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Tour Director
Practical Information

  • Delve into layers of history at Bethlehem, Caesarea and the awe-inspiring fortress of Masada – built by Herod the Great

  • Explore the landscape of the New Testament in Galilee, rich in ancient and Byzantine remains

  • Trace the evolution of Jerusalem, from ancient times until the present day

“Well thought out and entertainingly presented”

“Very good level of content… The lectures gave interesting background context for the visits”

- ACE customer on the 2020 Holy Land tour with Andrew Wilson

“The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of heaven and earth”, wrote Benjamin Disraeli in 1847.


We will explore Jerusalem from the Early Iron Age (David and Solomon) through the rise of Judaism to the Roman period (Herod, Pontius Pilate and, of course, Jesus of Nazareth). We will then examine the Islamic conquest, the Crusades and finally the region’s post-1948 history. Visits will include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Shrine of the Book – the repository for the Dead Sea Scrolls. A morning excursion to Bethlehem, traditional site of Jesus’s birth as first identified by Constantine and Helena, reveals architecture tracing back to Justinian in the 6th century.


Leaving Jerusalem behind, our itinerary will investigate Caesarea, the capital of Palestine under the Romans, and Beit She’an, the only one of the Decapolis trading cities situated to the west of the River Jordan.


The rugged natural fortress of Masada, built by Herod the Great in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea, was the last bastion of Jewish resistance against Roman aggression until the siege of 74 AD. It is also a site of huge archaeological significance as the camps, fortifications and siege works are perhaps the most imposing to be found anywhere in the Roman world.


A further attraction of our tour to the Holy Land will be the chance to familiarise ourselves with an entirely different landscape – Galilee – where we will devote our attention to historical sites associated with the New Testament, including Tabgha and Capernaum with their very early Byzantine foundations.


In Jerusalem we will stay at the centrally-located Dan Panorama Hotel. In Tiberias our base will be the magnificent Scots Hotel (where our Tour Director lived as a volunteer archaeologist many years ago) with its kilted staff and ceilidh bar.


Tour Director Andrew Wilson, BA, BD, FSAScot, studied archaeology then theology before working overseas as an archaeologist, specialising in Roman frontier systems and Byzantine mosaics. Andrew first excavated in Israel as a student in the 1970s and continued his research there in the 1980s. A longstanding ACE Tour Director, he has led multiple tours to the Holy Land.


Tour Director Andrew Wilson writes:


“This tour offers the contrasts of busy Jerusalem and its complicated history, both secular and inevitably religious, with the peaceful scenery of the Sea of Galilee, as well as the splendid archaeology of places beside the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and the Mediterranean coast. I think it's a marvellous introduction to the Holy Land!”

Tour Code

Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, seven breakfasts, seven dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £795.

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