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8 Day Essential Israel (Thursday Departure)

8 days with Gate 1 Travel   Rating: First Class

Click for Dates and Prices DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Israel
Depart for Israel.

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Tel Aviv
Arrive in Tel Aviv; transfer to your hotel in this vibrant city, known as Israel’s "playground on the sea." Time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone. Perhaps, walk along the bustling beachfront promenade, stop at a café and just people-watch!

DAY 3, Saturday - Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Tiberias
This morning join your tour manager to get acquainted with the "Big Orange" on the walking tour of the city’s highlights. Travel to Rabin Square to view the memorial to the late Prime Minister before continuing to quaint Neve Tzedek (Tel Aviv’s "Soho") and the ancient port of Jaffa with its reconstructed Artists’ Quarter. Free time for lunch on your own. Later, depart Tel Aviv and drive along the sparkling Mediterranean coast to ancient Caesarea; see the astounding Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins and the 2,000-year-old theater. Arrive in Tiberias, nestled on the tranquil Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 4, Sunday - Tiberias & the Sea of Galilee
A leisure day to enjoy the serenity of the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel, or explore this remarkable city embedded with a history dating back to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and religious sites that include the tomb of Maimonides and the Church of St. Peter. Don’t miss the optional full day tour to Galilee that begins in Safed, one of Judaism's holiest cities and mystical center of Kabbalah; walk through the colorful artists' colony and visit an ancient synagogue. Then, ascend the Golan Heights to understand more about this strategic area; visit Har Bental, site of a former Israeli bunker. After lunch at a kibbutz, taste special vintages at a winery in Katzrin before returning to the hotel. Tonight, dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Optional: Full Day Galilee & Golan Heights with Lunch

DAY 5, Monday - Beit She’an, "Golden" Jerusalem
Traveling south reach the impressive archaeological site of Beit She’an, an ancient city dating back to King Saul; see the remains of an ancient Roman city and the ongoing excavations. Continue via the Jordan Valley to the "golden city" of Jerusalem. After time to settle in, an afternoon optional tour of the New City begins with a drive via the Supreme Court building and the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, to the impressive Israel Museum. Here, view the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the scale model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Then, pay respects at Yad Vashem, Memorial to the Holocaust on the Mount of Remembrance. The rest of the day is at leisure to discover the many facets of Jerusalem on your own. (Breakfast)

Optional: New City of Jerusalem (PM)

DAY 6, Tuesday - Jerusalem Old City Tour
Begin your exploration of Jerusalem at the walled Old City with its four distinct sections - the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Armenian Quarters. Follow the steps along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites in the Christian world. Pass through the narrow alleys and souks to Mt. Zion; visit the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of King David. The remainder of the day is on your own to stroll through the picturesque lanes of the Old City or visit the exotic bazaars. The optional afternoon tour to Bethlehem includes a visit to the Church of the Nativity, commemorating the birthplace of Christ. A stop for local olive wood handicrafts is included. (Breakfast)

Optional: Half Day Bethlehem (PM)

DAY 7, Wednesday - Full Day in Jerusalem
Immerse yourself in this ancient city on this day at leisure; walk through the city's colorful neighborhoods that reveal a diverse blend of traditional and modern cultures. Or, participate in the optional full day tour to Masada that begins with a drive along the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. At Masada, ascend by cable car to the top of these heroic heights; listen to the brave tale of the Zealots who chose to perish rather than live under Roman rule. Visit the archaeological sites including the remains of Herod's Palace, a synagogue, bath houses and dwellings. After a visit to the Museum of Masada at the base, stop at the Dead Sea for an swim in the salty and buoyant waters before returning to Jerusalem. Later, the entertaining optional evening includes dinner at a popular restaurant, attendance at the spectacular Sound & Light Show at the Tower of David and a drive through illuminated Jerusalem. (Breakfast)

Optional: Full Day Masada and Dead Sea (AM)
Optional: Restaurant Dinner, Sound & Light Show & Illuminated Jerusalem (PM)

DAY 8, Thursday - Depart Israel
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (
All This Included
  • 6 nights accommodations
  • Hotel porterage
  • 8 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Leisure time to enjoy Tel Aviv, known as Israel’s "playground on the sea"
  • Tour the astounding Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins at ancient Caesarea
  • Enjoy the serenity of the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel
  • Tour the impressive archaeological site of Beit She’an dating back to King Saul
  • In Jerusalem's Old City, explore the Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Mt. Zion
  • Time to explore the multifaceted ancient "golden" city of Jerusalem at your own pace
Tel Aviv: Cinema Hotel
Galilee: Nof Ginosar
Tiberias: Ron Beach Hotel
Jerusalem: Mount Zion Hotel
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • Hotel check-in is at 4:00 pm. Ron Beach hotel in Tiberias is not Kosher. Nov 13, Nov 20, Feb 19, Mar 5, & Mar 12 departures will be accommodated at Kibbutz Lavi in Tiberias. Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 27, Jan 15, & Jan 25 departures will be accommodated at Nof Ginosar in Tiberias. Nov 21, Nov 28, Jan 9, Jan 30, Feb 13, Feb 20, Mar 6 departures will be accommodated at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in Tiberias
  • This program is minimally active, unless all optional tours are selected. If so, this moderately active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect extensive walking during sightseeing in Jerusalem. The pace is moderate, however the majority is over uneven surfaces, stairs and steps. Most wake-up calls are at 6:30 am. Please be aware that if taking the Masada & Dead Sea optional tour the journey to the top of the mesa is via cable car.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.