nazareth-galilee
mount of beatitudes frontal
simon the tanner house in jaffa
petra khazane

11-15 Day Christian Holy Land Tour

The ultimate way for a Christian pilgrim to experience the Holy Land is an 11-15 day tour of Israel and Jordan. The Bible comes alive as you travel with your private guide to various holy Christian sites, gaining an unforgettable spiritual and touring experience. The tour includes the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Jericho, the Jordan River baptism site, Bethlehem, Jaffa, Caesarea, and an optional extension to the major biblical sites in Jordan.

Day 1 – Explore Caesarea

caesarea-arch-jumpWe head to the north for a few days. Pending on the time of your landing, there are several sites we could visit on your first day. At Caesarea there is a wealth of finds, including a discovery relating to Paul’s prison (Acts 23-26) and the baptism of Cornelius by Peter (Acts 10).  We could also visit Megiddo, identified with Armageddon and the end times (Rev. 16:16), Mount Tabor, the possible site of the transfiguration (Luke 9), or Nain, where Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7).

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 2 – Miracles Around the Sea of Galilee

This day is devoted to exploring holy Christian sites around the Sea of Galilee. We start with a visit to a first century synagogue discovered in Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. We continue on to the exhibition of a 2,000 year old wooden boat at Ginosar, known as the “Sea of Galilee Boat,“ from where we can also go for a Sail on the Sea of Galilee. After lunch at a local fish restaurant, we then drive to Kursi, the site of the miracle of the swine (Matt. 8), and Capernaum, where Jesus began his public ministry. We end our day at the Mount of Beatitudes. Here, by Catholic tradition, Jesus gave the Sermon on the mount (Matt. 5).

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 3 – On the Road to Damascus

We continue exploring the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee by visiting the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish  (Luke 9), and the nearby “Church of the Primacy of Peter” (John 21). Next we ascend to the Golan Heights, following the possible historical route Paul took to Damascus (Acts 9). From the top of  Mt. Bental we review the complex history of this region, and after lunch in a Druze village we continue on to Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Jesus named Simon bar Jonah – “Peter” (Matthew 16). On our way back we could walk along the Banias hike and waterfall; Kayak on the Jordan River, or drive along the Jordan River Rapids.

Overnight: Tiberias

Day 4 – Following Jesus in Nazareth

church of saint josephReturning to the Galilee, we spend the day visiting Jesus’ hometown – Nazareth. Strolling through the local market we visit the Church of Annunciation (Luke 1), its Archaeological Museum, the Synagogue Church (Luke 4), and St. Gabriel’s Church next to “Mary’s Well.“ After lunch we continue on to Cana to learn about Jesus’ first miracle (John 2), and then to Sepphoris, the Roman-era regional center which was influential in both Christian and Jewish history. We end our day by driving to Jerusalem.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 5 – Exploring Biblical Jerusalem

Our first day in Jerusalem is devoted to learning how the city was founded by exploring the City of David. Under the Visitors Center we assess the possible remains of King David’s Palace. Then heading underground we walk from the Gihon Spring along a Canaanite Tunnel to the Pool of Siloam, known also for Jesus’ healing of a blind man (John 9). We continue on to the Old City along the underground Herodian Era Drainage Channel up to the Western Wall at the Southern Wall Archaeological Park.

After a lunch break in the Jewish Quarter we could visit the possible location where Jesus was interrogated and arrested by the high priest in the Herodian Quarter. We end our day with a visit to a selection of holy Christian sites on Mount Zion: the site of the “Last Supper” (Cenacle), the site of both “Pentecost” and the resting place of Mary (Dormition Abbey), and the site of Peter’s denial of Jesus (Petrus in Gallicantu).

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 6 – Walk Along the Stations of the Cross

We start our day at the famous Mount of Olives Viewpoint  where we can visit the Chapel of the Ascension, the site where Jesus’ taught the “Lords Prayer” (Church of the Pater Noster) and the site where “the Lord wept” (Dominus Flevit).  At the foot of the Mount of Olives we visit the Garden of Gethsemane and possibly the Grotto of Gethsemane and Mary’s Tomb as well. We enter the Old City through the Lions’ Gate, and visit the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus again demonstrated his healing power (John 5). Upon exiting, we find ourselves on the Via Dolorosa, the holy path by Catholic tradition from the place of Jesus’ trial to the site of his crucifixion – today’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After a lunch break along the way, we reach the main church to complete our pilgrimage by seeing its focal points:the Golgotha, the Stone of Unction, the Tomb of Jesus, and the Chapel of the Finding of the Cross.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 7 – Tracking the Walls of Jericho

A day of touring major destinations in the West Bank will be led by an Arab guide. You first head to Jericho, where you visit the biblical mound (Tel es-Sultan) and its nearby spring (Elisha’s Spring). You then take the cable car to the Monastery of the Temptation, to visit the site that relates to the “temptations of Jesus in the Wilderness” (Matt. 4:1-11). After a lunch break you continue on to Bethlehem, and learn about Jesus’ birth at the Church of the Nativity. If time permits you may also visit the Shepherds’ Field and Herodium.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 8 – Float on the Dead Sea

dead-sea-unsplashHeading to the lowest dry land on the planet, we pass by Jericho and visit the Baptism site (Qasr el-Yahud), where we could also conduct a baptism ceremony. Nearby we view the caves where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found (Qumran) and review its significance in Christian history. Next we pass by the desert oasis of Ein Gedi, and possibly spot some of the local Ibex. The main focus of our day will be the magnificent site of Masada, famed for its dramatic and tragic history. We end our day with an optional swim in the Dead Sea.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 9 – To the Site of the Visitation

On the last day, if time permits, we can visit the Israel Museum and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls at the “Shrine of the Book”, assess Jerusalem during the time of Jesus at the Model of the Second Temple, and at the Archaeological Wing see artifacts related to the historical Jesus – the Crucified “Jehohanan son of Hagkol”, Caiaphas Ossuary, and the Pilate Stone. For lunch we could go into the Mahane Yehudah Market, after which we continue on to the tranquill village of Ein Karem. Believed to be the hometown of John the Baptist (Luke 1) we stroll in it alleys and visit the John “Baharim” church and\or the Church of the Visitation. We end our day with a visit to the Israeli national monuments at “Yad Vashem“ and/or Mount Herzl.

Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 10 – Tracking the Ark, David and Goliath

A day devoted to the low hill country side of Israel (the Shephela) starts at ancient Beth Shemesh where we learn about the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines, as well as the unsuccessful love affairs of Samson. Moving on to the Battle Site of David and Goliath we focus on recent research conducted at Azekah and Khirbet Qeiyafa. We also might also collect a few pebbles from the local brook, which proved to be deadly weapons for David in his triumph over Goliath. After lunch we could do some wine tasting at one of the great local wineries, visit Emmaus-Nicopolis where Jesus appeared after his resurrection (Luke 24:13-31), explore the significant biblical site of Tel Lachish, or drive along the “Burma Road” from the 1948 War of Independence.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Day 11 – Peter’s Vision in Jaffa

The last day of our tour is devoted to Old Jaffa and modern Tel Aviv. We start with a review of remains from Canaanite times at Ramesses II’s Gate Garden and then search for the House of Simon the Tanner the site of the vision of Peter (Acts 9). We review the Armenian traditions at the home of the Zakarians, Saint Michael Greek-Orthodox Church, and Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. Upon reaching the Jaffa port we contemplate on its role in the construction the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 2:15, Ezra 3:7), and later in the life of the prophet Jonah ( Jon. 1:3). East of Jaffa, we can also visit Saint Peter and Saint Tabitha Russian Orthodox Church, the unique Samaritan Community in Holon, or the tomb of Saint George in Lod.

Overnight: Tel Aviv

Optional Extension Tour to Jordan:

If you wish, we can also have a three-day extension tour to Jordan, with a focus on biblical history and archaeology.

Here is a possible schedule –

Day 12 – Find the Tabernacle

A 5-hour drive gets us to Eilat, with optional stops along the way at Tel Be’er Sheva, Abraham’s Well in Beer-Sheva, or the Tabernacle Replica in the Timna Nature Reserve. We then cross the border into Jordan, and drive another 1-2 hours to Wadi Rum or Wadi Musa for the night.

Overnight: Wadi Rum or Petra

Day 13 – Exploring Petra and Lot’s Cave

By getting an early start on our hike into Petra we beat the crowds and the heat. Walking through the Siq, our first stop will be to gaze at the magnificent yet enigmatic tomb facade of the the Treasury (“Al-Khazneh“). Next, we stroll along the main street of this fascinating ancient Nabatean city. If time and will permit we could include a hike to the Monastery (“Ad Deir”), or a hike to the “High Place of Sacrifice” or the Tomb of Aaron (“Jabel Haroun”). Around noon we head north, with optional stops at the medieval castle Shobak, the site of Lot’s Cave or Bab Edh-Dhra believed by some to be the sites of biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.

Overnight: Main Hot Springs

Day 14 – View the Promised Land from Mount Nebo

In the morning we visit the site where John the Baptist was executed –  Machaerus. We then head into Madaba to appreciate its wide selection of Byzantine era mosaic floors, and especially its late Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land (“the Madaba Map”). We end the tour with a grand view of the “Promised Land” at ths site identfied with Mount Nebo, the place where Moses was buried.

Overnight: Madaba

Day 15 – Baptize in the Jordan

Pending on the time of your departure from Amman, on the last day we could visit the Baptism Site on the Jordanian side (Bethany beyond the Jordan), and/or the main hgihlights of Jordan’s capital, Amman, before flying out of the airport in Amman.

Farewell!

Contact us to inquire more about a 11-15 day Christian-oriented tour of the Holy Land:

    Danny is incredibly knowledgeable on the biblical, historical and political information surrounding all the sites… As a Christian, Danny has offered me so much insight into the life of Jesus as well.

    Richard E., USA

    We are a Christian Family of five from the United States. Danny gave us an outstanding tour of Jerusalem and Herodion. His Archaeology background and knowledge of the Old and the New Testament is impressive and his explanations brought the holy sites to life... Our three teenage children loved his tours!

    Joan D., USA

    I learnt more about the Bible with Danny in a day than I have ever had attending Sunday school or church. The tour was just excellent!

    John M., UK

    ..my trip to the Holy Land will last my entire life…I really appreciated how you wove the history from the New Testament into our tours…You taught me so much. Please don’t think me presumptuous- I am very sincere. It was a privilege to spend time with you.

    Pam H., USA

    Thanks very much for a really special day. I loved being able to go to the special places for Christians.. an everlasting experience for me… And thanks… for your professionalism and deep knowledge and dedication...

    Ann D., New Zealand

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