Welcome to the “Land of the Book” tour – visiting intriguing sites in Israel and Palestine that make the story of the Bible come alive.
The tour is led by Revd Mike Fuller – international Bible teacher, and retired Baptist minister and teacher of Religious Studies and Philosophy. Mike is a regular speaker at New Wine; Tutor in Theology at Trinity Church, Cheltenham; and author of the acclaimed “Entire Story of the Bible in Fifty Minutes” teaching material, “A Fool’s Guide to Following Jesus”, and “A Fool’s Guide to the Land of the Book”.
Alongside our visits to holy sites, and our worship together, we will also have time to hear both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the current Middle Eastern conflict.
We leave London Luton on a direct morning flight to Tel Aviv, where we will be met on arrival for transfer to our hotel in Tiberias (by the Sea of Galilee).
We start the day with an audio-visual introduction to the region at “The Galilee Experience”. Then, passing Mount Tabor (a possible site of the Transfiguration) we visit Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine), and continue to Nazareth - where we see a church built around Mary’s Well, and Jesus’ reputed childhood home (at the Church of the Annunciation). We visit Nazareth Village (depicting life in the time of Jesus), and the Mount of the Precipice (believed by some to be where Jesus was taken by the angry crowd after preaching at the Nazareth Synagogue) – from which we view the Jezreel Valley, the Biblical location for Armageddon.
We visit the 2000 year old “Jesus Boat” at a nearby kibbutz, and then sail across the Sea of Galilee on a replica of this boat - pausing during this for our Sunday worship. We visit sites associated with Jesus’ ministry: Migdal (the home of Mary Magdalene, with a synagogue from the time of Jesus); Kursi (a possible location for the Gadarene swine); Capernaum (Jesus’ home town, with its ancient synagogue and Peter’s house); and Tabgha (a possible site of the feeding of the 5000, and of a lakeside resurrection appearance of Jesus). We finish the day celebrating communion on the hillside of the Mount of Beatitudes (the setting for the Sermon on the Mount).
Leaving the Galilee, we travel south to Jericho - where we see the ruins of the ancient city captured by Joshua, recall the temptation of Jesus, and reflect on Jesus’ encounters with Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus. We see the river Jordan, where Jesus was baptised (it may be possible for members of the group to be baptised here). We continue through the Wadi Kelt (possibly the inspiration for the “Valley of the Shadow of Death”) where we see St George’s Monastery across the valley. As we draw close to Jerusalem, we visit Bethany, the site of Lazarus’ tomb. We continue to our new hotel in Bethlehem.
Tuesday In the morning, we visit nearby Herodion (one of Herod’s many palaces, believed to have contained Herod’s tomb); the Shepherds’ Fields; and the Church of the Nativity. During the afternoon, we meet local Christians – who will help us to understand the recent history of the region - including a visit to Bethlehem Bible College (where we will hear an Arab Christian Palestinian perspective on the conflict), and the Tent of Nations (a Christian-owned farm surrounded by Israeli settlements).
Today we explore the city of Jerusalem in the Old Testament, and in the time of Jesus. First, we view the Old City from the Mount of Olives, then see the Western Wall, and the Western Wall Excavations (some remains from the time of the second Temple), and the Western Wall tunnels. To conclude the day, we see David’s City; walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (constructed in the 8th century BCE to ensure a safe water supply); and see the recently uncovered Pool of Siloam, and a recently discovered paved street from the Pool to the Temple. We return for the night to Bethlehem.
At the start of the day we return to the Western Wall, where we will hope to witness a Bar Mitzvah; and we visit the Temple Mount. We then trace the Palm Sunday path down from the Mount of Olives into the city, pausing at the Dominus Flavit church (recalling Jesus weeping over Jerusalem). We see Gethsemane, where we will celebrate communion, and have time for quiet reflection. We walk part of the “Last Path” (through the Kidron valley), and visit the church of St Peter in Gallicantu (reputedly where Peter denied Jesus, the site of Caiaphas’ House). We look across the Gehinnom valley, and reflect on the implications of this for Jesus’ teaching on judgement. Entering the old city again, we see a possible location of the Upper Room at St Mark’s Syrian Church, and visit the Burnt House - an ancient priestly house from the time of Jesus. Our new hotel is close to the walls of the old city of Jerusalem.
Our evening meal will be a shortened form of the Passover seder, to help us understand what was happening at the Last Supper.
Returning to the Old City, we first visit the Pool of Bethesda (where Jesus healed a crippled man). We then follow part of the Via Dolorosa (the approximate route Jesus took to his death on the cross). We see flagstones thought to be from the Antonia Fortress (the Roman barracks, where Jesus was tried); on these can be seen an engraving known as the King Game, perhaps related to the mocking of Jesus. At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we see the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. We end the afternoon viewing Gordon’s Calvary, and with quiet reflection and worship at the Garden Tomb (possible alternative locations for Jesus’ death and resurrection).
We take a “day out” to visit the desert area south-east of Jerusalem. We drive along the shore of the Dead Sea (the lowest place on the earth’s surface), and visit the ancient fortress of Masada (another of Herod’s fortresses, and the famed site of Jewish resistance); Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, possibly associated with John the Baptist; and Ein Gedi, scene of David’s pursuit by Saul. Finally, we have the opportunity to “float” in the Dead Sea.
In the morning, we share in (English-speaking) worship with local Christians in Jerusalem – either at Christchurch (the oldest Anglican church in the Middle East, with Messianic sympathies), or at East Jerusalem Baptist Church (with Arab Palestinian connections).
The remainder of the day is free.
In the morning we visit the Israel Museum to see the “Shrine of the Book”; and then Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), just outside Jerusalem. We travel on to Tel Aviv, and our flight home to London Luton.
Itinerary subject to change.
Price £1590 per person
What the price includes
Not included in the price
Please note that the cost of the tour may be subject to surcharges - please see the booking conditions. Currency exchange rates used £1 = US$1.4649 as published in the Financial Times on 5th January 2016.
* APC (ATOL Protection Contribution) provides passenger protection via the ATTF (Air Travel Trust Fund). For further information visit www.caa.co.uk
HOW TO BOOK
Either click 'Book' at the bottom of this page or download, complete and return the booking form to:
Worldwide Christian Travel 36 Coldharbour Road, Bristol, BS6 7NA UK
Tel: 0845 458 8308
Worldwide Christian Travel has been organising Christian holidays and tours, mainly to the Holy Land, for over 40 years. We cover all aspects of travel and are one of the most comprehensive Christian travel organisers in the country. Worldwide Christian Travel is a trading name of Hadler Tours Limited.
People of all ages are welcome, but, whatever your age, we must insist on a reasonable level of fitness. A number of sites involve rough walking.
Hadler Tours Limited is a member of ABTA with membership numbers 93522 & V2096. ABTA and ABTA Members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you or if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 68-71 Newman Street London W1T 3AH Tel: 020 7637 2444 or visit www.abta.com.
All monies paid by you for the air holiday package shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3078. For more information see our booking terms and conditions.
Passports, Visas and Vaccinations
Travellers are responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport for travel to the relevant countries and that it is valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. A visa is not required for British Passport holders visiting Israel. At the time this brochure went to press no vaccinations or inoculations are required for travel but you may wish to consult your own doctor for advice concerning this. If you have any queries regarding the above, we will be happy to help.
For the latest travel advice please visit www.fco.gov.uk or call 0870 606 0290.
Further Information And Paying The Balance
Further information will be sent to you regarding any action that may be required approximately 10 weeks before departure. A final invoice will also be sent at this time and the balance for the tour must be paid at least 8 weeks before departure.
Full travel information, including details of meeting points, flight times, accommodation and travel information, will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks before departure. Normally, tickets are not issued but are handed to you at the airport or departure point by our representative who will be there to ensure that you depart without a hitch and to deal with any last minute difficulties.
It is compulsory to have travel insurance for your booking. Holiday Extras have a range of policies available at very competitive prices. You can obtain a quote online by clicking here or alternatively you can call 0871 360 2742 and quote ABTA number 93522.
Our normal procedure is to deal with tips on a group basis and these are included in the price. The tour leader will distribute them to the guide, driver and hotels on your behalf. Individual tipping is not recommended unless the circumstances are exceptional.
Room Check In and Check Out Times
The standard international practice is to let rooms from midday to midday. However times do vary. Check-in times are usually between 2pm and 3pm, check-out times between 11am and 12 noon on the day of departure. Therefore, if you check-in immediately after a night flight this would normally count as one night’s accommodation. Similarly if your return flight is at night you will normally be required to vacate your room at 12 noon prior to leaving for the airport. Day rooms are subject to availability/cost and should be arranged locally with the accommodation management.
Page published September 2016
“My wife and I have just returned from the Mothers Union Pilgrimage to the Holy Land led by Jennie and Malcolm Jones. The hotel, guide, itinerary and leadership were excellent, making it 7 unforgettable days. Many thanks to all involved. ”