Highlights of the Holyland
Israel is not only a land of historical and religious significance, the contrasting scenery in such a small country is truly amazing. These escorted tours from Leger Holidays are an ideal way to tour Israel taking in the key sights.
8 Day Break Itinerary
Day 1 – Fly from Heathrow or Manchester to Tel Aviv where you will be met and transferred to your hotel on the Mediterranean sea. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax and acclimatise to your surroundings. D
Day 2 – Caesarea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee (included). After a wonderful Israeli breakfast, we begin our tour of Israel. We visit Caesarea, the city of Cornelius the Centurion, the first Gentile convert. We visit the Roman Theatre, in which St. Paul appeared before Herod Agrippa and Festus, walk beside the harbour from which Paul sailed to Rome, and see the impressive acqueduct, built by Herod the Great. Next we ascend to Muhraka, on Mount Carmel, where Elijah held the contest with 450 prophets of Baal. We stop at lunch-time at the Druze village of Daliyat El-Carmel, and in the afternoon we visit Megiddo to see the incredible water system and archeological finds, dating as far back as King Solomon’s time. From Megiddo, enjoy the excellent view of the Valley of Armageddon, the site of so many former battles and the future battle of battles. Travelling onwards we visit Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood, and drive by Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding feast. En route to our hotel for two nights we will stop at Mount Arbel for an exciting view of the enchanting Sea of Galilee and the region in which Jesus ministered. B,D
Day 3 – Galilee and the Golan Heights – Today is devoted to sites from the ministry of Jesus. We visit Capernaeum, the home of St. Peter and site of an ancient Jewish Synagogue, Tabgha, where we remember the miracle of the ‘Feeding of the 5000’ that Jesus performed in the area, and the Primacy of St. Peter, where Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?”. We continue with a visit to Mount Beatitudes, one possible site of the Sermon on the Mount. During the day we take a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee (reminiscent of those Jesus often took with His disciples), and we also visit Banias (Caesarea Philippi), where St. Peter confessed Jesus’ divinity. B,D
Day 4 – Jordan Valley to Jerusalem – Visit the Baptismal site at Yardenit then say our goodbyes to Galilee and travel south towards Jerusalem. En route we call at Beit Shean, one of the cities of the Decapolis, where we will walk the ancient streets and see the Roman period bath-houses, theatre, amphitheatre, market and temples. It was here that the Philistines killed King Saul and his three sons and hung their bodies on the city walls. We continue down the Jordan Valley with a view of Jericho, one of the most ancient cities in the world, outside of which Jesus relieved Bartimaeus of his blindness. We arrive at our hotel in Jerusalem for a four-night stay. B,D
Day 5 – Jerusalem, the Old City – We begin our visit to the Old City with a magnificent view of the city from the top of the Mount of Olives. We see the Dominus Flevit Chapel where ‘the Lord wept’, then proceed to the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed the night before He died. In this idyllic setting stands one of the most impressive sights in Jerusalem, the Church of All Nations, designed by the Italian architect Barluzzi, and so named because of the donations made by many nations towards its construction in the early 20th century. We see Stephen’s Gate, the only gate that opens to the east of the city, and so named because some traditions say that St. Stephen was martyred nearby. Then we visit the Western or ‘Wailing’ Wall, the holiest of holy places in Israel, which attracts thousands of worshippers daily and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus, who had come to the city for a Jewish feast, healed a man who had had an infirmity for 38 years. We see the Ecce Homo Arch, where Pontius Pilate identified Jesus to the crowd saying “Ecco homo” – “behold the man”, and finally we walk the Via Dolorosa – the Stations of the Cross, the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. B,D
Day 6 – The Dead Sea and Masada – We begin the day at Qumran, where th first Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, after thousands of years sitting undisturbed in the caves of the Judean desert. A ‘float’ in the Dead Sea, located at the lowest place in the world on dry land (1385 feet below normal sea level) an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We then visit the oasis of Ei Gedi, where David hid from King Saul and wrote some of his beautiful psalms. With luck we will see the wild goats (ibe and conies (hyrax) mentioned in Psalm 104. We also see the astonishing remain of Masada. A cable-car will take us up to King Herod’s magnificent fortress where the rebels made their last dramatic stand against Rome in 73 AD. Well-preserved store-houses, cisterns and palaces are among the many features to visit. We then return to Jerusalem and our hotel. B,D
Day 7 – Jerusalem, the New City – We begin our last day in Jerusalem with a visit to the new Museum of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, where we will better understand the miracle of Israel’s revival and return to the Land as promised by God. We then visit the Israel Museum, where we will view the Dead Sea Scrolls and a model of Ancient Jerusalem as it appeared at the time. Taking the winding road known as Pope’s Way we reach Mount Zion, the highest point in the city of Jerusalem. Mount Zion once housed Herod’s magnificent Palace and gardens which covered about five acres. We visit the Cenacle, which for the Jewish Religion is the traditional location of David’s tomb (the pseudo tomb, not the actual tomb). We see the tomb in a small synagogue on the first floor and also see the reconstructed Room of the Last Supper. We also pay a visit to the Church of St. Peter in Galicantu, which for Catholic pilgrims is one of the traditional locations of the house of Caiaphas, the prison where Christ was held. We end the day with a devotional service at the Garden Tomb (Gordon’s Calvary), near the Damascus Gate, believed by many to be the location of the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, outside the city walls, and the tomb where Christ was laid after His crucifixion and rose from death. B,D
Day 8 – In the morning we include a short visit to the ancient port of Jaffa, where St. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead and had a vision in which God told him not to distinguish between the Jews and The Gentiles. We then transfer back to Tel Aviv International Airport for our return flights. B
Included Meals: B=Breakfast D=Dinner
- Escorted by an English Speaking Tour Manager in Israel
- Excursions and visits as detailed in the itinerary
- 7 nights’ accommodation with bed & breakfast (8 nights for Heathrow passengers) and 7 evening meals
- Return flights to Tel Aviv from Heathrow or Manchester
- Aiport transfers between Tel Aviv and your hotel
- Travel by air-conditioned coach
- Flights to Tel Aviv are available from Heathrow with BMI and Manchester with Jet2.
Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton’s Tower). Straton’s Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the Roman conquest of 63 BC when the Romans declared it an autonomous city.
Mount Carmel is part of a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast.
The capital and largest city in the North District of Israel. It is the most important city for Israel’s Arab citizens who make up the majority of Nazareth’s population.
SEA OF GALILEE WITH BOAT RIDE
The Sea of Galilee is Israel’s largest freshwater lake and has a maximum depth of approximately 43 metres. At 209 metres below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake).
The town is mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospel of Luke it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew.
The term Golan Heights actually has two separate meanings, one geographic and one political. The geographic term refers to the Golan plateau. The political term, refers to an area of disputed sovereignty, currently controlled by Israel.
The Jordan Valley is a geographical region that forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to Dead Sea in the south.
The tours depart as follows. Prices are per person, based on two sharing.
- 10 November 2011 - £1,149.00
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing. Subject to availability and may vary until your booking is confirmed. Price is intended as a guide and may change without notice.
- Single room supplements £299.
- Travel insurance from £65.
- Flight supplements may apply.
Leger Holidays are the tour operator for this trip. Full information about their current tours, availability and prices can be found on their website.