The Itinerary for the 12 Day Biblical Israel Tour (with a 3 Day Jordan/southern Israel option)
October 24 – November 4, 2018
All Inclusive Price: $4,183 from Dulles, Washington, DC. $3,466 for “land only” travelers. The optional Jordan/southern Israel extension is $1,244
NOTE: This tour is being led by BIMT Board Member, Phil McKinney II, Ph.d. Dr. Phil is the Discipleship Minister at the Fairfax Church of Christ in Fairfax, VA. He also teaches as an adjunct professor for Harding University, Abilene Christian University, and Toccoa Falls College. He holds degrees from Harding University (B.A.), Harding School of Theology (M.A.), and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., Discipleship and Family Ministry). He is passionate about God and His Word and deeply desires to help others fall in love with Christ. Dr. Phil recently co-led the Oct-Nov Egypt-Jordan-Israel 2017 tour with Dr. John DeLancey.
Registration Details for this Israel Tour
On-Line Registration Form
(This link will take you directly to the web site of our Holyland travel agent, imagine Tours & Travel. This is a safe & secure way to place your $500 deposit instantly with your credit card and reserve your spot on this tour. Please enter the tour code – McKinnney18 – to register for this trip).)
Price of this Holyland Tour includes: Airfare & US & Int’l Departure-fuel taxes ($460), gratuities ($165), hotels, 2 meals daily on land, and all entry fees. $4,183 from Dulles, Washington, DC (additional departure cites available upon request). The optional Jordan/southern Israel price of $1,244 includes $82 in Jordanian visa and border crossing fees and $45 gratuities. The land only price for the Israel tour includes all the above except the airfare. Sign-up deadline: July 24, 2018.
Early Bird Discounts: With your deposit of $500 to reserve your spot on this Israel tour, you will earn the following discounts off the overall price: $90 for deposits made before 1/24/18; $80 before 2/24/18; $70 before 3/24/18, $60 before 4/24/18, and $50 before 5/24/18.
This Israel tour led by Dr. McKinney features over 40+ sites! This tour will also be guided by Shlomo Ben Asher (Dr. DeLancey’s guide). We first drive north to the Galilee. On the way we will see both OT and NT sites. We spend 3 nights in the Galilee. This is the area for the home ministry base of Jesus. We then drive south through the Samaritan Hill Country to the Dead Sea area before ending the trip in Jerusalem. We see lots of sites here, including many sites related to both OT and NT Jerusalem and the life and ministry of Jesus. The optional extension takes us to the Jordan where we will see Mt Nebo, Machaerus, and Medeba before driving to Petra. The following day we spend 6 hours inside Petra before driving south for unique jeep rides in Wadi Rum. We then cross back over into Israel and drive up the southern part of Israel before flying home.
The Israel Tour Itinerary:
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24: DEPART U.S.A.
Tour members meet for our evening flight. After dinner is served, sit back and relax, enjoying the on-board entertainment as you prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime.
DAY 2 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25: TEL AVIV, JAFFA, NETANYA
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, we meet our local Israeli representative who assists us with baggage and transfers us to our motor coach. We take a short drive to our hotel in Netanya for dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. On the way, we make a brief stop in Jaffa, the home of the Jonah and Peter’s stories (Jonah 1, Acts 9 & 10).
DAY 3 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS
After an abundant breakfast buffet, we journey north along the coast to Caesarea, built 2000 years ago by King Herod. We walk through the ancient theater, the Crusader city and the fantastic aqueduct that served as a back drop for the book of Acts. From here we depart to Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Then we proceed to Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kings 9:15; Rev. 16:16). Across the Jezreel Valley is the precipice of Nazareth (Luke 1 and 4). We end our day here as we read about Jesus’ ministry in this area. We then drive through Cana (John 2) and finally arrive at the outskirts of Tiberias (John 6:23). Here our “kibbutz-hotel” is located right on the Sea of Galilee shoreline. After dinner, we enjoy sitting together for an optional time of fellowship and worship.
DAY 4 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27: ARBEL, BAPTISM IN JORDAN RIVER, MAGDALA, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES
We begin the day by visiting Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. Here we will have the option to hike to the top of this 800-foot cliff (the bus will take others to the top from the other side). Next, we travel to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy optional baptism in the Jordan River at Yardenit. From here we will drive to Magdala where we see a first century synagogue from the time of Jesus, where we will enjoy a time of devotion and singing in the newly-built prayer chapel. After lunch we will visit Capernaum, the home center of ministry for Jesus here in Galilee. Here we read from Mark 1 and 2 in the 4th-5th century synagogue. Next, we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, with a quiet and peaceful worship service. Upon landing, we also see the “Jesus boat” from the first century, a vessel found here along the shores of Galilee in 1986. We end the day by reading from Matthew 5 on the Mount of Beatitudes. We walk down the pathway, recollecting the transforming words of Jesus shared in this place. Our group will return to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering once again by the water.
DAY 5 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28: GAMLA, QATZRIN, SYRIAN BORDER, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, DAN
We begin the day by driving into the Golan Heights. Stopping on the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee, we are able to see Bethsaida and the area of the Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6). Then our next site is Gamla, a Jewish city that was taken by the Romans during the Revolt in the 60’s A.D. Here we see a first century synagogue (one of seven that date to the first century), as well as the ruins of the city, called the “Masada of the north.” Close by is the site of Qatzrin, a partially reconstructed Talmudic village. We see what a typical village looked like during the days of Jesus. Sitting in a reconstructed stone house, we’ll read from Mark 2 about the lame man being lowered down to Jesus through the roof. Driving along the northern border, we will stop and look into southern Syria. Here we learn about the modern wars of Israel, primarily the 1967 and 1973 wars with Syria. Next, we drive past Mt. Hermon (Psalm 133) and descend the Golan Heights and visit Caesarea Philippi. It was here Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Ma . 16). Nearby is the amazing nature preserve and archaeological site of Dan, one of the sources of the Jordan River. We walk through this quiet national park and hear the stories of disobedience that took place here (Judges 18, 1 Kings 12). We end the day by driving back through the Huleh Valley to our hotel in Tiberias. After dinner, we meet to review the day.
DAY 6 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 29: BETH SHEAN, SHILOH, JERICHO, DEAD SEA
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley to the site of Beth Shean (1 Sam. 31), an impressive Roman city of the Decapolis. We will then head southwest into the area of Samaria, where we visit the rather new excavations of Shiloh where the Tabernacle once stood. Here we see impressive archaeological ruins dating to the days of Samuel. Our next stop is Jericho to see portions of the fortification wall that supported the mud-brick walls that “came tumblin’ down” (Joshua 6). We end the day with a drive to our hotel at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
DAY 7 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, WILDERNESS OF JUDAH
Prior to breakfast, we enjoy a “float” in the Dead Sea. Afterwards, we begin driving northward to Masada. Here we ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. We survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. An optional walk down the Snake Path will be offered. Our next stop is Ein Gedi, where David hid from King Saul. Here we will enjoy a walk to the waterfalls. Finally, we visit Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Next, we ascend to Jerusalem. As time permits, we will make a quick stop to enjoy an overview of the Wadi Qelt and the Judean Wilderness. Upon arrival in Jerusalem we have dinner and optional walk to the Western Wall.
DAY 8 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31: MT. OF OLIVES, POOL OF BETHESDA, VIA DOLOROSA, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM
We get our first glimpse of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives, beholding a breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. We walk down the “Palm Sunday” route to the Garden of Gethsemane. Next, we enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Lion’s Gate (St. Stephens) and visit the Pools of Bethesda (John 5). We also enjoy some marvelous singing in St. Anne’s church from the Crusader period. Our walk continues along the Via Dolorosa to the Sisters of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where perhaps Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and then to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the afternoon, we will visit Herodium located on the edge of the Judean Desert where Herod the Great was buried. We end the day by driving to Bethlehem. Here we will visit the Shepherds’ fields and end the day with shopping at an olive wood store. We drive back to our hotel for dinner and another optional walk.
DAY 9 – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1: OLD CITY, WAILING WALL, WESTERN WALL TUNNEL, JEWISH QUARTER, ISRAEL MUSEUM, YAD VASHEM
The day begins in the Old City and we visit the famous Western (Wailing) Wall, the most holy place in Judaism. After some time for personal prayer and reflection, we walk 400 yards along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount itself. Upon completing this unique walk, we return to the Jewish Quarter for a unique visit to the Temple Institute. Here, we will see some of the preparations being made for the Third Temple. Following this, we visit Moshe, an Orthodox Jew, to talk about his Jewish faith. We have lunch (not included) in this area of the Old City as well. In the afternoon, we see the fascinating Israel Museum and the model of Jerusalem (1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ me). Here we also explore some of the artifacts in the archaeological museum. We end the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. We see the Children’s Memorial and walk through the museum on our own. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and a free evening to allow you to explore or relax.
DAY 10 – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2: CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, A FEW FREE HOURS, GARDEN TOMB
We begin the day by visiting the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. Those who want to will take an optional adventurous walk through the water of Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,720 feet long). We then sit on the steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. From here, we walk up through an exposed Herodian drainage channel that takes us to “Robinson’s Arch” and the southern wall excavations. We walk on a Roman street and ascend the Temple steps. Lunch will be in the Jewish Quarter (not included) with a few hours of free time. Our day ends at the Garden Tomb for Communion. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 11 – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3: GEZER, BETH SHEMESH, QEIYAFA, LACHISH, JERUSALEM
Today we drive from Jerusalem to the Shephelah (Lowlands) of Judah. We begin in Gezer where we will see ruins from Solomon’s day and beyond. Also, the famous “Gezer calendar” was found here. From here, we drive to Beth Shemesh, where the Ark of the Covenant was returned. Next, we travel to Kh. Qeiyafa and the Elah Valley and see where David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17). As we listen to the story we see how this famous battle took place! Our last site of the day is Lachish, a city that was conquered by the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32). Here, we see where the famous “Lachish Letters” were discovered. Those returning home will transfer to the airport for our overnight ight home. Those going on the extension will return to the hotel for overnight.
DAY 12 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER . 4: ARRIVE HOME
We arrive back in the U.S.A. After going through U.S. Customs, we board our domestic flights back to our respective homes at the end of a life-transforming trip!
OPTIONAL JORDAN EXTENSION. ($1244 per person based on double occupancy (Includes visa fees of $55 and $35 gratuities) Based on a minimum of 15 passengers
DAY 12: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4: ALLENBY BRIDGE, MT. NEBO, MACHAERUS, MADABA PETRA
We begin the day by driving south to the Jordan Valley the Allenby Bridge. Here we make the crossing from Israel to Jordan. After border formalities, we meet our Jordanian guide (Sammy) and bus and drive to Bethany Beyond the Jordan. This is where Jesus was baptized (John 1:28). Then we climb to Mt. Nebo to stand where Moses stood and viewed the Holy Land (Deut. 34). Here you can take in a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. We continue to Machaerus, one of Herod’s palace-fortresses. It was here where John the Baptist was beheaded (Mark 6). Time permitting we will visit Medaba to see a sixth century Byzantine mosaic map in the church of St. George. In the late afternoon, we drive south down the Desert Highway to Petra, where we spend the night. We arrive at our hotel and enjoy a late dinner together.
DAY 13 – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5: PETRA, WADI RUM
We arrive this morning at the entrance of Petra and spend most of the day within this red-rose ancient city. We are in the heart of the Seir Mountains, Land of the Edomites, mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak, the highest in Petra and the burial place of Moses’ brother Aaron. A walk through the Siq, the main entrance to Petra, brings us to the first monument “The Treasury”- “Al- Khazneh” a dramatic site. This well-preserved monumental tomb appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” A walk further down through the outer siq with all of its tombs and burial chambers brings us to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. A 3000-seat theater from the early first century is carved in the sandstone mountains at the bottom of the High Place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently some sacrificial rituals had taken place here. From here we walk uphill to the Royal Tombs for a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. There will be the option to walk to the “Monastery” of Petra and/or the High Place. Leaving the site of Petra in mid-afternoon, we drive south to Wadi Rum. Here we enjoy an amazing jeep ride in the desert. We then stay in Wadi Rum at Captain’s, a Bedouin Village. We enjoy dinner together and a devotional time under the stars. It will be a unique experience!
DAY 14 – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, MAKHTESH RAMON, TEL BEERSHEBA, TEL AVIV, FLIGHT HOME
Following breakfast, we leave Wadi Rum and drive to the southern border to cross back into Israel. Greeted once again by our Israeli guide and bus, we will be taken to Coral Beach. You will have the opportunity to swim in the Red Sea. Next, we drive north through the Aravah and the Makhtesh Ramon, Israel’s “grand canyon.” We also pass by the Zin Wilderness (Numbers 13). Our last site to visit will be Tel Beersheba (Genesis 21). All the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) were here. We will also see ruins from the days of Solomon. We then drive to the Tel Aviv area for dinner before driving to the airport for our night flight home.
DAY 15– WED, NOVEMBER 7: ARRIVE BACK IN THE U.S.A.
We arrive back in the States today. What an incredible trip! Praise be to God for a life-changing experience!
*While we do our very best at making sure all items listed in your i nerary are included, there are mes when condi ons beyond our control a ect your program/itinerary, including but not limited to air carrier changes, delays, weather, political climate, time constraints, or changes by your tour leader and tour guide.