Tour Itinerary: Days 10-13

June 24: Masada and Qumran

Our day begins with an early visit to Masada, one of the massive palace-fortresses built by Herod the Great. During the Roman administration of Palestine, Masada was the home of a garrison of Roman soldiers. At the start of the Jewish-Roman War in A.D. 66, Jewish extremists surprised and overcame the Roman garrison on Masada. Due to its nearly impregnable location, the Jewish zealots held off the Romans for several years. After building a massive rampart and siege tower, the Romans finally breached the wall. Rather than being taken captive, the Jews committed suicide. We will take a cable car to the top of the mountain and visit the sites fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, and palaces. 


Our last stop will be at Qumran, the site of a monastic-like community of Jews from the time of Jesus known as the Essenes. The Essenes are the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain the oldest copies of the Hebrew Scriptures dating back to around the year 300 B.C. and testify to the accuracy with which they were copied through the centuries. From here we drive to Galilee, where we will spend the night at the Ron Beach Hotel. 

June 25: The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee

Today we will retrace the steps of Jesus in Galilee. We will walk through the countryside where Jesus often taught, see the remains of an ancient boat that dates to the time of Jesus, and sail on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. In Capernaum, we will stand in the ruins of a 4th century synagogue built on the site of the synagogue in which Jesus taught. We will also see the remains of what is thought to have been Peter's house and the place where Jesus healed a paralytic (Mark 2:1-12). After lunch, we will visit two other towns Jesus frequented: Chorazin and Magdaia. Dinner and overnight in Galilee at the Ron Beach Hotel.

June 26: The Ministry of Jesus Outside Galilee

Today we will visit several important sites in the Golan Heights. We will travel to Gamla, a Jewish community located ten miles northwest of Capernaum. Gamla is where Jewish zealots first emerged in protest against Roman taxation (Acts 5:37). Here we will see the remains of one of the oldest synagogues from the time of Jesus. After lunch, we will visit a reconstructed Talmudic Village in Katzrin, and see what homes in Capernaum would have looked like in Jesus' day. We will also visit Caesarea Philippi, the place where Peter first confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (Matt 16:13-20).

Dinner and overnight in Galilee at the Ron Beach Hotel.

June 27: The Early Years of Jesus 

Today we we visit Nazareth, the place where Jesus grew up as a young boy. Our first stop will be at Nazareth Village to see what life in the Galilee would have been like in the time of Jesus. Later we in the day we will visit the Church of the Annunciation and museum, Church of St. Gabriel (Mary’s Spring), Synagogue Church, and Wedding Church at Kefar Cana.

Dinner and overnight in Galilee at the Ron Beach Hotel.