holy land passover tour

Hanukkah Tour
December 19, 2024-January 2, 2025


Guided by Rhonda and Farrell Pickering

Tour Includes

Not Included:


Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport. We will meet our local guide and transfer to the hotel in Netanya. 

Netanya is a city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Here we will eat dinner and overnight.

Today we drive to Caesarea to see the Roman ampitheatre, inlcuding port, crusader wall, the Pontius Pilate Stella and aqueduct. 

The Caesarea Ampitheatre in Israel was designed for various forms of entertainment, including gladiatorial contests, chariot races, and theatrical performances. With its impressive architectural features, including seating for thousands of spectators, a central arena, and elaborate underground chambers, the ampitheatre showcases the opulence and sophistication of Roman engineering and culture during its time.

The Crusader Wall is a a testament to the enduring traditions of Christ and the Christian faith. It stands as a physical remnant of the Crusaders’ efforts to protect and defend the holy sites. Today, it serves as a powerful symbol of the Christian heritage in Israel, drawing visitors from around the world to explore its rich history and the traditions of Christ  that it represents.

We will drive inland to visit the Muhraka Carmelite Monastery in the beautiful Mt. Carmel. While exploring the monastery we will review the powerful moment where Elijah called down fire from Heaven. This opportunity will allow oneself to embrace the profound spirituality that has been cherished in this holy place for generations. 

To end our day of touring, we will visit the infamous little town of Nazareth. We will walk the streets of the recreated Nazareth Village of the 1st century. If there’s time, the church of the Annunciation.

Dinner and overnight in Tiberius

We will begin our day at the Mount Transfiguration. This place stands as a testament to the enduring traditions of Christ. This holy place offers a spiritually enriching experience for pilgrims and travelers. It is a place where visitors can connect with the profound heritage of Christian traditions in Israel. 

After our time at Mount Transfiguration we will move to the Mount of Beatitudes. The Mount of Beatitudes in Israel is a revered site deeply rooted in the traditions of Christ. This historic mountain, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, holds profound religious significance. It is traditionally believed to be the location where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. 

We will eat a schwarma lunch in Magdala before heading to Tabgha. In Tabgha we will see the Church of Multiplication (loaves and fishes) or feeding of the 5,000. Next will be Peter’s Primacy.

Peter’s Primacy, a significant Christian tradition in Israel, revolves around the belief that this is where Peter was told by Jesus to “feed my sheep.” Traditionally, Capernaum is regarded as the place where Jesus affirmed Peter’s role as the leader of his disciples. This tradition stems from the New Testament and is closely tied to the biblical city of Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

We will visit the city of Capernaum following the site of Peter’s Primacy. Capernaum is well known as the city where Jesus preformed the majority of his miracles. At least the miracles that have been recorded by his disciples.

Finish the day with an optional swim in the Galilee Sea before dinner.

Overnight in Tiberius.

During Passover, Jews commemorate their ancestors’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the Exodus. Joshua’s Altar (Tel Balata)’s connection to Shechem is relevant to the passover narrative, as it was here that Joshua gathered the Israelites to reaffirm their covenant with God.  After touring this site, we will go to Tel Shiloh. 

Tel Shiloh, situated in Israel’s West Bank, holds immense historical and religious significance. This ancient archaeological site in Israel is traditionally believed to be the location of the Tabernacle, where the Ark of the Covenant was housed for centuries. According to tradition, the Ark resided in Shiloh during the period of the Judges. From here we will move on to Bethel, also located on the West Bank.

Bethel, known as Khalom Ya’akov in Hebrew, is traditionally associated with the biblical account of Jacob’s dream of a ladder to heaven. Bethel’s connection to Jacob’s dream adds depth to the Passover’s spiritual significance. It was here that Jacob reaffirmed the covenant relationship between God and the children of Abraham. To end our day we will visit Gilgal.

One of the notable events associated with Gilgal is the crossing of the Jordan River by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. After their crossing, they set up a camp at Gilgal and performed the circumcision of the new generation as a sign of their commitment to the covenant with God. Gilgal served as a base for the Israelites as they launched their campaigns to conquer the land of Canaan. 

Dinner and overnight at the David Hotel.

We will formally begin the day at Masada, an ancient fortress built by Herod. This fortress overlooks the Dead Sea on a high plateau. It is famously associated with the Jewish Revolt against Roman rule in the 1st century CE. Although it predates the traditions of Christ, the site represents the resilience and determination of the Jewish people in the face of adversity.

From the road we will stop to see the caves at Qumram where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of Jewish texts dating back to the Second Temple period. These scrolls contained biblical texts and other ancient records that have helped to shed light on Christianity as a whole. 

After our stop at the caves, we will continue on to the Jordan border where we will cross. Our first stop in Jordan will be the massive fortress Machaerus. This hilltop stronghold is famously associated with the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist at the request of Herod Antipas. 

Our touring in Jordan will continue as we journey to Petra; where we will overnight.

Today we will explore one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world: Petra. 

Petra, often referred to as the “Rose City,” is best known for its intricate rock-cut architecture. It served as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom in ancient times and dates back to as early as the 4th century BCE. It was a vital hub for trade, connecting the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Mediterranean. The most iconic structure in Petra is the Treasury, a stunning facade carved into the rose-red cliffs. It also boasts numerous tombs, temples and buildings all carved into the sand stone. Petra reached its peak while under Nabatean rule, but later it declined and was eventually abandoned. 

After exploring this ancient wonder, we will begin our drive to Aqaba, Jordan.

Aqaba is a coastal city in Jordan, strategically located at the northern tip of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. It is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and historical significance. In addition to its natural beauty, Aqaba has historical significance, with archaeological sites dating back thousands of years. It has been a key trading post and maritime center since ancient times, connecting the Red Sea to the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

We will eat dinner and overnight in Aqaba.

Today we will visit the very infamous Red Sea that Moses parted, using the power of God, to allow the children of Israel to escape the Egyptians. This site especially has very deep Passover significance, as shortly before this great crossing, the Passover was first instituted. 

We will cross the Jordan — Israel border and journey on to Jericho.

Jericho is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, with a history dating back thousands of years. In antiquity, it was a significant city in the region known for its iconic walls. Of course, we know that these walls came tumbling down during the conquest led by Joshua. Modernly, there are remains of the ancient city walls left for visitors to see and explore. After our stop in Jericho we will move on to the city of Bethany.

Bethany is famously associated with several events in the life of Jesus Christ. One of the most well-known events is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Bethany is also believed to be the place where Jesus had dinner at the home of Mary and Martha, two of his close friends and followers. This city holds deep significance in association with the traditions in Israel that surround Christ.

To end our day of touring, we will visit Nebi Samuel, or the Tomb of Samuel the prophet of the Old Testament. This site is believed to be the burial place of Samuel, and it holds deep religious significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. We will find a prominent mosque at the site, which is an important Islamic religious site, and the ruins of a medieval fortress. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

We will overnight in Jerusalem. 

Today we will ditch the bus and head out to see the many iconic sites that Jerusalem offers. 

Highlights of the Cardo we will be visiting include: the Madaba mosaic replica, Jersualem 1st temple period (wall), Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, South Temple Arhaeological Park, Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dome of the Rock.

We will eat lunch in the Christian Quarter before seeing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is traditional site for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. It is an important site to the Knight’s Templar and one of the reasons for the Crusades. 

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

We will spend our day in Bethlehem (which means “House of Bread”).

We begin with a walk down Star Street to the Church of the Nativity. This is the sacred site revered for being the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ. After exploring the site, we will move past the Chapel of Milk Grotto.

The Chapel of the Milk Grotto, located in Bethlehem, Israel, is a cherished Christian site steeped in traditions. This sacred chapel is believed to be the spot where the Holy Family sought refuge during the Flight to Egypt. According to tradition, while Mary was nursing the infant Jesus, a drop of her milk fell onto the grotto’s stone, turning it white.

We will enjoy lunch at the Shepard’s Tent before departing Bethlehem. We will drive by the Herodain  — another one of Herod’s monumental construction projects. We will stop by at Kathisma on the way back to Jerusalem and learn of its significance to Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

Tonight is the beginning of Shabbat. Anyone interested can walk from the hotel to the Western Wall to experience the welcoming in of the Holy day with the Jewish people. Men will need a head covering.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Our sites today will include the Room of the Last Supper, St. Peter Gallicantu, Caiaphas Palace, the Garden Tomb, Orson Hyde Park, Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of all Nations. 

Overnight in Jerusalem.

Today we explore the newly excavated City of David and the archaeological dig site. This site is associated with King David and serves as a living testament to the enduring traditions of Christ and the roots of Christianity. The site features archaeological excavations that unearth ancient artifacts, structures, and historical evidence, connecting visitors to the biblical narrative. 

At the site we will see Hezekiah’s tunnel. This tunnel dates back about 2,700 years and was built to bring water into the city of Jerusalem during the Assyrian invasion. For those who would like to, you can actually walk the tunnel. Head lamps, shorts, and water shoes are recommended for this miniature trek. We then will visit the Western Wall Tunnels for a journey through time as we view the depths of Jerusalem. 

As for the later half of our day, we will visit St. Anne’s Church. St. Anne’s is believed to be the site where the Virgin Mary was born, making it a focal point for Christian’s seeking to connect with the traditions of Christ and the holy lineage of Jesus. 

Finally a visit to the Pools of Bethesda and Templar Church. 

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Free day in Jerusalem. If you would like time for shopping, or exploring the Old City, walking the walls of visiting the Holocaust museum — today is free for you to choose what you would like to do. Our guide will have suggestions of optional places to visit. 

Overnight in Jersualem.

Depart with early morning flights for home from the Tel Aviv International Airport (TLV). 

Payment Terms: $300 deposit pp required at the time of booking. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. 

**this tour is based off of a minimum of 20 passengers and a maximum of 40 passengers

Check out these videos that feature sites of this tour: