As you enter the sanctuary of the Chapel of St. Catherine in Bethlehem, an unassuming sign reads, "We are hoping that if you enter here as a tourist, you would exit as a pilgrim. If you enter here as a pilgrim, you would exit as a holier one." That sign summarizes our experiences in the Holy Land.
In 2018, we went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and returned home unable to see the stories of the Bible in the same ways as before. In 2019, we led a group of 46 pilgrims (members and friends of Zion Lutheran Church in Loveland) who walked in the footsteps of Jesus together and were transformed by their experience.
After several years of being unable to travel, we were surprised by the number of people asking if we would take another group. If you are interested in exploring the Biblical stories firsthand with your eyes, feet, hands, and heart; or you are interested in traveling to an exotic destination where ancient and modern cultures and politics intermingle in ways that will take you years to sort out; or if you are just interested in traveling internationally with friends, we hope you will consider joining us for this 2023 pilgrimage. We promise that it will change you forever.
Pastor Joel and Pastor Sonja
Tour departs on June 25, 2023 and returns on July 5, 2023
Departure airport: Denver, CO (DIA)
$3,790.00 per person based on double occupancy - book now as space is limited!
Single room supplement - $890.00
Land only (if booking your own flights) - $2,640.00 (airfare credit $1,150.00)
Optional post-tour extension to Jordan (July 5-8) - $790.00
$300.00 per person with registration to secure space
$1,000.00 of the total amount is due on or before January 20, 2023
Balance due on or before April 20, 2023
Registering online? Click the "BOOK NOW" button and fill out the online form; you can pay by check or with a credit card (4% platform fee applies)
Registering by mail? Please download and complete the registration form (both the personal information page and the terms and conditions page signed at the bottom) with a copy of your passport and a deposit of $300.00 per person made payable to Elias Tours and mail to: 4941 Chalden Ln NE, Marietta, GA 30066
Passengers participating in Jordan Extension:
BA 218 25JUN DEN - LHR 735P 1130A 26JUN
BA 167 26JUN LHR - TLV 455P 1155P 26JUN
BA 313 08JUL AMM - LHR 835A 1210P 08JUL
BA 219 08JUL LHR - DEN 245P 525P 08JUL
Return flight for NON-Jordan Passengers:
BA 166 05JUL TLV - LHR 7:10A 10:30A 05JUL
BA 219 05JUL LHR - DEN 2:45P 5:25P 05JUL
* Flight times, flight numbers, equipment, gates, and seats are subject to change. For the most current information check the airline website.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 261-7791
What is included in the tour
- Airfare from Denver, CO - Other cities available
- 9 nights in 4-star hotels (Double Occupancy)
- Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner daily
- Entrance fee to all sites
- All ground transportation in a private tour bus
What is NOT included in the tour
- Gratuities for Guide and Driver
- Personal Expenses
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel Insurance is required and not included in the purchase price. For your convenience, we offer travel insurance through Travelex Insurance Services. For questions, quotes, or to purchase travel insurance, visit Travelex Insurance or call (800) 228-9792 and use the code 26-0057 for Elias Tours.
ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH
REVS. JOEL & SONJA PANCOAST
JUNE 25 - JULY 5, 2023
Day 1: Departure from the USA
Depart from Denver, CO (DIA) for your overnight flight to the Holy Land. Meals will be served on board.
Day 2: Arrival – Tel Aviv
We arrive at Ben Gurion airport and depart northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv to start off the journey of visiting the Holy Land. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and dine in our hotel in Tel Aviv.
Day 3: Mt. Carmel – Caesarea – Nazareth – Cana – Tiberias
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where the Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct. We visit Mount Carmel, Muhraqa (the Place of Fire), and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18), discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. Afterward, we go to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. We end our day with a visit to Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle. Drive to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Caesarea Philippi – Golan Heights – Mt. Arbel – Valley of Doves – Sea of Galilee
We start our day with a visit to Caesarea Philippi, at the source of the river Jordan, where Peter confessed that Jesus is the Messiah. Then we return to the Sea of Galilee via the Golan Heights with a stop overlooking the Road to Damascus. On to Mount Arbel, where we overlook the ancient road from Nazareth to Galilee with a possible hike on part of the Jesus Trail. We then carry on to the Valley of the Doves and travel along the ancient road that leads from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee along the Via Maris. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 5: Sea of Galilee – Magdala – Capernaum – Mount of Beatitudes
We start the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, followed by a visit to the Ancient Boat Museum that houses a 2,000-year-old fishing boat found buried in mud on the shores of Galilee. The boat provides a good example of what fishing boats looked like during the time of Jesus. Then we visit Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, and see the 1st-century synagogue, the oldest synagogue discovered on the shores of Galilee, with a stone-carved replica of the Temple and Menorah. We then take a short drive to Capernaum, the biblical village and hometown of Jesus. Capernaum is closely associated with Jesus and His ministry as described in the Synoptic Gospels. There we see the house of the mother-in-law of Peter and an ancient synagogue that dates back to the time of Jesus and where much of His teaching took place. After a lunch of St. Peter’s fish, we drive to Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000. We then visit the site known as “Peter’s Primacy” where Jesus appeared to His disciples for the third time after His Resurrection. Later we continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. We enjoy the view of the enchanting gardens and reflect on Jesus’ sermon. We also have time for prayer and reflection. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Day 6: Jordan Valley – Shepherds Field – Bethlehem
After breakfast, we drive through the Jordan Valley and on to Bethlehem to visit Shepherd's Fields, where the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of Our Lord. These fields are also the setting of the Book of Ruth. After lunch, we travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the place where Our Lord was born. We check in at our hotel, and enjoy dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 7: Augusta Victoria Hospital – LWF – Mt. of Olives – Mt. Zion
We start our day at Augusta Victoria Hospital to witness the work of the Lutheran World Federation in health and education. Later, we enjoy a panoramic view from the top of Mount of Olives, and then we continue to the Church of the Ascension and the Church of the Pater Noster. We continue down to Dominus Flevit and St. Mary Magdalene Church. We pray at the Garden of Gethsemane and visit the Church of All Nations. In the afternoon, we visit St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus was denied by St. Peter. Then we visit the Upper Room, the place of the Last Supper, and King David’s Tomb. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 8: Wadi Qelt – St. George Monastery – Baptismal Site – Jericho – Qumran – Masada – Dead Sea
This morning we depart Bethlehem, traveling through the Judean wilderness where Jesus fasted for 40 days, and along the ancient road passing the Good Samaritan inn. Upon reaching Wadi Qelt, we enjoy a view of St. George’s Monastery nestled in the wilderness. We carry on along the ancient road toward Jericho, passing by Herod’s Winter Palace, where the infamous King died in the year 4 BC, and which was likely the background setting for the parable of the prodigal son. On the way to Jericho, we head to Bet Arabah where John baptized Jesus. The site is also known as the “Place of Crossing” of the Israelites. From Bet Arabah, we drive to the city of Jericho. We see Tel Jericho, the old town of Joshua, to see the excavations of the ancient city and the Mount of Temptation. We then drive to Qumran and visit the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally found, and the buildings that formed the public center of the Essenes. We travel to Masada, the hilltop fortress of Herod the Great, which we ascend and descend via cable car. Then we proceed to the Dead Sea where we can enjoy a dip in the relaxing and healing waters. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 9: Temple Mount – Pools of Bethesda – Yad Vashem
This morning after breakfast, we drive to Jerusalem to visit Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple stood until its destruction in 70 AD, and see the Dome of the Rock, a possible location of the Holy of Holies. We then visit St. Anne’s church and the nearby Pools of Bethesda, where the healing at the pool took place. Afterward, we visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews suffered during WWII. We return to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulcher – Jewish Quarter – Western Wall – Davidson Center
This morning after breakfast, we walk the Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. There, we visit Golgotha and the Empty Tomb. We then visit the Jewish Quarter and go to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. We also visit the Southern Wall Excavation. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 11: Departure from Tel Aviv to the US
Check-out and departure from our hotel for the return home. We arrive on the same day.
OPTIONAL POST-TOUR EXCURSION TO JORDAN
Day 11: Jordan – Mt. Nebo – Petra
After breakfast, we depart to cross the border to Jordan. We visit Mt. Nebo, the place where prophet Mousa (Moses) gazed over the Promised Land before he died. We visit an old monastery and enjoy a view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and parts of the Holy Land. Then we continue to drive towards Petra for a traditional Bedouin Dinner & overnight.
Day 12: Full day Petra – Amman
After breakfast, we visit the Site of Petra, the 2,000-year-old Nabatean city featured in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. We walk through the narrow passageway up to the treasury, a massive royal tomb carved out of solid rock. In the afternoon we transfer to Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Amman – Jerash
After breakfast at the hotel, we visit Jerash, north of the capital Amman. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, it’s known for the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman settlement of Gerasa (one of the cities of Decapolis). These include the 2nd-century Hadrian’s Arch, the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis, and the huge Forum’s oval colonnade. We then return to Amman for dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Arrive USA
We enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then check out and transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA.
NOTE: The schedule is subject to change due to various factors and at your Tour Leaders’ and Guide’s discretion.