Sunday: En Route
Depart the U.S.A. on your flight to Israel.
Monday: Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel! Arrive Ben Gurion Airport; meeting, assistance and transfer to your hotel in trendy Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean beach. Tonight, enjoy a light meal in the executive lounge of your hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Tuesday: Tel Aviv
Meet your private guide this morning and begin your tour today with a visit to the fascinating pre-state underground ammunitions factory at Machon Ayalon. Then we’ll have a wonderful discovery of Tel Aviv known as the “White City”. Tel Aviv has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its splendid Bauhaus Architecture and has the largest number of buildings in this unique style of any city in the world! Then, visit 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. On to the ancient port city of Jaffa. Walk along the charming cobblestone streets, now filled with boutiques and galleries. The great buys are at the bustling Flee Market in Jaffa so we’ll be sure to make a brief stop there, time permitting before continuing to Nachalat Binyamin with its delightful cafes and unique craft stalls. The Carmel Market is adjacent as well as Sheinkin Street, for the trendiest boutiques or just people watching while enjoying some coffee at one of the cafes. Arrive back at your hotel after an exhilarating day. (B)
Wednesday: Rosh Pina (Galilee)
Depart Tel Aviv to the town of Zichron Yacov whose magnificent gardens are dedicated to Baron Rothschild, one of Israel’s great benefactors. We’ll visit the Tishbi Estate for tasting of some of the spectacular wines produced in Israel at the Tishbi winery which overlooks the estate’s vineyards. On to ancient Caesarea; tour the theater, aqueduct and Crusader fortress. Continue to Atlit, the detention camp where illegal Jewish immigrants fleeing from Nazi persecution in Europe were incarcerated during the British Mandate. See the replica of a ship (when available for visits) illustrating the conditions that the thousands of survivors endured during their transport to Israel. Pass through Haifa in time to view the extraordinary Persian Gardens and Bahai Shrine. Onward to your hotel in Rosh Pina, the beautiful new Mitzpe Hayamim for dinner and overnight. (B.D)
Thursday: Rosh Pina (Galilee)
After a delicious breakfast, we’ll head to nearby Safed, one of Judaism’s holiest cities where the Kabbalah was developed in the 16th century; visit the Caro and Ari synagogues and enjoy strolling through the narrow alleyways admiring the galleries in the charming artists’ quarter. Drive to Capernaum and see the ruins of the ancient synagogue dating back to the 5th century. Continue to the Golan Heights and learn about the 20th century battles that protected Israel’s future. We’ll visit a former Syrian bunker and see the monument built in honor of the Alexandroni brigade. Return to your Spa hotel and enjoy Dinner at the special “skewer” restaurant of the hotel. (B.D)
Breakfast and late morning start of your day so that you can enjoy some of the facilities at Mitzpe Hayamim. We’ll then drive south to see the remains of an 8th century Roman city at Bet Shean. Continue and rise through the mountains to “golden” Jerusalem” stopping first at Mt. Scopus for a spectacular view and a Shechianu blessing our arrival to the enternal city, Israel’s capital. At sunset, we’ll visit the Western Wall to join the throngs of Jerusalemites welcoming the Sabbath, one of the most moving experiences before continuing for our Shabbat Dinner hosted by an Israeli family. This will be one of our most memorable evenings. (B.D)
Drive to Masada; ascend by cable car to this palace/fortress built by Herod the Great. Visit the excavations, Herod’s palace and the bathhouse. Descend and continue to a spa hotel for lunch and use of the facilities and a dip in the therapeutic “unsinkable” waters of the Dead Sea. On your return to Jerusalem, pass the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Evening at leisure to enjoy Jerusalem following the Sabbath (note, Sabbath observers can have this day programmed on the last day of the tour, Tuesday, which must be advised to us at time of booking). (B.L)
Start the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust with its Children’s Pavilion and Avenue of the Righteous. Next, you’ll love the Menachem Begin Museum, where, using the life story of the 6th Prime Minister of Israel, the visitor is taken on a journey through history using reconstructions, original items, rate documentary films as well as reenactments, interactive elements, dramatic lighting and an inspiring soundtrack. Time permitting on today’s schedule, we’ll drive to Mt. Zion to visit the traditional Tomb of King David. Then, enter the Old City to the Western Wall, last remnant of the Second Temple. View the Dome of the Rock and proceed to the restored Jewish Quarter; walk along the Cardo, the colonnaded main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Walk through the extraordinary Hasmonean Tunnel (tunnel schedule permitting) the Via Dolorosa and through the exotic bazaars with their wondrous aromas. Evening at leisure in Jerusalem. (B)
Begin with Mount Herzl to pay respects to Israel’s founders and heroes. Drive to Hadassah Medical Center to the see the sublime Chagall Windows. 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 Israel Museum and the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden; see the Scale Model of ancient Jerusalem. Evening: Night Tour and Restaurant Dinner followed by the “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light Show at the Citadel Museum (weather and schedule permitting). (B.D)
Today, enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this fascinating city on your own.
The discoveries are endless. We suggest a visit to famous Mahane Yehuda Market, a short taxi ride from your hotel. Other optional visits can include the City of David where we can arrange for a guided local tour or the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. There are many possibilities. Overnight in Jerusalem. (B)
Wednesday: En Route
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Enjoy our Expedited Check in Service and complimentary entrance to the Dan VIP Lounge at Ben Gurion Airport. Or, continue on an extension to Jordan (see pages 66-68 or to Mitzpe Ramon and Eilat on the Red Sea—please inquire).