Day 1: Sunday – Israel here we come!
Depart on your flight to Israel and begin an unforgettable journey.
Day 2: Monday – Welcome to Israel
Welcome to Israel! Arrive at Ben Gurion where you will be met and assisted for your transfer to the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel’s most cosmopolitan city.
Take some time to refresh after the flight or walk along the promenade, enjoying the Mediterranean Sea breeze and feeling the city’s vibe.
Evening: Meet your guide and enjoy the welcome delicious dinner at the Carlton Hotel. (D)
Overnight: Carlton Hotel, Tel- Aviv
Day 3: Tuesday – Tel Aviv Area
After enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel, drive to Machon Ayalon, a secretive bullet factory established by the Haganah underground movement in 1945. As the largest bullet factory during that time, it produced 2.23 million bullets between 1946- 1948, while keeping the secret from the ruling British military.
Continue to Neot Kedumim, an eco-tourism site and a “living museum” that recreates the physical setting of the Bible, in all its depth and detail. Here you will have the opportunity to plant a tree in the soil of Israel.
Drive back to Jaffa to explore the reconstructed Artists’ Quarter with its galleries and boutiques. We’ll head to Tel-Aviv’s popular Nachalat Benyamin, an open pedestrian Arts and Craft Fair where you will find a variety of hand made products as well as performance artists making this a lively event and definitely in Tel Aviv. Free evening tonight. (B)
Overnight: Tel Aviv Hotel
Day 4: Wednesday – Caesarea to Galilee
Drive to Caesarea, the “Dream by the Sea” constructed by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 BC and named after Caesar Augustus. Enjoy a tour of the rich remains spanning from the time of the Romans to the Islamic period: the 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre, the Crusader harbour, and Herod’s palace– all will be brought to life in a brand new multi-media show dedicated to the events and personalities who shaped this seaside wonder.
Then, head to Haifa; see the meticulous Baha’i Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, often described as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Then proceed to a nearby Druze Village where we will learn about the Druze people and their way of life.
Continue to Mitzpeh Hoshaya’s Kfar Kedem, where the day-to-day life of this ancient land is recreated. Hear the words of the prophets as you thresh grain, spin wool, press oil from fresh olives and wine from fresh grapes, and take to the trail on donkeys. Leave with a Homing pigeon and send a special message back to Kfar Kedem as you release the pigeon on his path back home.
Get an adrenalin rush in the afternoon kayaking* in the Jordan River, and dare the 300-feet long zip-line journey, ending with a splash in the Jordan waters (*not in December). (B.D)
Dinner & Overnight: Pastoral Kfar Blum
Day 5: Thursday – Galilee – Golan
Today our journey through the Golan starts with a blast. We’ll start out shooting range to test your shooting skills –this is great fun for all and a highlight of the trip.
Following this, we’ve arranged for a rare treat – subject to the political situation, we’ll visit an Army Base, speak with the soldiers who defend the northern borders and observe the life of an active combat unit.
Head down from the heights of the Golan, taking in spectacular views of the area as we make our way to Tel Dan, a town that has seen many different occupants in the course of 6000 years. Its setting in the lush valley supplied by the Dan River makes it one of the loveliest sites to visit in the North.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a traditional Israeli dinner followed by an exciting jeep tour beginning in the twilight hour traveling into the darkness. Traveling in open jeeps, we’ll hear the sounds of the night and observe the active wildlife. Returning from this exhilarating ride, we’ll head for a cosy get together around a bonfire “Kumzits” to roast some marshmallows while we star gazing into the glorious Israeli skies. (B.D)
Overnight: Kibbutz Kfar Blum
Day 6: Friday – En route to Jerusalem
Following breakfast and hotel checkout, Proceed to Safed, the ancient city that was home to the mystics of the Kabala. Wandering the twisting alleyways, you’ll encounter tiny, historic synagogues and have an opportunity to visit the galleries of Safed’s celebrated artists’ colony.
Drive through the Jordan Valley, homeland of the Prophet Elisha, to Beit Shean. Visit the largest excavated Roman city in the Middle East that was home to approximately 40,000 people. See the Roman temple, artisan workshop, public baths and a magnificent amphitheater that is still used for performances.
En route to Jerusalem driving through the Judean Desert Road. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, stop for a ceremony of Shehecheyanu, a blessing that celebrates special occasions in thanks for new and unique events, while taking in the sweeping views of the Old City.(B.D)
Check-in at Orient Hotel in Jerusalem.
Traditional Friday night dinner at hotel
Day 7: Saturday: Jerusalem at leisure
Spend the day at leisure in honour of Shabbat. Consider resting or catching up with friends and relatives, attending a Shabbat service, taking a dip in the pool, or enjoying Jerusalem at your own pace. (B)
Overnight: Orient Hotel
Day 8: Sunday – Jerusalem Old City
After another sumptuous breakfast at the hotel, drive to the City of David, an exciting area of discovery in the heart of ancient Jerusalem- home to many of the most impressive finds of recent years. A true highlight of the tour is a visit to the underground water system including brand new discoveries from the Canaanite Period. You might explore the cool wet Hezekiah’s Tunnel, or choose the recently opened (and dry…) tunnel which brought water to the city in the time of Herod.
Continue to the Southern Wall Archaeological Park (Davidson Centre) and experience a fascinating presentation describing the Temple Mount and life as it was two millennia ago. Arrive at the Kotel – the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, and finish the day’s adventure walking back in time through the Western Wall (Rabbinical) Tunnels, a fantastic route running under the Old City.
Return to the hotel and Meet with the Rabbi for a final rehearsal before the big day…
Special Dinner: drive to Genesis Land (Eretz Beresheet), located in the heart of Judean Desert.
Have a chance to experience life as it was in biblical times. You will be greeted by Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, and by a train of camels which lead you down to Abraham’s tent, where you will have the “Hafla”, local dinner. (B.D)
Overnight: Orient Hotel in Jerusalem
Day 9: Monday – Masada, the Dead Sea – Ceremony Day
The big day is here and we’ve made sure that it’s everything you hoped for and more.
Following breakfast at the hotel, descend through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Planet earth, continuing straight to Masada. Ascend the mountain by Cable Car to this last stronghold of the Zealots who chose death rather than surrendering to the Roman Legion in the Jewish Revolt against Rome some 2000 years ago. Masada is not declared a UNESCO “World Heritage Site”. Join the Rabbi for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service at a select location overlooking the Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab. After, tour Herod’s Palace, the synagogue, the bath house, the water system and the fascinating storage rooms. Descend Masada and drive to one of the hotels at the Dead Sea for lunch and swim; float effortlessly in the therapeutic mineral-rich waters before proceeding to Ein Gedi for a hike through this beautiful oasis to the spectacular waterfalls—a perfect family day to remember.
Return to Jerusalem and get ready this evening for the “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light Show at the Citadel Museum. (B.L)
Overnight: Orient Hotel Jerusalem
Day 10: Tuesday –Jerusalem New City
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then,, take a short drive to Ammunition Hill and learn of the site’s epic battle between Israeli paratroopers and Jordanian legionnaires during the Six Day War – a battle resulting in the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.
Continue to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum & Memorial- strategically situated on the green slopes of Har HaZikaron (“Mount of Remembrance”). The museum tells the story of the Holocaust from a unique perspective by emphasizing the experiences of Jewish victims and survivors using original artefacts, testimonies, and personal possessions. Tour this sprawling complex and visit the Grove of the Righteous among the Nations, the Children’s Memorial and take part in a special “Yizkor” (memorial service) in Bikat Ha Kehilot (The Valley of Communities). A special program will be provided for children (accompanied by one parent).
Proceed to Mt. Herzl, the site of Israel’s national cemetery which is named after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, whose tomb lies at the top of the hill. See the burial place of Israel’s former prime ministers and presidents, prominent Jewish and Zionist leaders, as well as those of young men and women who paid the ultimate price to make the dream of modern Israel a reality.
Enjoy the Machane Yehuda Market and immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Jerusalem’s Shuk (market). Wander around the many local vendors selling delicious cheeses, pastries, spices, nuts and much more. Taste halva, ice cream and fruit drinks.
Tonight we’ve planned a Festive Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration in honour of the children’s hard work and the dedication they have shown. Enjoy a specially arranged dinner planned around the freshest of local bounty and live entertainment (subject to group size). It will be a night to remember. (B.D)
Overnight: Orient Hotel Jerusalem.
Day 11: Wednesday – Archaeological Dig
Following breakfast and hotel checkout, head to Tel Maresha in the area of Beit Guvrin, ancestral home of King Herod, and participate in an archaeological dig. This hands-on experience includes digging, sifting, pottery examination and a tour in Beit Guvrin National Park with an exciting crawl through unexcavated cave systems.
Continue to Yad LaShiryon at Latrun, Israel’s official memorial site for fallen soldiers from the armoured corps with an open-air museum, featuring more than 200 tanks and military vehicles dating back to WWI. Explore the museum and learn of its location, which was a major battle ground during the War of Independence.
Back to hotel to refresh before farewell dinner
For those who have midnight flight, a departure transfer will be arranged
For others, drive back to hotel Orient in Jerusalem for the last overnight . (B.D)
Day 12: Thursday – En Route
Unfortunately, our journey has come to an end……
Check-out from hotel and transfer to the airport for your international departure flight.
Day 13: Friday – Arrival home
(B) Buffet Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner