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Tour number: 5104
Duration: 4 days
Price: $630
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The full list of the Classical Gems offered can be viewed here

Day 1. Jerusalem Old and New

During the tour we will visit Mount Olives, Yad VeShem, the Holocaust Museum andthe Old City of Jerusalem where we will see the Byzantine Cardo, the Kotel, the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa, the Stations of the Cross and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

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As we stand above the Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives we see the Old City and the Temple Mount where the Solomon’s Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE once stood.

Below us the garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations in the Kidron Valley with its ancient Jewish burial tombs

Entering the Old City through the Zion Gate we pass the Armenian Quarter on our way to the Jewish Quarter and the fifteen year old Byzantine Cardo. Partially destroyed and unused during the Moslem conquest it had a brief new lease of life during the Crusader period. The excavated Crusader shops are now modern stores.

We stop at the Kotel, the Western Wall where Jews have prayed since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Built by King Herod it was a supporting wall enclosing the enlarged Temple Mount area.

The Via Dolorosa, also known as the Way of the Cross, is the route many pilgrims follow on their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the church built over the place of the crucifixion of Jesus and the burial tomb. Although the Byzantine church waspartially destroyed during the Persians and Moslem conquests the rebuilt and redesigned Crusader Church preserved much of the earlier church.

We exit the Old City via the market and the Jaffa Gate for a short tour of the new city. A visit to Yad VeShem, the Holocaust museum, reveals artifacts and photographs documenting the discrimination, persecution and finally the annihilation of the Jewish communities of Europe. It also remembers those righteous among the nations who risked their lives while trying to save Jews.

* Dress code: Shoulders to be covered / No shorts allowed.
**On Fridays, Saturdays & High Holidays – Holocaust Museum is closed. Visit instead Kind David’s Tomb, Hall of Last Supper & Garden of Gethsemane.

  • Notes:

    Important:

    • Change of vehicle required for transfers of pick up / drop off destinations to save time, avoid traffic and delay!
    • On Fridays, Saturdays & Jewish Holidays, when the Holocaust Museum is closed, the tour will include a visit to the Church of All Nations at the Garden Gethsemane, King David’s Tomb and the Hall of the Last Supper on Mount Zion.
    • Please be at your pick up point on time. There might be some delay (up to 20 minutes) due to traffic or other operational issues.

    Useful to now:

    • Recomended good walking shoes, hat & water.
    • Modest dress: Covered shoulders/ No shorts is required for the holy sites.

Day 2. Bethlehem and Jericho

We start our tour by driving through the Judean Desert towards the oldest city in the world, Jericho. On route we pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan and also see the Monastery of Saint George and Wadi Kelt. When we reach Jericho we visit the Tel es-Sultan and the Mount of Temptation where the devil tried unsuccessfully to tempt Christ. In Jericho we see the sycamore tree that Zachaeus climbed to get a better view of Jesus as he entered the city. We continue on to Bethlehem, the city of Christ’s birth and visit the Church of the Nativity built over the grotto where Jesus was born, Saint Catherine Church, the Milk Grotto and the Shepherds Fields.

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We drive south from Jerusalem in the direction of the Dead Sea on the way we pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and continue on through the Biblical wilderness of the Judean Desert. We pass Wadi Kelt and can see the 5th century Monastery of Saint George.

We pause at the mark which indicates that we have reached “sea level” and from there we continue on to Jericho 258 meters below sea level. This ancient city features in both the New and Old Testament. Joshua led his troops around the city walls until they fell (Joshua 6) and Jesus entered Jericho after his sojourn in the wilderness (Luke 19:1-10). When Jesus entered Jericho, The City of Palms, the tax collector Zachaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see him better and we stop to take a look at this ancient tree.

Jesus spent forty days and forty nights on the nearby Mount Temptation, here the devil tried to turn Jesus away from God but Jesus responded “Man shall not live by bread alone.” (Mathew 4:1-4).

Our journey takes us back towards Jerusalem and the Judean Mountains where we visit Bethlehem, both the home of Jesse, King David’s father and the place where Jesus was born (Mathew 2:1).

From Manger Square we enter through a small door into the Church of the Nativity. The church is built in the 4th century over the grotto where Jesus was born and later in the 6th century the church was reconstructed. In recent times the church has been restored and renovated. Within the church is the Grotto of the Nativity where a star marks the spot where Jesus was born; the Manger and an altar to the three Wise Men. Next we visit the Crusader Church of Saint Catherine and see the underground grotto where Saint Jerome painstakingly translated the Bible from Hebrew to Latin, creating the Vulgate.

We make another stop in Bethlehem as the Milk Grotto where Mary nursed Jesus then we leave Bethlehem and travel to Shepherds Field where an Angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds on Christmas night to tell them of the imminent birth of the savior.

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Dress code: Shoulders to be covered / No shorts allowed.
Bethlehem&Jericho are under Palestinian Authority Rule. In order to enter you need a valid passport.
At the border meeting your Palestinian guide will begin the tour.
In order to enter Palestinian Authority a change of vehicle may be necessary.

  • Notes:

    Important:

    • Change of vehicle required for transfers of pick up / drop off destinations to save time, avoid traffic and delay!
    • This tour is subject to Palestinian authority regulations.
    • Passport compulsory
    • In Jericho the guiding language is in English only.
    • Please be at your pick up point on time. There might be some delay (up to 20 minutes) due to traffic or other operational issues.

    Useful to now:

    • Change of vehicle may be required for entry to Palestinian Authority territory.
    • Recomended good walking shoes, hat & water.
    • Modest dress: Covered shoulders/ No shorts is required for the holy sites.

Day 3. In the footsteps of Jesus

We begin with a visit to the place of Christ’s ascension on the Mount of Olives and we see the Church of the Pater Noster. From here we have a sweeping view across Jerusalem. As we descend the mount we stop at the Dominus Flevit, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. We enter the Old City on foot through the Lion’s Gate were we see the Pools of Bethesda and the Church of Saint Anne. We visit the Sisters of Zion Convent where we see the Lithostratos. We continue on to the Via Dolorosa and the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

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Our tour starts on the Mount of Olives were we visit the Church of the Ascension. The church marks the spot where Jesus ascended to heaven and there is a rock with an imprinted footprint thought to be where Jesus stood before his ascension (Luke 24:50 – 51). The original church built here was in 390 but most of the chapel building we see today is from the Crusader period (1150).

Nearby is the Church of the Pater Noster (Sanctuary of the Eleona), on this spot Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer. There are plaques on the walls with the Lord’s Prayer written in more than a hundred languages. We see a Crusader cloister and the grotto where Jesus would have taught. This is also where Jesus told his disciples of the eminent destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd coming.

From the Mount of Olives we look out over the City of Gold across the ancient Jewish cemetery and to the Old City and the Temple Mount beyond. We begin to descend the mount pausing at the Dominus Flevit (the Lord Wept). It was here that Christ cried as he envisioned the destruction of Jerusalem. The Dominus Flevit was designed by architect Antonio Berluzzi to resemble a teardrop. Through the window above the altar we can see the Old City where the Second Temple once stood.

A little further along we get to the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane. It was here that Jesus preyed before his arrest (Mark 14:32-46). The church was funded by a number of nations which each have their coat of arms displayed in decorative glass on the ceiling. The entrance is through tall columns which support a mosaic showing Jesus as the connection between God and man.

We cross the Kidron Valley and arrive at the Lion’s Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. We see the pools of Bethesda as mentioned in the Gospel of John. We visit the Crusader Church of Saint Anne constructed above a grotto thought to be where Jesus’ mother Mary was born.

In the Convent of the Sisters of Zion we enter the cellars to see the water cistern dating back to the Second Temple. We see the Lithostratos, engraved Roman flagstones, which are part of extensive archaeological findings beneath the convent. It is believed that here Pontius Pilate stood in judgment of Jesus in the courtyard of Praetorium.

From here we set out along the Via Dolorosa retracing the route Jesus took as he carried his cross towards his crucifixion. We see the Stations of the Cross where Jesus stopped along the Way of Sorrows and finally we reach the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. It was here that Jesus was crucified on Golgotha and Christ’s burial tomb is within the church. The vast Byzantine basilica has many alters and within the church are five of the Stations of the Cross.

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* Dress code: Shoulders to be covered / No shorts allowed.
* At certain locations you will need to pay entry fees. Have small change available.
This tour is run with a minimum of 2 participants

  • Notes:

    Important:

    • Change of vehicle required for transfers of pick up / drop off destinations to save time, avoid traffic and delay!
    • Entrance fees not included.
    • Please be at your pick up point on time. There might be some delay (up to 20 minutes) due to traffic or other operational issues.

    Useful to now:

    • Recomended good walking shoes, hat & water.
    • Modest dress: Covered shoulders/ No shorts is required for the holy sites.

Day 4. City of David and Underground Jerusalem

From the Mount of Olives we can see the City of Jerusalem spread out beneath us, then we continue on to Mount Zion to see David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. Entering the Old City through the Zion Gate we head for the Jewish Quarter. Here we see the Sephardic synagogues, Roman Cardo and Herodian mansions. We reach the Kotel (the Wailing Wall) then continue out of the Old City through the Dung Gate to explore the archaeological excavation site of the City of David.

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From the elevated position on the Mount of Olives we have a panoramic view of the holy City of Jerusalem. We look out beyond the Jewish cemetery on the mount’s slopes towards the Temple Mount where the Second Temple once stood until it’s destruction in 70AD.

Our drive along the Kidron Valley takes us past the ancient cemetery and at the foot of the mount we see the burial tombs of Absalom, King David’s 3rd son; Zechariah, a First Temple priest and the tomb of the sons of Hezir. We also have a view of the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We reach Mount Zion where we visit the Tomb of King David. Within the tomb is David’s cenotaph covered with a velvet cloth with embroidered symbols of a lyre and crown. Men and women sit in separate areas in this holy Jewish site where they can recite prayers facing the cenotaph.

We continue our tour into the Old City through the Zion Gate and into the Jewish Quarter where we see a complex of four Sephardic synagogues which date back to the 17th and 18th century. The Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue, Istanbuli Synagogue, Emtsai Synagogue and the Eliahu Ha’Navi Synagogue were found desecrates, burnt and in disrepair when the Israelis reclaimed Jerusalem following the Six Day War. The historic buildings have since been fully renovated and restored.

Our next stop is at the Byzantine Cardo, once the main thoroughfare of the city, today we can see the findings of ongoing archaeological excavations and in part of the restored Cardo, ancient Crusader stores are used for modern shops.

Through the Jewish Quarter we pass the excavated foundations of an ancient wall which stood 2,700 years ago during the reign of King Hezekiah (Is 22:10). We go beneath the present day streets to discover the 2000 year old Herodian mansions. The original mosaics and the ritual bath can be seen clearly. The complex of mansions gives great insight into the lifestyle at that time.

We arrive at the Kotel, the 2000 year old Western Wall, part of what was once the outer walls of the Second Temple which stood on Temple Mount until the Temple’s destruction in 70AD. Here you’ll have a chance to place a prayer note between the cracks of this ancient wall.

We exit the Old City through the Dung Gate where we can explore the excavation site of the City of David which dates back 3000 years. We can marvel at the ingenuity of the Canaanites and Hezekiah who constructed tunnels to bring a water supply to the people within the city walls. These tunnels are described in Chronicles II 32:2-4 and in Kings II 20:20 – “…the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and conduit, and brought water into the city…”

We rest at the Spring of Gihon and contemplate that it was here that Zadok the priest anoint Solomon king of Israel. (Kings I 1:38-39).

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* Dress code: Shoulders to be covered / No shorts allowed
* At certain locations you will need to pay entry fees. Have small change available.

  • Notes:

    Important:

    • Change of vehicle required for transfers of pick up / drop off destinations to save time, avoid traffic and delay!
    • Please be at your pick up point on time. There might be some delay (up to 20 minutes) due to traffic or other operational issues.
    • Entrance fees not included.

    Useful to now:

    • Recomended good walking shoes, hat & water.
    • Modest dress: Covered shoulders/ No shorts is required for the holy sites.

Price / Pickup Information

from Jerusalem
from Tel Aviv
from Netanya
from Herzliya
$630 $630 $630 $630

Important and useful notes:

  • Price includes accommodation per person in a double room on B&B basis.
  • Passports Compulsory.

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