Known as the Promised Land and the Holy Land, Israel holds great significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and has a vibrant mix of culture as a result. Long known for ancient historical sites such as Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, today Israel boasts a booming economy, a high standard of living, and cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Israel is a destination with seeminly endless ancient wonders and modern marvels.
Grand Tour: 11-Day Sample Itinerary
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Days 1 & 2: Tel Aviv
Located along the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv is a busy commercial center and contains one of the world’s most beautiful urban beaches. Unwind after the long plane ride and visit one of the numerous cafes and upscale shops. Once jetlag has passed, take in Tel Aviv’s vivacious nightlife.
Day 3: Caesarea
Ancient and beautiful, the excavations of Caesarea set against the backdrop of the sea make it a magnificent city. Visit the Roman ruins left by Herod the Great, who envisioned Caesarea to be greater than Alexandria. Most notable are the theater and aqueduct, the Crusader city reachable by a moat bridge, and the seaside resort of Nahariya.
Day 4: Recent History
Visit Independence Hall, site of Ben Gurion’s 1948 proclamation of Israel’s independence. See his personal belongings and extensive library at the Ben Gurion House. Proceed to the Palmach Museum, which presents the history of the underground defense organization before it was incorporated into the Israel Defense Forces. Then visit the secret ammunition factory of Machon Ayalon.
Day 5: Nazareth & Safed
Head to Nazareth, the sacred town in which Jesus grew up, and visit the Church and Mary’s Well. Continue to Zippori, the first capital of Galilee and supposed to be the birthplace of Mary. Here you may view a 5th century AD mosaic synagogue floor decorated with an elaborate zodiac design and inscriptions in Hebrew, Aramic, and Greek.
Continue to the holy Judaic city of Safed, where Sephardic Jews sought refuge during the 16th century after escaping the Spanish Inquisition and began the studies known as Kabbalah. Visit the ancient synagogues and the Artists’ Quarter.
Day 6: Golan Heights & Mt. Ben Tal
Ascend Golan Heights, the strategic plateau that was site of the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. View the region from the spectacular vantage point of Mount Ben Tal. Continue to the Golan Winery for a wine tasting tour.
Day 7: Hamat Gader or Gan HaShlosha
From Nov. to May visit the hot springs of Hamat Gader and soak in its therapeutic water. Visit the ruins of the Roman theater and the Reptile Park.
From June – Oct. visit Gan HaShlosha (Sachne) and swim in its naturally warm waters, surrounded by waterfalls. Continue to the ruins and excavations of Bet She’an, the historical city located along the Jordan River.
Day 8: The Old City of Jerusalem
Journey to Jerusalem, one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. Explore the Old City. Walk through Dung Gate to Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, and continue to the historical Dome of the Rock and the Davidson Center. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to Cardo, the main market street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Visit the Israel Museum and enter the Shrine of the Book to view the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls. Explore the lively Midrechov at night.
Day 9: Yad Vashem, Tower of David, & Via Dolorosa
Journey to the Mount of Remembrance to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to victims of the Holocaust. Located on the grounds of this 45-acre complex are the Holocaust History Museum, Children’s Pavilion, and Avenue of the Righteous.
Return to the Old City and visit the Tower of David, a unique museum within a restored citadel that covers Jerusalem’s 4,000 years of history. Then walk the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. This path holds nine of the fourteen Stations of the Cross, five of which are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Later visit Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus.
Day 10: Judean Desert and Masada
Travel through the Judean Desert and along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada, the last stronghold of the Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. This magnificent stone excavation holds the ruins of Herod the Great’s palace, a synagogue, and a bathhouse (milkveh). Later take a swim in the Dead Sea, whose waters are considered to be beneficial for the skin.
Day 11: Journey Home
Board your place for a safe flight home.
Jewish Heritage Tour: 13-Day Sample Itinerary
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Days 1 & 2: Welcome to Israel!
Travel to Israel, heart of Western civilization. Upon arrival, ascend 3,000 ft. into the Judean Hills to reach the capital, Jerusalem. Wander the Golden City and settle into your home for the next few days.
Day 3: Jerusalem
Begin the day with a visit to Hadassah Hospital and its synagogue to view the 12 Chagall Windows, which depict the blessings Jacob bestowed upon his sons. Continue to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial site. Pay respects to Israel’s military heroes at Mount Herzl, and then drive to the Israel Museum. Here you can visit the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. End the day by gazing at the Old City’s illuminated walls over a delectable dinner.
Day 4: Jerusalem
Drive to Mt. Zion, believed site of King David’s Tomb. Explore the Jewish Quarter, Davidson Center, and excavated Herodian Mansians – intact after 2,000 years! Then visit the holiest site in Judaism: the Western Wall. Conditions permitting, visit the Western Wall Tunnels before exploring ancient bazaars along the Via Dolorosa.
Day 5: Jerusalem
Tour Yemin Moshe, the first Jewish neighborhood outside the Old City that offers stunning panoramic views. Visit the Tower of David, a unique museum within a restored citadel that covers Jerusalem’s 4,000 years of history. The panoramic view from the citadel’s ramparts is simply unrivaled.
Day 6: The Dead Sea & Masada
Travel through the Judean Desert and along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada, the last stronghold of the Zealots in their stuggle against the Romans. This magnificent stone excavation holds the ruins of Herod the Great’s palace, a synagogue, and a bathhouse (milkveh). Later take a swim in the Dead Sea, and return to your hotel feeling 20 years younger!
Day 7: Galilee
Head to Latrun, the strategic military junction overlooking Jerusalem, and visit the Tank Division Memorial and French Trappist Monastery. Continue to the vast Jewish necropolis of Beit Shearim, a site protected by the U.N., and its moshav (cooperative agricultural settlement). Then visit Israel’s first moshav settlement, Nahalal.
Day 8: Tiberias
Tiberias is one of Judaism’s four holy cities. See Roman and Byzantine history at the city of Bet Shean. Then ascend Golan Heights for a stunning view of the mellifluous Sea of Galilee and its bucolic surroundings. Then visit Kfar Haruv, a kibbutz (collective agricultural community) that was settled by both Israelis and Americans. End the day in Katzrin, with its beautiful vistas, and the renowned Golan winery.
Day 9: Safed & Haifa
Visit the 4th century ruins of the Capernaum synagogue. Continue to Safed, one of the four holy cities of Judaism, and explore its ancient synagogues, artists quarters, and walled port of Acre, where lies an underground Crusader City and exciting bazaars. Then ascend the gorgeous slopes of Mt. Carmel to reach Haifa, and see the exquisite Bahai Gardens and Templar Colony.
Day 10: Caesarea
Visit Atlit Camp, where the British detained Jews escaping Nazi Europe. Continue to Caesarea, whose excavations are set against the backdrop of the sea make it a magnificent city. Visit the Roman ruins left by Herod the Great, the theater and aqueduct, and the Crusader city reachable by a moat bridge.
Day 11: Tel Aviv
Located along the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv is a busy commercial center and contains one of the world’s most beautiful urban beaches. Visit Bet Bet Hatfutzot, the extraordinary Jewish Diaspora Museum that tells the history of 20 centuries of Jewish communities. See Rabin Square on the way to Machon Avalon for a look at the Haganah, the forebears of the Israel Defense Forces. Continue onto the magnificently restored port city of Jaffa.
Days 12 & 13: Tel Aviv
Spend the day exploring Tel Aviv’s cafes, shops, and sites. This evening board your plane for a safe flight home.
These are just a few of our many itineraries. We can customize a trip to meet all your travel needs. Our expert representative will be happy to work with you to create the trip you dreams.