world. Before leaving the Galilee, we will visit the baptize site on the Jordan river for a spiritual experience, and then we start working our way south. We will drive along the Jordan Valley to the ancient ruins of Qumeran with its mysterious community, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In the evening we will visit the unique Botanical Gardens of Kibbutz Ein Gedi.

 

Day 5: The Dead Sea

Welcome to the Judea Desert. Our day begins with climbing the famous mountain of Masada. Don’t worry, we do it by cable car, which takes about 8 minutes, but those who insist, we would love to hike up along the ‘Snake Path’ which takes about an hour and a half (but we’d better start early, we’re in a very hot area! After learning about the amazing mythical story of the Jewish Zealots during the Great Revolt against the Roman Empire, we will surely need to chill a little. Floating on the Dead Sea will guaranty you a once in a lifetime experience – it’s a very special feeling that you will probably never forget (especially if you have any kind of a wound or a scratch on your skin!!!). In the afternoon we will visit the biggest oasis in Israel. A very short hike in the beautiful David valley, part of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, will expose you to the contrast of having running water (and a lovely waterfall as well) in the middle of a very dry desert. This is exactly the reason why Ein Gedi was an agricultural center since the Biblical time, when they used to grow the mysterious Balsm (Parsemon) plant to produce the desired and expensive perfume, that even king Herod and Cleopatra from Egypt were fighting of its industry.

 

Day 6: Jerusalem

Our journey ends up in the holy city of Jerusalem, where the 3 main monotheistic religions meet. We begin on Mount of Olives with its  magnificent lookout on the Old City. This is also one of the central places of the last week of Jesus in the Holy City: we will visit the place of Ascension on top of the mountain (which is a Mosque today) and then descend to Gethsemane for the church of Agony (known as the Church of All Nations as well) and for the Tomb of St. Mary.

We will then enter the Old City through the Lions Gate on the eastern side, and start walking the Via Dolorosa, following the footsteps of Jesus the path of his Passion, which begins in station no. 1,  the place where Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, and ends in station no. 14, the Tomb of Jesus. The 5 last 5 stations are located in the Church of Holy Sepulcher the most important church in the world, where Jesus was crucified, died on the cross, buried, and later resurrected.

In the afternoon we will visit Mount Zion and the Dormizion Abbey. Later, entering the walls of  Old City again, we will visit the Cardo and the Jewish Quarter, including the famous Wailing Wall (the Western Wall). If it’s Monday or Thursday, we might be lucky to see some Bar-Mitzva celebrations there.

 

Day 7: Jerusalem & Bethlehem

In the morning we will visit ‘Yad VaShem’, the important Holocaust museum. Later  we will drive through the newer parts of the city to see the ‘Knesset’ (the Parliament House), the Supreme Court, the Governments offices, and to visit the famous Israel Museum.

In the afternoon we will drive to nearby Bethlehem, and cross the checkpoint in order to visit the Church of Nativity, the birth place of Jesus.