PRE & POST CONGRESS
OPTIONAL SIGHTSEEING TOURS
For those attending the Congress of Evolutionaries
in Jerusalem August 11-15, 2013
Here are some wonderful optional tours you can take:
Pre Congress Tour #1 (Starts and ends in Jerusalem)
August 6-10: Five Days/Four nights Qumran, the Dead Sea, Nazareth, Capernaum, Tabgha, Safed & Haifa
1st Day: August 6 – To Qumran and the Dead Sea (Lunch & Dinner Incl.)
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and board our coach as we drive through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Our first stop is Qumran. The caves at what is now Qumran National Park are famous as the site where a teenage shepherd discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical texts ever found. Qumran provides a fascinating peek into the life of the Essenes, the ancient group of ascetics who are believed to have lived here starting in the eighth century B.C. We explore the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and view the interactive audio-visual program.
After lunch at our hotel, we head for the Dead Sea where we will have approximately two hours to relax on the mineral beach and enjoy the surreal experience of floating in the salt-rich water, 1,312 feet below sea level! The Dead Sea offers one of the most unique bathing and relaxation experiences on earth. The water is so rich in minerals, that right upon entrance you find your body floating in the water as you effortlessly float on your back and enjoy the Mediterranean sun and the beauty of the desert around you. Don’t miss the chance to have an optional mud bath in the world’s richest source of natural salts as you cover your body from head-to-toe in the all-natural nurturing Dead-Sea mud, leaving your skin soft and fresh, and your soul with an experience of a lifetime. Overnight and dinner at our Dead Sea hotel.
2nd Day: August 7 – To Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Incl.)
Today we depart for a visit to the Church of the Annunciation of Christ and Mary’s Well in Nazareth. Lunch en route as we drive to Tiberias where we will enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee followed by a special St. Peter’s fish dinner. Check into our hotel accommodations in Tiberias which will be our base for the next three nights.
3rd Day: August 8 – To Beit Shean, Capernaum, Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes and Safed (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Incl.)
This morning we depart for a visit to the Beit Shean National Park, one of Israel’s largest archaeological sites with its biblical period archaeological mound and on-going excavations exposing the vast Roman-Byzantine City.
Continue to Capernaum, and the Sea of Galilee area where we will visit some of the Christian Holy Sites around the Sea of Galilee, including:
- A visit to Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the site of Jesus’ teachings and the remains of a 2nd century synagogue.
- A visit to Tabgha, traditional site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the site of a modern church built on the remains of a Fourth Century church.
- A visit to the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Return to our accommodations in Tiberias for dinner and our overnight.
4th Day, August 9 – In Safed including excursions to Kaballah sites, Rosh Hanihkra Grottoes, Akko & Haifa (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Incl.)
After breakfast, we explore Safed, a center of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years and a contemporary artists’ colony, including:
- Guided visits to the Ari, Caro or Abuhav Synagogues with their great stories and mystical messages,
- A dialogue with an Artist inspired by Kabbalistic messages,
- A stroll through the quaint Art Galleries and shop in the artists’ colony.
After lunch, we depart for the Rosh Hanikra Grottoes, where we’ll admire the natural wonder of these sea caves. Continue to Akko, a UNESCO world heritage site. Akko offers its visitors a sneak look into hundreds of years of history. The underground city and the Knights’ hall will take us from the time of the Crusaders to the Ottoman Empire, and that will tell us many stories of this unique Jewish-Muslim city. Return to our accommodations in Tiberias for dinner and our overnight.
5th Day: August 10 – Haifa, Caesarea and along the coast back to Jerusalem (Breakfast & Lunch Incl.)
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and start our tour with a stop on top of Mount Carmel for a scenic overlook of Haifa Bay and to Haifa. We will meet up with those on Tour #2 and we will view these sites together. We will view the Baha’i Gardens and Shrine, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion, located on Mount Carmel in Haifa while standing atop Mount Carmel. Then to the beautiful Baha’i gardens followed by a visit to the Temple and a special Baha’i program of the 4th religion of Israel and the Shrine of the Bab–one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i faith–burial place for the mortal remains of the man who foretold the coming of the Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith. After a late lunch, we start our journey back along the coast to Caesarea and visit the Roman Theatre and Crusader Fortress. Continue to Jerusalem where our tour ends.
Tour #1 Includes:
- First Class accommodations on twin sharing basis for four nights at the following hotels (or similar): 1 night at the hotel in the Dead Sea region; 3 nights at the Leonardo Plaza Tiberias hotel
- All taxes
- Four breakfasts
- Five lunches
- Four dinners including a St Peter’s fish dinner
- Air conditioned coach transportation
- Sightseeing tours as per itinerary
- All sightseeing entrance fees
- A swim at the Dead Sea
- Optional mud bath experience
- Services of professional local English-speaking guide
- All gratuities except the driver and tour guide
** Bonus! SAVE! You will receive a 5% discount if ALL payments are made by check or money order. This discounted price is noted below in red.
Price Per Person Double Occupancy:
$1,199 payments via check or money order
$1,259 payments via credit card
Single Room Supplement:
$499 payments via check or money order
$525 payments via credit card
Triple Room Reduction: $150 ($50 per person)
Pre Congress Tour #2 – (Starts and ends in Jerusalem)
August 10 – Full day tour to Haifa including a Baha’i program and Caersarea (Lunch Incl.)
After breakfast, we start our tour with a stop on top of Mount Carmel for a scenic overlook of Haifa Bay and to Haifa. We will meet up with those on Tour #1 and view these sites together. We will view the Baha’i Gardens and Shrine, one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i religion, located on Mount Carmel in Haifa while standing atop Mount Carmel. Then to the beautiful Baha’i gardens followed by a visit to the Temple and a special Baha’i program of the 4th religion of Israel and the Shrine of the Bab–one of the holiest sites of the Baha’i faith–burial place for the mortal remains of the man who foretold the coming of the Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith. After a late lunch, we start our journey back along the coast to Caesarea and visit the Roman Theatre and Crusader Fortress. Continue to Jerusalem where our tour ends.
Tour #2 Includes:
- Special Baha’i program
- A visit to the Crusader city of Caesarea
- Beautiful ride along the coast back to Jerusalem
Price Per Person: $109 ($114 credit card)
Pre Congress Tour #3 – (Starts and ends in Jerusalem)
August 11 – Full day tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem (Lunch Incl.)
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we start our walking tour through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, for guided visits to some of the sites excavated over the past 30 years.
Tour #3 Includes:
- A walk along the Rooftops of the Old City for a behind the scenes look at the various communities in Jerusalem and how they live together
- The Cardo, a Byzantine street that is now the world’s oldest shopping arcade
- The Kotel (Western Wall)
- Visit to the Dome of the Rock
- Visit to Bethlehem
Lunch at a local restaurant before we continue our tour. Visit the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Via Dolorosa. We conclude our very special tour with a visit to Bethlehem, site of the birth of Jesus and the Church of the Nativity.
Return to our hotel in time to rest before the Congress opening program
Price Per Person: $89 ($94 credit card)
Post Congress Tour #4 (Starts and ends in Jerusalem)
August 16: Full day tour of Be’er Sheva (Lunch Incl.)
Be’er Sheva is first mentioned in The Bible as the place where Hagar went after she was sent away from Abraham because of family conflicts with Abraham’s wife Sarah. It also is the site of Abraham’s well.
We start our tour by traveling through the Valley of Elah, the location traditionally associated with the biblical battle between David and Goliath. Then we visit the home and gravesite of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, located on Kibbutz Sde Boker overlooking the Wilderness of Zinn in the Negev Desert.
Lunch will be at at the Sde Boker Guest house, before we visit Abraham’s Well at the southeast end of Ha’azmaut Street, where it joins Hebron Road (Derekh Hevron) and possible place of Hagar’s prayers. We continue the tour with a special visit to the Lakiya Weaving Project of the Association for the Improvement of Women’s Status and dialogue with local women. If we have time, we end the tour with will go to the Negev Brigade Memorial to Tel Sheva, with the remains of ancient Be’er Sheva (defensive walls, water channels). There is a small site museum on the theme “Man in the Desert.” Return to Jerusalem.
Tour #4 Includes:
- Kibbutz Sde Boker – home and gravesite of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister
- Abraham’s well
- Visit to Lakiya Weaving Project of the Association for the Improvement of Women’s Status
Price Per Person: $129 ($135 credit card)
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