Our very first day will kick off at 8:00 in the morning in order to get as much as we can from it, leaving Tel Aviv (or Jerusalem) after I have picked you up from your hotel (or any other place you might like) and so we start driving north. On our way, we will be passing through the Valley of Megiddo (the term Armageddon comes from this), where the final battle during the End of Time will take place.
Our first station will be none other than the childhood village of Jesus, Nazareth. This is also where the Son of God spent most of his life. There is much to see here, with something for everyone. Just for starters, there is the remarkable Church of Annunciation. It is the place where, according to tradition, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary the upcoming birth of Jesus, as well as the part that her child would be fulfilling.
Since Nazareth is so full of fascinating sites, from here we won’t go far. In fact, we’ll move just next door to the Church of Saint Joseph. It is traditionally believed that this extraordinary building had contained both Joseph’s house and his carpentry workshop, the places around which Jesus grew up. From this mountainous city we’ll continue to the magnificent Sea of Galilee. As we progress, we shall briefly be passing through Caper Cana, where Jesus performed his first wondrous feat, the Wedding Miracle (also known as The Wine Miracle). Following that, we’ll continue on to a very significant stage in Jesus’ life represented at the Mount of Beatitudes, where he gave the famous and pivotal Sermon on the Mount. Here, we will visit the beautiful church that the architect Antonio Barluzzi built eighty years ago and try to understand why this place, more than any other, is so important to all denominations of Christianity. Our next destination will be in Tabgha, found directly on the placid shore of the sea. This is the wonderful backdrop to our stopover at the Church of the Multiplication, where Jesus performed the famous Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Our main station of the day awaits us at Capernaum. This is the village where Jesus spent a considerable portion of his life and where most people will say the most important part of his life and his ministry can be found. Here he lived for three years in the house of Saint Peter’s mother-in-law.
Overnight in Tiberias
Before leaving the Sea of Galilee area, we’ll enjoy a stay at the extraordinary Jordan River baptismal site, Yardenit. This river bank is where Jesus, alongside many others, was baptized by John the Baptist.
while passing through the Jordan Valley, we’ll make our way to the capital of the Decapolis, Beit Shean. Here, the bodies of King Saul and his son Jonathan were hanged by the philistines from the city’s walls. This place is also considered to be the best-preserved Roman city in Israel.
The Dead Sea region will be our next destination as we pass near the oldest city in the world, Jericho, and visit the Qumran national park, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and John the Baptist had spent two years of his life. After lunch, we will proceed south – passing near Ein Gedi, the area’s main spring and where King Saul almost caught a young David – and reach Masada. This mountainous fortress will allow us to explore first King Herod’s construction and why he chose this deserted area for fort, and then the amazing story of the great rebellion, led here by Elaazar the son of Yair.
Overnight: one of the dead sea resorts
The most refreshing way of waking up in the morning is how we’ll begin our last day, by having a calm float on the Dead Sea waters at the lowest point on Earth. We’ll rise at around 10 a.m. so as to have plenty of time for this before we start driving up to the capital of the Jewish land, Jerusalem. Our visit to this fascinating site will start with a panoramic view of the Old City and the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. From this mountaintop we’ll start heading down to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus had spent his last night before he was captured. Leaving this place, which still bears the memory of its past, we’ll make our way through the narrow alleys of the Old City.
We’ll first encounter the Jewish Quarter, stopping at the Western Wall (Kotel), which is the most important site in the world for Jews. From here, we’ll pass to the Muslim Quarter and retrace the steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa all the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified and buried. This marks our main stop at the Christian Quarter, after which we’ll return to the Jewish Quarter for a stroll down the 2000 year old Roman Cardo and its modern, Israeli continuation. At Mount Zion we’ll conclude our day in the Room of the Last Supper (Cenaculum) and the Tomb of King David. If time permits it, we could also visit the city of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born and the Church of Nativity was built. The day will conclude at your hotel (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv).