For centuries, the sites of many of the most stirring events in the history of mankind lay dormant beneath shifting sands and crumbling terraces, until brought to light (and to life) by explorers of the last century. The echoes of the past still reverberate for the visitor with a sense of history. Jerusalem, the Holy City and capital of Israel, is a city steeped in history and draped in sanctity. Its sites and museums attract a constant stream of pilgrims of all faiths.
Cosmopolitan Tel Aviv and historical Jaffa overlook the blue Mediterranean Sea. The contemporary city of Beer Sheva stands at the gates of the Negev Desert, as it did in the days of the Patriarch Abraham. Eilat, King Solomon's ancient Red Sea port, is today a resort of sun and fun. Nazareth, the site of the Annunciation and the childhood home of Jesus, is set in the historic Galilee.
In addition to its religious, archeological and historical sites, Israel has much to offer the tourist - vast stretches of clean, sunny beaches, modern cities and hotels, kibbutzim (collective villages), theaters and nightclubs, health resorts and colorful markets - all within a relatively small area. Only a few hours traveling time separates the sun-warmed seashores and the snow-capped mountains, the lush forests and the scenic desert landscapes. Israel indeed offers a rich and varied bouquet of attractions.
Day 1: Thursday - Upon arrival to airport meet our representative and transfer to hotel in Tel Aviv for an overnight.
Day 2: Friday – Haifa – Tzippori – Tiberias. Leave Tel-Aviv and travel north along the Mediterranean coast to Haifa, drive up to the peak of Mt’ Carmel to enjoy the panorama of Haifa, including the Bahai Shrine & Persian Garden. Continue via Acre to Rosh Hanikra; descend by cable car to visit the grottos and the Lebanese border, and then motor down to Tzippori, the ancient capital of the Galilee with the recent excavations and impressive mosaics. Continue to Kibbutz Hotel or Tiberias for overnight.
Day 3: Saturday - Nazareth - Upper Galilee and Golan Heights. Travel to Nazareth and visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Continue through the Upper Galilee and ascend the Golan Heights. Visit the former Syrian fortifications, the Druze villages. Via Banias, source of the Jordan River, drive to the Kibbutz hotel for overnight.
Day 4: Sunday – Tiberias - Megiddo - Tel Aviv. Drive along the shores of the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue, then Mt’ of Beatitudes and drive through the city of Tiberias. Continue to the valley of Armageddon; visit the multi-layered mound of Megiddo with the impressive remains from the age of the Biblical kings. Proceed to Tel Aviv-Jaffa for a short city tour and overnight.
Day 5: Monday - Tel Aviv - Beersheva - Arad - Massada - Jerusalem. Leave Tel Aviv - via Ashdod - Ashkelon - Beersheba. A short visit to the Negev capital. Continue to Massada. Ascend by cable car to the 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, etc. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea. Descend for a possible “float” in the in the salty water of the world’s lowest place. Via Ein Gedi proceed to Jerusalem for overnight.
Day 6: Tuesday - Jerusalem - sightseeing of the new city. Drive to Mt’ Scopus for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. On to the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of the Agony. Continue to 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 visit the Hadassah medical center’s synagogue, with Marc Chagall stained glass windows. Via Ein Karem (the birth place of John the Baptist). Return to Hotel.
Day 7: Wednesday - Jerusalem - (Old City) – Bethlehem. Walk through one of the Gates to the walled Old City: the renewed Jewish Quarter; the Western Wall, the Temple area; the colorful bazaars; Via Dolorosa and the stations of the cross ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Drive to Mt’ Zion and visit the tomb of King David, the Room of the Last Supper and Dormition Abbey. Afternoon, continue to Bethlehem* to visit Rachel’s Tomb and the Church of the Nativity and return to Jerusalem for overnight.
Day 8: Thursday - Breakfast. Transfer to the airport, or extension tour to Jordan.
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