Israel

Shrine of the Bab, Bahá’í Gardens
Shrine of the Bab, Bahá’í Gardens
Old city and port of Jaffa
Old city and port of Jaffa
Cable car over the Masada Fortress
Cable car over the Masada Fortress

A unique blend of the ancient & modern

Israel is a country of immense natural beauty and unbeatable history, with a culture that is a unique blend of the ancient and modern. From the lively city of Tel Aviv and the holy city of Jerusalem, to the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea – spending time in this country will be truly memorable. Let the culinary delights of this country enchant you with a wine-tasting experience and a cookery class where a popular brunch dish is on the menu. Take a cable car to King Herod’s desert fortress-palace and accept an invitation from a local family to join them for an authentic Shabbat dinner, where stories of this special event will be shared. Join us here to see what the true heart of Israel is all about.

  • Travel right across Israel, exploring many of the country’s cultural icons, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Acre, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem
  • Discover the ancient fortress of King Herod in Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • See the architecture of several ancient sites and, in contrast, observe modern Israeli street art and graffiti
  • Spend time both with the Druze community and with a Jewish family to learn more about their way of life, culture and traditions
  • Relax with a float in the Dead Sea – a completely unique experience that must be tried at least once in your lifetime
  • Explore Ein Gedi Nature Reserve with its varied landscapes, botanical gardens and endemic wildlife
  • Sample excellent wines at the Golan Winery, enjoy a culinary tour in Nazareth and try your hand at making the delicious dish known as shakshuka
  • Visit modern Sarona Market, the ancient Cardo in Jerusalem and the Mahane Yehuda market

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Tel Aviv

Upon arrival in the Israel capital of Tel Aviv, we meet our Tour Host who will be with us throughout our time in Israel. We will have a light supper when we get to our hotel and then a good night’s sleep before we start our tour tomorrow morning.

Day 2

Tel Aviv & Old Jaffa

We begin our tour in Tel Aviv with a visit to Old Jaffa, the first Jewish city of the modern era, and we take a walking tour to view examples of the intriguing Bauhaus-style architecture from the 1930s. The local proliferation of the style won Tel Aviv recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the nickname of the ‘White City’. After lunch, we enjoy a special street art and graffiti tour. Tel Aviv is becoming one of the most culturally rich cities in the Middle East in several aspects – including in alternative contemporary art. Here, we see the best works of street art and graffiti, and we uncover the history, philosophy and different meanings of the art around us. This evening we visit Sarona Market, a lively, modern and urban market that offers both an excellent and wide range of contemporary Israeli cuisine.

Day 3

Tel Aviv - Haifa

After breakfast, we head north along the Mediterranean coast, stopping to see the impressive remains of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great and once the seat of Roman rule. We continue on to Haifa, the largest harbour city of Israel, for a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and of the beautiful Bahá’í Gardens with its impressive temple. Next, we enjoy a special lunch at a Druze village, where we learn about the Druze community and its importance in Israel’s history. Heading northwest, we reach the ancient crusader port city of Acre, a fascinating town with an excavation site over 1,000 years old. Here, we’ll visit the Crusader Halls and see the underground tunnels and pathways, as well as the ancient port and fortifications that were still strong enough to allow the inhabitants of the town to hold out against the invading armies of Napoleon.

Day 4

Sea of Galilee & Golan Heights

Our day starts with a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee, before paying a visit to Capernaum, where a 2nd century synagogue was discovered and which threw new light on the life of the community of that era. We also visit Safed, centre of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years, which has recently developed into a contemporary artists’ colony. Israel has also become well-known for the quality of its wines, and after lunch we visit the Golan Winery, where we have the chance to sample some of their vintages. We finish the day with a 4x4 Jeep tour of the Golan Heights, which offers views over the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5

Haifa - Jerusalem

It may be wise not to eat too much breakfast today because our first stop is in Nazareth, where we enjoy a culinary tour of the local specialities – including ancient spices, confectionery, tehina from the Galilee, local coffee, and what is considered to be the best hummus in all of Israel. With our stomachs considerably fuller, we make our way south through the Jordan Valley towards Jerusalem, stopping on the way to visit Beit She’an – with spectacular ruins of the ancient Roman and Byzantine city. Arriving into Jerusalem, we take part in a truly authentic experience as we join a local family for a Shabbat dinner. This is a perfect opportunity to learn about Shabbat and its traditions, as well as enjoy an excellent meal.

Day 6

Jerusalem

We spend a full day today exploring many of the highlights of the old city of Jerusalem, starting with a stop at the Mount of Olives, which offers a panoramic view across the old city, then we make our way through the Christian Quarter. Continuing to the Arab Bazaar, where haggling has been raised to an art form, our walk takes us along a portion of the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After lunch we enter Palestine for a visit to Bethlehem, where we take a short tour that includes a stop at the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Field. We finish our day trying our hand at creating a popular Israeli dish – shakshuka – at an immersive workshop.

Day 7

Jerusalem

Today we venture into the City of David and tour its fascinating tunnels as well as see the newest excavations of Jerusalem during the time of the 1st Temple period. We continue our exploration with a walk-through the Jewish Quarter and we visit some of the renowned sites, including the Western Wall and the Cardo, an ancient commercial street where you can still shop today. After lunch, we visit Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, a powerful remembrance to the Holocaust situated atop Har Hazikaron, literally the “Hill of Memory.” Our morning finishes with some free time at Mahane Yehuda Market, established in 1887. Upon our return to Jerusalem this evening there will also be an opportunity to see the spectacular Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David museum.

Day 8

Dead Sea & Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

A refreshing start to the day is ours as we enjoy leisure time to relax and float on the waters of the Dead Sea – a truly bizarre, but relaxing experience, which must be tried to be understood! Afterwards, we take a picturesque drive out to the site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a series of caves between 1946 and 1956. The rest of our day is spent hiking in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. The largest oasis in Israel, it is home to a variety of landscapes, botanical gardens, springs, and small waterfalls. If we are lucky, we may even be able to spot Nubian ibexes and rock hyraxes.

Day 9

Masada

This morning we ascend by cable car to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masada, where we marvel at King Herod’s desert fortress-palace and last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against Roman domination in 73 CE. The afternoon is free to spend as we wish before we regroup in the evening to enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Here, we can reflect and share memories of all that we have learnt and enjoyed during this trip.

Day 10

Jerusalem – Tel Aviv

After breakfast, we make our return to Tel Aviv where we say our goodbyes to our Tour Host. We then transfer to the airport for our individual flights home.

Itinerary 2021

Day 1

Tel Aviv

Upon arrival in the Israel capital of Tel Aviv, we meet our Tour Host who will be with us throughout our time in Israel. We will have a light supper when we get to our hotel and then a good night’s sleep before we start our tour tomorrow morning.

Day 2

Tel Aviv & Old Jaffa

We begin our tour in Tel Aviv with a visit to Old Jaffa, the first Jewish city of the modern era, and we take a walking tour to view examples of the intriguing Bauhaus-style architecture from the 1930s. The local proliferation of the style won Tel Aviv recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the nickname of the ‘White City’. After lunch, we enjoy a special street art and graffiti tour. Tel Aviv is becoming one of the most culturally rich cities in the Middle East in several aspects – including in alternative contemporary art. Here, we see the best works of street art and graffiti, and we uncover the history, philosophy and different meanings of the art around us. This evening we visit Sarona Market, a lively, modern and urban market that offers both an excellent and wide range of contemporary Israeli cuisine.

Day 3

Tel Aviv - Haifa

After breakfast, we head north along the Mediterranean coast, stopping to see the impressive remains of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great and once the seat of Roman rule. We continue on to Haifa, the largest harbour city of Israel, for a panoramic view of Haifa Bay and of the beautiful Bahá’í Gardens with its impressive temple. Next, we enjoy a special lunch at a Druze village, where we learn about the Druze community and its importance in Israel’s history. Heading northwest, we reach the ancient crusader port city of Acre, a fascinating town with an excavation site over 1,000 years old. Here, we’ll visit the Crusader Halls and see the underground tunnels and pathways, as well as the ancient port and fortifications that were still strong enough to allow the inhabitants of the town to hold out against the invading armies of Napoleon.

Day 4

Sea of Galilee & Golan Heights

Our day starts with a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee, before paying a visit to Capernaum, where a 2nd century synagogue was discovered and which threw new light on the life of the community of that era. We also visit Safed, centre of Jewish mysticism for hundreds of years, which has recently developed into a contemporary artists’ colony. Israel has also become well-known for the quality of its wines, and after lunch we visit the Golan Winery, where we have the chance to sample some of their vintages. We finish the day with a 4x4 Jeep tour of the Golan Heights, which offers views over the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5

Haifa - Jerusalem

It may be wise not to eat too much breakfast today because our first stop is in Nazareth, where we enjoy a culinary tour of the local specialities – including ancient spices, confectionery, tehina from the Galilee, local coffee, and what is considered to be the best hummus in all of Israel. With our stomachs considerably fuller, we make our way south through the Jordan Valley towards Jerusalem, stopping on the way to visit Beit She’an – with spectacular ruins of the ancient Roman and Byzantine city. Arriving into Jerusalem, we take part in a truly authentic experience as we join a local family for a Shabbat dinner. This is a perfect opportunity to learn about Shabbat and its traditions, as well as enjoy an excellent meal.

Day 6

Jerusalem

We spend a full day today exploring many of the highlights of the old city of Jerusalem, starting with a stop at the Mount of Olives, which offers a panoramic view across the old city, then we make our way through the Christian Quarter. Continuing to the Arab Bazaar, where haggling has been raised to an art form, our walk takes us along a portion of the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After lunch we enter Palestine for a visit to Bethlehem, where we take a short tour that includes a stop at the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Field. We finish our day trying our hand at creating a popular Israeli dish – shakshuka – at an immersive workshop.

Day 7

Jerusalem

Today we venture into the City of David and tour its fascinating tunnels as well as see the newest excavations of Jerusalem during the time of the 1st Temple period. We continue our exploration with a walk-through the Jewish Quarter and we visit some of the renowned sites, including the Western Wall and the Cardo, an ancient commercial street where you can still shop today. After lunch, we visit Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, a powerful remembrance to the Holocaust situated atop Har Hazikaron, literally the “Hill of Memory.” Our morning finishes with some free time at Mahane Yehuda Market, established in 1887. Upon our return to Jerusalem this evening there will also be an opportunity to see the spectacular Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David museum.

Day 8

Dead Sea & Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

A refreshing start to the day is ours as we enjoy leisure time to relax and float on the waters of the Dead Sea – a truly bizarre, but relaxing experience, which must be tried to be understood! Afterwards, we take a picturesque drive out to the site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a series of caves between 1946 and 1956. The rest of our day is spent hiking in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. The largest oasis in Israel, it is home to a variety of landscapes, botanical gardens, springs, and small waterfalls. If we are lucky, we may even be able to spot Nubian ibexes and rock hyraxes.

Day 9

Masada

This morning we ascend by cable car to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masada, where we marvel at King Herod’s desert fortress-palace and last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against Roman domination in 73 CE. The afternoon is free to spend as we wish before we regroup in the evening to enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Here, we can reflect and share memories of all that we have learnt and enjoyed during this trip.

Day 10

Jerusalem – Tel Aviv

After breakfast, we make our return to Tel Aviv where we say our goodbyes to our Tour Host. We then transfer to the airport for our individual flights home.

What's Included

  1. A Tour Host throughout
  2. All activities, and entries to all sites and museums
  3. Gratuities for all waiters for included dinners and hotel porters
  4. All accommodation and transport taxes

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2020 Tour Details

Mon 16th Nov - Wed 25th Nov

Available

$4,155

Full Price $4340 Save $185

without flights

sgl supp: $1,120

20ISLA

Led By:

2021 Tour Details

Mon 15th Mar - Wed 24th Mar

Available

$4,290

Full Price $4475 Save $185

without flights

sgl supp: $1,120

21ISLA

Led By:

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