Israel Palestine Cultural Tour

Trip Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights

1
Day

Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Bethlehem

Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv. Transfer to Bethlehem by a local representative of the agency. If time permits, you can admire the “Golden City” from a panoramic point of view before heading to the hotel.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

2
Day

Mount Olives – Old Jerusalem – Mount Zion

We will begin our first day with a magnificent view of Jerusalem. From the Mount of Olives we will be amazed by the 4000 years of history taking place before our eyes. We will then descend the famous “Palm Sunday” path, located next to one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world and then visit the Garden of Gethsemane with its olive trees and the Agony Church. We will walk in the old city of Jerusalem, visit the Bethesda Pool and St. Anne’s Church. We will follow the different stages of the Way of the Cross along the famous Via Dolorosa that ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will visit Mount Sion, where the Last Supper Hall and the Tomb of King David. Through the Zion Gate, we will enter the Old City and visit the vibrant Jewish Quarter, with its cobbled streets, renovated synagogues and the Cardo.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

3
Day

Mount Moriah – Ein Karem – Israel Museum – Yad Vashem

We will start the day at Temple Mount. This site is very venerated by Jews, Muslims and Christians. On the site where it’s beleived the Jewish Temple was and where Jesus taught, there are now 2 Muslim holy sites; Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. After the visit, we will visit the Wailing Wall, the most sacred place for the Jews today. We will visit the village of Ein Karem in the suburb of Jerusalem, where John the Baptist was born and enjoy the quiet atmosphere in this village and its beautiful nature. Then visit the Israel Museum, where we will see a model of Jerusalem (1:50) representing the city at the time of Herod the Great until the destruction of the city in 70 A.D. We will see an exhibition on the 2000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls. We will end the day with a visit to Yad Vashem , the national memorial of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust.
The second part of the day we will be visiting the village En Karem; you will visit the Church of Visitation the site of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth. This is the place where Our Lady said Her “Magnificat.” Visit here will also include the birthplace of St. John the Baptist. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

4
Day

Bethlehem – Herodion – Mar Saba Monastery

Today we will visit Bethlehem and visit the Shepherds’ Field and the Basilica of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. We will have a walk also in the old city of Bethlehem. Later, a short drive to the suburb of Bethlehem where we will visit Herod’s the Great Palace, the Herodiom that was built in the 1st century BC and we will enjoy an amazing panorama view over the Judean Desert and the surrounding area from the top of the mountain. Later today, we will drive through the Judean desert towards Mar Saba Monastery, a Byzantine Monastery built in the cleft of the valley where early monks used to like and it’s one of the few monasteries that are still used and inhabited until today (Note that only men are allowed to enter inside but it’s a beautiful area to see from outside and there is a place for women to sit).

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

5
Day

Wadi Qelt – Jericho – Jordan River

This morning, we will drive through the Judean desert to visit Saint George Monastery in Wadi Qelt, one of the most beautiful valleys in the country, enjoy a panoramic view of the Monastery that is built on the cleft of the mountain (Optional walk to visit inside the monastery). Continue to Jericho, the oldest and lowest city in the world. We will see the ancient site of Jericho, the Mount of Temptation and the famous sycamore tree that Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus. A visit to Hisham’s Palace from the 8th century AD that contains the largest mosaic carpet in the world survived from the ancient world. We will stop at the baptismal site “Qasr Al Yahud”.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

6
Day

Masada – Qumran – Dead Sea

The morning we will visit the impressive Masada Fortress, built by Herod the Great. Masada also served as a refuge for Zealots who preferred to die free rather than suffer slavery.

Visit Qumran, we will see the caves and talk about the Essenes, a Jewish sect that, 2000 years ago, preferred to live in the harsh conditions of the Judean Desert and which supposedly wrote and hid the famous Dead Sea Scrolls in these caves.

In the Dead Sea, enjoy the experience of “floating” in the lowest and saltiest water in the world.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

7
Day

Hebron – Battir

Drive towards Hebron, visit the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Old City of Hebron. Visit Pottery and Glass local factory which is a local handicraft in known in Hebron. Afterwards, drive to a small town near Bethlehem called Battir, a UNESCO world heritage site, known for its agricultural terraces and irrigation system. Walk in the village and learn about its history and have a panoramic view over the valley and the old train that comes from Jaffa to Jerusalem.

Overnight in Bethlehem| Breakfast, Dinner

8
Day

Nablus – Sebastia – Mount Gerizim – Nazareth

Drive to Nablus. We will visit the city of Nablus, visit Jacob’s Well Church and the ancient site of Nabuls “Called Shekem” and then visit a traditional soap factory made from pure olive oil and learn how it’s made. We will also walk in the Old City of Nablus and visit a Turkish Bath. Then we will drive to visit Mount Gerizim where the Samaritan Community lives and we will meet the Samaritan priest who will explain about the Samaritans community. We will drive to Sebastia, the ancient site of Samaria-Sebastia is located just above the built up area of the modern day village on the eastern slope of the hill. The ruins dominate the hillside and comprise remains from six successive cultures dating back 10,000 years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine.As Jerusalem is our destiny, today you will enter the Old City and begin with the Church of St Anne one of the rare churches spared from the destruction by Moslems was built over the house of Joachim and Anne. Here we also visit and pray at the pool of Bethesda where Jesus Christ healed a man who was crippled for 38 years. After the tour here we will follow & pray the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, from Pilate’s fortress and Flagellation Chapel to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, site of Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. From here at the open market of Jerusalem, the area made for “bargaining and shopping” – free and on our own for the rest of the day.

Overnight in Nazareth | Breakfast, Dinner

9
Day

Nazareth – Cana – Sea of Galilee

We will visit important sites in Galilee – Nazareth and the Sea of ​​Galilee.

We will begin with the city adopted by Jesus – Capernaum. We will go up to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus held his famous Sermon on the Mount, then we will go to the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha with its beautiful mosaics. We will be able to see a 2,000-year old fishing boat and boat ride on a similar old-style boat at the Sea of ​​Galilee .

Lunch: St. Peter’s fish by the lake. (optional)

In the afternoon, we will go to Nazareth to see the Basilica of the Annunciation and cross Cana , site of the first miracle of Jesus.

Overnight in Nazareth | Breakfast, Dinner

10

Day

Safed – Banias – Tel Dan – Druze Village

Our first visit will take place in the picturesque and mystical city of Safed , with its many synagogues and art galleries. From there, we will drive to the beautiful Tel Dan Nature Reserve , one of Jordan’s springs.

Let’s stop for a short time at another tributary of the Jordan, Baniyas (Caesarea Philippi). Then we will climb to the Golan Heights , passing through the Druze villages and enjoying impressive views of the Hula Valley, Mount Hermon, Lebanon and Syria.

Overnight in Nazareth | Breakfast, Dinner

11

Day

Akko – Haifa – Caesarea Maritima

We will visit some of the most impressive sites of the Mediterranean Sea . Our first visit will be to St. Jean d’Acre to visit the ancient fortified city with its impressive underground tunnels built by the Crusaders. We will walk in the market as well as in the old port, and enjoy the oriental atmosphere of this seaside town. We will then head to Haifa, the third largest city in Israel. From the top of Mount Carmel, we will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Haifa Bay and the magnificent Bahá’í Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will continue to Caesarea Maritima, built by King Herod in a typical Roman style. We will see the ancient theater, the remains of the palace and the port of Herod and enjoy a walk along the beach with the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea in the background.

Overnight in Nazareth | Breakfast, Dinner

12

Day

Ben Gurion Airport

Today we will fly back home, depending on the flight arrangements your arrival back home will be same day! From the hotel transfer to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport!

What is Included

  • 11 Nnights accommodation in 4 * hotels
  • Meals on half board basis (B: Breakfast; D: Dinner)
  • Services of a local tour guide
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • Transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • Entrances fees as specified in the itinerary
  • Porterage of luggage at hotels
  • Whispers throughout the tour

not Included

  • Daily lunch
  • Group Travel Insurance – strongly recommended
  • Tips for guide and drivers and hotel staff
  • Any personal expenses, additional transfers, visa costs for non-US passport holders

Local Information

  • Currency: Shekel
  • Local time: GMT +2 hours
  • Airports: Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion Airport (TLV)
  • Languages: Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages; many people speak English
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate with long, hot and dry summers followed by short, cool to warm, wet winters; snow is possible inland on high ground at the height of winter
  • Voltage: 230V A/C. The standard for H plugs (local incompatible plug with 3 flat Y-shaped pins) and sockets was recently modified to use round pins, so most modern sockets accept both type C (Europlug with 2 round pins) and type H plugs; type M sockets are used for air conditioners; identical plugs and sockets also used in the Palestinian National Authority areas
  • Visa: Some nationalities do not require entry visa such as USA, Ireland & UK citizens; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities
  • Passport: All travelers must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel six months beyond the date of return.

Highlights

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