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Cultural 8 days

Day 01
Arrive Ben Gurion Airport, meet and greet by Holiday Travel representative and transfer to Tel Aviv hotel. Overnight in Tel Aviv.


Day 02: JERUSALEM – Old City
Your excursion will begin with a visit to the Mount of Olives to enjoy the breathtaking view over the town and where everything can be related to the last moments of Jesus’ life.

Proceed to the biblical City of David, one of Jerusalem’s most important historical and archaeological treasures.  This city was appointed the capital of Israel more than 3,000 years ago by King David.  It was Jerusalem’s heart and soul from the days of the First Temple till today.  Visit the many spectacular excavations and underground sites unearthed including the Spring House, the royal water cistern, Area G, as well as the Siloach Pool, Warren’s Shaft and more.

Continue the visit with a walk through the Old City of Jerusalem, as you pass through the Dung gate to the holiest site in Judaism:  the Western Wall.  The Wall is the only remnant of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Walk along the Stations of the Cross along the “Via Dolorosa”, considered the holiest route in the world to Christians, since Jesus was led to his death along its uneven path. The tour will end with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.


Day 03: JERUSALEM – New City
Today we visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s renowned memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Walk through the new Historical Museum, the Children's Memorial, and the Memorial Hall and view the recently constructed Memorial to the Deportees. 

Continue to the Israel Museum, Israel’s largest cultural institution and ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world, covering everything from archeology to contemporary art.  Enjoy a full program of exhibitions and activities in its Shrine of the Book and Model of Jerusalem in Second Temple Times, Judaica, Archaeology and Art Pavilions, the Weisbord Exhibition Pavilion, and Billy Rose Art Garden.

The Shrine of the Book, an architectural masterpiece designed by Frederick Keisler, houses the famed Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Model of Jerusalem in Second Temple Times is a 50:1 scale model that accurately depicts the terrain from the time of the writing of the Dead Sea Scrolls through the time of the Second Temple's destruction.  The Billy Rose Art Garden, designed by the famous Japanese landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, displays the history of the modern sculptural tradition with monumental works by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, David Smith, and others.  Important temporary exhibitions of art and archeology are also always on display.

Visit the neighborhood of Ein Karem, whose name literally means "Vineyard Spring". It is the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist and is the site of a beautiful church bearing his name.  Here you can still see the remains of 2,000-year-old agricultural terraces, which were part of this ancient village.  Today this picturesque village is home to many of Jerusalem's Bohemian society.


Day 04: Archaeology and wine
Depart Jerusalem, heading for the green hills of Judea, toward the Ellah Valley, where David fought Goliath. Ascend to the mound known as Tel Azekah which served as the base-camp for the Philistines during this famous Biblical battle.

Participate in an actual archaeological dig at the Beit Guvrin National Park, which is home to the ancient city of Beit Guvrin.   In this unforgettable experience, amateur archeologists spend a few hours do actual on-site excavation work!  Get your gear and start working accompanied by a local archeologist.

Continue to the Monastery of Silence at Latrun. This is a Trappist Order Monastery that became famous for its high quality wine and olive oil. The monastery has over 100 acres of vineyards on its grounds which are accessible by car on a dirt road as you exit to the left from the driveway.

Today the winery produces about 300,000 bottles annually including many varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Blanc. Now that you have what your appetite, it is time to stroll through the wine shop to pick out your favorite selection.

Continue to Kibbutz Tzora, to tour the Kibbutz with a member and visit its winery. The Tzora winery re-wrote the making-wine book in a land where winemaking is as old as the Bible itself.   Enjoy a guided tour and tasting of their excellent produce in an environment that is as ancient as it is modern. Return to your hotel in Jerusalem.

Day 05: Tel Aviv & the Coastal Plains
Drive to the coastal plain and embark on a short 'get acquainted' tour of Tel Aviv.  The attractions in Tel Aviv include the Carmel Market - a bustling open-air bazaar infused with mysterious and spicy aromas and a cornucopia of colorful wares for sale.  Explore the nearby "Greenwich Village" of Tel Aviv - Shenkin Street.  At the top of the Carmel Market, take a right and stroll along Nachlat Benjamin Pedestrian Mall.  On Tuesdays/Fridays Nachalat Binyamin is transformed into an artisan's paradise with performing street entertainer and an array of quality handmade crafts and jewelry stalls.

Drive along the historic Rothschild Boulevard, and see lovely examples of Bauhaus Architecture from the 1930's, some of which have been beautifully restored. 

Pass by Independence Hall, located in the house of Meir Dizengoff, the first Mayor of Tel Aviv.  Here David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, declared Israel’s independence on May 14th, 1948.

Neve Tzedek – established in 1887, it was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside of Jaffa and one of the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv.  It has recently undergone extensive renovations with much of the early architecture restored to its original glory.  In the center of Neve Tzedek visit the impressive Suzanne Dallal Cultural Center for Performing Arts, built on the site of the first girl's school in Tel Aviv.

In the afternoon travel to the ancient city of Caesarea built by Herod the Great and once the seat of Roman rule. 

It was here that Pontius Pilate, imprisoned Peter and the first heathen, Cornelius, was converted to Christianity.Visit the excavated Roman Theater, echoing theatrical performances of long ago.  Today, this theatre still serves as a spectacular venue for concerts and music festivals.  Explore some of the recent excavations including the newly uncovered hippodrome (a stadium used for chariot races).  A little way on, hugging the seashore, is an aqueduct once used for conveying the city's water.  Some 1000 years ago, the Crusaders rebuilt and fortified part of the city.


Day 06: Masada and the Dead Sea
Drive to the Dead Sea area, the lowest point on earth and a rich source of minerals for export.

Arrive at Masada and ascend the cliff-top fortress by cable car.  As you explore the ancient remains of fortifications, King Heod's palaces, storerooms and baths, you will hear about the spirit of its Jewish defenders of the mountaintop.  These Jewish Zealots held out for three years against the legions of Flavius Silva and chose to die as free men at their own hands rather than submit to Roman slavery.  From the top of Masada, the outlines of the Roman encampments are still visible below.  Descend by cable car. 

Continue to a resort on the shores of the Dead Sea and enjoy the unique experience of floating on the Dead Sea while the buoyant waters support you as you relax on your back.


Day 07: Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee
After breakfast, we drive through the citrus groves and farms of the rich land of Sharon and via Jezreel Valley to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. Here we will visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well.

Continue to the Sea of Galilee to visit Capernaum.  We’ll visit the ancient ruins of the first century synagogue where Jesus preached and visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, the sight of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Return to Tel Aviv hotel and in the evening meet your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner in one of Tel Aviv’s restaurants.


Day 08: Departure
Today transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your departure flight.