Israel holds a unique place in the Middle East. With sacred sites central to three of humanity’s major religions, you could spend a lifetime exploring its wonders of history and culture. Look over Jerusalem’s Old City from the Mount of Olives, stay in a kibbutz hotel at the Sea of Galilee, walk the ruins at Capernaum, and eat lunch at the home of a Palestinian family. Make your own pilgrimage to this beloved and complex place.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Take a specially designed walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem with two guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian, both trained by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah. This unique dual-narrative tour allows travelers a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural, religious, and political aspects of the region. Visit key sites including the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al Aqsa Mosque. Continue to the Western Wall, then walk through the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This afternoon, visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations, and take in amazing views of the Old City. Later, enjoy a discussion on the current state of affairs with a leading Israeli scholar. (1B)
Pay respect to victims of the Holocaust at the evocative Yad Vashem Memorial, and then step further back in history among the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum. The next day, take another exclusively designed dual-narrative tour of Bethlehem with Israeli and Palestinian guides. Visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot considered by many to be the birthplace of Jesus. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp, and then head to a local Palestinian family’s home for a cooking class and lunch. Later, visit Herodion, a hill fortress built by Herod the Great. (2B, 1L)
Enjoy a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Masada. Next, visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Head to the Dead Sea for a float and mud bath before continuing to the Sea of Galilee to stay in a kibbutz hotel for two nights. The next day, visit the Mount of Beatitudes and the ruins at Capernaum. (2B)
Head west to the Mediterranean, visiting the coastal city of Haifa and then traveling south to Caesarea Maritima to explore the ruins of Herod’s harbor city. Then it’s off to the ancient port city of Jaffa and bustling Tel Aviv for our final evening. Depart at any time the next day. (2B)
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