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Get baptized in the same spot as Jesus...
You know the Jordan River. It’s the place of many (loads!) biblical miracles and stories.
Crossing the Jordan to get to the Promised Land.
The Jordan River dividing in two.
Getting healed in the Jordan.
Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan.
It’s an important place. Especially if you’re a church group, you’ll want to include the Jordan River in your Holy Land tour.
Imagine being baptised (or re-baptised) in the spot where Jesus was baptised. Where the heavens opened and a dove descended upon him.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17
Of, if you’re a pastor, imagine baptising your church members in the Jordan. It’ll be an unforgettable bonding experience.
The traditional site of Jesus’ baptism is called Qasr al Yahud. Give it a quick Google and see how beautiful it is. Or give us a call and we’ll tell you stories of people who have visited.
When you walk up to the Jordan River, you’ll be taken aback by the simplicity and humbleness of the surroundings. To know that such a momentous and significant event took place in such an underwhelming, everyday spot will give you a new understanding and perspective on the biblical story.
Adding a visit to the Jordan River to your Holy Land tour will be amazing and unforgettable. Let’s talk about turning this dream idea into a reality. Give us a call today. 1-855-958-6877.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Israel
Best Times to Visit the Holy Land
Whether it’s for yourself OR your church group, when planning or booking your trip to the Holy Land, don’t underestimate this ONE key factor: The importance of timing your trip to Israel.
The goal of this Travel Guide is to focus you (or your group) and help you imagine your ideal Holy Land trip.
People often forget timing when planning their trip. Just like the rest of the world, different seasons bring various weather conditions, events, and holidays, affecting the atmosphere of the country and impacting the character of your trip.
Knowing the best time of year to visit Israel will help you select the ideal time for you (or your church group) to visit or tour the Holy Land. As an early part of your planning, be sure to pick the right month or season so you can properly organize your ideal Holy Land tour.
This Travel Guide breaks down the most (and least) desirable times to travel to the Holy Land by season and presents tour package ideas from DIY options to white glove service. Whether you’re a pastor or small group leader wanting to travel as a church group OR as a family or couple, we’ll help you save money and get more value from your trip.
For a complete guide on when to visit Israel, you can also check out this Travel Guide:
The Best Times to Tour Israel
Best Times of the Year to Tour the Holy Land
Table of Contents:
- Best Time for Sightseeing & Pilgrimage of the Holy Land
a. Spring (March to May)
b. Autumn (September to November)
- Less Popular Time for Sightseeing & Pilgrimage of the Holy Land
- The Least Desirable Season for Traveling to the Holy Land
- Fitness & Safety Considerations
Best Time for Sightseeing & Pilgrimage
Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November)
The temperatures tend to be mild, pleasant, and mostly dry during these times of the year. Of course, that also means that these are peak tourist seasons so prices may be higher.
Religious holidays, such as Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, attract large numbers of pilgrims to Israel during this time. Mild temperatures also make these seasons optimal time to try hiking and biking in Israel.
It’s also the perfect time to explore Israel’s neighboring countries with a mini-tour of Jordan and Egypt. If you want to add such extras, call us, and we’ll help you build them into your trip. 1-855-958-6877.
To learn more about calculating how much to plan on spending for a Holy Land trip, read our article titled: How Much Does a Trip to the Holy Land Cost?
Spring (March to May)
Springtime in Israel is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Many people incorporate the holidays of Passover and Shavuot into a Holy Land pilgrimage. Passover is the Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. And Shavuot, also called the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover commemorating the first fruits of the harvest and the giving of the Torah.
While it can be an unforgettable experience, we do not recommend traveling to the Holy Land during these holidays. In general, the rates are much higher, and many hotels require a minimum 5-night stay, which will impact your overall tour schedule and destination plan. Additionally, many businesses and tourist stops can be shut down due to the national holidays.
Other than during these important holidays, hotel and flight prices are comparatively moderate. Call us today to discuss which time of year fits your schedule and plan the best. 1-855-958-6877.
Autumn (September - November)
Just like Spring, there are religious holidays in Autumn to be aware of as well. If you’re so inclined, you can also incorporate these holidays into a Holy Land pilgrimage.
Rosh Hashana celebrates (rather than dreads) the day of judgment. Similarly, Yom Kippur celebrates the Day of Atonement.
Sukkot, Shemini Alzeret, and Simchat Torah celebrate and reflect on the importance and thankfulness of God and the Torah.
If you travel to Israel during these holidays, your hotel and flights may be more expensive, but if you can avoid the dates, the prices during Autumn can be quite moderate. As with the Spring holidays, we do not recommend traveling to the Holy Land during these holidays unless it’s an absolute must.
Less Popular Time for Sightseeing & Pilgrimage
As with much of the world, the winter months (December to February) tend to be less popular and appealing to people. For some groups and individuals, this can be a good time to travel as the weather is cooler, and there is less risk of rain. Of course, there’s always the allure of Christmas in Bethlehem, but that trip can become quite expensive. Worthwhile if it’s a priority and important to you and your faith, but otherwise, Bethelem and the area are best enjoyed in other seasons.
The winter also has colder temperatures and higher rainfall. The benefit is that this time of year (winter) can offer lower prices for travelers on a budget.
Summer Is a Less Desirable Season for Traveling to the Holy Land
It might seem to go against common sense that summer is the least desirable season for a trip to the Holy Land. Summer is often thought of as vacation time, after all. But, during this time of year, temperatures are the hottest, and the weather is often very dry.
Because of the popularity, hotels, and airfare become expensive. More than that, the tourist crowds can become massive. That’s why we highly recommend traveling to Israel in the other seasons of the year.
Even if you don’t mind the weather and crowd sizes, the cost might be the deciding factor.
Fitness & Safety Considerations
Sometimes people forget, so let’s be very clear. Pilgrimage groups can involve a lot of walking or hiking and sometimes traverse over difficult terrain. If your goal is to do a lot of hiking during your time in Israel, which most pilgrimage trips include, then we have a few recommendations:
If you’re not already in good physical condition, add some exercise to your daily routine. Start going for daily walks and be active for the months leading up to your trip
Pack appropriately. If your pilgrimage will include a fair amount of walking, make sure you bring the right outfits with you. Less formalwear and more casual clothing.
Get the proper insurance. Of course, with added exercise comes added risk, so plan ahead by getting extra insurance on your flights and hotels.
One further recommendation: We advise wearing new (hiking) shoes before your departure. There’s little worse than breaking them in (or discovering you don’t like them) during your trip. Break them in a week or two before you leave.
Create a Tailored Holy Land Experience with Tradition Tours
If you’re planning (or hoping to plan) a trip to Israel in the near future, our top recommendation is to let us help you plan and curate your trip. With over 25 years of experience creating memorable experiences to the Holy Land, we know the destinations and deals to recommend or avoid.
To see some of our most popular destinations and packages, read our Travel Guide of the Best Holy Land tours.
Whether you’re traveling on your own or planning a group trip with your church, Tradition Tours operates a full-service travel boutique. We’re proud to offer you concierge services to make your trip to the Holy Land unforgettable.
Call us today @ 1-855-958-6877.
Planning a trip to the Holy Land can be overwhelming. Let us help guide you through the journey. Call now.
Paul lived here for years. You can visit today!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” – Ephesians 6:10
On his third missionary journey, Paul lived in Ephesus. It’s likely where he wrote 1 Corinthians and perhaps other letters in the Bible. His companion during the 2.5 years in Ephesus was his protege, Timothy.
On the western shores of modern-day Turkey, Ephesus was an important port city then and is an amazing place to visit today.
When you’re there, you’ll discover ancient archeological sites. You’ll see where Paul lived and served and grew the Early Church.
You’ll visit the Library of Celsus, one of the most beautiful structures in all of ancient Ephesus. While the library is from before the time of books, it once held over 12,000 scrolls, the third largest ancient library in the world.
The Great Theatre of Ephesus will be another highlight. With ancient pillars and statues, and carvings, the Theatre was three stories tall and could host 25,000 people. It’s quite the marvel!
When you call us, ask us about the other sites to add to your time in Ephesus.
You’ll be amazed and awed when you walk in the footsteps of St. Paul!
You won’t regret adding this ancient biblical city to your tour.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Israel
Best Times to Visit Israel
It’s a common question that we often hear from travelers starting the planning stages of their trip to Israel. What time of year should they book their trip? What is the best time to visit Israel? Or what month is the best to travel to Israel?
Is February a good time to visit Israel?
Is November a good time to visit Israel?
Is October a good time to visit Israel?
Is December a good time to visit Israel?
What is the best time to visit Israel and Jordan?
After you’ve read this travel guide, you’ll know the best time of year for you to visit the Holy Land based on your priorities. Depending on your reasons for choosing Israel, one month may be better than the next. The best time to visit depends on your individual interests and priorities (or those of your group).
The goal of this article is to help you build a trip to Israel based on the preferred experience you want to create. We’ll also provide you with additional information on the curated tour packages that Tradition Tours has to offer.
You’ll also be interested in reading our Travel Guide on costs and budget.
How Much Does a Holy Land Trip Cost?
Best Times of the Year to Visit Israel
Table of Contents:
- Best Times for Experiencing Isreal’s Highlights
- Holidays in Israel
- Best Times for a Beach Vacation
- Best Times for Jewish Family Time
- Cheapest Time to Visit
- Least Busy Time to Visit
Best Times for Experiencing Israel’s Highlights
Spring (Match - May) and Fall (September - November)
We recommend these seasons because the temperatures are mild, pleasant, and mostly dry. You’ll be able to visit the country’s top attractions without the hustle and bustle of the high season, and hotels are comparatively cheaper.
January and February are especially popular with church groups. The weather can be hit-or-miss that time of year, but it’s a quiet time and easy to get arranged.
Springtime in Israel is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The mild temperatures make these seasons the optimal time to try hiking and biking in Israel. It’s also the perfect time to explore Israel’s neighboring countries with mini-tours of Jordan and Egypt.
To learn more about traveling to Israel, read our Discover Israel page, where you’ll see details of multiple Israel packages.
Holidays in Israel
You likely already know the major religious holidays, such as Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. These holidays attract large numbers of pilgrims to Israel during this time. Also of note, during these holidays, there are huge displays and parties.
What’s more, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are two major holidays celebrated in Israel, which often cause the country to shut down completely. You can travel to Israel during this time of year, but most (or all) of the tourist and religious destinations will be closed.
As we’ll note below, this doesn’t mean that you can’t visit the Holy Land during these holidays. But you’ll want us to help you plan the trip to ensure you organize things properly.
Passover is also a tricky time to travel to Israel as hotel prices tend to spike during the holiday, and bread may not be served in supermarkets and kosher restaurants.
All reasons to give us a call so we can help you plan your trip to Israel. Call us at 1-855-958-6877.
Best Times for a Beach Vacation
Summer (June - August)
At Tradition Tours, we recommend visiting the west coast beaches of Tel Aviv and beyond in summer. We can also arrange tours leaving from the city every day.
You’ll also want to consider travel to Eilat as a resort location.
Remember that the nightlife and club scene are best in the summer. The temperatures are also the hottest during this time. And summer is when crowds are at their peak.
As with most travel, summer is the most expensive time to visit Israel.
Best Times for Jewish Family Time
As we mentioned, there are two biggest Jewish holiday times in Israel.
Passover in March/April.
Rosh Hashana September/October.
And Sukkot also in September/October.
You’ll want to be careful when planning your trip to Israel during those months on your own. It may be difficult without an inside edge, as most tours don’t run during this time. One prime example of why it’s so important to plan your trip with an expert. Give us a call at Tradition Tours.
Remember, hotel and flight prices are higher due to the popularity of traveling to Israel during this time.
If your preference is to visit Israel during these times of the year, don’t plan it yourself, as there are too many details that might fall through the crack. Give us a call. 1-855-958-6877.
Cheapest Times to Visit
The shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall are beautiful and a great time to visit. With milder weather and fewer tourists, these seasons are the best time to balance saving money, avoiding crowds, and enjoying the weather.
Winter (November to March) may also work for your travel plans. With fewer tourists and lower prices for hotels and flights, we often recommend groups consider Winter.
Be warned: some shops and businesses may close during this time due to fewer tourists, but the weather remains warm and appealing. Shops may also close earlier as it gets darker earlier.
November is the cheapest time to fly to Israel.
Least Busy Time to Visit
As mentioned, winter (December to February) may be the best time to visit Israel.
With its cool and dry weather, it’s a great time to explore the country.
Some attractions and activities may be closed, but there are also fewer tourists to crowd those attractions and cities.
Remember to consider the shoulder season (March to May, September to November) as a good time to visit. These off-season months will be more affordable, which is often an important factor if you’re traveling with a church group.
Create a Tailored Holy Land Experience with Tradition Tours
To summarize and restate the information above, the best times to visit Israel are based on your individual interests and priorities. You’ll also need to consider the importance of the weather, tourism levels, and personal preferences when planning a trip to Israel.
At Tradition Tours, we make traveling and planning a memorable trip to Israel simple and worry-free. With more than 25 years of experience creating memorable experiences in the Holy Land, we know the hiccups to watch for and plan around.
As a full-service travel boutique, we offer full-service, personalized concierge services for individuals, families, and church groups traveling to the Holy Land. More than that, we also have package tours that include Egypt, Jordan, and Greece.
If you’re starting to plan your trip, don’t do it alone. Your trip to Israel is an important, life-changing, amazing experience that we’ll gladly help you plan and organize. Give us a call. 1-855-958-6877.
If you have questions after looking at our tour packages, we invite you to call us. We’ll help you decide the best seasons to travel to Israel before planning your trip. We can also provide you with additional information on our curated packages.
We’re happy to share stories from people who’ve traveled with Tradition Tours. Here’s just one:
“Tradition Tours made the planning of our trip personal for us. Donny provided details on different tours, gave us time to make a decision, and worked closely with us after complications delayed our much-anticipated trip to Israel and Egypt. The tour in Israel exceeded our expectations. Tradition Tours worked with us every step of the way. Highly recommend Tradition Tours without any hesitation whatsoever!” – David B, Virginia
The burial place of Jesus (details inside)
“I’ve never been as IN AWE as I was when I saw the actual place where Jesus was buried and rose again. It was inspiring and unimaginably awesome!” – Geoff
Have you heard of the Garden Tomb?
Catholics traditionally believe that the burial and resurrection of Jesus took place where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built.
It’s in Old City Jerusalem, and we’ll visit it on your tour of the Holy Land. But the most likely place, if you ask Evangelicals, is called the Garden Tomb.
A bit of a history lesson:
Golgotha, as you might already know, means “place of the skull,” and that’s one of the main hints that history gives us about where Jesus was crucified. It stumped scholars for years – what did the hint of skulls mean?
Then, in the 18060’s, archeologists discovered Skull Hill.
Today, it’s a bus stop. And behind the transit station is a rockface shaped like a skull. Skull Hill.
Archeologists kept looking. And near Skull Hill, they found an ancient tomb in a garden. At the entrance to the tomb is a groove where a stone would have acted as a door. A round stone that could have been rolled away.
More proof that they’d found the place of the burial and resurrection.
The area inside the tomb where the body of Jesus would have lay was marked by an ancient red crest, a stylized cross. Showing that even the Early Church marked the Garden Tomb as the place where Jesus was buried and resurrected.
Imagine stepping into the tomb that couldn’t hold Jesus and reading the story from Matthew 25 of His resurrection. Powerful!
Whether you’re coming to the Holy Land with your church, family, or by yourself, the Garden Tomb is an absolute MUST-SEE!
It’s like nothing else you will ever experience. I’ve seen people with tears in their eyes. I’ve seen pastors open their bible and start reading the resurrection story to their group. For Catholics, the same things happen at the Holy Sepulchre. But if you ask me, the Garden Tomb seems more likely.
That’s how I know the Garden Tomb will highlight your trip to the Holy Land. You’ll look back on the experience years and decades later.
Call today, and let’s discuss planning your trip to the Holy Land.
Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. The Garden Tomb awaits. Is it calling your name?
Why you should add Egypt to your Holy Land tour
You know that Jesus spent significant time during His childhood in Egypt.
At least two years, possibly up to three-and-a-half years, while His family hid from Herod. No one quite agrees on how long, but most scholars agree that Jesus did spend part of His childhood there… and maybe parts of His young adult years, too.
The Coptic Church gives unique importance to these early years of Jesus’ life. Because of that, there are many ancient monasteries throughout Egypt. Dozens of them, each with ancient artwork and early stories of the Holy Family.
You know about the pyramids and tombs of ancient Egypt. But you should also explore the Church history there, too.
Speaking of pyramids, did you know…?
When people visit Cairo, the capital of Egypt, they’re often surprised that the ancient city is surrounded by pyramids.
You probably think of the pyramids as being far outside cities and civilizations. Because they’re from ancient, long-past history, people assume the pyramids must be far away from modern cities.
In reality, the pyramids act almost like a mountain range, hemming in the mega-city of Cairo (and its 22 million people). As you drive out of the city limits, the pyramids are RIGHT THERE.
They’re not a multi-hour drive away. You can often see them from your hotel window.
A quick taxi ride, and you’re there, soaking in the history of the ancient Egyptians.
Even the Great Pyramids of Giza (as well as the ancient Sphinx) are only about a half-hour cab ride away from downtown Cairo.
If you haven’t considered adding Egypt to your itinerary, you should give us a call to talk about it. Cairo will certainly pique the interest of even more folks if you’re planning a group (or church) trip.
How Much Does a Trip to the Holy Land Cost? | Tradition Tours
A trip to the Holy Land can be life-changing for your church members. The sites you’ll experience together and the places you’ll visit will invigorate their faith, inspire them beyond words, and bring the people in your group closer together for years.
This Travel Guide will break down the costs of a trip to the Holy Land and give you ideas for touring as a church group in Israel. There’s much to research, and this article will set the foundation for beginning your plans to tour the Holy Land as a church or small group.
Of course, if you’re not a pastor or not looking to plan a church trip, the information in this article will still be relevant for your family trip to the Holy Land. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about a trip to the Holy Land.
How Much Does a Trip to the Holy Land Cost?
First things first, it’s important to know that your church trip to the Holy Land will be priceless. Memorable, inexplicable, beautiful. The cost of Holy Land tours is important, but there’s much more to consider when weighing your options and deciding on packages.
On your Holy Land trou, you’ll read from Scriptures while sailing the Sea of Galilee, float on the Dead Sea, or feast on the delicious daily Mediterranean breakfast and dinners (included in your tour package).
Here are some of the questions you’re likely already asking as you begin to plan your church or small group trip to the Holy Land.
- Cost of Holy Land Tours
- How Much Time Do You Need to Tour the Holy Land?
- Cost Breakdown for a Trip to the Holy Land
- What’s Included in a Tour Package?
- What’s Not Included in a Tour Package?
- Sites to See On a Holy Land Tour
- Holy Land Tour Packages
- Benefits of Taking a Holy Land Tour with Your Church Small Group
- Create a Tailored Holy Land Experience with Tradition Tours
Lead your group from the Mount of Olives to the Gates of Jerusalem along the triumphant path of Jesus. Explore the sites, sounds, and tastes of the Bible in the Holy Land, from Bethlehem to Capernaum to the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem and much more!
Cost of Holy Land Tours
As you’ll discover as you browse the Tradition Tours website and look at a number of our Holy Land Tour packages, the cost can vary depending on the length of time and the number of people. Other factors, such as time of year and destinations, can (and will) impact the bottom line, too.
In general, the average cost for a standard tour (without airfare) is between $2400 to $2900.
A luxury trip cost per day per person will cost approximately $900 a day, while an economy trip will be closer to $350 per day per person. Of course, these are estimates and subject to change based on many factors
How Much Time Do You Need to Tour the Holy Land?
Most of the Holy Land Tour packages that you’ll find with Tradition Tours range from one to two weeks or 7-15 days, with our 10-day tours being the most popular for church groups and families.
In order to experience as much of the Holy Land as possible, we recommend planning at least 10 days. Of course, the longer you’re in Israel, the more you can see and experience. But most of our tours are able to pack multiple locations into each day,
For instance, on our 10-day Holy Land Foundations tour, your group will experience the Dead Sea, Qumran, and Masada in one day. But you’ll also spend most of two full days in the city of Jerusalem. Each day is packed with amazing sites and experiences.
Keep reading this article, and we’ll give you the links to all of our most popular tour packages.
Cost Breakdown for a Trip to the Holy Land
There are many factors that impact the cost of your trip to the Holy Land. While some of these factors may seem obvious and straightforward, others may be things you’ve forgotten or didn’t know to factor into the overall cost.
For instance, while the quality of the hotel (4-star or 5-star) will obviously impact the overall cost of your trip to the Holy Land, unexpected expenses such as travel visas to enter a country can add up. There are certain countries (notably, Egypt and Jordan) where, in order to get permission to enter, you need to pay a visa fee – which can be arranged for you by Tradition Tours.
While usually not overly expensive, such unknown costs can add up throughout your trip.
One cost to consider in addition to your total package cost is airfare. We generally advise churches to add $1200 to $1400 per person to fly to Israel. There are many factors that can impact the price of airfare, including the time of year and location in the USA.
What’s Included In a Package?
At Tradition Tours, our Holy Land packages include the following:
- Transfers upon arrival and departure
- All Hotel accommodations
- Deluxe air-conditioned comfortable modern vehicle with a driver
- All entrance fees to sites
- Breakfast & dinner daily
- A group tour led by an expert state-certified and licensed tour guide
As David from Virginia said recently, “Tradition Tours made the planning of our trip personal for us.”
We consider ourselves a one-stop shop. You decide where and when you want to travel, and we’ll take care of all the details. Or, if you’re a pastor or leading a church trip, your job is to get the people. Our job is every other detail.
What’s NOT Included In a Package?
While we do our best to handle all the details (and our 4.9 rating on TrustPilot shows we do a great job), some things are not included in our tour packages. These include:
- Flights (as noted, add $1200 to $1400 to your budget for airfare)
- Items of a purely personal nature (souvenirs)
- Border Fees when traveling to Jordan or Egypt
Sites to See On a Holy Land Tour
There are a number of “must-see” spots during your Holy Land tour. Some of these sites include:
Nazareth & Galilee
Tiberias, Capernaum, Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes, a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
Golan Heights (for some tours)
Jerusalem (Israel Museum, Holocaust Museum, Temple Mount, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, Garen of Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Church of All Nations, Kidron Valley)
Jordan River, Jericho, Masada, Qumran
Holy Land Tour Packages
If you’re planning a Holy Land tour for your church or small group, these are the packages we recommend you consider first.
The Holy Land Foundations Tour will transport you back to the days of Jesus. This 7-day tour will take you through Galilee, Jerusalem, and much more.
Click the button below to see all the details of the Foundations tour, including a day-to-day itinerary, hotel information, and lots more.
If your group is looking for a tour that’s a step above the Foundations Tour option, then consider the Complete Holy Land Tour.
You won’t want to miss anything on this tour through the Holy Land, Jordan, and Egypt. Your group will experience Jerusalem and Cairo, as well as Lower Galilee and Petra. 15 life-changing days for your congregants.
If you would like to explore other package options for your church group or family, we have dozens of options for you to choose from. Click HERE to explore all of our Christian Tour packages.
Benefits of Taking a Holy Land Tour with Your Church Small Group
There are numerous benefits to taking a trip to the Holy Land with your church or small group. As we mentioned earlier, costs can add up when calculating the total cost of a trip to the Holy Land. However, one of the main benefits of traveling as a group is that you’re often able to bundle travelers together to make the overall trip more affordable.
Cost may not be the biggest contributing factor for every member of your church group. As the pastor, you know that some of the members of your church have more means than others do.
That said, one massive benefit of groups going together is being able to invest in their faith together. Even more, making memories together that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Dennis and Nita went on a Holy Land tour in the summer of 2022. They had this to say:
“The tour was awesome, and the tour guides in Israel and Jordan were outstanding and very knowledgeable. In all, the hotels were excellent, and the staff at all the hotels were very attentive to our needs. This was a trip of a lifetime, and we recommend that to make it the best trip use Tradition Tours and ask for Donny! You won't regret it, and you will come home with many wonderful memories.”
Click the button below to learn more about our tour options for church small groups.
Learn more about church group packages
Create a Tailored Holy Land Experience with Tradition Tours
Let’s be honest. There are lots of travel agencies that you could use to book your trip to the Holy Land. You could use online services or buy pre-made packages from a friend or church member.
But when you’re planning a trip this important, our experience and know-how will be absolutely priceless for you and your church.
With Tradition Tours, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’ve partnered with a travel company with more than 25 years of experience. More than that, we’re a travel company that focuses entirely on creating memorable experiences in the Holy Land.
Our hundreds of Trustpilot reviews (and 4.9-star rating) showcase that we not only know the best places to visit and hotels to stay while you’re in the Holy Land but also offer full-service travel boutique and concierge services.
Your first step is simple and easy.
No complicated form to fill out.
No minimum commitment or credit card required.
Simply call us today. We’d love to answer your questions and help you dream about your church trip to the Holy Land.
Call today - 1-855-958-6877
Best Christian Holy Land Tours 2023
Whether you’re a pastor beginning to organize a group tour to the Holy Land or you’re a church small group leader researching ideas for your congregation, this travel guide is for you. We’ll show you the best Christian Holy Land tours, answer some important FAQs, and much more.
After you’ve read this travel guide, you’ll be ready to narrow down your destination options and confirm important decisions. Whether you want to follow the mission trips of the Apostle Paul, visit the seven churches of Revelation, or experience the Holy Land and Middle East, you’ll learn about some of our most popular tours and destinations.
You’ll also learn about passport and visa requirements for US citizens, which languages are spoken during the tour, and answer questions about which currency to use on the tour.
With each popular tour, we’ll give you the link to the daily itinerary and the phone number to call if you want to get the planning process started.
Christian Holy Land Foundations
Experience the passion and feel the power of the Bible as you embark on a remarkable and unforgettable adventure through the life and history of Jesus.
This 10-day Christian Foundations tour will transport you back to the days of Jesus and allow you to feel the power of his life and spirit. Your journey begins when you arrive in Israel. You will immediately feel the ancient, mystical powers surrounding the land’s architecture and design.
Your tour will start in Tel Aviv, where cobbled streets and old-world charm mix with modern-day skyscrapers and cutting-edge architecture. As soon as you step foot in Israel, travelers tell us they experience an incredible sensation of feeling “home.” Your spiritual home.
After a day in Tel Aviv, you’ll explore the ancient cities of Caesarea and Tiberias. You’ll visit the places where many of Jesus’ miracles happened, as well as numerous ancient ruins, archeological digs, and religious sites.
You’ll see Nazareth, Cana, and Capernaum, as well as Jericho, on your way to Jerusalem.
When you’re in the Old City, you’ll walk along the 2000-year-old main street known as The Cardo and head to The Western/Wailing Wall and The Temple Mount. No stop to the Old City is complete without a walk down the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus carried his cross. You can also stop for a visit at the Church of The Holy Sepulcher.
When you’re on Mount Zion, you can visit The Room of The Last Supper. In Jerusalem, the stories you’ve read for decades and the faith you’ve lived from childhood will come to life in a brand new way.
With a few days left on your trip, you’ll go to the New City of Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, and Qumran. You’ll take a cable car up a mountain and walk around an ancient fortress built by King Herod.
Tour Details: Christian Foundations daily itinerary
Call Now: [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877)
Traditions of Apostle Paul in Greece
Be immersed in Christian history, culture, and Greek cuisine, while you travel in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and follow his journey through ancient Greece visiting the sites of Corinth, Veria, and so much more.
You’ll start your tour in historic Athens. There’s so much to see that we’ll plan a few days there. Your Athens highlights include the Parthenon, the Athenian Temple of the goddess of wisdom, and the Temple of Zeus.
A few days into your Athens adventure, you’ll take a trip to Corinth, where Paul met Aquilla and Pricilla and spent 18 months working and preaching. You’ll see where Paul preached the gospel and then return to Athens for dinnertime.
Your tour will also include trips to Thessaloniki as well as Philippi, where you’ll see the Baptistery of Lydia (Paul’s first convert).
Tour Details: Traditions of Paul in Greece daily itinerary
Call Now: [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877)
Apostle Paul Missions Tour
On this Tradition Tour, you will be immersed in Christian history, culture, and Greek cuisine, while you travel in the footsteps of Apostle Paul and follow his journey through ancient Greece visiting the sites of Corinth, Veria, and so much more.
Your tour will start in Athens, where you’ll experience the Acropolis and Parthenon. Consider Athens your home base for the next few days as you take daily excursions to Corinth and Thessaloniki, among other historical sites.
Also, travel to Delphi, an ancient city once called the “hub” or “naval” of the world. You’ll visit the Delphi Archeological Museum to experience its splendid collection of ancient works of art. More than that, you’ll visit the Temple of Apollo (built in the 7th century BC).
Finally, return to Athens before your departure home, where you’ll reflect on all of the new insights you’ve gained into Paul and John’s prosperous teachings.
Tour details: Apostle Paul Mission Tour daily itinerary
Call Now:[1-855-958-6577](te: 1-855-958-6577)
The Seven Churches of Revelation Tour
Begin your tour in Istanbul, Turkey, a city of timeless charm.
You’ll spend a couple of days exploring Istanbul, including the Spice Bazaar, one of the oldest (and largest) shopping complexes in the world. Be stunned by Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
On your final day in the city, you’ll hop on a boat along the waterway separating Asia and Europe. Along the way, you’ll see ancient Ottoman palaces, old architectural villas, and more.
After Istanbul, you’ll begin your journey to the seven churches, starting with Pergamum.
You’ll see the Altar of Zeus, also known as the “Throne of Satan” in Revelation. Continue to Thyatira (church two) and Smyrna (church three). The next day, you’ll visit Philadelphia, Sardis, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. Your tour will also visit Ephesus and Kusadasi before returning to Istanbul.
Tour details: The Seven Churches of Revelation Tour
Call Now: [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877)
Holy Land, Jordan, and Egypt Tour
Very few people are privileged enough to experience Israel, Egypt, and Jordan all in one vacation. Tradition Tours makes that possible with this life-changing tour of the most prominent sites of the Bible.
During your 12-night adventure, you’ll always have an experienced travel consultant ready to handle all your tour needs. As you make your way around the sacred lands, the stories of the Bible will come to life.
The tour starts in Tel Aviv, a city that combines the ancient world (cobblestone streets) with the modern day (skyscrapers) before heading to the Judean capital of Caesarea and heading to Mount Carmel as well as numerous other biblical sites in Israel.
One of the many highlights of the tour is a boat ride on the Sea of Gaililee where you’ll stop to see an ancient fishing boat from the tme of Jesus.
Explore Cana and the Wedding Church, where Jesus turned water into wine. Then travel to Nazareth, where Jesus spent most of his life on earth.
Of course, you’ll spend a couple of days in Jerusalem, both the Old City and New, as well as Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus. We include the Dead Sea and Qumran (location of the Dead Sea Scrolls).
Expereince Petra, an unbelievable ancient city carved into the mountains. Marvel as we explore the treasury, a Nabatean king’s tomb, obelisks and so much more! You’ll see many amazing sights on this tour, but Petra may well be your favorite.
From Mount Nebo, you’ll see the vantage point from which Moses viewed the promised land.
You’ll head to Cairo where you’ll see the Egyptian Museum, home to the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb, including his marvelous gold mask as well as thousands of other ancient Egyptian relics.
You’ll see the Nile River and experience enough adventures and have enough stories to last a lifetime.
Tour details: Holy Land, Jordan, Egypt Tour itinerary
Call Now: [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877)
Holy Land Tour FAQ
Passport and visa requirements for US citizens
General Requirements: According to the State Department, US citizens traveling internationally must have passports that are valid for at least 6 months past the date you return to the USA.
Country-Specific Requirements: Some of our tour destinations that do not require a visa or border fees for US Passport holders include:
Some of our tour destinations that do require a visa include:
Countires not listed above may have additional visa or border fee requirements. Give us a call if you need any help sorting through the passport requirements. [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877).
What languages are spoken during the tour?
Lanuages spoken in Israel.
While Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, English is spoken (or understood) by much, if not most, of the population. \
Languages spoken in Egypt.
Many Egyptians are fluent in both Arabic and English, especially if they are educated. Many also speak French.
Languages spoken in Jordan.
While Arabic is the official language of the country, English is spoken by many people, especially in the cities. Many Jordanians have travelled or were educated abroad, so they may also speak French, German, Italian, or Spanish.
Languages spoken in Greece.
While the official language of Greece is Greek, much of the population also speaks English.
Languages spoken in Turkey.
Turkish is the native language of most of the population of Turkey, while much of the population also speaks various dialects. Many people will also speak or understand English, but perhaps not as much as the other countries you may visit.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about the languages spoken in the countries you plan to visit, please call Tradition Tours. [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877).
What currency to use on the tour?
Currencies used in Israel.
The official currency of Israel is the NIS (New Israel Shekel). Most local businesses will not accept US Dollars in Israel, so it’s best to bring the local currency along with you. Ask your local bank if they’re able to order NIS a few weeks before your journey.
Currencies used in Egypt.
The Egyptian Pound is the official currency of Egypt. In many cases, locals may accept US Dollars, but you will tend to overpay if you use non-local currency.
Currencies used in Jordan.
The Jordanian Dinar has long been one of the world’s strongest currencies. Foreign currencies are generally not accepted in Jordan and it is primarily a cash society. Again, ask your local bank numerous weeks before you travel if they’re able to order Dinar.
Currencies used in Greece.
The official currency of Greece is the Euro. Do not bring US Dollars as most businesses will only accept the local currency (Euros).
Currencies used in Turkey.
The official currency of Turkey is the Lira. You can use Euros in Turkey, however many vendors may quote a higher price is not in Lira. Many ATMs are available in Turkey that can dispense Liras at a responsible exchange rate.
As always, if you have any questions about best practices or how to plan for currencies across multiple countries, please give us a call. [1-855-958-6877](tel: 1-855-958-6877).
Stand in the EXACT place where Jesus performed a miracle in Capernaum.
You know the story. You can find it in Luke 5.
A paralyzed man lowered through the roof. His friends didn’t know how else to get him to the feet of Jesus.
So they carried him on a mat to the home where they heard Jesus was teaching, They likely walked up an outside stairway to the roof. Then dug through the hard-packed clay and sticks that roofs were made of back then. People inside the house probably reached up to help lower the paralyzed man (and his mat) down to the safety of the floor.
Jesus, upon seeing the faith of the friends, looked at the man and claimed his sins forgiven.
Local history in Capernaum tells us the house where this miracle happened, Want us to take you there? Give us a call to talk through the details. Call today @ 1-855-958-6877.
As usual, the teachers of the law and Pharisees who witnessed this miraculous event were quick to judge Jesus.
“How dare this man forgive sins? Only God can forgive!”
But according to Luke (and Mark 2), the paralyzed man’s reaction upon hearing his sins forgiven was to get up, take his mat, and walk home.
Capernaum is on the north end of the Sea of Galilee. In Biblical times, the village was an important trading post and home to many fishermen.
Of course, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and preached (mostly) in Jerusalem, but most of his ministry and miracles took place in Galilee, especially Capernaum.
In fact, according to Matthew 4:13, Jesus considered Capernaum his home after facing temptation in the wilderness.
When you visit Capernaum, you’ll see a synagogue like the one where Jesus preached His “Bread of Life” sermon (John 6). Capernaum is also where Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, expelled demons, and healed a Roman officer’s servant.
It’s the town where you’ll also see what’s believed to be the home of Peter, where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and where the paralyzed man was healed.
You can stand in the EXACT place where Jesus performed a miracle.
Can you imagine?
While the ancient synagogue where Jesus preached and healed is likely a few meters below today’s existing synagogue, you can still stand in Peter’s actual house where miracles actually.
Whether you’re planning a Holy Land tour for YOU or your CHURCH…
Adding Capernaum to your itinerary is a MUST.
Discover the Napa Valley of the Middle East
This week is about a different type of experience on your tour.
What’s the different type of experience? Wine.
While not often top of mind when people think of the wine regions of the world, Israel actually has the almost-ideal climate and geography to produce some of the best wine in the world. In fact, the grapes in Israel are sometimes called “the mother of all European wine” because, on a DNA-level, winemaking grapes find their origin in the Holy Land.
Give us a call to talk about booking your trip, and ask us to send you a fascinating article about grape DNA. If the science of wine is your thing, you’ll love it!
From Upper Galilee to the Golan Heights and the Judean Hills, if you have a taste for wine and wineries, Israel has an incredible amount to offer.
While obviously, you’ll travel to the Holy Land for reasons other than (or in addition to) the wine, it can add an extra flair to your trip if you desire.
If you make Nazareth Village part of your trip (especially if you’re planning a Church tour), you’ll also be able to see an ancient wine press that was formed into the bedrock of Galilee – likely from the 1st century time of Jesus. It’s certainly a “unique” archeological find that you won’t see in many places.
Whether you make wine and wineries part of your trip or not, we know you’ll have the experience of a lifetime in the Holy Land.
Here’s what Daryl had to say after returning home from his recent tour:
“I wasn’t expecting to see so many places. Our guide was so knowledgeable I couldn’t keep up in my notes, but a welcome surprise for the vast information he provided. I would certainly go again if the opportunity provides.”
Like something out of Indiana Jones…
Maybe church history isn’t your thing…
Maybe you’re not one of those people who’ve dreamed for decades about visiting ancient monasteries and synagogues…
Or temples and ruins. Ancient archeology.
But even still, you can marvel at history AND the ingenuity of people thousands of years ago.
(Or maybe you’re just a movie buff and want to visit the place Indiana Jones called the “temple of doom.”)
Ever wanted to add Petra to your bucket list? Give us a call at 1-855-958-6877.
Petra is an amazing place. A breathtaking reason to visit Jordan, a country bordering Israel.
An ancient civilization, the Nabatean people carved homes into the mountain. From a distance, the mountain looks littered with holes from a woodpecker pecking away for years.
But upon closer inspection, you’ll see those holes are actually doorways. Dug-out caves that ancient families turned into homes.
More than that, Petra is full of ancient sites to see. Sites within sites. As a whole, Petra is amazing. But it’s so special because it’s where you’ll find dozens of ancient ruins. An entire community’s worth!
The “high place of sacrifice”
Wadi Musa (the valley of Moses).
You’ll experience them today as they existed hundreds (or thousands) of years ago.
As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it’s more than a MUST SEE.
Petra might be (should be) on the top of your Bucket List.
When you’re in Israel, it’s not a long journey to Petra. You can simply add a day trip to your itinerary. Ask us about this special add-on. We’ll take care of all the details for you so you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime location.
You’ll see wonders, take pictures, and have stories to share for the rest of your life. Petra truly is incredible. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what Geoff said:
“Whether we were walking through the walkway of limestone or riding a camel through the ancient city, it was unbelievable to experience this ancient community. Truly a day I won’t ever forget! Wow!”
Mount Carmel | Tradition Tours
Another week. Another blog about an important mountain in Israel.
This time… Mount Carmel.
1 Kings 18, in case you forget the story.
(Give us a call to discuss including Mount Carmel on your tour of the Holy Land. Toll-free 1-855-958-6877.)
The Prophet Elijah needed to prove that Baal and other pagan gods were lesser than his God. So, to put it simply, they had a competition to see which god was the true God.
The “fire of the Lord” fell on the place where Elijah had set up a sacrifice and proved to everyone there who the one true God was and is.
When you visit Mount Carmel today, you’ll see the statue of Elijah that was erected by monks centuries ago.
You’ll see their ancient monastery, rebuilt in the 1800s. You’ll see the traditional place of Elijah’s miracle. And yes… it’s truly a beautiful mountain!
You’ll step where God proved His power and truth through the fires of sacrifice. (In much of Jerusalem, you’ll walk in the footsteps of Jesus, but on Mount Carmel, you’ll walk where God the Father performed miracles.)
It’s a life-changing experience that you won’t forget.
Whether you’re organizing a Holy Land tour for your church group OR you’re planning a memorable family and friends trip, we’d love to help you organize the details.
With a trip this special, you don’t want to leave it to luck or hope you pick the right locations and times and tour guides. Lean on our expertise and guidance. We’ll help you plan every detail… even the ones people often forget or overlook.
As always, you can give us a call toll-free. 1-855-958-6877. We’ll walk you through logistics, ideas, flights, budgets, and all the important information.
Talk to you soon,
P.S. Want to include Mount Carmel in your tour of the Holy Land? We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes all the spots you want to experience. Give us a call today to talk about your options. 1-855-958-6877.
Check out THIS spot in Galilee! | Tradition Tours
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written to you about specific locations or attractions in Israel.
I hope you enjoyed the “weather in Israel” and “what to pack” emails recently. If you missed the usual location-specific emails, I promise that you’re going to love today’s email.
(If you’re ready to talk about your trip to the Holy Land, give us a call. Ask us questions. Hear some stories. Talk budget and timeline. 1-855-958-6877)
Have you ever heard of Mount Arbel?
You know Galilee.
You know the Tiberias.
If so, then you know the general region of Mount Arbel.
With high cliffs (110-meter, 360 feet) and incredible views of the Gollan Heights, Mount Arbel is likely a spot that isn’t on your “must-see” list.. But perhaps it should be.
Besides its breathtaking natural beauty, this amazing mountain has ruins from the Hellenistic period, the Romans, the Ottomans, and even the Byzantines.
Its ancient Jewish synagogue is definitely something you don’t want to miss – originally built in the 4th century and then rebuilt in the 6th century and used for a few hundred years.
You’ll see lots of ruins and history on your tour of the Holy Land. But in terms of ancient ruins that span multiple time periods, I’d argue that Mount Arbel could be the most breathtaking.
Beautiful, can’t-miss history.
You might even be fortunate enough to meet the local Bedouins (nomads). Consider yourself extremely blessed when they invite you into their cave-style home for “Bedouin tea.” It’s true, it happens from time to time. But I’ll tell you more about that in a future email.
An unbelievable and memorable experience, for sure!
You can research Mount Arbel on Google or Bing. You can find it on Wikipedia. You’ll learn a lot – the facts and stats. But nothing compares (or even comes close) to experiencing these incredible ruins and seeing these incredible sites with your own eyes.
The pictures you bring home will only be matched by the stories you’ll tell friends and family when you return home. Memories and stories that you’ll pass down to your grandchildren.
As always, you can give us a call toll-free. 1-855-958-6877. We’ll tell you the stories that people have relayed to us during and after their trek to Mount Arbel.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Thinking of a church trip to the Holy Land? Don’t try to plan the logistics and details on your own, it’s a lot to handle by yourself. We have the lists and know the people to ensure your church’s Holy Land tour is unbelievable and unforgettable. Give us a FREE call to start the process. 1-855-958-6877.
What to Pack For Your Trip to the Holy Land Trip to Israel | Tradition Tours
When planning a trip to Israel, packing the right items can make all the difference. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure (for religious or secular reasons), Israel offers a unique and exciting travel experience that’s sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Knowing what to bring and what to leave behind can help ensure you have a hassle-free, enjoyable, and memorable adventure.
As with any travel, the first thing to consider is the type of activities you plan to do while in Israel. If you plan to visit the beach, make sure to pack swimwear, sunscreen and a beach towel. If you plan to explore the local culture or religious sites, consider bringing comfortable and modest clothing such as long skirts and shirts with sleeves. You’ll also want to bring good, comfortable walking shoes for exploring the ancient ruins of Israel.
Another important item to consider is a daypack. This will come in handy for carrying water, snacks, a camera, and any souvenirs you pick up. Depending on the length of your trip, you may also want to bring a larger backpack, especially if you plan to do any overnight hikes.
When it comes to electronics, consider bringing a laptop or tablet for staying connected and doing research while on the go. Cell phones are also a must, especially if you plan to use a local SIM card. Don’t forget all your chargers AND adapters so you can charge your electronics. Also don’t forget, you may need to let your mobile provider know of your travel plans beforehand so you don’t have any hiccups on your trip.
If you are planning to visit Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Siloam tunnel) , also pack a flashlight and waterproof footwear such as Crocs.
With those basics out of the way, there are still some key items to note, especially based on which season you are travelling in.
Summer, Men Packing List
For daytime, be sure to pack shorts or light pants, and T-shirts or polo shirts.
In the evening, you may want to switch to slacks or jeans (shorts for a casual night). And bring a long-sleeved sweater for chilly evenings.
Also, pack dressier pants and tops for Shabbat (Saturday night) or banquets.
Summer, Women’s Packing
For daytime, women can likewise pack shorts or light pants. You may also want to bring a light skirt or t-shirts and short-sleeved tops.
In the evening, shorts, pants, skirts, and dresses are fine to pack. You may also want to bring dressier pants or dresses for Shabbat. Also bring along a sweater in case the evening gets chilly.
For kids, pack the same as adults.
Winter Packing Instructions
For men, in the daytime, you’ll want to have pants or jeans, sweaters, and a comfortable, warm jacket.
Evenings, same thing. But bring along a sport coat in case you need something less casual.
For women, sweats, jeans, or comfortable pants are fine. Heavy sweaters and casual tops will keep you warm and comfortable.
For nighttime, the same list but perhaps less casual. It’s a chance to pack your favorite dresier outfit. This is especially true for Shabbat.
Kids, same as adults.
Dead Sea and Eilat
If your Israel tour brings you to Eilat or the Dead Sea, you have some special packing instructions.
Pack swimwear and a coverup. A sun hat is a necessity, especially for Eilat.
If you travel to Eilat, please bring a separate piece of luggage for two people. You’ll need to bring enough clothing for 3 days. No need to bring all your luggage. But be sure to have luggage tags.
Remember, comfortable shoes should always be part of your packing list. Tennis shoes work well. If you’re going to the Dead Sea, pack Cros or other rubber, waterproof footwear. This is a MUST.
No matter where you travel, and regardless of the season, dress in layers as often as possible. The mornings often start out chilly and then warm up. Dress so you can “peel” as the weather changes throughout the day.
As always, if you have questions about your packing list, give us a call at 1-855-958-6877, and we can help you create your perfect packing list. We’d rather have you ask ahead of time instead of neglecting to pack something important. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Give us a call today.
Tradition Tours Weather in Israel | Tradition Tours
Today, let’s talk weather. First things first…
I promise you’re going to learn all about the weather in Israel. More than you’ll learn with a quick Google search. Then, next week, you’ll learn what to pack, so you’ll be ready for the weather.
(Or, if you prefer to talk about the weather over the phone, you can give us a call @ 1-855-958-6877).
But before I tell you anything about the weather, you need to remember that Israel, like most of the world, measures temperature in Celcius. So when you hear that today was a lovely 19 degrees, don’t think it was below freezing and horrible.
19 Celcius is actually quite lovely this time of year. Mid-60s in Fahrenheit. Not too hot, not too cold. A lovely February day.
As with much of the Northern hemisphere, January and February are the coldest months in Israel. You can expect temperatures to average around 14 or 15 C (mid-50s F). January is also often the wettest month of the year, with an average rainfall of 120-130 millimeters (or just about 4-5 inches).
While winter months tend to have lower temperatures and higher rainfall, they also have lower prices. For some people, that’s more than worth the trade-off.
If you prefer warmer weather and practically zero rainfall, July and August are great months to plan your Holy Land tour. With average temperatures in Jerusalem of around 28C (or 84F), the beaches and sightseeing locations are at their peak form in the summer months.
And… unlike much of the Middle East, you won’t experience horrifically hot, arid weather in Israel. A heat wave rarely reaches into the triple-digits (Fahrenheit). And in winter, there’s rarely a moment when the weather reaches below freezing.
Think of the Holy Land as a Goldilocks zone of great climate. Not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry. It is a land flowing with milk and honey, after all.
You probably have questions about the weather and which month you should plan your trip. Don’t just take your best guess. Give us a phone call, and we’ll be happy to discuss the pros and cons with you. And what other travelers have told us over the years.
As always, you can give us a call toll-free. 1-855-958-6877. OR you can schedule a time for us to call you. Pick the day and time that works best for you.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Next week, I’ll publish a blog about “what to pack” for your trip to the Holy Land. It might be a bit longer than our usual blogs… but it’ll be more than worth it! If you have any questions be in touch!
Traveling to Israel is an Investment | Tradition Tours
I just got off a call with a pastor. We talked about his church planning a trip to Israel. Here’s one of the things he said that really stood out:
“Travelling to Israel is an investment!”
(Want to talk about your Holy Land tour? Give us a call @ 1-855-958-6877.)
I nodded my head in agreement and wanted to know more. So I asked him why he’d frame a Holy Land tour as an investment and not an expense.
(Most travel is enjoyable but would still be labeled as an expense, right?!?)
This pastor went on to talk about the importance of seeing the stories of the Bible with your own eyes. That people from his church will come back from Israel with a greater understanding of the Bible AND their faith.
I’d imagine that every sermon he preaches on Sunday mornings will mean something more, something different, something deeper to those folks in the congregation who experienced the Holy Land together.
If you’re a pastor or leader of your church, imagine the power of your people experiencing the Holy Land together, too!
Jonan, upon returning home from the Holy Land, had this to say:
“Having been to the Holy Land, seeing the various sites, and learning about the culture, adds a new dimension to my reading of the Bible.”
We hear the same thing ALL the time.
Is it time to make an investment in your faith, too? Time to challenge your church community to invest in their faith this year? Schedule a day/time for us to call and talk about it with you by clicking here.
P.S. Be sure to read our next couple of emails. We’ll be telling you about two of the biggest questions we get: the weather in Israel and what to pack for your tour. Can’t wait to learn more? You can always give us a call this week @ 1-855-958-6877.
The Jerusalem Cardo | Tradition Tours
For the most part, the weekly Tradition Tours blogs are about locations and stories you’re already familiar with.
The Sea of Galilee. Capernaum. The Jordan River. Stuff like that.
But today’s email is a location only some of you have heard of. The Cardo.
Think of the Cardo as an ancient version of Jerusalem’s Main Street from Roman times.
From the Damasus Gate in the north end of the Old City to the Zion Gate in the south, walking along the Cardo is another Jerusalem experience you won’t ever forget.
You’ll see ancient Roman columns lining the street on each side. You’ll imagine how the Cardo used to be as wide as a 4-lane highway with vendors and shopping under a covered roof. Ancient times come to life!
As you’re walking down the Cardo, you’ll be walking through history.
Ancient Roman and Byzantine history! From the times of Jesus. The Bible comes to life in a way that’s completely unique and memorable. A life-changing experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
BUT here’s the important thing:
This is an example of WHY it's so important to book your Holy Land trip with Tradition Tours. This is the stuff you might leave out of planning or booking your trip because you don’t know the power and importance of ALL the unique places in Jerusalem.
You’ll hear about it after you get home and regret you didn’t see it. Don’t let that happen. Give us a call to start planning your trip (or your church trip) today. 1-855-958-6877.
Pool fo Siloam Jerusalem | Tradition Tours
When it comes to Israel, it’s important to keep your ear to the ground. Here’s why…
Yes, ancient Israel is from a long-past era. Such is history. When you walk the streets of Jerusalem, you’re walking through thousands of years of lived stories.
And yet, sometimes, there’s news. Exciting news. New news.
(Know what else is exciting and new? Give us a call at Tradition Tours to talk about your dream tour of the Holy Land. Toll-free, 1-855-958-6877.)
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about the Pool of Siloam.
It was built nearly 3000 years ago and was a central and important location in ancient Jerusalem.
The people would gather there three times a year – Pentecost, Tabernacle, and Passover.
It was a holy site. A place to spiritually cleanse yourself before you made the pilgrimage up to the Temple. We’ve known about the Pool for quite some time. Known its exact location for hundreds of years.
But until now, we’ve only had access to a small portion of the Pool.
As you read this email, the entire biblical Pool of Siloam is being uncovered and revealed.
Excavators are carefully unearthing the walkways and wonders of this ancient site. But with each scoop of the excavator’s bucket, they unearth more than mere history. They unearth biblical history, historical proof to validate the Bible’s truth.
The place where Jesus healed the blind man will soon be yours to see. Just as the people walking around ancient Jerusalem would have seen it 3000 years ago.
When you book your trip to the Holy land – whether for yourself or your church group – be sure to include the Pool of Siloam. Once it’s fully excavated and restored, it’s a site you won’t want to miss.
Give us a call and we can give you more details on the timeline for when you’ll want to book your trip to see the unearthed Pool.
Enjoy Mouthwatering Shawarma | Tradition Tours
Yes, you know hummus and falafel.
Maybe you’ve tried shakshuka.
But let me tell you a quick story…
(Or you can give me a call and I’ll tell you over the phone. 1-855-958-6877.)
The other week, I was in Israel. It was a great trip with a great church group. We all had an amazing time. But I’d had enough of hotel food and restaurant meals. My palate wanted something more down-to-earth. To be frank, it wanted street food.
Shawarma to be more specific.
Maybe you’ve had shawarma in your town or at a local market.
Or you’ve seen it on the menu or noticed a meat spit and wondered what it tastes like.
I honestly cannot begin to describe the eruption of flavor that IS street shawarma. Jerusalem street shawarma. I promise you; it might just be one of the highlights of your trip. Sounds silly, but it’s true!
Talk about flavor in every bite.
Taste buds going wild.
An absolutely unexpected delight.
When you think “Israel” you don’t necessarily think of the foods and flavors. But let me tell you, the spices and aromas and delicious food that you’ll experience are often part of what you’ll write home about.
When people ask you, “How was your trip to Israel?” Your answer might very well be: “The food was amazing!”
Consider it an added benefit to your Holy Land tour. Taste buds explode and mouths salivate. I hear it from groups all the time. And like I said, when I was in Israel recently, I craved the food more than anything else.
Why? Because there’s nothing like Israeli food IN Israel. You can ONLY find those specific flavors in that specific place in the world.
So when you think “Israel” don’t forget to imagine the flavors, too!
P.S. Thinking of booking a trip to Israel for yourself OR your church group? Here’s your two best options for connecting with us at Tradition Tours. First, you can give me a toll-free call at your convenience OR you can schedule a time for us to call you. Click here to find a time that works for us to call you. Talk soon!
Jerusalem Market | Tradition Tours
You’re going to feel like you’ve stepped back in time!
(True, that’s something you’ll feel on every excursion and every day of your time in the Holy Land, but it’s especially true when you visit the Old Market in Jerusalem.)
Want to know which other excursions NOT to miss? Give us a call, and we’ll talk you through it. Toll-free - 1-855-958-6877.
But back to the Old Market…
The “Shuk” as it’s called…
It’s such a unique experience that it’s impossible to put into words.
Whether you’ve only been there once or dozens of times, the Old Market is a rare gem that MUST be experienced to be believed.
The sights and sounds of the Old Market will live in your memory forever. The smells and tastes will seem stuck in your nose and tastebuds for you to recall years and decades later.
Seeing IS believing. It’s been around for hundreds of years, yet there are still new corners to explore and new treasures to discover every single time you’re there.
Whether it’s only for a few hours or all day long, after walking around the Old Market, you won’t leave empty-handed; you won’t leave with an empty stomach; and you won’t leave without loads of incredible stories to take home.
And if you’re feeling the urge to explore your younger years again, in the evening… the Old Market transforms into a hub of nightlife. With bars and restaurants galore, you’re sure to have a memorable (and enjoyable) time.
Give us a call. Let’s make sure to add the Old Market to your Holy Land experience.
P.S. Two options for you to connect with us at Tradition Tours. First, you can give me a toll-free call at your convenience OR you can schedule a time for us to call you. You can click here to find a time that works for us to call.
The Western Wall Jerusalem | Tradition Tours
You’ve seen pictures of it…
You’ve heard stories of it…
You’ve probably even dreamed about it…
The Western Wall in Jerusalem.
(Sometimes it’s been called the “wailing wall” but that’s not the preferred name nowadays.)
Want a quick rundown of why it’s called the Western wall instead? I’d be happy to explain and talk about the incredible experience of seeing it! Give me a call @ 1-855-958-6877.
To make a very long history a bit shorter, what’s called the Western wall is essentially part of the retaining wall of the ancient temple in Jerusalem. (The one re-built in Ezra/Nehemiah in the Old Testament and was then destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.)
Let me tell you…
When you place your hand against the Western wall, you’ll feel history. It’s like no other experience in the world. Truly!
You’ll see the handwritten notes rolled up and left in the cracks of the Temple foundation by people over the decades and centuries. You can even leave a note (often a written prayer) as well.
It’s truly a place of history like few others in the world.
As you’ll do many times during your trip to the Holy Land, you’ll regularly pinch yourself to make sure it’s reality and not a dream.
The Western wall is an experience to build your Holy Land trip around. Just as the Wall was part of the foundation of the Temple, so it can be the foundation of your entire tour.
Give us a call today to talk about your options.
P.S. Want to talk about turning your dream trip into a reality? You’ve got two great options. You can give us a call @ 1-855-958-6877 or schedule a time for us to call you. You can click here to find a time that works for us to call.
Visit the place of Jesus' First Miracle! | Tradition Tours
The first miracle of Jesus recorded in the Bible. Do you remember what it was? Here’s a few hints…
Six stone water jars filled to the brim.
Saving the best wine until last.
Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana
Want to visit? Call us to include Cana in your Holy Land tour - 1-855-958-6877.
Modern-day Biblical scholars think that the location is now called Kafr Kanna. It’s a place you can visit today to see where this amazing miracle happened those centuries ago.
Like many of the Biblical stories, when you visit the site where they actually happened, those stories become:
For many who book their Holy Land tour with us, the Biblical stories become more life-changing and faith-strengthening.
We’d be honored to help you plan your pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Whether for families or church groups, we’ve helped thousands of people check “visit the Holy Land” off their bucket list.
Give us a call today and we’ll help you imagine what your trip-of-a-lifetime will be like. Our toll-free number is 1-855-958-6877.
Look forward to hearing from you soon!
P.S. When was the last wedding you attended? Can you imagine the shock and surprise if Jesus was there, turning regular water into amazing wine? Go see the place where the miracle happened. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through details such as logistics, timeline, cost, etc. Pick up your phone and call now – 1-855-958-6877.
Sodom and Gomorrah | Tradition Tours
Sodom and Gomorrah.
When you think of these ancient cities, what comes to mind? Certainly, you’ve heard of them before.
Want to visit the ancient ruins? Give us a call to talk about how we can help make that happen. Call today – 1-855-958-6877.
What do you think of?
What do you imagine?
Where does your mind’s eye take you when you think of these ancient cities?
There’s debate over why God chose to destroy them, but the stories seem to agree on the people’s wickedness.
In Genesis 19, the stories also agree that God rained down sulfur and fire to destroy the cities and all within them. As you might recall, when Lot’s wife turned back to look, she was turned into a pillar of salt.
(You can go see the “pillar of salt” for yourself.)
There are other references in the Old and New Testaments to Sodom and Gomorrah, too.
But when you see those biblical references come to life…
When you look out upon the ancient ruins of these cities…
You’ll be impressed. You’ll be in awe and wonder.
It’s not often a location that people think to put into your Holy Land tour. But it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Ask us how we can (easily) add this life-changing location to your itinerary.
P.S Archeologists believe the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah to be slightly south of the Dead Sea. Which means that we can customize your Holy Land tour to include multiple amazing sites in one day. Curious to know which other locations we can add to your experience? Then give us a call and we’ll help you explore the amazing options you may not have thought of yet.
Call us at Tradition Tours to talk about your Holy Land tour. Toll-free, 1-855-958-6877.
Recommended Reading for Your Israel Visit | Tradition Tours
Here’s a fun question we got this week. We don’t often share questions from our travelers on the blog, but this was an interesting one, so I thought I’d share the exchange here.
We are so excited about our upcoming trip! Are there any books you would recommend that we read to prepare ourselves for our tour of The Holy Land?
Here is a part of my response:
Naturally, due to the history-rich region, hundreds of books have been written on the topic of Israel, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Of course, there have been many books written without a religious focus, most notably would be the first-person narrative written by Josephus Flavius concerning the Roman conquest of Jerusalem.
Let’s face it, Israel is like no other place you have visited to date. Due to its rich history, from the Tabernacle in Shiloh, dating back some 3000 years, to the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea, to the Old City of Jerusalem, no region in the world has such an eclectic mix of cultures and religions which have fused together to create the vibrant and modern-day Israel that you will experience on your Tradition Tour.
I recently sat down to lunch with one of our tour guides, and we discussed, amongst other topics, our favorite Israel-based literature list, excluding the Bible, of course.
I hope the following list, based on our conversation, will serve as a great tool in helping you grow your knowledge before you touch down at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for your visit.
The Book List (Christian Traveler):
1. The Pledge by Leonard Slater
A Reporter and news correspondent for more than 25 years, Leonard Slater’s The Pledge tells the story of the secret American underground that helped arm the new state of Israel for its war of independence after World War II. It involved hundreds of Americans from every walk of life — millionaires and students, longshoremen and ex-GIs, Protestants and Catholics, and Jews; an epic that turned idealists into adventurers, cynics into idealists, respectable business people into smugglers.
The story of this incredible and dramatic race against time — to provide a state not yet born with an army that was still illegal — is told in one of the most suspenseful works of history ever published. It was an epic that contained heroism, farce, and endless contradictions: the Israeli air force was supplied with old Nazi fighter planes bought from Communist Czechoslovakia with money solicited from a real-estate magnate at the urging of a Socialist farmer. Operating out of a Manhattan hotel: known for its tall chorus girls and little old ladies, this same amateur underground bought a surplus U.s. Navy aircraft carrier and prepared to sail it halfway around the world in a vest-pocket replica of D-Day… Yet somehow, this dedicated band of conspirators created an armed force out of nothing.
2. Mary Called Magdalene by Margaret George
Margaret George’s MARY, CALLED MAGDALENE, is about the life and ministry of Jesus and what happened to his disciples after his death.
The book is in three parts.
Part One, titled DEMONS, tells about the childhood and young adulthood of Mary of Magdala and how she came to be possessed by demons.
Part Two, titled DISCIPLE, is the story of the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ and how he casts out her demons.
Part Three, titled APOSTLE, tells what happened to Mary and the other disciples after the death of Jesus Christ.
3. Israel: A simple guide to the most misunderstood country on Earth by Noa Tishby
Published in 2021, this book with take you through Israel’s history and the personal stories of Noa and her family. Noa will take con on a journey from Biblical times to modern-day Israel. A must-read to get a snapshot of what Israel is today.
4. The Source by James Michener
The Source is a historical novel by James A. Michener, first published in 1965. It is a survey of the history of the Jewish people and the land of Israel from pre-monotheistic days to the birth of the modern State of Israel.
5. Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, and the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day, and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the Israel–Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism, and coexistence. Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his family papers, and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that is believed will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem and the only city that exists twice – in heaven and on earth.
6. Six Days of War by Michael Oren
This NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER is the first comprehensive account of the epoch-making Six-Day War.
Though it lasted for only six tense days in June, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades, from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to the ongoing intifada, is a direct consequence of those six days of fighting. Writing with a novelist’s command of narrative and a historian’s grasp of fact and motive, Michael B. Oren reconstructs both the lightning-fast action on the battlefields and the political shocks that electrified the world. Extraordinary personalities—Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Lyndon Johnson, and Alexei Kosygin—rose and toppled from power due to this war; borders were redrawn; daring strategies brilliantly succeeded or disastrously failed in a matter of hours. And the balance of power changed—in the Middle East and the world. A towering work of history and an enthralling human narrative, Six Days of War is the most important book on the Middle East conflict to appear in a generation.
7. The War of Atonement by Chaim Herzog
This is the authoritative account of the Israeli Army’s performance in the bitter Yom Kippur War of 1973. The origins of the war in the turbulent history of competing powers in the Middle East are fully explored, as is the build-up of Arab forces that almost caught Israel by surprise and the realization of the Israeli leadership that they would once again have to fight against overwhelming odds for the survival of their state. A gripping narrative of the conflict, punctuated by first-hand accounts and interviews with combatants, The War of Atonement is full of drama and tales of inspirational bravery. An analysis of the political implications of the conflict brings this epic tale to a close. This is the most comprehensive work on a conflict that has had significant implications for our own troubled times.
8. The Angel by Uri Bar-Joseph
Now a Netflix Movie
The Angel is a gripping narrative that documents the sensational life and mysterious death of Ashraf Marwan, a senior Egyptian official who spied for Israel. This book offers new insights into the turbulent modern history of the Middle East.
As the son-in-law of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and a close advisor to his successor, Anwar Sadat, Ashraf Marwan had access to the deepest secrets of the country’s government. But Marwan himself had a secret: He was a spy for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. Under the codename “The Angel,” Marwan turned Egypt into an open book for the Israeli intelligence services—and, by alerting the Mossad in advance of the joint Egyptian-Syrian attack on Yom Kippur, saved Israel from a devastating defeat.
Drawing on meticulous research and interviews with many key participants, Uri Bar-Joseph pieces together Marwan’s story. He sheds new light on this volatile time in modern Egyptian and Middle Eastern history, culminating in 2011’s Arab Spring. The Angel also chronicles the discord within the Israeli government that brought down Prime Minister Golda Meir.
9.Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun
The definitive biography of Golda Meir: the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking, political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel and one of the most notable women of our time.
Born in czarist Russia in 1898, Golda immigrated to America in 1906 and moved to mandatory Palestine in 1921. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. This enthralling read covers her unique journey and highlights some of her accomplishments along the way, like secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel declared independence, Visiting the USSR as Israel’s first representative, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, to the clandestine meetings with Jordan’s King Hussein this is a masterful recounting of Israel’s founding mother.
For many participants of our tours, an emotional “highlight” is a visit to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
These selections are a powerful prep for a visit.
10. I Never Saw Another Butterfly – Children’s Drawings & Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp
Fifteen thousand children under fifteen passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp. Fewer than 100 survived. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, their hopes and fears, and their courage and optimism with 60 color illustrations.
11. The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn
This rich and riveting narrative, a writer’s search for the truth behind his family’s tragic past in World War II, becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.
The Lost begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust. This unmentionable subject gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relatives’ fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family’s story began and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him.
Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost and found in the passage of time.
Lost Luggage | Tradition Tours
This summer has been a continuous saga of lost luggage and delayed flights, including a story of one person whose luggage was lost in Europe and had placed airtags in his bags allowing him to track his bags and eventually flying to the airport where he was left in a room full of bags where he finally reunited with his lost bags. Yup you guessed it, one of them was lost again when he checked in for his flight home.
Our phones have been ringing almost weekly with someone arriving at their tour destination, and their bags have not arrived with them and have asked for help or a solution to stop it from happening again.
The only solution to the problem is more baggage handlers in the airports, and for more flights to be on time, obviously with the revamp of travel post-pandemic, this is taking a while to achieve as new employees wait for their security clearances to work on airport ramps around the word.
Adding a GPS tracker to your bags does not hurt though truth be told, their help in finding your bags will be minimal unless you are willing to fly halfway around the world to get your bag. However, it is nice to see when your bag will arrive on the carousel when your bags do arrive on your flight with you.
The best recommendation is to pack a few days of essential clothing in your hand luggage just in case, and always take any medication in your hand luggage on the plane with you.
In addition many travel insurance companies will include a lost luggage clause in their policies so make sure you’ve got the correct coverage.
Are you getting ready to depart on your Tradition Tour? Be in touch with any luggage questions, and safe travels!
Float the Dead Sea | Tradition Tours
The Dead Sea should be a ‘must’ on anyone’s bucket list to Israel whether you are looking for a Holy Land experience or just visiting Israel to experience its history, culture and see if the country lives up to its hype.
Geographic location: The Dead Sea is located at the lowest point on earth, approximately 430 meters – 1410 feet below sea level. When you travel to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem you can expect to drive for apparently 45 minutes downhill until you reach the floor of the Jordan Valley. The Dead Sea is nestled south of Jericho and creates a natural border between Israel on its west bank and Jordan on its east bank. Though it’s referred to as a ‘sea’ it’s only about 12 miles wide and 40 miles in length.
Can you swim in its waters? Due to its high levels of salt which are almost 10 times higher than the ocean, it’s not a good idea to try and swim as the water can make contact with your eyes (could be dangerous-painful). Your best bet is to do what all visitors do which is to enjoy a unique floating experience as the salt in the water gives the water a thick consistency. Grab a paper or book so you can capture a photo and post it to Instagram just remember to #traditiontours
History: For centuries the Sea has been appreciated for its rich minerals which give it a very unique blue look contrasted by its white shoreline. People have been flocking to the Dead Sea for its health benefits and picturesque beauty dating back to King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Nabateans who extracted asphalt from the sea to sell to the Egyptians.
In the bible: The Dead Sea is referred to as the Salt Sea in the bible, Ezekiel prophesied the in the future the sea will flow with fresh water, and fishermen will cast their nets from its shores. Today due to the high level of salt its almost impossible for fish to survive in its waters, though some bacterial species have been discovered living in sinkholes within the last 10 years or so.
Bottom line: If its good enough for the Queen of Sheba then its good enough for you! Make sure to include a visit to this unique location.
Heavenly Falafel | Tradition Tours
What’s up with falafel? It’s almost a given that your tour guide in Egypt, Jordan, or Israel will offer the option to grab a falafel for lunch while you are out and about touring.
The origins of this vegetarian sandwich are a bit of a mystery, though the common theory is that falafel originated in Egypt possibly by the Copts as a replacement for eating meat during lent. Some say the origins go back as far as to when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt.
Nowadays the food has become a common staple of street food throughout the middle east as a quick source of protein and is recognized as a national dish in many countries throughout the Levant. If you are to stop someone in the street and ask where to buy a falafel each person will give you their recommendation on the best restaurant/stand to enjoy this savory and very filling vegetarian sandwich.
Yes, its true falafel has made inroads into the global fast-food arena especially among the vegetarian crowd, falafel can be found in many food courts throughout the world and is known as a quick satiety dish, still, there is something unique, savory, and heavenly about the way its made in the middle east.
The bottom line: when your guide asks if you want to grab a falafel, go ahead and give it a try, enjoy the unique savory taste and smell of your freshly made falafel whether it’s stuffed in a pita or wrapped in a lafa and don’t forget the extra garnishes as well!
Rise & Shine | Tradition Tours
Rise and shine!
I am definitely not a breakfast person. I don’t usually feel like eating anything until I’ve been up for a while. But somehow, when I’m in Israel, all that changes.
That first morning of your Tradition Tours pilgrimage, when you get up early to make sure you’re on time for a long day of touring ahead (no one wants to be the last on the bus), and everyone’s at breakfast! So you go into the dining room to check it out. Wow! There is station after station of food. An assortment of cheeses, salads, fresh fruit and vegetables. Special Israeli foods like Halvah, and even falafel! Hot foods, including the popular Middle Eastern egg dish, shakshuka. Teas and coffees… the list goes on.
What I always find fascinating is observing those around me. There are people there from countries all over the world. Each has its’ own culture. For some, a breakfast buffet-like this is the norm, while for others, it’s mind-boggling. It’s interesting to see how some people are just trying to process the sheer amount of food and the variety, while others take it all in stride.
During the early days of the state of Israel, people living on a Kibbutz would eat their meals together in a communal dining room. They would have a large mid-morning buffet meal, similar to a brunch. By the 1950’s, Israeli hotels were promoting “Israeli breakfasts” in a style similar to the Kibbutz meals.
One of the things I found interesting, was that many Israeli families came to the hotel for the weekend, as a mini vacation. Sunday morning, some lingered for hours over breakfast, sharing special time with family and friends. Even the children seemed used to it. This is simply just part of their lifestyle.
There’s a special atmosphere in the room each morning, as everyone sits down to enjoy a few minutes as they begin their day. Whether you’re just sitting down with a cup of coffee, or enjoying something from every station! – it’s a special opportunity to pause and begin your day in Israel the right way. Looking for more information on the types of food you can expect on your tour?
Contact the Tradition Tours office on 855-958-6877 or email us at [email protected]
Visiting Apples & Oranges | Tradition Tours
First time travelers from the USA are often caught off-guard by the unexpected experiences, sights, sounds, and atmosphere of being in a whole new world… and not always in a good way....
Travelers to countries like Israel find that while personalities, cuisine, and architecture may be exotic, the country operates like any other first world country. Hotels are what you would expect, streets are well maintained, and one can almost be lulled into the belief that they are in Europe. But the reality is, that the local customs differ. So, for example, what may be perceived as being rude in America, is more than acceptable in Israel.
Understand Where You Are...
While developing countries offer attractions and experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, travelers often do a double take by some of the conditions when they arrive.
Take Egypt for example: Visiting the Land of the Pharaohs is an incredible experience, with the Nile River, the Pyramids, and more, history is all around you and the sites are overwhelming! The hotels, while dated, are also wonderful and luxurious, but you may be surprised at the state of Cairo, with traffic laws that are nearly non-existent and street conditions that are not what you would find in the USA.
Taking a tour that involves more than one country? It is important to remember that the standards that govern hotel ratings, the hotel star system in other words, are set by the country’s tourism ministry. This means that “5-Star” hotels mean completely different things in different countries!
It is not uncommon for us to hear that travelers are disappointed by hotel standards when traveling from a 1st-world country, to a developing or 3rd-world country. So, if you are visiting Jordan, for example, Petra will surely astound you, but a 3- star or 4-star hotel, while clean, may not impress you as much as those in Egypt.
Worlds Largest Vegan Festival | Tradition Tours
A True Vegan Destination
Vegan Fest 2019 is coming to Tel-Aviv this June! Tel-Aviv was names the “vegan capital of the world” in 2017, and this Mediterranean food haven is gearing up to serve the more than 50,000 participants expected to be in attendance.
There is going to be plenty of variety in store with more than 26 local restaurants and 37 vegan stalls attending! In all there will be 100+ Vegan Food & Product stands in attendance.
While I prefer the regional meat dishes such as Shawarma and Kefta, there is something special about a Falafel, and the myriad of other vegan dishes available all across Israel. A popular destination for vegans due to all the vegan-friendly restaurants all over the country, but Tel Aviv in particular is home to at least 400 vegan and vegan-friendly eateries.
Taste of the Past - 3,000 Year Old Beer | Tradition Tours
A Beer 3000 Years In The Making...
Scientists found microbes that survived for thousands of years inside pores in the clay of ancient pottery used to make & store beer & wine
A Taste Of History
If you have taken one of our tours you know what it feels like to walk in history. You can see the sights that our ancestors saw, touch the stones that they held, and even read some of the texts they read... but never have we had the opportunity to taste what they ate and drank until now!
After finding yeast in the walls of broken clay vessels that were unearthed, a group of researchers from Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University and Ariel University, along with the Dead Sea Arava Science Center, and beer experts worked together to isolate the yeast and recreate the golden nectar that our ancestors actually drank 3000 years ago!
What They Learned
Beer was very important to ancient middle-eastern cultures. "Beer was an important beverage for the Philistines for its high caloric content and because it was safer to drink than plain water," according to Aren Maeir.
The examination of the ancient pots led to other fascinating discoveries. Professor Yuval Gadot found that "They held not beer but mead, a fermented honey drink, meaning there was a beekeeping industry in ancient Judea”.
In a word:
While the taste of the beer they brewed was remarkably similar to the beer we enjoy today. The experience of tasting history is something that we at Tradition Tours dream of.
The processes they developed to create this beer offers promising prospects for the future. Could we one day taste dishes engineered from the remnants of an ancient unwashed dinner dish? We can only hope!
Petra Jordan's Most Iconic Location | Tradition Tours
A question we get asked all the time: Is the visit to Petra worth it? – The short answer is YES!
Many Tradition Tours travelers add on a visit to Jordan following their tour in Israel and yes it’s definitely worth the visit just make sure you have good shoes.
About Petra: The city was built in the desert by the ancient Nabataeans who were a Bedouin tribe who roamed the deserts of Arabia, eventually, a group of Nabataeans decided to settle in the desert and built the city including an intricate water system to gather the winter rains. The city was the capital of the Nabataean empire and was an important trading city.
Petra The ‘Lost City’ was added to the list of the seven wonders of the world in 2007 and yes Indiana Jones the last crusade was filmed here. Once you arrive in Petra you will have the option to either walk through the canyon or to get a ride on a donkey or buggy (for a small fee). If time permits and you’re comfortable with the rugged terrain I would recommend walking this will allow you to spend more time appreciating the vibrant pink and red stonework cliff faces. As you leave the canyon you will come out to a large open area and will find yourself directly in front of the ‘treasury’. Fancy a camel ride, Petra is a great option for the experience (great photo op), looking for souvenirs there are no shortage of Bedouins hawking their wares. If you are feeling strenuous take a hike up to the monastery the views are awesome!
So yes your visit to Petra is 110% worth it!
Contact us on 855-958-6877 for more info on your Petra visit
Is Israel Safe? | Tradition Tours
I have coined this blog post “Is Israel Safe 2.0” as a continuation of our previous safety blog where I discussed some of the safety measures Israel takes to protect her citizens and the millions of tourists that flock to the county each year.
Earlier this year, back in May of 2018, Jack Ma (CEO of Alibaba) made his first visit to Israel where he received an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University. During his speech, Mr. Ma mentioned he was initially nervous to visit, as he has been told you can expect to see missile launchers on street corners and feared he was flying into a war zone.
In truth he found the opposite, calling Israel “inspirational” Mr. Ma had arrived in a country which is open for business with a core focus on peace, prosperity, and security for its people.
Here’s a short excerpt of Mr. Ma’s Speech in Tel Aviv:
“I feel honored and inspired to meet you. There’s an amazing history here, and amazing things we have to learn. All human beings in the world should learn about history here.
When I stand here in this great land, with your vision, your creativity, and your wisdom, I feel so honored to get this [honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University]. This honor is on behalf of all the entrepreneurs fighting for their lives, fighting for the future on the way.”
Israel is a country that is focused on high-end technology, including their security techniques, which it shares with the world making them a global leader in the field.
Let’s face it, during the recent demonstrations on the Israel Gaza Border, Israel took measures to ensure it would not affect the communities that are in a close proximity to the border, with a special emphasis on the tens of thousands of tourists in the country at the time, including many Tradition Tours tourists. It is important to note, our tours avoid these “red-zones” as an added safety measure.
Most of Israel’s population have served in its military where her soldiers are trained early on on the importance of security and keeping an “eye” on your surroundings. This has created an “in-house” network of security personnel throughout the country who are constantly vigilant of their surroundings as they go throughout their day.
With this knowledge in mind, anyone who is thinking of traveling to Israel should feel happy and proud to visit and should keep in mind the words of Mr. Ma “Israel has proved that small is powerful, and it is on the way to small is beautiful. We think beautiful means peace and inclusiveness.”
So, with that in mind, why not come and visit the small, beautiful, and peaceful Israel? The first step? Contact Tradition Tours where we have tours designed to fit any tourist looking to visit a safe Israel.
Israel: A Fusion Of Old & New | Tradition Tours
When you travel with Tradition Tours regardless of if you choose a Christian, Jewish or private tour, you will come back from your tour in awe at what you have lived, breathed and seen during your Israel visit. This feeling may be due to a spiritual epiphany, a historical discovery, or because Tradition Tours made sure that all your travel needs taken care of with a smile.
The focus of this article is on the fusion of the new and the old and how they come together and as if dancing the tango with each other, which is one of the truly unique experiences that Israel has to offer. This is because, at Israel’s core the modern and ancient are one and the same, the struggle for survival and the ability to adapt to any situation.
The Ancient: No tour to Israel is complete without a visit to Masada this fortress nestled in the desert mountains overlooking the Dead Sea. It was at this site that Jews held out against the troops of the Roman Empire fighting for their survival and adapting to their surroundings to survive.
The recent history: Prior to the establishment of Israel as a sovereign nation the area was governed by a British Mandate. This was a very trying time for the Jews as they were constantly being attacked by their enemies and were unable to properly defend themselves. The Jew population decided that they needed to manufacture weapons in order to survive which they did successfully in an underground munitions factory today known as the Ayalon Institute. It is at the Ayalon Institute, (which is included on our many of our tours) where we again see the same history being played out, a group of people adapting to their surroundings in order to survive.
The New: Israel is a country which is continuously evolving. which is what makes it such an exciting country to visit. You may be sitting on the beach enjoying all that modern Tel Aviv has to offer while there are people working in offices close by working on the latest startup technology, working on a goal to increase Israel’s revenues allowing the country to survive and continue its trajectory of growth. Israel is the source for many technologies which we all take for granted today. From applications like Waze to the modern cellphone chip in your phone, that was also an Israeli invention designed at Motorola’s R&D located in Israel.
This fusion of new and old is taking place across the entire country including Jerusalem, a city which is home to thousands of years of history, is also a home for numerous research and development centers for both Israeli startups and multinational companies.
So if you want to experience this rare phenomenon be it for business or pleasure, contact us today on 855-958-6877 and begin planning your visit to Israel with Tradition Tours.