Israel & Palestine: Ancient Lands, Modern Challenges

Israel & Palestine: Ancient Lands, Modern Challenges

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11 Days From

$6013

$5824

Israel & Palestine: Ancient Lands, Modern Challenges

11 Days Starting and ending in TEL AVIV

Visiting: Tel Aviv District, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Acre, Safed, Gate to Galilee, Nazareth, Nablus, Jericho, Wadi Street, Dead Sea Region, Yerikho Street, Jerusalem, Masada National Park, Bethlehem of Galilee, Jerusalem District

Tour operator:

Wild Frontiers

Tour code:

IAL

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low / Moderate

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Wild Frontiers with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

English

Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From: $6013 $5824 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$189

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Israel’s diminutive size (barely one-sixth the size of New York State) belies an historical, religious, strategic and political significance which few other countries even come close to matching. Often referred to as ‘The Holy Land’ it has been attracting pilgrims and tourists for centuries and on this diverse 11-day tour, we will delve deeper into the psyche of this fascinating and controversial country visiting not only some of the world’s most revered religious sites but also exploring some of Israel’s often overlooked natural wonders, hidden communities and culinary delights.Starting in Tel Aviv, the tour takes up along the Mediterranean coast to Akko, with its vast crusader halls and hidden tunnels, before heading east to the Golan Heights. Despite being in the heart of conflict for centuries, the Golan Heights are home to picturesque Druze villages and walking opportunities. After viewing Syria from Mt Bental, we will stay on one of the 270 remaining kibbutzim (collective farms).From here we descend to the verdant Galilee region, take a cookery class in Nazareth and then journey via the labyrinthine souks of Palestinian Nablus to ancient Jericho, the shores of the Dead Sea and the iconic desert fortress of Masada before ending our journey at Jerusalem, one of the world’s most compelling cities.

Highlights

  • Spend some time wandering the ancient crusader port town of Akko and the gorgeous hilltop town of Safed

  • Explore the significant religious sites of the Mount of Temptations, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem

  • Stay on a kibbutzim to understand the movement's history and meet the settlers of Efrat to gain an insight into a controversial part of life in Israel

  • Discover the country’s culinary highlights as you dine with a Druze family and try a cooking class in Nazareth

  • Visit the Palestinian/Israeli conflict museum in the ‘Walled off Hotel’ before crossing the Separation Wall in Bethlehem

  • Hike up to Masada in time for an incredible sunrise overlooking the Dead Sea and Judean Desert, as well as views into Syria from Mt Bental in the Golan Heights

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Tour Starts In Tel Aviv

Location: Tel Aviv District

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Shalom & Relax or similar

The tour starts this afternoon in Jaffa, the oldest part of Tel Aviv. After checking in to our centrally located hotel, we will have an introductory briefing before moving on to happy hour drinks and snacks.

Day 2 : Tel Aviv - Akko

Location: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Acre

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Acco Beach or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we will drive north via Caesarea, the capital of Israel during the Roman and Byzantine eras, to view the impressive aqueducts. From here we continue north to Rosh Hanikra, where we will take the steep cable car journey (weather dependent) down to the beautiful caves, formed by thousands of years of sea erosion. We then travel to the ancient crusader port and capital of Akko for a delicious falafel lunch before exploring the vast crusader halls and the secret tunnel connecting them. The evening is free to explore this charming UNESCO town independently.

Day 3 : Akko - Golan Heights

Location: Acre

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Kibbutz Merom Golan or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We leave Akko and head east towards the Golan Heights, a green plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee and Hula Valley. The area has a contentious history and has been much fought over between Israel and Syria in the previous century. Despite historical tensions continuing to today, the area is nevertheless a very scenic and (perhaps ironically) peaceful alcove of Israel where you'll find farms, vineyards and Druze communities. We will stop for a 2hr trail walk to the enchanting Banias Waterfall before then driving to Buqata village for a traditional lunch with a Druze family. Our next stop will be at the Mt Bental viewpoint, from where on a clear day we can see Syria, before arriving at a kibbutz in Merom Golan. Our day ends with a short walking tour of the kibbutz, guided by a resident, including the underground bomb shelter, houses and playground.

Day 4 : Golan Heights - Galilee – Safed

Location: Safed, Gate to Galilee

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: The Way Inn or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

We depart this morning for the famous Sea of Galilee, a large freshwater lake best known for being the location where Jesus supposedly lived. We will explore the significant religious sites of the area; the Mountain of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have taught his Sermon on the Mount, Tabgha, home to the Church of the Miracle of the Fish and Loaves, and Capernaum where we’ll find the House of St. Peter. We then continue to the picturesque predominantly Jewish hilltop village of Safed, one of Judaism’s holiest, to check into our boutique hotel, hidden away in the Artists’ Quarter.

Day 5 : Safed – Nazareth

Location: Nazareth, Safed

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Al-Hakim Boutique or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we will discover some of Israel’s natural charms by taking a lovely 5km walk through the attractive Amud Stream Nature Reserve. We will then drive to Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, to discover not only the wonderful Church of the Annunciation, believed to be built on the home of the Virgin Mary, but also some of Israel’s culinary secrets during a cookery class, hosted at our charming guesthouse accommodation.

Day 6 : Nazareth - Nablus – Jericho

Location: Nablus, Nazareth, Jericho

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Oasis or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We begin the day by crossing the Palestinian border to the historical West Bank town of Nablus, famous for producing olive oil soap, which we will discover at a soap factory today. We will also have time to explore the extensive and atmospheric souk which will provide us with an on-the-go traditional lunch. In the afternoon we will head to the oasis town of Jericho, one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world.

Day 7 : Jericho - Wadi Qelt – Dead Sea

Location: Wadi Street, Dead Sea Region, Yerikho Street

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Ein Gedi or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We discover the landscapes of the Judaean Desert this morning, starting with a stunning walk through Wadi Qelt, a dramatic canyon containing trickling springs and picturesque pools. From here we’ll head to the imposing Mount of Temptations, the supposed site where Jesus was tempted by the Devil. A cable car ride up the mountain allows us to explore the monastery here. Our journey then takes us south along the Jordan Valley to Ein Gedi, set on the banks of the Dead Sea, where we will relax on the beach and float in the famous salty waters.

Day 8 : Dead Sea - Masada - Bethlehem – Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Masada National Park, Dead Sea Region, Bethlehem of Galilee

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Gloria or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we head for Masada, where the remains of Herod’s magnificent palace sit atop a lofty plateau overlooking the Dead Sea and Judean Desert. The history of the fortress here is incredibly moving and hugely significant in the history of the Jewish people. We plan to walk up the snaking path to reach Masada for sunrise leaving ample time to take in this iconic landmark. Later we’ll take the cable car down before driving to Bethlehem, home of Church of the Nativity. We aim to have lunch served at Ma’an Lil-hayat, a project providing craft skills and meals to people with disabilities from nearby refugee camps and villages. As part of our time here, we’ll visit the Walled-Off Hotel - whose tagline is the 'The Best hotel With The Worst View' - which contains an interesting museum about the separation wall and the whole Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Later we’ll cross back to Israel through the wall itself on foot through a checkpoint (not normally required for foreign visitors to Bethlehem but an essential and memorable experience in our opinion), before travelling on to our final destination, the holy city of Jerusalem.

Day 9 : Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem District

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Gloria or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we'll experience just some of what makes Jerusalem not only the cultural and spiritual centre of the Jewish people but also indisputably significant to both Islam and Christianity. One of the oldest cities in the world, the ‘City of Gold’ is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century. After a panoramic view of the city from the Mount of Olives we’ll begin our half-day offbeat walking city tour ending with a light lunch within the walls of the Old City. This afternoon is free to relax or take in more of the city’s religious and historical sites independently or perhaps to visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre.

Day 10 : Jerusalem (Settlers & Palestinians)

Location: Jerusalem

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Gloria or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We begin the day by heading out of Jerusalem to the settlement of Efrat, established in 1983. Efrat is considered an illegal settlement under international law but this is contested by both the Israeli settlers who live there and the Israeli Government. We'll have the opportunity to speak to one of the settlers who'll explain their position and their beliefs, providing some insight into this very contentious part of life in Israel. Following this insightful experience we’ll then drive to the nearby picturesque Palestinian village of Battir, recognised by UNESCO for its traditional irrigation channels and agricultural terraces. A short walk through the fertile valley takes us to a local guesthouse, where we’ll enjoy a homemade lunch and be able to talk with a Palestinian family about their experiences. Finally, hopefully somewhat wiser, we will return to Jerusalem for our farewell dinner.

Day 11 : Tour Ends In Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem

Meals Included: Breakfast

We have the morning free to soak up the atmosphere one last time before those on the suggested flight will be transferred to the airport in nearby Tel Aviv. For everyone else, the tour ends this morning after breakfast.

What's Included

  • MEALS

    10 x Breakfasts, 8 x Lunches, 5 x Dinners

  • TRANSPORT

    Depending on group size we will use an air-conditioned van or minibus throughout.

  • GROUP SIZE

    Maximum: 12

  • ACCOMMODATION

    All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

  • EXPERT TEAM

    The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

  • CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

    Contributions to carbon offset & tree planting projects for all bookings

  • ENTRANCE FEES

    All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

  • FITNESS RATING

    Low / Moderate

What's Not Included

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour
ationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational .Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK.Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Israel & the Palestinian Territories.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

NB. It should also be noted that anyone with a passport showing evidence of having visited Israel (including having entered or left Jordan/Egypt from posts which are known to border Israel) are likely to be denied a visa for countries such as Sudan. The current policy on arrival in Tel Aviv is for visitors to be given an entry card by Immigration officials rather than a stamp in their passport. This situation may alter in the future with the ever changing political issues within this region.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Key Aspects to Consider

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, however, please note there will be several walks on offer (typically 1-3hrs in duration) which you should be able to undertake if wanting to get the most out of the tour.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    12

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Israel & the Palestinian Territories.
    Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We have a complete Covid-19 hub here: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/covid-hub

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 70% of passengers on our group tours are solo adventurers. Unlike many tour operators, we don’t believe in charging solo travellers a premium, so if you are happy to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex, you will pay exactly the same as a couple..Occasionally you may even end up with your own room. You can travel as a single traveller on any of our holidays, from our escorte

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2002

  • Do I need to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with you?

    In most cases, yes. Not only are many destinations making double-vaccination a requirement of entry to the country and/or access to restaurants, museums etc., but additionally on all our group tours for the foreseeable future, for everyone’s peace of mind, we are asking that all clients be double vaccinated.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Catherine Wilkinson  

Catherine Wilkinson

My first Wild Frontiers trip blew my expectations

My first Wild Frontiers trip blew my expectations away - I'm not sure I'll be able to cope travelling with other companies now!

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    ***Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
    **** This relates to bookings from UK clients only. We may operate trips to destinations which the British FCDO advise against travel for Covid reasons. If this is the case, anyone wishing to will have the option to cancel with a refund or transfer to another trip. In some cases we may choose to offer a tour to a Red destination but these will be at both clients’ and Wild Frontiers’ discretion and will be subject to alternative conditions to be discussed on an ad hoc basis.
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