A Christian Tour Leader throughout your holiday plus Daily Devotions and time for worship.
Return economy airfares to Amman
Quality accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Luggage assistance at hotels.
Travel with Bishop Gary Nelson
Our wonderful holiday begins with an evening flight from Australia (Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane) through to Dubai and onto Amman, Jordan.
In Dubai, we will connect with our morning flight to Amman, the capital city of Jordan. We have arranged an early check-in so you can have an opportunity to rest before we enjoy a city tour in the afternoon. Situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley, Amman is a fascinating city of contrasts, a modern metropolis co-existing amongst numerous ancient ruins. Back at the hotel we will enjoy our first group dinner together.
This morning we will travel south along the 5,000-year-old King’s Highway, one of the most memorable journeys in the Land of the Bible. We pass through some of Jordan’s loveliest countryside and a string of ancient sites and come to Madaba, “the City of Mosaics.” The most famous of the mosaics lies in the contemporary Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, a wonderfully vivid, sixth-century Byzantine mosaic map showing Jerusalem and other holy sites. Today the strong Christian connection continues with Madaba home to the largest Christian population in Jordan.
A short drive west brings us to the most revered Biblical site in Jordan, Mount Nebo, where we visit the memorial of Moses. A small, square church was built by early Byzantine Christians on the presumed site of the prophet’s death and burial place and has since been expanded into a vast complex. We pay homage to a prophet greatly revered by all faith groups in this region – Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
We travel south to Wadi Rum, famous as the home of “Lawrence of Arabia” and a unique moonscape terrain of ancient river beds, wind- sculpted mountains, vast desert vistas and smooth, pastel-coloured sands. Long skirted legionnaires will offer us cardamom-spiced coffee at the "Beau Geste" outpost before we enjoy a 2 hours jeep tour of the “Wadi” (valley). We finish with dinner and overnight accommodation at the Wadi Rum Bedouin camp – a truly memorable experience and a fitting end to a marvellous day.
This morning we leave Wadi Rum, passing by Mount Edom and Ain Mousa (Moses Springs) on our way to the archaeological marvel of Petra; carved from the rose-red stone of Sharah Mountains it is famously known as the “Rose City “of Jordan. Dating to around 300 B.C. Petra was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom but was lost for centuries to the western world. The Crusaders were the last westerners to visit before it was “re-discovered” in 1812 by the Swiss Burckhardt. You are sure to be as overwhelmed as he was by its extraordinary beauty. We have a full day to explore the whole UNESCO World Heritage site. The Treasury, the Roman Theatre, the Courts, Qasr Bint Pharaoun, Temple of the Winged Lion and other monuments, which, in 2007, were named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
After breakfast. we journey to the Bronze-Age archaeological site of Tall el-Hammam, believed to be Sodom, the Biblical “city of sin”; this ancient metropolis, along with its neighbouring city of Gomorrah, were described in the Old Testament as being destroyed by fire and brimstone.
We visit the great Herodian fortress of Macherud – now called Mukawir – best known as the location of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist. The royal courtyard of the palace is considered one of the closest and best existing archaeological parallels to the Herodian Gabbatha in the Jerusalem Praetorium, where Pontius Pilate judged Jesus of Nazareth.
From Mukawir we travel to the Dead Sea, the salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. It’s famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Amman and our accommodation for the next two nights.
After morning worship we will visit the mountainous region east of the Jordan River known in the Bible as Gilead. Here, at Wadi Kharrar, one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archaeology was made, an ancient baptismal site called Al-Maghtas (“baptism” or “immersion” in Arabic). In the last 20 years archaeologists have uncovered more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Roman and Byzantine period.
This archaeological site on the east bank of the Jordan River is believed to be the biblical Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized. This site is holy in Judaism and Islam as well as Christianity and we will take time to tour the ancient ruins and baptism pools. Elijah’s Hill (Jabal Mar-Elias) is also to be found in this area and in 2005 the whole area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This morning we cross over into Israel where we meet our coach and guide for the Israel section of the tour. We drive south through the Jordan River valley to our first stop, Qumran. It was here that the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered; these 981 texts were found in eleven different caves and are believed to date from between 300 BC and 100 AD.
We make a short stop at the Springs of Ein Gedi, the place where David hid from King Saul, before we drive up to the rocky fortress of Masada. This majestic UNESCO heritage-listed fortress was built by King Herod and was the site of the historical last stand of the zealots against mighty Rome. Our day’s final destination is a resort on the Dead Sea where you can swim (or really float) in the resorts own salt water pools.
From “Dan to Beersheba” is a biblical phrase used to refer to the settled areas of the Tribes of Israel between Dan in the North and Beersheba in the South. Today we visit the southern part of the Promised Land, Beersheba (Beersheva), an area known also for the Australian Light Horse Cavalry attack in World War I. Our itinerary today takes us through Beersheva to Hebron, first mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with Abraham and an important city in the very early days of the history of the Bible. From here we travel through the Elah Valley, where the battle of David and Goliath was fought, and then onto our overnight destination of Netanya on the coastal seafront of the Mediterranean Sea.
Today we travel to Caesarea, an important link for non-Jewish people (Gentiles) to the Bible Story, and following this we step back in time to when the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. This area is also important to such Old Testament incidents as the battle of Gideon and Deborah, along with the prophesied Battle of Armageddon. Our drive from Mount Carmel will take us past Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood village, as we drive towards our accommodation on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. A sunset boat trip on the Sea of Galilee will be a most memorable experience to finish another wonderful day in the Holy Land.
Today we will visit many sites important to Jesus’ ministry including Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ activities in Galilee. Here, Jesus taught in the local synagogue and it was the home town of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John, and the tax collector Matthew. At the Sea of Galilee Boat Museum we will view an ancient fishing boat from the 1st Century AD, like those used by the fishermen in the Gospels. A short stop in Tabgha, site of the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, will take us to St Peter’s Primacy where Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. We then travel to Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount before we explore the ruins at Caesarea Phillipi where Jesus asked his disciples who people were saying he was.
This morning we travel to the River Jordan and a traditional Baptism site. We will pass Mount Tabor, the traditional Mount of Transfiguration and follow the Jordan Valley to Jericho. Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and it is where Jesus healed a blind beggar. When we visit the Holy Land we make sure we go “up” to Jerusalem, and excitement mounts as we drive into this very special city with an overview from Mount Scopus.
From the Mount of Olives we will enjoy an eye opening moment over- looking Jerusalem before visiting the Church of the Pater Noster, the site on which Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. To commemorate the Ascension Emperor Constantine built a church over a cave here in the 4th Century and today we can see it partially reconstructed.
Together we will walk the Palm Sunday Path and visit the little teardrop shaped Church of Dominus Flevit, recalling the Gospel incident when Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. We will visit the Garden of Gethsemane where our Lord prayed and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion. The Basilica of Agony enshrines a section of the bedrock where Jesus prayed before his arrest.
We enter the Old City through the Lion’s Gate and visit the Pools of Bethesda. We then walk the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa. We will be inspired by Christendom’s holiest of sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. From here we go to Mount Zion and marvel at the Cenacle or “Upper Room”, the site of the Last Supper, before visiting the beautiful Dorminton Abbey.
After morning worship we will visit the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Cardo in the ancient heart of Jerusalem. We will view the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, before visiting the Israel Museum. See a model of Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book. We travel to Bethlehem, the birth place of our Saviour, visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Fields.
We will visit Ein Karem and the Church of John the Baptist. Our last full day in the Holy Land will be topped off by the Tower of David Sound and Light Show in the evening.
A wonderful conclusion to this journey through the Land of the Bible as we make a guided visit of the Garden Tomb before we enjoy a “last supper” celebration together. From Jerusalem we transfer to the Allenby Bridge and return to Amman Airport for our flight to Dubai.
Today is a full day of leisure in Dubai. You might like to visit the famous Dubai Mall, explore the Gold and Spice Souks or choose one of the many optional tours (available to book once in Dubai). Tonight we will enjoy our final dinner in a local restaurant overlooking the dancing fountain show.
After breakfast on Wednesday, we will be transferred to the airport for our final flight.
A Thursday morning arrival in Australia blessed with new knowledge – knowledge of the region in which significant Bible stories actually occurred, its culture, and a deeper appreciation of the Bible itself.
10 September 2019
26 September 2019
10 September 2019
26 September 2019