The operation of this tour is dependent on the Coronavirus pandemic being controlled. You are welcome to register with us without cost or obligation and we will make an assessment later in the year as to whether it will be safe to travel. We expect all participants to be fully vaccinated against Coronavirus. Optional visits to Jordan and/or Greece can be arranged after the tour.
Discover Israel - Holyland Tour. 14 days
Features Easter in Jerusalem
Optional extension to Jordan including Jerash, Petra, and Wadi Rum, and cruise and tour Greece in the steps of St Paul.
This will be my 17th visit to Israel and I am delighted to offer further opportunities to explore this fascinating area.
The Middle East is the cradle of civilisation and is still in the news daily! 5,000 years of history to absorb with every day a different experience. Experience it for yourself and understand the world we live in as well as the past. History is still being made here.
It is a great pity that we cannot offer my favourite Middle East tour to escort from Beirut to Cairo via Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel however hope that peace may come soon
Escorted by Stephen Greenfield, many times visitor to the Middle East.
Day 1. Friday. 08 April, 2022 AUCKLAND DEPART
Meet your escort at Auckland airport and depart.
Day 2. Saturday. 09 April TEL AVIV ARRIVE
Arrive Tel Aviv airport and transfer to our hotel at Tel Aviv or Netanya.
Day 3. Sunday. 10 April. ARRIVE TEL AVIV (B)
Arrive Tel Aviv airport to meet our Israeli guide. Visit ancient Joppa and tour modern Tel Aviv. Drive to Caesarea, an ancient Roman port and one of Herod's masterpieces.See the aqueduct and ampitheatre before transferring to our hotel on the Mediterranean coast. The rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 4. Monday. 11 April. MEGIDDO - NAZARETH - GALILEE (BD)
Visit Mt Carmel and drive through Haifa to see the Bahai Gardens. Drive to Megiddo for a guided tour through the excavations of Tel Megiddo and see across the Valley of Jezreel and the plains of Megiddo (Armageddon). Explore the Phoenician, Hellenistic, and Crusader town of Akko including the Crusader fortress and bazaar. Late afternoon we arrive at our kibbutz on the shores of Lake Galilee
Day 5. Tuesday. 12 April. GALILEE (BD)
Today we take a leisurely tour aroud the Sea of Galilee including Bethsaida, the Golan Heights passing the village of Kuneitra overlooking Syria, Caesarea Philippi, and Banias. Visit Capernaum including Peters House and the adjacent Synagogue, the Mt of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Magdala, the 2,000 year old boat at Nof Ginnosar, and Tiberias, main town of Galilee. Also enjoy a cruise on the lake and lunch featuring fish from Galilee.
Day 6. Wednesday. 13 April. GALILEE - JERUSALEM. (BD)
Enjoy an introduction to Kibbutz life before continuing to Nazareth to visit the church of the Annunciation and the early Israel village depicting life as it was at the time of Jesus Christ. Drive south through Samaria and see Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal, and visit Shiloh where the tabernacle stood for 369 years. Enjoy the audio visual presentation and archaeological finds. Also visit Beth-El (scene of Jacons ladder) and a biblical garden. We then ascend to Jerusalem.
Day 7. Thursday. 14 April. JERUSALEM (BD)
Visit the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view over the city.walk down the hill through the Jewish cemetary to spend a few minutes in reflection in the Garden of Gethsemane. We enter the old city to walk part of the Via Dolorosa,and explore the old city including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Temple Mount including the tunnels under the wall. This afternoon explore the ruins of David's city some 3,000 years old. We take a walk through Hezekiahs tunnel (wade through thigh deep water) or the Canaanite tunnel (dry) to the Pool of siloam and visit the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion. This evening we take a sobering visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum. See also the exterior of the Knesset including the giant Manorah
Day 8. Friday. 15 April. JERUSALEM (BD)
Visit the Israel Museum to see the model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ and the 'Shrine of the Book' where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. Also visit the western (Wailing) wall at the start of Shabbat. Special Shabbat/Passover meal tonight.
Day 9. Saturday. 16 April. JERUSALEM (BD)
Drive to Hebron (subject to political conditions on the day) and visit the Mosque over the Cave of Machpelah, and the Synagogue where the remains of the patriarchs are buried. Continue through the desert to Beer Sheba and see Tel Sheva and Abrahams well. We also visit the Commonwealth war cemetary from the 1st world war where many New Zealand soldiers are buried and we visit the new ANZAC Museum.
Day 10. Sunday. 17 April. JERUSALEM - BETHLEHEM (BD)
The morning is free to attend the dawn service at the garden Tomb and the church of your choice if you wish. This afternoon we visit the Sh[herds Fields and Bethlehem inc;luding the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square.
Day 11. Monday 18 April. HERODIUM - DEAD SEA. (BL)
We visit Herodium (One of Herod's Palaces), Continue to the ancient fortress of Massada. Ascend by cable car and explore the ruins and Herods Palace. Continue to the Dead Sea for a swim (float) in the salty waters of the sea. Visit the springs at Ein Gedi and the Qumrun Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, for a guided tour. Continue to ancient Jericho. Ascend the Mount of Temptation by cable car for a panoramic view over the Jordan valley.visit the traditional site of Jesus Baptism. and return to Jerusalem
Day 12. Tuesday. 19 April. JERUSALEM DEPART (B)
Free time until transfer to Tel Aviv airport and depart.
Day 13. Wednesday 20 April EN ROUTE
Day 14. Thursday 21 April AUCKLAND ARRIVE
Arrive Auckland today
ADD JORDAN AND GREECE
Day 11. Monday. 18 April. JERUSALEM - JERICHO - AMMAN (BD)
Visit the springs at Ein Gedi and the Qumrun Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, for a guided tour. Continue to ancient Jericho. Ascend the Mount of Temptation by cable car for a panoramic view over the Jordan valley.visit the traditional site of Jesus Baptism. We cross the Jordan River into Jordan and travel to Amman for the night with a visit to Mt Nebo from where Moses viewed the promised land en route.
Day 12. Tuesday. 19 April. AMMAN (BLD)
Visit ancient Jerash, one of the best preserved of the ancient Roman cities in the Middle East. See Hadrians Arch and the Hippodrome, and a display of Roman chariot racing and military action. Walk the colonnaded Cardo Maximus, take your seat in the Forum, and see the Temples of Zeus and Artemis, and the 5,000 seat theatre.Drive south to the amazing landscapes of Wadi Rum. A special experience will be 'glamping' in the desert under the stars and dinner with the Bedouin. (Not quite as the Bedouin do - all tents have private shower and toilet!) Enjoy an exciting 4WD tour of the expansive desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, made famous in the film "Lawrence of Arabia".
Day 13. Wednesday. 20 April. WADI RUM - PETRA. (BD)
Visit the ancient Crusader castle at Kerak and drive to fascinating Petra. Walk through the Siq to see the amazing Treasury and explore the ancient city including the Roman Theatre and Royal Tombs. There is time for the fit to take a fast hike to the monastery overlooking the surrounding mountains. Overnight Petra and the opportunity to return to see the Treasury by candlelight if you wish - extra expense.
Day 14. Thursday. 21 April. PETRA - AMMAN (BD)
Visit ancient Madaba to see the 6th century mosaic of the Holyland in St Georges Cathedral and fly to ancient Athens. and transfer to our hotel.
Day 15. Friday 22 April. ATHENS - MYKONOS (BLD)
Transfer to the port of Piraeus to join our cruise ship sailing at 11.30am
6pm. Arrive at the beautiful island of Mykonos and spend the evening ashore, strolling the narrow streets among the classical Greek houses and windmills. Enjoy the beach, the tavernas, and ambience on the island. Sail at 11pm
Day 16. Saturday 23 April. EPHESUS – PATMOS (BLD)
7.30am Arrive Kusadasi and enjoy the included excursion to ancient Ephesus, one of the best preserved Roman cities from the Apostle Paul's time.
Walk the actual streets where Paul walked, see the great theatre. Agora, and the remains of the temple of Artemis as well as the library. Return to the ship and sail at 1pm.
5.45pm Arrive at the island of Patmos where the apostle John was imprisoned and our included excursion takes us to the Monastery of St John and the Grotto of the Revelation. Sail at 9.30pm.
Day 17. Sunday 24 April. CRETE AND SANTORINI (BLD)
7am Arrive Heraklion in Crete.
Optional (extra expense) tour to Knossos and the temple of King Minos
12pm Depart Heraklion and time for lunch and relax
4.30pm Arrive at the spectacular island of Santorini
Optional (extra expense) tour to the villages of Oia and Thira or disembark by tender to experience a fantastic journey up the caldera by cable car, donkey, or foot. 9.30pm. Sail from Santorini
Day 18. Monday 25 April. ATHENS (BD)
7am Arrive Piraeus and transfer back to Athens
This morning we climb to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon, nearby Mars Hill, and pass by the Tomb of the unknown soldier, Parliament House, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Hadrian’s Arch. 2 nights in Athens.
Day 19. Tuesday 26 April MYCENAE AND CORINTH (BD)
Explore the imposing ruins of Mycaenae, the ancient city Homer called 'a city rich in gold'. Enter the city by the Lions Gate and visit Agamemnons Royal Palace. Continue to ancient Corinth and explore the city where Paul taught. See the Corinth canal and return to Athens.
Day 20 . Wednesday 27 April. ATHENS – METEORA (BD)Drive north to the amzing monasteries at Meteora perched high on the mountainous rocks and visit 2 or 3 of the monasteries. Overnight near Meteor
Day 21. Thursday 28 April. METEORA – BEREA–THESSALONIKI (BD)
Drive to Berea where the people were 'more honourable than those in Thessaloniki” in Paul's time and continue to Thessaloniki. This afternoon tour the city, second largest in Greece. See the Egnation Road, Galerius Arch. Citadel, and Rotunda
Day 22. Friday 29 April. PHILIPPI – KAVAL A (BD)
Enjoy a picturesque drive to Philippi where Paul established the first church in Europe. See the river where Lydia met Paul, and the ancient Forum and jail where Paul and Silas were kept. On the return pass Kavala (Neapolis) with panoramic views of the harbour where Paul arrived over 1900 years ago.
Day 23. Saturday 30 April. THESSALONIKI DEPART (B)
Day 24. Sunday 01 May EN ROUTE
Day 25. Monday 02 May ARRIVE AUCKLAND
Arrive Auckland this morning