Extended Itinerary — May 12–17
After a morning worship service, ride the cable car to the summit of Masada to explore the spectacular mountain fortress with numerous buildings constructed by Herod the Great. Drive into the Negev to the ruins of the OT city of Arad and then on to Beersheba, the home of Abraham. Ascend into the Judean Hills to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King (overnight in Jerusalem).
Begin your introduction to the Holy City with a magnificent panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and then stroll down the ancient path to see the Garden of Gethsemane. Drive to modern West Jerusalem to examine the Model of Jerusalem located at the Israel Museum, where you can also enjoy seeing the museum’s fascinating archaeological exhibitions as well as the Shrine of the Book, home to some of the Dead Sea Scrolls (overnight in Jerusalem).
Visit the fascinating Jerusalem Archaeological Park and the Southern Excavations of the Temple Mount, including the Trumpet Stone from the pinnacle of the temple. Tour the Old Testament City of David, including Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the recent excavations at the Pool of Siloam. Enter the Jewish Quarter to tour the Burnt House and the Herodian Mansions, and see the Cardo, Hezekiah’s Broad Wall and the new Model of the Temple (overnight in Jerusalem).
Visit the Herodion, burial place of Herod the Great, to examine the fortress built on top of a man-made mountain. Continue to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds’ Fields (at the YMCA), enjoying a shopping excursion at Kando’s Store. Drive to the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath, and ascend to Azekah to enjoy the hilltop vantage point overlooking the valley (overnight in Jerusalem).
Ascend the Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Visit the Western Wall and Tunnel, the most sacred place in the world for the Jewish people. See Pilate’s Judgment Hall in the Antonio Fortress, and follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Enjoy a unique shopping experience walking through the Arab Souk. Exit the Old City through the Damascus Gate to conclude the tour with a special service at the Garden Tomb. After a farewell banquet, transfer to the airport for the late-night flight home.
Arrive at JFK and transfer to your connecting flight home.