Jewish Focused Tour – 7 Days:
Day 1: Arrival:
Welcome home J
After landing and meeting your tour guide, we will be transferred to your hotel for check in and freshening up (depending on your arrival time).
We start by visiting Independence Hall, where the state of Israel was declared by David Ben Gurion on Rothschild Boulevard where Tel Aviv began as well as witness the borderline of Neve Tzedek, first neighborhood to spring out of Jaffa. After lunch we head to Jaffa for a short walking tour. Walk through the artist quarter and see Ran Morin's hanging orange as well as the scenic view from the hilltop and the port that Jonah tried to escape his fate from.
Overnight: Tel Aviv (1 night)
Day 2: Heading north:
We will leave Tel Aviv and drive north to Caesarea, the port city that was built by King Herod the great. After exploring the theater, palace, hippodrome and port we will continue north to Haifa. Haifa is an incredible city built on the mountain side and houses the Baha'i world center as well as many other communities. We will visit the Baha'i gardens and enjoy a beautiful observation with panoramic views. From Haifa we will travel to Acre for a late lunch at Uri Buri fish restaurant on the port. Following lunch we will explore the Crusader Fortress and escape tunnel. In addition, we will visit the famous Rosh Hanikra Grottoes. As evening approaches we will be transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Tiberias (3 nights)
Day 3: The Jewish Bookcase & Mysticism:
Start our day with a visit to Tzippori, an incredible town that dates to Jesus's time and holds some of the best mosaics in the country from his time as well as the time the Mishnah (Jewish oral Torah) was finalized here and put into writing. Continue to Kfar Kedem and witness the Jewish lives as they were during the Talmudic Era, understand the language and discussions of the Talmud better by seeing how they formed. Enjoy the unique Biblical lunch as well as ride a donkey. Continue with a remarkable visit to Safed (Tsfat), Judaic Kabbalah center, for a walking tour through its unique synagogues, alleys and modern Messianic notions. Understand Tikun Olam (fixing the world) and Jewish mysticism as well as meet some of the local artists and wander through the Artist Quarter. End the day with a visit to the Arbel Cliff to start the trail from the cliff overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Walk down the Arbel cliff trail using handrails and ladders to the bottom (optional as well as time permitting).
Day 4: Northern Borders than and today:
Start our day with a visit to the Banias nature reserve (Israeli Niagra falls) to understand the water and border issues and enjoy a short hike to the ancient worship site of the Greek and Roman deity Pan next to the excavated site of Caesarea Philippi. Visit the Helicopter's Monument to better understand the 1st & 2nd Lebanon wars and its cost to the local population. Lunch at Dag Alhadan, as beautiful and picturesque as a lunch location can ever be. Sitting on the shore of the Dan stream, this is one of the better options up north. Continue to the Golan Heights and drive on it to the dormant volcano called Mt. Bental for an observation deck looking into Syria. Here we will look towards where Saul of Tarsus saw Jesus on the road to Damascus and changed his name to Paul as well as his ways. We will also gain a better understanding of the current local situation in this area in regards to ISIS. End this amazing day with a visit to one of the best wineries in Israel – Pelter – for a short tour and tasting.
Day 5: Jordan Valley & Dead Sea:
Check out and drive south bypassing Tiberias and through the Jordan valley. On the way get a better understanding of the West Bank situation as well as the Jordanian border. Enroute stop at the Island of Peace, a demilitarized zone between Israel and Jordan that was designed to allow Israelis and Jordanians to meet and talk. Continue to the Ein Gedi nature reserve for a short walk between waterfalls, Ibeks and Hyraxes at the nature oasis where Saul and David meet. Continue to Masada for a quick lunch and scale the Mt. by cable car to visit this amazing desert fortress built by King Herod and used by the Sikarees during the Great Revolt. This is where the final stand was made at 72 CE and is one of the best stories available here. Continue North to the Dead Sea and visit the Dead Sea factory for a bit of shopping followed by checking into one of the private Dead Sea beaches for a bit of floating and relaxation. Drive up to Jerusalem to check in for the night.
Overnight: Jerusalem (2 nights)
Day 6: 1st and 2nd Temple periods in Jerusalem:
Start by seeing the city from an uncommon angle as we walk on the Wall Ramparts from the Jaffa gate to the Dung gate. Visit the City of David, where it all began and see David's palace and more. Walk underground in Hezekia's Tunnel (dark and wet, great fun for kids) that brought the Gihon spring into the city to emerge at the Pools of Siloam, where later Jesus healed the Blind. Continue underground in the ancient Roman Street and emerge at the Davidson Center to explore the ancient entrance to the Temple and the pilgrim's route. Continue to the West Wall Plaza for a bit of reflection time. After lunch explore the Jewish Quarter and see Hezekia's wall, the Roman Cardo and more. Continue to Mt. Zion and visit the Room of the Last Supper as well as King David's Tomb.
Head back to the hotel for a bit of rest.
Optional (If on a Friday): In the evening be driven back to the West Wall plaza to witness Jewish preparation for Shabbat performed by thousands. Continue for a traditional Shabbat dinner at a local home or at the hotel.
Day 7: Modern Jerusalem:
Start the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, holocaust museum and memorial as well as the children's memorial and valley of the communities. Continue to Mt. Hertzl and visit some of the nation's most famous burial sites such as Theodor Hertzl, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Shimon Peres and others. Enjoy lunch at the Machne Yehuda Market to witness the splendid array of colors and scents as well as Jewish lives today. End the day with visit to the Israel Museum and visit the amazing 2nd Temple period model and the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea scrolls are kept.
Transfer to the Ben Gurion airport for your flight and farewells J