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Home > Israel > Itineraries > Israel1

Ancient History and Modern Triumphs

Departures

March to May or September to November

Duration

11 Days

Locations

Tel Aviv - Safed - Golan Heights - Jerusalem - the Dead Sea - Tel Aviv

Overview

Israel is a unique blend of ancient history and modern triumphs, a cultural whirlwind, revealing a welcoming country of fascinating depth. Your tour begins in Tel Aviv, a great walking city, well known for its historic museums and hip neighborhoods – a cosmopolitan urban showpiece.

The mystical city of Safed and the Golan Heights opens up an ancient world with modern complexities and scenic sites, while Jerusalem offers one iconic religious landmark after another, reflecting its 6,000-year-old history. Stops include the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market is a taste sensation and the city's significant museums and memorials are all part of your agenda, too. Visit the salt waters of the Dead Sea and reach the top of the legendary mountaintop fortress of King Herodon a tour out of town.

Beach time? Plenty of that is in store in Tel Aviv, as you conclude your trip enjoying the sun and sand, markets, and museums.

Itinerary in Detail

    Day 1: Tel Aviv

    Upon your arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you will be greeted by a VIP Agent who will fast-track you through passport control, assisting with your luggage. A private driver will then transfer you to your hotel.

    Hotel: The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv - Pool

    Day 2: Tel Aviv

    After breakfast, you will meet your private driver-guide for a full-day tour of Tel Aviv. This starts in the city of Jaffa (Yafo), just south of Tel Aviv.

    Continue with a visit to Neve Tzedek, where a small group of Jewish families created an infrastructure that would later become Tel Aviv. This neighborhood is now a modern delight, a trendy spot filled with boutiques, cafés, and restaurants.

    This afternoon, a tour of Levinsky Market will reveal many different delicacies in an area best known for its Turkish, Greek, and Iranian immigrant heritage, dating back to the 1920s. Today, gourmet chefs source their ingredients from timeless shops offerings fresh spices, dried fruits, home-roasted coffees, and deli goodies.

    A walk along Rothschild Boulevard brings you to the White City of Tel Aviv, founded in 1909. You will learn more about how architects gave the metropolis a new cultural context.

    End the day with a visit to the ANU Museum of the Jewish People – formerly known as the Diaspora Museum – where 4,000 years of Jewish identity are experienced in a grand and moving display.

    Hotel: The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv - Balcony

    Day 3: Safed

    After check-out, a drive to the mystical city of Safed with your private guide is on the agenda and takes approximately 2.5 hours. Here, you will visit the beautiful synagogues, and browse the workshops and galleries found in this flourishing artist quarter.

    After lunch, you will take a 4x4 tour with specialist Eitan Oren to Kibbutz Malkiya in the north. Eitan will review the geo-political situation of the region with you, taking guests to meet combat soldiers in the region. Following this excursion, you will be driven to your hotel on the Sea of Galilee.

    Hotel: The Setai, Sea of Galilee

    The Setai, Sea of Galilee - Lobby

    Day 4: Golan Heights

    Today, you will travel to Mount Bental to meet ex-Colonel Kobi Marom for a talk on Hamas, Hezbollah, and other groups in the Middle East today. You will hear many stories from the colonel’s time supervising varied and complex military operations in the region. This discussion will be followed by a two-hour ATV ride in the Golan Heights, through the Syrian headquarters, the Valley of Tears, and the Hill of Shouts. You will take in the region’s scenic hills and learn about the history of the land.

    After stopping for lunch at the Golan Heights Winery, you will carry on to Jerusalem and check into your hotel

    Hotel: King David Hotel

    King David Hotel

    Day 5: Jerusalem

    After breakfast today, you will drive to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem with your guide. Visit the City of David and see the newest excavations of Jerusalem during the time of the First Temple period. Here, you’ll also walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel which still flows with water, and through the Jewish Quarter.

    A special point of interest in the restored Jewish Quarter is the Cardo, meaning the "heart" of this ancient Byzantine city. View the unearthed main roman thoroughfare and an ancient marketplace lined with columns. Proceed to the holiest place in Judaism today, the Western Wall, before descending through the many layers of Jerusalem’s past at the time of the Temple through the Western Wall Tunnels. Inside, an interesting model shows the different dwelling periods and history of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Stand on the site believed to be the nearest spot to the "Holy of Holies."

    You will also view the Temple Mount, visit the Christian Quarters, and walk along the Via Dolorosa and the oriental Bazaar to visit the Church of Holy Sepulcher. Finally, you will enjoy a tasting tour with your guide at the Machane Yehuda Market. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

    Hotel: King David Hotel

    King David Hotel

    Day 6: Masada and the Dead Sea

    After an early breakfast, you will travel east to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at 1,305 feet below sea level.

    You will then continue south to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada and ascend by cable car to explore the ancient fortress. This was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. If time permits, you will visit the beautiful Ein Gedi Reserve, seeing the waterfalls at this desert oasis, which is mentioned in the Book of Psalms. The combination of Ein Gedi’s abundance of water and the tropical climate provides for wonderful exotic plant and animal life.

    Lunch is included at the Herod’s Dead Sea Resort, followed by a chance to swim – cover yourselves with mud and enjoy the therapeutic “unsinkable” experience.

    Hotel: King David Hotel

    King David Hotel

    Day 7: Jerusalem

    This morning, you will depart for Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Alongside your docent, you will explore interactive historical displays, including photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and survivor testimonies.

    Next, you will visit the Israel Museum, featuring the most extensive collection of biblical and Holy Land archeology in the world – nearly 500,000 pieces. Marvel at the detailed model of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple and enter the dramatic Shrine of the Book to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. Afterward, you will drive by the Knesset Menorah, Israel’s parliament, to see this iconic statue. You then have the opportunity to take part in weapons and shooting excursion at Caliber 3 at Gush Etzion.

    This evening, you visit the New King David sound and light show at the Tower of David.

    Hotel: King David Hotel

    King David Hotel

    Day 8: Tel Aviv

    This is an unguided day at Hasharon Beach, where you can enjoy your private tent and a lunch reservation at Gazebo Bar. Your driver will be at your disposal.

    Hotel: The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv - Pool Side

    Day 9: Tel Aviv

    Today is a day of leisure. Enjoy the hotel amenities, which include a swimming pool, spa therapies, and fitness classes.

    Hotel: The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv

    Day 10: Tel Aviv

    This afternoon, you and your guide will take a walk to Sarona Market for a tasting experience, enjoying a tantalizing selection of traditional street foods and drinks.

    Hotel: The Norman Tel Aviv

    The Norman Tel Aviv - Balcony View

    Day 11: Tel Aviv

    It is time to say goodbye today, with a transfer to Ben Gurion Airport and an expedited passage to your gate for your return flight home.

Speak to our Travel Designers about combining this itinerary with a pre or post-luxury cruise.

Find out more

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