Day 1- Caesarea, Acre & Rosh Hanikra
The city of Caesarea was constructed under Herod and named after the Roman Emperor, Caesar. From what remains of the ancient city we can see that it was a prosperous and luxurious city. Among the archaeological excavations we can see gateways, a moat and well preserved walls and rooms. There is a perfectly preserved Roman amphitheater which is still used today for performances by Israeli and international artists. The Roman remains were preserved for centuries by the sea sand which covered and protected the stones. Next to the amphitheatre is part of what was once a hippodrome. We can see the remains of a Roman temple which stood above the port overlooking the busy commercial ships which carried treasures from the east and the Nabatean caravans which were en route to Rome. Following the Romans, the city stood neglected for centuries until the Crusaders arrived after whom the city once again sank into oblivion for years.
We continue driving north passing through Haifa where we stop to see the breathtaking Baha'i Shrine and gardens. The terraced gardens cascade down the mountain towards the city below with each of the 19 terraces bursting with colorful flowers and landscaped designs.
Our next stop is Rosh Hanikra, the most northern point along Israel's Mediterranean coast. We descend by cable car into the network of limestone grottoes created by the constant bombardment of waves against the rocks.
On our return journey south we stop at Acre (Acco), the largest Crusader city in the country. The city is extremely well preserved and you can't help being impressed by the incredible architecture and how it has survived. Part of the city is alive with markets and people still living in the ancient buildings. We see the walls and the moat which was reconstructed and repaired by El Jazzar at the end of the 1900s. The mighty walls prevented even Napoleon from conquering the city. We can see the Crusader remains, the prison used under Turkish rule and the gallows which were later used under the British Mandate to hang Jews who broke the British law limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine following World War II.
Day 2- Nazareth, Capernaum & Sea of Galilee
We begin our tour by traveling passed Herzliya and Netanya and then, continuing north along the coastal road parallel to the Mediterranean, we turn inland and drive through the Valley of Armageddon (Revelations 16:6) where we can see Megiddo. On our way towards Nazareth we visit the Mt. of Precipitation (Luke 4:28-30).
In Nazareth we visit the Church of Annunciation which was constructed on the spot where Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would soon be with child (Luke 1:26). Next-door we find the Church of Saint Joseph where Jesus' father, Joseph had his carpentry.
We depart from Nazareth and travel to the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret); on the way we pass Cana where Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-12). At the bottom of Mount Beatitude we visit Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Here we see the home of Peter and the Church of the Multiplication (Mark 6:30-44)
We travel along the waterfront of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed the sea and walked on water (Mark 4:35-41, 6:45-52). Across the water we can see the Golan Heights forming a beautiful backdrop as we pass the city of Tiberias which was settled more than 2,000 years ago and named after the Roman emperor Tiberius.
We reach the southern region of the Kinneret where the Jordan River flows into lake where Jesus was baptized. Here you may be able to participate in a baptismal ceremony in the very same spot that Jesus did so many years ago (Mark 1:9-11).
As we head south on our return journey we can see Mount Tabor where the Transfiguration took place. (Matthew 17:1-9)