Day 2 (Monday): Tel Aviv / Beer Sheba / Masada & Dead Sea
Meet your tour guide in the morning and set off from Tel Aviv, driving south, passing by the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon to Beersheba, for a short visit of 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. Visit the excavations, Herod’s palaces, the synagogue, bathhouse and cisterns, and enjoy the breathtaking 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. Passing by the oasis of Ein Gedi, proceed through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 3 (Tuesday): Jerusalem - New City
Start the day with a panoramic view of Jerusalem from atop the Mt. of Olives. On to the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of the Agony. Continue to 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 time of the Second Temple. Continue to Yad Vashem (the memorial to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust). Afternoon drive to visit the picturesque village of Ein Karem (the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist). In the heart of a neighbourhood in downtown Jerusalem, visit Mahane Yehuda to experience the flavours, aromas, colours and the traders' interaction with the crowds, at the largest open market in Israel. Return to the hotel.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Jerusalem Old City & Bethlehem
Step back in time on a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem. Enter through one of the Gates to the walled Old City to visit the renewed Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the colourful Souk. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, stopping at the Stations of the Cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Visit Mt. Zion and the tomb of King David, the Room of the Last Supper and Dormition Abbey. In the afternoon continue to Bethlehem to the Church of the Nativity and a view of the Shepherd's Field (Site under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. Visit subject to the situation). Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 5 (Thursday): Beit Shean - Nazareth - Safed
Leave Jerusalem and drive north passing by 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 and Christian holy sites. Continue to a Kibbutz hotel for overnight. Proceed to Safed, the city of the Kabbalah and centre of Jewish mysticism, to visit a synagogue and the beautiful streets of the artists’ colony. Overnight in a Kibbutz hotel in the Galilee.
Day 6 (Friday): Golan Heights - Sea of Galilee
Drive up to the Golan Heights and visit the former Syrian fortifications and the Druze villages, passing by Banias, a source of the Jordan River. 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, the traditional site of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and Tabgha, the traditional site of the ‘miracle of the loaves and the fish’. Onwards to Tiberias, the old center of Jewish learning. Optional sailing in a boat across the Sea of Galilee to experience the tranquillity and scenery little changed during the past 2000 years (subject to conditions and fee). 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, for a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city, including the Baha'i Shrine, Persian Garden, Mount Carmel and Haifa Bay. Proceed along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea to visit the Roman Theater 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
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for departure, or extension tour to Jordan and/or Egypt.
Escorted Tour Includes:
- 7 Nights hotel accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
- Assistance airport upon arrival
- Transfer from/to airport on arrival and departure
- Sightseeing in a modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Service of a Government licensed guide on all touring days
- Entrance fees to places of interest while touring
- Bevereages and meals
- Porterage at airport
Hotels (or similar):
- Tel Aviv: Seanet/Olympia (Tourist), Metropolitan/Grand Beach (First Class), Crowne Plaza/Dan Panorama (Superior Class)
- Jerusalem: Gold/Rimonim Shalom (Tourist), Grand Court/Leonardo (First Class), Crowne Plaza/Dan Panorama (Superior Class)
- Galilee: Kibbutz Kfar Giladi (Tourist and First Class), Kibbutz Kfar Giladi Deluxe (Superior Class)
Tour Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and group tours are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (am)