May 18, 2018 Israel Tour with John Bytheway

May 18, 2018 Holy Land Tour – Israel with optional Petra add on

Tour Director: John Bytheway & Dave Hadlock (see bios below)
Price: $1,995 per person based on double occupancy ($2,075 if paying by credit card)


Join John Bytheway & Dave Hadlock this spring in the Holy Lands. We are limiting the group to one bus load so you will want to book soon. This tour fills up quickly every year.

Discover the Holy Land with both John & Dave taking you on a scriptural feast. Feel the power of the Savior’s and apostles words as you study them on site. You get two LDS tour directors for one price, both John and Dave will be on one bus and both will provide gospel commentary throughout the tour.


Tour Price Includes

  • Hotels – Dan Boutique or Olive Tree (Jerusalem), Nazareth Legacy (Northern Israel), Renaissance (Tel Aviv)
  • Local Guide & LDS Tour Directors
  • Breakfast & Dinner (Lunches Not Included)
  • First Class Coach/Bus
  • All entrance Fees
  • Whisper Head Sets

Not Included In Tour Price

  • Tips:  We will collect these in advance $100 per person. You will not need to tip anybody during the course of the tour.
  • International Airfare – We can assist you in making the airline reservations at no charge if necessary. We email the group about 4 months prior to the tour the suggested flight schedule. We do not arrange group airfare since usually it is considerably more expensive to do so. We are flexible on flights and we will give you an arrival time for when you should arrive in Tel Aviv. Flights are usually around $1,300-$1,500 out of SLC.
  • Lunches, personal items, phone, internet, etc.

May 18 (Fri): Depart United States

May 19 (Sat): Arrive in Tel Aviv: Enjoy a relaxing evening, walk on the beach or swim in the Mediterranean as you recover from jet lag and prepare for our wonderful adventure.

May 20 (Sun): Tel Aviv – Jaffa – Caesarea – Mt. Carmel

caesarea-hadera-jer113We will begin our vacation with a visit of Old Jaffa (Joppa) and the Artists’ Quarters. Jaffa is where Peter received his vision leading to the expansion of missionary work to the Gentiles and is also the place that Jonah attempted to flee from the Lord’s presence aboard a ship bound for Tarshish. We will look at similarities between these two events as well as the message of “the sign of Jonah”. From Jaffa, we will travel along the Mediterranean coast to the Roman, New Testament capital, Caesarea. Once in Caesarea, we will see an ancient Roman theatre and study the Biblical events that happened here, connecting them to the events at Joppa. From Caesarea, we will go to Nazareth stopping at Mt. Carmel on the way, where we will discuss the epic battle between Elijah and the wicked priests of Baal as well as take a look at the story of David & Nabal. We will overnight at our hotel in Nazareth.

May 21 (Mon):   Cana – Megiddo – Nazareth  Village – Mount Tabor 

megiddo gateWe will start the morning at Nazareth village where we will have a glimpse into the life of villagers during Christ’s childhood. Then we will continue with a visit to Megiddo, which is prophesied as the beginning location for Armageddon. This was an ancient cross-roads where taxes were collected and many battles fought, foreshadowing the “end of days” battle between good and evil. From Megiddo, we will drive via Cana, the place where Christ turned water into wine at a wedding feast, to Nazareth. Nazareth was the boyhood home of Jesus. Here we will see the Church of Annunciation and a local synagogue church. This synagogue will give us an idea of the synagogue where Christ taught his first recorded sermon. We will finish the day on Mount Tabor, where we will discuss the transfiguration as understood in context of modern revelation.  We’ll finish the evening by dining at the home of our Bedouin sheik bus driver (if possible) before returning to our hotel in Nazareth.

May 22 (Tue): Sea of Galilee Boat Ride – Caesarea Phillipi  – Capernaum – Mount of Beatitudes – Tel Dan

caesarea phillipi 2Today will begin with a drive along the coasts of the Sea of Galilee, passing by Magdala (home town of Mary Magdelene) before arriving at traditional site where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Here we will find a quiet place to study the doctrines of that amazing sermon. Then we will visit Capernaum, which was the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. In Capernaum, Christ performed many miracles and gave many profound teachings, including the “Bread of Life” sermon. We will see the remains of a synagogue from the time of Christ, which very well may have been the synagogue in which He taught. For lunch you will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s Fish (or a chicken/lamb kabob). After lunch, we will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Feel the power and peace of this amazing location and learn of those miracles that took place on this Sea. We’ll continue our day with a visit to Banias (Caesarea Phillipi) at the foot of Mount Hermon, which is the site of Peter’s testimony of Savior and one of the sources of the Jordan River as it emerges from the foothills of Mount Hermon. Time permitting, we will visit the ancient site of Tel Dan and discuss why the Northern Kingdom would have begun to worship the golden calf. Return to our hotel in Nazareth.

 May 23 (Wed): Beth Shean – Jordan Valley – Jordan River (Bethabara) – Wadi qelt – Bethany

bet-sheanAfter checking out this morning, we will begin the day with a visit to the strategic site of Beth Shean (one of the Greek decapolis cities of the New Testament). At these impressive ruins we will see the splendor of Roman life and Hellenistic culture. Here Saul’s body was nailed to the city walls when he was captured. We will then drive through the Jordan Valley passing by Jericho and review some of the important scriptural events that took place on the road to Jericho. We will stop by what is believed to be near the ancient baptismal site of Christ on the Jordan River.  From here we will continue on to Jerusalem. If time permits, we will make a brief stop in Bethany and talk of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. We will check into our hotel in Jerusalem for a relaxing evening.  

May 24 (Thu): Jerusalem – Mount of Olives – Old City –  City of David/Hezekiah’s tunnel – Western Wall Tunnel Tour
– House of Caiaphas – Gallacantu

dome-of-the-rock1.jpgWe will begin our first full day in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, where we can view and discuss the history of ancient Jerusalem. From the Mount of Olives, we will walk down to Gethsemane. Then we will begin a walking tour of the Old City in which we will see Mount Zion, the St. Anna Church with the Pools of Bethesda, and the Antonia Fortress. We will walk a portion of the “Via Dolorosa”, which is the traditional road that Christ walked on his way to Golgotha. We will walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall and descend into the tunnels of the Western Wall. In the afternoon, we will see the Cardo Maximus, Mount Zion and the House of Caiaphas. For those who would like, there will be the option of going through Hezekiah’s tunnel. We will return to our hotel in the evening.

May 25 (Fri): Bethelehem – Garden Tomb –  Golgotha — Old City (Free time & anything we missed on first day)

garden tombWe will start the morning early in Bethlehem, the birth place of Christ. In Bethlehem, we will visit the church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s field. We will then return to Jerusalem where you will have free time for shopping at the Joffa gate. We will also visit any of the sites in the Old City that we missed on Thursday. From there we will proceed to the Garden Tomb, where we will also be able to view the ancient Golgotha. Here we will be discuss and ponder the final moments of Christ’s mortal life and his glorious resurrection.

May 26 (Sat): Jerusalem Center (Church Services) – Qumran –  Massada – Dead Sea

masadaThis will be the final day of tour in Israel. We will start the morning with church services at the Jerusalem Center. We will begin by driving to the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. From there, we will head to Masada. Here we will take a cable car to the top of Masada to see the ruins of the palace-fortress built by King Herod. We will discuss the history of the Zealots’ last stand against the Romans. For those interested in swimming, we will stop on our way back at a beach on the Dead Sea where those who would like can float in the salty water. Those flying home to the US will go directly to the airport this evening. Those continuing on to Jordan will stay on the bus as we head down to the Red Sea.

Transfer to airport for late night flight home. Flight should be scheduled for around midnight if not going on to Petra/Jordan.

May 27 (Sun) – Arrive Home

Petra Add-On
$650 Per person – Check Price

May 27 (Sun): We’ll begin the morning by driving to Rum Wadi where we’ll get in jeeps to take a ride through the Rum Wadi desert. This is a surreal experience not to be missed. The afternoon will be free to relax at our luxurious resort on the Red Sea or to go snorkeling.

May 28 (Mon): Jordan – Petra 

Petra Today we will visit the amazing site of Petra. Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Petra was established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans and was later occupied by the Romans. It is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction.  We will have dinner and then travel to Amman for flights home.

May 29 (Tue): Arrive home


Tour Directors:

John-and-Kim-in-Jerusalem-e1442287749196John Bytheway: John was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and he served his mission in the Philippines. Following his mission he attended the University of Utah, and later graduated from BYU. John has taught the Book of Mormon at Brigham Young University, and the BYU Salt Lake Center since 1996. In 2003, he earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Education. He is the author of more than two dozen books and CDs many of which, he says, are effective non-prescription sleep-aids.

He loves to golf, write, read, and play the banjo and guitar. John is a founding member of the local chapter of the Andy Griffith Show Re-run Watchers Club, and does a “spot-on” impersonation of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife. John was recently released as bishop of the Salt Lake Winder 10th Ward, and is now teaching Sunday School with his wife, Kim.  John and Kim have six children and a completely full SUV which doubles in value when it’s full of gasoline.

Dave Hadlock – Dave began guiding tours about 14 years ago because of his love for teaching scripture (he loves looking at new perspectives on the scriptures) and being around people. If you are looking for enlightening insights into scripture on location, Dave is your guide. He began by taking groups to Mesoamerica, having studied a lot of Mayan and Mesoamerican culture. After doing tours into Mesoamerica for five years, Dave opened Bountiful Travel and began taking groups to Israel as well. He takes two or three groups every year to Israel. Dave studied at BYU for a master’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis on the Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew. His passion is the study and teaching of the scriptures looking for insights based on their ancient cultural and linguistic contest. Dave is an easy going tour director who loves having fun.

His style of teaching is straight from the scriptures,using them as his primary source. He has conducted many (over 70) cruises and tours during the last 14 years and has taught many years of gospel doctrine and institute classes. He has been to Israel more than 25 times with groups and over 50 times to Central America.

Comparing us with our competitors:

When comparing our tours to Israel with our competitors, you will want to consider accommodations, guides (LDS & local), price and itinerary.

Price: Our prices will meet or beat most of our competitors (on a per day average) plus you get two LDS tour guides.

Accommodations: We stay at mostly 4 and 5 star hotels (Israeli standards – similar to 3 star US hotels) and use first-class motor coaches. For groups over 30 guests, we will use headsets so that everybody can hear. Most LDS tour operators use similar accommodations although there are a few that use very budget hotels.

Group Size: We limit our groups to one bus load per LDS tour director. In this case, this tour will have two LDS tour directors for one bus load. This is a very important consideration when booking an Israel tour. Two buses traveling together can be very slow.

Guides: Our LDS guides are not just gospel scholars, they are personable and good teachers. Please see the testimonials to get a feel for how Dave’s guests feel about his teaching; and we all know how dynamic John is as an instructor. We are very selective about our local guides and drivers as well. The local guide we typically work with is an orthodox, Scottish Jew. We have found over the years that Israeli and Palestinian guides often do not work well with American, LDS groups. Our local guide is quite easy going and easy to understand. We think you’ll love him.

Itineraries: You will find that most itineraries are similar. We have tried to not commercialize our tours. We will not stop during the day at diamond shops, rug shops, olive wood shops, etc. We schedule a little free time during the day in Jerusalem for shopping and then an evening trip for those interested to an olive wood shop (Jimmies Bazaar). Typically we will arrive at a site. The local guide will give a short historical/archaeological overview of the site. Then the LDS tour director will spend 5 to 30 minutes in the scriptures on site. You will then have a little free time for pictures, shopping and restrooms.

We have chosen to de-emphasize visits to Catholic & Orthodox churches. Invariably you will visit many of churches and cathedrals on a visit to the Holy Lands, but we focus more on the natural sites and the Biblical events that took place there rather than on the Christian churches that have been built up on most of the sites.

Terms & Conditions
Deposit: $250 per person (deposit is non-refundable – it can be transferred to another person on the same tour date)
Final Payment:
Due March 1, 2018.
Passports: Required and must be valid 6 months after tour date
Price does NOT include airfare, lunch and tips

To Reserve Call 800-217-7660 or 801-850-1498

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