Israel: Crossroads of History
9 days with Abercrombie & Kent Rating:
DAY 1 ARRIVE TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Arrive in Tel Aviv, where you are met and transferred to your hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
DAY 2 CAESAREA & ACRE | CAPITALS & SEAPORTS
Drive to the ancient Roman capital, Caesarea, where Herod laid out a city and constructed a revolutionary, artificial harbor. View a partial inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate — the only secular reference to his existence. Then, visit the seaport cities of Haifa and UNESCO-listed Acre. While at Acre, tour the Knights’ Halls, view the El Jazaar Mosque and explore the elaborate covered markets. Later, gather for a welcome dinner, savoring your first encounter with Israel’s vibrant culinary scene. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 SEA OF GALILEE | IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS
Begin a day that carries you back in history to the time of Jesus. Cruise the Sea of Galilee by private boat and stop at Capernaum, site of the synagogue where Jesus taught. See Saint Peter’s House, now a converted church; Tabgha, where the miracle of the loaves and fishes is said to have occurred; and the commemorative fifth-century mosaic in the Church of Multiplication. Then, visit the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps imagining yourself as part of the crowd that was the first to hear a doctrine that changed the world. Shift perspectives from the ancient to the modern, as you continue to the Golan Heights, and later enjoy a wine tasting at your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4 NAZARETH | SITES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Visit Nazareth, where Jesus lived, to see the Basilica of the Annunciation; Mary’s Well, where an angel is said to have visited; and the basement of the Church of St. Joseph, with its cavern believed to have been the carpentry shop of Joseph. Traverse the Jordan Valley to the Decapolis city of Beit Shean. Later, arrive in Jerusalem. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 JERUSALEM | SPIRITUAL EPICENTER
Explore the Old City of Jerusalem, built by King David in 1004 BC. Start at the Mount of Olives for a view of the city. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed with his disciples. Stop at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s most sacred sites and a tangible link between Israel’s past and present. Also view the Temple Mount area (Al Haram el-Sharif) with its Dome of the Rock. In the Christian Quarter, stroll the Via Dolorosa and stop at the Convent of Zion Sisters, where Pilate tried Jesus. Arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 6 JERUSALEM | YAD VASHEM
Visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s poignant and moving memorial to Holocaust victims. Pass the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) en route to the Israel Museum, which houses a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Finish in Bethlehem, located in the West Bank, for lunch with a local family in their home and a visit to the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 7 MASADA | ZEALOT STRONGHOLD
Drive to Masada, and take a cable car to the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots who held out for three years against the invading Roman army and ultimately took their own lives rather than be enslaved. Stop at the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. Tonight, gather for a special farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 JERUSALEM | DESIGN YOUR DAY
Start today, if you wish, with an early morning walk of the Temple Mount. Circle the Dome of the Rock and later eat lunch at the ethnically diverse Mahna Yahuda Market. This afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Explore the Historic Jewish Quarter for site visits of the stunning new discoveries excavated at the City of David.
See More of the Christian Quarter, with the opportunity to view the tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Revisit the Old City to see the Tower of David and wander myriad alleyways, home to local merchants for centuries.
Return to your hotel for dinner at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 9 DEPART TEL AVIV
Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)
All This Included
Discover a land held sacred by three faiths, visiting places where events recorded in the Bible unfolded, and learning about life in its iconic cities and towns.
Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv Hotel
Tiberias: Scots Hotel
Jerusalem: The King David
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