Highlights & Petra Tour – 9 Days / 8 Nights – Sunday arrival
Day 1 – Sunday – Tel Aviv
Upon arrival to Tel Aviv Airport you will be met by our representative who will be holding a sign with your name on, immediately after passport control. Our representative will guide you to pick up your luggage, after which you will be escorted via Customs to meet your driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Evening at leisure in Tel Aviv. Overnight in Tel Aviv.
Day 2 – Monday – Tel Aviv / Beer Sheba / Masada & Dead Sea
Meet you tour guide in the morning and set off from Tel Aviv, driving south, passing by the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon to Beersheba, for a short visit of the capital of the Negev Desert. Continue via Arad to Masada, Israel’s foremost archaeological park.
Ascend via cable-car for a thorough visit that gives insight to the rituals, politics and culture of the people who inhabited this desert fortress, which was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans. Visit the excavations, Herod’s palaces, the synagogue, bathhouse and cisterns, and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Roman camps and the Dead Sea. Descend to the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea, to experience the mineral-rich black mud and to float in its salty waters. Passing by the oasis of Ein Gedi, proceed through the Judean Desert to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 3 – Tuesday – Jerusalem
Start the day at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book with the famous Dead Sea scrolls, then a visit to the beautifully renovated model of the Herodian city of Jerusalem, dating back to the time of the Second Temple. Enjoy Ein Karem; a picturesque village in the south western outskirts of Jerusalem. This small village has great significance in Christian traditions, since this is where according to tradition John the Baptist was born.
Visit Yad Vashem the official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953, located at the foot of Mt. Hertzl. Visit Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus at the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square. Return to your Jerusalem hotel.
Day 4 – Wednesday – Jerusalem
Enter the Old City of Jerusalem where you will see the Western Wall and the actual site of the Second Temple, the Temple Mount. Walk the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, to Calvary and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, housing both the traditional site of Crucifixion and the Tomb of the Resurrection. To the southwest, just outside the Old City, is Mount Zion, with the traditional tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of Jerusalem – the holy city for each of the world’s three great religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam, from atop the Mount of Olives. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Jesus. In the heart of a neighborhood in downtown Jerusalem, visit Mahane Yehuda to experience the flavors, aromas, colors and the traders’ interaction with the crowds, at the largest open market in Israel. Return to your Jerusalem hotel.
Day 5 – Thursday – Beit Shean / Nazareth / Safed
Leave Jerusalem and drive north passing by Jericho, the oldest city in the world.
Travel through the Jordan Valley and the new settlements to Beit Shean, and visit the excavations of this beautifully preserved Roman City. On to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation and Christian holy sites. Proceed to Safed, city of the Kabbalah and centre of Jewish mysticism, to visit the beautiful streets of the artists’ colony. Overnight in a kibbutz hotel in the Galilee.
Day 6 – Friday – Golan Heights / Sea of Galilee
Drive up to the Golan Heights passing by Banias, source of the Jordan River, former Syrian fortifications and the Druze villages. Enjoy an Israeli wine country experience, with vineyards surrounded by breathtaking views. Become acquainted with the collection of fine and rare wines enjoying a tour, wine tasting and understanding of the wine production process. Descend to the shore of the Sea of Galilee and proceed to Capernaum, to visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue, the Mount of Beatitudes, traditional site of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and Tabgha, the traditional site of the miracle of the loaves and the fish’. Onwards to Tiberias, the old center of Jewish learning. Optional sailing on a boat across the Sea of Galilee to experience the tranquility and scenery little changed during the past 2000 years (subject to conditions and fee). Return to the kibbutz hotel for overnight.
Day 7 – Saturday – Acre / Haifa / Caesarea / Tel Aviv
After breakfast drive through the hills of the Galilee, westwards to Acre (Akko) for a visit of the old, famous Crusader stronghold and medieval fortifications. Continue to Haifa, ascending Mount Carmel for a panoramic view of the city, including the Baha’i Shrine, Persian Garden, and Haifa bay. Proceed along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea to visit the Roman Theater and the Crusader fortress at what is known as the “masterpiece of Herod the Great”. Continue to Tel Aviv‘s domestic airport for a short flight to Eilat, the Red Sea resort. Transfer to your Eilat hotel. Overnight in Eilat.
Day 8 – Sunday – Eilat / Petra / Eilat
After breakfast leave Eilat, Israel and cross into Jordan at the Arava border.
Drive to Petra through the scenic Jordanian desert, passing by the Wadi Rum area.
Enter the Rose City of Petra through the Siq, a narrow passage through the mountains that has inspired people for centuries. Up to the Treasury which suddenly appears at the end of the gorge, leaving visitors breath taken by its’ size, color and beauty. Continue into the heart of this ancient city carved into the mountains, passing hundreds of tombs and monuments and a spectacular Amphitheatre, which once held 3,000 spectators.
Exit the city and stop for a sit-down lunch in Wadi Musa – the new town of Petra, followed by a visit to Moses Spring before leaving. Drive to Aqaba for a short city tour, before returning to the Arava border and back to Eilat for return flight to Tel Aviv. Transfer from Tel Aviv airport to Tel Aviv hotel for overnight.
Day 9 – Monday – Departure
Departure to Ben Gurion Airport for international flight.