Thursday: En route
Depart the U.S.A. on your flight to Israel.
Friday: Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! Arrive Ben Gurion Airport; meeting, assistance and transfer to your hotel in trendy Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean beach. Balance of the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, Get Together Dinner. (D)
Saturday: Tel Aviv
Morning walking tour includes Ben Gurion House, former home of Israel’s first Prime Minister; see his personal belongings and expansive library. Remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy all of the delights of this seaside city. Or take the optional full day tour of Masada and the Dead Sea
($136 per person based on locally scheduled services). (B)
Sunday: Tel Aviv/Haifa
Depart Tel Aviv. Drive to the extraordinary Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center chronicling the life of the late Prime Minister and the development of the State of Israel. Continue to ancient Caesarea; explore the Roman and Crusader ruins including the impressive 2,000-year-old theater (still in use!) and aqueduct. Then, visit Caesarea Harbor: a fascinating, multi-media presentation brings ancient history to life! Arrive in Nazareth, the sacred town where Jesus spent part of his youth; visit the Church and view Mary’s Well. On to the sparkling port city of Haifa; check into your hotel atop Mt. Carmel. Evening: Enjoy Dinner and a special cultural presentation (subject to min. 10 participants). (B.D)
View the golden-domed Baha’i Shrine and their breathtaking “hanging gardens,” – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Drive along the coast to Rosh Hanikra; descend by cable car to see the magnificent underwater grottoes. Continue through the picturesque seaside town of Nahariya to the timeless Crusader city of Acre; walk through the subterranean city and bazaars that recall the colorful Middle Ages. Then, to Safed, one of Judaism’s holiest cities, where the Kabbalah was developed in the 16th.-century; visit the ancient synagogues and the charming Artists’ Quarter.
Return to your hotel for Dinner. The balance of the evening is at leisure to enjoy a stroll under the Carmel skies and the glow of this beautiful port city. (B.D)
We’ll depart Haifa driving first to Capernaum to see the fantastic ruins of the ancient synagogue dating back to the 5th-century. Ascend the strategic Golan Heights and learn about the 20th century battles that protected Israel’s future. On to Katzrin, capital of the Golan and to the Monument of the 7th Brigade. It is here, in the magnificent strip of the Golan that has become known for producing the finest wines in the world, that we will enjoy a tour of the wine making process as well as sample some of the Golan’s tastiest wines. Continue for a visit to a former Syrian army bunker at Kibbutz Kfar Charuv, settled by Americans and Israelis together; view of the fertile valleys below as you tour the kibbutz and enjoy lunch in the communal dining room. Visit the remains of an 8th century Roman city at Bet Shean (not visited in winter due to early closure). Then drive south and rise through the mountains to “golden” Jerusalem, stopping first for a blessing and a toast to our arrival in the eternal city. Overnight in Israel’s capital. (B.L)
Drive to Hadassah Medical Center to the see the sublime Chagall Windows. On to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust, with its Children’s Pavilion and Avenue of the Righteous. Then, to Mount Herzl to pay respects to Israel’s founders and heroes. Pass the post-modern Supreme Court and the Knesset (Parliament) en route to the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Time to walk through the New Israel Museum and the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden; see the Scale Model of ancient Jerusalem. Evening: Night Tour of illuminated Jerusalem followed by a Restaurant Dinner and the “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light Show at the Citadel Museum (weather and schedule permitting). (B.D)
Evening: Join the Isram Israel Tour Manager for the ‘Night Spectacular’ Sound and Light Show at the Citadel Museum (weather and schedule permitting): The walls of the Citadel serve as a stage for a nighttime show which is a celebration of sight and sound. Amidst the archaeological remains in the Citadel’s courtyard and to the sound of original music, the story of Jerusalem unfolds through giant, breathtaking, virtual reality images using spectacular laser technology.
Show runtime: 45 minutes. The Night Spectacular will not take place in the event of rain.
Drive to Mt. Zion to visit the traditional Tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper. Enter the Old City to the restored Jewish Quarter; walk along the Cardo, the colonnaded main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Walk to the Western Wall, last remnant of the Second Temple. View the Dome of the Rock. Proceed through the extraordinary Hasmonean Tunnel (tunnel schedule permitting) or tour the Herodian Mansions, a completely excavated residential quarter from 2000 years ago. Follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; stroll through the exotic bazaars with their wondrous aromas. End today with a visit to the fabulous Friends of Zion Heritage Center celebrating the Christian heroes who have contributed to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. These heroes come alive through, cutting edge, high tech imaging, audio-visual presentations, holograms and much more. Or, an optional visit to Bethlehem may be arranged. A free night tonight. The shops are open late as it’s the start of the Israeli weekend. Enjoy the many eateries along the outdoor Mamilla Mall, Ben Yehuda Street, or the “Tachana”. (B)
Visit to the Old City and Bethlehem requires modest dress. Shorts must be knee length and not shorter (for men and women); no sleeveless shirts or blouses.
Friday: En route
Transfer to the Airport for your international departure flight. Enjoy our Express Check-in Service and complimentary entrance to the exclusive Dan VIP Lounge.