View of Cairo, Egypt

Sample 11-Day Israel and Egypt Tour

Day 01.  Depart USA.
Today you will depart USA for your flight to Cairo, Egypt. (D, B)

Day 02. Arrival Cairo
After arrival at the Cairo International Airport, passport control and baggage claim, you will meet your driver/guide and private car.  Your first stop will be a visit to the Egyptian Museum famous for its antiquities from Egypt’s Pharoahnic period, which dates back some 50 centuries and includes the fabulous treasures of king Tut –Ankh-Amon.  Afterwards, we will make a visit to the Citadel, Mohammad Ali Mosque and Medieval Bazaars of Khan-El-Khalili before we transfer to Pyramids Park Intercontinental Hotel in Cairo for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 03.  Cairo
After breakfast, we will start our tour visiting the Pyramids of Giza.  Cheops Pyramid, the largest of the three, was built in the 3rd dynasty about 2690 B.C. and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In front of the Pyramids of Chephren, we find the Sphinx carved from a single piece of stone; it is a lion with a Pharaoh’s head though to be a portrait of the Pharaoh Chephren. You can have a camel ride by the Pyramids area and visit the Papyrus Institute. We will enjoy a dinner cruise on the Nile. Afterwards we will return to our hotel for overnight. (B, D)

Day 04. Cairo and Dead Sea Starting early from Cairo, we will board our bus and drive towards Sinai crossing the Suez Canal. We drive through Sinai enjoying the desert landscape and retell the story of the Exodus and the delivery of the Israelites from the Pharaoh of Egypt. From here we head straight across the northern Sinai to Taba Border arriving at about 12:30.  We then cross into the Holy Land and drive north through the city of Eilat and through the Negev to Ein Bokek at the southern end of the Dead Sea for your dinner and overnight at your hotel on the Dead Sea.  We will be provided an opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea.  (B, D)

Day 05. Masada, Qumran and Sea of Galilee
This morning we drive to Masada where we will take the cable car to the top visiting Herod’s mountain bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-73 AD).  We then drive along the Eastern shores of the Dead Sea. We stop at Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We continue our drive to Jericho. At Jericho, we visit the tel of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. We then drive through the Jordan Valley north to Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here we shall climb the Tel and view the setting for the death of Saul (I Samuel 28 – II Samuel 1). We shall then survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theatre, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets. We continue driving north to the Yardenit, the modern Baptismal site at the exit of the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee before we head to Tiberias for D/O at a hotel on the Sea of Galilee. We will be provided an opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River. (B, D)

Day 06. Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Golan Heights
After breakfast, we will start our drive along the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, where we will visit the synagogue and the place where early Christians remembered Peter’s house. We continue to Tabgha (short for Heptapagon, “seven springs”) to view the mosaics in the Church of the Loaves and Fishes. Ascending the Mt. of Beatitudes, we listen to Jesus’ teachings and enjoy a St. Peter’s Fish Lunch. After lunch we drive up on an ancient trade route, passing Hazor and then go on to Dan. Here we do a nature walk and visit the high place where Jeroboam son of Nebat set up a golden calf. We continue to Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Our route then takes us over the Golan Heights, skirting Mt. Hermon, with a view toward Damascus. We end the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee before returning to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 07. Tiberias, Nazareth, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem
This morning after breakfast, we will depart Tiberias on our journey to Cana, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine.  We proceed to Nazareth, visiting part of the ancient village.  We continue on our drive to the Mount Megiddo, “har megiddo” in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. Our day continues as we ascend Mt. Carmel which is the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Descending the mountain, we drive toward Caesarea, nestled between the banana groves and the sand-skirted sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the East, which became the Christian springboard to the West. The day will end atop Mt. Scopus, we behold the majestic Jerusalem!  We will have dinner and overnight at our hotel in Jerusalem. (B, D)

Day 08.  Jerusalem!
After breakfast, we will start the day with an orientation to Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. We then follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to the church known as Dominus Flevit (“the Lord weeps”).  After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text. We will drive to Mt. Zion to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. (Here, the Assumptionist Fathers propose, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus.) We continue up Mt. Zion to the Upper Room and King David’s Tomb. We will be provided an opportunity to have communion in the Upper Room.  Afterwards, we will drive south where we will visit Solomon’s Pools, Jerusalem’s main source of water for almost 2000 years. Passing the monastery of Hortus Conclusus (“the sealed garden”) in Artas, we go to Shepherds’ Fields. We conclude the day with a visit to Bethlehem, walking through its alleys and markets to the Church of the Nativity.  We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 09. Jerusalem! 
After breakfast, we will transfer to Dung Gate. We visit the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.  We ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. We then walk the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We drive to the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the Israel Museum. There we also survey an open-air model of Jerusalem, representing the city on the eve of the first revolt against, 36 years after the Passion of Jesus.  We will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Day 10. Jerusalem!
We will take a walk to the Garden Tomb this morning after breakfast for a special visit and a private service and communion. The rest of the day is free for personal interest.  We will have a farewell dinner before transfer to the airport for a very late night/early morning departure. (B, D)

Day 11. Return to the US.
Today you transfer to the airport at Tel Aviv for your flight back to USA. (B, D)