Israel: Delights, Sights and Tastes of Israel by Private Car
Endlessly charming with a culture as rich as its history, Israel is a dynamic blend of old and new. This tour puts you at the crossroads of history, gazing in wonder at iconic ruins and marvels of the ancient world, exploring the modern history of Israel and sampling an epicurean tradition thousands of years in the making. Taking a far more wide-angled look at Israel, you’ll not only gain an appreciation for the vital role this country has played in world history, you’ll embrace the culture that calls it home and the struggles they’ve overcome to live their lives.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO EILAT & PETRA
Inquire about an extension to Eilat & Petra (Jordan) where even more adventure awaits you. Enjoy a day-tour of the “hidden” city of Petra in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, crowned with a stay on the sparkling Red Sea in Eilat, Israel.
- Historical points of interest including ancient ruins in Caesarea; Safed, where the Kabbalah was developed; a 5th -century synagogue at Capernaum and the Palace of Herod the Great.
- Epicurean adventures with cheese making, wine tasting and private dinner with hosts in Galilee, as well as an exploration of local organic farming and street markets and a culinary tour of ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim.
- Extensive tour of Jerusalem and its many sacred sites.
- Exploration of Israel’s modern history, including a visit to underground munitions factory Machon Ayalon and a Jeep ride through the Golan Heights.
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TEL AVIV ARRIVAL
- Welcome to Israel! After arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, you'll meet your Express service representative and transfer to your hotel on Tel Aviv’s sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
- Begin your day with our tour guide as you embark on a trip through Tel Aviv, winding through the main streets of this city known as the “White City.” Tel Aviv has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its splendid Bauhaus Architecture and has the largest number of buildings in this unique style of any city in the world!
- Popular sites you'll visit include the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, (home to the Israeli Philharmonic), Habimah Theatre, the impressive Opera House and Yitzhak Rabin Square, dedicated to the late Prime Minister.
- From there you'll continue on to the 4,000-year-old port city of Jaffa where you'll explore the magnificently reconstructed Artists’ Quarter with its galleries and boutiques.
- Afterwards, it's on to Tel Aviv’s bustling Carmel Market and lively Nachlat Benjamin Street with its delightful cafés and craft stalls including a stroll through trendy Sheinkin Street adjacent to the market.
- Returning to your hotel, you'll enjoy the evening at your leisure, dining at one of the many excellent restaurants in Tel Aviv.
- Today begins with a visit to Machon Ayalon, the reconstructed underground munitions factory located under the kibbutz bakery. Built and operated during the years 1946-1948, this special clandestine factory was prepared secretly in less than a month. Its openings were covered by a ten-ton oven and a large washing machine that camouflaged the noise of manufacturing bullets. The Ayalon institute was the largest IMI factory to operate underground and produced over 2,500,000 9 mm bullets, mostly for Sten guns, during its three years of operation.
- From there you'll drive to the military junction at Latrun, once the border with Jordan, where you'll see the French Trappist Monastery and visit the Tank Division Memorial.
- Next, return to Tel Aviv and visit Sarona, an old German Templar colony meticulously restored, preserving the original architecture amid a lively pedestrian area with a booming culinary arena.
- After a walking tour, enjoy free time exploring the new urban complexes including various shops, cafés and art galleries.
- Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure in vibrant Tel Aviv.
TEL AVIV / GALILEE
- Begin the day with a drive to ancient Caesarea where you'll explore the Roman and Crusader ruins.
- Continue to the port city of Haifa for a view of the golden-domed Baha’i Shrine and their breathtaking “hanging gardens,” a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Next you'll head to the Crusader city of Acre to enjoy lunch at famous Uri Buri Restaurant.
- Afterwards, walk through the subterranean city and bazaars that recall the colorful middle Ages, drive along the coast to Rosh Hanikra then descend by cable car to see the magnificent underwater grottoes.
- Continue to your hotel in the Galilee, where you will enjoy dinner.
- Today's first stop is a tour of Safed, one of Judaism’s holiest cities, where the Kabbalah was developed in the 16th-century. Here you'll visit the ancient synagogues and the charming Artists’ Quarter.
- The next stop is the Adir Winery for wine tasting and a hands-on cheese-making workshop.
- Next you'll ascend the Golan Heights and continue through the valleys and ranges on a thrilling Jeep ride, taking in the breathtaking panoramic views and learning about the strategic importance of the area.
- That will be followed by a drive to wondrous Mt. Ben Tal for a magnificent view beyond the Israeli borders. Here you'll visit an army bunker and hear the fascinating story of the war fought in the Golan.
- Dinner will be served at your hotel.
GALILEE / JERUSALEM
- The day begins with a journey to Capernaum to see the fantastic ruins of an ancient synagogue dating back to the 5th-century.
- At your next stop, Galilee, you'll enjoy a very literal taste of Galilean village life, dining with a local family. Working side-by-side with your hosts in preparing the meal, you'll learn the ins and outs of traditional Galilean cooking.
- Next up is Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, for a tour through the Kibbutz with emphasis on how everyday living is merged with nature as a way of life here. The combination of a Jewish Orthodox lifestyle with organic farming, in a vibrant, versatile and cooperative community, is an eye-opening experience.
- Following that, you'll drive south and rise through the mountains to “golden” Jerusalem, stopping first for a blessing and a toast to our arrival in the eternal city.
- After your tour, check in to your hotel and spend the night in Israel’s capital.
- Today's immersion in Jerusalem begins with your entrance into the Old City via the Dung Gate where you'll walk to the Western Wall, last remnant of the Second Temple, and view the Dome of the Rock.
- A short drive will take you to Mt. Zion to visit the traditional Tomb of King David and the Room of the Last Supper. Afterward, proceed to the restored Jewish Quarter where you'll walk along the Cardo, the colonnaded main street of Byzantine Jerusalem, as well as the extraordinary Hasmonean Tunnel (schedule permitting). Follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, then walk through the exotic bazaars with their wondrous aromas.
- Next is the Machane Yehuda Market, a microcosm of everything Jerusalem has to offer. The market is Israel's most sprawling and buzzing network of alleys and vending stalls. Here you'll enjoy the “Shuk Bites” experience where you’ll sample and taste a variety of market products and hear the intriguing back stories of the vendors you’ll meet.
- The evening will find you enjoying dinner at a restaurnt where every dish has its origins in biblical scenes and all the spices and herbs grow in the surrounding hills of Jerusalem and Judea. The restaurant is set in an ancient stone building with a huge scenic balcony where you can enjoy the crimson sunsets as they hit the walls of the old city—the special ambiance of the evening is simply intoxicating. A
- The evening concludes with the “Night Spectacular” Sound & Light Show at the Citadel Museum (weather and schedule permitting).
- The day begins with a tour of the Knesset (Parliament) before continuing on to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust, with its Children’s Pavilion and Avenue of the Righteous.
- Next, you'll visit Mea Shearim for a culinary tour of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood where it’s as if time stood still. Markedly different from the rest of Israel, Mea Shaearim's culinary traditions are singularly unique. Their “Ashkenazi” food is the same as it was hundreds of years ago. Here you’ll savor the taste of Cholent, Kugel and Blintzes and delight in the most perfect herring you’ll ever have, not to mention the Challahs, which are baked in 150-years-old-ovens.
- Having enjoyed a gourmet tour of an ancient foodway, you'll return to your hotel for an overnight.
- First up today is a descent through the Judean desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Planet Earth.
- Next, ascend Masada by cable car and see this last stronghold of the Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. While you're here you'll visit the excavations, Herod the Great’s palace, synagogue and bathhouse.
- Lunch will be served at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, where you'll enjoy an “unsinkable” swim in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea at the hotel’s private beach afterwards.
- Next, you'll visit the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, on your return to Jerusalem.
- Enjoy a day at leisure to continue your exploration of Jerusalem on this final day in Israel.
DEPARTURE FROM ISRAEL
- Transfer to the airport for your international departure flight. Enjoy our Express Check-in Service and complimentary entrance to the exclusive Dan VIP Lounge at Ben Gurion Airport.
- INCLUDED: Transportation & Breakfast
DatesUnlike most tour operators, you are not required to choose a fixed date or travel with a group. You can choose to begin your private tour on any date. These are EVERYDAY DEPARTURES.
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- Prices are per person based on double occupancy.
- Single supplement price for single room as part of a group of 2 or more.
- One person traveling alone will incur a higher price due to private tour.
- All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change.
- Please note: Prices for 5 & more travelers available upon request.