Every family is unique and has its own interests and priorities – all the more so when traveling on vacation! This the mindset behind our Israel Family Tour program. Hence, the following itinerary is merely a suggestion – a basic framework from which our experts can specially design a custom itinerary to suit your budget, schedule, needs and unique interests. We’ll help you carefully select the sites you want to visit and accommodate you in accordance with your individual wishes. This is, of course, all in an effort to make your visit the once-in-a-lifetime experience it ought to be – an Israel Family Tour
Arrival – Jaffa – Welcome Dinner
Arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport you will be welcomed by our representative who will help you navigate the airport formalities and introduce you to your guide. Then you’ll drive to the ancient port city of Jaffa, the historic gateway to the land of Israel. This is the perfect place to stroll through the enchanting alleyways before watching the sunset over the Mediterranean – a delightful way to get acclimated to the Holyland. Then, together with your guide, you will have a local Israeli ‘Welcome Dinner’ after which you’ll be free to get some well-earned sleep in Tel Aviv. We highly recommend staying at Dan Tel Aviv hotel.
Tel Aviv – Alona Park – Zichron Yaakov – Gan HaNadiv (Rothshild Park) – Haifa
We’ll set out a little later than usual, in order to give you a chance to overcome your jetlag and do a short city tour of Tel Aviv. Then we’ll board the bus to experience adventure at the Alona Park where you’ll have the opportunity to traverse man-made tunnels created to bring water to Caesarea from the nearby hills. From here it is a short distance to Zichron Ya’akov, one of the ‘pioneer villages’ sponsored by the Baron Rothschild a century ago, which until today maintains the atmosphere of that past era. After lunch we’ll visit Gan HaNadiv, the Memorial Park dedicated to the Rothschild Family, combining a recounting of the history of the resettlement of the Land of Israel with the spectacular views. We’ll end the day at the famous Haifa Panorama Lookout, overlooking the verdant Baha’i Gardens – a World Heritage Site. We’ll stay for three nights at a kibbutz guesthouse in Galilee. Although it is a simple accommodation, we highly recommend staying at Sha’ar Hagolan Country Lodge which allows the guests the opportunity to explore a real kibbutz.
Akko (Acre) – Rosh Hanikra – Zefat (Safed) – Dinner & Kabbalah Night Tour
In the morning we’ll drive to Akko, a city which has maintained its character for thousands of years. Akko features a host of extraordinarily well-preserved sites, a fact which ultimately led to it being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will see the “Knights Halls” that was built by the Crusaders and subsequently remained buried underground, fully preserved all the way up to their roofs! We will also visit the Turkish “Hammam” (bathhouse) where we will hear “The Last Bath-Attendant” recount to us the history of the city through a re-telling of some of its legends and myths. We’ll also visit the oriental bazaar with its odors and colors of the East as well as the Tunisian “Or Hatorah” Synagogue, a lifelong-endeavor of a simple Jew who created a unique synagogue, covered with mosaics that depict scenes from Jewish history and religion… From Akko we’ll drive to Rosh Hanikra on the Lebanese border where we’ll go by cable car down into the grottos carved by the sea… Then, driving along the “Northern Road” we’ll reach Zefat (Safed) – the traditional capital of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Towards sunset, we’ll tour the different synagogues and peruse some art galleries at our leisure before having dinner at a local restaurant. Then nighttime is when the real Kabbalah experience begins! A Kabbalist will meet us and lead us on a spiritual night-tour through Safed to help bring the spiritual teachings of the Kabbalah to life! Spiritually awakened, we’ll return to our kibbutz for the night.
Kibbutz Tour – Mount of the Beatitudes – Capernaum – Sailing the Sea of Galilee – Golan Heights Jeep Tour
After breakfast one of the kibbutz members will join us for a tour of the kibbutz. Then we’ll head to the Mount of Beatitudes where we will have a splendid opportunity to enjoy the view of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) and visit the serene church built at the site by the famous Italian architect Antonius Berluzzi. Afterward, we’ll visit the nearby archaeological excavations of Capernaum, including the famous ancient synagogue. We’ll also sail on the Sea of Galilee on a boat designed to resemble the ancient wooden boat from the time of Jesus that was recently found by archeologists in the mud on the shore of the lake – offering us a reminder us of Jesus’ deeds here. We’ll conclude this special day with a Jeep tour where we’ll climb to the top of the Golan Heights and develop an understanding of its strategic value as well as learning of the many events that occurred here throughout history. Dinner and overnight in a kibbutz in Galilee.
Hamat Gader – Jordan Valley – Jerusalem: Mount Of Olives – Gethsemane – Absalom’s Monument – Western (Wailing) Wall /(Kotel)
We start the day at Hamat Gader, an ancient spa that today features attractions for every age, ranging from a crocodile farm to natural hot sulfur baths. After spending a couple of hours here we’ll drive along the Jordan Valley and ascend to the Holy City – Jerusalem! The panoramic view from the Mount of Olives is a suitable place to begin to understand the history of Jerusalem and how it came to be known as “The Holy City”. A leisurely walk will take us down, through the ancient Jewish Cemetery, to the Garden of Gethsemane, famous for its ancient Olive trees, and from there on to “Absalom’s Tomb” – the monumental Petra-style Tomb, attributed to Absalom, the son of King David. Toward the end of the day we will visit the Wailing (Western) Wall, the last remnant of the Jewish Temple, where you will be able, like millions before you, to pray or write prayers on a note and put it between the ancient stones… Overnight in Jerusalem – we highly recommend choosing the Mamilla Hotel which is located just next to Jaffa Gate and provides excellent facilities.
Jerusalem – Old City: City of David – Davidson Center – (Temple Mount) – Via Dolorosa – Arab Market (Suq) – Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Today we’ll continue touring Jerusalem’s Old City with its various sites, holy to the three monotheistic religions. We’ll visit the City of David, the most ancient part of Jerusalem “where it all began”, including (for those who dare!) walking in the water through the nearly 3000-year-old Hezekiah’s Tunnel leading from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. Then at the nearby Davidson Center, we’ll see the recent excavations of the southern wall of the Temple Mount and hear in an audio-visual presentation about the Jewish pilgrims who used to ascend there three times a year to the Temple in Jerusalem. If open to visitors, we will also visit the Temple Mount itself with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. From there we’ll walk through the colorful oriental market of the Old City, the “Suq” – a delightful mixture of colors, odors, sounds and smells, which is located along some of the “Stations of the Cross,” or “Via Dolorosa” – traditionally Jesus’ Way of Suffering – and end up at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where according to Christian tradition Jesus was crucified and buried. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem – New City: Israel Museum – Yad Vashem – Menorah by the Knesset – Camel Ride – Bedouin Hospitality
We’ll visit the recently renovated Israel Museum where we will take a look at the Model of Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple and the “Shrine of the Book” which houses the original Dead Sea Scrolls. Then we’ll proceed to Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial, followed by a visit of the famous Menorah (Candelabra) situated in front of the Knesset Building, housing Israel’s Parliament. Afterwards, we’ll leave Jerusalem and drive out into the Judean desert where we will spend the night in a Bedouin-style encampment! Before sunset we will ride through the desert on camel-back and end the day with a “Chafla” by the fire in a Bedouin-style Tent, experiencing the traditional Bedouin hospitality…
Masada – Dead Sea – Departure
Climb Masada on the original Roman Ramp that was once built to conquer the Jewish rebels. Once atop Masada enjoy an exciting tour of the ancient fortress that became a symbol for modern Israel before descending by cable car. We’ll finish the day floating (not swimming!) in the Dead Sea, which is famous for its healing properties. In the evening we’ll use the facilities at the site to rinse off and prepare for our homeward journey. Transfer to the Ben Gurion Airport for your flight back home.