10 Days Tour in Israel
Considering your journey, we recommend that you plan a light schedule for your first day in Israel. After arriving into Ben Gurion Airport, plan to drive straight to Tel Aviv and check into your hotel.
Begin your tour in picturesque Old City Jaffa, from the very same port where Jonah embarked on his escape from destiny and into the belly of the whale, and where Peter he received his vision.
The visitors’ center at Kedumim Square in picturesque Old City Jaffa, which is built around ruins from the time of Jesus, has an exhibition on the port’s ancient history.
Jaffa has delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and a beautiful boardwalk with a panoramic view of the sun setting over the Mediterranean Sea and the night lights of the Tel Aviv skyline.
On your 3rd day, drive through the Battlefield of the Bible (Jezreel Valley) and continue to Tel Megiddo,
the Armageddon of Revelations.
Further north, there is an observation point on Mount Tabor, which is considered to be the place where Jesus was transfigured.
Nazareth is Jesus’ childhood hometown and has a model village depicting town life during Jesus’ time.
The Mensa Christi (Table of Christ) is where Jesus prepared breakfast over coals, awaiting the return of his disciples whom he sent back to fish, instructing them to cast their nets on the right hand side of the boat.
You can envision Jesus learning the carpenter’s trade in Joseph’s Carpenter Shop.
Finally, there is the Basilica of the Annunciation, built over the traditional remains of the home where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Not far from Nazareth is Khirbet Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle—turning water into wine at a wedding. Stop to take panoramic pictures of the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel, where Jesus often taught.
Start your 4th day at the kibbutz Ginosar.
The Yigal Allon Museum (Jesus’ Boat Museum) has an ancient boat discovered in the Sea from the exact time of Jesus; it is possible that Jesus sailed across the lake in this same boat! And it is easy to imagine Jesus calling his disciples to leave behind their catch and follow him,
or perhaps as he stills the storm in the midst of the lake. Then sail cross the lake to Capernaum from Nof Ginosar. Here you will begin to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, starting at the archeological remains of Peter’s home where Jesus often stayed and healed many, such as the paralyzed man lowered from the roof. It was in this synagogue where he read from the scroll of Isaiah.
At the Byzantine monastery of Kursi, you can imagine the odd sight of Jesus casting a legion of demons out of the possessed man and into the wild pigs nearby. Then there is the Chapel of the Primacy of Peter, where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection.
Tabha hillside is nearby, where Jesus performed the Miracle of Loaves and Fish.
Finally, end the day reflecting from the Mount of Beatitudes.
Early on your 5th day, visit Yardenit on the Jordan River. Among the possible sites for where Jesus was baptized by John, this is the popular site for pilgrims to be baptized. After your own baptism, if so desired, begin journeying up to Jerusalem through the Jordan Valley and stop at the ancient Israelite city, Beit She’an. Here the Philistines hung Saul and his sons after their defeat at the battle on Mount Gilboa.
Spending 2 days in the Jerusalem area, start on the Mount of Olives for an inspiring view of both the old and new city.
It was here that King David wept over his son Absalom’s rebellion. Here there are several churches to visit:
Pater Noster, with the “Our Father” prayer inscribed in numerous languages, Dominus Flevit Church (The Lord Wept), and the traditional site of Ascension. The “Palm Sunday Road” leads from the summit to the Garden of Gethsemane, opposite the Temple Mount. In this garden, Jesus prayed in moments of solace, as before his crucifixion.
Nearby are David’s City and the adjacent Hezekiah’s Tunnels, through which pilgrims often passed, singing psalms and emerging at the excavated Pool of Siloam, where they proceeded to wash before entering the Temple.
King David’s Tomb and the Upper Room, where Jesus had the Last Supper, are both on Mount Zion.
Throughout the Jewish Quarter, there are several archeological sites, including the Hulda Steps to the Southern Temple entrance. You can read Psalms 120 134 just as ancient pilgrims sang. The Western Wall Tunnel Tour follows under the Temple Mount, and passes the closest spot opposite the site of the Holy of Holies.
It is traditional to place a written prayer within the crevices of the Wall.
The next day, your 7th day, you can walk in Jesus’ footsteps, as he carried his cross following the
Via Dolorosa. Beginning at the Lion’s Gate, there are “Nine Stations of the Cross”:
1. Memorial of the trial and scourging of Jesus
(John 19:1 3).
2. Church of Ecco Homo (Pontius Pilate’s “Behold the Man” speech) over the pavement in Pilot’s courtyard
(John 19:5, 19:13).
3. Here is traditional place for the first of the “three falls” under the burden of the Cross.
4. The traditional place where Jesus whispered his heartfelt goodbye to his mother.
5. The memorial to Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross, giving a short reprieve to Jesus (Mark 15:21).
6. Here, Veronica traditionally wiped away the sweat from Jesus’ face.
7. There is a tradition that speaks of Jesus falling here a second time.
8. The memorial where Jesus stops to speak to a group of pious and weeping women (Luke 23:28-29).
9. The traditional place where Jesus falls a third time before reaching Golgotha (Calvary), a traditional place of His Crucifixion.
Browse the Arab open markets on your way to the
Garden Tomb through Damascus Gate. Belivers enter the tomb through the “Weeping Room” next to a typical stone that the angels rolled away when Mary Magdalene, and others, came to anoint Jesus. The garden is a peaceful place where you can reflect on the day in prayer.
Go to Bethlehem for your 8th day, where you can visit the Church of Nativity, and enter the stable where Jesus was born.
During Christmastime, Bethlehem is decorated with lights and Nativity scenes, and there is a procession led by Arabian horses, followed by government officials and Church leaders.
Outside of Bethlehem, there are ruins of Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches built on various spots in the fields, commemorating the night of Jesus’ birth where Angels of the Lord appeared to shepherds in a nearby field singing praises about the birth of their Lord.
Spend your last day in the Dead Sea area.
First are the remains of the Essenes community in Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden for approximately 2,000 years. Scholars associate John the Baptist with this community, and Jesus may have spent time here.
Continue to Ein Gedi, the oasis where David hid from King Saul.
Next stop is Masada, the ruins of Herod’s palace made notorious in history during the 1st century Great Revolt against Rome. Here the Zealots, their families, and many Jewish refugees sought refuge from the Roman Legion.
If you want to hike up the snake trail be sure to get there early, perhaps making this your first stop after you leave Jerusalem. However, many visitors prefer to take the cable car up to the summit and then hike down.
Explore the palace remains as well as cisterns, vast food stores, ritual baths, and the Synagogue built by the Zealots. From this height, the view stretches clearly across the Dead Sea, surrounding the desert wilderness and into the Jordanian mountains.
Masada has a restaurant and gift shop to visit before finishing your day relaxing at the Dead Sea Spa with its healing mineral baths.
Here you will have the unique experience to rub mineral rich mud mined from the sea before floating in the buoyant salt lake.
Some opt to drive back to their hotel in Jerusalem; however, there is a quiet Ein Gedi guesthouse that offers comfortable lodging. You will have a shorter drive after your long day touring but a longer drive to the Airport the next day.
Departure back home…