nazareth-galilee
mount of beatitudes frontal
gethsemane interior
petra khazane

12-Day Christian Holy Land Tour

12-Day Christian Holy Land + Petra Tour

This carefully crafted 12-day tour plan provides the optimal itinerary for a Christian pilgrim to experience the Holy Land. The Bible will come alive as you travel with your private guide to various holy Christian and biblical sites, gaining an unforgettable spiritual and touring experience. The Galilee, the Golan Heights, Jericho, the Jordan River baptism site, Bethlehem, Jaffa, Caesarea, Petra and much more is all included in this intensive tour plan.

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 Tel-Aviv.

Overnight: Tel-Aviv

Day 5 – 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

Day 6 – 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: Jerusalem

Day 7 – 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 8 – Walk Along the Stations of the Cross

mount of olives afternoonWe 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.

After a lunch break you continue on to Bethlehem, and learn about Jesus’ birth at the Church of the Nativity, and visit the Shepherds’ Field.

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 – Float on the Dead Sea

Heading 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: Eilat

Day 11 – Magestic Petra

petra khazaneAn early start will get you to the border crossing into Jordan, followed by 2 hours drive to Wadi Musa. From here you will embark a 40 minutes’ walk along the spectacular gorge (“siq“) that leads to Petra. Founded some 2,300 years ago by a tribe of desert merchants, Petra’s wealth and state of preservation is simply mind boggling. Gaze at the “treasury“, and walk among other colossal scale tomb façade, appreciating the remains of this legendary culture. If time permits on the way back we can also drive through the Martian like landscape in Wadi Rum, and visit Aqaba.

Overnight: Eilat

Day 12 – Sail on the Red Sea

On your last tour day you will have an opportunity to explore the Red Sea and appreciate its coloured fish and coral reef. The ultimate way will be by sailing on a yacht and combine it with snorkeling or scuba diving experience.  You can also consider a tour of  Eilat’s underwater observatory if you don’t care of getting wet. Alternatively we could leave Eilat in the morning and on the way to Tel-Aviv / the airport have a tour of the Tabernacle replica in Timna’s nature reserve and/or drive through the Ramon Crater where we can have a short and fun rappelling experience.

Overnight: Tel-Aviv

Contact us to inquire more about an 12 day Christian-oriented tour of the Holy Land:

    Danny knows the sites of Israel from so many different perspectives- not the least of which is the archeological expertise he brings to the table. Danny is one of a kind - I'd recommend him for any length of tour for any age group on any day of the week! My experience was eye opening and life-shifting. Loved every moment. Best tour guide experience I've ever had!

    Hillary T., USA

    Daniel provided the single best guided tour experience our family has ever had! Daniel's knowledge of the Holy Land is the very best - and he magically weaved lessons on history, archeology, and religion into every site visit - in a way that fascinated my entire family (inc 2 teenagers, 2 young adults). We all learned and had experiences we will never forget. The entire experience was top notch and well planned - Danny knows everyone and how to get things done. Don't hesitate. Book Danny the Digger now!

    J.B. T., USA

    My husband and I just got back from an 8 day tour of Israel with Danny. It was fantastic!! Danny is incredibly knowledgeable and related so many interesting details and facts about his country. Every day was a great day. Danny is simply the best!!

    Robyn W. USA

    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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