A Journey To Jerusalem6 days & 5 nights, Escorted Discovery Group
Escorted Discovery Group
Tel Aviv & Jerusalem
This comprehensive Holy Land tour contrasts the modern city life of Tel Aviv with one of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem. Marvel at the biblical and historical sites that lie around the Sea of Galilee, and end your journey with 3 nights in the fascinating holy city of Jerusalem.
Day 1Arrive Tel Aviv
You will be met at the airport and transferred by coach to your hotel in The Sea of Galilee, a distance of 89 miles and a journey time of 1 hour and 55 minutes.The Scots Hotel - 2 Nights (D)
Today will be spent exploring the sites around the Sea of Galilee, many of which are mentioned in the bible.The Scots Hotel (B, D)
At Capernaum, the home of Jesus' disciple Peter, and center of Jesus' preaching, visit the remains of the 2nd century synagogue and the Church of Peter; an impressively designed building that sits on columns over the remains of several much older buildings.
Nearby Tabgha was the site of the feeding of the five thousand. It is marked by the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, in which there is a byzantine mosaic depicting the miracle. The Mount of Beatitudes sits overlooking the lake, it is the spot where Jesus delivered his sermon on the mount. On a clear day, the church here offers fine views over the Sea of Galilee.
At Ginosar, the local museum contains the remnants of a 2,000-year-old wooden fishing boat. One of the best ways of experiencing the region from a different perspective is on the water and there will be a short boat trip on Sea of Galilee.
Continue to the Golan Heights to the visit the Oz 77 memorial. At the height of the Yom Kipuur war of 1973, Syrian armored forces launched an attack from a valley north of Kuneitra to force their way through the Israel Defence Forces, in an attempt to penetrate the central Golan Heights and then advance into Israel. Over four days of fighting, the Israeli forces were victorious, but due to the high causalities the area became known as the Valley of Tears. At the memorial, you will be told of the suffering on both sides of the conflict and view the battlefield. A tree was planted for each of the soldiers in the 77th regiment, who fell in the battle.
Day 3To Jerusalem
Drive from The Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem via Nazareth, Haifa and Caesarea, a distance of 152 miles and a journey time of 8 hours, including stops.The David Citadel Hotel - 3 Nights (B)
The first leg of your journey is to Nazareth, a distance of approximately 20 miles and a journey time of about 1 hour.
Nazareth is the town where Mary learnt from the Angel Gabriel that she was to have a child and was also the boyhood home of Jesus. The Church of the Annunciation was built in the 1960s on the site of numerous other churches to celebrate Mary's news. You will have the opportunity to visit the Church of Joseph, the Church and Mary's Well and the Church of the Annunciation and time permitting will be able to walk through the town.
Drive from Nazareth to Haifa, a distance of about 27 miles and a journey time of about 45 minutes.
Haifa is located in the Carmel Mountain range. You will have the opportunity to view the golden domed Bahai Shrine and Persian Gardens (entry to the Shrine is not included) and will also drive to a scenic viewpoint on Mount Carmel.
Continue to the ruins of the coastal city of Caesarea, a distance of about 27 miles and a journey time of approximately 35 minutes.
Caesarea was originally called Straton's Tower after its founder who is believed to have been a ruler of Sidon in the 4th century BC. Once the site of a Phoenician port, over the course of 12 years Herod built Caesarea into a large, grand city which was renamed to honor of Augustus Caesar. Herod built a large harbor, several temples and an ornate palace. The ruins today include an impressive theater, the oldest in Israel, and the remains of an aqueduct system that supplied the city with water. There is also a large hippodrome and several buildings, including the defensive walls, that can be attributed to the city's time under the Crusaders.
The last leg of your journey takes you to Jerusalem. A distance of about 78 miles and a journey time of about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Today is spent exploring the ancient city of Jerusalem whose history dates back more than 3,000 years. The tour will be by coach and on foot. The numerous highlights and attractions include a visit to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view over the city, a stop at Mount Zion to visit King David's tomb, the room of the Last Supper and the dormition abbey, a walk in the footsteps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa. (The Way of Agony), a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western (Wailing) Wall for a view of the temple area with the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the Garden of Gethsemane and the restored Cardo or 'Main Street'. You will also visit the City of David to see the latest excavations.The David Citadel Hotel (B)
Proceed on an afternoon tour of Bethlehem. You will be driven to the crossing point where you will be met by your Palestinian guide, who will then board the bus and escort you throughout your visit. On exiting the city, this process is reversed.
Bethlehem is best known as the site of the nativity and your visit here will include the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square.
If you are in a private car, your Palestinian guide will transfer you to a Palestinian vehicle at the crossing point. On exiting the city, this process is reversed.
Please ensure you have your passport with you as it is required to visit Bethlehem
Full day at leisure.The David Citadel Hotel (B)
Optional excursion: Full-day excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea (payable locally).
If you wish to swim in the Dead Sea, please bring swimwear with you when you leave the hotel this morning.
Leave Jerusalem and drive east towards the Dead Sea, passing close to the caves at Qumran where The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Continue to Masada, a distance of 62 miles and a journey time of around 1.5 hours.
Masada was one of King Herod's desert palaces or fortresses. The ruins are perched on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea and are reached by a short cable car ride. The fortress became the final stronghold of the last Jewish Zealots who held out against the Roman army for three long years. When the city walls were finally breached they committed suicide rather than face slavery. The Northern Palace 'hangs' at three levels from the cliff face and offers breathtaking views over the Dead Sea and surrounding desert. There are also the remains of a bathing complex and water cisterns.
Descending the mountain, continue south to the lowest point on earth - the Dead Sea. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes.
At almost 1,312 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is famed for its high salt content, allowing swimmers to float in its waters. At the complex of hotels at Ein Bokek there is the opportunity to swim or float in the Dead Sea.
At Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, which is situated on the shores of the Dead Sea, enjoy the natural beauty of this desert oasis, before returning to Jerusalem in the late afternoon.
Day 6Depart Tel Aviv
Drive from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv Airport, with stops in Jaffa and Tel Aviv.(B)
The first leg of your journey is to drive from Jerusalem to Jaffa, a distance of 40 miles and a journey time of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Enjoy a tour of Jaffa. Take a walk along the cobbled streets and visit St Peter's Church, a Franciscan church built over a medieval citadel and where Napoleon stayed in 1799 during his campaigns in Egypt and Syria.
From Jaffa, drive to Tel Aviv, a distance of 4 miles a journey time of 15 minutes.
Proceed on an orientation tour of Tel Aviv. This morning, view the Rothschild Boulevard, the heart of Tel Aviv and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This busy historical street has a collection of Bauhaus-era buildings designed by German-Jewish architects in the 1930s.
Drive through the historic Neve Tzedek quarter. Twenty-two years before the founding of Tel Aviv, Jews left Jaffa and built nearby Neve Tzedek. Today this picturesque area is bursting with boutiques, galleries, stylish cafes and restaurants, as well as beautifully restored houses that preserve the romance of the early days of Jewish urban settlement
Continue to Ben Gurion International Airport, a distance of 15 miles and a journey time of 30 minutes.