Insights into the Holy Land with John Valletta

Dates December 12 - 22, 2020
Destination Tel Aviv; Caesarea; Capernaum; Galilee; Jericho; Masada; Qumran; Jerusalem; Bethlehem;
Duration 11 days 10 nights
Price From 2,400
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Join Morris Murdock Escorted Tours and tour director John Valletta on a trip of a lifetime. While visiting most of the significant locations in the Holy Land such as Caesarea, Nazareth, Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor, Masada, the Model City, the BYU Jerusalem Center, Bethlehem, and the Garden Tomb, participants will learn about the Savior and His prophets and apostles. You will come to have a deeper appreciation for the teachings of the Savior from seeing where those sacred words were spoken.

Questions? Contact:

Karen Gerlach, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6152
Email Karen

Day 1: Saturday, December 12, 2020

U.S.A. • Transatlantic Flight 

We will take a morning flight from our various U.S.A. homes and change planes at the JFK International Airport in New York. We will arrive in Israel the following late afternoon at the Ben Gurion Airport. 

Day 2: Sunday, December 13, 2020

Transatlantic Flight • Tel Aviv, Israel

Arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport—which is near New Testament Lydda, where Peter healed Aeneas. We will visit Jaffa, where Peter received the important revelation about taking the gospel to the Gentiles. (If time allow) We will check in to the Metropolitan Hotel in Tel Aviv, where we will have our group meeting before retiring for the night.

Day 3: Monday, December 14, 2020

Tel Aviv • Caesarea • Haifa • Muhraka • Nazareth

We will drive through Tel Aviv, the largest Jewish metropolitan area in the world, and then north along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman New Testament seaside capital, Caesarea. Here in the ancient Roman Theater, we will study the biblical events that happened in this place. We will then drive to Haifa (modern port of Israel and center of the Baha’i faith), stop for a view, and recount some LDS Church history related to this area. We will drive along the top of Mount Carmel to Muhraka, the traditional site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal, to enjoy a view of the Jezreel Valley and talk about the importance of this valley both anciently and now.  At the lovely city of Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, we will visit the Nazareth Village (developed to show life as it existed at the time of Jesus) and briefly reflect on His early life. We will then drive past ancient Cana toward the Sea of Galilee and check in to the Nof Ginosar Hotel for two nights.

Day 4: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Sea of Galilee • Capernaum • Mount of Beatitudes • Tel Dan • Banias • Golan Heights

Our day will begin with an exhilarating boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and to see the ancient boat in their small museum. Then 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. We will pass Hazor on our way north and briefly stop near Tel Dan, to see a gate that dates back to the time of Abraham. We’ll continue on to Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon, which is ancient Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s testimony of the Savior. This is where one of the sources of the Jordan River emerges from the foothills of Mount Hermon. We will then drive up on the Golan Heights—home of many Druze people as well as the scene of fierce fighting between Israel and Syria in 1967 and again in 1973—to enjoy a view of Mount Hermon. We will return to the Sea of Galilee for a stop at Magdala, to see the shrine dedicated to some of the women in the Savior’s ministry through some beautiful art. We return to Nof Ginosar to enjoy dinner and an evening on the lakeshore.

Day 5: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Galilee • Mount Tabor • Beth Shean • Jericho

Today begins with our first stop at Mount Tabor.  From this high point we will discuss biblical events associated with Gideon, Deborah, King Saul, and the Savior’s Transfiguration and His visit to the village of Nain at the foot of Mount Moreh. Next we will see the impressive ruins of Beth Shean and experience the splendor of Roman life and Hellenistic culture.  We will then continue south down the Jordan Valley and view the meandering Jordan River and the Jordan Plateau to the east with its interesting biblical history.  We will stop at Qasr El Yehud, the possible site of Jesus’ baptism, and review some important scriptural events that took place in this area.  Next we will visit the Old Testament site of Jericho before checking in to the Oasis Hotel for the night.

Day 6: Thursday, December 17, 2020

Jericho • Dead Sea • Masada • Ein Gedi • Qumran • Jerusalem

A morning drive will take us south along the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Here we will take the cable car to the top of Masada to see the ruins of the palace-fortress built by King Herod and to recall the story of the Zealots’ last stand against the Romans.  Before leaving this desert fortress, we will visit the museum at Masada’s base. As we drive north, we will stop for a quick float in the Dead Sea and 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, and discuss their importance on the way to Jerusalem. We will next enjoy a brief stop in the historic Judean Wilderness, where we will discuss the Savior’s forty-day experience and temptations. We will make a brief stop in Bethany and talk of events related to Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. We will check in to the Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem for the remainder of our nights in Israel. Following dinner at the hotel, we will have an evening lecture.

Day 7: Friday, December 18, 2020

Jerusalem • Model City • City of David

Our day in Jerusalem will begin on the Mount of Olives, where we can view and discuss the history of the Old City of Jerusalem.  We will then visit the Yad Vashem Memorial, the Holocaust museum, in West Jerusalem.  We will drive by the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) on our way to visit the Israel Museum, including the famous Model City of Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls display). We will stop at the hotel to change clothes before proceeding to the City of David to see the Jerusalem of Nephi’s time and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a hydrological wonder of Isaiah’s time.  We’ll spend a few moments to watch a wonderful 3-D presentation that will provide a great visual overview for the City of David and how it was established. We will also visit the true Pool of Siloam mentioned in John 9.  We will enjoy some free time before returning to the hotel.  We will go to the Western Wall in the late afternoon to watch the religious Jews welcome in the Sabbath. Following our experience at the Western Wall, we will return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 8: Saturday, December 19, 2020

Jerusalem • Bethlehem

We will begin our Sabbath by going early to the BYU Jerusalem Center and having sacrament meeting with the Jerusalem Branch in the center’s beautiful auditorium, with its spectacular view of the Holy City. We will also visit the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden, where we will discuss the symbolism of Gethsemane and enjoy a view of Old Jerusalem. The afternoon will be spent in the Bethlehem area, site of the Savior's birth, and visit the Church of the Nativity. We will then visit Shepherds’ Field, overlooking Bethlehem, and review the biblical events connected with this area.

Day 9: Sunday, December 20, 2020

Jerusalem • Old City

We begin the day entering through the Dung Gate to visit the Holy Mount and to see the outside of the Dome of the Rock, built to honor Mohammed, Islam’s founder. Later we will stop at the Western Wall, where we will observe Jews as they participate in morning prayers and bar mitzvahs at Judaism’s holiest shrine.  We will go to the site of the Pool of Bethesda and the Church of St. Anne to discuss John 5. We will visit the Ophel to examine how it looked at the time of the Savior.  In the afternoon we will visit the Jewish Quarter to see the Broad Wall and the Cardo.  There will also be time spent in the Christian Quarter as we visit the major shrine of Christendom, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Leaving the Old City through the Damascus Gate, we will make our first visit to Golgotha and the Garden Tomb.

Day 10: Monday, December 21, 2020


If time allows, we will walk from the Mount of Olives down to Bethphage as we focus on the events of the last week of the Savior’s life, beginning with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We will continue down the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane on the way to Mount Zion and the location of the Upper Room, a reminder of the Last Supper and the ordinance of the sacrament. At St. Peter’s in Gallicantu, the possible site of the palace of Caiaphas, we will discuss Peter and the trials of Jesus. Our day will conclude at Golgotha, the place of the Crucifixion, and the Garden Tomb—where we will consider the final mortal events in Jesus’ life and His Atonement. The rest of the day will be open to prepare for our departures home.  We will have our farewell meeting before leaving for the Ben Gurion airport for their flight home. 

Day 11: Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Transatlantic Flight • U.S.A. 

Finally, we will fly all night and arrive in New York to change planes in the early morning.  This will involve going through customs.  We will arrive home in the late morning.

Included in the tour:

  • Deluxe motor coach transportation
  • Group transfers
  • Local guides
  • Accommodations in moderate-class hotels
  • Sightseeing tours as outlined on the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities
  • All breakfasts and dinners as outlined on itinerary 

Price does not include: 

  • Round-trip airfare from Salt Lake City–Tel Aviv–Salt Lake City @ $TBA
  • Additional possible airfare from cities other than Salt Lake City
  • Additional transfers not with the group
  • Sightseeing not included on the itinerary
  • Additional hotel accommodations 
  • Items of a personal nature (i.e., phone calls, room service, emails, etc.)
  • Additional travel insurance and cancellation waiver
  • Lunches (and one or two dinners not on itinerary)
  • Single supplement: $TBA

Payment Terms: 

  • $500 deposit per person due at booking
  • $75 off per person for final payments made by check
  • Final payment due October 13, 2020
  • Terms and Conditions