To view a map of the itinerary click here.
25 SEPTEMBER – 7 OCTOBER
DAY 1 – THURSDAY / SEPTEMBER 24
Depart from your home country.
DAY 2 – FRIDAY / SEPTEMBER 25
Evening arrival in Tel Aviv, Israel. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 3 – SATURDAY / SEPTEMBER 26
This morning we attend LDS Sacrament meeting at the BYU Jerusalem Center. This afternoon we tour several sites of interest – the traditional site for the baptism of Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River and the Mount of Temptation. After lunch we ascend up to Jerusalem, stopping at an overlook on the Mount of Olives to see the unique cityscape and take a group picture. This afternoon we visit the holiest site of all—the Garden of Gethsemane, where the universal atonement was made. Overnight in Jerusalem. B, D
DAY 4 – SUNDAY / SEPTEMBER 27
This morning we begin our tour by visiting the Wailing Wall (Western Wall), Mount Moriah, and the Dome of the Rock, or Al-Aqsa Mosque. On this plateau Solomon’s Temple once stood and a future temple will one day stand to receive the Messiah. Ladies please remember to bring a scarf with you today. After lunch in the Old City we tour the Temple Institute to learn about ancient temple practices. From here we will travel to the limestone hill many believe is Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. We end the day at the Garden Tomb, thought to be the site of Jesus’ burial and the location of his resurrection. Overnight in Jerusalem. B, D
|The Dome of the Rock|
|The Garden Tomb|
DAY 5 – MONDAY / SEPTEMBER 28
Today we depart early for a full day exploring northern Israel. Our first stop is Mount Precipice, a traditional site for the place where a crowd tried to throw Jesus off a mountain. Next, we tour Nazareth Village for a taste of what Nazareth would have looked like when Jesus was a child. In the afternoon we spend some time at Capernaum, an ancient fishing village on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was here that Jesus recruited His future apostles. After sailing on the Sea of Galilee we visit Tabgha – site of the loaves and fishes miracle. Finally, before returning to Jerusalem, we spend some time on the Mount of Beatitudes, reflecting on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Overnight in Jerusalem. B, D
DAY 6 – TUESDAY / SEPTEMBER 29
This morning we check out of our hotel and retrace the most probable route Lehi and his family used to flee Jerusalem. Before departing Jerusalem we get our hands dirty by participating in a Temple Mount archeological dig where we join volunteers in a project sifting material from the Temple Mount excavations in the Old City. Pieces of mosaic, pottery and metal are found here regularly, all adding to our understanding of life at the time of Christ. As there is no road access in the area that Nephi and his family would have travelled to leave Jerusalem we then descend to the great Wadi Arabah (“Wilderness Valley”), the huge fault depression that includes the Dead Sea. It extends down to the Red Sea. Our first stop will be the caves of Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. We then continue to the beautiful oasis of Ein Gedi, the place where David hid and almost certainly a stop for Lehi and his family long ago. Nephi and his brothers probably also passed by here on their two return trips to Jerusalem. In the afternoon, we will head east to the Dead Sea, with time to enjoy the buoyant, salty water. Overnight by Masada, near the Dead Sea. B, D
|Swimming in the Dead Sea|
DAY 7 – WEDNESDAY / SEPTEMBER 30
Those who wish can visit the impressive fortress of Masada (entry fee payable direct) to watch sunrise over the Dead Sea and reflect on the tragic history of this place, a place of pilgrimage for all Jews. After breakfast we travel further south to the ancient copper mines of Timna. Copper was mined here by the Egyptians long before Nephi’s time and probably played a role in Nephi’s education in working metals. We will also tour a full-size model of the ancient Tabernacle that served as a portable temple for the children of Israel in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Finally, we approach the Red Sea at Eilat, where we cross the border into Jordan. We then travel southeast along the eastern coast of the Red Sea for views of the general area where Nephi and his family passed on their way into Arabia. The Valley of Lemuel lay somewhere in the mountain ranges ahead. In the late afternoon we make our way to spectacular Wadi Rum, made famous in the movie Lawrence of Arabia. Tonight we will have an authentic desert camping experience, sleeping in tents and enjoying authentic Bedouin food. Overnight in Wadi Rum. B, D
|Masada at sunrise|
|Camels in Wadi Rum|
DAY 8 – THURSDAY / OCTOBER 1
After waking up in the desert and enjoying breakfast in the spectacular red landscape we depart north toward Petra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World will undoubtedly be a trip highlight. Spend the day exploring Petra and everything it has to offer. Overnight in Petra. B, D
|The Treasury, Petra|
DAY 9 – FRIDAY / OCTOBER 2
We continue travelling north to Amman to catch our flight across the Arabian Peninsula to beautiful Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Welcome to the land of Nephi’s “Bountiful”! Arrival in Oman and overnight in Muscat. B, inflight meals, D
DAY 10 – SATURDAY / OCTOBER 3
This morning we will tour Muscat’s Great Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in the world. Ladies, please remember to bring a scarf. After a visit to the colorful fish market to watch as catches from the night are unloaded, you’ll have time to wander through the Old Souk and enjoy the harbor. Late afternoon we will visit the Sultan’s Palace and see the Sohar, a wooden ship sewn together only with coconut fiber that was sailed successfully from Oman to China. Overnight in Muscat. B, D
|The Grand Mosque|
|The Old Souk|
DAY 11 – SUNDAY / OCTOBER 4
Today we board a flight south to Salalah, capital of Dhofar. After leaving the mountainous area around Muscat most of the flight is across flat desert plains, which will remind us of the immensity of the “wilderness” that Nephi and his family spent years crossing. This afternoon we will visit the newly-opened Museum of the Frankincense Land. It is divided into two main areas: the seafaring history of Oman and Oman’s key role in the incense trade. Both areas have obvious connections to Nephi’s journey and we will see a number of items on display that are significant. After the museum we tour the site of al-Baleed, a shipping port dating to the tenth century AD which extends from the museum grounds westwards along the coast. Watch the sun go down from our hotel, located just steps from the ocean’s edge. Overnight in Salalah. B, in-flight meal, D
|Camel in Salalah|
DAY 12 – MONDAY / OCTOBER 5
This morning we head for the twin inlets of Khor Taqa and Khor Rori, a possible Bountiful site. On-going excavations here by an Italian team have shown that Khor Rori or “Sumhurum” was in operation as a port since about 300 BC. The city’s presence testifies that neither sea-levels nor coastlines have changed appreciably here in the last two millennia. We will also visit camel herders to gain insights into traditional lifestyles and the chance to try camel’s milk. This evening we visit the incense souk where you may purchase frankincense, myrrh, Bedouin jewelry, local clothing, and Salalah’s trademark incense burners in various styles. Overnight in Salalah. B, D
|Salalah Frankincense Souk|
DAY 13 – TUESDAY / OCTOBER 6
Today we depart early, stopping at the beautiful seaside village of Mughsayl, which has also been proposed as a possible candidate for Bountiful. We will explore the lagoon area and the famous blowholes. Continuing on, we travel up into the Qamar Mountains for very impressive panoramas looking out over the ocean and inland into the desert plains. We will visit exposed flint seams in the limestone hills just a few miles inland of Kharfot. We then approach the ocean, driving down into Wadi Sayq (“River Valley”), which travels many miles from the interior desert plateau to reach the ocean at Khor Kharfot. We travel by fishing boat for an exciting beach landing at the most fertile location on the Arabian coast—the possible Bountiful site proposed by Warren Aston.
Near the beach at Kharfot we will examine several enigmatic ruined structures that have still not been excavated. The energetic can hike across to the small plateau on the west side of the bay where the oldest ruins still stand amidst dense vegetation. A prominent mount rises above the plateau and high cliffs drop off into the rocks and ocean below, reminding us that Nephi’s brothers attempted to “throw him into the depths of the sea” (1 Nephi 17:48). There will also be an opportunity to visit a cave wall that is filled with old drawings and an undeciphered ancient language. A picnic lunch will be served. Be aware that Kharfot is uninhabited, completely undeveloped, and has no facilities. More than 2100 miles now separate you from Jerusalem and you have joined the small group of Latter-day Saints who have experienced both the beginning and the end of Nephi’s journey across the Arabian Peninsula.
We depart by sea, as Nephi did, and return to our hotel in Salalah. Overnight in Salalah. B, L, D
|Arriving at Khor Kharfot by fishing boat|
DAY 14 – WEDNESDAY / OCTOBER 7
This morning is free for you to relax, do some last minute shopping, or enjoy the beach. We will meet for a final testimony meeting during which we can share the insights that have come to each of us. In the afternoon we fly back to Muscat for our connecting flight home. B, in-flight meal
TOUR PERSONALLY ESCORTED BY WARREN ASTON.
To view a map of the 2015 itinerary click here.
To view pictures and read stories from our 2013 tour click here.
Price: tour cost is $3990 pp twin share. Single supplement is $755.
Included in price:
Extensive pre-departure tour information.
Lectures with Warren Aston.
Airfares and taxes that form part of the tour.
Visas and taxes for Israel, Jordan and Oman.
All meals indicated on the itinerary.
Transport in air-conditioned deluxe coaches.
Bilingual highly experienced local guides in Israel, Jordan, and Oman.
First class hotels throughout with buffet breakfast daily.
All sightseeing/entrance fees listed as per the itinerary.
Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
Excluded in price:
International airfare from your home city.
International airfare booking service (optional).
Taxi to Jerusalem hotel upon arrival if not flying on our recommended flights.
Trip cancellation and travel insurance.
Meals not included in the itinerary.
Drinks with meals.
Shopping, souvenirs, and other purely personal expenses.
Additional gratuities to guides for exceptional service.
Reservation policy: deposit of $500 per person is required. Balance of payment is due July 1.
We reserve the right to make minor changes to the itinerary to suit the needs of the group and due to local conditions. All costs are subject to change until full payment is received. Each tour requires a minimum of 20 participants to go ahead.
How to book
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you a booking form to complete.
A $500 deposit is required per person. In order to reduce fees we do not accept credit cards. We accept two payment methods:
1. Check: Please make a check out to Discover Nephi’s Bountiful and send to
Discover Nephi’s Bountiful
PO Box 971692
Orem, Utah 84097 USA
2. Direct Deposit: You may deposit or transfer funds to our Zions Bank AccountSend us an email for account details