Tour Israel in 2017 A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME OPPORTUNITY
And we're off...
It's Saturday, 29th of April 2017, 17h00 and you've just said goodbye to your family and friends (or your Uber driver) at OR Tambo International airport and are checking in with the other 34 people excited to experience what many have called the most special country on earth. Check-in on your El Al flight takes a while (considering El Al is the safest airline in the world!), and after a coffee you're ready to take off at 21h25.
Sunday 30 April
It's 07h20 and we're touched down in Tel Aviv! Hopefully you've had a great sleep on the plane, because we have an exciting day ahead. Today we will visit Roman Ruins at Caesarea, known as Herods Harbour; Mt Carmel where Elijah contested the prophets of Baal; the incredible views of Megiddo; Nazareth, childhood home of Jesus and Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine (and, yes, you're welcome to buy some Cana wine to enjoy on your stay or bring home for family and friends) before checking into the 4 star Tiberias Restal Hotel.
1 May 2017
Your friends at home may be sleeping in this public holiday, but you have another great day ahead. Today we visit Mount Beatitudes where Jesus preached His famous 'Blessed are' sermon; the Jordan River Waterfall, Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon where the transfiguration took place; the abandoned city of Quneitra on the Syrian border; a time of worship during a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee; Capernaum which was the home town of Jesus during His ministry; and Mensa Christi where Jesus dined with the Disciples after His resurrection.
After such an action packed day, you'll enjoy your dinner and a good night's rest back at the Tiberias Restal.
2 May 2017
Today we pack our bags, and head south, passing Beth Shean, the ruins of a city destroyed by an earthquake in 749; Bethabara, the area where John the Baptist ministered and where Jesus was baptised (here you will have an opportunity to be baptised - either for the first time, or as a confirmation of your previous baptism); the palm city of Jericho, the second most excavated city in Israel after Jerusalem; Qumran where the 'Dead Sea Scrolls' were discovered; and ascend the mountain fortress of Masada where 955 Jewish Zealots committed mass suicide to escape the Romans.
Today we check in at the Hod Hamidbar Resort and Spa Hotel right on the Dead Sea! This great treat will have you floating in the Dead Sea until dark, enjoying the resort hotel's facilities or an early night.
3 May 2017
After a rejuvenating stay at the Dead Sea, we pack up and head to the incredible city of Jerusalem.
Today we visit the Mt. of Olives with it's beautiful view of the Old City; walk down the Palm Sunday road en route to the Dominus Flevit built in 1955 to commemorate the Lord’s weeping over Jerusalem; the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees, where Jesus wept before being arrested. the City of David which includes Hezekiah’s tunnel, a 530m tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah.
After another great day in Jerusalem, we head to Bethlehem and check into the four star Shepherd's House Hotel.
4 May 2017
5 May 2017
Today's sightseeing starts with a visit to the beautiful St Peter in Gallicantu, the house of Caiaphas build to remember Peter denying Jesus three times; Mt Zion which includes a visit to the Upper Room and King David's tomb; a walk through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall where Jews gather to insert their written prayers into a wall; Lithostrotos where Jesus was condemned by Pilot; the Pool of Bethesda where the sick would gather to be healed and St Anne's Church - an acoustic masterpiece where the sounds of worship are awe inspiring.
Tonight we return to the Shepherds House Hotel.
7 May 2017
This morning, with hearts full from an incredible time in the Holy Land, our contact lists fuller with the details of new friends and our camera batteries all but worn out, we pack our bags and head for Tel Aviv for our return trip to South Africa.
Our last day does no disappoint, however! Today we will visit Ein Karem, the birth place of John the Baptist; explore the beautiful Soreq Caves; Ramah where Samuel was buried, and the beautiful city of Jaffa along the Mediterranean Sea coastline.
We check-in at Ben Gurion airport at 19h25 for our 22h25 flight back to South Africa, arriving at ORT at 07h35 on Monday, 8 May 2017