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7 Nights Highlights Israel

Destinations Covered
Tel Aviv – Beersheba – Jerusalem – Nazareth – Safed - Tel Aviv

Day 1 Sunday: Arrival in Tel Aviv

On arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, you will be met by our representative and assisted to the designated coach/car booked for you.

Transfer and check-in at selected hotel in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv, often called “the city that never stops”, was the first modern Jewish city built in Israel, and is the country’s economic and cultural centre. It is a lively, active city, with entertainment, culture and a rich night-life.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2 Monday: Tel Aviv – Beersheba (112km/1hr 20min)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart at 8:00 hrs for Masada, en-route visiting Ashdod, Ashkelon, and journey through Beersheba: the capital of the Negev region.

Ashdod is Israel's largest port, accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods, and is also an important regional industrial centre. Modern Ashdod covers the territory of two ancient twin towns, one inland and one on the coast, which were for most of their history two separate entities, although connected by close ties.

Ashkelon is the Southernmost city on the Mediterranean shoreline, and was named after an ancient city whose remains can be found on Tel Ashkelon in the Ashkelon National Park. The city is mentioned in the Bible several times; the main stories connected to it are about Samson, and the fact that Goliath the Philistine was “a man of Ashkelon”. The city has been inhabited throughout the ages, has been settled, abandoned, hasbloomed, prospered and then fallen. Its location on the coast has often made it an important port city.

Resume journey to Beersheba, the largest city in the Negev Desert of Southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the eighth most populous city in Israel.

The architectural and historical jewels, culinary highlights, highly welcoming people and the provincial atmosphere of Beersheva allow visitors to explore the "normal" and "unpretentious" Israel – beyond Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. In addition, Beersheva offers a vibrant student community–based around the University–which has developed a great and unexpected nightlife. Beer Sheva and its surroundings give a feel of Israel's strength. On the way down from the North, endless fields with agriculture have replaced desolate desert, as Isaiah prophesied: "Thirsty deserts will be glad; barren lands will celebrate and blossom with flowers". Also, as in Tel-Aviv, a modern skyscraper city has been created out of virtually nothing. Yet an exciting feel of desert has remained, as Beersheva looks with one side directly into the Negev Desert.

Beersheba – Masada (90km/1hr 20min)

Continue via Arad to Masada, a rugged natural fortress of majestic beauty, set in the Judaean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction, and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army in 73 AD. It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, the King of Judaea (reigned 37 – 4 BC). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege-works surviving to the present day. The site was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

Ascend by cable-car to the fortress, which was the last stronghold of the Jewish zealots in their war against the Romans. Visit the excavations, King Herod’s Palace, the synagogue, the bathhouse and much more. Enjoy the breath-taking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea.

Masada Dead Sea

Nearly 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Bring your swimsuit, because if weather permits it’s possible to float on the salty, mineral rich water.

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth on any land mass (417 metres below sea level, to be exact). The quantity of water that evaporates from it is greater than that which flows into it, so that it has the highest concentration of salt of any natural body of water in the world (340 grams per litre of water).

It is called the Dead Sea because its salinity prevents the existence of any life forms within it. That same salt, on the other hand, provides tremendous relief to the many ailing visitors who come here on a regular basis to benefit from its healing properties.

Afterwards, continue journey to Jerusalem.

On arrival, check-in at hotel around 17:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3 Tuesday: In Jerusalem (Sightseeing New City)

Post breakfast, set off at 8:00 hrs for a full-day, guided sightseeing tour of the New City. The New City, extending West and Southwest of the Old City, has developed tremendously since the 19th Century. It is the site of several educational institutions, as well as the Knesset (Israeli parliament), and other government buildings, including the striking Supreme Court building, which opened in 1992. Yad Vashem, a memorial to the Holocaust, is also in this section of the city.

Visit The Garden of Gethsemane and The Church of the Agony. Continue to the Israel’s Museum - Shrine of the Book, home of several exceptional archaeological findings such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient manuscripts. Visit the beautifully renovated model of the Herodian City of Jerusalem, dating back to the time of the Second Temple.

Continue to Yad Vashem (the memorial to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust), and afterwards proceed to visit the picturesque village of Ein Karem (traditionally considered the birthplace of John the Baptist).

Return to the hotel at 17:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4 Wednesday: In Jerusalem (Sightseeing in Old City & Bethlehem)

Post breakfast, start the day at 8:00 hrs for a full-day guided sightseeing tour of the Old City. The Eastern part of Jerusalem is the Old City, a quadrangular area built on two hills and surrounded by walls, which was completed in 1542 by the Ottoman sultan, Sulayman I. Within the walls are four quarters. The Muslim quarter, in the East, contains a sacred enclosure: the Haram Esh-Sherif (known as the Temple Mount to Jews). Within this, built on the old Mt. Moriah, are the Dome of the Rock, or Mosque of Omar (completed in 691 AD), and the Mosque of Al-Aksa. The wall of the Haram incorporates the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, a remnant of the retaining wall of the Second Temple and a holy place for Jews. Nearby and Southwest of the Haram is the Jewish Quarter, with several famous old synagogues. Partially destroyed in previous Arab-Israeli fighting, the Old City was captured in 1967 by the Israelis, who began to rebuild and renovate the Jewish Quarter. To the West of the Jewish Quarter is the Armenian quarter, site of the Gulbenkian Library. The Christian Quarter occupies the Northern and Northwestern parts of the Old City.

Its greatest monument is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Via Dolorosa runs through the area, along which Jesus is said to have carried his cross.

Start the tour by entering through one of the gates to the walled Old City, and from there visit the renewed Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, the temple area and the colourful bazaars. Walk along the Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross, finishing at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Continue to Mt. Zion and visit the Tomb of King David, the Room of the Last Supper and Dormition Abbey.

In the afternoon, continue to Bethlehem and visit the Church of the Nativity.

*This site is under the jurisdiction of Palestinian authority; this visit is subject to their discretion.
Return to the hotel at 17:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5 Thursday: Jerusalem to Beit Shean (130km/2hrs)

Post breakfast check-out at 8:00 hrs and depart to North, passing by Jericho, believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

Travel through the Jordan Valley to Beit Shean. Visit the excavations of this beautifully preserved Roman city, which was destroyed in an earthquake. Beit Shean is a historical gem that unfolds the fascinating story of a rich period full of changes.

Beit Shean – Nazareth (39km/45min)

After Beit Shean, continue to Nazareth,or Natsrat as its name is pronounced in Hebrew. This is the cradle of Christianity, the city where – according to tradition – the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and also the place where Jesus spent his childhood and youth. Nazareth, in lower Galilee, is located in the heart of a valley, surrounded by mountains that embrace several of the most important Christian sites in the world.

Visit Church of the Annunciation, this rebuilt church retains parts of the previous churches, from the Crusader and Byzantine periods. The church also houses an impressive collection of paintings.

Nazareth – Safed (60km/1hr)

Continue to Safed, city of the Kabala, for a walk through the mystic alleys, and a visit to a synagogue and the artists’ colony.

Afterwards continue journey to Kibbutz hotel.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel around 17:00 hrs.

Information on Kibbutz

Kibbutz means group in Hebrew. It is a modest name for something unique: a voluntary democratic community where people live and work together on a non-competitive basis. Its aim is to generate an economically and socially independent society, founded on the principles of social justice, equality, and communal ownership of property.

Kibbutz hotels are hotels or guest houses that are located inside a kibbutz, and owned by the kibbutz. You’ll be able to walk around to see and experience the Kibbutz lifestyle. Kibbutz hotels are a unique Israeli form of hospitality, as are kibbutzim (kibbutz’s plural) themselves. The kibbutz is a type of collective communal settlement, which was a popular way of forming communities in the run-up to the formation of the State of Israel. Originally based around agriculture, today many of the 270 kibbutzim have diversified into different areas, one of which is hotels. Mostly rural and tranquil, the accommodation is basic, much like the communities themselves. Many of these hotels offer good quality accommodation.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Afterwards return to hotel around 17:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 6 Friday: Kibbutz Hotel – Golan Heights + Around Golan Heights (90km/8hrs, Including Sightseeing)

Post breakfast, set off at 8:00 hrs for an excursion to Golan Heights, passing by Druze villages.

The Druze are a minority group who live peacefully in Israel, and are renowned for their hospitality. Their villages in the Golan regions offer insight into their interesting religion as well as their great food. Visitors can walk through the narrow streets of the villages, and wander through the picturesque alleyways on their own.

The Druze community in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious entity. Their culture is Arab and their language Arabic, but they opted out of mainstream Arab nationalism in 1948. Members of the community have attained high-level positions in the political, public and military spheres.

Visit a former Syrian fortification on the heights. Afterwards pass by Banias, the source of the Jordan River, to visit The Mount of Beatitudes, then continue towards the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter's House at Capernaum.

Proceed to Tabgha, where the miracle of the fish and bread took place, and afterwards enjoy a short tour to the old centre of Jewish learning in TiberiasTiberias (Tverya) is located on the shores of Lake Kineret. Tiberias is Israel's lowest city, at 200 metres below sea level, and attracts thousands of tourists and travellers.

Return to Kibbutz hotel at 18:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7 Saturday: Kibbutz hotel – Acre – Haifa – Caesarea – Tel Aviv (230km/8hrs, Including Sightseeing)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart at 8:00 hrs for Acre, or Akko, a historic walled port-city which has seen continuous settlement since the Phoenician period. The present city is characteristic of a fortified town in the Ottoman style. It dates from the 18th and 19th Centuries, and features typical urban components such as citadels, mosques, khans and baths. The remains of the Crusader Town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact, both above and below today's street level and provide an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of this medieval crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Continue to Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. It has one of country’s largest ports, a particularly active beach, and is the home of the World Center of the Baha’i Faith. Surrounded by abundant nature sites, the city contains an interesting mix of modern neighbourhoods and older districts: churches and mosques, mountains and sea.

Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the city, including the Baha'i Shrine, Persian Garden, Mount Carmel and Haifa Bay.

Proceed South to Caesarea, a city of the past and future, where the new stands opposite the ancient. While new Caesarea is graced with magnificent modern homes, ancient Caesarea offers the ruins of unique, impressive buildings. Horse races are re-enacted in the huge hippodrome in the national park. Modern Caesarea’s neighbourhoods are quiet, serene and filled with contemporary architecture. By contrast, ancient Caesarea bustles with tourists coming to see wonders from the past that were built by one of the ancient world’s greatest builders: King Herod.

Enjoy the visit to the ancient port, including the Roman Theatre and the Hippodrome.

Afterwards, resume journey to Tel Aviv, en-route visiting Jaffa.

Jaffa (also known as Yafo) is an ancient port city, out of which Tel Aviv has now grown. As one of the world’s oldest ports, Jaffa is thought to have been the port from which Jonah left, in the story of the Whale. The port continued to be important, serving as the main entry point to the land of Israel until the late 19th Century.

Proceed with a short guided walking tour in picturesque alleys of the old, fortified town.

On arrival in Tel Aviv, check-in at the hotel around 17:00 hrs.

Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8 Monday: Departure from Tel Aviv

After breakfast, check-out and transfer to Airport for departure.

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