Israel Tours

Next Israel Tours:

Fall November 3-14, 2019

Familiarization (FAM) trip for Pastors, wives and Ministry Leaders (contact John for special rates)

Spring in Jerusalem 24 March - 5 April 2020

See detailed trip description below.

Jerusalem of Gold

We will see the Dead Sea Scrolls and all the vaunted archaeological finds at the Israel Museum.Learn about the mosaic of Jerusalem and the freedom of religion in the only country in the Middle East. Practically everyplace you go in Israel has Biblical significance and we will cover a multitude of scriptures. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem...takes on a whole new meaning...when you are there.

Legendary Leaders and the Fight for the Modern State

We will learn about the exploits of the modern founders of the State, such as Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Arik Sharon, etc.


Heroes of Israel - Ancient and Modern

Visit Yad Vashem, the memorial of the Holocaust. See the Holy Land Model of ancient Jerusalem and the realValley of Elahwhere David defeated Goliath and theValley of Ayalon, where the sun and moon sttod still (one time).

Much of our last day in Israel will be a free day for exploring and shopping and if you get tired these Israeli soldiers will gladly carry your rifles for you. You don’t have to wear a cowboy hat to have a great time, but the Israelis love them and they will thank you and salute you as they say, “Shalom, Y’all. We bless you from Zion and hurry back. We miss you already.”

This trip will be at the best time of the year to enjoy and experience the Holy Land. Mary and I would love to have you join us.

Typical Itinerary

Organized and led by:

Col. John Somerville USMC (ret.) & Mary Somerville


Visiting Israel can be life-changing and dangerous to all your future vacation plans (Cancun will lose its luster). It is more than likely that your heart will have been touched and you will have fallen in love with the Land and the People that God calls “My Land” and “My Chosen people.”

The following itinerary is notional and typical of the places and things we will do on a similar tour. However, each tour is designed to meet the interests and reasonable desires of the passengers. The exact sites and the order of events may change due to a variety of events such as weather, crowds, etc. However, we will do all that is mentioned (and more), but most likely not not in the order listed.

Day 1

Depart from home and connect with our overnight flight into David Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV). After a relatively short flight (compared to going to the moon) you will awaken to the vibrant blue of the Mediterranean and the golden sand of the Israeli shoreline and the excitement of reaching the Holy Land.

Day 2

Wake up You have just landed in Israel! Upon our arrival in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport, we will proceed through Passport Control, retrieve our luggage and be greeted by our local tour agent, Israeli guide and our driver (A.J. Foyt). Then we will go to Israel's Independence Hall (Click here) at this very site the reborn nation of Israel was declared on 14 May, 1948. On that date the city of Tel Aviv was less than 40 years old. It was the first all-Jewish city started in thousands of years. Tel Aviv was originally an adjacent suburb of the ancient city of Jaffa (Joppa). Following that we will walk through the ancient city of Joppa, Click here). It was in Joppa, that Simon Peter had a housetop vision (Acts 10) and Jonah booked a cruise. Then it is time to check into our hotel a few miles to the north on the Mediterranean shore. Overnight: On the Mediterranean

Day 3

After breakfast we will go north along the shores of the Mediterranean to the incredible remains of the ancient port of Caesarea Maritime (Click here) a city built by King Herod, which later became the seat of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. We will visit the extensive excavations of the site including the harbor, the Crusader City, the theater, Hippodrome and the Roman aqueduct and of course read the biblical accounts of events that happened there. We will visit the area where Elijah took on the prophets of Baal on the mountains of Carmel. We continue to Megiddo (Click here) the Armageddon of the Book of Revelation, the valley where the armies of the world will gather for the great final battle. Continue to our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Overnight: Galilee

Day 4

This morning we will visit the museum at Nof Ginosar (Click here) to see the "Jesus boat". This particular archaeological find is believed to be from the first century (the time of Jesus) and was discovered during a drought having been buried for 2000 years on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This fishing boat is similar to the vessel described in the Gospels, which carried Jesus and his disciples. We will then take a boat ride over the Sea of Galilee. Next on our schedule is the nearby village of Magdala, (Click here) which was the home of Mary Magdalene where an astounding discovery during an archeological dig has been uncovered at this biblical fishing village. Then on to the seaside biblical town of Capernaum Click here) where Jesus made his ministry headquarters. This day's touring will include a stop at a site reputed to be the Mount of Beatitudes (Matt.5), (Click here). We will end the touring day with an opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River Baptismal site YARDENIT. (Click here) Overnight: Galilee

Day 5

Today we will start our study of northern Israel with a visit near the northeastern end of the the Sea of Galilee at a site believed to be the location where the Gentile's demon-filled swine ran down the steep hill into the sea. (Click here ) Mtt. 8, Lk 8. Then we visit the regions of Dan and Banias (Caesarea Philippi) Click here (Matt. 16 & Mk 8). In these locations we will see remains and read the scriptures that date to the time of the Old Testament Kings as well as to the narratives of Jesus' time. Then we will drive to the eastern heights above the Sea of Galilee and ascend up the Golan and visit Mount Bental, an observation point overlooking the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria as well as the "Valley of Tears" and the "Road to Damascus" (Acts 9) incident and the fateful journey and conversion of Saul, who became better known as the Apostle Paul. Overnight: Galilee

Day 6

This morning we will drive to Nazareth in the lower Galilee. On a cliff just outside the modern city of Nazareth the Mount of Precipice offers a panoramic view of the Jezreel Valley and Mount Tabor. It is the traditional site of the cliff that an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth Synagogue (Luke 4:16-30). Then we continue to Kfar Kedem (Click here) in the hill country of Lower Galilee. Here in a community close to both Cana and Nazareth we will enjoy learning and participating in some hands-on methods of farming and shepherding from the lifestyle of biblical times. On to Ein Harod (Gideon's Spring) (Click here). Then we will continue on our way to Jerusalem. Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 7

We begin this first day in Jerusalem on Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives (Click here). Enjoy the majestic views over Jerusalem, and what better day to begin to grasp awesome Jerusalem, the center of the biblical world. There on the Mount of Olives we will have our morning devotional. Our touring day starts at the Garden Tomb (Gordon's Golgotha) in Jerusalem, containing an empty tomb believed by many to be from the time of Jesus.Where the actual site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection is a question that has vexed biblical searchers for thousands of years. We will explore the various sites that have claimed to be the area. You and your Bible can examine the claims and weigh the evidence. The best candidate is the area on top of the Mount of Olives belonging to the Pater Noster (the Sanctuary of the Eleona) named for the "Our Father" prayer. Emperor Constantine built a church over a tomb and cave in the fourth century at this most probable and possible site of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and the Ascension. Overnight:Jerusalem

Day 8

Today we will really "dig" Jerusalem at the Zurim Valley, on the lower Mount of Olives where we will not only learn about the science of archeology from an expert, but also participate in sifting the finds from the area of the Temple Mount. Then into the newer city of Jerusalem for a heartwarming stop at a workshop for some of Israel's most valuable assets, Yad L'kashish. From there we will continue to Yad Vashem, the Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Next we have two options for you. One is an exciting visit to Efrat to participate in training at Caliber 3, (Click here) for Counter- Terrorism techniques and a hands-on class explaining the purposes and tactics of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). An option is to visit Kfar Etzion a strategic kibbutz defending Jerusalem duringthe War of Independence in an historic battle for survival. Truly an inspiring story of courage and perseverance. Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 9

This morning, following breakfast we start with the CITY OF DAVID and move to the Pool of Siloam. Continuing on to the Garden of Ophel, which has revealed many remains from the Herodian period including the Hulda Steps (Click here) that led up into the Temple Court. On to the fabulous underground Western Wall Tunnel (Click here), which goes under the Old City to reveal the city at the level it was 2000 years ago. Time permitting we will follow the traditional route of the Via Dolorosa to the traditional "Holy Sepulcher." Visit Shorashim and shopping in Old City Cardo. Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 10

Today we will move to the shores of the Dead Sea to the Mountain Fortress of Masada (Click here) the scene of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in 73AD. Ascent and descent by cable car. Next we will drive northward on the west shore of the Dead Sea To visit Ein Gedi (Click here) a desert oasis with waterfalls, pools of water and numerous caves and hiding places. The Bible records that 3000 years ago David hid from King Saul at Ein Gedi. Next we will see the caves at Qumran - best known as the settlement nearest to the hiding place of the Dead Sea Scrolls (in jars) in the caves in the desert - to be discovered during the re-birth of the nation of Israel in 1948. We end the day by a float in the waters of the Dead Sea (you can't sink in this body of water). Overnight: Jerusalem

Day 11

On our way west toward the Mediterranean we will visit part of the BURMA ROAD and the exciting story of the saving of Jerusalem in 1948 and the 1st General of a Jewish Army in over 2000 years and he was from West Point. We continue to Valley of Elah (Click here) where little David defeated Goliath, the Philistine giant. Then visit the Ayalon Institute (Click here) an underground bullet factory during the British occupation. Then we will stop at Save A Child's Heart Click here in Holon where a modern fulfillment of Genesis 12:3 is taking place. Leave later in the evening from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport for your trip to your other home.

Day 12

Arrive home after a life-changing enjoyable experience of a lifetime. You'll never be the same again!

If any of these tours do not have 20 passengers by 90 days prior to departure we will contact you immediately for either a slight increase or a full refund.

The prices for these tours are Sept 2017 ($4200); Nov. 2017 ($4300); Jan 2018 ($4495); Mar 7-18, 2018 ($4300); Mar 9-18 ($4000).

The price includes the following: o Air: Airfare to Tel Aviv and return via an IATA or ARC Carriers, in coach class. The fare basis is "group fares" (Most airlines define a group as at least 10 or more participants flying on the same dates and same schedule), which is subject to penalties if changes are made. The rate includes airport taxes and fuel surcharges. The airfare, fuel surcharges and airport taxes are subject to change until ticketing. The cost per person (as listed above) includes roundtrip airfare from an applicable Gateway airport, such as LAX, DFW, JFK, EWR, etc. All hotels in Israel plus breakfast and supper each day, all entrance fees, air conditioned touring bus, licensed guide and driver. PAYMENTS: Deposit of $1500 per person. (non-refundable* ) 1/2 of balance due 90 days prior to departure and the balance due 60 days prior to departure. Credit Cards are accepted @ 3%. *The $1500 deposit is non-refundable because it will be paid to the airline to reserve your seat. The $1500 Deposit is non-refundable after 7 days, but if you cancel for a covered insurance item (such as a medical problem) your group insurance will even refund the "non-refundable" as well as all other paid costs.Group Airport Transfers as per the itinerary

Accommodations: in Superior 4-5 star hotels, based on 2 participants sharing a room, with in-suite facilities and air conditioning.

Meals: Full Israeli Breakfast (Buffet) daily and dinner as per itinerary.

Entrance fees: for all sites set forth in the itinerary.

Taxes and service charges are included (per current Israeli tax laws).

Porterage: 1 piece of luggage per person at airport and hotels.

Baggage Allowance: For safety and convenience we ask that each participant limit themselves to one pieces of luggage (up to 50 lbs.) and one carry-on piece of luggage (up to 10 lbs.) in accordance with airline regulations which can be checked on-line.

Not included:

Guiding and Educational Instruction

We only use guides who are licensed and fully trained tour educators, along with John Somerville and David Simmons for Biblical teachings at all sites.

Travel Insurance: Please protect your investment in this study tour by purchasing trip Insurance. In the past we have had passengers who could not go at the last minute receive their entire paid expenses refunded by the insurance company. We strongly recommend purchasing the travel insurance, which will cover cancellation, delay, illness, loss or damage to personal belongings and luggage, etc.

Our airfare and travel insurance are handled by Mr. Eitan Batat (or his assistants) who can arrange any additional travel or answer questions about the Group Travel Insurance. His number is (203) 814-3535 and (800) 246-0466.

Checks for the tour should be made out to "Zion's Watchmen Israel Tour" c/o John Somerville P.O. Box 664 North Fork, CA 93643. John can be reached at and at (559) 877- 2882. Please feel free to call at anytime with any questions.