December, 2008--January, 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008 (Day 1)


BA Flight 216 Business Class, leaves Washington Dulles at 6:50 PM, arrives London Heathrow at 6:45 AM-3,673 miles (12/27)

Saturday, December 27 (2)

London Sofitel Hotel-Terminal 5 Heathrow

Sunday, December 28 (3)

London-Tel Aviv

BA Flight 163 Business Class, leaves London Heathrow at 10:30 PM, arrives Tel Aviv at 5:30 AM-2,212 miles (12/29)

Monday, December 29 (4)

Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Met by host and transferred by private car to deluxe hotel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a light meal in the Executive Lounge. (Carlton Hotel-Executive Sea View Room)



Tuesday, December 30 (5)Tel Aviv-Haifa Drive through the main streets of vivacious Tel Aviv to the ancient port of Joppa (Jaffa) from where Jonah set sail and where Peter had his housetop experience at the home of Simon the Tanner. Walk along the charming cobblestone streets, now filled with boutiques and galleries. Then, drive along the Mediterranean coast to ancient Caesarea; tour the theater, aqueduct and Crusader fortress. Then, visit newly opened Caesarea Harbor, with its thrilling, multi-media presentation—see ancient history come to life!  Continue to a Druze Village high in the Carmel Mountains; meet these unique Israelis and enjoy an authentic Druze Lunch. Proceed to Muhraka, traditional site where Elijah manifested the Lord’s supremacy against the false prophets of Baal. Arrive in the seaport city of Haifa for overnight. Dinner at the hotel. (B.L.D.) (Dan Carmel Hotel-Bay View Room)

Wednesday, December 31 (6)


See the extraordinary Persian Gardens and the Bahai Temple before departing Haifa. Then, drive to Nazareth where Mary learned from the angel Gabriel that she would miraculously conceive a son, named Jesus. Visit Mary’s Well, the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. Continue to the small village of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle.  Drive through the rolling hills to the Sea of Galilee; enjoy a “St. Peter’s Fish” lunch at a seaside restaurant before taking a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.  Stop at Yardenit on the Jordan River with its specially built Baptismal site. Dinner in Tiberias on the sea. (B.L.D.) (Sheraton Hotel-Sea View Room)

Thursday, January 1, 2009 (7)


Begin the day with a visit to Nof Ginnosar; see the extraordinary ancient boat reclaimed from the Sea of Galilee, dating from the time of Jesus. via Magdala to Capernaum, home to Peter and center of Jesus’ preaching. On to Tabgha, site of the miracle of the multiplication of the fish and loaves. Continue to the Mount of the Beatitudes site of the Sermon on the Mount; enjoy the beautiful view of the entire Galilee. Drive to Safed, where Kabbalah flourished during the golden age; visit the picturesque Artists’ Quarter. Proceed through the Hula Valley via Hazor, a Canaanite city rebuilt by King Solomon to command the Golan Heights. Ascend the Golan Heights and cross the Hatzbani River to Dan and Banias (ancient Caesarea Philippi) at the foot of Mount Hermon. Evening: Dinner at the hotel. (B.D.) (Sheraton Hotel-Sea View Room)

Friday, January 2 (8)

Tiberias-Dead Sea

Depart the Galilee. Continue to Bet Shean; explore the extraordinary excavations of an ancient Roman city. Arrive at Armageddon, focal point of the Book of Revelation, and inspiration for Michener’s The Source. Later, see the magnificent mosaic floor at Beth Alpha. Finally, drive to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, to spa-hotel at Ein Bokek for dinner and overnight. (B.D.) (Daniel Hotel)

Saturday, January 3 (9)

Dead Sea

Day at leisure. Rest, relax and enjoy all of the wonderful facilities at spa-hotel and swim in the therapeutic “unsinkable” waters of the Dead Sea. Dinner at hotel. (B.D.) (Daniel Hotel)

Sunday, January 4 (10)

Dead Sea-Jerusalem

Drive to Masada; ascend by cable car to this palace/fortress built by Herod the Great. Visit the excavations, Herod's palace and the bath house. Visit the Ein Gedi kibbutz. Continue to the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Ascend to the holy city of Jerusalem; see the spectacular view of this “golden” city. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B) (Inbal Hotel-Old City view)

Monday, January 5 (11)


Enter the Old City from the Dung Gate. View the Dome of the Rock, mosque of Islam; continue to the Western Wall. Walk through centuries of history in the Hasmonean Tunnel (tunnel schedules permitting). On to the Crusader Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda; see Pilate's Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation and the Arch of Ecce Homo. Follow the steps of the Via Dolorosa through narrow alleys and souks to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Enter the Jewish Quarter; walk along the excavated Cardo, once a main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Tour the Herodian Mansions, a complex of villas from 2000 years ago. Ascend Mount Zion; visit Dormition Abbey, the traditional Upper Room and the Tomb of King David. Evening: Restaurant Dinner. (B.D.) (Inbal Hotel-Old City view)

Tuesday, January 6 (12)


Begin the day by driving  along the rolling Judean Hills to charming Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist; see the Church of the Visitation. Then, to Yad Vashem, Memorial to the Holocaust; visit the Museum, Children's Pavilion and walk along the Avenue of the Righteous. Drive via the Knesset (Parliament) to the Israel Museum. End the day with a visit to Bethlehem. (B) (Inbal Hotel-Old City view)

Wednesday, January 7 (13)


Day at leisure to explore this fascinating city on your own. (B) (Inbal Hotel-Old City view)

Thursday, January 8 (14)


Morning transfer from Jerusalem to the Allenby-King Hussein Bridge; enter the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Drive to Ajloun to see Saladin's magnificent mountaintop castle. Continue to Jerash, known as the “Pompeii of the East,” one of the world's best preserved Greco-Roman cities. Enjoy a private tour of the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, the Roman Forum, Hadrian's Arch, the massive Theatre and the mile-long Street of Columns. After lunch, continue to Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan; enjoy a panoramic city tour before checking into your hotel. Tonight, dinner “Middle-Eastern style” at a Folkloric Village. (L.D.) (Grand Hyatt Hotel)

Friday, January 9 (15)


After breakfast, depart Amman and drive south along the Desert Road to Petra, built by the Nabateans 2,000 years ago. A local guide will take you on a private tour into the “rose-red” city (by horseback and foot) which begins at the “Siq,” a winding canyon road. At the end of the passage see Petra's most beautiful monument -the Treasury - carved out of the solid rock from the side of the mountain. Beyond the Treasury, discover soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a theatre, burial chambers and water channels. Lunch included in Petra. Dinner and overnight in Petra. (B.L.D.) (Movenpick)

Saturday, January 10 (16)


Morning drive from Petra to the Allenby-King Hussein Bridge for re-entry into Israel. BA Flight 164 Business Class, leaves Tel Aviv at 4:40 PM, arrives London Heathrow at 8:05 PM-2,212 miles. Sofitel Hotel-Terminal 5 Heathrow

Sunday, January 11 (17)

London Sofitel Hotel-Terminal 5 Heathrow

Monday, January 12 (18)


BA Flight 293 Business Class, leaves London Heathrow at 5 PM, arrives Washington Dulles at 8:10 PM-3,673 miles.



Dan Carmel Hotel

Carlton Hotel

Sheraton Hotel Tiberias

Inbal Hotel

Grand Hyatt Hotel

Movenpick Petra Hotel