Begins every Wednesday and offers the traveller an intensive tour of some of the country’s most classic sites with the option of visiting the rose-red city of Petra. The tour features 5 nights in Tel Aviv, 2 nights in Galilee, 5 nights in Jerusalem and 2 nights in Eilat.
Your land arrangements include:
– Sharing transfer on arrival and departure (from/to Ben Gurion Airport)
– 14-night accommodation based on double occupancy and breakfast basis except at Kibbutz Lavi on half board (breakfast/dinner basis)
– 10 touring days as per itinerary with English speaking guide
– Dinner in Jerusalem on Thursday day 9 followed by a Sound and Light Show at David Citadel
– Lunch at a Druze village on Sunday day 5
– Light lunch on Tuesday day 14 on the way from Eilat to Tel Aviv
– Entrance fees to the sites visited as per itinerary
– The hotels might be replaced with similar ones.
Your land arrangements do not include:
– Airfare to and from Tel Aviv
– Departure taxes, fuel surcharges or airport improvement fees
– Porterage at the airport or hotels
– Early check-in/late checkout
– Single room supplement – a limited number of single rooms available on payment of a supplement
– Meals and beverages not mentioned
– Optional tours not quoted
– Jordanian visa charge/border taxes
– Horseback ride at Petra
– Optional tour to Petra
– Gratuities for individual services, laundry and valet service and any other items of a purely personal nature
– Tipping to guide, driver, hotel or restaurant staff, horse handler in Petra
– E. & O.E.
For information and reservations contact Janice Snider.
Day 1 Wednesday Ben Gurion Airport / Tel Aviv
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 2 Thursday Latrun / Beit Guvrin / Ayalon Institute / Weizmann House
A morning drive takes us to Latrun overlooking the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Stop to visit the Armored Corps Museum and memorial considered one of the most diverse tank museums in the world. Next is Beit Guvrin National Park declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This important archaeological site includes a cemetery, amphitheatre, Byzantine Church as well as burial caves. Afterwards, we set off for Rehovot just south of Tel Aviv to discover the Ayalon Institute, once a secret underground ammunition factory disguised as part of a kibbutz established by the “Haganah” (Jewish underground movement before May 1948) in an effort to dupe the British. Also in Rehovot is the Weizmann House built in 1936, the private home and later the formal residence of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of the State of Israel and founder of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Visit the impressive structure and its fascinating gardens which now form part of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Learn the story of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, an outstanding scientist and head of the Zionist movement for over 30 years.
Overnight Tel Aviv. B
Day 3 Friday Tel-Aviv / Diaspora museum / Old Jaffa
After breakfast, we head to Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora Museum located in the center of Tel Aviv University that depicts the ongoing story of the Jewish people. Enjoy a drive around the main streets of Tel Aviv, the center of business and entertainment of Israel. Also known as the “White City”, Tel Aviv has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site for its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus unique styled buildings created by Jewish architects from Germany and other Central and East European countries. Next is Rabin Square, the site of the assassination of Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin in 1995. Now for a change of pace, we head to Old Jaffa, one of the oldest port cities in the world to visit the ancient ruins and walk along the Artists Quarter. Neve Tzedek, the first neighbourhood of Tel Aviv built-in 1887 is next. The day concludes at Nachalat Binyamin, the pedestrian mall of the city only opened Tuesday and Friday where you can enjoy live street music, arts, crafts and handmade jewellery.
Overnight Tel Aviv. B
Day 4 Saturday Tel Aviv
Free day in Tel Aviv. Overnight Tel Aviv. B
Day 5 Sunday Caesarea / Megiddo / Druze village / Haifa / Galilee
Drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea located halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa once the Roman capital of the region to view the excavations of the Crusader-era city, the Roman port, the picturesque and well-preserved aqueduct and the amphitheatre that has been restored to its former glory and is now used as a concert venue. Southeast of Haifa is the ancient city of Megiddo identified as the site of Armageddon with its archaeological excavations revealing the remains of 20+ cities built on top of each other. Worthy of note is the 70-metre underground water tunnel sloping up to the spring. We arrive in the Druze village of Daliat el-Carmel situated on the Carmel Heights for late lunch in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we head to Haifa on the slopes of Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and the golden-domed Baha’i Shrine surrounded by perfectly manicured Persian Gardens. Continue to the Upper Galilee.
Overnight in a Kibbutz guesthouse. B/L/D
Day 6 Monday Safed / Katzrin / Golan winery / Galilee
Today’s program begins in Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism with its ancient synagogues and the Artist Quarter lined with galleries and workshops. At the Golan Heights, we see the former Syrian bunkers, Quneitra and the new Israeli town of Katzrin. Stop at the Golan Heights Winery, Israel’s leading producer of quality wines, established in 1983 for a unique wine experience including a tour and wine tasting. The day concludes at “Golan Magic” for a multimedia presentation of the area and its history.
Overnight in a Kibbutz guesthouse. B/D
Day 7 Tuesday Sea of Galilee / Nazareth / Beit Alpha / Jerusalem
Start the day in Nazareth with a visit to the Church of Annunciation with its towering cupola. Continue to Tiberias, named after the Roman Emperor, situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Stop in the ancient fishing village of Capernaum on the northern shore to see the ruins of the ancient synagogue and the octagonal Church of St. Peter. On a hill in northern Israel, we find the serene Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the memorable Sermon on the Mount. Continue via Beit She’an to Beit Alpha to see the remains of the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue depicting a zodiac. Our day concludes on arrival in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Overnight Jerusalem. B
Day 8 Wednesday Mt. of Olives / Old City / Bethlehem*
This morning enjoy the magnificent panoramic view from the Mount of Olives before heading to the Old City to see the Tomb of King David on Mt. Zion. Men and women enter separately. One must dress modestly with a head covering. On an upper floor of the same building, we find the Room of the Last Supper also known as the Cenacle, considered one of the holiest sites in Christianity. Enter the walled city and walk through the newly restored Jewish Quarter. Visit the Roman Cardo lined with a row of columns on each side before continuing to the Herodian Quarter where wealthy people once resided in the 1st century CE. Moving on we come to the Western Wall****, an ancient limestone wall in the Old City also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel. Take a sombre walk along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow that is believed to be the path that Jesus followed on the way to His crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre found in the Christian Quarter is built on the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Six miles southwest of Jerusalem is Bethlehem*, the birthplace of Jesus where we stop to view Rachel’s Tomb before continuing to the Church of Nativity and Manger Square. Return to Jerusalem.
Overnight Jerusalem. B
Day 9 Thursday Israel Museum / Knesset / Mt. Herzl / Yad Vashem
Our first stop today will be in Givat Ram at the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book housing the priceless Dead Sea Scrolls and the miniature Holyland Model of Jerusalem as it was during the Second Temple period. Not far away is the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. At the edge of the rose garden stands the large Bronze Menorah, a gift from the UK Parliament. Later on, we visit the Mount Herzl Cemetery (Mount of Remembrance), Israel’s national cemetery. To the west is Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial preserving the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Drive through the ultra-orthodox neighbourhood of Mea Shearim and learn about the residents’ unique lifestyle. In the evening enjoy a Middle Eastern dinner followed by the Night Spectacular “Sound and Light” Show** at the Tower of David Museum.
Overnight Jerusalem. B/D
Day 10 Friday Qumran / Masada / Dead Sea
Driving through the Judaean Desert we come to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at almost 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. Stop at Qumran to visit the site where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Follow the shore of the Dead Sea to Masada, the isolated mountaintop fortress of King Herod. Ascend by cable car and tour the ancient fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans before committing mass suicide in 73 AD. Descend by cable car and continue to the Dead Sea where you can cover yourself with the mineral-rich mud and experience floating in the Dead Sea** that many belief offers therapeutic benefits.
Overnight Jerusalem. B
Day 11 Saturday Jerusalem
Free day in Jerusalem. Overnight Jerusalem. B
Day 12 Sunday Negev desert / Timna / Underwater Observatory
Travel south through the Negev desert to Timna, a large geological and archaeological park where you will marvel at the multi-coloured rock formations and copper mines, the highlight being Solomon’s Pillars. Continue to Eilat, the southernmost resort city on the shores of the Red Sea where you can visit the Underwater Observatory Marine Park built into a coral reef and enjoy the opportunity of a close-up look at the rich marine life in the Gulf of Eilat.
Overnight Eilat. B
Day 13 Monday Free day in Eilat or Day tour to Petra (with additional charge)
Enjoy a free day in Eilat or take an optional tour of Petra. After assistance with border formalities, we are on our way to Petra, the astonishing rose-red city built by the Nabateans (an early Arabic tribe). Your visit begins with the possibility of a short horseback ride (cost not included) for about 700m to the entrance of the Siq which is about 1.2 km long (walking distance). Petra is famous for its huge monuments such as the Treasury, royal tombs, the court, Roman theatre, Roman street, Qasr al-Bint (Palace of Pharaoh’s daughter) and many other smaller fascinating monuments. The city itself is almost 45km² and is considered to be the second wonder of the world. Time for lunch in a local restaurant before driving back to the border with a possibility of stopping in Aqaba, the only coastal city in Jordan for a walk around. Continue to the border arriving around 18:00 and cross back into Eilat. Overnight Eilat. B
Note: A visa is required to enter Jordan.
Day 14 Tuesday Mitzpe Ramon / Sde Boker / Airforce Museum / Tel Aviv
This morning we leave Eilat travelling via Mitzpe Ramon where we stop to gaze into the Ramon crater, a geological wonder. A short drive takes us to Sde Boker further in the Negev once the retirement home of David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel where we stop to see his hut and gravesite overlooking the magnificent Zin Valley. Enjoy a short camel ride. Dismount and continue on to visit an authentic Bedouin tent to learn about Bedouin hospitality and enjoy a light lunch. Our final stop will be at Hatzerim Air Force Base just west of Beer Sheva to view the display of Israeli and foreign aircraft and to hear the story of this brave fighting force.
Overnight Tel Aviv. B/LL
Day 15 Wednesday Tel Aviv / Ben Gurion Airport
After breakfast, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure. Today marks the end of your journey. B
*Site under the Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction – visit subject to situation
**Visit subject to weather conditions
***The sequence of the tour, border crossing point used, hotels used and sites visited may be amended due to circumstances
****Men must cover their head while in the prayer area and women must cover their shoulders and wear long pants or a knee-length skirt. If you forget to bring a covering, guards will provide you with a piece of fabric for that purpose before you enter. The prayer area is separated by gender. If you want to be super respectful follow Jewish custom by never turning your back on the wall. You will see many people walking away from the wall backwards because it is simply disrespectful to turn away.
B=Breakfast L=Lunch LL= Light Lunch D=Dinner