DTI Bible Lands Itinerary 2015 (Tentative!)

Trip of a lifetime to Israel and Turkey (16 day trip)

Tentative Departure Second or 3rd Week of March, 2015

Bible Content: Old Testament Israel (Philistines too!), Life of Jesus, Early Church (Apostle John and the churches of Revelation and journeys of the Apostle Paul)

NEW!  All items marked new have not been included in the last four group trips.  


Day 1 – Depart JFK, New York to Tel-Aviv. (Turkish Air)  

Day 2 – Caesarea Maritima, Mt. Carmel overlook (Carmelite Monastery), Stay at Galilee Kibbutz.

Day 3 – Galilee Area: Nazareth (St Gabriel's church, Basilica of the Annunciation), Arbel NEW!, Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Boat on Galilee. Stay at Galilee Kibbutz

Day 4 - Jordan rift valley from Galilee to Dead Sea:  Beth Shean, start at top of tell and work down to Scythopolis NEW!, Qumran, En Gedi.  Stay at Dead Sea Resort (swim in Dead Sea).

Day 5 – Judean Wilderness to Jerusalem: Masada, Tel Khirbet Qeiyafa (Shaaraim) NEW!, Valley of Elah, Tell es-Safi (Gath) NEW!, Beth Shemesh NEW!. Stay at Jerusalem

Day 6 – Jerusalem: Mt. Olives, Ancient Tombs on Mt Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas Palace, Church of Holy Sepulcher, Bethesda, Western Wall & Ophel (Temple Mount). Shopping Old City?  Stay in Jerusalem

Day 7 – Early morning flight Tel-Aviv to Istanbul, Turkey


Day 7 continued – Flight from Istanbul to Izmir, Turkey.  Relax. Stay at Izmir

Day 8 ALL NEW! – Pergamum (#3 Ruins of Pergamos; acropolis, library theater, altar of Zeus, Red building, Asclepion, etc. Include Bergama Museum), Thyatira (#4 Ruins of Basilica), Stay in Izmir.

Day 9 ALL NEW! – Izmir (#2 Smyrna ruins, acropolis, agora). Plus History and Arts Museum.  Plus free time in Izmir and area. Stay in Izmir

Day 10 ALL NEW! – Sart (#5 Sardis; Temple to Artemis, Ancient Synagogue, Gymnasium, etc.); Alasehir (#6 Philadelphia, Church ruins). Stay in Kusadasi

Day 11 ALL NEW! – Miletus (Four Harbours, theater, city) / Didyma (temple) / Priene (city, bouleuterion, etc).  Stay in Kusadasi.

Day 12 ALL NEW! – Ephesus (#1 Full City, Massive theater and Library).  Stay in Pamukkale (hot spring resort!)

Day 13 ALL NEW! – Pamukkale (White cliffs and hot springs. Heirapolis; city, necropolis / #7 Laodicea; city, churches, two theaters) / Colossae (unexcavated Tell).  Stay in Pamukkale (hot spring resort!)

Day 14 ALL NEW! – Psidian Antioch (Museum in Yalvac; City, Altar, Churches).  Stay in Antalya (See Hadrian’s Gate at Old City by night)

Day 15 ALL NEW! – Antalya: Perga (site), Aspendos (Theater); Late flight from Antalya to Istanbul (19:00pm?). Stay in Istanbul (late dinner too).

Day 16 – Fly, Istanbul to JFK.

Optional two extra days in Istanbul if desired (opportunity to see Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome and Obelisk, Grand Bazaar and more).

Other Details

Hotels: Excellent 4 and 5 star!

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner (Supper) included.  Excludes beverages.

Transportation: Air and Bus transportation included (boat on Galilee too).

Price: To be announced late March 2014 (as soon as airlines will give us a fixed price for 2015).

Intensity: While a few days have a number of sites, especially in Israel with its shorter travel distances, the trip is interspersed with some lighter days and even some free time (especially in Turkey). As always in the Middle East, there’s walking which includes uphill.  Relative to some of our earlier trips, this is very relaxed – perhaps closer to the pace of our 2013 trip or even a little lighter.