Arrival at the Ben Gurion International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
We start our tour in Bethlehem, to visit the place where Jesus was born – the Church of Nativity. This church is the oldest existing church, were services were held without any break since St. Helen built the first church in the 4th century! In the afternoon we take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque village Ein Karem, where according to local tradition John the Baptist was born. Overnight Jerusalem.
This day is dedicated to the New City of Jerusalem. We visit Yad Vashem, the memorial of the holocaust, and then the famous “Menorah” (Candelabra) located in front of the “Knesset”-Building, housing Israel’s Parliament. At the “Israel Museum” we visit the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. This is a 1:50 scale model of the city, as it was during one of its most important periods, when Judaism and Christianity, as we know them today, started to evolve. The model is built from the original materials, and is updated according to the most recent archaeological researches. We will also visit the “Shrine of the Book”, where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” are exhibited. In the afternoon we will spend some time at the Jewish “Machane Yehuda” Market, which is a more European-Style market, but with a Middle-Eastern touch…Over night Jerusalem.
After our Egyptian breakfast we drive along the shores of the Red Sea and then through an ever-changing area of bizarre Sandstone-Formations to the Sinai High Mountain Range. Arriving at St. Catherine, we visit the famous St. Catherine’s Monastery, including the Church, dated back to the 6th Century and never destroyed since then, “The Burning Bush”, and “Jetro’s Well”. In the afternoon we drive through the Sinai Desert and across the Suez-Canal to Cairo, where we will spend 2 nights. Overnight Cairo.
We will start with the most famous sites in Cairo: The Pyramids of Giza, including the famous Sphinx (still silent…). Then we drive back to Cairo to take a look at the “Egyptian Museum” (the tour does not include the Mummies Room). Here a vast treasure of numerous objects made of gold, bronze, alabaster, silver and more from Egypt’s most glamorous times are exhibited. Then we drive to visit the Cairo Citadel built by Saladin, with its known “Alabaster Mosque”. You will spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure to stroll on your own through the famous market-area of Khan el Khalili. Overnight in Cairo.
After breakfast at your hotel we drive to SAKKARA, the ancient “Necropolis” of the Old Kingdom’s Capital, Memphis, where we will visit a few pyramids, large-scale statues and tombs, among them the known “Step Pyramid”, the oldest known Pyramid. In the early afternoon we will drive you to Taba, where we stay over-night. Overnight in Taba.
Our day starts with a scenic drive through the Land of Galilee and then up a steep road to the top of Mt. Tabor. The magnificent view from this mountain made it a holy place since early Biblical times. The Christian tradition places here the miracle of the Transfiguration, commemorated by a special church built by the genius architect Antonio Berluzzi. We continue to Nazareth, where we visit the glorious Basilica of the Annunciation, built in the 20th Century according to the most modern representation of the Catholic Church. The Basilica houses dozens of specially-designed icons of Mary, representing catholic communities from all over the world. Time permitting; we can renew our romantic relationships in one of the churches of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding. Overnight in Tiberias or Nazareth.
After driving through a landscape of scattered Arab villages, where Christians, Druze and Moslems live together, we arrive at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the ancient port-city of Acco (Acre). During thousands of years this city has maintained its character, and there are a lot of extraordinary well-preserved sites in Acco, which made it a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”. Here we will visit the “Knights Halls” that were built by the Crusaders and stayed underground, preserved fully, up to their roofs!! We will also visit the Turkish “Hammam” (Bath) were we will hear the “Last Bath-Attendant” telling us the History of the City through its Legends and Myths… We shall also visit the colorful oriental Bazaar, with its odors and colors of the East, the ancient port, and more… From Acco it is a short distance to the modern port-city Haifa, situated on the slopes of the evergreen Mt. Carmel. The view from this mountain is famous for its beauty. We drive to Caesarea Maritima, the magnificent port-city built by King Herod the Great. From here St. Peter went to Rome and started with his first miracles. Near Caesarea’s well-preserved theater an inscription of the procurator Pontius Pilate was found. We end the day in the pulsating city Tel Aviv, where we walk in the old city of Jaffa, one of the ancient gateways to the Holy Land. Today Jaffa’s romantic alley-ways attract many artists, who have their galleries there. Over night in or around Tel Aviv.