Israel & Jordan
Bible Lands Tour
September 20-October 2, 2021
Day 1 – September 20, Monday
Today, we board our flight for the land of the Bible, Israel! The flight is approximately 11 hours long to Amman, Jordan. After a layover, we arrive in Tel Aviv late evening. (Using Royal Jordanian Airlines accommodates our departure on the morning of Day 13 from the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. It is a 45-minute drive from the hotel to the Amman airport. The flight home is non-stop from Amman.)
Day 2 – September 21, Tuesday
Arrive in Israel Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel where we are greeted, assisted and transferred to our hotel by the Epic TOURS staff. Overnight on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea! Open your Bible and let your mind drink in the Biblical history you are about to personally experience. You are in the Holy Land! We rest from the long journey to prepare us for our first day of touring.
Overnight: Tel-Aviv Near Airport
Day 3 -September 22, Wednesday Caesarea/Mt. Carmel/Tel-Megiddo/Nazareth Village/Mt. Precipice/Tiberias
We awake in the Holy Land to a sumptuous Israeli breakfast buffet, then we transfer by deluxe motor coach heading north on the Coastal road to view the stately, ancient ruins of Caesarea, visiting the Roman amphitheater where Paul stood trial. It was here that the Holy Spirit first fell on the Gentiles as Cornelius, the first Gentile of the Church-age, met Peter. Next, we drive up the Mediterranean Coast to Mount Carmel, Elijah’s Cave, the place where the Prophet Elijah defeated the false prophets of Baal and where God answered by fire. We continue today by driving through the Valley of Jezreel (Google: Valley of Jezreel for information) - the prophetic future site of the battle of Armageddon. Driving toward Nazareth, we stop to visit an extraordinary site called Nazareth Village, where we step back in time to see a day in the life of the first century Jews who lived in Nazareth. We will visit Mt. Precipice which is located south of Nazareth, on the cliffs of Mt Kedumim (397M), overlooking the Yizrael Valley and Mount Tabor. This is considered by some to be the place where angry Jewish worshippers drove Jesus away from the Synagogue, attempted to throw him of the cliffs, and he disappeared before their eyes "in the midst of them”.
Day 4: - September 23, Thursday Explore The Galilee- Lake Kineret/ Mr. Arbel/Magdala/Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee/St. Peter’s Fish Lunch/Capernaum/Mount of the Beatitudes/Tabgha/Bethseda/Kursi (Pig Jump)
After another great Israeli breakfast, we start our day with a service on the Galilee. Stepping aboard a Galilee boat for a calm cruise on the sea, we enjoy an incredible worship service, which will be life changing. For many pilgrims to the Holy Land, this is one of the most memorable. Later, we disembark at Ginosar for a short trip to Capernaum, where we visit the home of the Apostle Peter where Jesus healed his mother-in-law. Visit Tabgha where Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves. We lunch on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy a special Feast of St. Peter’s Fish. A short bus ride takes us to the Mount of Beatitudes where we hear the words of Jesus on the mount where the greatest sermon ever was preached. We proceed to our baptismal site located on the Jordan River, Yardenit, for those who wish to be baptized. After baptism, we return to the hotel where another Israeli buffet presents an amazing variety of food for our dinner.
Day 5 – September 24, Friday Jordan Valley
After breakfast, we travel to Beit Shean to visit one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters in Israel. Extensive excavations have uncovered eighteen layers of civilizations. Ancient Beit Shean is also where King Saul’s body was retrieved by the brave men of Jabesh Gilead. We travel south to Jericho, the “City of Palms” spreading out on the west side of the Jordan River at 825 feet below sea level. The Bible site of Tell es-Sultan is in the distance and is the city Joshua destroyed. In Jesus’ day a new center had been constructed on the wadi banks by the Hasmonean rulers and Herod the Great. Continuing south, we see Qumran, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a little shepherd boy and Ein Gedi where David fled from Saul. Continuing south through the wilderness of Judea, we will ascend by cable car to Masada, the fortress built by King Herod the Great. Step back in time to 66 CE when a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada and settled on the top of Masada until 73 CE when the Roman governor laid siege. The view of the Roman camps can still be seen from atop Masada, as well as a spectacular view of the country of Jordan and the Dead Sea. Visit the remains of Herod’s Palace, the Apartments, Baths, Storehouses and Cisterns. It was here the Jewish Zealots made their last stand against the Roman Legions from 70-73 AD. Descend from Masada with a stunning view of the Dead Sea. We continue north along the shore of the Dead Sea and leave the lowest point on earth which is 1360 feet below sea level. Ending our day, journey up the wilderness of Judea near Jericho to arrive in Jerusalem before sunset and to feast our souls and eyes on the most sacred spot on earth. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your voice and sing, Hosanna to our King!
Dinner and Overnight: Jerusalem
Day 6 – September 25, Saturday Jerusalem/Temple Mount/Hulda Gates/ Western Wall
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem If permitted to enter, we begin our day at one of the most incredible sites in all of Judaism: The Temple Mount. It is here where Temple era came to an abrupt halt as it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Leaving the Temple Mount, we begin a tour of the old city of Jerusalem. We visit St. Ann’s Church and hear the marvelous acoustics as we sing. Nearby, we visit the Pool of Bethesda where the angel stirred the waters for healing. Following the path from Pilate’s Judgement Hall through the old city, we experience the sights and sounds of old Jerusalem as we journey toward the Western Wall. We walk the Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of Jesus. the route that he took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. Just below the Temple Mount, on the western side we will pray at the Western Wall (Kotel) which is the closest wall to where the Holy of Holies was located when the Temple was in use during the 1st Century. In the afternoon, we journey to Bethlehem where we eat lunch at a local restaurant with a Bedouin flavor, enjoyed by all who have visited! We visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds Fields where the angels sang on the night of His birth. Great shopping opportunities in Bethlehem! Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 7 – September 26, Sunday Jerusalem, Old City We begin our day with the incredible view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Continuing, we visit the Church of All Nations and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with a grand view of the Eastern Gate and the Kidron Valley. Here, we read the Scriptures of Jesus’ prayer and take time for personal reflection where we literally walk where Jesus walked. By appointment, we visit the Temple Institute. The Temple Institute's goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments. By appointment, we will visit the Western Wall Tunnel which will take you underground. A large portion of the Western Wall is inaccessible, otherwise. You will see stones, models and actual structures which provide clues as to how the Second Temple was constructed. In addition, these artifacts help explain the history of this area through the eyes of all the great empires that once ruled Jerusalem. To end the day, we journey to the Garden Tomb where we view the Hill of the Skull and walk into the empty tomb. A communion service provides an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and His victory over death. Ministers from your group will lead the service. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 8 – September 27, Monday City of David and Mt. Zion
By 9 in the morning, we arrive at the City of David, at the Gihon Spring, where we learn of how the original city of Jerusalem was established by King David, overtaking from the Jebusites. Next, we’ll visit Hezekiah’s Tunnel: A 1750-foot tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece is considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period. The Pool of Siloam is a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem, located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts. After lunch, we visit the room of the Last Supper, also known as the site of the Upper Room, and the traditional site of the Tomb of King David, we take a short walk through the Jewish Quarter and walk through the Roman Cardo. After lunch in the Jewish Quarter, we visit the Room of the Last Supper, also known as the site of the Upper Room. Continuing to the House of Caiaphas, we see the pit where Jesus spent the night and the patio where Peter denied the Lord.
Traveling to the Israeli Museum we will visit the 2nd Temple model of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea scrolls (discovered in the caves of Qumran) among other antiquities. We’ll view the Knesset Menorah which is a bronze Menorah weighing 4 tons. It is located opposite the Knesset. It was presented to the Knesset as a gift from the Parliament of the United Kingdom on April 15, 1956 in honor of the eighth anniversary of Israeli independence. We end our day on the 12th floor of the Clal Building, at the Epic Tours Jerusalem office and Prayer Room overlooking the city of Jerusalem - a spectacular view and an awesome spiritual experience as we contemplate our journey in the Holy Land. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 9 – September 28, Tuesday Jerusalem, The City Of Our King
After breakfast, we check out and begin our journey to the border. Shalom to Israel - Marhabah to Jordan. After clearing the Jordanian Immigration and Customs, we stop in Madaba to view the fifth century mosaic map in a church. Visit Mt. Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. Continuing south through the outskirts of Amman, the capitol of Jordan, we drive south to Petra arriving The Old Village Hotel in time for dinner.
Day10 – September 29, Wednesday Rise early and prepare for the incredible site, Petra: More Than A Wonder!!
The city of Petra, capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, it is Located 240 km south of the capital Amman and 120 km north of the red sea town of Aqaba. Petra the world wonder is undoubtedly Jordan's most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction, and it is visited by tourists from all over the world. It is not known precisely when Petra was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC, which grew rich through trade in frankincense, myrrh, and spices. Petra was later annexed to the Roman Empire and continued to thrive until a large earthquake in 363 AD destroyed much of the city in the 4th century AD. The earthquake combined with changes in trade routes, eventually led to the downfall of the city which was ultimately abandoned. By the middle of the 7th century Petra appears to have been largely deserted and it was then lost to all except local Bedouin from the area. In 1812 a Swiss explorer named Johannes Burckhardt set out to ‘rediscover’ Petra, he dressed up as an Arab and convinced his Bedouin guide to take him to the lost city. After this, Petra became increasingly known in the West as a fascinating and beautiful ancient city, and it began attracting visitors and continues to do so today. Petra is also known as the rose-red city, a name it gets from the wonderful color of the rock from which many of the city’s structures were carved. The Nabataeans buried their dead in intricate tombs that were cut out of the mountain sides and the city also had temples, a theater, and following the Roman annexation and later the Byzantine influence, a colonnaded street and churches. In addition to the magnificent remains of the Nabataean city, human settlement and land use for over 10,000 years can be traced in Petra, where great natural, cultural, archaeological and geological features merge. On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site, also Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places you should visit them before you die. After lunch, we continue south to Wadi Rum Luxury Bedouin Tent Camp. Arriving by bus, we transfer to a Jeep and journey through the Arabian desert to our camp in time for a two-hour jeep tour of the desert, the location of the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. Staying one night, you will have an incredible time. Gorgeous tent with a private bathroom overlooking the camp and mountains. Delicious breakfast and dinner, and gracious service. Best part is the campfire with tea, shisha, and music under the stars, while wrapped in Bedouin robes. If you want both a luxury and authentic experience, this is it! Dinner and overnight in the Luxury Tent Camp. http://www.wadirumnight.com/ Watch the videos!
Overnight: Wadi Rum
Day 11 – September 30, Thursday
Early risers have the option to pay a reasonable fee for a 30-minute camel ride in the desert to see the sun rise, returning in time for breakfast Bedouin style. After check-out, we load onto the open-air Jeeps once again for the ride through the desert to our bus. Then, we begin our 6-hour journey to the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa on the Dead Sea. Arrive in time for dinner.
Overnight: Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa
Day 12 – October 1, Friday
Finally, this is a day of leisure and relaxation at the Resort. It is time to float in the Dead Sea, cover yourself with the black mud, visit the Spa (cost not included), swim in one of the pools, or just stroll the beautiful grounds. This is the day to unpack and repack all those goodies you bought along the way and get ready to head back westward. This is the experience of a life-time on the shores of the Dead Sea. You can float and cover yourself with the healing properties of the black mud in the mornings before breakfast and after touring before dark. The Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa can't wait to exceed your wildest expectations. Showcasing a picture-perfect location on the sandy shores of the enthralling Dead Sea, the hotel welcomes you with five-star resort lodging and a remarkable assortment of luxury perks. All the spacious, stylishly appointed hotel rooms provide sensational views of the Dead Sea, deluxe bedding, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar and much more. You'll be thrilled with the wide selection of food in the dining room, their multiple heated pools and their cutting-edge signature spa. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/qmdjv-dead-sea-marriott-resort-and-spa/ Breakfast and dinner are the only two things on the schedule. Enjoy!
Overnight: Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa
Day 13 – October 2, Saturday
Check out of the Resort and transport to Queen Alia Airport in Amman for the departure flight to the USA. Sadly, today, we will begin our trip home, only to carry in our hearts the hope of ‘next year in Jerusalem’!