DAY 01– CHECK IN and DEPART: ACCRA – ISTANBUL
Check in and Departure to Istanbul with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft. Dinner on flight (D)
DAY 02: ISTANBUL - IZMIR
Upon our arrival at Istanbul International Airport, we will proceed to Izmir. Our Representatives will meet us with the name sign and assist in transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (D)
DAY 03: IZMIR - PERGAMON – THYATIRA
After breakfast we will start our program from Pergamum, actually called Bergama. It is one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Here we explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Asklepieion, famous medical centre of classical times, see the Altar of Zeus which is mentioned as the «Throne of Satan» in the book of Revelation, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Its wealth of volumes was estimated at over 200,000. It inspired the invention of parchment.
We will also visit the Red Basilica (St. John´s Church). Then we will continue our visit to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another one of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. It was a city famous for purple dyes. We will visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Lydia, the seller of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira. We enjoy a panoramic ride of Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Smyrnas is a city scarred with a bloody history of trade and warfare. We will ascend to Mount Pagus where we will visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great, erected in the 4th century BC. We will also see the Clock Tower. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 04: IZMIR – SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA - LAODICEA – HIERAPOLIS
After early breakfast we will depart to one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4], Sardis, presently Sart. This was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. We will visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became a Byzantine Church. We will also visit some ancient Lydian houses, and the restored gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue. We will also see the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great and the «golden» river Pactolos. Lunch en route.
Then we will continue our journey to Philadelphia, nowadays called Alasehir, another church of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], and the only church not censured. There we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with a bit of high arch and some 11th century frescoes. We drive to the healing city of Hierapolis, actually Pamukkale, the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and of Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Proceed to Laodicea (present name Denizli) yet another of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. We will see the ancient theatre, the remains of basilica and ancient stone water pipes.
We will visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, the 2nd century AD Theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B, D.)
DAY 05 : EPHESUS - KUSADASI
After breakfast we will drive to Ephesus to visit the ancient city of Ephesus including the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus archaeological museum. The Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. We will tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC.
Walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. The Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was built in this city. We will visit the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus archaeological museum. We will visit the House of Virgin Mary before we drive to Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 06 : IZMIR – ISTANBUL – TEL AVIV
After early breakfast we will board our bus to Izmir airport for our flight to Istanbul at 07:00am. Upon arrival at Istanbul Airport we will make our way to the baggage claim area to collect our luggage and then check in again to Tel Aviv. Upon Tel Aviv Airport arrival, we will make our way to the baggage claim area and collect our luggage. We will proceed to the arrival's hall, where we will be greeted by our Tour Guide and/or Driver. Transfer to our hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (D)
DAY 07: JERUSALEM - 14 STATIONS – JERICHO
After breakfast we descend to visit the Mt. of Ascension; Garden of Gethsemane; and also visit the Church of All Nations. We visit the Pool of Bethesda and the Church of St. Anne. We will walk along the 14 Stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) - the route Jesus took to Crucifixion. We will continue to visit Jericho, believed to be the most ancient city in the world; it is the site of Joshua's first dramatic conquest when the city walls collapsed at the sound of his trumpets [Joshua 4:5-6]. We will board a Cable Car to Mount of Temptation. We see Elisha's spring and also Zacchaeus Tree (Sycamore Tree). Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 08: JERUSALEM CITY - BETHLEHEM – NATIVITY – SHEPHERD FIELD - BOAS FIELD
After breakfast we will board our bus and go through Dung Gate to visit the Western (Wailing) Wall (30min of Prayer and drop a prayer requests.). We will continue to see the Dome of the Rock at Mount Moriah (where Isaac was to be sacrificed by Abraham). Then will continue to visit Mount Zion where the traditional tomb of King David is found. We will also visit the Room of the Last Supper (Upper Room). We will visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus (the possible house of Caiaphas). We will continue to visit Nativity where Jesus was born. Followed by our to visit Shepherds’ Field (where the Shepherds saw the Star). We visit Boaz field, where Naomi and Ruth settled. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 09: TIBERIAS – MT. CARMEL – NAZARETH - CANA - SEA OF GALILEE
After early breakfast 06:00am we will board our bus for a journey to the North of Israel. We will begin our visit to Mount Carmel, venerated as a sacred spot since ancient times, it was originally a sanctuary of Baal whose prophets Elijah defeated. Then we will continue to Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, where He studied and worked, forging the theories that would shape the years to come. We will have the privilege to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation where Angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Virgin Mary; and continue to walk to St. Joseph's carpentry workshop. We will visit the village of Cana which has not changed much outwardly since the times when Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. We will have lunch at St. Peter’s Fish Restaurant . We will continue for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B, D.)
DAY 10: TIBERIAS - MT. OF BEATITUDES - TABGHA – CAPERNAUM – RIVER JORDAN – DEAD SEA - AMMAN
After breakfast we will check out from the hotel and depart to Jordan Valley. We will pass through Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene. We will ascend to visit Mount of Beatitudes, the Sanctuary of the Sermon on the Mount, it was here that Jesus chose His 12 disciples. We will visit Tabgha, the site of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish. We will also visit the Church of the Primacy where Jesus delegated the Primacy of the Church to Peter. We will visit the village of Capernaum, referred to in the New Testament as a centre of Jesus' ministry after He left Nazareth. We will visit the Ancient Synagogue and Peter's house where Jesus healed his mother in law. We will finally visit the Baptismal site of River Jordan where it flows out to the Sea of Galilee. It is the River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. We will end our visit at Dead Sea.
We will depart by bus around 16:30pm to Jordan. (Please be aware of Security procedures and delays). Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 11: AMMAN - MOUNTAIN NEBO – LOT’S CAVE
After breakfast our visit will include the Roman Theatre and Nymphaeum that reflect the historic legacy of the city and the enchanting Citadel, which has stood since the ancient times of the Ammonites. This is the place where David sent Uriah the Hittite to the front lines of the battle. The massive fortifications, where David brought about Uriah's death so that he could marry his widow Bathsheba are still standing. Later in the afternoon we will finally visit Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land and is the traditional site of his death and burial. We will continue to Lot’s cave for a visit (please note there are approximately 350 steps to climb). Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D.)
DAY 12: ANJARA – TALL MAR ELIAS – WADI MUSA – MOAB LAND – EDOM LAND
After breakfast we will start from Anjara to visit the cave, which has long been a holy place for pilgrims. We continue to visit Tall Mar Elias, the home of the Prophet Elijah and where tradition has, he ascended to heaven. In the afternoon we will proceed to visit Wadi Musa (The Valley of Moses) where Moses stuck the rock for water to his followers at the site of Ain Musa to drink. Numbers 20:10-11). Aaron, the brother of Moses and Miriam, died in Jordan and were buried in Petra at Mount Hor, now called Jabal Harun in Arabic (Mount Aaron). Tour Guide will show us the direction of the kingdom of Moab (the descendants of Ruth) and Edom, (the descendants of Esau). We will then return to our hotel in Amman. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B, D)
DAY 13: PELLA - AS-SALT
After breakfast we will start from Pella to see some of the most important events in the lives of Isaac’s twin sons, Jacob and Esau, which took place in ancient Jordan. The Modern day Pella (ancient ‘Penuel’, meaning ‘the face of God’) was so named by Jacob after he wrestled there all night with God in the form of a man or angel (Genesis 32:24-30). A massive Bronze and Iron Age temple recently discovered at Pella, in the northern Jordan Valley, is thought to be the best-preserved temple from Old Testament times. We will continue to The City of As-Salt, northwest of Jordan’s capital, Amman, to see the house, tomb and shrine of Job, the wealthy, righteous man from the Land of Uz. As-Salt is also the location of the tomb/shrine of Jethro, who was the father-in-law of Moses. It is also the site of the tombs of Gad and Asher, who were both sons of Jacob. Continue to Mount Nebo, where Prophet Moses looked to the Holy Land from that spot. The Serpentine Cross, which stands just outside the sanctuary, is symbolic of the bronze (or brazen) serpent taken by Moses. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B, D)
DAY 14: AMMAN - ACCRA.
After breakfast we board our bus to Amman Airport for our departure to our homeland country. Breakfast at hotel, Dinner on flight. (B, D)
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