This extensive programme starts in Amman, Jordan and travels through Israel, Palestine and ends in Cairo, Egypt on the eleventh day. It is a full board package, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Madaba: the city best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of the Holy Land.
Mekawir (Machaerus): a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan 25 km southeast of the mouth of the Jordan River on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. According to Flavius Josephus, it is the location of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist.
Petra: a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. The city is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.
Mount Tabor: The site of the battle between Barak under the leadership of the Israelite judge Deborah, and the army of Jabin commanded by Sisera, in the mid 12th century BC. It is also the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus.
Nazareth: the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a centre of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events.
Church of Annunciation: The church was established at the site where the Annunciation took place.
Mary’s Well: reputed to be located at the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear the Son of God – an event known as the Annunciation.
Joseph’s Workshop: A fond tradition asserts that the Church of St Joseph in Nazareth is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary.
Cana: Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed “the first of his signs”, his first public miracle, the turning of a large quantity of water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1–11) when the wine provided by the bridegroom had run out.
Banias: Banias is the Arabic and modern Hebrew name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the Greek god Pan. It is located at the foot of Mount Hermon, north of the Golan Heights; one of the best national parks in Israel.
Mount of Beatitudes: The Mount of Beatitudes is a hill in northern Israel where Jesus is delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
Tabgha: Tabgha (means “spring of seven”) is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:30-46) and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus (John 21:1-24) after his Crucifixion.
Mensa Christy: Mensa Christi, Latin for “Table of Christ” contains a slab of granite that, according to tradition, was the rock on which Jesus dined with the disciples after his resurrection.Primacy of Peter: The Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter is a Franciscan church located in Tabgha, Israel, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. It commemorates of Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as chief among the Apostles.
St Peters Fish-Lunch: Peter’s Fish, refers to fish of the genus Zeus, especially Zeus faber, of widespread distribution. Gospel of Mathew 17:27 says: “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Kfar Nahum: The town is cited in all four gospels (Matthew 4:13, 8:5, 11:23, 17:24, Mark 1:21, 2:1, 9:33, Luke 4:23, 31,7:1, 10:15, John 2:12, 4:46, 6:17, 24,59) where it was reported to have been near the hometown of the apostles Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. Galilee Boat Ride: The pilgrims voyage in the Sea of Galilee in a traditional boat. (Read Mathew 8:24-25)
Mount Carmel: Mount Carmel (God’s vineyard is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. The range is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and a number of towns are located there, most notably the city of Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, located on the northern slope. In mainstream Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought, Elijah is indelibly associated with the mountain, and he is regarded as having sometimes resided in a grotto on the mountain. Indeed, one name for Mount Carmel is (Jabal Mar Elyas; Mount Saint Elias). In the Books of Kings, Elijah challenges 450 prophets of a particular Baal to a contest at the altar on Mount Carmel to determine whose deity was genuinely in control of the Kingdom of Israel; since the narrative is set during the rule of Ahab and his association with the Phoenicians, biblical scholars suspect that the Baal in question was probably Melqart.
Stella Marris: The Stella Maris Monastery or the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for monks is a 19th-century Discalced Carmelite monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. The oratory was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her aspect of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, (Latin: Stella Maris). Muharakha: Muharakha, the site where Elijah battled the prophets of Ba’al.
Caesarea National Park: Caesarea Maritima (also Caesarea Palestinae) is an Israeli National Park in the Sharon plain, including the ancient remains of the coastal city of Caesarea. The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos). It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces.
Jaffa: Jaffa or Yafo also called Japho or Joppa, is the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon. Peter went up about mid-day on to the flat roof of the house to pray. He became very hungry and longed for something to eat. But while the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance and saw the heavens open and something like a great sheet descending upon the earth, let down by its four corners. In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles and birds. Then came a voice which said to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “Never, Lord! For not once in my life have I ever eaten anything common or unclean.” Then the voice spoke to him a second time, “You must not call what God has cleansed common.” (Acts 9:15)
Nabulus: Shechem (shoulder), was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel. Traditionally associated with Nablus.
Jacob’s Well: Jacob’s Well also known as Jacob’s fountain and Well of Sychar is a deep well hewn of solid rock that has been associated in religious tradition with Jacob for roughly two millennia. It is situated a short distance from the archaeological site of Tell Balata, which is thought to be the site of biblical Shechem. The well currently lies within the complex of an Eastern Orthodox monastery of the same name, in the city of Nablus in the West Bank.
Bethel: Bethel (House of God) also transliterated Beth El, Beth-El, or Beit El) was a border city described in the Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim and also a location named by Jacob. “He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:10)
Jerusalem: Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City has significant religious sites around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall (sacred to Judaism), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (a Christian pilgrimage site) and the Dome of the Rock (a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome).
Western Wall: The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel (the Place of Weeping) is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the “Western Wall”. The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings.
Dome of the Rock: The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik.
Western Wall Tunnels: Archeologists have uncovered layers of the wall underground through years of excavation. With our guided tour, visitors can walk through areas of this original, unrestored site that dates back to the first century C.E.
Holy Sepulchre Complex: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin: Ecclesia Sancti Sepulchri) also called the Church of the Resurrection or Church of the Anastasis by Orthodox Christians) is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few steps away from the Muristan. The church contains the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified,] at a place known as “Calvary” or “Golgotha”, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he has been buried and resurrected; The tomb is enclosed by the 18th-century shrine, called the Aedicule (Edicule). Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) Stations of the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross), representing the final episodes of Jesus’ Passion. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis.
St Annes: The Church of Saint Anne is a Roman Catholic church, located at the start of the Via Dolorosa, near the Lions’ Gate and churches of the Flagellation and Condemnation, in the Muslim Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.
Bethesda Pools: The Pool of Bethesda is a pool of water in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, on the path of the Beth Zeta Valley. The fifth chapter of the Gospel of John describes such a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. It is associated with healing. Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John’s Gospel for the existence of this pool; therefore, scholars argued that the gospel was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem, and that the “pool” had only a metaphorical, rather than historical, significance. In the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool fitting the description in John’s Gospel.
Via Dolorosa: The Via Dolorosa (Latin: “Way of Grief,” “Way of Sorrow,” “Way of Suffering” or simply “Painful Way”) is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the Antonia Fortress west to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet)—is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. There have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, nine stations at the path and the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Calvary: Calvary, Golgotha, and also Gagulta was a site immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus was crucified. Golgotha is the Greek transcription in the New Testament of the Aramaic term Gagultâ. The Bible translates the term to mean place of [the] skull, which in Latin is Calvariæ Locus, from which the English word Calvary is derived.
Ein Karem: Ein Karem is an ancient village of the Jerusalem District and now a neighbourhood in southwest Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born in Ein Karem, leading to the establishment of many churches and monasteries.
Church of Visitations: The Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Jerusalem, honors the visit paid by the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:39–56). This is the site where Mary recited her song of praise, the Magnificat, one of the most ancient Marian hymns.
Church of John the Baptist: The Church of Saint John the Baptist is a Catholic church in Ein Karem, Jerusalem, that belongs to the Franciscan order. It was built at the site where Saint John the Baptist was born.
Bethlehem: Bethlehem is a Palestinian town south of Jerusalem in the West Bank. The biblical birthplace of Jesus, it’s a major Christian pilgrimage destination. The birth is marked by an inlaid silver star in a grotto under the 6th-century Church of the Nativity, which shares Manger Square with the 15th-century Church of St. Catherine and the 1860 Mosque of Omar.
Shepherd’s Field: The Shepherds’ Field Chapel is the name given to a religious building of the Catholic Church that is in the area of Beit Sahur southeast of Bethlehem in the West Bank in Palestine. The chapel marks the place where, according to Catholic tradition, the angels first announced the birth of Christ.
Nativity Church: The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Palestine. The church was originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena over the site that was traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus. The Church of the Nativity site’s original basilica was completed in 339 and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the 6th century. A new basilica was built 565 by Justinian, the Byzantine Emperor, restoring the architectural tone of the original.
Milk Grotto: Christian tradition says is the place where the Holy Family found refuge during the “slaughter of the innocents”, before they could flee to Egypt. The name is derived from the story that a “drop of milk” of the Virgin Mary fell on the floor of the cave and changed its colour to white The space, which contains three different caves, is visited by some pilgrims in hope of healing infertile couples.
Jesus spent time on the mount, teaching and prophesying to his disciples (Matthew 24–25), including the Olivet discourse, returning after each day to rest (Luke 21:37, and John 8:1), and also coming there on the night of his betrayal (Matthew 26:39). At the foot of the Mount of Olives lies the Garden of Gethsemane. The New Testament tells how Jesus and his disciples sang together – “When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” Gospel of Matthew 26:30. Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives according to Acts 1:9–12.
Chapel of the Ascension: The Chapel of the Ascension is a shrine located on the Mount of Olives, in the At-Tur district of Jerusalem. Part of a larger complex consisting first of a Christian church and monastery, then an Islamic mosque, it is located on a site the faithful traditionally believe to be the earthly spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after His resurrection. It houses a slab of stone believed to contain one of His footprints.
Pater Noster: The Lord’s Prayer (also called the Our Father or Pater Noster) Jesus taught His disciples as the way to pray. Two versions of this prayer are recorded: the long form in the Gospel of Matthew in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, and the short form in the Gospel of Luke when ‘one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John the Baptist taught his disciples”. The Matthew account alone includes the “Your will be done” and the “Rescue us from the evil one” (or “Deliver us from evil”) petitions. This is the place where Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer.
Dominus Flevit: Dominus Flevit is a Roman Catholic Church on the Mount of Olives, opposite the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The little teardrop Church of Dominus Flevit, halfway down the western slope of the Mount of Olives, recalls the Gospel incident in which Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. This poignant incident occurred during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, when crowds threw their cloaks on the road in front of him and shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Gethsemane: Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, most famous as the place where Jesus prayed and His disciples slept the night before his crucifixion; i.e. the site recorded as where the agony in the garden took place.
Tomb of St Mary: Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, also Tomb of the Virgin Mary, is a Christian tomb in the Kidron Valley – at the foot of Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem – believed by Eastern Christians to be the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Cenacle: The Cenacle room on Mt Zion in Jerusalem is where two major events in the early Christian Church are commemorated: The Last Supper and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles.
Galicantu: One of the most striking churches in Jerusalem commemorates the apostle Peter’s triple denial of his Master, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection. Built on an almost sheer hillside, the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu stands on the eastern slope of Mount Zion.
Jericho: Jericho is a city in the Palestinian Territories and is located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.
Mount of Temptation: The Mount of Temptation is the hill in the Judean Desert where Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:8). The exact location is unknown and impossible to determine. It is generally identified with Mount Quarantania, Arabic name: Jabal al-Qarantal, a mountain approximately 366 metres (1,201 ft) high, towering from the northwest over the town of Jericho in the West Bank.
Sycamore: Our visit to Jericho will include a stop at the city’s ancient sycamore tree. The Gospel of St Luke tells the story of Zacchaeus, who climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus as he entered the city of Jericho. Some have claimed that the Jericho tree is the oldest existing sycamore, and possibly even the one that Zacchaeus climbed.
Elisha’s Spring: Ain es-Sultan, Elisha’s Spring, by which Jericho was once supplied with water, still exists and wells forth copiously from the earth. It flows into a pond or reservoir. The temperature is eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Enough water flows from this spring to irrigate the whole plain of Judea. This is supposed to be Elisha’s Spring, referred to in II Kings, chapter 2, 19-22–the waters which Elisha healed.
Qumran National Park: Qumran National Park lies at the foot of the vertical cliff of the Judean Desert, rising up from the shores of the Dead Sea. In the 2nd century BC, Qumran was settled by members of the Essene sect; the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls, considered to be the most important archaeological find of the 20th century.
Dead Sea: The Dead Sea – bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan – is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts. The surrounding desert offers many oases and historic sites.
Lazarus Tomb: The Tomb of Lazarus is a traditional spot of pilgrimage located in the West Bank town of al-Eizariya, traditionally identified as the biblical village of Bethany, on the southeast slope of the Mount of Olives, some 2.4 km east of Jerusalem.
Cave of the Patriarchs: The Cave of the Patriarchs, also called the Cave of Machpelah and known by Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham or the Ibrahimi Mosque is a series of subterranean chambers located in the heart of the old city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the Hebron Hills. According to tradition that has been associated with the Holy Books Torah, Bible and Quran the cave and adjoining field were purchased by Abraham as a burial plot. The site of the Cave of the Patriarchs is located beneath a Saladin-era mosque, which had been converted from a large rectangular Herodian-era Judean structure. Dating back over 2,000 years, the monumental Herodian compound is believed to be the oldest continuously used intact prayer structure in the world, and is the oldest major building in the world that still fulfils its original function. The Hebrew name of the complex reflects the very old tradition of the double tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, considered the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people, who are all believed to be buried there. The only Jewish matriarch missing is Rachel, who is buried at Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.
Taba: Taba is a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Taba is the location of Egypt’s busiest border crossing with neighbouring Eilat, Israel.
Dahab: Dahab (meaning gold) is a small town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, approximately 80 km (50 mi) northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Sinai’s most treasured diving destinations. Following the Six Day War, Sinai was occupied by Israel and Dahab became known as Di-Zahav after a place mentioned in the Bible as one of the stations for the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt.
Rephidim: Rephidim is one of the places visited by the Israelites in the biblical account of the exodus from Egypt. This episode is described in the Book of Exodus. The Israelites under Moses have come from the wilderness of Sin. At Rephidim, they can find no water to drink, and angrily demand that Moses give them water. Moses, fearing they will stone him, calls on Yahweh for help and is told to command a certain “rock in Horeb,” in God’s name, which causes a stream to flow from it, providing ample water for the people. He names the place Massah (meaning ‘testing’) and Meribah (meaning ‘quarreling’).(Exodus 17:1-7)
Maa’ra: It is one of the locations which the Torah identifies as having been travelled through by the Israelites, during the Exodus. The liberated Israelites set out on their journey in the desert, somewhere in the Sinai Peninsula. It becomes clear that they are not spiritually free. Reaching Marah, the place of a well of bitter water, bitterness and murmuring, Israel receives a first set of divine ordinances and the foundation of the Shabbat. The shortage of water there is followed by a shortness of food. Moses throws a log into the bitter water, making it sweet. Later God sends manna and quail.
Elim: According to the Bible, Elim was one of the places where the Israelites camped following their Exodus from Egypt. It is referred to in Exodus 15.27 and Numbers 33.9 as a place where “there were twelve wells of water and seventy date palms,” and that the Israelites “camped there near the waters”.
Suez Canal: The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it was officially opened on November 17, 1869.
Nile Cruise With Dinner: A cruise on the River Nile is truly an unforgettable experience. The Nile River has been Egypt’s lifeline since ancient times and there is no better way to trace the passage of Egypt’s history than to follow the course of the Nile.
Sphynx: The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human.
Egyptian Museum: The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. The edifice is one of the largest museums in the region.
The Hanging Church: Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church also known as the Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and the history of a church on this site dates to the 3rd century AD. The Hanging (The Suspended) Church is named for its location above a gatehouse of Babylon Fortress, the Roman fortress in Coptic Cairo (Old Cairo); its nave is suspended over a passage. The church is approached by twenty-nine steps; early travelers to Cairo dubbed it “the Staircase Church.” The land surface has risen by some six metres since the Roman period so that the Roman tower is mostly buried below ground, reducing the visual impact of the church’s elevated position. The church is the site of several reported apparitions of Virgin Mary.
Ein El Khalil Market: The site of Khan el-Khalili was originally the site of the mausoleum known as the turbat az-za’faraan (Saffron Tomb), which was the burial site of the Fatimid caliphs. The mausoleum was part of the Fatimid Great Eastern Palace complex, begun in 970 AD by Gawhar al-Siqilli, the general who conquered Egypt for the Fatimid dynasty and founded Cairo that same year.