Israel Odyssey

Embark on a first-class journey through Israel that showcases the country’s modern innovations and ancient wonders. Experience the modern pleasures of Tel Aviv before delving into the country’s past in Akko, Galilee, and Nazareth, floating in the waters of the Dead Sea, and exploring the religious treasures of Jerusalem.

This 9-day Israel vacation takes you across the country to explore Tel Aviv, Galilee, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem.

Your Israel tour begins in Tel Aviv, the gorgeous port city that has been the country’s centre of nightlife and cosmopolitan culture since the creation of the State of Israel. Showcasing a collection of gorgeous beaches, world-class museums, and a nearly-endless swirl of bars and restaurants, Spend just over a day exploring the city’s combination of the ancient world and modern innovation, starting at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to learn about the country’s booming technology sector before heading to the port area of Jaffa, which is the oldest seaport in the world. Cap off your time with a culinary tour through the streets of Carmel market.

Head north on your Israel vacation, stopping by the ancient city of Caesarea to admire the sandy remains of the Roman Hippodrome. Deep dive into Kibbutz culture with the Kibbutz Experience before heading to the Crusader port of Akko to see medieval fortifications and learn about the city’s historical connections to Europe. Pass through the narrow streets of Tzfat, where the mystical teachings of Kabbalah were born, and admire the gorgeous synagogues before taking a wine tour in the Golan Heights on route to the Sea of Galilee, the famously tempestuous body of water in the country’s north. Ride out onto the waters to replicate biblical stories before return to shore and heading back south.

You’ll get a sense for the diversity of the nation in Akko, where you’ll visit the Bahai Gardens, where Bahai founder, Bahaullah, lived during the final years of his life. Continue to the Druze village of Istiya on the top of ancient Mt. Carmel to engage with the country’s Arabs and experience their famous hospitality. Reach Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, where you’ll visit the Church of the Annunciation and admire its elaborated façade as you hear stories about the city’s immense religious significance. Once you reach Jerusalem, you’ll experience a Shabbat dinner with a local Jewish family and feast on incredible Israeli food while observing their ancient traditions.

Turn east and continue your trip to Israel by heading to the Dead Sea on the border of Jordan. Spot the incredible cliff-hanging Monastery of St. George, which is still home to Greek Orthodox monks, before ascending the hillside and reaching Masada, the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots during their uprising against the Roman Empire. Explore the ruins of this ancient fortress before heading out onto the waters of the Dead Sea to experience its buoyancy as you float in its salty waves.

Return to Jerusalem for the final leg of your journey. You’ll explore the ancient capital of Israel and the world’s most significant religious city, held sacred within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Start your exploration of its ancient sites in the City of David, where you’ll see new excavations reaching back to the times of the first temple. Then embark on a walking tour through the Old City to see the Western Wall and the ancient shopping street of Cardo. Pass through an ancient Arab bazaar before reaching the Via Dolorosa, where you’ll follow along the final footsteps of Jesus on route to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site of Jesus’ empty tomb.

On your final full day in Israel, you’ll reflect on the darkest period in human history at Yad Vashem, the world’s most important Holocaust Memorial. You’ll then head to the Israel Museum to lay eyes on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the world’s oldest-surviving manuscripts of ancient Jewish texts. That afternoon, embark on an excursion to Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity and explore the remains of the ancient city before returning to Jerusalem for one final night in the ancient city.

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9 days/8 nights
Starting at$3,049 CAD per person

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Day 1

Arrive Tel Aviv

You will be met by a Goway representative and transferred to your hotel.

Duration- 2 nights

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Day 2

Tel Aviv and Jaffa

After breakfast, you will meet your group and your guide in the hotel lobby. Today's itinerary starts with a visit to the "State of Mind" Innovation Center at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Here you will learn about cutting-edge developments by Israeli start-ups in fields such as science, medicine, security, space and more.

You will take a walk around the Old Port City of Jaffa, the oldest seaport in the world and home to a vibrant multiethnic community of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. This was the first Jewish city of the modern era, established in 1909. You have the choice of two culinary tours that will introduce you to the very best of Tel Aviv's food scene:

Option 1 - Carmel market tasting tour - enjoy a fascinating variety of culinary riches, colourful spices and intriguing characters in the main market of Tel Aviv, where the flavours and scents of the old town combine with the young, bustling atmosphere of the city's central market.
Option 2 - Vegan culinary tour - Tel Aviv is the #1 vegan culinary destination in the world and where traditional vegan and vegetarian cuisine and innovative young chefs meet, creating a one-of-a-kind savory adventure for food lovers, whether vegan or not.

Enjoy a stroll along Rothschild Boulevard, the beating heart of Tel Aviv, home of The White City, Tel Aviv's most prominent collection of Bauhaus (International Style) buildings. Built during the 1930s and the 1940s, this functional architecture not only created well-designed objects, but also a cohesive urban landscape that is unparalleled in the world.

Today your evening is free.

Meal Plan- Breakfast

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Day 3

Tel Aviv to Galilee via Caesarea

After breakfast, you will drive north. Take in the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great, and once the administrative center of the Roman Empire for the Province of Judaea. The city and its archaeological wonders are a testament to its significance throughout the ages. The ancient port, the Roman Hippodrome and amphitheatre and the impressive palace are among the many historical treasures in this fascinating ancient city.

You will enjoy lunch in the Kibbutz dining Hall after taking in the Kibbutz Experience, past and present. Visit Ein Shemerkibbutz museum, where you will learn about the Kibbutz life from the early days to the present. Continue with a tour of innovation at KibbutzMagal and visit the Netafim greenhouse innovation centre, a pioneering enterprise in the field of drip irrigation technology.

Meal Plan- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner          Duration-2 Nights

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Day 4

Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights

After breakfast, drive to Katzrin, the "Capital of the Golan Heights". Walk through a Talmudic village and get a sense of what it was like to live in the times of ancient Israel before enjoying a tour and wine tasting at a local Winery.

Next, drive to the Sea of Galilee and take a boat ride on the calm waters.

Continue to the mystical city of Tzfat, the birthplace of the ancient Jewish mystical text, the Kabbalah. Stroll through the narrow, winding alleys. Peek inside some of the beautiful synagogues. Browse through workshops and galleries in the flourishing artists' quarter.

Meal Plan- Breakfast and Dinner

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Day 5

Galilee to Jerusalem

Today starts off with a visit to the ancient crusader port city of Akko, the fascinating UNESCO heritage site, with new excavations revealing what life was like 1000 years ago. Visit the Crusader Halls and enter the underground tunnels. See the port and fortifications that enabled the inhabitants of the town to resist invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte. Spend time walking through the Arab Bazaar, reliving a Middle Eastern shopping experience. Next, visit the amazing Bahai Gardens, which form a wide circle surrounding the historic mansion where Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahai Faith, resided during the final years of his life and the shrine where his remains were laid to rest.

Time permitting, continue your tour with a stop in the Druze village of Dalyet El Carmel, at the top of Mount Carmel. The Druze are Arab-speaking citizens of Israel and are renowned for their hospitality. Take a fascinating guided tour of the alleys and old quarter of the village.

Continue driving to Jerusalem and check in to your hotel. In the evening, experience a special "Shabbat of a Lifetime" dinner, in the home of a local Jewish family. Enjoy a traditional meal as you hear about, and observe, the customs of the Jewish Sabbath.

Meal Plan- Breakfast and Dinner         Duration- 4 Nights     

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Day 6

Masada and the Dead Sea

Today you set off in an easterly direction from Jerusalem towards the Dead Sea. Visit the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. This was the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans in 73CE. Ascend by cable car to the ancient fortress and explore the site, with its synagogue and bathhouse.

This afternoon enjoy lunch at the Dead Sea, 1388 feet (423m) below sea level. This afternoon enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the Dead Sea. Cake yourself in mineral-rich mud and float in the buoyant waters.

Enroute back to Jerusalem, stop at the lookout point for a view of Wadi Qeltand the cliff-hanging Monastery of St. George. It was founded in the 5th Century and it is still active and inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks.

In the evening, take in the Sound and Light Show at the Tower of David, a creative depiction of the history of the city of Jerusalem projected onto the ancient stones.

Meal Plan- Breakfast 

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Day 7

Explore Jerusalem

Your exploration of the Old City of Jerusalem begins at the City of David, with its fascinating tunnels. See the newest exciting excavations revealing Jerusalem during the time of the 1st Temple period.

Walk through the Old City and visit some of its famous sites, including the Western Wall and the Cardo, an ancient commercial street where you can still shop today.

Walk through the Arab Bazaar and experience traditional Middle Eastern life, with its rich colours, flavours, and smells.

Your next stop will be a rooftop tour of the Old City neighbourhoods, for a behind-the-scenes look at the various communities living alongside each other in this ancient walled city.

Walk along part of the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. According to traditions dating back to at least the 4th century, the church is the home of the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, known as "Calvary" or "Golgotha"; and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected.

This evening is at leisure.

Meal Plan- Breakfast 

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Day 8

Jerusalem and Bethlehem

Today visit Yad Vashem, considered to be the world's primary Holocaust memorial and museum. Take a tour of the new Holocaust History Museum, which occupies over 4,200 square metres, mainly underground. Visit the moving exhibit at the Children’s Pavilion, commemorating the death of over 1.5 million Jewish children in the Holocaust.

From Yad Vashem, move on to the Israel Museum. Here you will see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, and view the famous Model of Jerusalem, depicting the city as it was in the 2nd Temple period.

This afternoon you have the option to visit Bethlehem where you will see the Church of the Nativity and the remains of ancient Bethlehem (beneath the Greek Monastery), from the times of Christ.

OR

Enjoy leisure time at Mamilla Mall or on Ben Yehuda Street.

Meet up again for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Meal Plan- Breakfast and Dinner

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Day 9

Departure

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Meal Plan- Breakfast 

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Other Information

PRICE INCLUDES:

Meet and greet on arrival
Roundtrip Airport Transfers
8 nights accommodation
7 full days sightseeing as with English speaking licensed tour guide  
Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned coach
Meals as mentioned
Entrance fees 
PRICE EXCLUDES:

Travel insurance
International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
Visa fees if applicable
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Gratuities
Items of a personal nature
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

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