The Road to Jerusalem

On this quintessential journey of Israel, experience some of the most incredible pilgrimage and religious sites, spectacular landscapes and astounding historical wonders across the northern and central realms of Israel on the road to Jerusalem. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the best hotels in on this journey

Visit some of the most spectacular ancient UNESCO sites in Israel

Savour unique local cuisines in Israel

Experience an insiders experience of touring Israel

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / JAFFA

On arrival at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, be met as we then begin an orientation of the lively and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv, nicknamed the "White City on the sea". Highlights of Tel Aviv include the stunning UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bauhaus buildings which gave the city its nickname. Worth a visit as well is the Carmel Market, the largest and most vibrant market in Tel Aviv where traders sell everything from clothing to spices, and fruit to electronics.

 

Later, we then continue to Old Jaffa. Learn about the port city’s 8,000-year old roots, as you explore an artists quarter and old ruins set among winding alleyways and historic homes. In the charming, tree lined district of Neve Tzedek, learn the history of the first Jewish neighborhood built outside Jaffa’s walls, then soak up the lively atmosphere at Nachlat Binyamin, a street market with local musicians, locally made crafts, and jewelry.

Overnight: The Jaffa Hotel

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: JAFFA / CAESAREA / BEIT SHEARIM / HAIFA / ACRE

Today, we leave Jaffa to begin our journey north along the Mediterranean coast where we make a stop in the ancient Herodian port city of Caesarea, recently restored to create one of Israel’s most attractive and fascinating archaeological sites. The restored Caesarea amphitheater hosts modern-day concerts during the summer months, whilst the Old City has a range of boutiques and restaurants. Also worth a look is the Caesarea Aqueduct, first built by Herod in 37BC before subsequently repaired and built over to continue supplying water to the city for more than 1,200 years. Thereafter, we continue our drive to the UNESCO-listed ruins of Beit Shearim, visiting its impressive burial tombs and catacombs dating between the 9th Century BC to 3rd Century BC during the Persian and Hellenistic periods. But it was during the Roman era that the city was most prosperous as a Jewish settlement and the site is one of the best known Jewish burial grounds when Jews can no longer be buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


A short drive away takes us next to Haifa, Israel's third largest city where we will visit the impressive Bah'ai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Forming part of the Bah’ai World Center, these beautiful gardens are a place of pilgrimage for members of the Bah’ai faith and are set across terraces sloping down Mount Carmel towards the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. At the bottom of the gardens is Haifa’s German Colony, with its pretty streets of restored templar-era buildings. The main street of the German Colony runs direct from the bottom of the gardens towards the coast and is lined with restaurants and cafes. Not far away, visit the 19th Century Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, situated on the slope of Mount Carmel built as a sacred
pilgrimage site for Carmelite Christians dedicated to Elijah. Finally, we will continue north to Acre where we arrive and check in at the splendid Efendi Hotel where we spend the next 2 nights.

Overnight: Efendi Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: ACRE

Overnight: Efendi Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

We spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Acre, also known as "Akko" with an incredible collection of historical and archaeological sites. First established during the Hellenistic Period in the 3rd Century BC, Acre was ruled by the Greeks, Romans and later the Muslims but the most significant era was its occupation between the 12th - 13th centuries by the Crusaders, who conquered Acre in 1104, becoming a major port city and the only capital city of the Crusaders through the 13th century. On a walking tour, we visit the Knights' Hall and tunnel, the Turkish Bazaar, the Turkish Bath House, the market and old city streets, sea and land walls and the Knights Templar amazing tunnel. For lunch, enjoy a treat from celebrated Chef Uri Jeremias at Uri Buri Restaurant. Known as the bearded chef, enjoy some of the most outstanding Israeli/Mediterranean cuisine of fresh seafood that guarantees to thrill.


After lunch, a scenic drive along the coast takes us close to the border with Lebanon where we visit the stunning Rosh Hanikra Grottoes. One of Israel's most amazing natural phenomenon, the dramatic white cliffs towers over 210 feet over the Mediterranean Coast sculpted over millenniums by the action of the waves to form a warren of sea caves and limestone grottoes ripe for exploring. We have the option to ascend to the top of the cliffs by cable car to enjoy the panoramic views and follow the trails leading through the labyrinth of caves, among them the remains of a manmade railway tunnel dug out in 1943 by the British to connect the Cairo-Haifa rail line to Beirut.

DAY 4: ACRE / NAZARETH / MOUNT TABOR / JERUSALEM

We leave Acre this morning for a short drive to the ancient city of Nazareth, Israel's largest Arab city and the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Enjoy a visit of the old city renowned for its traditional market that evokes an atmospheric Arab scene. We will also visit the Church of the Annunciation - believed to be the home of the Virgin Mary where it's said that Archangel Gabriel told the young Mary that she would become the mother of the son of God. The massive two-storey basilica, in strikingly modern architectural style and colorfully decorated, became the largest Christian church in the Middle East when it was completed in 1969. It contains two churches, the upper one being the parish church for Nazareth’s Catholic community.


Thereafter, a short drive away arrives us at Mount Tabor, situated in the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley surrounded by verdant vineyards where we visit the Church of the Transfiguration - identified as the site of Jesus' transfiguration. From here, we will make our journey south to Jerusalem, the spiritual hub of Christianity, Islam and Jews. Check in at the Mamilla Hotel Jesusalem where you will spend the next few nights.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: JERUSALEM

Today, we begin our exploration of Jerusalem visiting the Old City, walking across the Muslim Quarter to see the spectacular Temple Mount (Closed on Fridays and Saturdays – access to the Dome of the Rock is restricted to Muslims only). 

Keep on until the Dung Gate and walk to the Western Wall or more famously known as the Wailing Wall. Go on a 2-hour guided tour of Underground Jerusalem. The Western Wall Tunnels are a labyrinth of underground tunnels directly below the Western Wall. 

Cross over the Armenian & Jewish Quarters to Mt. Zion to visit the Last Supper Room and Dormition Abbey. After lunch, visit to Machane Yehuda Shuk, the marketplace in Jerusalem and experience the tastes and smells of this market see foods and fruits of all colors, size and shapes, interact with the locals and enjoy culinary tastings. End the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: JERUSALEM

This morning, we visit the Ramparts. Most visitors tour the inside of the old city, but very few know that they can climb on top of the ramparts (walls) for a spectacular view of the city beyond the walls and a unique look inside the Muslim Quarter. From the Citadel, it is possible to view what was once Herod's palace, built by the Crusaders during the Middle Ages as a lookout to guard the road to Jaffa. Walking along the wall, one can see the Armenian seminary and 1948 border, where Arabs shot at the Jews who were living in Yemin Moshe.
 

The Tower of David Museum can be found in the medieval Citadel near the Jaffa gate of the old city of Jerusalem. Here you can learn the story of Jerusalem and hear of all the major events in its history that are of significance to Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Later, proceed to the Mount of Olives to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view over the Old City and Temple Mount. Visit the Gethsemane Grotto, where Jesus spent the night before his arrest, the Garden of Olives and the Church of All Nations.
 

Walk through the old bazaar streets to the Church of St. Anne & the Pool of Bethesda inside the walls of this church are the most wonderful acoustics for singing. Outside are the remains of the pool of Bethesda. The pool with 5 porches is now only a large pit, but it is a place to view and to remember the Lord’s kindness.
Continue your walk along the Via Dolorosa, along which Jesus walked bowing under the weight of the Cross, and visit sites such as the Church of Flagellation and the Church of Holy Sepulchre.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: JERUSALEM (EXCURSION TO BEIT GUVRIN & MASADA)

We start the day with a pleasant drive to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Beit Guvrin caves, situated in the Judean Lowlands - best known for the hundreds of caves that were dug here by hand in ancient times. Beit Guvrin National Park encompasses the biblical city of Maresha, the ancient tel (mound) of Beit Guvrin, and many caves. The main sites to be visited include Tel Maresha, the bell caves, and the Sidonian burial caves; the larger cave is decorated with drawings of real and mythological animals, while the smaller cave has drawings of a man and woman playing musical instruments. In the lower city of Beit Guvrin, visit the many caves with a variety of purposes, including the columbarium caves, water cisterns, olive presses, and the Sidonian burial caves with the drawings.

NOTES:

(During the winter and spring, Beit Guvrin can be muddy. Proper walking shoes and hats are necessary year round for your protection). 
 

Continue next to Masada where we learn about the heroic story of the Jewish fighters. Ascend by cable car and tour the mountain fortress built by King Herod, where the Zealots of the first century made their last stand against the Romans. Visit the remains of the walls, palace, synagogue, water cisterns, mosaic floors, roman baths and other findings. Descend by cable car where we then return to Jerusalem.

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: JERUSALEM / DEPARTURE TEL AVIV

Spend the day at leisure to unwind before we transfer to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Intl Airport for your departure. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

The Jaffa Hotel is a luxury hotel located within the walls of a 19th Century complex that once housed Jaffa's French hospital providing unrivalled exclusivity and surrounded by the city's most fashionable neighborhood minutes from the beach. The Jaffa provides a blend of service, style and state-of-the-art luxury designed by renowned architect John Pawson in collaboration with Ramy Gill. 

The Jaffa Hotel, Jaffa

Nestled in the picturesque narrow lanes of Acre, the Efendi Hotel overlooks the historic city walls and the magnificent Mediterranean Sea and beyond. The unique structure of this boutique hotel combines 2 ancient houses that have hundreds of years of history stored within their walls that were meticulously reconstructed and merged into a modern luxury hotel. 

Efendi Hotel, Acre

Located in the heart of Jerusalem in the city's new shopping and entertainment experience of Mamilla Avenue, The Mamilla Hotel offers spendid views of the Old City Walls, Tower of David and Jaffa Gate. A sophisticated contemporary design, created by renowned designer Piero Lissoni, experience an intimate and stimulating stay in one of the most exciting luxury hotels in all of Israel. 

Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

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