Holyland Tour – The Highlights of Israel
Day 1: SUNDAY – Jerusalem
- Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv.
- Overnight in Tel Aviv
Day 2: MONDAY – Masada & Dead Sea
- Meet your guide and set off from Tel Aviv, drive south passing by the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba, the capital of the Negev Desert.
- Continue via Arad to Masada, Israel’s foremost archaeological park.
- Ascend via cable-car for a thorough visit that gives insight to the rituals, politics and culture of the people who inhabited this desert fortress, which was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans. The site has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the excavations, King Herod’s palace, the synagogue, bathhouse and cisterns and enjoy the breath-taking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea.
- Descend to the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea, to experience the mineral rich black mud and to “float” in its salty waters. (Bring your swimsuit, if weather permits)
- Passing by the oasis of Ein Gedi, proceed through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem
- Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 3: TUESDAY – Jerusalem & Bethlehem
- Start the day at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book with the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, then a visit to the beautifully renovated model of the Herodian City of Jerusalem, dating back to the times of the Second Temple.
- Visit Yad Vashem the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953, located at the foot of Mt Hertzl.
- Enjoy Ein Karem, a picturesque village in the south western outskirts of Jerusalem. This small village has great significance in Christian traditions, since this is where according to tradition John the Baptist was born.
- Visit Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus at the Church of Nativity and Manger Square.
- Return to your hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 4: WEDNESDAY – Jerusalem Old City
- Enter the Old City of Jerusalem where you will see the Western Wall and the actual site of the Second Temple, the Temple Mount.
- Walk the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, to Calvary and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, housing both the traditional site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb of the Resurrection.
- To the southwest, just outside the Old City, is Mount Zion, with the traditional tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper.
- Enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of Jerusalem – the holy city for each of the world’s three great religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam, from atop of the Mount of Olives.
- Visit the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Jesus.
- In the heart of a neighborhood in downtown Jerusalem, visit Mahane Yehuda to experience the flavors, aromas colors and the traders’ interaction with the crowds, at the largest open market in Israel.
- Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 5: THURSDAY – Beit Shean – Nazareth – Safed
- Leave Jerusalem, and drive north via Jericho, the oldest city in the world.
- Travel through the Jordan Valley and the new settlements to Beit Shean and visit the excavations of this beautifully preserved Roman City.
- On to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation & Christian holy sites.
- Proceed to Safed, city of the Kabbalah and center of Jewish mysticism, to visit the beautiful streets of the artists’ colony.
- Overnight in a Kibbutz hotel in Galilee.
Day 6: FRIDAY – Golan Heights & Sea of Galilee
- Drive to the Golan Heights passing by Banias, source of the Jordan River, former Syrian fortifications, and the Druze villages.
- Enjoy an Israeli wine country experience, with vineyards surrounded by breathtaking views. Become acquainted with the collection of fine and rare wines enjoying a tour, wine tasting and understanding of the wine production process.
- Descend to the shore of the Sea of Galilee and proceed to Capernaum, to visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue, the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of the “Sermon on the Mount” and Tabgha, the traditional site of the “miracle of the loaves and the fish”.
- Onward to Tiberias, the old centre of Jewish learning.
- Optional: Sailing on a boat across the Sea of Galilee to experience the tranquility and scenery, little has changed during the past 2000 years (subject to weather conditions, payable locally)
- Return to the Kibbutz hotel for overnight.
Day 7: SATURDAY – Acre – Haifa – Caesarea – Tel Aviv
- After breakfast drive through the hills of the Galilee, westwards to Acre (Akko) for a visit of the old, famous Crusader stronghold and medieval fortifications.
- Continue to Haifa, ascending Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of the city, including the Baha’i Shrine, Persian Garden and Haifa Bay.
- Proceed along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea to visit the Roman Theatre and the Crusader fortress at what is known as the “masterpiece of Herod the Great”.
- End the day with a short city tour of Tel Aviv and the ancient port of Jaffa.
- Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 8: SUNDAY – Departure
- Transfer to the airport for departure.
Please note that the sequence of the tour and sites visited may be amended due to circumstances at the company’s or the guide’s discretion.