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adventure travel trip to Israel
Dates
  • Mar 4-14, 2015
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 11 days
    Group Size 8-12
    Land Cost $5,595 Details
    Single Supplement $1,750
    Lodging 3 stars-4 stars
    Grade I
    Best Time

    Israel In-Depth

    Journey from Jaffa to Jerusalem and beyond on a rich journey through time

    Day 1      Arrive Tel Aviv

    Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, where our ground representative will meet you, escort you through customs, and bring you to your hotel in Tel Aviv. Depending on your arrival time and jet lag, you may decide to venture out to explore the beach, market, or cafe scene. Tel Aviv is known for its mix of youthful energy and coastal casual vibe. Socializing in restaurants, bars, and on the beach continues until sunrise for those able to keep their eyes open.

    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel

    Tel Aviv is equally distinguished as a commercial center and beach destination. (Photo by Christian Haugen)
    Day 2      Tel Aviv / Jaffa

    After breakfast set out with your guide for a full-day tour of modern Tel Aviv and the neighboring old city of Jaffa. Begin in Jaffa, which legend says was named for Japeth, son of Noah, who established a settlement here after the Great Flood. This is also the place where Jonah started his biblical journey to Nineveh. Much of Old Jaffa has been lovingly restored with renovated houses, artists' studios, and galleries. Continue to Neve Tzedek, the first Tel Aviv neighborhood outside the walls of Jaffa. You'll see the influence of Art Nouveau and Bauhaus architectural styles here and throughout Tel Aviv. Next, visit Independence Hall, where the modern State of Israel was declared in 1948. Also visit the bustling Carmel Market and colorful Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, full of artists and street performers. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel

    The port of Jaffa was established over three thousand years ago.
    Day 3      Caesarea / Haifa

    Drive this morning from Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean coastal road to Caesarea. This site was constructed by Herod the Great as the capital of the Roman province of Judea. Visit the ruins of the Herodian, Byzantine and Crusader periods, including the Roman theater, hippodrome and palace of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Then continue along the coast to Haifa, at the northern end of the country. Enjoy the magnificent view  of the Galilee from Mt. Carmel. Also visit the Bahai Gardens. The intricate, terraced landscaping centers around a shrine to Báb, the prophet whose teachings led to the formation of the Bahai religion. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

    Meals: breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel - Haifa

    Look out over Haifa from the Bahai Gardens.
    Day 4      Galilee / Haifa

    Explore the areas around Haifa today. Begin in Acre (Akko), the port city that has been held by the Canaanites, Phoenicians, Crusaders, and Ottomans in succession. Then head to Sepphoris (Zippori), the first-century capital of the Galilee. The artistic restorations and mosaics recapture early life here. Also visit Beit Shearim, which served as the seat of the Sanhedrin in the 2nd century. The Sanhedrin was the rabbinic council of the Jewish community, and archaeological discoveries here have given great insight into the customs and beliefs of their time. End the day in Megiddo, King Solomon's chariot city, mentioned in the New Testament with reference to the apocalyptic battle of "Armageddon". Return to your hotel in Haifa for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel - Haifa

    Day 5      Galilee / Golan / Tiberias

    After breakfast drive to Tel Hazor, one of the first ancient cities excavated in Israel, revealing 22 levels of civilization dating back from the reign of King Solomon to at least 2000 yrs. BCE. Continue to the Tel Dan nature reserve, located by one of the tributaries of the Jordan River. Visit Banias, a pagan city dedicated to the god Pan, rebuilt by Herod the Great's son, Philip and known in the New Testament as Caesarea Philippi. Ascend to the Golan Heights to visit Gamla, a Jewish city besieged by the Romans. A visit to the Golan Heights offers spectacular views of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Descend to Tiberias, near the Sea of Galilee, for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Kibbutz Kfar Blum

    Day 6      Capernaum / Beit Shean

    After breakfast visit the site that was the center of Jesus' ministry in Galilee, Capernaum. The ancient synagogue still standing was built on the foundations of an earlier one dating back to the 1st century AD. Continue to Beit Shean, known as Scythopolis in Roman times. Visit and enjoy the ancient Roman hot springs at Hamat Gader. Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Kibbutz Kfar Blum

    Day 7      Jericho / Dead Sea

    Depart Galilee through the fertile Jordan Valley and head to Jericho, one of the world's oldest walled cities. Visit Qumran, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were
    discovered. Continue and ascend to the cliff top fortress of Masada, built by Herod as a palace and fortification which later served the Jewish Zealots to resist the Romans. Experience floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight at
    your hotel at the Dead Sea.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Isrotel Ganina Hotel or similar

    Float effortlessly in the highy salinated Dead Sea (photo by Katie Dochen)
    Day 8      Negev Desert / Be'er Sheba / Jerusalem

    After breakfast continue south through the Negev Desert to Mizpe Ramon, on the edge of the Ramon Crater. Descend into the crater to learn of its ancient origins. Visit the Nabatean city of Avdat and continue north to Be'er Sheba, the City of the Patriarchs. Visit Tel Be'er Sheba. Drive north through the desert which gradually becomes the Judean Hills as you approach Jerusalem. Check into your hotel in Jerusalem for your overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel

    Arrive in the diverse, iconic, bustling city of Jerusalem (photo by K. Dochen)
    Day 9      Jerusalem

    Begin the day by entering the Old City of Jerusalem through the Zion Gate. Walk along the Cardo, the main street of Roman Jerusalem. Visit the excavations of the homes of the wealthy priestly families of the Temple and visit the remains of a home that burned as the Temple itself was destroyed. Visit the excavations along the retaining wall of the Temple Mount and learn of the daily activities at the Temple that was the center and holiest place in pre-rabbinic Judaism. Visit the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, containing some of the richest archaeological finds throughout the region. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel

    Explore the charming alleys of the Old City constructed with Jerusalem stone (photo by Katie Dochen)
    Day 10      Jerusalem

    Enter Old Jerusalem today through the Dung Gate to visit the Western (Wailing) Wall. Go beneath the surface to learn more about the fascinating history of this focal point through the Western Wall Tunnels. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, visiting the sites where world-changing events took place and ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site in the Christian world. End the day with a visit to the Temple Mount where King Solomon's Temple once stood and where today the Dome of the Rock dominates the skyline. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Dan Panorama Hotel or similar

    The Western Wall is the holiest site for the Jewish people (photo by C. Mills)
    Day 11      Free Day / Onward

    Enjoy a free day in Jerusalem, to rest and relax or return on your own to some of the sites already visited. This evening gather for a farewell dinner before transferring to Ben Gurion International Airport for your return flight.

    Meals: Dinner



     
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