Tailor-made Tour 9 days from £3395 per person

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  Places Visited: Tel Aviv, (Nazareth), Galilee, Jerusalem, (Bethlehem)

This unique tour takes in the very best that Israel has to offer, visiting the key biblical sights, the scenic Sea of Galilee, bustling Tel Aviv and the therapeutic Dead Sea, as well as giving an insight into local life and traditions and the complex issues facing Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Experiences include visiting a local kibbutz, meeting an Israeli soldier, and dining with a local family, all giving the opportunity to learn a little more about this intricate and fascinating country.  Explore its prospects for the future and celebrate the hospitality and vibrant cultures of the local communities.

Holiday Types

Cultural Tours

 

Suggested itinerary

Day 1
London - Tel Aviv

Fly overnight from London to Tel Aviv arriving early the following day.

Day 2
Tel Aviv

Early morning arrival into Tel Aviv airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Begin you tour with a walk of the historic port city of Jaffa. Continue to the Ahuzat Bayit neighbourhood, the original suburb modelled on Herzl’s vision in Alteneuland that grew into the modern city of Tel Aviv. Finish the day savouring the delights at the bustling Carmel Market.

Tel Aviv is vibrant, modern and liberal. This 24-hour city combines sandy Mediterranean beaches with a buzzing culture scene, UNESCO recognised architecture, incredible food, and a world-renowned nightlife. Here you will find one of the biggest collections of Bauhaus buildings in the world and the old port town of Jaffa, with its wooden fishing boats, winding backstreets lined with artists’ studios and galleries and well-known flea market.  In Ahuzat Bayit take a walk under the fig and Poinciana trees of Rothschild Boulevard to see Independence Hall and some of the Bauhaus style houses of White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3
Galilee

Today you will visit Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Continue north to the picturesque town of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee where you will spend two nights. Learn about the Jewish, Christian and Muslim histories of the area and visit a local kibbutz to learn about the kibbutz movement and early Zionism.

Nazareth is Israel’s largest Arab city, and it has often in the past, been overlooked by visitors. Some recent investment, however, has now put Nazareth firmly back on the map. The childhood home of Jesus, according to the New Testament, is now a major pilgrimage site for Christians and The Old City is a delight to visit, with an abundance of Ottoman era homes with stunning frescoes. The city’s shuk, or market, is a must see and it attracts Israelis from all over the country looking for traditional Arabic produce.

Day 4
Galilee

Visit Upper Galilee today for a hike and picnic in the ancient city of Tel Dan. Drive through the Golan Heights to learn about the conflicts between Israel and Syria. Stop at a Druze village to learn about Israel’s Druze community. Round off the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee or Yam Kinneret as it is known in Hebrew, is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and is one of the earliest settled areas in Israel. Golan Heights, part of Syria until 1967, when it came under Israeli military occupation, overlooks the upper Jordan River valley to the west. Learn about the conflicts here visiting some of the minefields and depopulated villages and have a coffee next to the bunkers of Mount Bental, overlooking the Valley of Tears.

Day 5
Jerusalem

Head south through the Jordan River Valley to Jerusalem for four nights. From the Mount of Olives get an overview of Jerusalem’s religious history as well as panoramic views of its skyline, before taking a walking tour of Jerusalem’s old city including the Temple Mount, Hurva Synagogue and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Walking through the Old City of Jerusalem, the sense of history and religious importance, whatever your faith, is unmistakable. Take in Temple Mount, containing the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, through the Jewish quarter to the historic Hurva Synagogue, along the Way of the Cross, the route that Jesus is believed to have taken on his way to be crucified, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—according to tradition and to recent findings, the location of Jesus’s tomb. The skyline, a unique architectural mosaic, made up of synagogues, churches and mosques, is best viewed from the Mount of Olives to the city’s east.

Day 6
Jerusalem

Explore Jerusalem’s political history today from an Israeli perspective. Pay a sobering visit to Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, followed by a walking tour of Ein Kerem to learn different narratives about Zionism and Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Following lunch, learn about Israel’s wars and have a conversation with an Israeli soldier at Mt. Hertzl. This evening enjoy a family dinner hosted by a local Jewish family.

Day 7
Jerusalem

Cross the checkpoint into the ancient town of Bethlehem to visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. Walk the Separation Wall, and then head to Shepherd’s Field to savour fresh local cuisine at a Bedouin tent. This afternoon head to Hebron, visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Old City.

Just 10kms from Jerusalem, in the West Bank lies Bethlehem, or beit lechem meaning “House of Bread” in Hebrew. Arguably the holiest, and a major pilgrimage site for Christians, who flock to visit the birthplace of Jesus. The Church of the Nativity, named after the grotto it was built around, is believed to stand on his birthplace and the Grotto has a niche thought to be the exact spot where Jesus was born, marked by the Altar of Nativity and a 14-pointed silver star. The separation wall, which divides Bethlehem and Jerusalem, is adorned by numerous pieces of art from political street artists, including notably, works by Banksy.

Day 8
Jerusalem

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masada today. Continue to the Dead Sea for a float in its fabled waters, before stopping in Jericho to meet with Eco Peace and hear about their joint Arab-Jewish environmental initiatives. End the day with a traditional, home-cooked meal and live music, hosted at the home of a local family in Bethany.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masada, on the Eastern edge of the Judaean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea, is King Herod’s 2000-year-old mountain top fortress, complete with elaborate palaces and bathhouses. One of the greatest archaeological sites in Israel, the remains of the fortress are well-preserved, and many parts have been reconstructed. The most impressive structure remaining is King Herod’s northern palace, built on three rock terraces overlooking the gorge below. Masada can be ascended on foot via the winding “snake path” or by the cable car that runs from the tourist centre at the foot of the mountain.

Day 9
Jerusalem – Tel Aviv - London

This morning, transfer back to Tel Aviv airport for a direct flight to London, arriving the same evening.

Tailor-made Tour 9 days from £3395 per person


What's included

-              International Flights

-              7 nights accommodation

-              All internal travel

-              English-speaking accompanying guide throughout

-              Breakfast daily (lunch and dinner where mentioned)

-              Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary

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