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The Holy City of Jerusalem sets the scene for this biblical encounter revealing centuries of history in the Promised Land. Visit the tomb of King David, the location of the Last Supper and the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Float in the Dead Sea, pray at the Wailing Wall and explore modern Israel in Tel Aviv.
Welcome to Israel. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world and holy to three religions. Relax or take a stroll around the city. In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your fellow travellers and your Travel Director. (WR)
Admire the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the Mount of Olives. Visit the tomb of King David on Mount Zion. See the room where the Last Supper took place near Zion Gate. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Wailing Wall, the holiest place where Jews are allowed to pray, and see the Dome of the Rock, located on Temple Mount, one of Jerusalem’s most recognisable landmarks and completed in 691 CE, built to resemble nearby Byzantine churches and palaces. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa to the 4th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre, renowned as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ. (IB)
Traverse the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Near Qumran, view the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found accidentally by a Bedouin boy in 1947. A short drive brings you to the striking cliff-top fortress of Masada where Herod the Great built palaces and a Roman siege ended in the mass suicide of over 900 people. Ride by cable car to the ancient fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans. Explore the excavations of Herod’s Palace before having the chance to float in the Dead Sea, time permitting. Later, enjoy an evening meal at your hotel. (IB, D)
Spend the day exploring the sights of your choice. There are a wealth of great attractions to visit, including the Tower of David Museum, the Archaeological Gardens and the Davidson Centre. Visit some of the city’s districts – enjoy a coffee at one of the cafés in the German Colony, or spend some time with the city’s artists in the Ein Kerem neighbourhood. With 3,000 years’ of history to explore, the Old City offers further highlights for you to do and see during your free time, including the Christian Quarter Road, rooftop walk along the city’s souk and Hurva Square, the social centre of the Jewish Quarter. (IB)
Tour Yad Vashem, a memorial commemorating the six million martyrs of World War II. Discover the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls. See the Knesset − Israel’s Parliament − and the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University. Travel through the Jordan Valley to reach your Kibbutz hotel, home for the next two nights. Dine tonight at your hotel. (IB, D)
Visit the hilltop ‘chariot city’ of Megiddo, which has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the excavations of Solomon’s Stables. Explore the Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth and visit the old synagogue at Capernaum, said to have been built on the home of St. Peter. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Dine tonight at your hotel. (IB, D)
Visit the ancient synagogue and artists’ colony at Tzfat, one of Judaism’s Four Holy Cities and the birthplace of the Kabbalah movement. Discover the almost-intact 12th century underground Crusaders City of Acre, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire views of the Baha’i Shrine and the beautiful Persian Gardens at Haifa, created as a memorial to the founders of the Baha’i faith. See the Roman statues, the aqueduct and the Roman Theatre at the ancient port city of Caesarea. Later, travel to the vibrant and modern city of Tel Aviv for a two-night stay. (IB)
Take time on your own to discover the myriad delights Tel Aviv has to offer, including the Flea Market, Newe Zedek, the first Jewish neighbourhood, the Diaspora Museum and the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv’s Art Gallery District and the Eretz Israel Museum. Don’t miss the port of Old Jaffa, the point where Jonah is reputed to have boarded a ship before he was swallowed by a big fish. (IB)
After a memorable holiday in this historic region, it is time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as you prepare for your journey home. Transfers are available. Conditions apply. (IB)
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