Immerse yourself in the spectacle of Christmas in the place where it all began
Enjoy a Christmas like no other on this festive adventure in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The Holy Land is a thing of legend no matter where you’re from, how old you are or when you visit, but at Christmas this sacred destination lights up with an atmosphere that could only be described as magical. As well as exploring the Christmas markets, spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the place Jesus entered the world in Bethlehem, with Midnight Mass, a candle procession and Christmas dinner with locals. Travel to Nazareth and hike part of the Nativity Trail, one of the most famous journeys of the Bible; visit the spot where steadfast Jews held out on Massada’s rugged outcrop; swim in the Dead Sea; and, finally, immerse yourself in the everyday buzz of Tel Aviv. Rich in history, packed with celebration and steeped in the lore of many faiths, this Israel and Palestinian Territories adventure offers something special for all kinds of travellers.
Experience the joys of Christmas in Bethlehem – Christmas dinner with the locals, Midnight Mass in Manger Square, and the musical Shepherd’s Nights Festival
Explore the famed religious towns of Jericho, Bethlehem and Nazareth. Hike along the Nativity Trail, retracing part of Mary and Joseph’s legendary trek to Bethlehem and stroll the alleys and lanes of old Jaffa.
Head down to the famous Dead Sea for an effortless float in its salty blue waters
Contrast the reverent atmosphere of Jerusalem with a very different Israeli city – modern, cosmopolitan, hedonistic Tel Aviv
Christmas Eve in Bethlehem is spectacular, but it can get congested, and some of the scheduled events can change with little notice. Midnight Mass is best witnessed on the screens in Manger Square. If you’re looking to watch from the Church of Nativity, you’ll need to book at least three months in advance.
Weather can be cool at this time of the year, so don’t forget to bring a warm jacket, gloves and head covering for the Christmas Eve festivities.
This trip requires a moderate level of fitness, as there’s a significant amount of hiking involved. Some of the sites we visit involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides, where there is often little or no shade. Comfortable walking shoes and a hat will make it easier to explore the sights.
Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services, remember to provide a tip. It’s not compulsory, but it’s customary and always appreciated.
Israel and The Palestinian Territories are by no means a cheap destination, so it’s important to budget accordingly. Your leader can point you in the right direction for good deals.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Christmas in Israel and the Palestinian Territories trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This trip starts in Tel Aviv at 1.00pm please ensure your flights are arranged accordingly or advise your booking agent of your arrival time.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. Please ask your booking agent for more information.
3. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Israel (particularly within the West Bank) before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts
4. This trip requires a minimum of 4 people to depart. Please do not book any non-refundable flights or services before the departure is guaranteed to depart.
5. Attendance at Midnight Mass in the Church of Nativity - Those wishing to attend Midnight Mass in the Church of Nativity will need to apply for the passes to the church on line on the link provided. The process is by way of a ballot system as numbers are limited and we have no control over who will be successful and who will not. If you are not successful you are still able to attend Midnight Mass in Manger Square and there will be monitors displaying the service. The Link to apply for your pass is listed below