Holy Land (Israel & Jordan) 12-Day Tour

12  or 13 Day Israel & Jordan Tour Departures
Dec 29, 2017 – Jan 9, 2018
Jan 1 – 12, 2018
Feb 26 – Mar 9, 2018

Mar 5 – 16, 2018
Mar 12 – 23, 2018

Additional Dehoney Travel Holy Land videos clips can be viewed here

What is the continuing appeal of this tiny piece of arid land, tucked along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean?  This remarkable land has cradled the faith of three major world religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  A visit to the Holy Land is more than a tour to view the sights of an ancient culture and learn about a unique people.  It is a pilgrimage and a spiritual quest.  As you visit the actual sites of historical events, the Bible comes alive and you feel the presence and power of the living Lord in a way never before known.

Marvel at mountaintop spiritual experiences: celebrating the resurrection at a moving Garden Tomb communion service; praying in the Garden of Gethsemane; and kneeling on the stone pavement of the Roman barracks area where Jesus was scourged before going to Calvary.  The impact and memories will last a lifetime!  For an even more in-depth experience, join one of our seminar groups.  Escorted by knowledgeable Dehoney Travel staff and faculty, your touring is supplemented with optional evening lectures that delve even deeper into the scripture, culture, and history of the Holy Land.

The sequence of touring and days may be altered to adjust to religious holidays, special closings of sites, air schedule changes, etc. Hotels listed subject to availability. Meal inclusions may vary by departure.

(Special Note:  There is also available a 10-day Holy Land Tour package offered.  Click here to view the itinerary.)

DAY 1      USA/TEL AVIV

Departure from U.S. gateway city on our jet to the Holy Land.   (meals aloft)

12 Day Holy Land Trip

“It’s hard to choose any one experience (as a favorite) – all sites were interesting or inspirational. The hotels and food were outstanding, and we really appreciated the number of included meals. The services on site had well-chosen scripture and music for a very inspirational experience. I have better understanding of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus.”        Betty, North Carolina

 

DAY 2     ARRIVE TEL AVIV

We arrive today in Tel Aviv, which was founded on the outskirts of Jaffa (biblical Joppa) in 1909 and today encompasses the ancient port city. We drive to our hotel on the Mediterranean coast, just north of Tel Aviv, for dinner and overnight. (meals aloft,D)

 

DAY 3      CAESAREA/MOUNT CARMEL/AKKO/TIBERIAS

We begin this morning at Caesarea, constructed on the Mediterranean by Herod the Great several years before the birth of Jesus. The massive harbor could accommodate 300 ships, and the hippodrome could seat over 20,000 people at chariot races. It was in Caesarea that Peter baptized Cornelius the centurion and his household, the first known baptism of a gentile convert to Christianity. Paul visited here between his second and third missionary journeys and was later imprisoned here before being sent to Rome. From there we drive inland, pausing to view the ruins of Megiddo, the Biblical Armageddon.  We continue to Mount Carmel where we visit the traditional site of Elijah’s dramatic confrontation with the prophets of Baal. From the summit we take in the sweeping panoramic view of the Jezreel Valley. Then we proceed to the coastal city of Akko, known in New Testament times as Ptolemais, which was one of the stops on Paul’s final return to Jerusalem. Sometimes called the “Gateway to the Holy Land,” its location put it at the crossroads of major sea and land routes in ancient times, and its natural harbor served as the main port of the region until Caesarea was built. After our time here we continue to Tiberias for dinner and overnight at the Gai Beach Hotel or Caesar Hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. (B,D)

 

DAY 4        MAGDALA/MOUNT OF BEATITUDES/CAESAREA PHILIPPI/SEA OF GALILEE/CAPERNAUM/TIBERIAS

We drive along the edge of the Sea of Galilee to Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene.  When excavating the synagogue, archaeologists found a coin minted in Tiberias in 29 A.D., indicating that the synagogue dates back to the time of Jesus’ ministry here in the Galilee. Then we go a short distance to the Mount of Beatitudes. Somewhere on this green hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. From there we drive north into the foothills of Mount Hermon to Banias (Caesarea Philippi) near the headwaters of the Jordan River. In this area, Peter memorably proclaimed Jesus to be “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” and Jesus affirmed this by declaring “…on this rock I will build my church…” From there we drive back through the Golan Heights and past Kursi, where a herd of demon-possessed pigs rushed into the Sea of Galilee and drowned after Jesus cast the demons out of a man. We continue along the eastern shore of the sea to Ein Gev, where we enjoy a traditional lunch of St. Peter’s fish. After a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, we visit the ruins of ancient Capernaum. Jesus came here after being rejected by his hometown of Nazareth and adopted Capernaum as “his own town.” Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew all lived here, and this area became the center of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee. After our time here, we return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.  (B,L,D)

 

DAY 5       NAZARETH/MOUNT PRECIPICE/BEIT SHE’AN/JORDAN RIVER/TIBERIAS

This morning we go first to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus. There we visit Mary’s Well at St. Gabriel’s Church, the traditional site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear the Son of God. Following our time here, we drive to the top of Mount Precipice, traditional site where an angry mob tried to throw Jesus off a cliff following his Messianic proclamation in Luke 4. From this windswept hilltop, we take in the spectacular views of Mount Tabor and the Jezreel Valley. Then we travel south to Beit She’an, perhaps best known as the site where King Saul and his sons were hung from the city walls by the triumphant Philistines. During the Roman era, it was renamed Scythopolis and became the capital city of the Decapolis – the only one of the 10 cities on the west side of the Jordan River. The site offers some of the best-preserved ruins in the Middle East, including the second-century Roman theater. We conclude our day at a baptismal site on the River Jordan located near the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee, and then we return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.   (B,D)

 

DAY 6      SHEIK HUSSEIN BRIDGE/JERASH/JABBOK/MOUNT NEBO/PETRA

This morning we cross Sheik Hussein Bridge and travel to Jerash, a city of the decapolis that was one of the most important and best-preserved cities in the Near East.  We view the Jabbok Stream, where Jacob wrestled with a “man” who wrenched Jacob’s hip socket. Then we drive to the top of Mount Nebo, from where Moses viewed the Promised Land, the green Jordan Valley – the “Land of Milk and Honey.” We continue south to Petra and the Movenpick Hotel for dinner and overnight.           (B,D)

 

DAY 7       PETRA/MOAB/WADI MUJIB/AMMAN

Today we visit the marvelous “rose-red” city of Petra. The last mile of the journey is along a winding narrow path, the Sik, between two high cliffs. The entire city of rose-colored temples and amphitheaters is carved out of the multi-hued rock of the cliffs which surround its hidden valley. We depart Petra and drive past Shawbak, a Crusader castle built in the 12th century. We continue through the area of Moab among spectacular canyons and pause for a rest stop at Wadi Mujib. Our destination for the night is Amman, where we have dinner and overnight at the Regency Palace Hotel. (B,D)

 

DAY 8         BETHANY/ALLENBY BRIDGE/JERICHO/MASADA/QUMRAN/DEAD SEA/JERUSALEM

This morning we go to Bethany and its excavated baptismal site along the Jordan River near where John the Baptist lived and baptized. We proceed to the Allenby Bridge to return to Israel where we go to the oasis of Jericho, the world’s oldest continually inhabited city. Jesus restored sight to blind Bartemaeus here, and the tax collector Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus in Jericho. We view the traditional Mount of Temptation, and then we drive south to the majestic fortress of Masada, constructed by Herod the Great on top of a rocky plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. We ride the cable car to the top to explore the ruins and learn about the huge storerooms and cisterns that enabled Jewish defenders to stay well-provisioned for several years while under siege by the Romans following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. After riding the cable car back down the mountain, we continue to Qumran to view caves where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We conclude our day (time permitting) with the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea. On our way back to Jerusalem, we pause at a viewpoint overlooking the Wadi Qelt, the traditional “valley of the shadow of death,” to see the spectacular Monastery of St. George, which was constructed by carving into sheer rock wall. Then we proceed to the Dan Jerusalem Hotel for dinner and overnight.  (B,D)

 

DAY 9       HERODION/BETHLEHEM

This morning we take an excursion south from Jerusalem to Herodion, a cone-shaped hill near Bethlehem where Herod the Great built a fortress and palace, and where he was buried.  At the base of the hill, Herod built a kind of royal “country club,” including a large pool, a bathhouse, and a roofed pool, surrounded by magnificent gardens. From here we go to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus. First we drive along the wall that separates the West Bank from Israel and see some of the poignant artwork that sheds light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then we go to a wood-carving workshop to watch craftsmen fashion beautiful nativity scenes, figurines, and pieces of jewelry from olive wood. From there we continue to the Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional site of the birth of Christ and recently renovated to highlight the vibrant mosaics on its interior walls. Before departing Bethlehem, we drive by the traditional Field of

12 Day Holy Land Trip

“Just seeing and touring the Holy Land meant so much and made a great impression on me. I really enjoyed all the sites we visited. Our hotels, food, guides, all of it was wonderful.” N.G., Mississippi

Shepherds, where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds. Then we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.                              (B,D)

 

DAY 10      MOUNT OF OLIVES/GETHSEMANE/CAIAPHAS’ HOUSE/CITY OF DAVID/MT. ZION/WESTERN WALL/CITADEL SHOW

We begin this morning atop the Mount of Olives, offering iconic views of the Old City. Then we begin the “Palm Sunday Walk,” tracing the traditional route Christ took on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Partway down the hill we pause at the Dominus Flevit chapel which commemorates the Lord’s weeping over Jerusalem. We continue on to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed while his disciples slept on the night of his arrest. A garden-like courtyard full of ancient olive trees has been preserved next to the Church of All Nations, also known as the Church of the Agony. From here we go to Caiaphas’ palace, where Jesus was first brought before the high priest. We then visit the City of David, the original core of the ancient city where Jerusalem was born. Here we explore ancient shafts, view walls and fortresses that protected ancient Israelites, and see the Gihon Spring, a vitally important water source that fed the Pool of Siloam. Then we go to Mount Zion, where we see the traditional Room of the Last Supper. We conclude our day with a visit to the Western Wall, the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people; and Jerusalem Archaeological Park, where we climb the “Southern Steps” leading to the original main entrance of the Temple Mount in the Second Temple period – stairs that Jesus would have climbed when he visited the temple in Jerusalem. From here we return to our hotel for dinner. This evening we take in the “Night Spectacular” sound and light show at the Tower of David, where the story of Jerusalem unfolds through giant breathtaking, virtual reality images projected onto the walls of the Citadel. After the show, we are taken back to our hotel.       (B,D)

 

12 Day Holy Land Trip

“Everything about this trip was outstanding. We now have a greater understanding about Christianity, our heritage, and the politics of the modern world. Our bus guide, the professors, and the ministers were excellent. There was so much to do and not enough time, but that’s a good thing! We would love to go again because there is so much to see.”     Steve T., Georgia

 

DAY 11       ISRAEL MUSEUM/YAD VASHEM/VIA DOLOROSA/GARDEN TOMB/TEL AVIV

This morning we drive past the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament building, and visit the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, which houses the original Dead Sea Scrolls. We also take some time to view the scale model of Jerusalem in the 1st century. Then we pay a sobering visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, which preserves the memory of the dead and honors those who worked selflessly to help Jews in need. After this time of reflection, we return to the Old City and enter through the Lion’s Gate to visit St. Anne’s Church and the Pools of Bethesda. Then we follow the traditional path of the Via Dolorosa, commemorating the route Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. The route concludes at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  We end our day at Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb, where in an inspiring service we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.  From there we return to our hotel with some time to rest and finish packing. Following dinner this evening we transfer to the airport for our return journey home.   (B,D)

 

DAY 12       USA

We arrive back in the USA this morning and continue on to our hometown. (meals aloft)