Discover gallery treasures and artists’ studios down cobblestoned streets, religious excavations and modern architecture
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Arrive Ben Gurion airport Israel. Group meeting and assistance by Kenes.
Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight.
Visit local art galleries in Tel Aviv and Jaffa – including Rubin Museum in Tel Aviv. Visit the urban renewal old neighborhood of Neve Tzedek one of the first neighborhoods established.. Drive down Rothschild Boulevard known as the “White Tel Aviv” to see the distinctive Bauhaus architecture. Tel Aviv Museum – one of Israel’s leading museums of modern contemporary art, and home to one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art. Continue to Jaffa to visit the Ilana Goor Gallery and meet with Ilana Goor (if available). Wander on your own the cobbled streets visiting some of the other galleries. Overnight Tel Aviv.
drive via the coastal road to the ancient Crusader town of Caesarea – explore the ruins of this ancient city, built by King Herod and see the amphitheater still used for cultural events. Continue to the artists’ village of Ein Hod where several Israeli and international artists have homes, studios and galleries. Drive through the port town of Haifa.. Enjoy the panoramic view from the Carmel of the bay and the beautifully landscaped gardens of the Baha’I Temple. Continue to Acre (Akko) located north of Haifa Bay. Inside the walled city are fortresses, citadels, churches and mosques all depicting the history of the many rulers including Canaanites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders and Mamelukes. Visit the old city of Acre (designated UNESCO World Heritage Site). Proceed north to the sea-side resort town of Tiberias, built by the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight.
Ascend the Upper Galilee to visit the mystical town of Safed one of the 4 holy cities in Israel, the other 3 cities being Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias; with magnificent views of the Golan and the Sea of Galilee. The old part of town consists of narrow cobblestone streets with many artists’ galleries, medieval synagogues and private homes. Proceed to Rosh Pina to visit a gallery not related to art but to wooden ethnic instruments – “Woodsong” – see the Celtic harps, xylophones, didgeridoos and many more instruments that have been hand made by the local artist Peter Isacowitz. Ascend the Golan Heights and enjoy a 2 hour jeep tour of the area. Descend the Golan Heights and return to Tiberias for overnight.
drive to Old Gesher which offers history and a glimpse into the pre-state era of the Israeli State and the transformation of the Jewish settlements in this part of the country. For years this site was of strategic importance on the Syrian-African Rift and in April of 1948 was the first settlement to withstand an attack by the Arab Legion. There are 3 bridges and a Khan (Old Inn) that are visible but not accessible – the oldest of the bridges is a 2000 year old Roman bridge and another one was used for a train that once ran from Haifa to Damascus. Next visit is to the ancient synagogue at Beit Alpha, with its beautiful mosaic floor discovered during the 1920’s, when Kibbutz Beit Alpha’s members dug irrigation canals for their fields. Later excavations revealed remains of houses dating back to a Jewish village of the Byzantine period (5th century). Continue along the Jordan Valley and pass by Jericho en route Jerusalem where we ascend Mount Scopus for a panoramic view of this golden city. Dinner and overnight Jerusalem.
Visit the old city of Jerusalem – walking along the ramparts view the different quarters of the old city: Muslim, Armenian, Christian and Jewish. Visit the Western Wall, last remnant of the 2nd Temple and view the Temple Mount above. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnels –labyrinth directly underneath the Temple Mount. Enter the Christian Quarter and practice your bargaining skills with the local vendors in the bustling Arab Market. Continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem where one can see the greatest Crusader art in the East – a “must see” for visitors to Israel interested in art and history. Continue to the City of David the small hilltop where more than 3,000 years ago King David left Hebron to come to. On the eastern side, it borders the Kidron Valley where the Gihon Spring, source of the city’s water, is located. The massive destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians can be seen in the layers of the charred remains and thick layer of rubble from the collapsed buildings.
Drive past the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) to view the Menorah – symbol of Israel. Visit the Israel Museum, the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel, ranked amongst the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Opened in 1965, the Israel Museum has the most extensive collection of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, are housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum, as is also the model of the 2nd Temple. Next meet with a of a well-known Israeli artist, Continue to the Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem, including the New Museum and Children’s Memorial. Take part in a tree planting ceremony at the Kennedy Memorial Overnight Jerusalem.
Drive through the Judean Desert, home of the Bedouin and continue along the Dead Sea, lowest place on earth. Arrive at Masada: ascend by cable car and explore the ruins of this ancient mountaintop fortress, built by King Herod. Descend and proceed to a Dead Sea hotel for lunch and afternoon use of the hotel’s private beach to experience floating in the therapeutic Dead Sea water (you cannot sink). Dinner and overnight Jerusalem.
Afternoon fight to Eilat; overnight
Cross Arava border to Jordan, Meet Jordanian guide and driver who will await you at the Aqaba border transfer to the rose toned ancient Nabatean city of Petra. A short horse ride through the narrow “siq” (gorge) leads to an amazing site – the Treasury that was carved out of the rose red rocks. Continue walking tour of Petra and see ancient burial vaults and tombs all carved out of the rocks. Mid afternoon return to the Aqaba border, cross back to Eilat to meet the Israeli guide and driver and return to hotel for overnight.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Tel Aviv airport return flight home.
*Itinerary is subject to change pending circumstances beyond our control*