This fascinating tour gives you a complete run-through of the Holyland’s must-see sights including Jerusalem's Old City, Nazareth and Bethlehem.
You will depart on your scheduled flight to Tel Aviv today. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Today you will enjoy an included orientation tour of Tel Aviv and the old port of Jaffa before travelling to the Sea of Galilee, where you will stay for the next two nights. En route you will stop at Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea, for a tour of the excavations of the ancient city, the Roman theatre and the aqueduct. You will also visit Haifa and the Bahai Shrine. Your final stop on today’s tour is Acre, fought over for centuries during the Crusades, and captured by Richard the Lionheart. Here, we include a short sightseeing tour of the fortress and the old harbour area, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening enjoy a welcome drink and dinner at your hotel in Tiberius, where you stay tonight.
Today’s included full-day excursion commences with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the ancient ruined city of Capernaum, where you will find the remains of a 2nd century synagogue. From here, you travel to Tagbha, the site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, where you will visit the Church of Multiplication, which houses a 4th century mosaic floor. You will continue to the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and then you will enjoy a drive north through the Hulah Valley to Banias Springs, the site of the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi. A visit to Tel Dan, source of the Jordan River (season permitting), completes your day, before you return to your hotel at Galilee via the Golan Heights.
After breakfast join our included excursion to Nazareth, where you will visit the Church of the Annunciation, St Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. You’ll also visit Nazareth Village, a replica of a Galilean settlement as it would have been 2,000 years ago. Your journey then continues to Jerusalem with a visit to a kibbutz en route. Here you will learn about this unique way of communal living, found only in Israel. You then move on to Beit Shean, the ancient Decapolis where you can view the Roman and Byzantine ruins of this once great city. Continue through the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem, where you will stay for the next four nights.
Begin your day with an included walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, entering through the Jaffa Gate and the Jewish Quarter and heading along Cardo Maximus, the 2,000-year-old restored Roman Street, to the Western Wall. There will be time for you to view the Temple Mount area, before following the Stations of the Cross along Via Dolorosa to the Holy Sepulchre. Then you will pass through the bazaars to Mount Zion, the Tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper.
You will have the opportunity to spend your last full day discovering more of Jerusalem at your leisure. Alternatively, join our optional visit to the Dead Sea - en route you visit the Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. You will also stop at Ein Gedi before heading to Masada, the site of an ancient fortress on a cliff-top plateau, and the last stronghold of the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. You will ascend to Masada by cable car and visit the food store rooms, water irrigation system and Herod’s Palace, where a band of Jewish rebels held out against a Roman siege for three years. Later, if you wish you can enjoy a swim in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea.
A real highlight of your holiday comes today as you visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, which is built over the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Returning to Jerusalem you will tour the New City and drive via the Knesset (parliament) and the symbol of the Menorah. You’ll also have the opportunity to view the Supreme Court building and admire its interesting architecture, as well as an optional visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Second World War.
After breakfast this morning you will transfer to Tel Aviv airport for your return flight to the UK.
Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in are:
Hotels feature a restaurant, bar and swimming pool (open May to September). All bedrooms have en suite facilities, TV and telephone.