Depart Canada on your flight to Israel
Welcome to Israel! Arrive Ben Gurion Airport; meeting, assistance and transfer to your hotel in the seaport city of Haifa. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner in Haifa.
View the golden-domed Bahai Shrine and the colorful Persian Gardens before departing Haifa. Drive along the coast to spectacular Rosh Hanikra; descend by cable car to see the magnificent underwater grottoes. Continue through the picturesque seaside town of Nahariya to the timeless Crusader city of Acre; walk through the subterranean city and the bazaars recalling the colorful Middle Ages. Then, to Safed, one of Judaism’s holiest cities, where Kabbalah flourished during the golden age; visit the ancient synagogues and the charming Artists’ Quarter. Arrive in Tiberias for a Special Dinner and overnight.
Morning drive to Capernaum; see the ruins of the ancient synagogue dating back to the 5th century. Then, ascend the strategic Golan Heights for an overview of the fierce battles that took place during the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. On to Katzrin, capital of the Golan and to the monument of the 7th Brigade; see the multimedia presentation, “Kesem Hagolan” for a greater understanding of this area. Visit a former Syrian army bunker at Kibbutz Kfar Charuv, settled by Americans and Israelis together; view the fertile valleys below as you tour the kibbutz and enjoy lunch in the communal dining room. Travel to Bet Shean, an ancient city from the time of King Saul; see the excavated remains of a Roman city. Continue to “golden” Jerusalem for overnight.
Drive to the Hadassah Medical Center to see the brilliant Chagall Windows. On to Yad Vashem, memorial to the Holocaust; visit the Museum, Children’s Pavilion and walk along the Avenue of the Righteous. Then, to Mount Herzl to pay respects to Israel’s military heroes. Drive via the Supreme Court Building and the Knesset (Parliament) to the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Time to walk through the new Israel Museum and the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden; see the Scale Model of ancient Jerusalem. Evening: Restaurant Dinner and Night Tour.
Enter the Old City from the Dung Gate; walk to the Western Wall, the only remaining portion of the Second Temple. Witness joyous Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah ceremonies! View the Dome of the Rock. Drive to Mt. Zion to visit the traditional Tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper. Proceed to the restored Jewish Quarter; walk along the Cardo, the colonnaded main street of Byzantine Jerusalem. Visit the Herodian Mansions, a completely excavated residential quarter from 2000 years ago, or, walk through the extraordinary Hasmonean Tunnel (tunnel schedule permitting.) Follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; walk through the exotic bazaars with their wondrous aromas. End the day with an optional visit to Bethlehem. Evening: “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light Show at the Citadel Museum (weather and schedule permitting).
Travel via the Judean desert and the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, to Masada. Ascend by cable car to this last stronghold of the Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. Visit the excavations, Herod the Great’s palace, synagogue and bathhouse. Then, opportunity to enjoy an “unsinkable” swim in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea. Drive via the Qumran Caves,where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, on your return to Jerusalem. Evening: Traditional Friday Night Dinner.
Morning walking tour with your Tour Director includes the Museum of the History of Jerusalem at David’s Citadel, in the Old City.Remainder of the day at leisure.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.