Day 1 – Jaffa and Tel Aviv

  • We will walk the alleys of old Yaffo (Jaffa, Joppa), a town built of sandstone, see its excavations, listen to its outstanding stories and visit the port and the flea market.
  • We will start the tour of restless Tel Aviv by visiting Independence Hall, where the State of Israel was declared, and have a fascinating look into these times.
  • Later, we will walk along Rothschild Blvd., and will drive past the Habima Theate and Rabin Square to old Tel Aviv at the Yarkon River.
  • Relaxing on the wonderful public beach is a great way to end the day.
  • Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Day 2 – Tel Aviv and more

  • The morning will find us touring the unforgettable experience of the Palmach Museum.
  • We’ll drive out of town to hear the amazing story of a 1940’s clandestine bullet factory, called the Ayalon Institute.
  • In the afternoon we’ll enjoy the colors, sounds and smells of the main market of the city – the Carmel Market and the nearby arts and crafts pedestrian street, Nachalat Binyamin.
  • An evening walk through the old, charming neighborhood of Neve Tzedek will be a lovely way to finish the second day.
  • Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Day 3 – On the way to Haifa

  • Leaving Tel Aviv in the morning, we will begin the tour by visiting the magnificent ruins of Caesarea Maritima – the city built by Herod the Great, with one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean, an amphitheater, hippodrome, Herod’s palace and aqueduct.
  • From Caesarea we’ll drive to Atlit, and learn the story of the detention camp, in which the British kept the Jewish immigrants after the Holocaust.
  • We will then drive to and stand  atop of Mount Carmel at the place of the fight between Elijah the Prophet and the false Baal prophets, to tell and interpret the story and admire the magnificent view.
  • We’ll stop at the charming artists’ village of Ein Hod, and will wander the streets and stop in to see some of the art galleries.
  • The end of the day will bring us to the Carmel Center in Haifa to take in the view of the breathtaking Bahai Gardens in Haifa and the beautiful panorama of Haifa Bay and the German Colony.
  • Overnight in Haifa .

Day 4 – Western Galilee

  • In the morning we will have a complete tour of the World Heritage Site – the old town of Akko. Walk on the walls and ramparts, admire a mighty Crusader fortress and explore its mysterious subterranean world.
  • We will descend the Rosh Hanikra white cliff by cable car to visit the caves dug by the ocean waves.
  • In the afternoon we’ll drive through the mountains of the upper Galilee to reveal 1,600-year-old remains of Jewish villages and synagogues, such as Horvath Den’ila or Bar‘am hidden in the bush and will learn about way of life during that time.
  • Overnight in the Galilee.

Day 5 – Upper and Lower Galilee

  • Starting in the morning, hear enchanting tales of the mysterious Kabbalistic mountain city of Tzfat (Safed). We will visit its unique synagogues and beautiful artists’ quarter.
  • We will then follow Old and New Testament stories, as we drive through the Jezreel Valley and will stop at Mount Tabor – the place of the battle between Deborah the Prophet and the Canaanites, as well as the place of Jesus’ transfiguration.
  • The magnificent remains of the rich town  of Tzippori (Sepphoris), residence of the Mishna scholars (200 C.E.), will be our last stop. We will take in the view of the entire Lower Galilee from the top of the Tzippori fortress. There are mosaic floors here, which are remarkable for their artistic qualities.
  • Overnight in the Galilee.

Day 6 – Golan Heights

  • We will begin the day at the ancient city of  Dan, the place from which a main source of the Jordan River originates. Follow the water on a relaxing hike and hear stories of the past and present.
  • Driving up the mountains, we will come to the unique Nimrod fortress (“The Leaping on its Prey” by its Arab name), built at a special place on Mount Hermon
  • At one of the Druze villages of the Golan we’ll stop to have a local delicious lunch.
  • After lunch, we will enjoy a fun jeep ride on the slopes of the Golan Heights and will converse with the driver, a Golan kibbutznik.
  • On the way back we will enjoy views from wonderful lookout spots, and will see an ancient synagogue in the middle of this enchanted nowhere.
  • Overnight in the Galilee.

Day 7 – Sea of Galilee and Jordan Valley

  • In the morning we’ll focus on the Sea of Galilee heritage sites: Capernaum – Peter’s House and the synagogue, Tabgha – Multiplication of the Loaves Church and Primacy Church. We will also visit Kursi – the place of the miracle of driving the demons into pigs. See the excavations of all these sights and interpret their biblical stories.
  • Beith She’an, the most remarkable and well-preserved Roman town in the country, will give us an opportunity to understand Roman everyday life, by wandering its streets and learning about the various buildings there.
  • The route to Jerusalem will take us through the Lower Jordan Valley.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 8 – Jerusalem: from Abraham to Jesus

  • The foundation of an Israelite capital and a holy center – you’ll learn about King David’s life, while viewing the City of David. Walk through the underground tunnels of the immense water system down to the newly-excavated Siloam Pool. Then we’ll walk all the way up to the Temple Mount through the ancient drainage tunnel of the Jewish city.
  • At the southern wall excavations we’ll walk on the same paving stones, climb the very same steps that Jewish pilgrims walked 2,000 years ago. Here, we will  see the remains of the gates that the pilgrims used when they visited the Temple.
  • The unique sight of people praying day and night next to the Wailing (or Western) Wall will cause us to wonder what made this part of the wall so holy
  • The visit to the Temple Mount will open our eyes as to what turned it into a Moslem holy site.
  • Experience the story of the destruction of the Jewish city in the Burnt House and the Herodian Quarter in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.
 

Day 9 – Modern Jerusalem

  • A morning two-hour visit to the Holocaust Museum – Yad Vashem.
  • Ein Kerem – We will see the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist, the place of the Virgin Mary’s visitation and will stroll through an extremely picturesque neighborhood that has so many stories to tell.
  • Next to the city, we will visit the monasteries of Abu Ghosh (Emmaus of the Crusades) and Kiryat Ye’arim, the place of the Ark of Covenant.
  • Tour Sataf – a place in the mountains, where two families restored ancient agriculture. We will see the irrigation systems and springs and crawl through a cave into which one of the springs flows.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 10 – Jerusalem: in Jesus’ footsteps

  • The day will start with the most magnificent view of Jerusalem from top of the Mount of Olives. From here we can point out all of Jesus’ stations in the city, then walk down the mountain to Gethsemane.
  • We will enter the city through St. Stephen’s Gate and visit the medieval St. Anne’s church and the ancient Bethesda Pools.
  • After a local lunch, we’ll walk around and experience the colors, sounds and smells of the Arab and Crusader Markets. We will also take in the view of the Old City from various rooftop sites
  • Then, we will visit, discuss and understand the fascinating Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Strolling through the Roman Cardo will take us to Mt. Zion to visit the traditional location of The Last Supper (cenacle) and King David’s Tomb.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 11 – Around Jerusalem

  • In the morning, we’ll delve into the private history of the greatest Jewish king – King Herod, at the incredible artificial mountain Herodium, which was built by Herod, and where his tomb was recently found.
  • Exploring the Israel museum is a must, pairing it with the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • Drive by the Knesset (parliament) and the government buildings.
  • Visit the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet, and view the land of the Tribe of Benjamin from its roof.
  • Enjoy the spectacular Light and Sound Show at the Tower of David.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 12 – Modern Jerusalem

  • To understand the special political situation of Jerusalem, we will drive along the seam line, stopping at various lookout spots and also view the separation wall.
  • We will take in one of the most beautiful views of the city from the Sherover Promenade.
  • We will walk and drive through the delightful neighborhood of the German Colony and through other beautiful neighborhoods nearby, as well.
  • It will be a wonderful experience to wander through the frenetic Mahane Yehuda Market, with its abundant stands of fruits and vegetables, the endless variety of cheeses, fish, breads, halva, cakes, etc., and have lunch in one of its little restaurants.
  • Seeing the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Me’a She’arim, either by driving or walking through it, will be a fascinating experience.
  • Before sunset, we will stroll through the charming area of Yemin Moshe and learn about its history.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 13 – Judean Lowlands

  • We will drive out of the city into the hills to see the place of the battles of Joshua in the Ajalon Valley and the place of the real Emmaus.
  • Driving by the ancient town of Beit Shemesh, we will stop next to it to hear the unique story of Samson and view the beautiful area where he killed the lion. We’ll also ponder over the conflicts between the Israelites and Philistines.
  • Was David an innocent boy when he fought Goliath? View the battlefield in Elah Valley from the top of Tel Azeka to analyze the mind of a politician in formation.
  • To end our day, we’ll explore the amazing underground world of Maresha.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 14 – Dead Sea and the Negev desert

  • This morning, we will drive to the Dead Sea area, and will focus on facts, myths and symbols concerning the famous fight of a bunch of Jewish zealots against masses of Roman soldiers over the mighty cliff of Masada.
  • Lose all sense of gravity, while floating on the heavy water of the Dead Sea and cover yourself with the therapeutic black mud, for which the Dead Sea is famous.
  • Late in the afternoon, we will observe a very rare geological phenomenon, the machtesh (crater), dug by nature deep into many levels of white limestone and colorful sandstone. Today we will see the Big Machtesh.
  • Overnight in the Negev.

Day 15 – Central Negev

  • We will begin the day with a short and magnificent hike to the canyon and spring of Ein Avdat.
  • Visit Kibbutz Sde Boker to see the home and grave of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.
  • Solve the mystery of the Nabateans – the ancient Bedouins who knew how to cope with desert hardships along the Spice Route. Visit their city of Avdat.
  • Visit an authentic Bedouin camp, and have lunch with a family.
  • See the new Visitors’ Center of Machtesh Ramon, take in its amazing view, and have a short hike in the crater.
  • Drive back and kiss good bye until your next trip to Israel!.