DAY 1. ARRIVAL IN ISRAEL
Arrival in Israel and welcome by our local guide. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2. CESAREA – HAIFA – ACRE
Breakfast and visit of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. We then proceed towards Cesarea and its Roman ruins. The next stop is at Haifa and Mt Carmel, where we admire the Bahai temple and gardens from above. Lunch in a typical Druze village after which we proceed towards Acre (Richard The Lionheart had established an important harbour here and made it the Capital of the crusades). We discover the Crusaders Fortress as well as the Crypt of St John. At the end of the tour, we settle at our hotel in Nazareth or Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3. NAZARETH – LAKE TIBERIAS – GALILEE
We depart towards Nazareth to visit the Church of Annunciation after which we proceed towards Lake Tiberias. We visit Mount Beatitudes followed by Capharnaum (including Peter’s home and the old synagogue) and also Tabgha. A brief stop to taste some local wine leads us to lunch at the water’s edge by Lake Tiberias where we will be served the local speciality ‘St Peter’s fish’ after which we take a boat ride over the lake. At the end of the tour we settle at a hotel belonging to a Kibbutz, an institution which is unique to the state of Israel. We are given an introduction about the concept of the Kibbutz, dinner and overnight.
DAY 4. THE DEAD SEA
We start our southward journey with a stop at the Yardenit, an idyllic baptism site on the banks of the river Jordan. We then proceed through the Judean desert towards the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. We arrive at Qumran which overlooks the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. The route continues towards Masada where we will ascend by cable car to the site where the Zealots fought their epic battle against the Romans. We admire the caves, the synagogue as well as the baths in this fascinating site. We end our tour with a dip in the salty waters of the Dead Sea… a unique experience (changing rooms are available on site). At the end of the day we settle at a hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5. BETHLEHEM – JERUSALEM
We begin the tour of Bethlehem with visits at the church of Nativity and the Milk Grotto. We then proceed towards Beit Sahour and more precisely at the Shepherds Field with its charming Franciscan chapel. After lunch in Bethlehem, we depart towards Jerusalem, visiting Mount of Olives for a magnificent view of the Holy City. We will then proceed on foot towards the gardens of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees. We visit Mount Zion, The Church of Dormition and King David’s Tomb before returning to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6. JERUSALEM
This day is dedicated to the ‘Modern’ side of Jerusalem. We pass by the Knesseth and the Menorah monument before arriving at the Yad Vashem Museum, which is dedicated to the victims of the holocaust. Headphones with explanations in your language will allow you to follow the attractions of the site. Stop for lunch and route towards Ein Kerem, a charming artists’ village and stronghold of Christianity. We visit the church of St John Baptist and the little cave where it is said that the apostle John was born. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7. JERUSALEM
Breakfast and route towards the Old City of Jerusalem. We enter through Lions Gate and make our way through the Via Dolorosa arriving at the Holy Sepulchre. We stroll along the picturesque market arriving at the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall. Lunch in the Old City and free time to explore the wonders of this historic city individually. At the end of the tour, we settle at a hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8. DEPARTURE FROM ISRAEL
Breakfast and free time. Transfer towards the airport in time for the return flight back home.