Join us for a tour of the Holy Land and the option of an extension in Greece, guided by Dr. Marty Herron. This tour will be operated by Pilgrim Tours. For the complete details about the 2025 Israel trip, click here.

  • Reservation and $300 Deposit Deadline: October 31, 2024
  • Final Payment Deadline: December 13, 2024


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for the trip?

There is a price cost difference depending on where you fly from. These prices are based on double occupancy.


Main Tour

  • $4,489* includes roundtrip airfare from Des Moines
  • $4,139*  includes roundtrip airfare from Chicago
  • $800 Single Supplement


Greece Extension:

  • $1429* includes airfare from Des Moines
  • $1079* includes airfare from Chicago
  • $200 Single Supplement

Note: Full-time pastors are eligible to participate in this tour at no cost (other than insurance, lunches, some gratuities, a single supplement, if applicable, and incidental out-of-pocket expenses) if they bring six full paying passengers with them.

*Those desiring a single occupancy will pay an additional $800 for Israel and additional $200 for Greece.



What does this price include?

Your trip price includes:

  • Round-Trip International Airfare from Chicago or Des Moines*
  • 8 or 10 nights’ lodging at 4 star hotels
  • Daily Breakfast and Dinner
  • Full-time English speaking professional tour guides
  • Air-conditioned deluxe motor coach
  • All entrance fees, touring, and transportation as appears on itinerary
  • Tips to guide, driver, and hotel and restaurant staff
  • Whisper/listening devices (Israel only)

This price does not include daily lunches, beverages, optional travel insurance plans (available for purchase), passport costs, optional sightseeing and personal purchases, credit card fees, COVID testing, or entry requirements.

*Additional baggage and optional fees may apply. Please refer to the payment terms in the fine print of the brochure for more information.

How do I reserve my spot?

To reserve your spot on the trip, complete the following:

  1. Register here.
  2. Send in a $300 (per person) nonrefundable deposit by October 31, 2024, to secure your reservation.
  3. Pay the full amount by December 13, 2024. Payments can be made by check or card (Visa, Discover, or Master).


What are the insurance requirements for Israel and Greece?

We highly recommend that every passenger obtain travel insurance. Many plans are available at various coverage levels. Because different travelers have different needs and risk tolerances, we do not offer a group plan.

For the current travel insurance requirements for Israel and Greece, click here. Additional details can be found here.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation in writing must be received by Pilgrim Tours prior to departure for appropriate refund on the land tour cost minus the following fees. Airline penalties are not part of the percentages below and vary based on each individual airline policy.

  • October 14, 2024 or before $100 penalty
  • Nov 13, 2024 – Dec 12, 2024: $300 per person
  • Dec 13, 2024–Dec 29, 2024: 40% of tour cost
  • Dec 30, 2024 –Jan. 14, 2025: 65% of tour cost
  • Jan. 15 – Feb. 6, 2025: 85% of tour cost
  • February 7, 2025 or after: 100% of tour cost

See the brochure for further details.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

All questions regarding the 2025 Israel Tour can be directed to Rachel Palma at or 515.964.0601.

Israel Tour Itinerary


February 14 – USA to

  • Pack your bags and bring your sense of wonder. Your life-changing journey the Holy Land begins as you depart the USA.

February 15 –

  • After arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, you will board your luxury bus for a short drive along the Coastal Plain of Sharon to Caesarea Maritima. This maritime city was built by King Herod, and was once the seat of the Roman rule. Here, Cornelius became the first gentile to convert to Christianity. This is also the location where Paul was imprisoned before his trial in Rome.
  • View the ruins of Herod’s seaside palace and a large hippodrome where chariot races were conducted.
  • You will travel the ancient caravan route through the Jezreel Valley to Tel Megiddo, an exciting archaeological dig with its layers of twenty different cities built on top of each other. From Megiddo you view the future battleground of Armageddon. Prophecy will come alive at Megiddo as you look over the Valley of Armageddon, site of the final world war!
  • After entering Southern Galilee, you will visit the Mount of Precipice, on the outskirts of Nazareth, where Luke describes how Jesus was rejected by those in the synagogue after He taught them. Filled with anger they “led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong” (Luke 4:29).
  • Dinner and overnight at Tiberias by the Sea of Galilee.

February 16 – Galilee Region

  • Watch the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee where fishermen work the waters with nets, much as in the time of Jesus.
  • Then after breakfast you will visit Magdala one of the most exciting archaeological sites in Israel today. This was the home town of Mary Magdalene.
  • You will then embark on a boat to sail the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Along the boat ride, your guide will point out various places along the Sea that are mentioned in the Gospels.
  • After this you will stop by to view an ancient boat found in the Sea of Galilee.
  • Explore Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry, before going to the synagogue which stands on the site where Jesus taught. Recall His teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:13, 23).
  • Ascend the peaceful Mount of Beatitudes which overlooks the Sea of Galilee and see the traditional site where Jesus preached His most famous sermon: the Sermon on the Mount.
  • See the place of the Primacy of Peter, where Peter professed his devotion three times to the risen Christ and stand on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed my sheep.” (John 21). Here you will see springs of water flowing into the cove. Fishermen have frequented this area for thousands of years.
  • Finish the day with breath-taking views from the top of Mt. Arbel, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

February 17 – Upper Galilee

  • You will spend today touring sites in the northernmost region of Israel. From several vantage points, as you drive up, you will see Mount Hermon in the distance, believed by many to be the site of the Lord’s Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9).
  • You will visit Tel Dan where you will see the altar of Jeroboam, and an ancient city gate, like that mentioned in the story of Ruth. Tour the ruins of this ancient city that dates back thousands of years and also see Abraham’s Gate, the place where the Patriarch Abraham would have entered the city roughly 4,000 years ago.
  • Visit Caesarea Philippi, (Banias) where Jesus travelled with His disciples and where, nearby, Peter made his great confession to Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Here, inside a grotto, the Greeks built a shrine to the god, Pan.
  • Whilst at the national park, you will also explore the ruins of Herod Agrippa’s Palace.
  • You will then travel through the strategic tableland known as the Golan Heights (Bashan). From your high vantage point, your guide will point out the country of Syria in the distance and give some insight into the country of Israel’s military defenses. The Israeli Army captured this region from the Syrians during the Six Day War.

February 18 – Jordan Valley

  • Begin the day at Gideon’s Spring (Ein Harod), the small mountain stream, where Gideon chose his army of 300 by observing how they drank from the springs (Judges 7). The spring is in the shadow of Mount Gilboa where Saul fought and died. His death made David lament and pray that no dew would be on the mountain (2 Samuel 1:19-27).
  • As you continue along the Jordan Valley you will make a short stop at the city of Beit Shean located at the intersection of the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan River. There you will see an ancient Roman city that the Bible mentions in reference to Saul and his son Jonathan whose bodies were hanged on the city walls. (1 Samuel 31). The city contains many well-preserved ruins from different eras and empires including the Egyptians, Byzantines, Greeks, and Romans.
  • Following this you will drive through the ancient city of Jericho and also gain a view of the Mount of Temptation.
  • Then you will travel up the Jordan Valley, and view Wadi Qelt, a rocky plateau with stunning views of the ancient Jericho Road and St George’s Monastery.
  • As you conclude the day, you will ascend up and enter Jerusalem from the north, and gain a spectacular view of the ancient city from Mt Scopus. The place where Roman General Titus camped when he destroyed the city in 70 A.D.

February 19 – Jerusalem

  • After an Israeli breakfast, you start your day with a visit to the Mt of Olives and stand and enjoy a remarkable view of the Temple Mount and Eastern Gate from this vantage point. This is the place where, forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9).
  • You will then walk along the Palm Sunday Road, where Jesus began His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and stop to pray beneath the ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed the night before H is crucifixion (Matthew 26:36).
  • Then, you’ll continue down through the Kidron Valley, and see some of the ancient tombs dating back to the Old Testament prophets.
  • You will then enter some of the oldest areas of Jerusalem from the time of King David and tour his ancient city.
  • Walk through the Jewish quarter of the old city and see the Cardo and Hezekiah’s Broad Wall.
  • You will see Robinson’s Arch before walking underground through the Western Wall tunnel tour (Rabbi’s Tunnel). This tunnel runs the length of the Western Wall underneath many buildings of the Old City.
  • The open-air portion of the Western Wall where many gather to pray is actually only a small part of the entire wall. From within the tunnel, you can see much of the well-preserved Temple wall including two stone blocks weighing 600 tons each! Afterward you will have an opportunity to pray at the Western Wall. This is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Israel. This is as close as Orthodox Jews will get to the Temple Mount until the new temple is built. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of Jews gather to pray at the Western Wall and leave handwritten prayers in the spaces between the stones.
  • The day’s tour continues back near Temple Mount with a visit to the Davidson visitors center at the Southern wall excavations and examine some of the most important archaeological finds in Jerusalem. Discover the significance of these historical findings and how they help us understand life in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. Stand upon the Southern Steps where Jesus and His disciples walked and where Peter preached on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
  • Journey on foot to the bottom of the ancient City of David and visit the Pool of Siloam where Jesus sent the man who was born blind to wash his eyes to be healed (John 9). You may even choose to walk through King Hezekiah’s tunnel to get there!

February 20 – Judean Wilderness

  • Take a hike to Ein Gedi the largest oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. It was here at Ein Gedi, that David and his men once hid from King Saul in the canyon caves (1 Samuel 23:29).
  • Ride in the cable car up to the top of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. This was the location of one of King Herod the Great’s palaces. It is a spectacular hilltop fortress. Here your guide will treat you to the history of the famous zealot stand. Ruins of the walls and massive Roman siege ramp are still visible today.
  • See Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, including the remarkably well-preserved Isaiah Scroll.
  • Tour the museum and learn the incredible story of their discovery and their significance to the Bible’s preservation.
  • Conclude the day’s touring back at the Dead Sea. At approximately 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest spot in the world. The Dead Sea is almost 10 times saltier than the ocean and consequently there are no fish or visible life forms in the sea. This high concentration of salt also makes it impossible for a swimmer to sink in the water!

February 21 – Jerusalem and Samaria

  • You will begin with a visit to the Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple stood until its destruction by the Roman Legions in 70 A.D. There we will see the Dome of the Rock built over the rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac. This was also the site of Ornan’s threshing floor, purchased by King David. (1 Chronicles 21:18-26). Due to the volatile relationship between Jewish and Muslim world, the Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount area have been the source of much controversy over the years.
  • From the Temple Mount, view the Eastern Gate that faces the Mount of Olives. This is the gate where Jesus will make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 43:1-2,4; 44:1-3).
  • You will walk through St. Stephen’s Gate, now known as the Lions Gate. It is the only gate in the eastern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. In the Christian tradition, it is thought that the stoning of St. Stephen (Acts 7) occurred outside of this gate.
  • View the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-31) where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle healing the lame man at this pool. St. Anne’s Church, with incredible acoustics, is perfectly preserved and dates back to the time of the Crusades.
  • Take a brief walk along the Via Dolorosa (the way of suffering) and then pass by the Antonia Fortress (Ecce Homo) where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1-11).
  • You will visit the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
  • You will then travel north to the ancient Samaria region of the Bible and spend the afternoon in the Palestinian West Bank. You will visit Shiloh, the place the tabernacle resided for 369 years, and where Hannah prayed for a son (Samuel).
  • Then it’s on to ancient Bethel, the place Jacob saw a ladder to heaven, where the tabernacle resided as well, and where Jeroboam erected a Golden Calf.
  • Afterwards you will return to your hotel for your final evening in Jerusalem.

February 22 – Jerusalem and Judea Region

  • Visit the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. This church was built over the ruins of what is believed to be the High Priest Caiaphas’ house, where some say Jesus was held in the morning hours before His crucifixion.
  • The tour of Jerusalem continues with a visit to the Garden Tomb, from where you will view what some believe to be the place Jesus was crucified. The word Golgotha means “Place of a Skull”. This hill stands just outside the walls at the intersection of two ancient roads. While at the Garden Tomb, you can step inside the empty tomb, and experience the reality of the Resurrection and remember, “He is not here, for He is risen!”
  • As you leave Jerusalem, you will visit Bethlehem, and spend some time surveying the Shepherds’ Fields just outside the town. Then, on your way to the airport, you will visit the famous site of the epic battle between David and Goliath in the Elah valley. Walking up to Tel Azekah you will see the Biblical town ruins and reach the view point looking over the Elah Valley. This is where the wonderful journey through the land of the Bible comes to a close.

February 23 – Return Home

  • You will bring home with you souvenirs, photographs, memories, new friendships and an unforgettable experience. Shalom!

February 23 – Arrival in Athens

  • Upon arrival in Athens International Airport
  • Enjoy a tour of Athens with your guide starting with a panoramic drive to see the highlights of Athens (Acts 17:15).
  • Then walk to the Mars’ Hill (or Areopagus Acts 17:22), where Paul delivered his well-known sermon and spoke about the inscription: “to an unknown god”.
  • Continue your tour visiting the Acropolis, the sacred rock of Athens, the citadel, and the sanctuary of the city in antiquity.
  • Take photos of The Parthenon Temple and the Erechtheion.
  • After the tour you will transfer to hotel for check-in, dinner, and overnight in Athens.

February 24- Corinth and Cenchreae

  • After a scrumptious Greek breakfast, you will board the bus for ancient Corinth. This excursion takes you by the Saronic Gulf, where in 480 BC history was changed! The small Grecian fleet managed to defeat the enormously powerful armada of the Persians.
  • Brief stop at the historic Corinthian Canal for photos and continue on to Ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18).
    Paul wrote at least four letters addressed to the church of Corinth, two of which are found in the New Testament. From Corinth, he wrote three and possibly four epistles addressed to the first Christians in Rome, Thessalonica and Galatia.
  • You will visit the ancient Agora (forum), the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema where Paul stood in front of Gallio (Acts 18:12-17), the Roman pro-consul of Achaea.
  • You will see the inscription of Erastus, the treasurer of the city, mentioned in the Bible (Romans 16:23).
  • You will then see the ruins of early Christian fifth century basilica in Cenchrea before returning to the hotel in Athens.



For more information
or reservations,
Rachel Palma.