We will take a morning flight from Salt Lake City, and then change at various International Airports for a flight to Amman, Jordan. We will arrive the following day in the late afternoon at Amman Airport. Amman is the ancient city of Philadelphia. Upon arrival, we will check in to our Hotel in Amman for one night and hold a group orientation meeting.
Our first full day of touring in Jordan will begin with a tour of the Ancient city of Philadelphia, the Roman Theatre, and Citadel. We will drive south stopping at Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the promised land. Continuing on to Madaba-St. George’s Church and then driving down the Kings Highway towards the ancient Nabataean capital Petra, where we will check into the Guest House for 2 nights
Today we will tour one of the worlds most impressive and atmospheric archaeological sites. The Nabataean city of Petra. Access to Petra is through this deep ravine called the Siq. We will visit the Treasury, The Theatre, The Royal Tombs and the Monastery. After a long day we will return to the Guest House.
Today you have the option of an early morning hike in Petra, or sleeping in and doing some shopping in the village. We will be checking out of the hotel at 11:00 am. After check out of the hotel, we will drive a short distance to Wadi Rum. The desert landscape of Wadi Rum is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the entire middle East. This is the desert of Lehi and exploits of TE Lawrence. We will explore this desert landscape by foot and 4 wheel drive adventure. We will watch the sunset in the desert and overnight at Beit Ali a Bedouin Camp.
After checking out of the Bedouin camp, we will drive to the Jordan River Crossing and enter Israel. We will drive to Jerusalem passing one of the oldest cities in the world Jericho. Check into the Golden Walls for five nights. After checking into the hotel we will go into the ancient city and have some free time shopping. We will join the Israel group for dinner.
We will start our tour of Jerusalem by walking through the ancient city of David, where so many events in the Old Testament took place. We will look across the Kidron valley where the Assyrian Army was camped, and we will stand where Hezekiah gave his speech to the citizens of Jerusalem and stated “There be more with us then with them”. We will continue down the ruins of the ancient city to the water gate, and see the shaft that Joab went up, to open the gates of the city to allow David’s army in to defeat the Jebusites. We will then proceed to go down the tunnel Hezekiah built to bring the Gihon Spring from outside the city walls to a pool inside the city walls. We will exit Hezekiah’s Tunnel into the area of the Pool of Siloam. We will then head down the “Road to Jericho” and discuss the 10th chapter of Luke. We will visit the ancient walls of Jericho that tumbled down at the feet of the Israelites. We will then return to Jerusalem via Bethany. After visiting the tomb of Lazarus we will proceed to Jerusalem. At the Western wall we will watch the Jews usher in the Sabbath. We will also have the opportunity to observe the Jews during their Temple worship. Back to the Hotel for dinner and overnight
We will begin our Sabbath with a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane to a private area to read and ponder the scriptures and reflect on what happen there. We will then attend services with the Jerusalem Branch in the beautiful BYU Jerusalem Center, with its spectacular view of the Holy City. After sacrament meeting we will visit Bethlehem, the town of the Savior’s birth. We will have lunch in a Bedouin Tent near the Shepherds fields. At Shepherds’ Fields overlooking Bethlehem, we will review biblical event of the angels’ announcement to the shepherds. We will then follow the path of the shepherds to the Church of the Nativity. Back to Jerusalem for dinner.
Our day begins with a visit to the Western Wall where we will enter the tunnel excavations and follow the ancient temple wall north to the Antonio Fortress. At the Western Wall, we will observe Jews as they participate in morning prayers at Judaism’s holiest shrine. After we exit the tunnel we will walk the Via Dolorosa following the 14 stations of the cross, and enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will have a lunch break in the old city and some free time to shop. After lunch we will visit the “South wall Excavations”. Here we will be able to see the ancient road along the western wall of the temple and the large stones form the Roman destruction of the temple. We will walk up the excavated south steps of the temple and observe
the stoned entrances to the temple at the time of Christ. After dinner we will enjoy a concert at the BYU Jerusalem Center and a view of the Old City at night from the Mount of Olives.
This morning we will visit the Holy Mount, where the Dome of the Rock and the El Aksa Mosque (currently non Muslims cannot enter them)are located and which is tied to so much sacred and secular history. We will continue from the Dome of the Rock to the Pool of Bethesda and discuss the 5th chapter of John. We will then go down the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives to the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden. We will then visit St. Peter in Gallicantu, the possible site of the palace of Caiaphas, we will discuss Peter and the trials of Jesus. After lunch we will visit the Upper Room, a reminder of the Last Super and the ordinance of the sacrament. We will then walk the ramparts of the old city walls from the Jaffa Gate to the Lion Gate. Then walk through the old city to the Damascus Gate and to the Garden Tomb.
An early drive will take us through the Wilderness of Judea to the Jordan Valley and then south along the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Here we will see the new displays at the bottom of Masada and take a cable car to the top to see the ruins of the palacefortress built by Herod the Great and to recall the story of the Zealots’ last stand against the
Romans. As we drive north, we will have lunch at Ein Gedi, one of the areas where David hid from King Saul. Then we’ll drive on to Qumran, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then we will float in the Dead Sea. Then a short drive to our hotel in Jericho, at the Intercontinental.
After checking out of the hotel, we will drive north up the Jordan River Valley to Beit Shean, where we will see the impressive ruins of the New Testament and later periods. We will then drive up the Ein Herod Valley to visit Megiddo with its 22 levels of occupation. Our drive takes us across the historic Jezreel Valley on our way to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we will reflect on the Savior’s early life as we visit the city of Sepphoris. This city was rebuilt by Herod Antipas during the time of Christ. Jesus and Joeseph would have worked in this city as builders. We will over-night in Tiberias(built by Herod Antipas and named in honor of the Roman emperor) We will check into Ron Beach Hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for the next 2 nights.
Today begins with an exhilarating boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to a boat dock near Capernaum. We will visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry, where He performed many miracles and gave many teachings, including His “Bread of Life” sermon. We will pass St. Peter’s Primacy on our way to the Mount of Beatitudes, where the important
Sermon on the Mount will be discussed. Then we will continue on to the Yardenet Baptism Site, which is one of the possible sites of the Savior’s baptism. It is a beautiful setting along the Jordan River. We will then drive back to Tiberius to overnight.
We will check out of the Hotel and drive to the Nazareth Village in Nazareth. We will then travel to Mount Tabor, where we will take taxis to the top to see the probable site of the Savior’s transfiguration. We will continue on to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman New Testament seaside capital, Caesarea. In the ancient Roman Theater, we will review the
biblical events that happened in this place. From Caesarea we will then proceed to Jaffa, where Peter was when he received the vision about the Gospel to be preached to the Gentiles. From there to Tel Aviv for a Farewell Dinner to end our tour of the Holy Land. We will then be transferred to the Airport for a late night flight back to the USA.