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On this 9-day tour, your group will experience the best of Israel's holy sites. From the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where tradition says Jesus was crucified and resurrected to Nazareth's Basilica of Annunciation where Roman Catholic tradition says the Annunciation took place, you'll get to experience thousands of years of history. Visitors from all over the world travel to Israel for pilgrimage tours and musicians can enhance their experience with performances inside these holy sites.
Departure from the United States.
Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport. Meet your Encore Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel on Tel Aviv's beautiful coastline. After check-in, enjoy a walking tour of Sarona, restored Templer settlement and a lively area of the city. During your free time for lunch, you can explore the Sarona market for a fascinating look into Israel's unique cuisine. In the afternoon, walk along the boardwalk and cross Tel Aviv's soft sand for a dip in the ocean. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or guest house before returning to your hotel for the evening!
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, provided each morning of your tour. Meet your local guide for a tour of Jaffa, an ancient port and one of the oldest cities in the world. First, you will visit the Visitor's Centre complete with an archeological site and animation illustrating 5,000 years of history. Then, explore Jaffa's boutique shops and restaurants during free time for lunch. Climb just a few steps to the top of Tel Yafo (Jaffa Hill) for a panoramic view of Tel Aviv and the coast. In the evening, transfer to a local venue for rehearsal and debut performance! Enjoy a group dinner after the performance.
This morning, depart for Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. A stop to Israel's Holy Land is not complete without a visit to this fascinating city. En route, visit Caesarea, an ancient port built by King Herod for a tour of the Crusader City, the reconstructed Roman Theater and the Roman Aqueduct. Continue to Nazareth. On arrival, you will visit the International Mary of Nazareth Centre where you can learn about the Virgin Mary's life through a multi-media presentation. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before checking into your hotel.
In the morning, transfer to Nazareth Village, a re-creation of Jesus's hometown, where you can experience what life was like in the first century. You can see exact replicas of first-century building and actors who act out reponsibilities of the villagers. See how olive oil was produced, the wine was pressed, how clothes were made and much more. For lunch today, you will eat at the village and feast on food that was made as it would have been thousands of years ago. Today also includes a visit inside the Basilica of Annunciation, where Roman Catholic tradition says the Annunciation took place. Tonight, transfer to a local venue for your rehearsal and next performance! Enjoy a group dinner tonight.
Depart this morning for the Sea of Galilee where you will tour the holy sites in the area. First, visit Mount of Beatitude where tradition says Jesus gave his famous Sermon on the Mount. Informal performance opportunity may be possible. Continue on to Capernaum, an ancient Jewish fishing village where it is said that Jesus began his Ministry. Here you will see excavations of the ancient synagogue and the house of Peter Tabgha as well as the churches commemorating the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes and Peter's Primacy (Mensa Christi). According to Christian tradition, this is the site where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. Transfer to an area for lunch at your leisure. In the afternoon, visit ancient Magdala, the traditional home of Mary Magdalene, with excavations of a Jewish village from the time of Jesus. (During summer months, volunteer excavation project may be possible here.) Check in to your hotel in Tiberias for the evening and have dinner as a group. Enjoy sunset views on the Sea of Galilee!
Today, depart for Jerusalem! (Optional: en route visit Qaser el—Yahud, the traditional baptismal site on the Jordan River). Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at your leisure. Next, meet your local guide for a tour of the city of David including the Western Wall tunnel. You will have time to visit the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall). In the afternoon, you will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where tradition says Jesus was resurrected. Visitors from all over the world come to kiss the Stone of Anointing and touch the Rock of Calvary. After a busy day, you will enjoy a group dinner before checking into your hotel for the night.
Enjoy a free morning to discover Jerusalem at your leisure. Perhaps you wish to explore the markets, Mamilla Mall or walk around the Old City. In the afternoon, perform your final concert at a local venue! Tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner followed by a Sound and Light Show at the Citadel!
Return to the U.S.
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