Wine tasting at an Israeli winery by Jerusalem; a helicopter ride over the city of Jerusalem, meeting with Ethiopian immigrants apprenticed at the YVEL exclusive jewelry workshop; an encounter with government or IDF ranking official for a discussion on current events.
Main Tour Features
Day 1 – Arrival
Reception and orientation in Jerusalem.
Day 2 – Ancient Jerusalem
The visit to historic Jerusalem begins at the Mount of Olives, with a panoramic view of the city. Descend down the hill to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed, and from there enter the walls surrounding the Old City through the gate of St Stephen. Follow the Way of the Cross, arriving at the Western Wall esplanade for an exciting tour of the ancient tunnels that run parallel to the Temple Mount. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 3 – Jerusalem Today
Sample some of the unique and exciting aspects of the city and its surroundings: a morning tasting tour in the Machney Yehuda Food and Spice market, and a visit to the YVEL exclusive jewelry workshop where young Ethiopian immigrants are learning the trade and in turn introducing their traditional craftsmanship. Board a helicopter for a flight over the city, landing at a nearby winery to taste some of the excellent wines in an industry revived in the Holy Land after 1500 years. Meet with a senior government official or a ranking IDF officer for a briefing on the current geopolitics of the Middle East and how these impact Israel. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 4 – Travel south to the Dead Sea
Drive to the lowest place on earth, through the Judean Desert and along the shores of the Dead Sea. Hike at the Ein Gedi oasis and take a refreshing plunge into the freshwater springs. Check in to a luxurious Dead Sea hotel and enjoy a free afternoon of swimming in the Dead Sea or experiencing famous mineral water and body treatments at the Spa. Overnight at a hotel by the Dead Sea.
Day 5 – At leisure at the Dead Sea
Take a jeep tour through the steep ravines and rock river beds of the Judean Desert. Ascend Masada, where King Herod built his winter retreat and where the Jewish zealots held out against the Roman legions to the bitter end. Thisternoon there is more free time to enjoy spa treatments and a swim in the Dead Sea waters. Overnight at a hotel by the Dead Sea.
Day 6 – Driving through the Jordan Valley to Jericho
Visit Qasr El Yahud, the biblical baptismal site on the Jordan River, and traditionally in the area where the children of Israel crossed into the Promised Land. Following the Jordan River north, arrive at the historic Kibbutz Gesher, where fierce battles raged during the 1948 War of Independence Arriving at the Sea of Galilee, take a boat ride in a traditional wooden boat, enjoying the magnificent views as the sun sets over the Galilee. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day 7 – The cradle of Christianity on the Sea of Galilee
View the famous 2000-year-old “Jesus Boat” which was retrieved from the bed of the lake. Explore the meaningful and historic sites of Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, and Mary’s home village of Magdala. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day 8 – Northern Reaches: a tour of the Golan Heights
Gain a comprehensive view of Israel’s border with Syria at the Mount Bental outpost, driving on the Golan Heights through the Druze villages, ancient synagogues, and Mamluke fortresses in the area. Visit Tel Dan, where 5000 years ago an imposing city stood, and Banias, the Biblical Caesarea Philippi. Driving west, visit Kibbutz Misgav Am, perched on the border with Lebanon, and meet with locals. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day 9 – From Nazareth to Caesarea
Begin the visit to Nazareth at the Village, where Biblical lifestyles and culture from the times of Jesus have been painstakingly recreated. Walkthrough the winding streets of Nazareth and gaze down at the Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice. Ascend Mt. Carmel to the site commemorating the ministry of the Prophet Elijah with a view of Armageddon. Drive down the Mediterranean Coast to the impressive archeological site of Caesarea, where King Herod built an entire Roman city, with a hippodrome, palaces, and an amphitheater still in use today. Continue to Tel Aviv, overnight Tel Aviv.
Day 10 – Jaffa and Tel Aviv
Jaffa is one of the most ancient ports in the world, where, according to tradition, Jonah set sail on his fateful journey to Nineveh. Walk through the stone alleyways, lined with synagogues, mosques and churches, galleries, and cafes. Just next door but a world away is Tel Aviv, Israel’s bustling center: modern skyscrapers, cutting-edge innovation, gourmet restaurants, gracious boulevards, and the Bauhaus architecture which has earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage site award. Enjoy a final dinner in this exciting city on the Mediterranean coast before departing to the airport for your flight back home.
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