Run your hands over history in this tour of the Holy Lands.

This tour is much more than just a pilgrimage. Entrenched in the ancient but emphatically modern in outlook, nominally Jewish but with oodles of Muslim and Christian influence, the complexities of Israel and the Palestinian Territories will have your head in spin. Run your hands over the Wailing Wall, where written prayers are slid into the cracks between stones and spend the night in the city where Jesus was said to have been born. Stroll around Manger square in Bethlehem and taste the best falafel in the world. Journey into the Negev Desert and spend the night on the rim of the Ramon Crater and take a dip with a difference in the Dead Sea. Israel and the Palestinian Territories have more than a little bit of something for everyone.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tel Aviv, Israel
Finish
Tel Aviv, Israel
Destinations
Style
Comfort
Code
ENKI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Stargaze in the Negev Desert, spotting constellations unimpeded by light pollution.

  • Walk the “way of sorrows”, the biblical path Jesus took to the crucifixion, and see the empty tomb he is said to have risen from.

  • Enjoy a drink at a socially responsible boutique winery that employs adults with disabilities.

  • Enter the cool and sparse cave-built church where Christian tradition says Jesus was born.

  • Wash off the dust of the desert with a float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.

  • Devour classic Israeli staples like hummus and falafel in the bustling metropolis that is Tel Aviv.

Is this trip right for you?

  • As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar in this region. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, we start some days very early (e.g. at 5am). Though we try to make things as comfortable for you as possible, please be prepared for these conditions.

  • It’s not all hot desert days in Israel, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas is also common. Be sure to pack clothes that will prepare you for varying temperatures especially during these months.

  • Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

  • 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 provided a tip is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.

  • Israel & the Palestinian territories is by no means a cheap destination and you should budget accordingly.

Itinerary

Your journey through the Holy Lands begins in Tel Aviv, a modern city that truly does not stop. With its lively cafe culture, relaxed Mediterranean beach scene, and renowned nightlife, Tel Aviv is a great place to start your exploration of the Holy Lands. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it’ll take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe fly in a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please let the hotel reception know. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have them handy. After the group meeting, get acquainted with the streets (and street foods) of Tel Aviv on an orientation walk, and sample some mouth-watering falafel and hummus.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, make like a wise man for Nazareth, stopping at a few significant ports along the way. First up is Jaffa, now a vision of modernity but reputed to be one of the oldest ports in the world. According to the Bible, it’s also where Jonah set off in defiance of God’s wishes before being tossed into the sea and swallowed by a whale. Continue to the crumbling remains of a fortress at port Acre and explore the vast complex of buildings once occupied by the Knights of St John. A large hall, a dungeon, a dining room and the crypt of an ancient Gothic church are among the excavated rooms on display. Enjoy a a glass of wine (or two) at the Tulip, a socially responsible winery that employs adults with emotional and developmental difficulties before arriving in Nazareth in the afternoon. An orientation walk will help you get your bearings so that you can make the most of your free evening in this holy city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Akko - Templar's Tunnel visit
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Tulip Winery Visit
  • Jaffa - Town Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Grab breakfast then make a stop at the Church of the Annunciation, the site where Mary supposedly received the news of her Immaculate conception. From here, the group will travel to the city of Tiberias, established in AD 20, on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee. Continue to Bethlehem, the biblical birthplace of Jesus, and visit Manger Square, which is the the religious heart of the city. You'll find the Church of Nativity nearby, as well as what could possibly the world's best falafel. Your first glimpse of Jerusalem will be from the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have prayed and accepted his betrayal while his disciples slept. See the Church of All Nations, which holds a section of bedrock where Jesus supposedly prayed, before checking into the hotel and enjoying a free evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Tiberias - Sea of Galilee visit
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Garden of Gethsemane
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Explore the Old City on a guided walking tour, beginning with the Courtyard of the Dome and the Wailing Wall. Run your hands over the remains of the Temple Mount, where written prayers are slid into the cracks between stones. Embark along the 'Way of Sorrows', which follows the biblical path of Jesus to the crucifixion, beginning at the narrow stone arch of St Stephen's Gate. Walk by the medieval church of St Anne and arrive at the Pool of Bethesda, located in the Muslim Quarter, before continuing to the stone-cut Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried. Sip some tea and nibble some fresh local bread, then head to Jaffa Gate for some lunch. The afternoon is free for your own exploration. Perhaps make your way through the stairwells and archways of Yemin Moshe, or maybe sit back with a cold beer at one of the many laneway bars near Machane Yedhua Market.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll visit Masada, a spectacular cliff-top fortress built by King Herod around 35 BC that is now reached by cable car. The fortress is seen as a symbol of the bravery and self-sacrifice of the Jewish people. Travel on to Ein Gedi, where the afternoon is free to wash off during a swim like no other. The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, sits at 420 metres below sea level and is so salty that you'll float on the surface. Perhaps rub the nutrient-rich mud on your body and later in the afternoon, as the sun cools, the group will slip into the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and explore the botanical gardens. Take a short walk on one of the gentle hiking trails before a relaxing evening at the hotel with an included dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masada - Masada visit
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Perhaps tackle another short trail in the nature reserve this morning, an area bursting with waterfalls, springs and streams. Leave the gardens behind and travel to the Negev Desert, which covers over half of the country's total land area and is home to the nomadic Bedouin people.

Visit the small community of Mitzpe Ramon, perched on the edge of the Ramon Crater, and take a 4WD for an adventure into the crater and its surrounds. Spend the night in a desert camp on the rim of the crater in comfortable, simple eco-tents with shared facilities. Spend the evening gazing up at the stars which shine bright, unimpeded by light pollution.
Accommodation
  • Desert Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ramon Crater Jeep Safari
  • Ein Gedi - Botanical Gardens
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
This evening we spend the night in a Desert Camp on the edge of the Ramon Crater. Accommodation facilities are twin share with shared bathroom facilities. The camp is a unique and comfortable accommodation experience. Breakfast and dinner are included. A single supplement is available.
Take in a spectacular sunrise then visit the Lakiya Negev Weaving Initiative, founded in 1991. The project seeks to empower Bedouin women in the Negev region, both personally and economically, by applying their traditional weaving skills to the manufacture and sale of woven products. Spend some time learning about the women's work, and join them for a cup of tea and local lunch during a presentation on the project. Afterwards, journey to Tel Aviv with a stop at Be'er Sheva, the only city built by the Ottomans during their rule over this land. We'll also stop at Tel Be'er Sheva, a World Heritage site believed to be the remains of the biblical town of Beersheba. Continue to Tel Aviv and, after checking in at the hotel, join your leader and group for some farewell drinks and perhaps check out the thriving nightlife.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Beersheba Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your journey through the Holy Lands comes to an end after breakfast today and there are no activities planned.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Minibus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights) Desert Camp (1 night)

Included activities

  • Akko - Templar's Tunnel visit
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Tulip Winery Visit
  • Jaffa - Town Visit
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Tiberias - Sea of Galilee visit
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Garden of Gethsemane
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Masada - Masada visit
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
  • Ramon Crater Jeep Safari
  • Ein Gedi - Botanical Gardens
  • Beersheba Tour

Dates & availability

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Essential trip information

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