DAY 1, Wednesday
Depart for Israel
DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Tel Aviv, Transfer to Jerusalem
Shalom and welcome to Israel. Following your arrival at Ben Gurion Airport you will be transported to Jerusalem where you will have some time for rest and relaxation.. This evening you will join your Team Manager for a welcome drink.
Optional: Half Day Bethlehem (PM). Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 3, Friday - Jerusalem Old City Tour*
Delve right into the Old City of Jerusalem, touring the four quarters on foot. Your expert guide will lead you through the tantalizing alleyways of the Old City including walking along the Via Dolorosa, visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall. We will have a view point over the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. You will go to Mt. Zion where you will stand in the Room of the Last Supper and see the traditional Tomb of King David. This afternoon is free for you to independently explore the city; be it strolling through the exotic middle eastern bizarre, exploring the various quarters, or visiting a museum of your choice. Alternatively, you can choose our optional afternoon tour to Bethlehem including a visit to the Church of the Nativity marking the place of Jesus’ birth, and a stop at a local handcrafted olive wood store. This evening, dinner together at the hotel.
Optional: Full Day Masada & Dead Sea (Full Day), Jerusalem at Night, Restaurant Dinner and Sound & Light Show (Evening). Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 4, Saturday - At Leisure in Jerusalem
A full day to discover Jerusalem at your own pace, be it by wandering through the Old City, strolling through some of the picturesque neighborhoods such as Mishkanot Sha’ananim or Nachlaot, or visiting a museum. Or, come along on an optional full day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea; descend into the Dead Sea Basin, the lowest place on earth where our first stop will be Masada. We will ascend the mountain by cable car and tour this impressive fortress built by King Herod and hear the story of the last stand made here by the Jews against the Roman Empire nearly 2,000 years ago. We will visit the Masada Museum, and then continue to the shores of the Dead Sea for a float in the mineral rich salt lake, before returning to Jerusalem. Tonight's very special optional evening begins with dinner at a local restaurant’ followed by the Night Spectacular, a sound & light show at the Tower of David, and a drive through magnificent illuminated Jerusalem
Optional: Half Day Jerusalem Old City - Jewish Quarter (AM), Half Day Jerusalem New City (PM). Overnight: Jerusalem
DAY 5, Sunday - At Leisure in Jerusalem
With so much to see it is easy to spend days exploring the neighborhoods, quarters and museums of this city! Our morning optional tour explores the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in depth. Beginning at the Zion Gate, the tour will take you along the Roman Cardo, one of the oldest shopping streets in the world, to the four Sephardic Synagogues and to the multimedia museum of the Burnt House. The tour will end in the Davidson Center where you can walk on an original street dating from Jesus’ time, and ascend the ancient's steps leading to the Jewish Temple. This afternoon our optional tour highlights the new city of Jerusalem. We will drive past the iconic Supreme Court and Knesset buildings and visit the Israel Museum where we will visit the Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea scrolls. In the museum we will also view the model of Second Temple period Jerusalem. From the Museum we continue to Yad Vashem, the national memorial to the Holocaust located on the Mount of Remembrance. This evening, we'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant where we will sample local cuisine.
DAY 6, Monday - Beit She‘an, Jordan River, Capernaum, Tiberias
We leave Jerusalem and travel northwards through the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean. We will tour the impressive remains of the Roman-Byzantine city that stood here including the cardo, theater, and bathhouse. We will stop at the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan River, before circumventing the Sea of Galilee and reaching Capernaum; a central town in Jesus’ time and home to Peter, the site of Capernaum was an important location in Jesus’ life and teachings and a prominent Jewish town for several centuries. We continue to Tiberias where we will enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Optional: Full Day Galilee & Golan Heights with Lunch (full day) . Overnight: Tiberias
DAY 7, Tuesday - Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee
On your free day in Tiberias you can stroll along the promenade, enjoy the beautiful surrounds, visit the various sites of the town or partake in watersports on the lake. A great choice is our full day optional tour of the Galilee and the Golan. We will visit Safed, the home of Jewish Mysticism, or Kabbalah, where we will stroll through the beautiful artists’ colony and see some of the ancient synagogues. We will then climb the Golan Heights to Mount Bental on the Syrian border, for an introduction to the geopolitical reality of today. We will stop at a local kibbutz for lunch and then visit a local winery before returning to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Evening hours: transfer to Ben gurion airport
DAY 8, Wednesday - Nazareth, Haifa, Caesarea, Tel Aviv
We will drive through the picturesque hills of the Lower Galil to the hometown of Jesus, Nazareth. Here we will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and Mary's Well. We continue to the Carmel Range where we visit Haifa and view the beautiful Bahai Gardens, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. As we follow the Mediterranean Coast south we will come to the ancient capital of Judea, Caesarea. Here we will see remains of the Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader towns including the theater, hippodrome, and King Herod’s palace. We will view the multimedia display before continuing to Israel’s cosmopolitan center, Tel Aviv. Offering a wonderful introduction to the Mediterranean city that never sleeps, You'll few hours to explore this amazing city before leaving to Ben gurion airport for our departure. In Tel Aviv you could visit Rabin Square and the Rabin memorial, HaBima national theatre and Rothschild Boulevard with its Bauhaus and International Style architecture for which it has UNESCO World Heritage status. we recommend you to finish the evening and your stay in Israel in a perfect fashion with dinner at a popular seafront eatery.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours. (+ $33)
Optional (Day 3): Half Day Bethlehem
This excursion involves traveling from the State of Israel to the Palestinian Authority; your Israeli guide and driver will deliver you to the Israeli side of the crossing, whilst their Palestinian counterparts will wait for you on the Palestinian side. Your Palestinian guide will accompany you throughout your stay in Bethlehem. Due to transportation requirements, larger groups may need to be divided into smaller groups. You will visit the Church of the Nativity including the crypt where Jesus was born. The church has undergone many renovations over the centuries, today its facade is embraced by Franciscan, Armenian Orthodox, and Greek Orthodox convents. Whilst in Bethlehem you will make a stop at a local souvenir shop specializing in hand-made olive wood pieces; tourist trade makes up a significant percentage of the local income. Please note: Bethlehem is located in the West Bank and is governed by the Palestinian National Authority. It’s location is 6 miles south of Jerusalem and is accessed through a check-point. The Church of the Nativity is being renovated. Work is estimated to continue until the end of 2017; due to the repairs, some parts of the church may be obscured by scaffolding and there may be construction noise and activity during your visit.
Pick-up and drop-off at the hotel. Approximate tour duration is 9 hours. (+ $89)
Optional (day 4): Full Day Masada & Dead Sea
The full day tour to Masada and the Dead Sea begins with a descent to the Dead Sea basin through the Judean Desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea, a mineral rich salt lake at the lowest place on earth. You will arrive at Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient fortress was built by King Herod and today is accessed by a cable car; you will see the remains of this impressive site and hear the story of the Jewish Zealots who used this as their base during the Great Revolt against the Romans. Having returned to the base of the mountain by cable car, you will visit the Museum of Masada that combines archaeological artifacts with a narrated guided tour of the Story of Masada. Return to the bus and drive via Ein Gedi to the shores of the Dead Sea where you will have time to float on the lake.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours. (+ $69)
Optional (day 4): Jerusalem at Night, Dinner and Sound & Light Show
Jerusalem takes on a different air at night which is encapsulated on this tour. The evening begins with dinner at a local restaurant, from where you will drive to the Tower of David, an icon on the Jerusalem skyline. Here you will be mesmerized by the Night Spectacular sound & light show projecting the history of the city on the ancient walls, accompanied by an original score. Return to your hotel.
Approximate tour duration is 4 hours. (+ $55)
Optional (day 5): Half Day Jerusalem Old City Jewish Quarter
The tour of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter begins at the Zion Gate with its important history from the War of Independance. In the heart of the Jewish Quarter we will walk along the Cardo; the main street of the city from the Roman-Byzantine city that is still a shopping street up until today. As we walk through the main square of the Jewish Quarter we will visit the four Sephardic Synagogues, each with its own fascinating story and history relating to different communities within the quarter, and then on to the Burnt House museum. Here we will see the evidence and hear the heartbreaking story of the destruction of the Temple and the city by the Romans in 70 CE. Finally we will come to the southern wall excavations and visit the Davidson Center in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park with its sites, exhibits and multimedia enabling for a fuller understanding of the structure, history, and importance of the Jewish Temple.
Approximate tour duration is 4 hours. (+ $55)
Optional (day 5): Half Day Jerusalem New City
As you drive to the Israel Museum, you will view the Supreme Court building and the Knesset, Israel's Parliament. In the museum you will visit the Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea Scrolls and the model of Jerusalem during Second Temple period. Continue, to Yad Vashem, the national memorial and research center to the Holocaust. Return to your hotel.
Approximate tour duration is 9 hours. (+ $89)
Optional (day 7): Full Day Galilee & Golan Heights with lunch
Drive to Safed, one of Judaism’s 4 Holy Cities. Safed is the center of Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism and as such has a very special vibe. You will visit the artists’ colony and one of the ancient synagogues of the town. Climb the Golan Heights where you will stop at a local kibbutz for a tour and visit. You will continue to the eastern edge of the Golan Heights to Mount Bental where you will have a view over the border to Syria, and be able to explore an Israeli military bunker. Before returning to Tiberias you will stop to sample local produce at a kosher winery in Katzrin, the capital of the Golan Heights. Return to your hotel.