The Itinerary - 2019
The aim of our Christian Israel tour itinerary is that by seeing and experiencing the historical and geographical contexts of the stories in the Bible, with the help of our knowledgeable and experienced leader and local guides, you will not only grow your understanding of the scriptures, but also be encouraged and inspired in your faith.
Have a look at the details below of all the sites and places of interest we will be visiting during the tour. Please note that the itinerary is subject to alterations even at very last minute. There will be early starts on most mornings to make sure you get to see as much as possible and a lot of walking involved during some excursions, meaning relative fitness is required.
The Richmond 2019 Israel Tour will run from 20 to 28 June
During the tour, you will stay at three hotels:
Night 1 - Tel Aviv - Grand Beach Hotel
Nights 2 and 3 - Tiberias - Prima Galil Hotel
Nights 4 to 8 - Jerusalem - Grand Court Hotel
Day 1 – Arrive in Tel Aviv
We will depart London Heathrow on British Airways flight BA165 at 08:10 and land in Tel Aviv, Israel at 15:00 (GMT+2). We will meet you at Tel Aviv airport, then escort you to the coach for the transfer to our hotel in Tel Aviv. There, our tour leaders, Eric and Helen, will greet you, assist with room allocation and give you the details concerning the time of dinner and the evening welcome meeting.
Day 2 – Caesarea
We will head north to Caesarea Maritima, the city of Cornelius the Centurion, the first Gentile convert, and the ancient port from which St. Paul set out to Rome. We will visit the Roman theatre and the palace of King Herod, see the massive Crusader walls and the impressive aqueduct built along the Mediterranean Sea. Next, we will drive to the Mukhraka on the southern slopes of Mt Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Driving through the Jezreel Valley, we will enjoy a spectacular view of Mt Tabor which is one of the possible sites of the Transfiguration of Christ. Finally, we will continue to our hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee for a two-night stay.
Day 3 - Sea of Galilee
On this day we will be looking at the ministry of Jesus on and around the Sea of Galilee. We will begin our day with a sail on the Sea of Galilee from Tiberius to Ginosar and here we will see a first century fishing boat known as the “Jesus Boat”. After this, we will visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, then on to the excavations at Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ ministry, followed by a visit to the lakeside beach of Mensa Christi where the resurrected Jesus made breakfast for his disciples and Peter was restored. The day will finish at the newly excavated site of Magdala with its beautiful church right on the shores of the lake.
Day 4 - Jordan Valley, Jerusalem
We will say goodbye to the Galilee this morning and head ‘up’ to the Holy City of Jerusalem. We will begin the day with a visit to Yardenit, the baptism site on the Jordan River. En-route south we will visit Beit Shean, one of the cities of the Decapolis, where we can walk the ancient streets, visiting the Roman period bath-house, theatre, temples, shops and see the ancient Tell.
Continuing down the Jordan Valley, we will pass ancient Jericho, the city of palms in the midst of the Judean Wilderness. After journeying up the Jerusalem-Jericho road, like the Galilean pilgrims of ancient times, our first view of the Holy City will be from Mount Scopus before we finish at our hotel in Jerusalem where we will stay for the rest of the tour.
Day 5 -Jerusalem, Western Wall
As an introduction to Jerusalem, we will start the day visiting the large-scale model of the city from the time of Jesus. From here we will visit the Shrine of the Book before driving to the summit of the Mount of Olives for a stunning overview of the City and Temple Mount. Next, following the Palm Sunday route, including the Tear Drop church, we will visit the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Here we will take some time, at a smaller private garden, to reflect on Jesus’ agony and prayer in the garden.
After lunch, we will visit the Western Wall, the excavations at the Davidson Centre and the Western Wall Tunnel, the previously buried 486 metres of the wall and a street from the time of Jesus.
Day 6 – David’s City
Entering the ancient city by the Lion’s Gate, we will begin to walk part of the Via Dolorosa stopping at the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the man who had been crippled for 38 years. Here we will also visit the church of St Anne and experience the beautiful acoustics of its two second echo. Then to the Sisters of Zion convent, on the site of the Roman Fortress of Antonia, and descend below the ground to see ‘the Pavement’ where it is thought that Jesus was tried before Pilate. We will continue on to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, a possible site for Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus.
Our afternoon is devoted to David’s City where we will explore the excavations in this area. We will walk through an ancient, now dry, Canaanite tunnel, which once channelled water to Jerusalem.
Day 7 – Dead Sea and Masada
An early start will help to ensure we avoid the heat as much as possible as we head to the lowest spot on earth, the Dead Sea. From here, we will ascend by cable car to the summit of Masada, Herod’s desert palace fortress on a strategic trade route. We will enjoy lunch here before heading to Ein Bokek beach where we will have the chance to take a relaxing dip in the Dead Sea and experience the unique properties of the salty water and the floating effect first hand! At the end of the day, we will take the opportunity to view Qumran (in the area where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered)en-route back to Jerusalem.
Day 8 – Death and Resurrection of Jesus
Starting at St. Peter’s Church of the Cock Crow, we will focus on Jesus’ final hours before his crucifixion. This will lead us to the Garden Tomb where we will have a guided tour of the site and take the opportunity to share together in a private communion service in the garden.
We will return to our hotel where you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities or revisit individually any local areas of interest, such as the Garden Tomb which is only 5 minutes from our hotel.
Day 9 – Fly Home
Our flight BA162 will depart Tel Aviv at 09:20 so it will be an early start. The British Airways flight is scheduled to land in London Heathrow at 12:25, giving plenty of time to get home without rushing and enjoy reflecting on the incredible sites and teaching from your time on the tour.
Please note that this itinerary is subject to alteration.